Tag Archives: Synth

God Is War’s 12″ ‘World Music Volume 1’, released on Phage Tapes in 2020, is a spiteful statement of ongoing hostile intentions towards the electronic music scene at large. Mack Chami’s war will go on forever – Harsh Industrial Eurorack modular Synth Death, pulsing waves of Harsh Noise beats crush your mind while a sample feed of prayer call, decries and misery will pluck out your heart. Body splitting mega beats, hyper aggressive evolving arrangements, and belligerent frequencies scraping and shredding your third eye down to a bleeding nerve stem, slow revelation of patterns emerge from modular synthesis minimalism. Themes hew closely to classic P.E. via Muslimgauze, perhaps a sly nod/wink/bird flip to the many comparisons Chami has received to Muslimgauze over the years in interviews and reviews with reference to his older projects, based on the racist pre-supposition of his incorrectly supposed Islamic beliefs – imperious, arrogant and castigating war electronics to nuke the game.

Phage Tapes

Morbid split cassette release between two one-man Black Metal projects from the US. Kneipegeist scores a vile sombre tone of impassioned, somewhat complex Black Metal, odiously distorted and hissing in rueful obscurity with lots of Punk influence, particularly in the drumming, a gutter bloated sense of wonky melody through the Guitar and Bass work, gurning wailing necrophile vocal hysteria, storming and frozen cold with lots or clarity in the raw recording and samples woven through the music… Katabasilisk takes the cake with a slow and fear inducing keys-to-tape intro to a long and despondent screed of tormented noisy Black Metal, replete with evil production-obscured riffs working counter melodies and opposing hard rockin’ riff sections and discordant shifts in tempo, majestically distorted fuzzy Bass sound beneath and necrotic vocal emanation, enveloped in a perfectly-pitched hazed production fog. Their sound reminds me of Rhinocervs, particularly their ‘RH-07’ cassette release, and Crepusculo Negro projects like Axeman with their robust corpulent melodicism, Crust Punk and Psychedelic influences, and acid-tinged lead lines. Atmospheric, arcane and prideful, filthy, rotten grave robbery and cosmic corpse molestation, stench of pungent putrefaction on the night’s breeze, idolators of the rotten fukken skull…

American Decline Records

Kneipegeist Bandcamp

Katabasilisk Bandcamp

Broadly speaking, there are only two types of techno producer; those who fuck about, and those who don’t. Slovenian industrialists Warhorse fall emphatically into the latter category as evidenced by ‘Atlatl’, by some distance the most addictive discharge of rancorous aural effluvium it’ll be your pleasure to get smoked by this side of Christmas. Clearly disdainful of the tweak and twiddle brigade and their stultifying micro-manoeuvres, Warhorse pursue a hardline scorched earth production policy here, slashing and burning their way to headfuck nirvana with scant regard for the hardware they destroy in the process. Backing up the threat implied by its track titles (they’re all named after torture devices, mediaeval and more modern), ‘Atlatl’ applies the thumbscrews the moment the needle drops and just keeps on tightening them. A viscous agglomeration of angle-grinder bass, radioactive synth splatter and diseased kicks that burst like bodies on a battlefield, this is sadism you can dance to although it’ll probably blow your legs off. If you’re content to watch techno’s freight train coast gently into a buttercup-strewn siding, please look away now. If, on the other hand you’re the sort of casualty vampire longing for it to hit the mainline buffers at suicidal velocity and catapult fifty tons of scrap iron straight onto Starbucks’ veranda, pull up a deckchair. Crushingly good.


The Fat Man’s first foray, registered in frosty Norway but psychically and sonically channeling the Miami haze windz –  An amalgam of miasmic Vaporwave and bombastic Synthwave blizzard, Future Funk/AOR adjacent super-soft rock chops and Smooth Jazz piano licks appropriated from the forgotten realms of commercial music and thoughtless Muzak, drifting melodies and repeated hooks sizzling and degrading in loops in your headphones, plumes of crispy elite beats romanced by unfurling ketamine haze diapason, slow and overdriven, drowning in numbness and the sense that things could have been better – illusory and saccharine sweet, a vaporizing, unreal delight of filtered as fuck Vaporhouse radiance. Killer.


