The Shiver In the Dark

voodoo

An Interview with Izzie Voodoo

Voodoo creates a shimmering concoction of electro sounds, equally at home in the nu rave, indie and gothic tribes we threw a few devious questions her way and this is what came back…

 

NBT:  electro is bright shiny and very much modern (ie of the last 30 years or so) voodoo conjures up thoughts of darkness, mystery and the ancient..How do these two seemingly opposites meet in your act and your music?

My music’s always had a darker edge. It started out being far more eclectic , more guitar orientated, and much more ‘alternative’ and has grown into something which has more direction, has cleaner sounds, lately has far more space and gives way to the possibilities of having a more fun (but still  twisted) edge. Before, it was too dark and manic to handle that. I think my moods constantly battle with a childlike attitude to life and between highs that induce occasional hysterical giggling fits and a strange edge to my personality that’s drawn to anything dark, unnerving and unknown. The weird thing is that the 80’s type music that has had some influence on what I write was stuff from the commercial Goth era, whereas now I prefer to listen to more dance/electronica/pop stuff, and that must be where the crossover comes. I think it’s a decent balance though that might keep you on your toes.

NBT: Musicians should be political….or not… Discuss

Not deliberately so, in my opinion- there’s nothing worse than a preaching tunesmith. If a song demands that you make a point, make the point, but then leave it be.

NBT:  which is better, the internal of the studio or the revelations on stage?

That depends on the crowd, for me. If there’s a great crowd and they like what they hear, there’s no other feeling (horrible cliché, but true), but since I’m a geeky tech head, I tend to be  a  bit too happy locked up in the  studio- with beer and liquorice allsorts.

NBT:     how does a self confessed control freak delegate when creating music..or is that possible?

It’s not possible J

 I do it all myself til it’s nearly done ,then ask for constructive criticism and get really unbearably arsey when someone tells me ‘this isn’t right’ or ‘that’s too loud’. After an hour when I’ve calmed down, I generally pull my head in because I knew it was wrong anyway but was too burned out to fix it. Graphic design and some of the mastering I delegate out or share because I think it’s important to get an outside look at what you do.

NBT:  The internet is innocent, crazy and brave, with a wink of an eye and a touch of a keyboard it can discover, delight and showcase. Will this wild child save or destroy independent music..your thoughts please. J             

Absolutely- but I think it will change   the way that people access independent music- has already. It’s part of the evolution process of the industry. Already it’s given so many artists an opportunity to be heard by thousands of people that they would otherwise have had no chance of doing – not because they aren’t good enough, but because they don’t move in the right circles and get the right breaks. The internet is a wonderful new tool for musicians who have recorded songs, who no longer need record labels to do the things record labels traditionally did. The one thing that I think is already suffering hugely as a direct consequence of the internet and of new media tools like mp3 players , and the ability to view home made videos of bands at the drop of a  hat on a  phone and such like, is the live scene- which certainly from a  small venue point of view, is virtually dead on it’s feet.    

 

You can buy her songs and learn about gigs and news here

http://www.izzievoodoo.com/

Izzie is also on this week’s episode of the NBT Podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

 

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The Manik Music Rant: Zorch Factory Records

So, anyway, trawling around my list of links, e-mails subscriptions and Blog reader whatsits I come across a lone line advertising a free download of a French band Camp Z’s 6 track ep. Whoaw…free, I gasp..”This last release mixes electronic

backgrounds along with dark feelings, raw guitars and post punk energy!” says the blurb…colour me interested – I’ve sort of rediscovered the whole French/Euro coldwave genre of the 80’s as of late and have subsequently kicked myself at being so damnably Anglo-centric in my musical gleanings in those bad old days – ok, there was no internet, and the genre was largely ignored by the (Brit/USA) press of the day any mention of which was probably quickly passed by by the likes of I (not being able to see anything in the flesh as it were, also didn’t help), I mean, I thought Plastic Bertrand was all there was!! So, consequently I devote the latest Bullets From the Belfry (and this blog) to Zorch!

