Tag Archives: Power Electronics

Lifetime Achievement: A Guide to Blackhouse’s Enigmatic Industrial Discography

Lifetime Achievement

“I saw Jesus’s face,” says Brian Ladd of pioneering industrial/power electronics project Blackhouse, recounting an event from his early life in church. He was five years old and bored, when he thought he saw a familiar face in a high window. “I tugged on my dad’s sleeve, and said ‘Hey, I see Jesus up there! I saw Jesus.’ And he said, ‘Oh man, they just do that to fool kids. They have somebody up there with a big picture of Jesus,’ as if it were some kind of joke or a put-on. My dad told me that because he thought I was probably nuts.” Ladd backed away from religion at a young age, but as he matured into a young man able to think for himself, he became more convinced that he had seen the real face of Jesus Christ.

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Bonemagic’s Blackened Synthwave Provides an Emotional Outlet

Bonemagic

“Poverty stricken and drug-ridden.”

That’s noise practitioner Matt Hex, reflecting on his hometown of Stilwell, Oklahoma. Situated in the northeast region of the state, just eight miles west of the Arkansas border, Stilwell (current population around 4,000, Hex himself included) rose to fame as a minor agricultural hub in the years following World War II; in 1949, the Kansas legislature even designated Stilwell the “Strawberry Capital of the World.” These days, it suffers the worst economic conditions in the state of Oklahoma, with 32.7% of residents living below the poverty line, and a median household income of $24,452 (versus the state average median household income of $45,339), according to a 2015 report.

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Summer Isle is an Anchor for Toronto’s Noise Scene

Summer Isle

When Max Klebanoff and Rita Mikhael launched Summer Isle in 2014, they wanted to fill a void in Toronto’s music scene. After bonding over a mutual love of power electronics and noise-centric labels like Hospital Productions, Callow God, Ekhein, and others, the pair found themselves frustrated with the lack of options for putting out records and playing shows in their hometown, and decided to take matters into their own hands.

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Experimental Groundbreakers Controlled Bleeding Straddle the Primal and Cerebral

Controlled Bleeding

Controlled Bleeding bandleader and guitarist Paul Lemos isn’t the type of artist you can pigeonhole. Since founding Controlled Bleeding in Boston in the late ‘70s, Lemos has led the band through a dizzying array of musical styles including post-punk, fusion, power electronics, and industrial, to name just a few. Not unlike King Crimson or Swans—acts whose names function as institutions that host revolving casts of players—Controlled Bleeding can appear to be an entirely different band depending on which album or period you focus on.

Last year, after a lengthy hiatus following the deaths of longtime creative partners, drummer/keyboardist Chris Moriarty and singer/keyboardist Joe Papa, Lemos released his first album in 14 years under the Controlled Bleeding banner, Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps. Anchored by the talents of new collaborators Chad Bernhard and Mike Bazini, both drum programmers, sound sculptors, and keyboardists, the album was the result of a gradual (but initially unintended) five-year build towards reactivating the band.

In a career defined by exploration, Lemos and company are still pushing themselves to discover new sounds. On their appropriately-titled new remix album Carving Songs, 15 like-minded artists including Merzbow, Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and Jesu, and Child Bite reimagine Larva Lumps for a varied but surprisingly cohesive take on an already-eclectic album. Of course, it wouldn’t be Controlled Bleeding if the project didn’t also put fresh twists on the idea of the definition of the remix itself. Lemos spoke to us from his home on his native Long Island, his base for over 35 years.

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