2017 on amodelofcontrol.com begins with a look at what’s to come in the realm of music that I cover.
Admittedly that means this is a bit of a scattershot list, but I refuse to allow this website to keep too narrow-a-focus – there is so much great music to discover, sometimes from the most surprising places.
Anyway, this list is in two parts. Firstly I’ll discuss ten likely releases, then a list of various releases coming this year, some with confirmed dates, and some still very much “to be confirmed”.
Needless to say, this list comes with a large health warning. Plans change, bands can split up, labels can release bands, god knows how many other things could affect release schedules. Tool could even finally release another album.
I should note, though, that I’m not including re-issues or compilations (one notable release due at some point here is a Cubanate retrospective, as I understand it, by the way).
Anything I’m missing, get in touch.
It is now over four years since Icelandic band Legend’s astonishing debut Fearless made it into the top three of the amodelofcontrol.com albums of 2012, and I’ve been patiently awaiting more new material since. New songs have begun appearing (snippets of footage from recent gigs), and apparently the album will be here very soon. Here’s hoping – no-one has made anything close to the brilliance of Legend’s dramatic, gothic electronic debut, and those short tastes of what is to come have got me wishing for a swift release. Don’t make us wait too much longer, guys!
Talking of dramatic, actually, looking rather closer to home brings us to London-based post-punk band Desperate Journalist. They’ve made quite a splash – and quite a fanbase – since their first album, with a succession of exceptionally tense, brilliant live shows and a set of songs to match. New single Resolution, the first taste of the forthcoming album, takes their sound to another level, and they play their biggest headline show yet to launch the album at the Scala on 06-Apr.
Another band to have jumped a level or two are 3TEETH. Just to show how far they’ve come, consider this. Almost three years ago to the week, this website played host to the band’s first interview. Over the past year, they’ve supported Tool on two tours, and have had no less than Billboard.com and Rolling Stone premiere their last two singles and videos. So I think it’s fair to say that there is quite a bit of anticipation for this second album. Judging on the singles so far (particularly the pulverising Atrophy), I don’t think we have anything to fear about the band falling short of expectations.
US industrial veterans in comparison, Cyanotic have now been active for nearly fifteen years – and after years of waiting, I’ve now seen them live three times in the past few years (and also Sean Payne’s work with Rabbit Junk and Vampyre Anvil as well!). The sheer amount of other musical work Sean Payne does (collaborations, production, etc) kinda limits the output of Cyanotic, but last summer saw the release of Clear A Path, the first track from album number four – Tech Noir. Initially intended for 2016 release, it is now due at some point this year, and is apparently a nod to his industrial influences, as the title suggests.
The first album in this list that I’m not especially clear on the details of as yet – I’ve heard people mention that a new album is being worked on, therefore I’m including it here speculatively – but one that merits it’s place because of how good HFF have been so far. Mining the past of industrial and electronic music has been very much in vogue of late – three of the bands already mentioned have been doing so – but what has set HFF apart so far has been to build upon a different set of influences to almost everyone else. Few others have used Cabaret Voltaire and Portion Control as their base influence, and fewer still have added a punkish snarl, coupled with a funk-esque groove and a hatful of great tunes. I’m looking forward to seeing where this most intriguing band head next.
Unquestionably one of the marquee releases of 2017 will be St. Vincent’s fifth solo album. I was a latecomer to her music, falling in love with Strange Mercy, but her self-titled album three years ago made her a mainstream musical star, and her fascinating, quirky style and smart lyrics still make it for me an unexpected leap. But then, that album was so damned good – and so, so catchy – that I’ve no doubt that she’ll handle the increased expectation well.
Another release that I’m not 100% on, but after their exceptional debut – an album that came out of nowhere – and the recent Protectorate side-project, the time is certainly ripe for a follow-up. Again, this is an industrial band with one foot in the past, mining the more aggressive, heavier side of bands like Skinny Puppy, and I’ve no doubt that any further material will continue to investigate that deep well.
The latest of the new wave of industrial to break through has been the exceptionally dense sound of German artist 2nd Face, who releases his debut album on Dependent next month. I was rather taken with first single Divine last summer, and the teaser for the album suggests more of this multi-layered, oppressive sound that should sound amazing really loud (or in clubs, or both).
Detroit House Guests
A late entry to the list, this electro act have brought in some serious big guns for their forthcoming album, with vocals provided by Douglas J. McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb), Michael Gira (Swans) and Sharon Funchess (Light Asylum) among others. Ok, so perhaps it’s not exactly going to be the brightest, sunniest electronic music you’re ever going to hear with that kind of guestlist, but I’m certain that it’s going to be worth a listen at least.
One of the more intriguing releases coming this year, as far as I’m concerned, comes from the Audiotrauma stable.
Renaud-Gabriel Pion is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, while Arnaud Fournier has a history in a number of bands (one of whom, La Phaze, I saw with Gogol Bordello years ago), and so this unusual collaboration would already be fascinating enough – but then you add Gavin Friday (yes, originally of Virgin Prunes) as a guest vocalist. From snippets heard in previews, it really does appear to be an unusual, unexpected clash of styles – I cannot wait to hear this.
Aborym – Shifting Negative
iVardensphere – Exile
Alec Empire – VOLT OST
Marilyn Manson – SAY10 (see also)
2nd Face – Nemesis
Dreadzone – Dread Times
ADULT – Detroit House Guests
The Golden Age of Nothing – Monuments
Life Of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain
Legend – Midnight Champion
3Teeth – <shutdown.exe>
Body Count – Bloodlust
Fixmer/McCarthy – “New EP”
Depeche Mode – Spirit
Horskh – Gate
Ghost – TBC
Cyanotic – Tech Noir
High-Functioning Flesh – TBC
Fischerspooner – SIR
Arcade Fire – TBC
Spiritualized – TBC
Coldkill – TBC
At The Drive-In – TBC
St Vincent – TBC
Dawn of Ashes – Daemonolatry Gnosis
Nine Inch Nails – TBC
Valhall – TBC
Caustic – TBC
Controlled Bleeding remix album
Front Line Assembly – TBC
Skinny Puppy – TBC
ohGr – TBC
Velvet Acid Christ – The Heart of the Mind Has Died (TBC)
RELIC – TBC
DIVE – TBC
seeming – TBC
Cardinal Noire – TBC
Ohm – TBC
SØLVE/The Blood of Others (split release) – TBC
Atonalist – TBC
Melotron – Für Alle
Daft Punk – TBC
System of A Down – TBC
Slipknot – TBC
A Perfect Circle – TBC
Mastodon – TBC
Tool – TBC (maybe? Maybe 2018…)