Jazz is anathema to countless otherwise eclectically-minded music fans, and perhaps understandably so given the over-sufficiency of hamster-cheeked modality merchants noodling themselves numb at the trad end of the spectrum. Wisely however, outernational collective Spiritczualic Enhancement Center spit in the eye of such tedious virtuosity signaling, opting instead to establish their commune beyond the mainstream’s manicured banks in the lawless hinterlands where dissidence trumps orthodoxy and fusion takes a back seat to fission. The result of multiple recording sessions by an 18-strong cast of conspirators, ‘Carpet Album’ (no, me neither) is the musical equivalent of a fly agaric binge; a multi-tentacled chimera that, despite sporting the speculative friction burns of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane, actually cleaves closer to krautrock’s serpentine inner spacefaring and the outré œuvre of such contemporary mystics as LCSM, Mansur and The Heliocentrics. Piquant with percolating synth, dub-flecked percussion ricochets, wah-wah guitar spume and aromatic Turk-psych curlicues, this is sonic alchemy of the highest esoteric order; a mind-dilating pleasure cruise to rattle the resolve of the most fervent jazz detractor. Your magic shagpile awaits.


12″ on Breathing Problem Records. ‘Apex’ consists of 5 tracks of shapeshifting, warlike, lurking electronic menace, smoke-flooded modular eurorack Industrial synthscape designed to inspire trigger sweats and terminal paranoia shootings. Rugged, taut, disturbing, with exemplary sound-system punishing production. Psychotropic/psychotic Industrial Armament test clinic audio with an armory of sampled weapon discharge amid assassination and terror soundscape atmospherics and ambience, clipped off at a high rate of fire through modular synthesis, sweating cordite, drug labs raided in brutal psychedelic outrage, dripping with narcotic contempt and cold, murderous remove. A secret military exercise in remote chakral overstimulation and psychokinetic disembowelment. Absolutely insane artwork and layout, too.

Breathing Problem Productions

On ‘III’, Kumulonimbus’s Dughpa adopts a long form means of expressing cosmic images of spacefaring at the endless frontier, eschewing the shorter songs of his previous works for two lengthy pieces of ambient soundscape and kosmische atmosphere, shimmering, blackly beauteous and expansive, pressed to hissing tape. These two pieces remind me in timbre and colour of Schulze’s ‘Cyborg’, each runs a varied yet thematically solid gamut of the lo-fi synthesized sounds as you’d expect from Dughpa, a very ponderous and foreboding listen bristling with detail and intent. The postcard sized cardboard Flex that comes with the LP is hilarious and brilliant, too; two very short tracks of bleeping and blooping from the dashboard of the corrigated sillicon voidcraft, recorded onto chippy cardboard, barely audible and entirely reliant on the format to accent the sound. It’s just great, fun and serious in equal measure. Regain Records still has copies of the LP available, with aforementioned Flexi and a wicked little art Zine. Get one.


Regain Records

Psychotic, despotic modular synthesizer Electronics from God Is War, alias of operative Mackenzie Chami of Koufar and Terror Cell Unit, among many others. Cassette released on No Rent Records. The supplanting and application of harsh Power Electronics and noxious Industrial textures, moods and aesthetic to a rugged, tough as fuck Electronics sequencer pattern paradigm – merciless, menacing bad guy music to dominate and debase. Crushing turbine sequence of building Bass pulse pressure in the nuclear reactor, irradiated Noise steam hissing from the seams of hulking, coiling, bombastic waves of synthesizer death. Reminds me in a lateral sense of the Power Noise sound akin to something like Converter, but even more harshly textural and gritty. “…This album is to signify the dawn of Hyper Violent Industrial music. Cower in your seat as the great purge commences. Gaze in awe at the aura of cosmic red blood as it swirls around the heads of those executed at gun point. Suffocate as the gases at Halabja fill your lungs. Go to your death defiantly. GOD IS WAR.” Crucial.

