Vancouver, British Columbia, |
|Years active||1994 – present|
Flesh Eating Ants Records
Genesis P. Orridge
Dead Voices On Air
Download is a Canadian electronic music group formed by Dwayne Goettel and cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy in 1994. The initial lineup also included Off & Gone's Phil Western and Mark Spybey of Dead Voices on Air, but has since been particularly fluid, with Key and Western being the only constant members following Goettel's death. Download's music has been described as post-industrial, drawing from the band's genesis as part of Skinny Puppy but also sharing common stylistic ground with such artists as Aphex Twin and Autechre. The primary instrumentation common throughout their albums is a blend of synthesizers and sampled instruments; the music is particularly centered on elements of percussion and rhythm.
Other artists that have been involved are Genesis P. Orridge, Anthony Valcic, Bill Van Rooy, and Ken Marshall. Earlier releases frequently included vocal elements and lyrics, but since III (and Mark Spybey's departure in 1996) their work has been strictly instrumental.
Furnace and Microscopic
In the first era of Download's career, the band's sound was an Experimental Industrial style which featured vocals by Mark Spybey and guest vocals by Genesis P. Orridge. Their first LP, Furnace, was arguably their least accessible—most of the tracks lasted for over four minutes, some lasting as long as nine minutes. Their next release, the Microscopic EP continued this style. It featured three remixes of tracks from Furnace (only one of which was remixed by the band itself, the other two were remixed by Biosphere and Newt), along with five original tracks.
Charlie's Family was another experimental industrial LP by Download, except this LP was a soundtrack to the movie of the same name, and it had significantly different sound than the previous two releases. Instead of the beat-oriented music that dominated Furnace and Microscopic, this LP's music was mostly dominated by a simple beat along with many samples of anything from women orgasming to airplanes taking off.
The Eyes of Stanley Pain and Sidewinder
What could be considered Download's third era to one fan could be considered a revisit to their first style by the next. The Eyes of Stanley Pain is arguably Download's most diverse-sounding and accessible industrial album. It spanned 14 tracks, most of which were about four or five minutes long. The only exceptions were the tracks "Glassblower" and "Collision", which were 3:02 and 10:38, respectively. Later that year, the EP Sidewinder was released by the band. In the same vein as their first EP--Microscopic—it contained eight tracks, except four were remixes. Three were remixes by Download of songs from The Eyes of Stanley Pain, and one was a remix of the song "Attalal" from Furnace by the band Haujobb (although the packaging of Sidewinder spells it "Attallal"). The other four songs were original songs recorded by Download, and the last of Download's post-industrial era.
III and Effector
III marked a turning point for Download. Their sound became more melodic and accessible while still retaining the experimental quirks of their older material. Their next album Effector continued this direction.
III Steps Forward and Inception
Two more albums, III Steps Forward and Inception were released as part of Subconscious Studio's From The Vault series. Inception contained outtakes from Download's more experimental early era, while III Steps Forward included outtakes from the III and Effector eras as well as new tracks. Although the original pressing of each was limited to 1000 copies, 2nd pressing editions are currently available from Subconscious Studio's website.
In December 2006, cEvin Key announced that new material has been recorded for a new album (entitled Fixer). The album was released on April 2007.
HElicopTEr & Wookie Wall
In late 2009, Subconscious Communications announced the release of the "Beyond the Vault" series. With it, a new Download album titled HElicopTEr was included in the series. Written by cEvin Key and Phil Western with a guest appearance by Mark Spybey. As stated on the official Subconscious Communications website, the album employs some of the oldest synthesizers the studio has in its sprawling collection. The result differs from the more ambient releases of Effector and Fixer and is more akin to Download's previous works such as Furnace or Charlie's Family. The album is available as part of the Beyond the Vault series or individually via the subconscious Communications website and as of September a digital download is available on both Amazon.com and iTunes.
Wookie Wall: For the 2010 "SubCon Beyond Fest", a tour in support of the albums released in the Beyond The Vault series, Download announced plans to release an EP that would be sold during the tour. Though Download apparently went as far as to commission album art, the so-called Wookie Wall EP never materialized during the tour though the title track was integrated into the setlist. Supposedly the band considered the possibility of expanding Wookie Wall into its own full-length album, but in 2011 three of the proposed Wookie Wall tracks were added onto a re-release of Download's Helicopter.
A special-edition of Furnace was also released with Subconscious' From the Vault II series. The new release includes a second disc with a collection of the live jams and improvisations that were the basis of the finished album.
On June 11, 2013, Download released their ninth studio album Lingam. In Hindu scripture, the lingam is the beginning-less and endless cosmic pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. Lingam employs some of the band's more ambient styles featured on previous albums like Effector and Fixer.
|Furnace||October 3, 1995|| Cleopatra,
| Re-released in 2007 as part of |
the Vault II series with bonus disc
|Microscopic (EP)||January 9, 1996|| Cleopatra, |
|Charlie's Family||1996|| Metropolis, |
|Sidewinder (EP)||April 30, 1996||Nettwerk|
|The Eyes of Stanley Pain||May 28, 1996|| Nettwerk,
| Music video for "Glassblower" |
directed by William Morrison
|III||October 21, 1997|| Nettwerk,|
|Effector||October 24, 2000|| Nettwerk,|
|Inception: The Subconscious Jams 1994-1995 (Compilation)||January, 2002||Subconscious Communications||From the Vault #1 (of 7),|
Limited to 1000 copies
|III Steps Forward||April, 2002||Subconscious Communications|| From the Vault #3 (of 7),|
Limited to 1000 copies
|Fixer||April, 2007||Subconscious Communications||From the Vault II|
|HElicopTEr||2009||Subconscious Communications||Beyond the Vault|
|LingAM||2013||Subconscious Communications||Metropolis Mail-order|
- Download Official Site
- Mark Spybey's 1996 Europe Download tour diaries at Spybey.net
- Litany.net - Unofficial Site Covering Skinny Puppy and other side projects of Ogre and cEvin kEy