March 17, 2009

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!

March 12, 2009

A STORM OF LIGHT / NADJA - "Primitive North" 2xLP+CDs are HERE! Just three days left on our massive music sale!

Apologies for the blitzkrieg of recent updates, but there's just 3 days left before the Robotic Empire - Online Store will stop processing new orders... as the time is very near for us to break down all the shelves, pack up all the boxes and move this whole mailorder operation to the other side of the country.

We're not leaving until early April, so there is still plenty of time to pull, pack and ship all orders received by/on March 15th. This also includes all orders for the brand new A STORM OF LIGHT / NADJA - Primitive North split 2x12"+CD that we finally just got in today! This beast of a release turned out simply incredible and we're really happy to have a new release available after months of slow label activity, especially one of this caliber.

What also rules is that A STORM OF LIGHT will be touring across Europe in early April. Upon their return to the states they hit most of the eastern-North America in May with the killer blackmetal bands WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM and KRALLICE! Tour dates for STORM and a song from the split can be found here. NADJA's own European tour dates can be found here.

We've also received a small amount of straggling, last-minute items that really are getting here just in the nick of time. If you want anything from our Online Store, please get those orders in within the next 3 days, so we can ship it out before our move in early April! We will still be accepting orders during the move, but any orders that come in after March 15th will most likely take at least a month to ship to you. So please get those orders in now if you want anything with the quickness!

* A Storm Of Light / Nadja - Primitive North [split] - BLOOD MOON COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Robotic Empire) - $21.99
* A Storm Of Light / Nadja - Primitive North [split] - GLACIER COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Robotic Empire) - $21.99
* Frodus - Conglomerate International 2x12" (Gilead Media) - $18.99
* Planks - Self-Titled 12" (Nar Shardaa) - $13.99
* Shokei - Painkiller 12" (Nar Shardaa) - $13.99
* Thou - The Retaliation of the Immutable Force of Nature - WHITE COLORED VINYL 12" (Gilead Media) - $9.99

* Nebula - Atomic Ritual CD (Liquor and Poker) - $7.99
* Saddest Landscape, The - The Sound of the Spectacle - BLUE COLORED VINYL 12" (Nar Shardaa) - $13.99

And last (but certainly not least) there is still a MASSIVE site-wide sale right now where every music item in our Online Store that's over $4.99 is marked at least $1.01 off. This includes all CDs, vinyl, DVDs and cassettes... and many, many items are marked down significantly more as well. We're trying to get as much stuff out of here as possible before the move so please check out the site for a crazyinsane amount of discounted items! This sale ends in just a few days, with March 15th being both the last day this sale is active and the last day we're accepting orders to ship prior to the move!

Thank you!
Robotic Empire - Online Store

March 8, 2009

FINAL SALE for the East Coast existence of Robotic Empire's Online Store!

ALL MUSIC in our Online Store that's $4.99 and over is now $1.01 off for the next week. The webstore operation is moving to the west coast and we're trying to sell a bunch of stuff before the move in early April. Thanks:

Robotic Empire - Online Store

March 4, 2009

A STORM OF LIGHT / NADJA - "Primitive North" 2xLP+CD pre-order!!

Robotic Empire is honored to announce the pre-order availability of the massive A STORM OF LIGHT / NADJA - Primitive North 2x12"+CD release! Two LPs, one CD (of the same tunes): two new STORM tracks, one lengthy NADJA opus and re-mixes of each bands material constructed by the other band. Add in some pretty fancy packaging and this is one mighty "split"! This is available now for pre-order in the Robotic Empire - Online Store. Here's our longwinded hyperbole:

Every few years arises a collaboration that stands to test the myriad "split" releases that get haphazardly scrapped together. Primitive North is a shining example of what two strong bands can amass when their forces are joined together.

Reaching well beyond their debut album, And We Wept the Black Ocean Within, A STORM OF LIGHT has entered intense uncharted territories. Fusing delicate melodies with oppressive dirge metal and dense atmospherics, STORM have truly come into their own with these two phenomenal tracks. Contagious, hypnotic and haunting... although no major surprise considering A STORM OF LIGHT is helmed by frontman Josh Graham, who cut his teeth as the visual artist for NEUROSIS and founding member of both RED SPAROWES and BATTLE OF MICE.

