Tag Archives: Electro

Crystal Castles

crystal-castles-spotlight
Crystal Castles was an experimental electronic band formed in 2003 in Toronto consisting of producer Ethan Kath and formerly of vocalist Alice Glass. The duo was known for their chaotic live shows and lo-fi melancholic homemade productions. They released many limited vinyl EPs between 2006 and 2007.
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In 2006, their first single/EP “Alice Practice” was released on vinyl and was limited to 500 copies, which sold out in 3 days. Their debut album, Crystal Castles, was released in 2008 and was listed on NME’s “Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade” list at No. 39.
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In 2010, they announced their second album, titled Crystal Castles aka (II), after they released their first studio EP, Celestica/Doe Deer. The album was their first release to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, and includes their first worldwide charting single, “Not In Love”, featuring Robert Smith of The Cure. The album has received general acclaim and was placed on many 2010 top critics lists.
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Their third album, (III), was released on November 12, 2012. 4 singles have been released: “Plague”, “Wrath of God”, “Sad Eyes”, “Affection”.

Alice Glass announced her departure from the band in October 2014, citing both personal and professional reasons.

Formation and debut album
Ethan Kath met Alice Glass in Toronto when she was 15. He thought he had found an “undiscovered poet” after hearing her sing in her all-girl punk band Fetus Fatale. Kath asked her to record vocals over tracks he had been working on since 2003. After writing lyrics for 5 tracks, she went to a studio to record them, where an engineer secretly recorded her soundcheck. Kath discovered the secret soundcheck recording, named it “Alice Practice,” and uploaded it online under the band name Crystal Castles, a line from the cartoon She-Ra that stated “The fate of the world is safe in the Crystal Castle.” In 2005 the songs “Magic Spells”, “Untrust Us”, and “Alice Practice” grew popular online, and he began receiving offers from record labels. This news was especially shocking to Glass, having lost touch with Kath since the recording and up to that point unaware “Alice Practice” even existed. The song became the band’s first official release in 2006 on a limited vinyl which was released by London’s Merok Records. The record included tracks like “XXZXCUZX ME”, which Kath states he made ‘grating’ on purpose. When questioned about his motives behind this move, Kath responded with “To weed out the wimps, to annoy the posers. We are saying, “We are not for you”.
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Several limited edition 7″ vinyl singles followed in 2006 and 2007 on various independent labels, including two on London’s Trouble Records.[citation needed] In 2008, Lies Records collected most of the vinyl singles and released them on CD and 12″ vinyl for the first time, along with many previously unreleased tracks and 3 songs recorded just for the collection which made their debut album.[citation needed] This eponymous debut album was included in NME’s “Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade” list at number 39.
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Crystal Castles (II) and (III)
Crystal Castles at Counterpoint Festival 2012
The band’s second album, also self-titled (also known as Crystal Castles (II)), was released on May 24, 2010. In April 2010, an early mix of the album leaked, prompting the label to release earlier than expected (original release date was June 2010). The album was moderately successful charting in the UK at number 48, the US at number 188 and number 25 in Australia.
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The third single taken from the album, “Not in Love”, featuring Robert Smith from The Cure, is currently the band’s highest charting single to date. Crystal Castles headlined the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2011 in the United Kingdom while singer Alice Glass suffered from a broken ankle.
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In March 2012, Crystal Castles announced their relocation to Warsaw to begin recording their third album. On June 14, 2012, a self-shot video of Crystal Castles’ June 9 performance at Parklife 2012 was uploaded to YouTube, boasting a then-untitled new, unreleased song. Over the following weeks, the song’s name was revealed to be “Plague” and was released on July 25 as a single, via Crystal Castles’ SoundCloud page. On September 26, the duo released “Wrath of God” as the album’s second single. On the same day, the duo stated that the album would be released on November 5, a date that was later pushed back to November 12. The official cover art of the album was posted on the band’s Facebook page. On October 9, the band revealed the official track listing on their Facebook. The album was released on iTunes on November 7, five days earlier than the anticipated release date. “Affection” was released as the album’s third single on October 31, 2012.
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Alice Glass’ Departure
In October 2014, via a Facebook post, Alice Glass announced she was leaving Crystal Castles. The statement read:

“My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within Crystal Castles. Although this is the end of the band, I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.”
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Musical style
Crystal Castles’ musical style has been described as “ferocious, asphyxiating sheets of warped two-dimensional Gameboy glitches and bruising drum bombast that pierces your skull with their sheer shrill force, burrowing deep into the brain like a fever.”[19] To listen to Crystal Castles, according to the BBC, “is to be cast adrift in a vortex of deafening pain without a safety net. You get the feeling you could do anything in the world, but that ‘anything’ would ultimately mean nothing.”

