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

March 17, 2009

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!

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