The industrial techno-rock duo Cubanate have announced the release of their first new music in over two decades in the form of an EP entitled “Kolossus”. It follows their “Brutalism” retrospective collection in 2017 and a brief return to live action for the first time since the late 1990’s to promote it.
The new EP (available here on MCD) contains five new songs plus remixes of the title track by Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly, Delerium, Conjure One) and DROWND. Out on 7th June, it will be previewed at a co-headlining London date with PIG on 1st, plus an appearance at the Wave Gotik Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany. Orders are available here, but be fast!
Working with an ocean inbetween
Marc Heal and guitarist Phil Barry had started thinking about writing new material after the positive reaction to their initial comeback shows, but as they live on separate continents these days (Heal is currently based in San Francisco while Barry is in Cambridgeshire) it wasn’t all that easy.
Marc Heal: “I set up a vocal booth in Palo Alto and sketched out the ideas. Phil took them forwards in Cambridge and added guitar. Once I heard that I added some more vocals and tweaked the structure before he then finished the mixes. We’re pleased with the results but I feel we will get stronger now we’ve done these five tracks. It’s a psychological barrier. The EP still sounds like us but inevitably we’re older and hopefully wiser. The wisdom thing is tricky, because a lot of early Cubanate was about relishing a ride towards self-destruction. It’s still like that, but smarter. These days we’re more confident that we can do whatever we want, both musically and lyrically. So long as it keeps being fun and we think we can keep being nasty, we’ll keep doing it.”
Here’s the track “Missing Persons” which is featured on the EP.
The early beginning, the split and resurrection
Formed in the summer of 1992 as a four piece centred around Marc Heal (vocals) and Phil Barry (guitar), their early sound fused the rhythms of the then nascent techno scene with the lo-fi grunge rock sound emanating from the US. Although the band later became adopted by Goth audiences, early Cubanate was more influenced by Joey Beltram, Baby Ford and Nirvana.
Following a UK tour with electronic duo Sheep on Drugs, they signed to the Berlin based Dynamica label and released their debut album, “Antimatter” (1993), which included the single “Body Burn”. The second Cubanate album, “Cyberia” (1995), featured the single “Oxyacetylene”. The band’s third album, “Barbarossa” (1996) contained the single “Joy” and was promoted with live dates supporting Gary Numan, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy and Front 242. Heal struck up a friendship at this time with Jean-Luc De Meyer of Front 242 and the pair subsequently released two albums as C-Tec.
In 1997, seeking a change of label and direction, Cubanate signed to Wax Trax! for what was to be their final album to date, “Interference” (1998). Splitting in 2000 but reforming in September 2016 for a set at the Cold Waves Festival in Chicago, they subsequently played several UK and North American dates in 2017 to promote a retrospective compilation entitled “Brutalism”.
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