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Mini Spotlight: Dan Narkosis


Many of you may not have heard of Dan's music, but I've no doubt quite a few of you know the man. I first properly met Dan back in 2019 when I interviewed iVardenshpere in the green room.. toilets.. of Electrowerz which to date is probably the most entertaining interview yet..

What many of you may not know is that Dan makes some damn good music! There's quite a mix, a bit of industrial, a bit of EDM, a bit of tribal, and even some hardcore amongst other bits. it's quite a mix and having handed out codes to his great track 'Lost In The Wasteland' at Resistanz, I thought it was about time to spread the word about his music.

 

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Interview

Q. Hi Dan, How would you describe your music and the sort of creations you make?

A. How do! I would say my music is somewhat chaotic, it bounces around from genre to genre and takes small elements from a lot of different styles to convey what I have in my thought process. There's an element of disorganised madness to it all, using a very broad palette of sounds to try and cover all bases, and certain songs will portray certain emotions more than others.

Q. You recently released the track 'Covenant' which is quite special in regards to iVardensphere so tell us about that track and your history with the band.


A. Covenant was my tribute to iVardensphere, and a thank you to Scott and the band for allowing me to join the stage show and show what I could do musically. It was a bit surreal how things came about. I had recently departed from Narcotic Death, we were a small Death Metal band from the Wakefield area, and we all felt the band had run its course after the release of Dies Irae (the final album, and my only recording contribution to the band, and my proudest metal recording to date), and things were fairly quiet for me after I left. I was messaged by a good friend, Dan Mullins, about possibly doing a little bit of session work for iVardensphere at a show they were coming to do, the show was the 2016 Resistanz, and at the time, I had no knowledge of the scene, the music, the people, and to me it was just an opportunity to get back onstage, learning some new material and going and having fun. After that first show, I fell in love with the music, and began to throw myself deeper into the rabbit hole of my own musical journey.

Q. Can you please give us a run down of the messages and stories of some of your other tracks that you are most proud of?


A. Ahh, my little stories that accompany my songs on bandcamp, they were just something that kind of came out of nowhere. I liked the idea of songs having a story behind them, like a small concept of where that song would fit in say a film score or theatre production, like a specific point in the grand plot of the tale where a character development takes place, or a new plot point is being woven, and that's how I have seen my musical journey, an ever expanding plot.

Out of all the songs, I would say Frustration is a proud achievement of mine, that came from a bad writing session, where nothing was going right, I was getting less and less interested in the song the more I worked on it, and it turned into something that made me grimace with how filthy I found it to be when it was finished; Proving to myself that even when things don't initially work, there can still be a diamond in the rough if you look hard enough. Sometimes the music dictates the imagery that comes to my mind, so it's a song by song kind of thing.

Q. What got you in to making music, and how far have you come from that point up to now?


A. What got me into making music was a school teacher, a wonderful lady who encouraged me to take up bass guitar in our music lessons, coincidentally, she played guitar for a Pink Floyd tribute band. Fast forward to learning my first Iron Maiden guitar parts and wondering to myself, "what would my music sound like?" And now today, I never thought I would be making industrial/edm stuff, I always envisioned it being more.... well, Maiden, dual guitar harmonies, galloping riffs, and being somewhere more akin to Maiden's mid to late 80's sound, how the tables have turned in the last 7 years.

Q. What is the most important aspect of creating music for you and what driving force keeps you going with making new music?


A. For me, the most important thing is that I'm having fun making music. It's a passion project, and the more I produce, and learn along the way, the more I enjoy making, and it keeps luring me back to my laptop to try and make a new song, which is always going to keep me hooked.

Q. What are some of the great things about the Industrial / Gothic scene and are there any parts you would like to see improve?


A. The Industrial scene, since I was first introduced to it, has been one of the most friendly scenes to be a part of, the amount of diversity, even within the same styles of music, is staggering. There's no gatekeeping, its just a singular love and appreciation of being part of the scene. All I would like to see changed, would be making it easier for bands and artists to travel more freely, and in a way that doesn't cost the earth to be able to tour or come over for festival shows, or to visit new places for new audiences, that would be brilliant.

Q. What artists do you listen to when you, want to party, when you’re feeling down, and when you want to relax and zone out?


A. I have a lot of bands that could fill spaces in each of those categories. My first, and still favourite band of all time, Iron Maiden. I'm still an 80's metal, rock and prog guy at heart, bands like Rush, Saxon, Yes, Magnum, stuff like that. I also love bands like Ayreon, Periphery, My Dying Bride, Mr Big, Devin Townsend/Strapping Young Lad, they all fit each category.


Industrial/Goth artists would be iVardensphere, ESA, Strvngers, grabyourface, Ratio Strain, Muta Scum, again, all of those could fit all three categories, and there's always a place for every band/artist in each of those playlists.


Q. Anything you would like to say to those who support and listen to your music?


A. I would like to thank you all for taking an interest in my music, it means the world to me that anyone would want to share in this journey with me. To me, you are more than fans, you're an extension of family, and we're all sharing our love for the diversity of the scene, be that in sharing our favourite bands and artists with people, visiting our favourite venues, attending festivals, watching our favourite twitch streams, or reading interviews of people you may have never heard of, this is what keeps the scene alive, this is what makes the scene immortal, and keeps us coming back for more.


Review


Let's start with Covenant which is the track you can find above in the interview. This is an insanely fun piece with tribal drumming and sick guitar riffs throughout, where can you go wrong with that? For those lucky enough to have seen a full band iVardensphere show, you'll know there are always a lot of hand drums of varying sorts that create a wonderful rhymical bliss and Dan really has recreated that sense of wonder and joy from playing with them.

The guitars do give it all a bit of a sense of urgency too, almost a bit like a scene from Mortal kombat.

Next up Dan has put all his other tracks in to one handy place in the remaster album of 'Let's try that again, but maybe louder this time.'

So here's some tracks that really stand out for me: Piece Of Me - This is something quite unexpected because it is a pure EDM dance injection of wonder, we have piano and gorgeous female vocals throughout that is nostalgic of early 00's trance music that then leads in to an arm throwing beat drop, this whole track is worthy of a beatsaber upload to smash away to!


'Spectre' is very much my sort of chillout music because it uses mournful haunting synths but is kept somewhat upbeat with more tribal hand drumming. The track feels quite unique in style with this incredibly rare instrument mix and it feels quite deep and touches the soul in a profoundly different way.

'Frustration' is a filthy bit of dark techno that really showcases the very emotion the track describes.


'Lost In The Wasteland' has a unique blast of hardstyle mixed with something retro and nostalgic I can't quite place. Sort of like the combat music in the original Command and Conquer game which when mixed with a bit of hardstyle creates a truly interesting creation.

'Desires' stands out the most to me, it's like a backing track to some gritty urban filth, the likes of which would be blasting out during a Karl Urban - Judge Dredd gun fight scene. This is a deep, thick, and low tempo industrial piece of techno that stands out as my favourite of those on offer.


Thank you for reading!

 

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