No Rent Records

Filmmaker has been lurking at the edges of ebm and affiliated sounds for two or three years, with a sonically varied yet aesthetically cohesive discography of outlandish, dreadful ebm and crimson minimal wave electronics. ‘Vlad Tapes’ is 4 long, lo-fi mixes of different darksynth tracks, a grimoire of castle-dwelling, clammy synthesized Noise beats, a recontextualistaion of repetitious videogame music loops and lobit vampiric aesthetics to a techno bloodrave praxis – Impaling Synth drillers, funky as fuck (which is a real plus), grave and gruesome, decaying and changing, minimalist and crude, stitched together as long beatworks for blooddrinking solo. This shit is heavy and weird, referential to old school Techno and second wave Industrial, head music for fucking basehead freak vampires!


4 tracks of crackly, shimmering Dungeon Synth and magisterial mystical Syntheziser sounds from the faceless one, with occasional martial percussion elements and chanting intonations and incantations from beneath the hoods of the apprentices – unknown dimensions and dread horrors, cultist priests summon the ancient uncanny folkish melodies through arcane rites with militarist drumming, layers of synthesized ambience and shamanist prophecy. Darkly dreadful and forboding, singularly adventurous, solemn and cosmically imperious. Battle the ancient gods and ascend!


Dughpa’s first record is an obstinate and obscure ode to the cosmic blackness, alien civilisations and lost astral colonies… and dusty old SciFi books on tape, too. Kosmische, Dark Ambient, Black Ambient, Dungeon Synth… each are appropriate descriptors, but Dughpa has an entirely unique feel and presence, with elements of kosmische kommandant kraut deep space exploration and RPG space-faring Soundtracks, incidental noise loops and decaying signal melodies, the intoxicating hum of fantastical nostalgia and imagined black star castles, blooping mothership dashboard intricacies and complications in simplistic, lonely refrains… This first LP is full of particularly angular, blocky and sawbladed synth waveforms, completely archaic and singular. You will soon be hypnotised by minimalist audial-space exploration sounds and disarmingly memorable synth patterns. Dig it.


Tjolgtjar’s final record ‘Vruguun’ is a drugged and rockin’ descent into Psychedelic Black Metal hades, and a perfect summation of what makes Tjolgtjar so special. An amazing amalgam of influences making for a formidably unique redneck Black Metal record, drunk on potent ‘shine. King Diamond and Speed Metal, Kiss and WASP, raw Darkthrone and Burzum style Black Metal, Country, Bluegrass and Southern (gothic) Rock,13th Floor Elevators and Roky Erikson, Ted Nugent and Charles Manson, little nods to Post Punk, all manner of psychedelia, Goblin, Synths and Organs, raw and reedy Black Metal Guitars with killer riffing, rasping evil vocal mixed with impassioned singing and Metal wails, wailin’ solos over hard rocking anthems, psilocybin-laced Black Rock and Metal of a completely unique formula. Satanic and Occult, raw and obscure. Some tracks adhere to a more traditional Black Metal composition, others hew closer to 70’s Hard Rock or ancient spellbound Heavy Metal, and others still combine these elements into an incredibly heady listening experience. Slight differences or emphases in production across these 24 tracks amount to a very home-made, underground sound, very high concept and low fidelity. Vruguun is an absolute delight of non traditional Black Metal Magick, deftly handling dirt-rune experimentalism and drunk as fukk anthem bangin’ across it’s running time. Crucial.