With the release of their second album, their music made a “shift toward beauty and clarity,” finding “different ways to mix icy synth pop with white-hot noise, as well as present them in an ever so slightly more polished form.”
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During recording of their third album Ethan Kath adopted a “strictly no computers rule,” and ditched their old synthesizers and keyboards. Of this decision Ethan revealed Crystal Castles wanted “the new album to sound like a completely different and new experience” and revealed that they had limited themselves to one take per song because they believed “the first take is the rawest expression of an idea.”
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Scattle

Scattle-spotlight
Scattle is a producer, indie game developer, graphic designer, music video maker and game composer. Best known for the soundtrack to Hotline Miami.

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Terra Glitch:
What was your first ventures into music creation?
Scattle: The first thing I ever used to make music was called Tunafish. Great sequencer but I just stuck with all the stock sounds for ages because I never knew any better. Used to make weird videogame remixes and like, 30 second tracks. Next I started using Daisuke Amaya’s PXTONE to start making random chiptunes and remixes. But at last, I have found Renoise and have been cranking out beats with that awesome tracker since!

Terra Glitch: Kavinsky or Justice?
Scattle: Both, and Mr. Flash

Terra Glitch: Tell us a little bit about your tools of the trade and tell us a bit about your process?
Scattle: I use GraphicsGale, Photoshop, Game Maker Studio, and Renoise. Adobe Illustrator too, sometimes. Right now I’m working on a game so I like to devote an entire day to a certain aspect of development. If Im doing sound I’ll just have Renoise open, if animation, I’ll just use GraphicsGale, etc. until I have enough assets for the game to really make a difference, then I open up Game Maker and code them all in.
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Terra Glitch: How did you get to be on the soundtrack of Hotline Miami?
Scattle: When Hotline Miami was getting made, me and Jonatan would chat on msn messenger. One day he sent me over a build for a game called Cocaine Cowboy wich was basically the prototype. It was pretty damn fun but after a couple months passed I was wondering what happened with it. I ended up emailing Jonatan and asking if he would be cool with me making a song for the game. I sent him the demo for Knock Knock, and the rest is history!

Terra Glitch: Any new projects we can look forward to from Scattleware?
Scattle: My first iOS game Smash Jungle is coming quite soon and I couldn’t be more stoked about it! I feel like I’ve finally made a really decent little arcade game for the platform. Here’s a little teaser for it:

Other than that, just more music and hopefully some more DJ gigs around the corner

Terra Glitch: What do you prefer, making music or developing games?
Scattle: So hard to choose! I’d probably say I like developing games a bit more because it provides a bigger canvas for the music to exist, if that makes sense. Plus its also really fun to think up weird gameplay mechanics and mess with people’s expectations.
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Terra Glitch: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
Scattle: I’d absolutely love to collaborate with Anamanaguchi. Those guys have been killing it for years. It would also be pretty rad to collaborate with Oliver too

Terra Glitch: If you had to make a 10 song playlist what would be on it?
Scattle:

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https://soundcloud.com/scattle

