Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Dark and Goth-friendly music, part 9: last of the bleepy stuff

I know I usually only cover five genres per music guide, but I really wanted to get all the EBM, synthpop and Industrial subgenres out of the picture for a moment. The bouncier subgenres, by the way, may not be precisely 'Goth', but have been embraced by cybergoths and so have found their way onto Gothy dance floors the world over, gathering popularity in the scene as they go. No, it isn't going to hurt your Goth cred to like VNV Nation, honest.

More 'ambient' genres such as martial Industrial will appeal more to those who like ethereal and ambient music rather than the harsh beats and bleepy sounds of cyber-related artists, but are included here nevertheless.

Toxic Tears
Visit her blog here
Futurepop developed from EBM in the late 90s, and the term was coined by VNV Nation singer Ronan Harris to describe the band's sound, and that of similar groups. The scene grew as other EBM and related artists began incorporating the futurepop sound into their music.

Futurepop includes elements of EBM and Industrial such as heavy use of sampling, and the traditional EBM lack of vocal distortion or modification. It also includes synthpop influences and the grandiose synth melodies of uplifting trance. Futurepop music tends to be upbeat, despite its often dark and gloomy lyrics, and very dancefloor-friendly.

Futurepop bands, and bands who have utilised elements of the futurepop sound, include: Apoptygma Berserk, Ayria, And One, Covenant, Icon of Coil, Rotersand, Neuroticfish, Seabound, Colony 5, Assemblage 23.

Martial Industrial
Martial Industrial, aka martial music or martial pop, is probably the least bleepy of the bleepy genres, as it often borrows from classical, neo-classical and neofolk music as well as traditional European marches and elements of Industrial and dark ambient. The term martial pop was coined by Gerhard Petak of the band Allerseelen to describe the militaristic direction his ambient music was starting to take.

Wikipedia says, "Themes range from pounding, percussive soundtrack-like music to rally-worthy dark parade music to cabaret-appropriate sexually-charged carnal declarations to mournful marches."

Martial Industrial has close ties with neofolk, so many musicians play music that would fit neatly into either genre.

Martial Industrial bands include: The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud, Laibach, Death In June, Dead Man's Hill, Blood Axis, A Challenge of Honour, In the Nursery, Luftwaffe, Ophir, Infestation.

Dark trance and neo-Goth
Dark trance is an umbrella term for several types of trance music, including hardstyle, Goa trance, dark psytrance, and more. Trance as a genre is not Goth-friendly (although of course some Goths may like it - as I've said before, we ALL have our guilty pleasures). In fact, dark trance is not Goth or even overly Goth-friendly, but became vaguely associated with the Goth subculture via DJ RiB of the band Razed In Black, who released a Dark Trance vs. Neo-Goth compilation CD set a few years back.

Neo-Goth is also an umbrella term, which may simply be used to cover modern electronic subgenres such as electro-Industrial, darkwave, aggrotech and futurepop - basically synth-driven Goth-style music as opposed to traditional, guitar-driven Gothic rock. It may also be used to refer to music that combines elements of trance - fast beats, melodic synths - with elements of Goth and Industrial music, such as gloomy lyrics and a dark, bleak or spooky atmosphere, such as some of the artists featured on DJ RiB's above-mentioned compilation.

Some dark music enthusiasts may enjoy this compilation, but because of it's heavy trance influences it certainly isn't to everyone's tastes. Nonetheless, the bands listed below are all featured on the compilation. As you can see, the neo-Goth artists are FAR more Goth-friendly than the dark trance ones.

Dark trance artists include: Cream Pipe, Mnemonic, Blue Pace, Brain Inc., Talla 2XLC, Loudest Silence, Delobbo, Ego Traum, Beigeback, Rhinneradio.

Neo-Goth artists include: Neikka RPM, Razed In Black, Ayria, Neotek, Celldweller, Nebula-H, VNV Nation, UV, Encoder, Aïboforcen.

Electro-punk, aka synthpunk, is punk music played with synthesizers instead of guitars; very rare 'back in the day', since the entire ethos of the punk movement rejected 'artificial' instruments like synths. As far as I know it hasn't gained a huge amount of popularity within the Goth scene, but since its 'parent' genres (punk and synthpop) are both very Goth-friendly, I felt it deserved a mention.

Electro-punk bands include: The Screamers, The Phantom Limbs, The Vanishing, Radio Werewolf, Neurosis, The Need, Happy Flowers, Nervous Gender, Foetus, I Am Spoonbender.

