Kicking Off 2017 With The New Dark Generation

2017 will see a rise of Lovecraftian, cosmic horroresque aesthetics

2016 slipped away without a spotlight for a development in music that has come into full force over the course of this year, completely out of view of most blogs and music magazines, even independently of the internet avant-garde’s metal fetish. It is one of the most successful stories of how a music movement can be assembled from different genres and musical backgrounds. Meet the new dark generation.

I’m calling it a generation rather than a movement or a scene because not all of the artists are necessarily connected or would recognise each other as part of the same thing. Rather there are smaller groups and scenes, probably more than there are on my radar right now, that are making forward looking, multi-genre music with a dark twist. With the facebook group Dark Electronic Music, I’ve tried to tie all of these small movements together and to some extent this was successful, but still far from where I’d hope it will move. But all of these movements and scenes have grown and diversified this year and that is something which can never deserve enough support.

Some household names and some new names to support. Also I lost a bit sight on the techno, hardcore and industrial side of things, so that’ll be saved for next time.

1. Hexx 9 records (label)

Of all the labels and collectives out there, few embody what I call the ‘new dark generation’ as on point as the New York based trailblazers of Hexx 9. Born out of the post-witchouse movement, they have released next generation gothic music on the interface of witch house, industrial, ritual ambient, drone, noise rave, dub, trap and more. Even Abu Ama‘s Arabic ambient dub tarraxo has found a warm home at the label.

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2. 209 SINS

With separate projects known under different pseudonyms, 209 SINS is one of the most consistently active Soundclouders, combining repost selections with own productions and mixtapes: れモモ刀下∨ㄥ 匕卄丹れム乙 for vocal hiphop, ᴆ ᴀ ᵛ ᴵ ᴆ † ᴌᴬ ᴮ 0 ᵙ ℜ for hard-hitting industrial DnB rave crossovers, Philip K. Decker for cinematic ambient influenced instrumental tracks and yunΠg≠wellbutriΠ for mixtapes.

209 SINS recent selector’s choice of industrial bass rave mixtapes

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3. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş

We’ve supported the Paris based prodigy ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş and his alter-project Shinji (now [lyn]) several times before on the blog, but 2016 was the year where he put himself on the map, both with his two artistic projects and with his avant-witchhouse Facebook channel U+06e9. An autodidact classical singer, electronic producer and improvisationalist, bedtime stories’ has developed an impressively unique style, individually, without following any trend. Although he calls it ‘classical witch’, the sound transcends the witch house genre in every possible aspect, while its relation to classical music is even more intriguing. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is a neoromantic, early-classical punk, reclaiming the sound and aesthetics of thoroughly elite, institutionalised entities as a tool for improvisational self-expression.

I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Yet for now, ‘Gaia’ (Hexx 9, September 2016) is ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş’ defining release.

>> BUY IT HERE <<

Ģăīă was a project created by an unknown entity, a creature able to bend the nature of things and able to change reality by interacting with dreaming people. Ģăīă was able to save lives, but playing with human psyche is not without consequences, and most of the dreamers died. Only a few stayed alive, connecting with nature to transfer the energy of the entity into the lands. Now, Ģăīă is all around us and influence our reality, but maybe this reality is just a lng dream orchestrated by Ģăīă itself.

One of the exiting aspects of ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is that he knows how to deconstruct his own sound, combining elements of it such as the gothic opera singing, with vastly different vibes such as this industrial, rhythmic ambient track collab with Achromatic Residue.

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4. Volkanos

Another very active producer and scene pusher involved in blending witch house elements with industrial ritual ambient music is Volkanos from Denver, U.S. Involved with the Hexx 9 label as well as the dark experimental techno label Tenebrous Music. Grown up in a family involved with Wicca and Shamanism, Volkanos always had a vision of fusing music with symbolism, mythology and ritual choreography. Expect a more in-depth interview soon on the blog!

