The track we named our band after was remixed by three underground electro artists – this article will spill the dark electro beans for your music buff pleasure.
In 2018 we reached out to selected artists which Dean already knew and spun on the Bluetown Electronica radio show he co-DJ’s on Artefaktor Radio (he’s a lot more social than he looks behind his keyboard array and military hat). It’s not every day a song of your own is stripped to its’ stems and tamed to a foreign (if like-minded) taste and we received three very different remixes ranging from cyberpunk techno, to 90’s rave and dark synthpop – we’re really happy about it. We asked our trio to give our fans some insights into their remix process and share the juice about their latest projects.
Laboratory 5 is the sci-fi oriented collaboration of artists Technomancer and Max|Static. It’s a dark cyberpunk musical style in the realm of EDM/drum’n’bass/dubstep perfect for grinding away your futurepop soul. Alyxx AKA Technomancer told us she was initially conflicted when approaching the remix…
“I wasn’t really sure how to approach it. I was originally going to make it in my Technomancer style but I really struggled. It was then I thought about giving it a spin with the Laboratory 5 style … and it ended up working much better. I definitely wanted to give it a real cyberpunk vibe and I had been listening to a lot of industrial from the 90’s at that point, which probably inspired it a lot. Also, shout out to [our graphic artist] Nichole Berry aka NukeRooster.”
Like all classic sci-fi film music, what they’ve created here feels like a storytelling medium which paints it’s own progressively creepy and insidiously pleasurable story – we instinctively like it. They’re currently working on a third full length album, the biggest yet, and are aiming for a 2019 release along with remixes. To get a taste of their upcoming work, check out the first EP from the new album, “Reflections Of You” which we recommend you check out. It’s a slower EDM track about losing a close friend. You’ll find them on all major music platforms with Bandcamp being the most direct way to get pre-releases and support them with your hard earned money.
BOO (Battery Operated Orchestra)
Battery Operated Orchestra are an electro duo who balance the gritty darkness of an art-house project with the bubblegum sheen of a synthpop band. Chris Blackburn and Brigitte Rose sum it up as ‘DIY synth-pop’ and back it up with a comprehensive art style in their music, stage performance and media. It’s a collaboration with a lot of overlap in the creative roles, heavy in images and video output, and a big focus on analogue synthesisers. In BOO’s feature interview with Dean Clarke on Bluetown Electronica (Artefaktor Radio), Chris comments about their music…
“This is who we are, it’s all we can do… [When making music we] throw a little bit of vinegar in the milk, or little bit of milk in the battery acid. ” – Chris
An approach which comes across in their remix, reminding us of the sweet and dark ambience akin to Soft Cell or Depeche mode in their more sleazy moments. Their latest album released in late 2018, Snare, focuses on the cold war secretism and tension effecting the individual and different ways one can feel trapped or ‘ensnared’…. It’s a “time we’re reliving” claims Chris and a topic close to our heart. We recommend you order yourself a copy of their exquisite handmade CD album art to really get into the global surveillance mood. Do it and “don’t get caught”. To hear that exclusive interview on their latest work and more, check the Mixcloud link below.
Kevin Energy is an old school hardcore techno producer / DJ with a discography going back to the late 90’s circa Nu Energy Records; he rocks a sound described as pulsating, euphoric, dirty and underground. A lot of Kevins’ energy (no pun intended) is geared towards his work as owner / producer at of Big Jam Studios where he’s bringing to life the musical dreams of artists from all genres and even producing kids karaoke musical videos (interesting side gig for a DJ who plays bangin’ tunes to saucy club punters). He’s also our producer since forever, having helped us find and balance our sound over the years with his electro knowledge and excellent command of the studio environment. It’s a double edged delight to hear his take on the remix. Delight because the track is imbued with a driving euphoria and double edged because the track keeps on smackin’ you up side the head with elegy after ball breaking crescendo. In a good way. In an all-or-nothing ‘get me to a 90’s club mosh-pit’ kinda way. When asked about his intention, Kevin, in his characteristically short and sweet way of speaking, said:
“I was really keen on delivering a new melody that encapsulated everything that I love about 1990’s European hard trance played by the likes of DJ’s M Zone and Mark EG.”
You’ll find the Nu Energy Records Label available for download in all major platforms, careful though Kevin says, “the beats will rip your heard off ?”. That’s the first time I’ve put an emoji in a published text, it feels dirty yet liberating. He’s currently in full production mode on a series of singles for the label, release scheduled later this year along with some top secret collaborations (he wouldn’t name-drop just yet. Exciting stuff – click that link, get some happy hardcore in you and follow his releases later in the year!
If you’ve made it this far through the article, well done! We have a gift (in the form of more text) for you, dear reader.
As a closing word on this remix palava, we wanted to say something about the original song itself. Once humorously described by Electronic Sound Magazine as “some sort of technological masturbation process and its aftermath” (Issue 8, Mark Roland) Ugly Nature the track is the closest thing to a love song you’ll hear from us. While the breathy and impassioned vocal performance can give the impression of a particularly aggressive booty-call wank or a love spurned actor, the lyrics actually express Frederick Nietzsche’s view on love as a social construct. For a better read on the subject, Philosophy Now issue 104 is a decent outline. For everyone who ain’t got time for dat sh*t, our interpretation of the philosophy goes like this:
Hormones and the need for reproduction drive humans into courtship / erotic pursuit / erotic love
Western society and others built a creepy construct on top of this function called, romantic love.
Romantic love, influenced by history / religion / society etc, dictates: the structure of love, who and why we can love, our typified gender roles, relationship structure, values / expectations, and templates part of our identity. Generally full of patriarchy, oppression, false promises, and disappointing in most cases.
Super gross, right? If you’ve ever felt physically ill after listening to mainstream radio’s gushy romantic love playlist, or had the feeling that a relationship you’ve had / witnessed was six shades of messed-up love trite; there’s probably some Nietzschean scepticism in you too. This brand of philosophy along with our love of hardcore electro is what gave birth to the original song, so it’s fitting to have it remixed by our contemporaries in the style they love best.
Thank you for reading, make sure to download Ugly Nature Remixed on Bandcamp, and see you back here next month.