Category Archives: downloads

AIDAN BAKER tour dates and new release information

Hot on the heels of the release of his encompassing The Spectrum of Distraction 2xCD+digital release on Robotic Empire, Berlin-via-Montreal’s AIDAN BAKER will further fill the pages in his passport! Here are the latest tour dates from easily the most prolific artist we’ve ever worked with:

28-01-12: Shibuya O-Nest, Tokyo, JP
29-01-12: Unagidani Sunsui, Osaka, JP
01-02-12: Club Quatro, Hiroshima, JP
02-02-12: Voodoo Lounge, Fukuoka, JP
03-02-12: Wakayama, Rub Luck Cafe, JP
05-02-12: Soup, Tokyo, JP

15-02-12: West Germany, Berlin, DE
16-02-12: Astrostube, Hamburg, DE
17-02-12: Christuskirke, Bochum, DE
18-02-12: (H)ear, Heerlen, NL
19-02-12: DB’s, Utrecht, NL
20-02-12: Waggon, Offenbach, DE
21-02-12: Komma, Esslingen, DE
23-02-12: L’inventaire, Le Mans, FR
24-02-12: L’espace B, Paris, FR
25-02-12: Le Plané Ari Home, Wanquetin, FR

Baker is touring in support of January’s The Spectrum of Distraction 2xCD+digital release, on which he collaborated with 17 other percussionists to create a whopping 96 (!) tracks, intentionally established to be played on “shuffle”. Contributing drummers include current and former members of SWANS, THE JESUS LIZARD, SLOWDIVE, KILLING JOKE, JESU, GODFLESH, LOCRIAN and many more.

The Spectrum of Distraction 2xCD is physically available now from Robotic Empire, and digitally via pre-orders from iTunes, Amazon and others for the official January 17th street date.

AIDAN BAKER’s new 2xCD set for January 17th release, first preview tracks posted

Berlin-via-Montreal transplant AIDAN BAKER (one 1/2 of prolific duo NADJA) has set his latest double album, “The Spectrum of Distraction”, for a January 17th release date. Robotic Empire will be releasing the album worldwide as a 2xCD and expanded digital download.

Designed to be intentionally played at random, “The Spectrum of Distraction” is 96 tracks spanning a vast array of genres, creating a completely unique yet rewarding listen each time. Baker solicited drum tracks from 18 different drummers (including current and former members of SWANS, THE JESUS LIZARD, SLOWDIVE, KILLING JOKE, GODFLESH, JESU and more) which he then crafted instrumental work atop of.

In regards to constructing the album, Baker said,
“Originally I was going to stick pretty strictly to Zappa’s ‘xenochrony’ idea of randomly putting pieces of instruments together, so that the drums, bass, and guitar would be recorded separately and then pieced together to see what came out. In the end, because of some different times and textures, instead of taking individual drum loops, I just used the entire track and recorded to everything I got.”

Six hours of material was the result, of which Baker then pieced down to two hours across the pair of discs. Thematically complimented by a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style layout, an extended session of the full recordings is also included as an digital download card.

With organizing the playback of the release, Baker had the following to say:
“I structured it so that it would be a different listen every time… A couple of people that I sent it to … let it shuffle between the two separate discs and not just the one disc. That’s yet another possibility… They can listen to it as sequenced if they want, too. I set it up to have some kind of flow that way, but it’s up to the listener, really. “

A handful of preview tracks are surfacing now, with the first to accompany a a lengthy Pitchfork Media feature on Aidan Baker, “The Spectrum of Distraction” and other collaborations:

Further tracks posted from “The Spectrum of Distraction” will be announced soon, and pre-orders for the 2xCD +digital download of the physical release are now available through Robotic Empire and their distributor Revolver:

New releases from PG.99 and THOU + shirt and vinyl sales, new items and more!!

Sometimes it can be difficult to write about dudes you’ve spent important formative years with, witnessing them grow from teenage punx into skilled musicians and incredible songwriters. Our longtime brothers from Sterling, Virginia are just that though… so with a nostalgic heart we present the latest Robotic Empire update.

