mechanical nation


Behind the scenes with Michael Holloway of Dead When I Found Her

by on Jan.16, 2013, under Spotlight

dwifh-smDead When I Found Her is the project of Michael Arthur Holloway. The music project started some time ago when he turned 30 years old. Michael’s musical direction with the DWIFH project was very specific.  He had been writing and recording music for a long time but was always restless; jumping from idea to idea. In his younger years he admitted to a lack discipline. He lacked the ability to commit to a project and see it through to the end.
“I had years during my twenties when the only music I worked on was guitar-based indie rock stuff. I had periods where my only musical output was scoring local short-films my friends made. My attention span always wandered.” Michael said.
After returning home from South America, he felt that a new leaf needed to be turned in his musical expression, and was ready to pursue one musical project and see it all the way through. He felt the discipline and the ability to organize his ambitions into something cohesive was there. And the musical choice for Michael was singular; it had to be an old-school industrial band. (continue reading…)

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Behind the scenes with Rexx and Dräcos of FGFC820

by on Aug.22, 2012, under Spotlight

“When you meet new people and asked what you do Rexx, do you tell them you work on Wall Street or do you tell them you’re in a band?” I asked Rexx.
“I generally say I work on Wall Street because if I say I’m in a band, they’ll want to know which one. I find the faces they make when I say FGFC820 sometimes entertaining.” Rexx responded with a smile.

Rexx performing with Brian during the Gothsicles set at Kinetik5

FGFC820 is the musical project of Rexx Arkana and Dräcos von Strecker out of New York city. The project which started in 2004 evolved before settling on it’s current members. Rexx originally planned on working with Mika from This Morn’s Omina and in fact the first song FGFC820 written as a band (World of God) was written by Rexx and Mika. However collaboration was difficult with an ocean between them, and when Dräcos started helping with the remixes he pretty much took over for Mika. (continue reading…)

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Spotlight: “Time:Wave” podcast

by on Aug.07, 2012, under Spotlight

As much as I love the industrial music, I’ve lately been drawn more and more to editorial content about the scene and it’s contributors (see other editorials in the Spotlight category).

Our friends at COMA music magazine (specifically Tiffany) have started a fantastic new podcast  called Time:Wave which focuses on the history and facts about selected bands in the industrial scene.

The first episode focuses on Skinny Puppy and Tiffany does an excellent job of covering everything you never knew about the band, it’s past and it’s members. What a welcome addition to the already excellent podcast lineup that COMA Magazine already has.

I am certainly looking forward to the next episode as they will be featuring … Well, you’ll have to listen to this episode of Time:Wave to find out.

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Behind the scenes with Guido Henning of E-Craft

by on Jul.26, 2012, under Spotlight

Guido Henning performing at Kinetik Festival 5

Guido Henning may not be an immediately recognizable name in the industrial music scene but his music project will certainly ring a few bells for the more seasoned rivet heads. E-Craft is a project Guido started in the mid nineties and, with various members, the project is surviving the test of time. (continue reading…)

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Behind the scenes with Pete Crane of Shiv-r

by on Jun.26, 2012, under Spotlight

Pete Crane performing at Kinetik Festival 5

“We love to create worlds.” Pete told me.
“The rejection of the world with which we’re presented; a world in which we’re encouraged to go to work, not do anything creative, be a consumer…We say fuck all that. “
“A great point.” I think to myself.
He’s on a roll and enthusiastically continues.
“We (Shiv-r) spend all of our spare time and energy building a new fucking world as we see fit. Build something, especially if it’s daunting and scares you at first.  Fucking create something and become whatever you want.”
This is the energy that drives Shiv-r.

Moving to London, England in 2007, was an eye opening experience for Pete in terms of what the industrial/goth scene was like in Europe. He played live keyboards for Angelspit in a couple of festivals and was amazed to see the size of the crowds that the festivals gathered. Coming from venues in Australia that packed 50-200 people he was now in front of audiences of numbers that rivaled mainstream bands. (continue reading…)

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Interview : Matt Gifford of Encephalon

by on Dec.12, 2011, under Spotlight

Mechanical Nation recently had a chance to ask Matt Gifford of Encephalon a few questions regarding their just released new album, The Transhuman Condition.

MN – Encephalon may not be a name many people would recognize in the industrial circles. Can you give us a bit of history about how Encephalon came to be?
MG – Encephalon was started in 2005 by Sam Mainer and myself, however we grew up together and have had several industrial /electro/punk related projects since before we were in high school so Encephalon was sort of a natural evolution and culmination of the experiments we had been doing leading up to that point. Alis Alias joined us in, first by contributing art to our Drowner cd cover, and later joining us on stage for vocals and synths, and eventually her vocals made it onto The Transhuman Condition
as well.

MN – The new album is named “The Transhuman Condition”. How did that name come about?
MG – The “Human Condition” which can be thought of as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to gender, race, class, etc and encompasses the experiences of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. Transhumanism is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
I chose “The Transhuman Condition” to reflect a state of existence that desires change in a world too tied to old world traditions and out of date ideals to evolve at the desired pace. In the internet age where everyone has access to unlimited information its getting harder and harder for the powers that be to pull the wool over our eyes, so I’m very against established traditions and adhering to “the norm” when there are much better solutions/futures/view points available.