The prolific duo of NADJA delivers one truly massive, 20+ minute epic of blissful genius. Their track consists of their patented molasses-thick wall of super-dense fuzz and surprisingly tuneful white noise spanning the spectrum of what NADJA is: a true behemoth of stark, glacial-paced sludge. Shapeshifting from a serene and uplifting aural setting to an absolutely soul-crushing Broadrick-esque industrial nightmare, NADJA is a beast of many faces.

On Primitive North we get the best of both worlds, as volatile remixes also accompany these original works. Each band has reconfigured the other’s material, resulting in remixes that compliment the original songs well, and near-perfectly blend the two groups together. Adding to all of this is stunning original artwork by Graham, packaged in a beautiful 5-color gatefold sleeve with a CD version of the same material included inside with the double vinyl LPs. Last but not least, the flipside of the remix LP has laser-etched artwork, helping A STORM OF LIGHT and NADJA take the whole concept of a "split" release to the next level.

* an A STORM OF LIGHT track from this can be previewed here
* several NADJA tracks from other releases can be heard here

Normally we don't do pre-orders, but we're making an exception with this one because it's arriving here very close to our move date. In order to ensure we can pack/ship these before the Online Store's cross-country move in early April, we're taking orders for this beast of a release NOW! We're supposed to get our copies of this on March 10th, and hope to have the bulk of the pre-orders shipped out just a few days later. Please note: any additional items you order along with this will be held and shipped along with your pre-order!

The other major thing of note for this update is that after 10 years of knowing the Hydra Head guys, we FINALLY got them to do a real trade with us. Of course it came in when we're getting ready to move the Online Store to their side of the country... but whatever, beggars can't be choosers right? This means that the awesome HH vinyl we just scored is receiving the same $1.01 off that all our "large format" vinyl is seeing until March 8th. This stuff and a rad Escucha restock are all we've got for ya this week:

* A Storm Of Light / Nadja - Primitive North [split] - BLOOD MOON COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Robotic Empire) - $21.99
* A Storm Of Light / Nadja - Primitive North [split] - GLACIER COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Robotic Empire) - $21.99
* Clouds - We Are Above You - CORN BLUE COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Hydra Head) - $19.99
* Clouds - We Are Above You - WHITE COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Hydra Head) - $19.99
* Clouds - We Are Above You - YELLOW COLORED VINYL 2x12"+CD (Hydra Head) - $19.99
* Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward - GREEN COLORED VINYL 12" (Hydra Head) - $16.99
* Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward - MAROON COLORED VINYL 12" (Hydra Head) - $16.99
* Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward - WHITE COLORED VINYL 12" (Hydra Head) - $16.99
* Monarcs / Osceola - Split - BLACK VINYL 7" (Escucha) - $6.99
* Oxbow - The Narcotic Story - RED COLORED VINYL 12" (Black Diamond) - $12.99
* Pelican / These Arms Are Snakes - Split - BLACK VINYL 10" (Hydra Head) - $11.99
* Pelican / These Arms Are Snakes - Split - CLEAR WITH BLUE COLORED VINYL 10" (Hydra Head) - $11.99
* Pelican / These Arms Are Snakes - Split - DARK BLUE COLORED VINYL 10" (Hydra Head) - $11.99
* Pelican / These Arms Are Snakes - Split - WHITE COLORED VINYL 10" (Hydra Head) - $11.99

* Daughters - Hell Songs 12" CREAM COLORED VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Daughters - Hell Songs 12" GREEN COLORED VINYL* (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Daughters - Hell Songs 12" PLUM COLORED VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Monarcs / Osceola - Split 7" WHITE COLORED VINYL (Escucha) - $6.99
* Pelican - City Of Echoes 12" BLACK VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Pelican - City Of Echoes 12" CLEAR LIGHT BLUE VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Pelican - City Of Echoes 12" CLEAR w/ BLACK SPLATTER VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Pelican - City Of Echoes 12" METALLIC SILVER VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Pelican - City Of Echoes 12" PINK w/ BLACK SPLATTER VINYL (Hydra Head) - $12.99
* Suis la Lune - Heir 10"+CD (Escucha) - $18.99
* Tusk - The Resisting Dreamer 12" BLACK VINYL (Tortuga) - $15.99
* Tusk - The Resisting Dreamer 12" MAROON COLORED VINYL (Tortuga) - $15.99

Robotic Empire - Online Store