EBM. The long game.

Say ‘EBM’ fast enough in the company of under 30’s since around 2014 and you’ll likely be expected to continue into praise or dismissal of a scene fronted by highly paid Dj’s, cake, flamboyant festivals and your imminent history lesson, lost. For now, we’ll leave EDM for another day.

After Disco, Electronic Body Music remains one of the fundamental influences on dance music. After an industrial/rock division in EBM around 1990, many of the scenes original stalwarts parted company, perhaps most famously with Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb. Concerning the latter, what more impact on dance music is required other than Hawtin dropping ‘Let Your Body Learn’ and ‘Hearts and Minds’ on multiple occasions?

These things they say, come full circle.

Cue up 2018 and three original Ebb compadres, who have remained under the radar, are re-grouping and it’s sounding rather exciting. David Gooday, Simon Granger and Bon Harris have been cooking up a brew of synthesised syncopation, performing a one off live electronic-funk session last year, in the home town where their brutalist approach to a new generation was first born. Not content with leaving a passion dormant, the trio have been regularly hitting the studio after some 18 years. Material is due for release later this year on David and Simon’s electronic label, STARKFutures Recordings.

Listen…STARK ft Bon Harris LIVE https://goo.gl/SqXKc7

Words: Paul Fossett

Image: Paul McClean

2018. Artist forecast.

If you had to choose two success stories for the coming year, you’re likely going to reflect on newcomers of the last 12 months and the likelihood that they will attain the ‘big’ status. There are many, I’m sure, but I’m going to offer a focal point that caters for progressive organic growth, over bedroom DJ to instant festival headliner.

John Shima. If you’ve ever ventured into the sounds of B12, Firescope and the like then you almost certainly have come across John Shima. In recent years, the Sheffield-based producer has become renowned in deeper circles for his signature inter-galactic-soothing acid-Detroit fusion on imprints Distant Worlds, Ferox, BOE… Promoters have been taking note of this progression in recent months, seeing him perform live in London for Cartulis Day and topping the year off billed with DJ Masda for Libertine in Berlin (by all accounts he’s still there with a large pot of milky Yorkshire tea). Forever humble, 2018 looks promising for John on a performance level, whose name would not go amiss on line ups alongside people like Conforce and Ion Ludwig. If you like your techno deep and at a patient BPM, add to your favourites. Listen on SoundCloud

Image: John & Ami, Oslo.

Dubphone. Rarely do you find artists in their mid-twenties with such substantial discographies, and if you do, these days they are likely Romanian. Dubphone popped up for me in 2015 and thereafter with tracks like ‘Fade’. The first time I played it out, I was asked by the venue to ‘please stop playing such good music; the ceiling downstairs is collapsing’. (true story). The Eastern European crew have become famous for their secretive edits as much as their journey-esque original music, and Dubphone is leading the way in this inspiring movement. A concrete back catalogue on his own Vandalism Musique label as well as Baile Musik, Akbal and Get Physical, Claudiu is firming his ground as a DJ and refined producer. Spring 2018 will see a Solo EP on Cesare vs Disorder’s mighty Serialism. Concise sound design and a mature demeanour for the coming seasons. Listen on Soundcloud

Words: Paul Fossett