UK's Electronic-Pop Band EMPATHY TEST Announce The Release of EMPTY-HANDED EP
23rd May 2019 - UK Electronic-Pop band EMPATHY TEST is pleased to announce the release of their limited edition EP, EMPTY-HANDED
Availble on limited edition digipack CD, 7" vinyl and digital formats on 20th June!
Following the success of double A-side single, "Holy Rivers / Incubation Song", which has racked up over 150,000 streams on Spotify since its October release and was praised by Clash Music for its “shimmering synths, glacial electronics, and heartrending vocals”, London synthpop group EMPATHY TEST returns with a second, tantalising taste of their upcoming third album, in the form of new single "Empty-Handed.”
2. A River Loves a Stone
3. Empty-handed (TRAAPS Remix)
4. A River Loves a Stone (Ari Mason Remix)
Empty-Handed presents another sonic leap forward for a band that has never been one to tread water when it comes to their sound, presenting a harder, darker style whilst simultaneously tipping their proverbial hat to the Synthwave scene that helped launch their career back in 2014. An arpeggiated synthesizer provides a relentless momentum from the get-go, while the deceptively simple composition gradually builds to its epic conclusion.
Opening line, “My heart is an empty vessel / Drifting out to sea” sets the tone both lyrically and emotionally. It’s about being unable to give a partner the emotional support or commitment they need and the feeling of emptiness that comes with that. As always, Empathy Test delivers a perfect marriage of music and emotion, the sudden flourishes of strings and synthesizers rushing past like spirits in the night.
There’s a sense of urgency here that has not been present previously, as well as an innate confidence that suggests the third album, which comes after the simultaneous release of two debut albums Losing Touch (Remastered) and Safe From Harm in November 2017 and is slated for release in early September, might just be the band’s most accomplished to date."
UK tour with Actors
June 20, 2019 - Trillians - Newcastle
June 21, 2019 - Voodoo Rooms - Edinburgh
June 22, 2019 - Ivory Blacks - Glasgow
June 23, 2019 - FAC251 - Manchester
June 26, 2019 - Maze - Nottingham
June 27, 2019 - Esquires - Bedford
June 28, 2019 - Slade Rooms - Wolverhampton
June 29, 2019 - O2 Academy Islington - London
June 30, 2019 - Exchange - Bristol
June 09, 2019 Wave Gotik Treffen, Germany
Aug 11, 2019 Mera Luna, Germany
Aug 15, 2019 W-Festival, Belgium
North American tour with Aesthetic Perfection
Sept 06, 2019 - The Casbah - San Diego, CA
Sept 07, 2019 - Club Red - Mesa, AZ
Sept 08, 2019 - Rock House - El Paso, TX
Sept 12, 2019 - Amp Room - San Antonio, TX
Sept 13, 2019 - Elysium - Austin, TX
Sept 14, 2019 - Warehouse Live - Houston, TX
Sept 15, 2019 - The Church - Dallas, TX
Sept 17, 2019 - The Goat - New Orleans, LA
Sept 18, 2019 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA
Sept 19, 2019 - The 926 Bar - Tallahassee, FL
Sept 20, 2019 - The Orpheum - Tampa, FL
Sept 21, 2019 - Will’s - Orlando, FL
Sept 24, 2019 - The Milestone - Charlotte, NC
Sept 25, 2019 - Fallout - Richmond, VA
Sept 26, 2019 - Dangerous Pies - Washington, DC
Sept 27, 2019 - Voltage Lounge - Philadelphia, PA
Sept 28, 2019 - The Knitting Factory - Brooklyn, NY
Sept 29, 2019 - ONCE Ballroom - Boston, MA
Sept 30, 2019 - Mohawk Place - Buffalo, NY
Oct 01, 2019 - Coalition - Toronto, ON
Oct 02, 2019 - Howlers - Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 03, 2019 - The Event Center - Cincinnati, OH
Oct 04, 2019 - Small’s - Detroit, MI
Oct 05, 2019 - Reggie’s - Chicago, IL
Oct 06, 2019 - Club Anything - Milwaukee, WI
Oct 07, 2019 - Warehouse - LaCrosse, WI
Oct 08, 2019 - Red Sea Lounge - Minneapolis, MN
Oct 09, 2019 - Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
Oct 11, 2019 - Marquis Theater - Denver, CO
Oct 12, 2019 - Area 51 - Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 14, 2019 - Pub 340 - Vancouver, BC
Oct 15, 2019 - Highline - Seattle, WA
Oct 16, 2019 - Paris Theater - Portland, OR
Oct 18, 2019 - Brick and Mortar - San Francisco, CA
Oct 19, 2019 - Lodge Room - Los Angeles, CA
Since Empathy Test’s conception in January 2013, the independent London electronic pop duo has produced two stunning, four-track EPs and a steady stream of memorable singles which have won them both critical acclaim and a legion of dedicated fans worldwide. Their unique brand of cinematic synth pop has been featured by the likes of Vice, Netflix, HBO, MTV, XFM, KCRW, BBC Introducing, Clash, Idolator, Earmilk, PopMatters and many more.