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/dethrite-valley-of-misery-volkanos-x-andrvj

Volkanos’ style: suggestive horroresque soundscapes, blended with organic percussion and witch house flavoured rave synths

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/all-souls-mixtape

The All Souls mixtape which came out around halloween is one of my favourite mixes of 2k16, particularly because Volkanos, next to myself, is one of the only artists in the world fusing witch house, dark techno and 209 sins style industrial bass music with the dark flavoured side of ‘avant garde club’

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5. Young Yogi

Supported several times before, Young Yogi, alter-project of GAMEFACE, is paving the way ahead of the dark trap microgenre which GAMEFACE has been building for about two years now, steering away from sounds of EDM trap as well as from post-internet cloud trap into a more unique and conceptual direction. Young Yogi’s sound combines the explosive tension and monstruous 808 bass of the new dark wave of cloud trap and with psychedelic uplifting melodies and cyber-utopian mystical thematics.

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7. SADWRIST

Mad genius of the witch house scene, playing with thematics and imagery sometimes too gruesome for even me to share. When he disappeared from all his social media platforms at some point last year I, and probably more with me, was honestly worried he’d put an end to his life. But he came back and has been uploading so much fire lately, venturing from his already rough and eclectic twist on witch house further  into noise, breakcore, hardcore, dark trap and black metal.

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8. RARE AKUMA

Especially Sadwrist’s more trap leaning work would probably fit the new #RAGECORE genre, created by the Antwerp based beatmaker Rare Akuma. Pushing a blend that is sitting somewhere in between drill, deathstep and metal, Rare Akuma bridges the worlds of hiphop, loud bass music and the rise of metal in the electronic avant-garde.

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9. ATILLA THE HVN & NOIRE ANTIDOTE †

The witch house scene in the Netherlands is small and fragmented. The people that make it are not really connected into one scene. In fact, there isn’t really a scene at all. The genre is just getting a bit more known over here only recently (then I’m not talking about Crystal Castles) among the new generation of dark-alternative leaning fans who can nowadays listen to anything from vaporwave or sad rap to anime music or whatever edgy genre the internet has spit out over the last years. Producers are a different story. With Atilla The Hvn and Noire Antidote there are two great forward looking examples, one coming (as far as I can tell) from industrial techno, the other (alter-project of Benjamin’s Plague) coming from the cybergoth-industrial scene.

From Tilburg, home base of Generation Bass, Atilla the Hvn seemed to come out of the blue when I first discovered him last year, but apparently he has not only been experimenting with witch house for more than two years, has a solid following and is well connected in different forward looking corners of music. If I may bet on any producer from the Netherlands to rise to greater heights in 2017, Atilla The Hvn is the one.

Dark melancholic trance & hardcore beautifully blended and distorted into a powerful emotional rave flavoured soundscape.

I’ve known the guy behind Noire Antidote for a while (never met him in person tho) because of my occasional adventures in the industrial scene and how much I like dark electro, I was even happier to find out that within the remnants of the gothic scene at large, there is interest in witch house as a direction to go into. Not that I have anything particular against industrial hardcore or psytrance, but with self-proclaimed scene destroyer DJ Krat (industrial hardcore/rhythmic noise), the psy/goa scene or wallowing in German festival nostalgia as the only three options, witch house was never embraced by the gothic scene in the Netherlands so far. In 2017, things have changed. Whether it makes sense or not to still talk about a gothic scene is irrelevant. Noire Antidote is making great music and actively reaches out to crowds with livesets on industrial minded festivals, without the need for a witch house scene.

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10. The Enigma TNG

Back in the days I’ve suppored The Enigma TNG, still one of my all-time favourite producers, as an example of what an eclectic, multi-genre cyberpunk flavoured dark music future could look like. Almost two years later, he is still going strong, consistent pushing and developing his unique style. And where back then, he was a solitary pioneer with a solid following mainly in the world of cybergoth-electro and alternative electrostep, today his sound, involving elements of metal and cinematic epic orchestral music, is being mentioned as an inspiration for the direction in which the club avant-garde will be moving in 2017.

His newest album, ‘Midnight’, came out in October last year.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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11. Toxic Embryo

Upcoming live electronic formation and enfant terrible of the dark-alternative scene in the Netherlands. Drawing inspiration from sources like Babymetal, BOTDF, anime music and nightcore, Toxic Embryo’s twist on dark electropop possesses the same post-ironic DIY edge as PC Music’s bubblegum rave or Elysia Crampton’s conscious use of cartoonish horror elements and recontextualised pop sentimentality. The nostalgic, trancy neo-rave melodies and anime-esque adventure lyrics combined with campy cyberpunk aesthetics will leave the traditional electropop fan in utter confusion whether this is a joke or truly garbage. Yet at the same time, this androgynous blend of hyperpop and angelwave, fused with metal, hardcore, trance, rap and live performance is exactly where the avant-garde of internet culture will be moving in 2017.