 

 

 

 

 

Subsequent investigation led me to Zorch Factory Records and their eclectic stable of artistes from Europe (and other parts of the globe) in the dark indie/goth/deathrock/postpunk/coldwave/electronica field of things that i generally immerse myself in. Headed up by Manu, member of aforementioned CampZ, his dream to present a forum, a home, a promotional tool for some of the many truly independent artists forging out into the interwastes trying to elevate themselves to better things. All the material is published under Creative Common License free to download. His aim to create a fanbase for the bands so that interest is tweaked, demands made and the music industry swings their way, whether interest by some established label or enough interest is created to make music sales of future product viable. Manu’s dream is based on love, not profit, the artists free to move on to greener pastures whne their boat comes in!

 

 

 

 

After hastily glomming the CampZ goodies : a dark buzzsaw caterwaul of postpunk excess- with strong leanings back to coldwave, overlaid with Manu’s harsh, angry vocals – no fake Brit/Amerikan tones here….without meaning to sound condescending, the French accent is perfect for this music! I went for the rest with glee.

 

 

 

 

Joy Disaster, also from France have a recent live concert recorded in Italy up for grabs. I suppose any band described as postpunk and having ‘Joy’ in their name is going to be compared with, ah, Joy Division…well yes, the comparisons are there, perhaps an early JD, maybe even Warsaw rather, harsh, brash, angry (I entertain the notion that if Warsaw formed today and listened to Interpol a lot…) Cyclic, all music is cyclic but in doing so it does not have to immitate, re-invention is part of the game, re-interpretation, it does not have to cater to some fixed audience to ‘fill a dance floor’ ( She Wants Revenge….pheeggh!!!). I take emotion over polish any fucking day – I see big things for Joy Disaster.

 

 

 

Mmmmmm, Mexican goth/punk/deathrock, I love it, ever since I frightened folk off the dancefloor with the likes of Los Meurtes Vivientes and the Ultrasonicas! The Acid Bats have a couple of releases on Zorch Factory, an 8 track ep, ‘Exhumacion’ and a earlier demo recording…fabulous stuff, can’t wait to ever be invited back into a dj booth with this in my must play box!! (If I promise to play at least one She Whines Revenge track, can I ? Can I???)

 

 

 

The more eclectic Crimson Muddle do a wonderful cover of Joy Divisions ‘Means To an End’ on their ep, their sound veering into almost steampunk territory, but still with that endearing coldwave feel.Lamentations Psychotiques and Nuit d’Octobre round off the ep in a darkly whimsical manner.

 

On and on, it’s like stumbling into a sweet shop of delights, Les Modules Estranges evoke the spirit of Siouxsie Sioux on tracks like Crash, Cocteau twins on say Am I Blind. lovely vocals, fragile guitar, veering toeards but not drowning in shoegazer territory. More tracks including remixes are available here.

 

From Spain come the enigmatically titled Red Crayon Aristocratic Club, think Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets Ladytron whilst picking up The Cranes on the way… A splendid cover of The Clash’s ‘Stay Free’ is a gem on the cd.

 

Germany’s Monozid have 2 ep’s available on the Zorch Factory site, think postpunk, think Chameleons, early Psychedelic Furs, Wire here.

 

Rounding off the podcast this week- The Trespass, perhaps the most traditional goth/deathrock band on Zorch,’ traditional’ being a misnomer really in that their roots are solid postpunk, a bit of Echo and the Bunnymen lilting through their epical sweeping songs.

 

All in all, a valuable cause to support..and download, and hopefully, eventually, lay hard cash down for! Zorch Factory Records, Bullets From the Belfry salutes you!!

 

http://www.zorchfactoryrecords.com/

 

Listen to some of the amazing Zorch artists here on the BFB Zorch Factory Records Special Podcast

http://nbtdarkelectric.podomatic.com/

 

The NBT Review 5

The NBT Review 5

 

Easy Way Out

Natalia

Dandylion Daughters

Laura Marie

Reviewed by Martin Smit

 

Kevin Hahn

 Reviewed by William Elliot

 

Steal The Show – Easy Way Out (Independent Release)

 

From the first seconds of the first track, ‘Fade Or Shine’ the listener is taken from his silence straight into the soul of the band. There is no timid build up of intent here; the mix of tripping running galloping rap and smooth sigh counter vocals hits you head on.