In 2017, the band began a crowd funding campaign to fund the self-release of two debut albums, ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Safe From Harm’. The PledgeMusic campaign was 661% funded and the band raised over £26K to release the two albums via digital, CD and vinyl formats. To date, Empathy Test has sold nearly 1,500 copies of each album on CD and 300 on vinyl.
After touring extensively in Europe and beyond, Empathy Test released the first taste of their forthcoming third album (set for release in September 2019) in October 2018, in the form of a new double a-side single Holy Rivers / Incubation Song. Clash Music wrote that the new material, featuring "shimmering synths, glacial electronics, and heartrending vocals", illuminated the band's "potent creativity".
Empathy Test are childhood friends Isaac Howlett (vocals) and Adam Relf (production). Isaac performs their songs live with the help of Christina Lopez (drums) and Samuel Winter-Quick (keyboards).
"I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." —David Bowie
The talent that lay behind the monochrome eyes of David Bowie was not just his obvious gift for creating memorable songs, it was in fact his unique view of life and existence that separated him from us. Sometimes he did not always hit the intended mark, however when he did he rose above not only decipherable genres of music but art itself. This factor is omnipresent in his 1974, flamboyant and deadly Diamond Dogs.
This post-apocalyptic nightmare, was Bowie’s breakaway album from the Spiders from Mars. It was essential that the Spiders imploded for Bowie to push forward into new areas, this was his cut and run from glam rock and his Ziggy Stardust foil, guitarist Mick Ronson. Though the album itself is a drastically different approach which had capitulated Bowie's previous work, his earlier characters of Aladdin Sane and Ziggy, though dead, still made their spectral prescience felt on moments of the album. The front cover picture of Bowie with his Ziggy-like haircut was one give away, the sci-fi subject still at the fore another, but the style had shifted dramatically as did the delivery.
Diamond Dogs is a fur covered Clockwork Orange style rampage through an abysmal futurescape of drugs, murder and sex. It drips with a steel tongued punk attitude, a proto-ambient dash of the new wave to come. The reuniting with Tony Visconti as producer was another plus in helping the albums rock conception and complicated structure, getting it to number one in the UK and the amassed critical praise that followed the album then and now.
From the unearthly opening-‘Future Legends' heralds the album as it launches with a terrifying howl. An ambient and ominous music flows in the background, Bowie's vocal in and out of phase as he talks you through the new Manhattan, now renamed Hunger City. With a macabre nursery rhyme of children's voices, monstrous sounds and finally crowd kicks in and a recording of a live audience screaming and Bowies shiver down spine opening line-"This Ain't Rock and Roll, This Is Genocide!".
Into the title track and the introduction of a new character-"Halloween Jack". With a Stones/Stooges sounding guitar, simple in its approach which makes it all the more enjoyable and relatable. "Diamond Dogs" does feature some of David Bowie's most remarkable songs, such at the infectious 'Rebel Rebel' containing his own memorable guitar lick.
Then there is the punk avant garde of ‘Sweet Thing’ and its midway segue-'Candidate' an act of brilliance in both style and lyrics. Remaining q fan favourite even today,the lyrics sang in a seedy swagger.The bisexual question compounded even more so here-"If you want it, boys, get it here thing 'Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing"
The middle section ‘Candidate’ features a strong example of Bowie’s attempts at a William S.Burroughs style cut and shut lyrics. Resulting in taking random lines and phrases and putting them into some order that makes sense, here to devastating effect as a distorted guitar leads the concerto;"I'm having so much fun with the poisonous people, Spreading rumors and lies and stories they made up, Some make you sing and some make you scream!”