PG.99 is the first band we ever did a release with, back in the very beginning Robodog days at the end of the last century. Its pretty crazy that over 12 years later, here we are again still talking about the same band… but they seemed incredible to us back then and still remain so today. From their first demo material to the final recordings five years later, it was amazing to watch this band evolve into the formidable force they became. Its appropriate then that Robotic Empire presents the long-overdue vinyl issuing of PAGENINETYNINE‘s Singles collection album.

Eighteen tracks spanning their existence have been pressed into one stellar LP. Originally released on CD by (the now-defunct?) Reptilian Records, this collection compiles PG.99‘s widespread non-album material. It includes the stuff from their splits with CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE, CITY OF CATERPILLAR, ENEMY SOIL, PROCESS IS DEAD and REACTOR NO. 7 along with other short-run compilation, EP and demo tracks.

Most PAGENINETYNINE fans have a favorite album, but in some ways Singles may be a better overall representation of the band. Each of their three full-lengths (and split longplayer with MAJORITY RULE) are excellent individual documents in their progression, but Singles manages to show it all: their humble beginnings to furious midpoint and experimental end. From the original demo tape to final split EP release, the wild ride of PG.99‘s various creations are clearly displayed on Singles, showing a band that evolved more in their prolific five years than one could really deem reasonable.

Finely mastered by James Plotkin for a much warmer and fuller sound not heard on the original releases, this 12″ has been packaged in a printed innersleeve (with an excellent eulogy by JR Hayes of PIG DESTROYER) and a silk-screened fold-over cover (printed by Broken Press, ala document #8click here for a bigger version of the above photospread). 1000 copies have been pressed: 200 on green, 200 on blue and 600 on black vinyl.

PG.99 – Singles by Robotic Empire

** THIS IS TECHNICALLY A PRE-ORDER as it officially has an August 2nd “street date”, although we’ve been given the go-ahead to start shipping out pre-orders within a week or two from now. However, everything for this release is now finished and in house already.. so you can order this NOW in the Robotic Empire – Online Store and we will ship out all orders as promptly as possible! **

Closely related is the latest pressing of PG.99‘s landmark document #8 album. Considered by many to be their definitive album, its easily the one with the most vision. Originally recorded throughout one hectic weekend in the winter of 2001, document #8 was re-mixed a few years later by band members and engineer Kurt Ballou. Since this recording those guys have forged a relationship that continues throughout each PYGMY LUSH recording (also accomplished at Kurt’s Godcity studios) and the results speak for themselves. Blistering songs dripping with spirit and passion, document #8 is arguably PG.99‘s magnum opus. Also housed in a silkscreen jacket, this one comes with a large 16-page booklet of lyrics/artwork/photos/etc (click here for a bigger version of the above photospread). 1000 more copies of this LP have been pressed: 200 on red, 200 on white and 600 on black vinyl.

Both of these releases are timed to correspond with PAGENINETYNINE‘s reunion at this year’s Best Friends Day festival in Richmond, Virginia. Friday, August 19th will see them play alongside CONVERGE, STRIKE ANYWHERE, CAPSULE and more at the Canal Club in RVA. Their plan is to perform the document #8 album in full, along with other material spanning their history. Its definitely not something to miss, as PG.99 hasn’t played live in over eight years. More information on the (massively fun) Best Friends Day event can be found here:

In a new addition to the Best Friends Day performance, PAGENINETYNINE will also play a bit closer to home at the Black Cat in Washington, DC the following weekend on Saturday, August 27th. Appropriately, THOU will be opening up that show… PG.99 + THOU for $10 = pretty hard to beat! More info on that over at the Black Cat website.

Both of those LPs, along with some celebratory-discounted PG.99 t-shirts (and the many members’ other bands’ records) can be found in the Robotic Empire – Online Store.

