Latest in the tunestack is a collaboration with Martin Diablo, driving force behind 2000AD-approved purveyors of filth Kat5can (and previously of Putra Chic and darkwave legends Necromantic). Thats right, folks: two of the UK's remier purveyors of TekPunk working together.
(Warning. May contain excessive amounts of well deserved back-slapping and frequent gratuitous references to some quite literally mindblowing bands.)
So. Here we are. Sitting in the office on the comedown from the blast that was the 10th Anniversary of Whitby. And thinking to ourselves, if that's the state of the UK's dark underground scene, if that many people, are going to have that much of a good time, and for there to be such diversity of character, appearance, beliefs and music, then fuck yeah, we're glad to be a part of it. The jokers in the pack maybe, but damn glad to be a part of it nonetheless.
This year was a resounding success for us. DeathBoy, Goteki and The Chaos Engine all playing the gigs of their lives and going down a storm with the rather sizable audience. Enormous shout-outs to you all. If you had even half as much fun as we all did, our work here is done. And breaking down the barricades, Lee Chaos ends up on stage with Icon of Coil, the worlds newest and most possibly fervent Chaos Engine fans, finishing their magnificent set joining in with them on a cover of Front 242's Headhunter. And on Sunday night Sorrow played a set of apocalyptic beauty, joined by Jo Q from Earth Loop Recall, stepping out from behind her racks of synths and technology to play cello. Who said programmers were''t real musicians? It certainly wasn't us.
The invasion continues, people. You will thank us for this one day. Meanwhile here's some fireworks. Be happy.
So what else have we been doing whilst maintaining radio silence? It's been hectic over at Wasp Factory Towers, people. You don't think anything less than absolute work overload could shut us up do you? Chaos Engine toured Australia with Sheep on Drugs to an amazing reception, and have certainly been pulling off the best gigs a band who split up in 2002 have ever played this year. Come on. Australia and Whitby X? You'd think about getting back in the saddle too right? Meanwhile Goteki and DeathBoy beetled off for a Canadian odyssey, showing our North American chums how we like to do it back in the UK. There are still scars from that one. Each and every one of them dearly cherished. The Goteki boys even found time out to investigate the many charms of Rotterdam due to popular demand. We are coming for your children and living outside the UK is no longer a guarantee of safety.
Plus of course the usual barnstorming hit and run appearances across the UK at such prestigious events as InFest, Black Celebration and Carnival of Souls.
And then there's the albums. "MUSIC TO CRASH CARS TO" by DeathBoy and "TRANSITION" by Psychophile have been going down a storm out there in punter land. Heres what some of the critics have had to say about them :-
MUSIC TO CRASH CARS TO (WASPFAC021) :-
Top German mag Zillo said this, and also featured the band on a recent cover CD :-
"This sort of quasi-debut is a cheeky mixture of Industrial Rock, Electro, Trip Hop elements, Drum'n'Bass splinters, and also melodies that hang on in your head. Imagine for yourself Nine inch Nails of Pretty Hate machine era. Join up with Pop Will Eat Itself and Ned's Atomic Dustbin, and then you get a big fat portion of mid-90's charm with whipped cream on top. Scott Lamb's could very well get through as Trent Reznor's little brother. With hellishly groovy songs such as We Will Destroy, Sick World or Lost Again, the UK crew are really good uppers for dance floor maniacs, but also for the lovers of melancholy there are fitting songs such as I Know You Know. Whoever likes NiN or Sulpher can't go very wrong here with this one."
Top UK extreme music magazine Terrorizer were kind enough to give the album 8/10 and flood the following filth all over the shelves of WHSmiths and all good newsagents near you :-
"After a rather promising demo, London's DeathBoy have finally released their debut album Music To Crash Cars To (Wasp Factory). Fusing industrial, rock, drum n bass and darkwave, the five-piece have created something that brings back memories of late 80s indie with bands like Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones, Renegade Soundwave with a pinch of Nine Inch Nails. You won't be surprised when I tell you that vocalist Scott Lamb sounds uncannily like a cockney Trent Reznor, penning songs about love, despair and computers. Take a trip back to NIN's Pretty Hate Machine, add some contemporary noises, add a pinch of humour (check out the lyric: 'We spend a fortune on make up so we can all look the same' from 'Decimate') and you've got DeathBoy."
Legendary scene journo Mick Mercer said too many nice things in Starvox for us to even begin repeating here (go to www.starvox.net instead) but we particularly liked the following :-
"I expected a beach landing of demon spawn, but ended up with bleached musical porn, so I'm happy. Play repeatedly, until dead."
He was also kind enough to go out on a limb in a recent online rant and suggest that DeathBoy were the only UK act right now that mattered in a global perspective. The pintage has duly been noted Mick!