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Essential EP’s #12 [DOUBLE EDITION] – Side B

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Part 2 of Essential EP’s #12

SIDE B

12. Vol.1 (Onda Trax)

The Onda Group is a New York based collective which includes Track Meet’s Ynfynyt Scroll and Escape From Nature’s Orlando Volcano focused on embracing the holocene. Onda Trax Vol. 1 is the first mini-compilation, which might mark the beginning of Onda Trax as an album, containing tracks by Ynfynyt Scroll, Orlando Volcano and nar that all take a melancholic, melodic approach to dominican dembow, dancehall, baile funk and 3ball. Looking forward to more releases from them in the future.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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13. Gan Gah Chaâbitronics EP (Lowup Records)

I saw the Moroccan born, Brussels based producer Gan Gah recently in Rotterdam, at Pantropical’s event organised together with the Arabic film festival in Rotterdam, playing next to Rocky B the Tropikal Camel, Deena Abdelwahed and Rebel Up!‘s Dutch member Duckfood. Amidst the current wave of Middle Eastern & North African club music with semi-mainstream acts like Acid Arab on the one side, avant-garde political acts like 8ULENTINA and Dj Haram on the other side of the spectrum and the Arabic side of ‘global bass’ in the middle, Gan Gah is the perfect bridge. Following last year’s Souktronics EP, which had a lot of club, kuduro and trap influences, Chaâbitronics stays even closer to the characteristic chaâbi sound and bouncy triplet rhythm found in traditional and pop music all over North Africa and the Middle East.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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14. Jason Hou原 (Origin) (dohits)

Jason Hou is a Bejing based producer and member of the dohits label & collective which has been on our radar since last year summer. Their output is impressive and it’s hard to select which releases to include as essential. I chose for Jason Hou’s more experimental and dark-percussive EP, which connects in many ways to the recently introduced gorge genre.

Like gorge, 原 (Origin) is a return to nature and the most elemental aspects of existence – in this case, human existence. Homo sapiens’ propensity for ritual, creation, community, narrative, violence and reproduction is expressed with a blend of relentless club & techno drums, bright polyrhythmic percussion, traditional chants and deep subs.

>> BUY HERE <<

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15. Ziúr Taiga EP (Infinite Machine)

The Berlin based producer Ziúr is one of my personal favourites this year. Both her ideas about the politics of citizenship and her intense, industrial club sound resonate intensely with how I’ve been reflecting on existence since a long time now. Developing her  personal style since a while now, connecting to, yet subtly distinctive from the Berlin avant-garde sound represented by players such as JANUS or _WDIS, ‘Taiga EP’ is the first crystallisation of it in the form of an EP released on the Canadian-Mexican Infinite Machine label. The EP contains 4 original productions, one featuring RIN, and two remixes provided by the posthuman futurist Born in Flamez and the Australian visceral club deconstructionist Air Max ’97.

>> BUY HERE <<

Also check out and >> BUY << Ziúr’s newest release, only accessible via Bandcamp >>

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16. wave 002 (wavemob)

If you want to know about the wave genre, which we didn’t introduce on the blog I halfheartedly gladly forward you to this pretty insightful High Snobiety article. Needless to say, if something is on High Snobiety before it is on generation bass, it is either not interesting enough, or we haven’t done our job right. Or both. In this case it’s somewhat in the middle. But in short, wave is an intense, melancholic blend of trap, sadboy rap, witch house, cybernetic grime and vaporwave, which has been around in online undergrounds since as far back as 2013 but was lifted into the spotlights last year by futurebeats heavyweight Plastician and his terrorythm label. In retrospect I think we slept on it mainly because of my own tunnel-obsession with avant-garde club and because of its quick affiliation with the futurebeats-scene, which we also skipped almost altogether. But despite all this, I’m really feeling the heavy, emotionally touching vibe of wave and am fascinated also by the strong IRL-URL community vibe going around in the scene.

wavemob is one of the central, if not the single most defining label & collective of the movement, that released their first official compilation. wave 002 is the follow up, with 13 new, original productions from the wavemob members.