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Combichrist

Combichrist
Combichrist is a Norwegian aggrotech band formed in 2003 by Norwegian Andy LaPlegua, who also founded the bands Icon of Coil, Panzer AG, Scandinavian Cock and Scandy. Combichrist is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The band consist of only LaPlegua in the studio with Joe Letz, Z_Marr, Abbey Nex, and Eric13 for live performances. Releases by the band have been very successful in terms of sales and charted in top positions for dance and alternative charts worldwide, a few releases have even sold out completely.
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Formation
The first material LaPlegua wrote for the project was a powernoise/techno crossover track Thanx to my Buddies under the moniker D.r.i.v.E for the Advanced Electronics Vol. 2 compilation. The song was later remade into Like to Thank My Buddies on Combichrist’s album Everybody Hates You. The project’s name was later changed to Hudlager and then finally to Combichrist before the debut album The Joy of Gunz was released on the German record label Out of Line. The band name came from a fanzine of Andy’s in the 1990s, with Combichrist being a character in it that was a “punk-rock messiah.” The character would go on drug and alcohol fueled rampages, later healing those whom he had beaten.
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A few years after the band’s conception, LaPlegua departed Norway for the United States, which is now the current home-base for Combichrist and his other projects Scandy, Panzer AG, and Scandinavian Cock.
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Success
Combichrist’s first LP The Joy of Gunz was released in 2003. On Halloween of the same year, the limited edition EP Kiss The Blade was released with 667 pressings which sold out in less than a week.
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In 2004, the second EP, Sex, Drogen Und Industrial, spent several weeks at number one in the DAC charts. At the same time that Sex, Drogen Und Industrial was released, a limited edition of 666 white-vinyl 12″ pressings for Blut Royale were produced, and sold out quickly.
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The year 2005 saw the release of Everybody Hates You and it was at this time that LaPlegua began labeling the music as “Techno Body Music” or TBM. The band released a song called “This is TBM” on the Out-of-Line compilation Techno Body Music volume 1. They played this song live during their 2005 shows, adding vocals to it. No vocal version of the instrumental track was ever released, and the lyrics were instead later reworked for the track “Electrohead.” After this release, LaPlegua stopped referring to their music as TBM. Shortly after the release of the album, Army On The Dance Floor producer Kourtney Klein was added as alternating keyboardist and drummer to the band.
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Their 2006 single “Get Your Body Beat” was released to commercial success, debuting in the No. 14 slot for Billboard’s Dance Singles on June 6. The music video for the single was included on the DVD release of the biopunk film The Gene Generation with the song also being used in the movie. The band embarked on a North American tour with KMFDM soon after the release of the single.
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On March 6, 2007 What the Fuck is Wrong With You People? was released to some critical praise and popularity.
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Pull Out Kings producer and songwriter Z Marr joined the band as keyboardist in January 2008 to begin work on the album Today We Are All Demons. According to an exchange with a fan, Trevor Friedrich of Imperative Reaction, he was asked to join the band as a drummer with Joe Letz (of Eighteen Visions and Wednesday 13) in October 2008. He replaced Kourtney Klein, who began full-time work with Nitzer Ebb.
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Combichrist released Today We Are All Demons on Jan 20, 2009. For part the European tour that year, Trevor was temporarily replaced by Mark Jackson of VNV Nation. Combichrist’s song “Shut Up and Bleed” featuring W.A.S.T.E was put on the soundtrack for the horror movie The Collector. Their song “Today We Are All Demons” (Beneath the World Mix) was put on the soundtrack for the movie Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.
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Limp Bizkit’s guitarist Wes Borland joined Combichrist briefly in October 2009 for their tour of North America and in the studio for recording of new material on Making Monsters.
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Combichrist’s latest album, Making Monsters, was released digitally on 31 August 2010 and on CD on 28 September 2010.[20] Combichrist began a tour in support of the new album in late 2010, with Aesthetic Perfection and iVardensphere as the support bands. In 2011, after opening for Rammstein at Madison Square Garden in December 2010, both bands announced Combichrist would be supporting Rammstein on their North American tour and Andy announced the “Monsters on Tour Part II” taking place around the scheduled Rammstein shows. The “Monsters on Tour Part II” had the same support as the 2010 tour but with the additions of Angel Spit and God Module performing with them on select dates.
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Combichrist’s song Never Surrender was featured in a gameplay demo for the hack-n-slash style video game DmC Devil May Cry with Andy LaPlegua working on the soundtrack for the whole game. The song Throat Full of Glass is featured in the same game, played during the opening sequence. A new song called Bottle of Pain was released in January 2012 for the Underworld: Awakening movie soundtrack.
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In October 2013, LaPlegua announced on Facebook that there would be a new album on the way in 2014.

On 10 December 2013, Combichrist announced the title of their 7th studio album, We Love You, with a March 2014 release date. As well as a 2014 promo tour, We Love You Tour, with support from William Control and New Years Day. Two singles were released from this album, “From My Cold Dead Hands” and “Maggots at the Party”.

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