Punk Rock In The Wrong Hands by PG.99

Related in core fundamentals is a lengthy new release from Louisiana’s THOU. Longtime friends of the aforementioned Virginians, THOU is cut from a very similar cloth wherein a DIY mentality is the backbone to extreme(ly) heavy music. The sonic results may vary from PG.99, but THOU‘s rock-solid work ethic, relentless touring and absurdly prolific release schedule now rivals (and possibly exceeds) their Sterling, VA contemporaries. Its also been a great pleasure to work with these maniacs in the past, thus we’re honored to present their new 12″ to you today.

Recorded throughout the turn of the decade, THOU deliver another potent 40 minutes of triumphant doom-laden sludge fury on The Archer & The Owle. Atypical heavyness to say the least, the ultra-crushing sound THOU has become known for is subtly enhanced by unique elements ala piano, atmospheric noise, horns, double bass and several re-envisioned cover songs for keen ears to decipher. Along with otherwise unreleased Summit-era material, this lengthy “megaEP” also (appropriately) contains THOU‘s original half of the now postponed co-release with PYGMY LUSH, oddly inspiring the band to then cover two tracks by their collaborators’ latest work.

Its all spice added to the overall stunning effect of a truly visionary band; intelligent commentary atop six massive tracks of absolutely bludgeoning music. Presented on color vinyl housed in a beautiful spot-glossed “tip-on” classic style heavyweight gatefold LP jacket, this is yet another brick in THOU‘s ever-strengthening wall of spite and menace. All mailorder copies of The Archer & The Owle vinyl include a canvas patch exclusive to the label and band copies. 2000 copies of this “megaEP” have been pressed: 500 on opaque gray (mailorder/band only) and 1500 on translucent clear. This and much of THOU‘s vast back-catalog (plus a few t-shirt designs) can be found now in the Robotic Empire – Online Store.

Voices in the Wilderness by THOU

** As above with PG.99‘s Singles 12″, THIS IS TECHNICALLY A PRE-ORDER as it officially has an August 2nd “street date”, although we’ve been given the go-ahead to start shipping out pre-orders within a week or two from now. However, everything for this release is en route to us… so you can order this NOW in the Robotic Empire – Online Store and we will ship out all orders as promptly as possible! **

In addition to the vinyl version of this behemoth, we’ve teamed up with our brothers at Sweat Lodge Guru (who are also responsible for the awesome OMGvinyl) to unleash the cassette version of this “megaEP”.

300 copies of the pro-tape version have been made, which comes in an unreal two-color letterpress double-sided, mulit-panel j-card (click here for a bigger version of the above photospread). Pretty darn impressive for 6 bucks, this is available NOW in the Robotic Empire – Online Store as well as from Sweat Lodge Guru.

In addition to these new releases (and re-press) we’ve got a fairly significant RoboSale going on at the moment. Hot on the heels of our insane “fire sale” discounts throughout May and June, we’re now offering a slew of Robotic Empire released vinyl and t-shirts at some stupid discounts… only until the end of July though. The vinyl is a widespread slew of Robo (and related) releases, and the shirts are mostly discounted in related celebration of PG.99‘s burst of activity! Here’s the list:

VINYL: (this sale applies to all colors we have in stock)
* Cannabis Corpse – Tube Of The Resinated 12″ = $9.99
* Capsule – Blue 12+CD = $8.99
* Employer, Employee – Discography 12″ = $9.99
* Floor – Below & Beyond (Deluxe 10xLP, 1×7″, 8xCD, 32-page booklet) = $239.99
* Ghastly City Sleep – Self-Titled 12″ = $7.99
* Gods & Queens – Untitled (debut) 12″+CD = $11.99
* Inter Arma – Sundown 12″ (Mirror Universe release) = $7.99
* Isis – Oceanic 2xLP (vinyl+printed sleeves only, no gatefold jacket) = $9.99
* Pygmy Lush – Bitter River 12″ = $8.99
* Red Sparowes – At The Soundless Dawn 2×12″ = $15.99
* Red Sparowes – Every Red Heart… 2×12″ = $15.99
* Ultra Dolphins – Mar 12″ = $7.99
* Ultra Dolphins – Why Are You Laugh 12″ = $7.99
* Verse En Coma – Self-Titled 10″+CD = $9.99
* Young Widows – Live 12″ (180g) = $9.99

