STM 308 - No Master, No Servant

Secret Thirteen Mix - No Master, No Servant of Flesh Prison
Photo by No Master, No Servant

With STM 308, Montreal collective No Master, No Servant reviews the game-changers in electronic music of the last four decades, from industrial and EBM to new beat and more.

With STM 308, Montreal collective No Master, No Servant reviews the game-changers in electronic music of the last four decades, from industrial and EBM to new beat and more.

No Master, No Servant is a young collective from Montréal, Quebec. Consisting of five collaborators, they mainly focus on sonic creation, but also venture into visual expression, films, photography, and written works. Departing from a firm commitment to social matters, their creative approach seeks to raise both self and social awareness based on collectivity, diversity, and mutual aid. To convey such a necessary game-changing message in this age of barbaric individualism, they wisely and boundlessly leverage the abstract yet meaningful power of sound.

In fact, if eloquence is the cornerstone of every artistic activity, their output speaks for itself, with raw EBM, new beat, early industrial experimentation, electro, and lo-fi, among others. And it is precisely the rawness of their sound, together with the feeling of permanent modernity or postmodernity, inherent to industrial music and early industrial collectives such as COUM, what instills a sense of timeless truthfulness in their discourse, no matter the genre. To prove it —quite successfully— last September they put out the superb cassette LOVE TRANSFORMS US BUT INTO WHAT?, including a 12-page manifesto/zine. Highly recommended.

Back to the mix, STM 308 is an eclectic journey through over thirty tracks and artists. From electronic body music and trans industrial to new beat and synthpop, it provides two hours of intensity, provocation, innovation, and dance. Four decades of revolutionary electronic music, featuring Dancing Plague, Essaie Pas, Martial Canterel, Haus Arafna or Alessandro Cortini, and even sacred cows such as Depeche Mode, Psychic TV, Coil or New Order. Despite its diversity, the mix still feels like a single monolithic structure. The reason might lie in the challenging of standards, both in music and elsewhere, or a common feeling of discontent towards the present time found across different decades. Undeniably, all these acts grew around a revolutionary paradox: music crafted by machines.

The chosen tracks create a responsive experience that can only be produced by a raw form of emotion through a sonic expression. Every piece of music heard does not only influence and inform the group, but we each have unique relationships with the songs and their practice. The electronic music we make is predominantly done in a way of communicating our sequencers, modular/synthesizers, and percussion with electricity. This concept was used solely before MIDI was implemented in 1984. When MIDI started becoming the user’s choice, as it was and is much easier to use as you are transferring digital data, there were still many producers who stuck to the original way of using analog synthesis. This is heavily reflected in the song choices. For instance, Alessandro Cortini's approach to sequencing is always a grounding reminder that simplicity and complexity can coexist. Deep swirling depths of conceptual mixing keep us entranced with vitriolic ambient techno. The mix begins with New Beat, Electro Rhythmic Noise/early Techno/EBM, and Minimal Synth. Moving into equally influential work, that is more experimental and radical than your traditional Electronic Body Music, older groups like Coil and contemporary act Rivalled Envy; a great fusion of antifascist hardcore and Italo trance. The mix is also laced with some Synth Pop/Minimal Synth classics, as well as hidden treasures. For No Master, No Servant, our message is equally important as our music. Our message consists of equality, hope, and community. We strongly believe in a higher consciousness amongst humankind, higher power, and we feel it strongly in our unity. We seek a nation fueled by social and self-awareness and critical change and hope to grow abreast with those at a larger scale.

01. Tragic Error ‎- Tanzen (New Beat Remix) [Who's That Beat?, 1989]
02. Acid Kult - Untitled 3 [Tram Planet Records, 2019]
03. Luke Acid C Welcome To The Empire Of New Beat (The Dome Mix) [Technology, 1989]
04. Hypnobeat - Daktari Missiles [Monochrome Tapes,1985]
05. Psychic TV - Interzone [Temple Records, 1986]
06. Love Is Colder Than Death - Wild World (Elemental Remix) [Hyperium Records, 1991]
07. Sendex - Untitled [Crème Organization, 2006]
08. Zsa Zsa Laboum - Something Scary [Kaos Dance Records, 1988.
09. Experimental Products - Secret Rendezvous (1982) [Vinyl-on-Demand, 2012]
10. Parade Ground - Took Advantage [Anot her Side, 1985]
11. Martial Canterel - Instincts [Wierd Records, 2007]
12. Pankow - Das Vodkalied (Helena Hauff Remix) [Contort Yourself, 2014]
13. Coil - Teenage Lightning [Torso Records, 1991]
14. Les Joyaux De La Princesse & Regard Extrême - Die Weiße Rose [World Serpent, 1995]
15. Rivalled Envy - Envy Over [Self Released, 2019]
16. Alessandro Cortini - La Meta [Hospital Productions, 2015]
17. Exkurs ‎– Fakten sind Terror [Konkurrenz Schallplatten, 1981]
18. Oil Thief - Drowner [Chondritic Sound, 2015]
19. Rue Oberkapf- Kalt [Young And Cold Records, 2019]
20. Hexzuul - I Saw My Own Skull [Self Released, 2017]
21. Haus Arafna - You Don’t Believe ME [Galakthorrö, 2010]
22. Új Látásmód Fúzió - Közelednek az ünnepek - [Electric Voice, 2013]
23. Umrijeti Za Strojem - Strana A (Re-evaluacija) [Genetic Music, 2010]
24. Potichkin - Jumeaux [Data Airlines Records, 2018]
25. Martial Canterel + Tobias Bernstrup - Shadow Rider [Mannequin, 2011]
26. Essaie Pas- Danse Sociale [Teenage Menopause Records, 2015]
27. Dancing Plague - Stressed [Wave Records, 2019]
28. ADULT - This Behaviour [Dais Records, 2018]
29. Ministry - Anything For You [1983] [Cleopatra, 2015]
30. Dépèche Mode - Ice Machine [Self Released, 1980]
31. New Order - Cries and Whispers [Factory Benelux, 1981]
32. Light Asylum - Dark Allies [Mexican Summer, 2011]
33. Nacht Und Nebel - Beats of Love [S.T.D. Records, 1983]
34. No More ‎– In A White Room [Too Late Records, 1981]
35. Absolute Body Control - Is There An Exit? [Blitz Records, 1991]
36. Epee Du Bois - Tracking Shot [Wierd Records, 2007]

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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