Sly bass leads into ‘What You Want’ and the casual confidence of the band takes over, you know the screams might come later along with angry power chords and frantic drum rolls, (the very next track in fact) but first the swagger.

This is an album of many potential singles, but never once feels fake or too thought out; there is no committee here, just five musicians totally in tune with eachother. Happily lost in the sounds and thoughts they want to create.

In the track ‘Beat Down’ the band have a monster of a song, destined to be played on car radios and sweaty club sound systems across the universe. It will never age or grow tired.

 

www.myspace.com/taketheeasywayout

 

Electrosoul – Natalia (Independent Release)

 

One genre welcomed for its return, in my Indie heart at least, is the crafted sad/happy electro pop. Its seemingly easy tingle-tangle of heartbreak and cheerful dance, seems so simple, but so few get it right. Get it to the right degree of neon glow sway, innocent hope and tragic giggles. Electrosoul does all this and so much more.

Adding equal measures of Robyn and Human League to a gentle self-assurence, this insanely catchy collection is the perfect antidote to the bored cynicism of the Avrils and Gwens of the mainstream world.

With hooks worthy of a Sugababes writer, but with an added touch of much needed regret and honesty, this is a Pop (with a capital and Proud P) album that stays the distance.

Standout track of a VERY good bunch for me is ‘Fierce Explosion’ a song that soars so subtle and so free.

Oh and…

The remix of ‘My Life’ included here is perfect Dancefloor.

 

http://www.natalia-music.com/

 

Time To Play – Kevin Hahn (Solo-Crossroads Entertainment)

 

It must be summer, it must be time for a ‘Car Ride’, it must be time for the infectious boogie folk of Kevin Hahn’s latest.

Utilising touches of Folk, Jazz and Country the songs are the perfect antidote to the past long dark winter.

Hahn has a personal warm vocal, often skipping around the lyrics with a smile worthy glee. To top it all he has a tight backing band that rocks out when needed and plays cool when wanted.

The Album breaks no new ground really, but that is not really the object of this extremely beautifully played handful of songs. It is pop/rock done with skill, simplicity and a delightful exuberance.

Recommended.

 

www.kevinhan.com

 

Dandylion Daughters – Dandylion Daughters (Independent Release)

 

You know how a hectic thrilling electrical storm both delights and scares you a bit, How you are seduced by the constant violence of the downpour?  And taken outside of yourself by the wicked flashes of lightning and thunder?

This EP reminds me of that.

There is a stillness at the heart of this chaos, an acceptance at the core of this anger, that sublimely connects and protects, while at the same time scratching at the nervous system.

Having heard some of Paul Abrey’s later solo work, the mixture of stillness and shivers becomes obvious, but taken as a creature all on its own, this EP, shoots out the hidden and the blatant with equal cruel grinning love.

As sharp as a young mind after four cups of coffee, Paul Abrey and the Dandylion Daughters prove they are an act to watch and listen out for.

 

 

http://www.unsigned.com/dandyliondaughters

http://www.reverbnation.com/dandyliondaughters

 

Drawn – Laura Marie (independent release)

 

A lot of music, even beautifully played, exceptional music, allows the listener to stay at a distance from it. It pleases you makes you (possibly) sway, and sometimes if you are lucky, may even delight you.

But you never connect.

With an artist like Laura Marie, you discover the total opposite to this. You are invited into her soul home and then.. well

Secrets maybe revealed, personal tales maybe told, her world her thoughts, her adventures shared.

You are invited to connect.

Take the wry ‘This Time’ a song about release and independence, but also a song not afraid to make gentle fun of the singer herself, and there in lies its strength. No hate song here, but hope song instead.

The people Laura Marie sing about are Flawed, human and worth saving, a lot of this album seems to be about second chances, quiet redemption and fragile softly glowing futures.

A core song in this set is ‘In Code’ telling us to look beneath/beyond the face, the shrugs, the smiles, it offers up the chance to see beyond the code and catch for ourselves some kind of truth.

Drawn offers this with every word and chord.

An album that reveals and delights more with every listen

http://www.lauramariemusic.com/home.html