T-SHIRTS: (this sale applies to all sizes we have in stock)
* Pageninetynine – Cow = $9.99
* Pageninetynine – Family = $9.99
* Pageninetynine – Girl With Heart = $11.99
* Pageninetynine – Goth Girl = $9.99
* Pageninetynine – Owl = $11.99
* Pygmy Lush – Man on the Moon = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush – Donkey = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush – Cold World = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush – Mount Hope (black) = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush – Mount Hope (white) = $10.99

All of the above discounted stuff can be found now in the Robotic Empire – Online Store. This is all in an effort to clear some space, as along with the new releases above we also recently re-pressed some essential TORCHE albums (highlighted in the last update). What this all amounts to is a real premium for space at the lil’ ol’ RoboHQ so thus, the sales continue. However, this is likely to be our last large-scale discounting for a while, but nonetheless there’s some good deals to be had. Along with the above items, over 275+ others have various sales attached to them as well.

Beyond all the new Robo label activity, we’ve actually gotten in very few new stuff/restocks lately (for a change), only a couple items really… so we’re posting those along with the last update’s stuff.

NEW ITEMS: (from this update)
* Obliteration – Nekropsalms 12″ (Forcefield) – $9.99
* Pageninetynine – Singles – BLACK VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Pageninetynine – Singles – BLUE COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Pageninetynine – Singles – GREEN COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Thou – The Archer & The Owle – GREY COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $14.99
* Thou – The Archer & The Owle – RED COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $14.99
* Thou – The Archer & The Owle Cassette (Robotic Empire / Sweat Lodge Guru) – $5.99
* Thou / Moloch – Tears That Soak A Callous Heart Cassette (Perpetual Motion Machine) – $4.99

RESTOCKS: (from this update)
* Cannabis Corpse – Blunted At Birth CD (Forcefield) – $9.99
* Cannabis Corpse – Tube of the Resinated CD (Forcefield) – $9.99
* Cough – Sigillum Luciferi CD (Forcefield) – $9.99
* Cough / The Wounded Kings – An Introduction To The Black Arts 12″ VINYL (Forcefield) – $9.99
* Pageninetynine – Document #8 – BLACK VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Pageninetynine – Document #8 – RED COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Pageninetynine – Document #8 – WHITE COLORED VINYL 12″(Robotic Empire) – $11.99

NEW ITEMS: (from last update)
* Annihilation Time – II – BLUE COLORED VINYL 12″+7″ (Tank Crimes) – $11.99
* ANS / Ramming Speed – Split 12″ (Tank Crimes) – $9.99
* Austrasian Goat, The / Hollow Sunshine – Split 12″ (Vendetta) – $14.99
* Big Eyes – Self-Titled Cassette (Tank Crimes) – $4.99
* Black Tusk – The Fallen Kingdom – BLACK VINYL 12″ (Hyperrealist) – $14.99
* Black Tusk – The Fallen Kingdom – YELLOW COLORED VINYL 12″ (Hyperrealist) – $14.99
* Capsule – No Ghost – GREY COLORED VINYL 12″ (Rorschach) – $12.99
* Church Of Misery – Volume 1 12″+7″ (Emetic) – $19.99
* Danse Macabre – Einerseits Andererseits 10″ (React With Protest) – $9.99
* Dead To A Dying World – Self-Titled – GREEN COLORED VINYL 2×12″ (Tofu Carnage) – $26.99
* Dolcim – We Carry The Fire 12″ (React With Protest) – $10.99
* Electro Quarterstaff – Aykroyd 12″ (War On Music) – $11.99
* Eyehategod – Dopesick – BLACK COVER VERSION VINYL 2×12″ (Emetic) – $19.99
* Eyehategod – Dopesick – WHITE COVER VERSION VINYL 2×12″ (Emetic) – $19.99
* Eyehategod – In The Name Of Suffering 2×12″ (Emetic) – $19.99
* Eyehategod – Take As Needed For Pain 2×12″ (Emetic) – $19.99
* Fell Voices – Untitled 12″ (Gilead Media) – $13.99
* Fleshpress – Rebuild / Crumble 12″ (Throne) – $14.99
* Fleshpress – No Return 12″ (Throne) – $14.99
* For Want Of – Self-Titled 7″ (Resuscitate) – $4.99
* Gehenna – Malice – RED ORANGE COLORED VINYL 3×12″ (Dark Symphonies) – $54.99
* Her Breath On Glass – We Aimed Straight Down – RED BLACK COLORED VINYL 12″ (IFB) – $9.99
* Kicking Spit – Psychrockbullsh!t – WHITE COLORED VINYL 12″ (Tank Crimes) – $9.99
* Ludicra – The Tenant 2×12″ (Throne) – $29.99
* Pygmy Lush – Old Friends – BLACK IMPORT VINYL 12″ (Adagio830) – $14.99
* Pygmy Lush – Old Friends – RED COLORED IMPORT VINYL 12″ (Adagio830) – $14.99
* Resurrectionists / Battle Of Wolf 359 – Split 10″ (React With Protest) – $10.99
* Suma / Unearthly Trance – Collaboration 12″ (Throne) – $19.99
* Torche – Self-Titled Reissue – RASTA COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $14.99
* Torche – Meanderthal – CUBAN FLAG COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Torche – Meanderthal – ORANGE BLOB COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Torche – Meanderthal – TAINTED SILVER COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Torche – Meanderthal – YOLK COLORED VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $11.99
* Velnias – Sovereign Nocturnal 12″ (Vendetta) – $9.99

