Friday, June 19, 2009

16Volt catalog for FREE

I've had a long history with Eric Powell and his venerable industrial/machine rock band 16Volt. While doing my own independent music zine, Godsend, back in the early 90's during the heyday of the Wax Trax! scene, I received a demotape from Nevada with three songs. I was instantly hooked with the strong songwriting, intense electronic programming and brutal aggression, and kept in touch with Eric for a while, giving his demotape an overwhelmingly good review and doing my best to promote it, even doing one of his earliest interviews.

16Volt interview for Godsend, 1991
16Volt followup interview for Godsend, 1999

Not long after that, he signed 16Volt onto fledgeling Re-Constriction Records, the new industrial imprint on Cargo US. From there, Eric released a number of increasingly heavy and precise albums of top-shelf electronic rock. Releases like 'Skin' and the blistering 'LetDownCrush' became influences and favorites of thousands (including some celebrity/musician fans), despite a sad and unjust lack of promotion.

Along the way, 16Volt has enlisted the musical and production assistance of such genre heavyweights like Dave 'Rave' Ogilvie, Keith 'Fluffy' Auerbach, William Tucker, Jared Hendrickson of Chemlab, Charles Levi of Thrill Kill Kult, Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails, Paul Raven of Killing Joke, and many others. However, after some issues with labels and the general industry, Eric decided to leave behind his music. He returned anew in 2007 with the solid 'FullBlackHabit', and he's been recording new material to be released in September (tentative title: 'American Porn Songs'), with a full tour on the horizon, as well.

I, personally, had the chance to finally see the band live back in 1999, as they opened for KMFDM. A brief meeting with Eric was cordial and friendly, and we discussed hanging out after the show a bit, though other factors led to that never quite happening. Regardless, it's great to see one of my favorite genre musicians continuing his progression, making some of the catchiest, most infectious head-snapping sounds around.

Now, for several reasons you can read about on his page, Eric is making most of his deep and amazing back catalogue of music available for FREE download. He's taking donations, but it's not necessary. Read about it here:

16Volt free download info

Suffice to say, if you like stuff like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Rob Zombie, etc., do yourself a favor and have a listen. Thanks for all your music through the years, Eric.

16Volt website

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