>> BUY <<

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17. Keiska Powerpoint EP (CREAMCAKE)

Internet culture has always had its obsessions with bygone sounds and subcultures. This year it’s trance, gabber and metal which are being devoured by the grinding mill. CREAMCAKE is a Berlin based avant-garde label, specialised in precisely capturing these shifts and trends in digital culture through music. ‘Powerpoint EP’ is the debut of the Finnish post-internet producer Keiska, who tunes into the melancholic echoes of 90s and 00s rave culture, bending the escapist angelicism of trance and eurodance into eerily alienating melancholic ambient music, contrasted with intense, deconstructed beats and dystopian samples.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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18. DRIFT KINGS [GT Edition] (DRIFT KINGS 漂流 公達)

Next to the grinding mill spit-outs of trance, metal and hardcore, there is also an obsession with racing cars and motorbikes in the aesthetic underground of tumblr, in the wake of health goth fashion and broader cyber tech aesthetics. The new producer collective Drift Kings takes this aesthetic trend to a more serious level. Like their first kickoff compilation, this follow-up release is again entirely dedicated to the conceptual vibe of car racing and its videogame simulation, with tracks, named after cars, filled with racing samples and immersive trance synths.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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19. crapface :):):) (Palettes)

We’ve also entirely slept on the wave of hyperpop/bubblegum-bass that gathered the attention of the music magazines for a couple of years now, especially the stuff from the PC Music label. The hype has almost entirely faded out now, but an underground scene of producers that are fabricating a distinct, cotton-candy-like sound from sources like contemporary pop, nightcore, rave, k pop, RnB and bass music, is continuing and evolving further. The Canadian producer crapface is one of the defining names from this movement and his most recent album ‘:) 🙂 :)’ is at the same time an insightful display of where the post-PCmusic underground is moving as well as lots of fun to listen to.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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20. Cepillo Cuevas Que se Sienta EP (Handiclap Records)

The Mexico City based producer Cepillo Cuevas has always been an eccentric frontrunner in the world of moombahton and global bass, not following popular templates but developing his own ever evolving and diversifying, yet consistent style. Now global bass as a movement of mutually supporting producers, DJs and bloggers, has largely diffused into different directions, Cepillo Cuevas is more relevant than ever now. ‘Que Se Sienta’ is the kind of moombahton EP I have always dreamt of, staying true to the tresillo groove, while drawing in sounds from new-age ambient, cinematic-epic music and dark rave-techno, giving a whole new twist to the entire genre with each track.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/cepillo-cuevas/sets/cepillo-cuevas-que-se-sienta

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-Ark- , The Enigmatic Beatmaker from Amsterdam Everybody Slept on

ARK

Amrit Bansie, a.k.a. ARK, is a beatmaker from Amsterdam about whom I know almost nothing else than that he has a Soundcloud and a Youtube account and made many beats until a year ago.

Most of his tracks are instrumental hiphop, experimental crossovers between hiphop, jazz and electronica. But next to that he has experimented with dembow and zouk beats, fused with ravey, angelic trance melodies and produced tracks which are totally fresh and relevant today. As far as I can tell from followers and comments overlap he has just experimented with these sounds by himself, without influence at all from either the global bass or the current avant-garde club movement.

Yet, his most recent tune totally sounds like it could be from Dinamarca!!

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His bubbling-ragga-trance experiment has a very similar afreobeats vibe as Theoscicloff’s banger ‘Ritmo Dogg‘ which we blogged last week.

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And another angelic oldschool trance flavoured bubbling/afrobeats tune I’m really feeling!

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It’s a pity that the instrumental hiphop community is still quite separate from electronic music production, even now with the trillwave/post-trap stuff it’s coming closer together. Here a great track with the Indian influences we love so much, which at the same time totally fits in this exciting blurry area between instrumental hiphop and trap/twerk/drill influenced electronic and club music.

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A dreamy melodic track, tagged as zouk, but holding the middle between dembow/moombahton on mid-tempo BPM range and the angelic sound of #Future Tarraxo

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Follow -Ark-

SOUNCLOUD

YOUTUBE

DJ Ghost Face [Kizomba Crossover]

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We’ve been zooming in on kizomba lately, a vibrant semi-mainstream movement in much of Africa and Europe for many years now. Here we’ve got more kizomba, from an exciting producer who likes to push the boundaries of the genre by combining it with flavours not that often associated with kizomba.

