The Cassandra Complex – Sex & Death

The other day I got this instant hook on The Cassandra Complex, which I’ve never heard before. That naive early ’90s industrial electronic rock nostalgia on this record and Cyberpunx stole my heart. Now, listening to these two records again after a week I don’t find them that much appealing, so not sure what it is, could be a mood swing in play. But The War Against Sleep is a definitive hymn, there’s no question about that.

Noise Unit – Cheeba City Blues

I wasn’t aware that Noise Unit was a Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber project. But I’ve been listening to this album as casual daily backdrop for months. It’s nothing too outstanding or new to be honest, but it combines many of the things that I just like to hear in the industrial electronic music spectrum, which is not so surprising given Leeb and Fulber. It also has this musical diversity (like dub reverbs with a strong modern bass line and EBM-like vocals in one track), which always gives me some cyberpunk feeling (the “beyond globalization” kind where everything goes in the multicultural blender).

Assemblage 23 – Mourn

Just that EBM slash futurepop that I would expect from an Assemblage 23 album. The Deluxe Edition’s remixes added pretty much nothing to the experience, so that basic set of ten tracks are fine as they are.

Planetdamage – Relapse Protocol

Industrial electronics and beyond that goes through a wide range of styles from EBM through breaks to psytrance. It is like an amazing soundtrack to a cyberpunk videogame that I’d love to play. I’m sure Planetdamage would like to imagine people walking through neon-infused city nights while listening to it, but it’s a perfect companion for pushing work, too. The only downside is the vocal, which on the full length gets somewhat tedious because of it’s monotone sound, but since the Bandcamp release has the instrumental version included that’s what I have on replay.

Rabbit Junk – Xenospheres

It’s industrial metal with a heavy electronic drag. And most of all, even though it’s presented as a neo-noir cyberpunk aesthetic, I still feel a positive vibe in there. It’s not like one of those doomed self-deprecating whiners who suck all your willingness to live but this one rather pushes you to go go go and if there’s something in your way just crush through it. It has energy and fun.

Years of Denial – Suicide Disco

This is easily one of my most influential albums that I came across in 2020. Modern technoid EBM with bubbling analog synths and tight industrial beats. It has all the dark beauty of any oldschool EBM but without the spotlight mainstreamism of some retro abusing modern electronic music. They are to EBM what Led Er Est was to post-punk goth rock—something new that understands the roots and fully lives in the present. Wonderful, fantastic music, soundtrack of my life material.

Wargasm – Spit.

Probably my most replayed single track recently. I love the energy of the raw industrial punk. Funny that Kittie comes to mind when listening to this, who also had a track called Spit, although their song that comes to mind is Brackish.