Spirit Possession’s 2020 demo, 2 songs with an intro and an outro. Maniacal, phantasm-possessed Black Heavy Metal with a fuckload of hysteria inducing Speed Metal sound. Braying, howling, wolfish OUGH vocals, riffs born of a hatred for the holy spirit laden with misshapen, unorthodox trill hooks that stick to your ribs and powerful, blown out drums from the netherworlds. Haunting lunar occult madness and portentious summoning of demons, wild-eyed and rockin’ like a motherfucker. The all-too-short intro and outro tracks are properly bubbling and nasty sounding, enveloping these two rippers in a murderously wyrd aura. Effects laden, ghastly, echoing necro Metal, driving like a flaming hearse through a black cosmos. Fucking killer demo.


Synthesizer stomp from the US. Conjuring images of terrible and tyrannic lizards from older yellowed reference books, the Valley of Gwanji and stop motion thunderlizard animations. Steaming Triassic jungles, ancient and dangerous flora, terribly inaccurate depictions of pterodactyl. Sauropod Dungeon Synth with a unique and fascinating intent and an impressively conjured atmosphere. I’ve seen quite a lot of interest surrounding this project online, and it’s evident why. Listen to ’em back to back.



Dungeon Synth apparitions from the US, captured live in the pines at night. Arboreal and mysterious synthesizer sounds. The live ambience is spooky and grim – spectral Synth lines echo into the pine glades, ancient spirits observe in funereal silence. Sorrowful, obscure and melancholy. Many of these melodies carry a certain prideful and yet remorseful quality, like a solemn yearning for ages past. Excellent and yet short Dungeon Synth release from the also excellent Lost Armor. Good luck getting a physical copy.

Lost Armor Records

Instrumental maritime synth dirges. As the title suggests, the waters we sail on this record are bitterly cold. Frosty, wavering synths reminiscent of aged RPGs recount the saga of an apparently doomed voyage over the course of 11 short tracks, though only the titles clue you in on the narrative. The music itself is really cool (hah), very stark and ponderous with an abundance of sea sound effects adding to the nautical fantasy feel. Stoned dungeon lurkers, get on it.



An excursion into an 8-bit dungeon, super serious and completely pointless. Engaging and kind of dynamic, sounding like a play-through of various boss chiptune arenas. Dungeon-keeping and a bit gloomy, but with almost none of the ‘Dungeon Synth’ or Black Metal influence this stuff often has; instead this sounds literally transplanted from an ultimately obscure RPG, forgotten to time (or the ’80s). Think Ghosts n’ Goblins, rather than Burzum or something. Meandering and silly, yet strangely enticing and worthy of repeat listening. You will never escape GORP! And perhaps you won’t want to.



Stoic, sombre  Doom-paced Dungeon Synth from the States. Long and stately Synth melodies play in slow motion, describing the hunt for an ancient Wyrm in a deep crypt. Melancholic and stern, a very thoughtful and pensive listen, this one. The mouldy, clammy ambience of cold stones and dragon bones is enveloping and enjoyable. It’s kind of epic in a quiet way, and shows restraint in it’s foreboding repetition. Doom-laden and derelict.



Creeper boogie from the States. What the fuck could I really say about this – Its sleazy serial killer music, boogie beat hairspray and greasepaint stalker sound. Steamy beats and python boot Bass. Sounds sweaty and glittery; I can imagine this playing in a 70’s slasher, right before some comely lass is knifed in a grimy alleyway. 2 Spooky grooves for the dusted and busted and/or zooted and booted. Largely pointless and very enjoyable – Jheri-curled Captain Howdy is a great visual coda to the contents within.



Equally spooky and silly Synthscapes from the States. This is basically Dark Ambient Music created on terrible Synths (to my ears, at least). Ambient weirdo witch coven music. Pumpkin ghoul grimoire of Dark Synth shamanism, venturing between the macabre and sugar-sick; Really simple melodies repeat into a 2D horror narrative RPG, psychedelic candy corn tabs eaten in a corn maze, at once scary and totally goofy. Simple, synthesised and spook-tacular!