As an industrial music fan I’m embarrassed to admit that I was never into Cubanate back in the day. Sure, I dug what they did but for some reason never invested in anything beyond “Oxyacetylene” off the Mortal Kombat soundtrack in the mid ’90’s. Cut to today and I’m scrambling to find a copy of Cyberia because who knew in the digital age that it’d still be hard to legally obtain a copy of an out-of-print classic.
But I digress.
Cubanate main man Marc Heal is back after some cool collaborations in recent years (Looking at you, Raymond Watts!) with his first solo release entitled The Hum. Just like a lot of Heal’s electro contemporaries (Think Chris Connelly and Mr. Watt’s recent <PIG> release in particular), age only makes the music better. And for the enlightened, it’s an evolution of Heal’s sound not a throwback.
Despite the Gary Numan-esque overtones and an almost New Wave air to it, “Tianenmen” has those driving beats and the uncanny Marc Heal snarl at the forefront to start off The Hum right and ease old fans into the new world order. Elsewhere, “Show Homes For Luxury Living” and “Katarina’s House” feature Heal with an almost spoken word/beat poet cadence (Again, think Connelly or David Bowie’s Outside for reference) during the verses while surrounded by a synthetic atmospheric background throughout. The former is sheer mechanical excellence with staccato accents driving the song.
“The Abandoned Junkshop” is peaks and valleys of electronic auras and creativity with subtle synths blanketing Heal’s gruff cries just as “Wounded Dog” delivers an otherworldy and low-key synthetic experience with hushed guitars bringing up the rear. Speaking of guitars, “Model Citizen” brings some razor sharp riffing into the mix and is the closest fans of Cubanate will get to that feel. And if you ever wanted more hand claps in your Cubanate then “Model Citizen” is definitely your jam. “Monoxide” on the other hand is almost a straight up rocker while “Faithful Machinery” closes The Hum focusing on that synthetic ambience once again as Heal’s anguished cries heap gratitude upon the medium.
Not Cubanate 2.0 by any means yet The Hum is an album that securely places Marc Heal as one of the accomplished elder statesman of the industrial/electro scene.The Hum is out through Armalyte Industries on November 11th. Pre-order yours here and whet your appetites with the “Adult Fiction” 7″ out now and available here.