Hello PlanetDamage and welcome back to the site! Last time we discussed your 2020 album “Relapse Protocol”. How did that one fair? Did it receive more or less attention than previous releases? Were you disappointed or pleased with reception?
Planetdamage: Hi Steven, thanks for having me back! "Relapse Protocol" got some great reception both in and outside of the scene. Those personal messages that people sent me about the album being their soundtrack for workout or tabletop RPG sessions left me with the feeling that yeah, the music found its place. So all in all, pleased with reception, learned a lot from the insights I’ve heard, which will all seep into the next material after this remix EP.
Your latest release is “Relapse Protocol: The Remixes”. The first remix on the list is from Aether Pilot. Tell me a little bit about Aether Pilot and why you chose them to be on the album.
Planetdamage: Before telling you about Aether Pilot, I’d love to reveal two things about this release – all remixers were asked to pick the song they most resonated with and that I picked artists who could definitely bring another different facet of cyberpunk to the release, as there are so many different scenarios about our dystopia and I really wanted to have a good variety of those.
So, as for Aether Pilot, he is Claude of Headscan, a band that had and still has a profound impact on me. Aether Pilot is in many ways a sequel to the future scenario painted by Headscan’s “Pattern Recognition” album, sometimes it’s billowing factory smoke, sometimes it’s an army of chittering cleanup drones, in terms of sound sculpting, but always very meticulous – and it feels great that he turned 'Color That Land Red' into an even more tense and teeth-clenched version of this statement about the present.
Spankthenun appears as a remixer for the song ‘Vex’. His electro-industrial music has become quite popular. How did he transform the original version of the track into something new?
Planetdamage: Oh, it’s become a lot more grittier and more 90’s electro-industrial-ish, in terms of mood and sound, reminds me of how old-school Mentallo tracks just go on for long minutes and doesn’t ever get boring, instead it’s like, "Oh, he just hit the hacker soundtrack vibe so surgically let me play 'Uplink' just listening to this."
Mach Fox took on the track Hi Rez Lo Life. He’s also under the electro-industrial belt. What did he bring to ‘Hi Rez Lo Life’?
Planetdamage: A lot of unexpected cuts and changes, it’s an amazing example of the 15 puzzle in industrial music, like, how can you rearrange a track in a way that it’s instantly recognizable but the mood and the arrangement completely warps into something else. It’s gotten quite gritty!
Freeze Etch remixed ‘Firewalls’. This is another project I am unfamiliar with. How did you guys meet? Tell me a little about his remix.
Planetdamage: Yeah there’s a story there alright! I’m a great fan of Brian Graupner’s (of The Gothsicles) show Space Couch and seeing Freeze Etch on the Couch was a great thing, as he was involved with Tympanik Records a few years back, a label whose output I really associated with cyberpunk, started listening to his album "All Context Vanishes", started talking and I was wondering whether he would add his mojo to a remix and he did. I might have mentioned this a couple of times but it definitely is one of the best soundtracks for driving by a lake at 3AM with a very good 90’s / Underworldish vibe.
Coming in with remix number five is The Gothsicles. Perhaps one of the outliers on the album, The Gothsicles blend of 8bit influences and industrial dance music is always fun. How do you feel about his turn on ‘Regret Gunner’?
Planetdamage: Well, when it comes to Brian, you know he’s going to have fun with the track he’s working on and he definitely did. I was laughing through the whole track, I was expecting he’s gonna mangle the track but I didn’t expect he’s gonna show us how drunk military drones are using this as a pub chant.
Stompy EBM band Chrome Corpse took on ‘Freeport’. I felt a rather raw influence from them on the song – but to a good effect. Do you like the live sounding drums on the remix?
Planetdamage: Oh yes, this is very old-school and as I was listening to FLA’s early materials at the time when I first heard the final version, I definitely connected with it. Loved how raw and elemental it sounds, definitely calling it tactical combat EBM. I loved the drums but I also love how much in-your-face it’s become.
Vandalaze is the last remixer on the album. Another project I've never heard before. Gimme a brief introduction to the project and tell me what he did with 'Firewalls'.
Planetdamage: Vandalaze is the neon hotpot of the 80’s and 90’s pop-culture, I can never ever decide properly what I’m hearing when I’m listening to his materials, which is a good sign – sometimes it’s electronic music close to early Skinny Puppy, sometimes there’s elements of funk, sometimes it’s tech-art-pop but he always pushes the boundaries a lot and he did bring a lot of tension and nuanced trickeries to 'Firewalls'. I know he likes to call his style mutoid, so I guess it’s safe to call this mutoid techno.
The last song on the album isn’t a remix at all but an extended edit of ‘Tensor’. What did you hope to accomplish with this track that wasn’t accomplished with the original version?
Planetdamage: Well, ‘Tensor’ was a finished track by the time the album tracks were completed but when I was considering how to set up the track order so that I could mix the tracks together, the best idea seemed to be using the intro pads only. I wanted to release this in its entirety, though, I thought it’s a mood pretty similar to how Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” starts.
What else is in the works for 2021? Do you have any other singles, EPs, remixes, or full lengths in the works?
Planetdamage: There’s going to be a Lovecraft-related collab with Brian of The Gothsicles this year. I do have a few remixes I made for awesome artists that will see the daylight this year and of course there are some new track ideas that I am working on. Sharing all the new bits on Facebook and Instagram about these, so make sure to follow these two feeds!
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time! I wish you the best of luck and leave the space below for you to mention anything else. Cheers!
Planetdamage: No no no, thank you! I’d really love to say thank you to all the remixers who gave very different characters and faces and interpretations to the songs, to all the DJ’s / podcasters sharing these songs and of course the listeners who stomp to these – with Brutal Resonance being the amplifier to these messages! YOU ALL ROCK!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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