RESTOCKS: (from last update)
* Arktika – At Zero 2×12″ – COLORED VINYL (Narsharda) – $19.99
* Arktika – Heartwrencher 12″ – GREEN SPLATTER COLORED VINYL (Narshardaa) – $12.99
* Cannabis Corpse – The Weeding 12″ – ORANGEL COLORED VINYL (Tank Crimes) – $9.99
* Comadre – Wolf Ticket 12″ (Adagio 830) – $14.99
* Electric Wizard – Dopethrone T-Shirt – Size: EXTRA LARGE (Eat Death) – $11.99
* Electric Wizard – Dopethrone T-Shirt – Size: LARGE (Eat Death) – $11.99
* Electric Wizard – Dopethrone T-Shirt – Size: MEDIUM (Eat Death) – $11.99
* Electric Wizard – Dopethrone T-Shirt – Size: SMALL (Eat Death) – $11.99
* Giants – Old Stories 12″ – SPLATTER COLORED VINYL (Cavity) – $9.99
* Mewithoutyou – AB Life 12″ – BROWN COLORED VINYL (Gilead) – $14.99
* Mewithoutyou – Catch For Us the Foxes 12″ – RED COLORED VINYL (Gilead) – $14.99
* Omega Massif / Mount Logan – Split 12″ – CLOUD GREY VINYL (Vendetta) – $10.99
* Salome – Self-Titled 12″ (Vendetta) – $12.99
* Stirling Says – Balboa 12″ (Adagio) – $9.99
* Thou / Human Intruder – Split 7″ (Dead Earth) – $5.99
* Titan – Colossus 12″ (React With Protest) – $12.99
* Torche – Meanderthal – [DELUXE JACKET] BLACK VINYL 12″ (Robotic Empire) – $19.99

WOW. Yeah, if we haven’t been busy enough lately… lets keep the crazy going! Please hit up the Robotic Empire – Online Store and pick something up if you can. We’ve gone kinda nutzo on vinyl lately and could use some help getting it outta here. Big ups!

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New FREE Robotic Empire sampler (some exclusive/unreleased stuff/etc)

Its been a long time since we did one of these (4 years, in fact) and while we’ve intentionally dropped the ball on promotion a bit over the past few years, thankfully we are still able to deliver almost an hour of weird new music for all you freaks, absolutely FREE.

No, we haven’t gone “crunk core” (thank jah), we are just so psyched to see LIL JON rocking a new THOU shirt that we had to make an ode to him with this free sampler.