His name is DJ Ghost Face, based in Milan, Italy and I found him when googling for ‘gothic tarraxo’ since I wanted to hear how a gothic song like this, which I randomly stumbled upon, would sound reworked into tarraxo. Google found this brilliant, nocturnal graveyard flavoured tarraxinha track on Youtube and my mind was blown!

On his Soundcloud he has many more brilliant kizomba crossovers with the most unlikely genres, of which I selected my three favourites. Unfortunately not all of it is for download and he hasn’t been active for about half a year now, but definitely a name to watch!

Tantric Africa : erotic new-age ambient kizomba !

Urban Kiz : chill-trap kizomba !

Go hard Tarraxa : psychedelic acid trance tarraxo !

Follow DJ Ghost Face:

SOUNDCLOUD

FACEBOOK

YOUTUBE

Selectorchico : Gnawatek [Shamanic South America vs Trance of North Africa]

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This dude from Uruguay, Selectorchico aka Nandy Cabrera, just sent me this brilliant track that he calls “Gnawatek”.

It’s a fusion between trippy and psychedelic Latin music and the deep blues of Morocco via the Gnawa. It’s a mesmerizing and toxic fusion, taking in the Shamanic spirit of South America and the Trance of North Africa.  Kind of reminds me of the atmospherics of Prehispanico but with a North African influence!

It was a piece that was commissioned for a LatinArab Film Festival some months back and I’m really feeling it.

BRZ005 – Vem piranha remixes

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Our friends from label Braza, released a compilation with 5 great remixes to single Vem Piranha from best trio of favela trap, Pesadão Tropical.

The interesting point about this EP is that: the 5 remixes is running out from the popular global bass and ghetto music. From 5 remixes: 1 is moombahton, 2 get influence of chill trap – sons of Sango, another is a heavy electro and to finish it a remix with influence of trance (yeah, this style still a live). BUT, even with this sonority, it’s a great compilation of remixes. Check it and grab it free in soundcloud or wav files at bandcamp:

You can check more from Pesadão Tropical. They will complete 1 year in august and will release few productions and new model of show.

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Momo Project UK [Music of Moroccan Origin]

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In 2001 the original Momo released a ground breaking album called “The Birth of Dar”DAR (Digital And Roots).

Dar Music is bloody foreigner music.

The album was a milestone in the fusion of Trancey Moroccan music with House, Techno & Breakbeat and was one of the most credible fusion releases at the time, which still stands the test of time today.

There was a remix on the album by Steve Hillage called “Digital Garab-Ministry of Bullshit (The Steve Hillage Remix)” and it’s still one of the best North African Club numbers in the history of this kind of music. I can tell you it always had a constant presence in my DJ crates and at all of my gigs at the time and many years thereafter and each and every time, it always killed it!

This is that track:

Sadly the group did not last for longer than that one now classic album.

But there’s good news one of the members Tahar Elidrissi has now reformed the project under this new name and here’s what he is up to. I hope there’s a lot more to come because this band were pretty innovative for their time and that classic album is still nestled in my DJ crates some 13 years after its release.

RUFO : MOON BURN EP

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Digital Cumbia dude Super Guachin has started to broaden his horizons a little and is trying out differentt things under his Rufo alter-ego, a touch of Trap and some atmospheric cinematic vybz too.

I luv the Moon Burn track, it’s like a soundtrack to a Sci-Fi movie, floating in Deep Space with Trance elements but not the cheesy Trance like the Dutch make it.

“Rufo can make a circle from a square and viceversa with heavy punch basses and colorful sounds from the soul. Just a guy who likes to make music.”

www.ruforufo.com

AraabMUZIK : The Prince Is Coming

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We crowned AraabMuzik our MAN OF THE MOMENT back in July 2011!!

It was only  a matter of time thereafter that peeps cottoned on to him and now in 2013 people are talking about him just like we were in 2011, sorry we can’t help it 🙂

This is something from his forthcoming mixtape which drops on February 15th and we’re looking forward to it but we’re looking forward to Electronic Dream Part 2 even more and hopefully this time without the “You are listening to….zzzzzz” annoying drops!

A rab sooort it owt mayte!