MN – What influences (music or otherwise) do you have that shape the sounds we hear from
Encephalon these days.
MG – Musical influences are all over the place, the classics that have and always will inspire me are The Cure, Depeche Mode, Faith No More, Curve, FLA, and Skinny Puppy but I have been listening to a lot of the newer bands (Comaduster, Necrofacility, Dym) coming out in the scene and its really inspiring to see some intelligence and integrity coming back after so much whack hellektro.
Non-musical inspiration comes from scientific sources like medical dictionaries, BBC documentaries, and Carl Sagan books/shows, as well as futurist philosophers like FM-2030 and Raymond Kurzweil. Science fiction atmospheres of movies like Alien, Terminator, and Event Horizon were a huge inspiration for the THC. I’m planning to make our next album continue down a theoretical/fantasy evolutionary path of life on Earth, specifically what would happen back on Earth once the posthumans are out colonizing the galaxy and whatever life that remains gets a hold of the technology that’s left behind. Lets just say HG Wells is giving me some pretty good ideas.

MN- How does Encephalon go about putting together/writing the music that ended up on the latest album “The Transhuman Condition”? ie. do all the members get together in a “jam” style session, or is the music more carefully crafted and manipulated by the members over a period of time?
MG – Each song begins with a sequence that I make and start writing lyrics for, once I think I have a good idea I send it to Sam and he works on it sometimes changing the beats around, adding synths, or doing intense audio editing, glitches, and sound design to the raw material I sent. We usually pass stuff back and forth a few times and what we end up with is always a lot different than my initial demos. Most of the mixes we use are Sam’s but I have done quite a few as well. When I work with Alis its much more relaxed, for “The Killing Horizon” I already had the acoustic guitar and string parts recorded and she came over and we recorded about 20 takes of her improvising various melodies and then I took all the audio and doubled them up and created harmonies from her separate vocal takes so it was a surprise to all of us how it ended up.
MN – How do you feel you have evolved (musically) since the last album Drowner in 2009.
MG – I’m still proud of the songs we put on Drowner, I regret not promoting it whatsoever but I just needed to get it out there so I could be done with those early songs and focus all energy and concept on what would become the THC. Drowner was purely a blast of chaotic energy where as the songs on THC are much more epic and structured and hopefully show a stronger song writing side that has been infused with the club sound we started on before. There are more complex acoustic melodies this time around but I think the depth of the electronic programming and sound design has increased too.
MN – The new album “The Transhuman Condition” has been out for over a month now. How
do you feel the album has been received?
MG – Pretty well thanks to the awesome support of Dependent and Artoffact and all the awesome DJs, bands, fans, and promoters who have kept pushing our music. We have had consistently good reviews in the media/blogs/magazines too which was a little surprising, but maybe it shouldn’t be after all the time we spent on it.
MN – And lastly, what’s next for Encephalon? Are there plans to release more albums? Any tours scheduled for the release of “The Transhuman Condition”?
MG – The most important thing to us is getting another album going that will outdo THC on every level! While we do that we are playing some one off shows and are starting to plan a mini tour of Canada and maybe a few shows in the US for 2012. Alis and I are always working on various mixed media so we hope some type of video will surface soon as well.

Thank you Matt, for taking the time to give us a bit of insight into the inner workings of Encephalon. Looking forward to seeing you live sometime soon.

Pickup your copy of this excellent album from the Artoffact Records through Storming the Base: Encephalon, The Transhuman Condition


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Spotlight: ISN Radio Episode 203

by on Dec.07, 2011, under Spotlight

I never planned on doing any individual Podcast spotlights, but Episode 203 took the cake for me, and felt it needed to be highlighted.

In this one and a half hour episode, Edwin interviews the legendary Rexx Arkana of FGFC820 and Bruderschaft. Even though it is an unusually long episode, only eight tracks are featured. The rest of the episode (the other half of the show) consists of a very in-depth and entertaining introspective of Rexx’s musical history, background stories, interesting events and future plans.

Thank you Edwin for putting together this amazing episode, and thank you Rexx for sharing a slice of your life with us.

Industrial Strength Nightmares Radio : Episode 203

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Podcast Spotlight : ISN Radio

by on Sep.23, 2011, under Spotlight

Seasons come and go, people interests change and a lot of podcasts follow the same trend. Here today gone the next.
However there’s a special breed of broadcaster / DJ / promoter. One that always triumphs in the face of adversity. One that has a deep seeded love for the music and for the scene. One that year after year manages to surpass everyone’s expectations and improve on what was already a top notch experience.

Edwin Somnambulist of ISN Radio is no ordinary human being. Some say he naturally faces magnetic north, and that if he could be bothered, he could crack the Da Vinci Code in 43 seconds. All we know is that he’s the host of the amazing weekly podcast ISN Radio. (continue reading…)

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