18 tracks, 52 minutes, 101 megabytes for your cranium to comprehend. Free (of course), cause we love you (of course). Lots of choice cuts, plus some unreleased and/or exclusive new jammers, if you’re into that sorta thing. Check that shit, SON:

* Download Robotic Empire + Mirror Universe – Free Sampler 2k10 via MediaFire
* Download Robotic Empire + Mirror Universe – Free Sampler 2k10 via RapidShare
* Download Robotic Empire + Mirror Universe – Free Sampler 2k10 via SendSpace

The tracklist includes:
1.) BAD SECRETS – Go and Leave
2.) NEON BASTARD – Steven Tyler
3.) FLOOR – Downed Star
4.) VANESSA VAN BASTEN – Fuck the Best, Take the Rest (teaser)
5.) TIDELAND – Braindead on the Interstate
6.) YOUNG WIDOWS – Lucky and Hardheaded (live)
7.) CAPSULE – Just Three Lines
8.) DIAL – Sweating
9.) HEWHOCORRUPTS – Sell em All (MIDI)
10.) THOU – By Every Hand Betrayed
11.) BATTLEMASTER – Death is a Warm Cube
12.) MEDUSA – Mediatrix
13.) EMPLOYER, EMPLOYEE – Nil or the Nile
14.) FLOOR – On the Money
15.) ENEMY SOIL – My Religion
16.) INTER ARMA – 2000 Years
17.) TIDELAND – Crash
18.) VANESSA VAN BASTEN – Domio ’95

There is a whole lot more details about each song and all that good stuff over at the Robotic Obscurities blog, or just use the download links above if you don’t care about what Robo catalog number this bullshit is from. Word.


Robotic Empire to release ACROSS TUNDRAS new album, free downloads posted

Robotic Empire is excited to announce the upcoming release of ACROSS TUNDRAS‘ forthcoming full-length, Old World Wanderer. Recently relocated from Denver, Colorado to Nashville, Tennessee ACROSS TUNDRAS have realized a long-evolving sound that merges elements of doom and drone with psychedelic rock, folk and traditional Americana. This unique sound brings an interesting country twang to heavy music, conjuring images of the strange waters between EARTH, NEIL YOUNG, BLACK SABBATH, WOODY GUTHRIE and NEUROSIS.

Over nearly 6 years as a band (and as many CD releases), ACROSS TUNDRAS have come a long way from their sludgy roots. However, even 2005’s debut release, the Divides EP (Feeling Faint), hinted at more than just burly metal, with melody and atmosphere being equally important as the emphasis of heavyness. These humble beginnings of a new sound were considerably expanded upon over 2006’s Dark Songs of the Prairie (Crucial Blast), 2007’s self-released Full Moon Blizzard EP, and a prolific year in 2008 with both Western Sky Ride (Saw Her Ghost) and Lonesome Wails From The Weeping Willow (Forgotten Empire).

2009 has seen ACROSS TUNDRAS self-release yet another recording, Herds of the Fathomless Valleys, a collection of new demos, one cover song, some exclusive material and three old classics recorded live at their first and only appearance on the Grand Ol’ Opry, prior to being banned for refusing to “turn the hell down”! This DIY release paints an accurate picture of the vibe ACROSS TUNDRAS conveys, and is now available in its entirety for free download here:

Nine songs spanning their existence can also be streamed at the band’s myspace page:

The Herds of the Fathomless Valleys collection and ACROSS TUNDRAS catalog titles are also available for purchase directly through the band, or through Robotic Empire:

An early 2010 release is planned for Old World Wander, and more details about the album will be announced upon its completion. In the meantime, ACROSS TUNDRAS is hitting the road in November, playing live some new material from “Old World Wander”:

10/30 Memphis, TN @ The Buccaneer – w/ Atlas Moth, Dark Castle
11/07 Atlanta, GA @ Lenny’s – w/ Atlas Moth, Dark Castle
11/22 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter – w/ Souvenirs Young America, Windhand
11/23 Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar – w/ Admiral Browning, Akris, Seventh Gate
11/24 Washington DC @ Velvet Lounge – w/ Admiral Browning, Akris, Ambition Burning
11/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Millcreek Tavern – w/ Sea of Bones, Monolith, Bubonic Bear
11/27 New York, NY @ Union Pool – w/ Sea of Bones, Gwynnbleid
11/28 New Haven, CT @ Rudy’s – w/ Sea of Bones
11/30 Columbus, OH @ Ruby’s
12/01 Dayton, OH @ Dayton Dirt Collective

If you can help out on the 29th please send an email to

Robotic Empire’s first digital-only releases (CAPSULE, ENEMY SOIL, VANESSA VAN BASTEN)

The whole music industry’s changing fast, and the wiseman says “adapt or die”, right? Well, I guess that’s sunk in a bit here at Robotic Empire and we’ve decided to try out the whole “digital-only” release thing. Although we’re cheating a bit, since these releases already exist(ed) in one physical form or another. We’re pretty psyched regardless, as this is a relatively simple way to work with some choice bands (and hopefully lead up to future collaborations too).

capsule - Tape + Demo + Tour
CAPSULE: We already released their debut album Blue, and this digital-only (for now) release titled Tape + Demo + Tour compiles the ten songs from the cassette tape we made for them a few years ago (which contained their demo and 7″ material), plus three rare tracks from a tour-only EP the band self-released. Here’s our more “formal” description of the collection:

Miami, Florida’s CAPSULE are a pummeling trio and this 13-track compilation collects all of their released material prior to their debut album, Blue. Originally released across a limited cassette, 7″ vinyl record and a tour-only CD-R, these songs show the excellent progression from CAPSULE‘s demo up to their debut album. Mathematically intense hardcore/punk/grind with stop-start precision and a confusing conglomeration of crashing percussion, squealing guitarwork and a myriad of buried, blurry vocal shouts. An intense ride, and a great collection of CAPSULE‘s initial works.

* A newly-posted preview track from this digital-only release can now be found on their myspace page
* A recent video montage of CAPSULE‘s journey to “The Fest 7” can also be viewed here

Enemy Soil - Smashes the State! - R.I.P. 1991-1998
ENEMY SOIL: This is the band that got me into metal. Most people have an older brother or cool friend or something that gets them into subversive music, but my first introduction to anything remotely heavy (outside of punk) was seeing ENEMY SOIL live in a basement in Sterling, Virginia. Needless to say it was a life changing event, and so it’s sort of an honor to finally work with Richard “The Grindfather” Johnson after all these years. For those unfamiliar with the band, here’s a more cohesive description:

ENEMY SOIL was a long-running, grinding monster who’s members eventually went on to form or join PIG DESTROYER, AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED, DRUGS OF FAITH, PG.99, CITY OF CATERPILLAR, FRODUS, BATTLETORN and many, many more. The epitome of “underground”, this massive collection is their swansong to blistering grindcore, with everything they ever recorded and/or released (except for one a 7″ on Relapse). From their humble (yet crucial) drum-machine origins, to the behemoth of a full-band they would eventually become… the sheer variety (and quantity) of punk, metal, grind, industrial and more collected here is downright impressive. With 72 tracks over nearly two hours, this is an epic homage to the mighty ENEMY SOIL!

* A recently-posted preview track from this release can now be found on our myspace page
* Further samples of archive tracks can be found here (a variety) and here (super old stuff)

VANESSA VAN BASTEN: An Italian band we’ve been super into ever since hearing their La Stanza Di Swedenborg album a few years ago. There’s so many “heavy post-rock” bands out there that it’d almost be easy for VVB to get lost in the shuffle… but (to us at least) their quality of material really sets them apart from the pack. Channeling more from Justin K. Broadrick’s classic work than the realms typically trodden, VANESSA VAN BASTEN are a hypnotic beast… which is incredible considering the majority of their songs are constructed as just a duo! These digital-download releases of their three CDs will be our first time working with VANESSA VAN BASTEN and we’re most excited to present their catalog to world digitally.