Wheras Logo magazine, one of the few UK rags covering all musical bases these days that in our humble opinion really matters, in a way NME did when we were kids, said this :-
"Those looking for evidence that the UK underground is dead won't find it here. Before hooking up with Wasp Factory for this debut commercial release, DeathBoy oversaw a thriving online community that lapped up a comprehensive catalogue of internet only releases, the happy by-product of which is that DeathBoy emerge tight and honed, the results of years of no-budget studio discipline. 'Music To Crash Cars To' marks a progression from early techno/drum 'n' bass/jungle experiments into a realm where the obvious touchstones are Nine Inch Nails and Curve, breakbeat industrial that can trace its lineage back to Killing Joke and, before that, Cabaret Voltaire. Though Scott Lamb's vocals are as dry and lean as Trent Reznor's, his habit of drifting off-key unintentionally lends him the queasy air of being in the middle of a nervous breakdown, a happy accident that will endear DeathBoy to anyone who's discovered the guilty pleasures of Machines Of Loving Grace and Medicine."
Still not jumping on the DeathBoy car before it crashes?
Check out www.deathboy.co.uk for all the news, and an unhealthy amount of free .mp3 downloads. You like? You buy the album. Deal? We want your soul over here http://www.wasp-factory.com/waspfactory/merchandise.htm
TRANSITION (WASPFAC014) :-
That man Mercer again with the following words over in Starvox :-
"'Invocation' is a delightfully stampy thing with Lucy in the role of Lady Macbeth waving a gin bottle around, 'Intense' is a wonderfully filleted mechanoid vigilante hybrid, scrabbling along, and the torment of 'Sciagraphy' gets highly dramatic, either sweet or seething.
'Surplus' is a total delight, 'Illumination' gets weirdly droopy, 'Horrorshow' is harsh and strange, and 'Darklight' quite seriously is the best thing The Banshees never wrote."
Logo magazine keep the side up with the following rave :-
"It’s easy to be distracted by the fact that Psychophile programmer Mat Hook once turned down an invitation to join the nascent Radiohead, and that, onstage, singer Lucy Pointycat gets so carried away that she often manages to fall out of her bra. Concentrate on the music, and what you’ll find is an extended homage to the bedsit-land occupied by Soft Cell, a style that recalls Marlene Dietrich fronting Black Box Recorder. When it toughens up, as on 'Invocation', the ghost of a rejuvenated Siouxsie Sioux comes to the party, with sizzling synth beats and hypnotic arrhythmia in tow. These diversions ensure that Transition doesn’t outstay its welcome, making it an ideal refuge for lovers of post-modern beat-freaks."
Meanwhile Terrorizer continue to try and lure the average metal kid in the highstreet onto more interesting musical fare, giving the album 8/10 and the following big up :-
"Brighton outfit Psychophile blend the rock and electro beautifully with darkwave on their first proper album, Transition. Lucy's powerful vocals darken the already sinister programming while the chunky electric guitars add a fuel-injected punch to what would ultimately be electro pop. The outcome is a creepy but catchy blend of dark electro rock. As with many of the bands on the Wasp Factory roster, members from the WF clan have lent a helping hand with this album. Listen very carefully and you'll hear the Chaos Engine's former bassist Vere Kervorkian grinding away on two tracks, the whole thing's been mixed by Lee H, while Freudstein's David Else has mastered the album. If ever there were a quality stamp for underground music, this album bears it!"
In broadcast land, Total Rock radio invited the band in as studio guests for an uproarious show, and said the following :-
"The Brighton electro rock outfit release their debut album on Wasp Factory and what a corker it is! Lucy's powerful vocals stand out against a backdrop of electronica with electric guitars, particularly in the wonderful 'Intense' - first heard on the band's original self-titled demo. The mysterious Vere Kervorkian, formerly of The Chaos Engine, contributes his dark and moody bass to a couple of the tracks on here, whilst extra Goth points are awarded to the 'phile's rather perky cover of 'Mercy Seat', originally done by Ultra Vivid Scene, and taken to a new dimension with Lucy's deep vocals. I recommend that you be the first to tell your friends about Psychophile and snap this one up immediately!"
Feeling a need to indulge your psychophilia? All the latest gossip and debauch can be found here http://clik.to/psychophile plus an astonishing amount of videos and .mp3 files, both showcasing the band's new album and their frankly gobsmacking history. Check out Mat's vault for some of the most deranged bedroom recordings you'll ever hear. If Snooker Loopy doesn't have you reaching for the vodka, nothing will.
Then of course, don't forget to go HERE - www.wasp-factory.com/waspfactory/merchandise.htm -
and give us your souls once more.
PAST GLORIES SCHMAST GLORIES.