The original conception of Diamond Dogs was designed to be a rock opera based on the George Orwell novel '1984'. Some of the obvious elements of which still exist on the latter half of the album in the songs 'Big Brother' and of course '1984'. The refusal by the widow of George Orwell-Sonia, to let the project take fruition does not in any way detract from the greatness of the album. Suffering in a way from the similar faith of The Who and Pete Townshend's breakdown triggering 'Lifehouse', a 48 track quadruple album, aborted for the more slimline and rock friendly 'Who's Next'. Bowie, in this case took it on the chin and thankfully continued to create the album.
The coke fueled assault, the music as an art form with a midas touch had came to fruition once again, another classic to add to canon of excellence David Bowie was building. More controversy via the cover this time instead of the subject matter. The album cover released as a gatefold image by Belgian painter Guy Peellaert, the front, Bowie-Ziggy like, resting whilst the back cover revealing that Bowie had the body of a dog, complete with a prominent penis. Some airbrushing rendering Bowie's canine groin smooth and blank. This risqué cover was quickly withdrawn, instantly becoming a collectors item.
The tour for the album, the most elaborate so far,a little over a million (nowadays) per set. With a stage itself a replica of 'Hunger City', along with the elaborate stage props. After two months of rehearsals, the tour kicked off in June 1974,running until August while the month was taken off. Bowie worked on his next skin shedding project, his plastic soul era.When the tour resumed the set was scrapped,the tour name changed to 'The Soul Tour', although the 'Diamond Dogs' era was over as quick as it started, the songs remained in his set, the idea and direction of his next project-Young Americans.
On this day, 29 years ago, British post-punk band Wire released their 7th studio album Manscape
On this day, 29 years ago, British post-punk band Wire released their 7th studio album Manscape (15.05.1990). It was produced by David M.Allen (who, amongst others, produced various albums of The Cure and The Sisters Of Mercy's First Last And Always) and introduced even more the use of electronic instruments than on Wire's previous albums. Almost all bass and drums were sequenced and even-though Wire drummer Robert Gotobed co-composed all tracks on this album he didn’t join them on stage during the 1990 promotional tour.
Upon release the album was received with mixed feelings by music critics mainly because Wire pretty much abandonned the whole rock-band setup switching primarily to synthesizers but, according to some critics, lacked to put them to great use.
The original vinyl release has a significantly different running order and omits "Life in the Manscape", "Stampede" and "Children of Groceries".
Manscape UK Vinyl Version (STUMM 80)
- "Patterns Of Behaviour"
- "Goodbye Ploy"
- "Morning Bell"
- "Small Black Reptile"
- "Torch It!"
- "Other Moments"
- "Sixth Sense"
- "What Do You See? (Welcome)"
- "Where's The Deputation?"
- "You Hung Your Lights In The Trees / A Craftsman's Touch"
Manscape CD version (CDSTUMM 80)
- "Life in the Manscape" – 3:28
- "Stampede" – 4:35
- "Patterns of Behaviour" – 4:33
- "Other Moments" – 3:50
- "Small Black Reptile" – 3:14
- "Torch It!" – 7:31
- "Morning Bell" – 4:22
- "Where's the Deputation?" – 3:51
- "What Do You See?" (Elvander, Gilbert, Gotobed, Lewis, Newman) – 6:47
- "Goodbye Ploy" – 3:50
- "Sixth Sense" – 4:19
- "Children of Groceries" – 3:03
- "You Hung Your Lights in the Trees/A Craftsman's Touch" – 10:03
All tracks written by Bruce Gilbert, Robert Gotobed, Graham Lewis and Colin Newman, except as indicated.
The coming-of-age movie Locating Silver Lake, distributed by Gunpowder & Sky (Cam, Lords of Chaos...), is available on VOD and DVD now!
About the movie:
When I traveled to Edinburgh Film Fest last June there was one movie I really wanted to see: Locating Silver Lake. Maybe the coming-of-age movie, written and directed by Eric Bilitch, was the main reason to for visiting Scotland. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was.
I had watched Eric's first movie The Submarine Kid in advance and I got really curious about his latest feature film starring Josh Peck, Aubrey Peeples and Finn Wittrock. To be honest, I didn't manage to write a review right after the international movie premiere. Of course, not because the movie had been so bad. It simply left me thoughtful and somewhat puzzled as the storyline had been anything but predictable. This is why I waited for the movie to be eventually released digitally on March 22! Locating Silver Lake is definitely a movie you have to watch more than once! And I instantly got lost in details. Wonderful details.
