What is western music? Is it the sound of the wide-open plains or a smoky saloon? Tales of taciturn men and long-suffering ladies who cry tears in their beer? Or has that tradition been replaced by something more complicated, where horses have become fast cars and saloons are now strip malls, but even in the most urban setting, there's the restless, rough-and-tumble feel of a frontier town, and everyone still yearns to get the hell out of Dodge sometimes?
Front Line Assembly was the best known of the various electronic music projects undertaken by the prolific Vancouver-based duo of Bill Leeb (vocals, synthesizers) and Rhys Fulber (synthesizers, samplers). After working in the mid-'80s under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder with Skinny Puppy, the Austrian-born Leeb formed the industrial/techno-based Front Line Assembly in 1986 with Fulber -- who initially joined on as a studio assistant -- and synth player Michael Balch. After a handful of compilation appearances and cassette-only releases, Front Line Assembly issued its first three full-length efforts -- The Initial Command, State of Mind, and Corrosion -- on a monthly basis between December 1987 and February 1988. Later in 1988, Corrosion, a subsequent mini-album titled Disorder, and a number of exclusive bonus tracks were compiled and released as Convergence.
Northern Ireland would appear an unlikely location to give birth to a vaudeville-obsessed bohemian singer poet, but try telling that to Lisburn (near Belfast) native Peter Wilson, better known by his stage name Duke Special. The self-proclaimed creator of "hobo chic" -- a reference both to his distinctive dress style and his unusually refined spin on traditional music hall and vaudeville forms -- cuts a striking figure on-stage, often performing alone with only his piano and old, squeaky gramophone for accompaniment.
A ceiling two seconds from collapsing, lots of sloppy Doc Marten dancing, and really harsh hardcore music. Ask Ola Klüft his earliest memories of growing up in Umeå, Sweden, and he'll gladly share this DIY-or-die story (or some other basement show fiasco) with a smile and a snicker. Which is quite amusing and a little confusing when you consider Klüft's current gig: singing sweetly and subtly amid the moonlit, melancholic indie pop of The Perishers. Even Klüft admits the inherent irony of the situation. You see, as much as The Perishers admired the political stance and savage punk of hometown heroes like Refused and Final Exit, none of the band's members are -- how should we put this? -- 'the aggressive type.' "When we started out, we had to share our rehearsal space with those guys and, well, we were pretty much scared of the hardcore bands," says Klüft.
B.C. Camplight is one of Philadelphia’s most beloved indie artists, and for good reason. Since releasing his 2005 debut, Hide, Run Away, and its 2007 follow-up, Blink of a Nihilist, Brian Christinzio has earned critical aclaim from critics both at home and abroad, receiving rave reviews for his ability to craft effervescent pop songs and the music’s contrast with the lyrics’ often dark or twisted subject matter. His success in Europe has earned him an international audience, and even landed Blink in the London Sunday Times with the prestigious designation of Album of the Week.
Super Furry Animals were one of the first post-alternative bands, fusing together a number of disparate musical genres -- including power pop, punk rock, techno, and progressive rock -- creating a shimmering, melodic, irreverent, and willfully artsy rock & roll. As one of the leading bands of the mid-'90s Welsh movement, they were already tagged as outsiders by their tendency to sing entire songs in their native tongue, but their very approach was unique, full of both whimsy and left-wing political activism. What set them apart from their fellow Welsh bands were their infectious melodic sensibilities and their wildly irreverent attitude, which peers like Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, 60 Ft. Dolls, and Catatonia lacked. Super Furry Animals' 1996 debut album, Fuzzy Logic, became a major English hit, charting in the Top 40 and placing in the Top Ten of many year-end critics' polls.
STYROFOAM A Thousand Words June 10, 2008 A THOUSAND WORDS is the sixth album for indie/electro pop artist STYROFOAM. It is also the first for Nettwerk, and Styrofoam creator Arne Van Petegem is audibly excited about his new worldwide home. “They have a very forward-thinking way of handling the digital revolution and the online world,” he says. “A lot of stuff that classic record companies seem to be scared of, they seem to be fully embracing. I think that’s actually one of the main reasons I decided to go with Nettwerk. It all feels like Styrofoam phase two in a very big, big way!” Styrofoam phase one found the project coming to international acclaim after joining the roster of Berlin-based Morr Music in 2000. Working with the label afforded the Antwerp, Belgium-based producer an active participating role in the burgeoning Berlin scene, which was then hybridizing indie rock with experimental electronics.
As the musical zeitgeist slips further into an obsession with easily digestible singles and online statistics, options become increasingly limited for those in search of deep albums. Originally conceived as a side project of legendary Front Line Assembly in 1987, Delerium has consistently transfixed listeners worldwide with its inimitable blend of sounds. With Bill Leeb (creator/brainchild of Delerium, Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy) at the helm, the Vancouver electronic outfit - which includes collaborators Rhys Fulber, Jared Slingerland and Jeremy Inkel - fuses ambient and cinematic production with soaring vocals courtesy of a myriad of guests.
Matt & Kim are a destructive dance punk duo from Brooklyn, New York consisting of Matt Johnson (vocals, keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums, vocals). Signed to Fader, they released their debut album, the self titled ‘Matt and Kim’, in October 2006 and their sophmore album, Grand, was released in January 2009. Their simple, dance style rhythms and energetic performances have gained them a substantial local following and a formidable online presence through social networking and media sites like YouTube and MySpace. Regulars at festivals such as SXSW and Lollapalooza, they have guest hosted on music shows such as MTV2. Their song Daylight is featured in the latest Bacardi ‘Mojito’ commercial.