Vanessa Van Basten
The debut from VANESSA VAN BASTEN, the duo that utilizes guests and contributors from the alternative and extreme Italian underground. This is how they describe themselves: “We make slow, heavy, metaphysic instrumental music. Our influences are the cosmic psychedelia, industrial rock like SWANS or GODFLESH, Neurot & Hydrahead catalogue.” Basically, they take a lot of elements from a lot of great bands and re-work the styles into a captivating new whole. This is their humble debut, a powerful indication of their potential and the great things to come!

Vanessa Van Basten
Incredible Italian duo VANESSA VAN BASTEN walk in the same footsteps as JESU, ISIS, NEUROSIS and PELICAN without totally jocking their styles. Very anthemic but not cliché, these guys would easily be a household name here if they were only FROM here. Seriously though, this stuff is intense! La Stanza Di Swedenborg is their stunning first full-length release, with eight tracks total.

Vanessa Van Basten
Two years after the critically acclaimed La Stanza di Swedenborg, VANESSA VAN BASTEN returns with two brand new epic tracks combined on this beautiful EP, which was written by all band members. This heavy Italian postrock ensemble does not constrict itself to the laws of some Great Postrock Bible. Instead it blends in psychedelia, ambient influences, metal and shoegaze to result in a unique musical experience. Dreamlike and cinematographic sounds collide with heavy and dark sonic assaults: the music is incredibly crafted and reveals more of its intrinsic beauty every time it is being played. VANESSA VAN BASTEN has kept their DIY attitude as the tracks were recorded in the rehearsal room and at home with the aid of a technician and feature the same human drummer that toured with the band in the past (no more computer drums this time). Incredible and intense material from one of Europe’s best underground bands.

* Audio samples from each release can be found on VANESSA VAN BASTEN‘s myspace page

This would probably be a good time to mention that our most recent physical releases are also available digitally, including the A STORM OF LIGHT / NADJA Primitive North split, BATTLE OF MICE / JESU Split, GODS & QUEENS untitled debut album, VERSE EN COMA Rialto EP and almost everything else in our catalog of releases. These and much more can be found on iTunes, emusic,, etc, etc, etc.

* A STORM OF LIGHT / NADJA Primitive North split on A Storm of Light - Primitive North
* BATTLE OF MICE / JESU Split on Jesu - Split - EP
* GODS & QUEENS untitled on Gods and Queens - Untitled
* VERSE EN COMA Rialto on Verse En Coma - Rialto - EP

For those out there who actually do pay for digital download releases, we salute you. You are directly supporting the musicians and record labels that completely depend on the independent music community to get by. We realize that in this current age of instant-everything, it’s pretty easy for people to justify NOT paying for downloadable music. All that does though is take away from people sacrificing comfortable lives to give time, hard work and money… just to create an album. Please don’t take that for granted. Thank you!

ROBOTIC OBSCURITIES launched – rare/unreleased/demo/live MP3s, videos, etc!

After being a record label for nearly 10 years, Robotic Empire has accumulated a lot of obscure, rare, demo, live and/or otherwise unreleased or hard-to-find audio. This mostly pertains to the bands and artists we’ve worked with over the years, and now we’ve set up a site to share some of these rarities with everyone, free of charge.

ROBOTIC OBSCURITIES is what we’re calling it; a blog with detailed postings surrounding some of the projects we’ve been a part of over the years. You can check it out here:

To kick this off right, a decent amount of stuff has been posted to start, and this is what’s up so far:

* PIG DESTROYER – full live set video from 1999, and other old clips (including one of TREBLINKA, the pre-PxDx band who only played one show)
* VERSOMA – Life During Wartime demos
* GODS & QUEENS – two non-album tracks
* GARUDA – Cold Wired Sentiment (OOP CDep from the band who opened up our “Mutation” CD comp)
* HISSING CHOIR – first show audio (3 live songs) +bonus stuff

Although this will probably be updated slowly, there’s lots of additional material on the horizon. I’ve also tried to give as much background info behind the material posted as I can recall, to keep the archiving of this stuff as informative as possible.