Klingons, aliens, androids, Dr. McCoy and Astrogirl – all of them were involved when the universe’s best sci-fi boy band was formed. Star Pilot On Channel K. – most probably better known as S.P.O.C.K – are unique in the scene with their brand of SpacePop. The band, founded by Eddie Bengtsson and Alexander Hofman, found commercial success in 1990 when they released their first single, “Silicon Dreams,” which is now an ultra-collectible fan-community collector’s item. But this should only be the beginning of a ludicrously innovative career.
Shortly thereafter, they participated in a song contest “A Swedish Tribute to Depeche Mode,” several appearances in Sweden, which struck hard in the electro music scene and very quickly across the country’s borders S.P.O.C.K made a cult name for themselves, as well as a new record deal with Energy Records. The first result of this collaboration was the legendary single “Never trust a Klingon”. Many more earworms followed right up until 2001. The live shows of the band are legendary. The Scandinavians also know genius when they hear it – the band has been awarded a SAMA Award (Scandinavian Alternative Music Award) several times, including ‘Best Artist’, ‘Best Live Act’ and ‘Best Album of the Year’.
More than any other band, S.P.O.C.K lives up to its principle of being not just a musical vehicle but an entertainer in the original sense. And fortunately, the Swedes around the remaining founding member Alexander Hofmann, even after 30 years, despite the lack of new releases, do not feel like a farewell tour, because they have too much fun in what they do. So to the future then – Spock`n`roll!
Listen: S.P.O.C.K. @ Spotify
In December 2012 John Linquister (Cat Rapes Dog, Basswood Dollies) and Richard Flow (Vision Talk, Haze For Sale) decided to try out a new fresh project beside their other bands. The first recording was the cover-version of David Bowie´s “Heroes”. The feedback was good from the start and Machinista decided to record more songs.
“Molecules And Carbon” was next in line and followed the same procedure with a video as well. Both magazines and radio-shows within the synth/EBM/alternative-scene started to encourage and the band started to drew attention on social media.
Fast forward to 2016 and Machinista goes into the studio to write songs for their third album “Anthropocene”. Alongside this, the band keeps on playing live as well as participating on tribute albums to bands like Apoptygma Berzerk and Pet Shop Boys.
Machinista bridge the gap between post-punk and modern day electronica, almost like a mix of The Cure and The Killers, but with less pop appeal and on synth-steroids. With giants hooks and ever bigger beats their sound is bright and bold yet also with a darker edge, showing us a grittier punk angle amid the Depeche Mode parallels.
Listen: Machinista @ Spotify
Neonsol came to being in 2009 by a Copenhagen couple, Nina Io and Jesper Io, who both handle songwriting, live vocals and keyboards. They were joined in 2012 by Canadian expat Frédéric Scarfone, who had previously worked with Memmaker and Iszoloscope and is now responsible for production, sound design, arranging and live drums/effects.
Neonsol‘s palette of dreamy synth harmonies, growling basslines and mixed male and female voice has garnered interest among the British and Scandinavian dark electro audience. The group seeks to bring catchy melodies back to the noisier side of the dancefloor. In late 2013 the Manchester label AnalogueTrash Records signed Neonsol, and a year later the trio released first a digital single, Citadel, which reached number 15 on the German Electronic Web Charts, followed shortly after by their 2014 debut album, Ecliptic, which was warmly welcomed by reviewers and entered the playlists of several radio stations. In 2017, the 4-track EP Another Day was released, and a new album scheduled for release in 2019 is currently in the making. In addition to the material released on AnalogueTrash, Neonsol have also contributed with tracks to a long range of different compilation releases.
Since 2010, Neonsol have been expanding their horizons and making appearances outside Denmark, setting crowds in motion at shows and festivals the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.
Listen: Neonsol @ Spotify
Hatari is an Icelandic multimedia performance project that unveils the relentless scam that is everyday life. The project has been awarded ‘Best Live Band’ by Reykjavik Grapevine for two consecutive years, with the panel stating that “their brutality is only matched by their mystery”.
Hatari took the Icelandic scene by storm after Iceland Airwaves 2016, drawing attention not only to their music but to their explosive live performance, where the likes of The Guardian decreed “You don’t know whether to laugh or alert the authorities.” Consequence of Sound defined Hatari as “part David Lynch nightmare, part goth dress-up party and part industrial love letter… a sight to behold”. Hatari deliver an unrivalled blast of bondage pop, techno punk and industrial goth.
Listen: Hatari @ Spotify