Yeah yeah. Enough of the back catalogue already. We've said enough. Glories they truly are, miss out on them at your peril. The back catalogue is already fading, and you may not be able to get some of these gems much longer. Don't count on us neccesarily doing a repress any time soon. We're saving the space for some of the corkers we've got coming up shortly :-
ARKAM ASYLUM - "RUNNING WITH SCISSORS" (WASPFAC018)
The second album from seminal Cyberpunk mavericks Arkam Asylum is all you'd expect - a head-on collision betwen deathrock, psychobilly and twisted gabba. On paper an unlikely fusion, but stick on the disc and it becomes obvious that this is the ultimate in sleazoid rock. Balls-out polemic, beats and riffery hung together with gaffa tape and the sort of genuine headrush that only pioneers of a distinctly new sound can give. The true sound of "cyber"."punk". Here's 3 breakbeats, now go and make a dystopian future.
With an official release date of the end of the year, copies of this little beauty are already available on direct order from us. Top notch shows at this years InFest and Carnival of Souls, together with what appears to be some hefty word of mouth recommendation have already taken care of the prepublicity, and people have literally been biting our hands off for this one (check the stumps).
Check out the band here http://www.arkam-asylum.com/ - those who like cutting edge transhuman philosophy alonside their rock and roll iconoclasm will particularly enjoy the Yahoo Group link. Those who just want to listen to a fucked up collision of psychobilly, punk and digital hardcore will enjoy the .mp3 of machine.
And you know where to go to get your copy of the album by now, yeah? Fuck it, mail order all 3 of the current releases from us and we'll do you a deal that puts the price of a major label release from HMV to shame. It's all there waiting for you at your big value best of British www.wasp-factory.com.
EARTH LOOP RECALL - "COMPULSION"
Winner of the hardest album to write a press release for EVER award. It's just absolutely fucking sublime. The premasters have been stuck on permanent loop on our stereos for weeks now. Words fail me. Angst fuelled Indie, before Indie became a swear word. The punk energy of the Stooges, had the Stooges had access to samplers filtered through a deep love of The Chameleons, Joy Division, The Cramps, Manic Street Preachers etc. And then washed in layers of electronica so gorgeous and contemporary they make me look like the arse I am for just making those retro comparisons. If you understand and like the textural comparisons between Joy Division and Massive Attack, then theres a good chance this one will melt your heart, your brain and your soul.
Released very very soon. Watch this space.
GOTEKI - "GOTEKI O/S CORRUPTED FILES"
What aren't those Goteki boys up to? All over the soundtrack of one of the biggest console games of 2002. Playing enormo gigs both sides of the Atlantic. Working with a top Czech pornstar on her forthcoming album. And doing a nifty sideline in VERY convincing impersonations of characters from Tekken 3. It's a wonder they've had the energy left to sell out of all their existing releases. But sell out they have. We've got VERY limited stock of their debut appearance on "Working with Children & Animals vol 1", their debut EP "Fight the Saucermen" (limited edition flying saucer packs long since vanished into the box marked Deleted - if you got one, keep it sdomewhere safe!) and their debut album "Goteki O/S". Frankly, we've had to do a major stockcheck on these to find the odd couple behind the sofa, a handful in the wrong box here, a handful in the wrong box there. Get your orders in for these quick. None of them will be repressed in their original format and they really are getting scarce. Or pop over to our trusted chums at www.darkcelldigitalmusic.net who have the last known boxes of Saucermen and O/S we're aware of. If you see one elsewhere BUY IT. It's that rare.
But fear not. We know success when we smell it. Available in the very near future, we'll be presenting "GOTEKI O/S - Corrupted Files" - a CD rammed so full we've damn near had to reinvent the technology to fit it all on, of remixes by the likes of Mesh, Icon of Coil, Echo Image, Chaos Engine and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. These aren't remixes as we know it though. You'll get your fill of doof doof. Don't you worry. But are you ready for such delights as the loungecore version of Autoloader by Carol Masters, featuring a crooning Sneaky and full brass section? Oh, it's full of surprises. Like yeah, Wasp Factory, they like to play things straight, don't they? Wise up people. You've got about a month to brace yourselves. We know you want it.
Coming to you soon enough for Santa to have time to lug them from the North Pole.
SO. thats it. Cool shit in abundance. We love it. We love it all. We hope you'll continue to do so too.
Heartfelt thanks for the support of everyone so far. We're getting bigger, better, slicker and more daring year by year. They even gave us an industry award. Bwah ha ha. But we couldn't do it without your support. Keep giving us that support and we'll keep on proving that there are valid alternatives to the music industry at large and keep delivering you events and product that we believe in. The future is ours people. Let's grab it.