Ok, let's talk about the movie plot. Don't worry, I won't spoil it here :)
College-graduate Daniel (Josh Peck) gets dumped by his girlfriend and moves to Los Angeles to find his place there as a writer. He rents an apartment from the very helpful José (Amaury Nolasco) and tries to get over his Ex. Later on, Daniel meets Seth (Finn Wittrock) in a local bar. He is the flamboyant leader of a group of friends - one of them Daniel's old friend Ella (Zelda Williams). Seth seems to have all the answers to Daniel's questions and offers him his help for the best possible start in LA. The new friendship ends abruptly when Daniel falls in love with Ella's sister Talya (Aubrey Peeples). What's really behind the glitter curtain? Why does Seth's boyfriend Mack (Robbie Kay) leave the group in a mad rush and why is Talya treating Daniel so dismissively? And what lies behind the machismo of José's friends?
Locating Silver Lake comes up with an outstanding cast, most notably Finn Wittrock's performance which surpasses all my expectations.. Like no other Wittrock manages to breathe a soul into Seth's controversial key character. It should not be forgotten to mention the fabulous movie score composed by Harlan Silverman. An insider tipp for music enthusiasts! The movie is definitely a must-watch - not only for the fans of indie movies! You can watch it via iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and more!
Order the DVD here via Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RG2TC3T/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_WR90CbKHC01WY
The cast includes Josh Peck, Finn Wittrock, Aubrey Peeples, Amaury Nolasco, Valerie Cruz, Zelda Williams, Robbie Kay, Dan Lauria and many more.
Writer/director: Eric Bilitch
Producers: Doug Bilitch, Deborah Del Prete, Annet McCroskey, David Polemeni, Monica Raymund, Daryn Simons, Finn Wittrock, Ronald Zamber
Composer: Harlan Silverman
Production companies: Cohesive Entertainment Group (CEG), Coronet Films
Distributor: Gunpower & Sky
Interview with Eric Bilitch: www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be/en/interviews/eric-bilitch-2018/
Today it’s exactly 22 years ago Nine Inch Nails released their The Perfect Drug (Versions) EP!
The title song was originally written for the David Lynch cult film Lost Highway (1996) and appeared for the first time in early 1997 on the soundtrack with the same name which was produced by Trent Reznor himself. The soundtrack album included original filmscores written by Trent Renzor, Barry Adams and Angelo Badalamenti, as well as songs by, amongst others, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Rammstein.
Musically the song was very influenced by the late 90s Drum and Bass hype and was most successful in Canada where it peaked at the 2nd position in the regular ‘Single Chart’ as well as in the RPM Rock/Alternative Chart. In the US the single peaked at 17th position on the Billboard Hot Single Sales.
Until today however, the song was never performed live by the band.
Later Trent Reznor would state in an interview on BBC1 radio that The Perfect Drug is one of his least favourite songs he ever produced.
Besides the single, The Perfect Drug - Versions EP featured remixes by Nine Inch Nails, Meat Beat Manifesto, Plug, Spacetime Continuum and The Orb. The original version of The Perfect Drug however was only included on non-US releases.
The music video for this single was directed by Mark Romanek and inspired by the illustrations of 20th century artist Edward Gory. Besides Trent himself, the video also features his bandmates Charlie Clouser, Danny Lohner and Chris Vrenna.
The Perfect Drug (Lyrics)
I got my head but my head is unraveling
Can't keep control can't keep track of where it's traveling
I got my heart but my heart's no good
You're the only one that's understood
I come along but I don't know where you're taking me
I shouldn't go but you're wrenching, dragging, shaking me
Turn off the sun pull the stars from the sky
The more I give to you the more I die
And I want you
You are the perfect drug
You make me hard when I'm all soft inside
I see the truth when I'm all stupid-eyed
The arrow goes straight through my heart
Without you everything just falls apart
My blood just wants to say hello to you
My soul is so afraid to realize
How very little there is left of me
And I want you
You are the perfect drug
(Take me with you)
Without you everything just falls apart
It's not as much fun to pick up the pieces
Songwriters: Charles Clouser / Chris Alan Vrenna / Daniel Patrick Lohner / Trent Reznor