Alien pop
'Alien pop' is not really a subgenre but really a term coined by the band Shiraya's Dream to describe their own sound. Shiraya's Dream incorporates bouncy, synth-driven, electronic music with the classical mezzo-soprano vocals of singer 'Anna Aliena'. Their lyrics often refer to aliens, outer space, or space travel.

Violindustrial (Victoriandustrial)
These terms were coined by artist Emilie Autumn to describe the sound on her second full-length album Opheliac (her first album, Enchant, could arguably be described as fantasy rock). Previously these terms referred specifically to Emilie's work, including her side project The Jane Brooks Project, but they have now come to describe an entire new musical genre, characterized by the use of classical instruments (e.g. violin, clavichord, cello, etc.) combined with electronic sounds typical of Industrial music.

Violindustrial artists include: Emilie Autumn, Johnny Hollow, The Cruxshadows, TyLean, Anguisette, Dr. Steel, Creature Feature.


SaryWalrus said...

Now, I'm not one to fixate on types of music but your music features have honestly opened my eyes to the subsets of goth music.

Can't wait for the next!

Dirgesinger said...

A very nice compilation indeed? Although I only enjoy musiv without listening to genres and stuff, this was an interesting read.:)

E said...

Hello, NotAGoth and fairly new reader here! I've been lurkily lurking around your blog for a while now, and I just want to say thank you for your dedication to posting every day and for providing such a helpful and friendly guide to the subculture for curious outsiders such as myself. Your music posts have given me a crash course in real Goth music, and I've found and fallen in love with a bunch of bands I likely never would have heard of if it weren't for you. I've also had a few of my misconceptions and mistakes corrected and cleared up.

So yeah, basically just popping by to say thanks for The Ultimate Goth Guide. :D

Qwack said...

Creature Feature... Hm, always though Curtis RX and Rufus Rex were more of horror rock guys... They fit the sound, though.
Have you heard their new song The House of Myth?

Qwack said...

Ah crap I meant Eric X. Always get the names confused.

VictorianKitty said...

Ah, this is good news because I *LOVE* VNV Nation and I don't care who knows it!! :-D Some of the DJs in the Los Angeles club scene look WAAAY down their noses if one requests VNV. :( Of course, those same people are also the ones who are spinning to a room full of Goths and look down on those who call themselves Goth (much like some of the musicians you talked about before). L.A. has a bit of snobbiness going on... There's no winning around here. :)

I'm definitely going to have to check out the Neo-Goth genre! Sounds right up my alley.

Sophistique Noir - Dark, Elegant Fashion

VictorianKitty said...

PS: I saw your comment on my blog regarding guest posting. If you want to get the ball rolling, I added a "Contact Me" form to my blog so we don't have to reveal e-mail addresses publicly. ;-D

ultimategothguide said...

@ VictorianKitty - yeah, I have definitely heard a lot of snottiness and snobbery regarding bands like VNV... I could go off in my usual rant about how the scene NEEDS to grow and develop, but I'd probably be preaching to the choir :-/ And excellent about the contact form, I will be sure to stop by ^^

@ Qwack - Creature Feature are one of those bands that could happily fit into various genres... who cares about labels if the music's good? I haven't heard it yet...

@ E - hello ^^ you're very welcome! I probably don't get accused of being friendly or helpful much in real life, so thank heaven for internet personas ;-) I'm glad you've found some music - and what misconceptions, might I ask? Because I REALLY AM a vampire, you know? XD

@ Dirgesinger - thank you ^^ I agree that music is more important than genres - the easiest way I could think of to produce a 'catalogue' of dark music, if you will, was to divide it up by genres. Great name, BTW.

@ SaryWalrus - thankies ^^ I was worried I was going to bore someone to death with these so that's a weight off my mind! <3

Hexotica said...

Holy cow, Victorian Kitty, if someone looked down on a VNV request here they would be boo-ed off the dance floor! I also LOVE VNV! That's some snobbery alright.

I'm into dark trance, as I've been dragged to many a psy-festival and had to find my niche!

Jinx ( the one in the friggin picture ) said...

I am dying to know who the fuck allowed you to post my picture here. :)

ultimategothguide said...

Hi Jinx,
I can remove it if you like or I'm more than happy to add credit and a link. Sorry!

ultimategothguide said...

Jinx - I have removed it until you let me know what you'd prefer. Also, the site I found the image on is here: I don't know if this is you or if someone else is using your image without permission.

Jinx said...

Well thank you for your quick and understanding reaction and for providing me with the link.
This happened to plenty of my images and I'm filing a crapload of complaints so I'm curious about that tumblr page........

ultimategothguide said...

Apologies again, I do use images I find on sites like Tumblr (obviously) but I do always try and either ask permission or give credit whenever possible. Best of luck to you with your other complaints.

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