d i s c s :

metropolis mindfuck

slaveit's a lifestylesin machine











m e t r o p o l i s . m i n d f u c k : a l b u m : 2 0 1 4

click for more information

Static Icon's third album Metropolis Mindfuck is subtitled "Human Evolution ... Man Made Hell" for good reason.

The album encapsulates a musical odyssey spanning twenty years. The introduction "Disease Me with Pain" was written in 1994 prior to the band's first album Sin Machine, whilst its outro "I Never Wanted Anything" was written in London as the first decade of the 21st century was spluttering to a close.

The intro is a powerhouse piano-based instrumental that mirrors the closing track on Sin Machine; "Reality of Life". The opener to Metropolis Mindfuck has its journey into light for the first time, via a tunnel of reworking, remixing and then finally mastering in 2014. It is a fitting introduction to the soundscape of an electronic opus.

The album can be heard as sonic snapshots in time finally now exposed to the light of day.

This is the story of the hiatus, of the missing years, of the life post record label, the life split between continents, between people and cities. It is the story of the reality of a life lived in our so-called technological modernity at the "peak" of western civilization. It is a unified Europe already in decline.

It is brutal, beautiful, somber, but above everything else – personal & truthful.

As the embers of the first track burn out we hear the hopeful prayer for any real connection and unity in "I Feel It". But by the middle eight we hear the discord and doubt creeping in.

We go on the journey through the dark clubs holding promise of ecstasy and chemically enhanced love.

We travel to the core of our modern world, its religion, politics, power and ever-circling greed.

The lust for possession. Say You Will.

The fear of being possessed. Paranoia.

The desperate solutions, the suppression and opiate exit strategies. Loser.

The numbness that overtakes. Then the longing to feel anything at all. Cut. Punch. Bleed.

The superficially passionate, the queer, the tramp. The lost wanderers in the metropolis.

Then, the temptation, the fall, the lows, the highs and the in the promises – the lies.

Then, at journeys end "I never wanted anything" sung in lonely echoes.

And this is how the album closes – with a quiet slow certainty that self-determination will herald our survival, rebirth or resurrection.

Metropolis Mindfuck is life without a safety net. It is life observed through the glowing neon of the big city. It is where humanity is tested and often loses.

Metropolis Mindfuck is how far we have come and maybe how far we can go. It is human evolution AND man-made hell.


t o p :



s l a v e : a l b u m : 1 9 9 7

click for more information

Static Icon released their second album Slave, in Europe Feburary 1997, one year after Sin Machine. The album is both a departure and a progression from their debut. Alan Wicks (vocals): 'What people maybe failed to realise with Sin Machine was that for us it was like an archive, a kind of compilation of songs written over five years, from 1990 to 1995. Also, we recorded it very quickly, with very little money and without a producer.' Considering these factors however, Sin Machine received extremely good reviews throughout the European alternative music press. They were called the 'new kings of synth-pop'. How did the band feel about this? Timo (vocals and keys): 'We were ready for it before we got to Europe, and we found it a huge compliment at first, but it was OUR FIRST RELEASE! What we were not ready for in Europe, particularly in Germany, was how huge electronic music is there. That fact alone made us seriously look at ourselves as a band. In other words, who the fuck is Static Icon? In Australia we were seen as very independant and alternative (and it's in our blood to stay independant and alternative) but in Europe we were seen as just another Synthi-pop band. Our philosophy for making Slave was to go into the studio with completely open minds and find out what kind of band we are right now, after one year on this side of the planet.'

During November and December 1996, Static Icon recorded Slave in London with Marc Heal, from the English Industrial-Electro band Cubanate, as producer. Initially, there were some reservations about working with someone from the industrial scene. Michael Walker (vocals and keys): 'We had no idea what Marc wanted to do, we thought maybe he'd distort all of the vocals and stick twenty tracks of guitars over that, but we decided in the end to let him have his wicked way with us, and we wanted to see London. But Marc was the perfect person for our situation and it was a great partnership. We went into the studio with about ten songs and no idea how we would treat them, or even if we would use them at all. For example, we would never have considered the idea of recording a cover version (Devo's 'Whip It') or writing a song with anyone else ('Krakow' with Marc Heal) but we decided to push our boundaries even further and we couldn't have been happier with the result. We knew the music wouldn't be one particular style because we kept our minds open. Marc brought the best out of each song, rhythmically, vocally and musically. We wanted quality not quantity for this album, and we found it.' Slave is a more stripped back album than its predeccessor. Driving drums and basslines with strong vocals and melodies kept intact.

Static Icon: 'Sin Machine was great for listening to quietly at home or in the background, but Slave has a punch and mood about it you can't ignore, and we know the songs are better this time around.' The songwriting has matured, technically and thematically. While the first album dealt with the need to find the true self, Slave concerns itself with the power struggles within relationships. In particular, the darker and dirtier side of love, lust and the world of fetishisms. Who has control? And, as before, the songs are the real experiences from the life of the writer, Alan Wicks.

Slave could be called the follow up to Sin Machine, but the band think of it more like their true debut. This is Static Icon now, a record of their European experience and the birth of a stronger, fresher, darker and wiser band.


t o p :



i t ' s . a . l i f e s t y l e : s i n g l e : 1 9 9 6

click for more information

Work on the recording of It's A Lifestyle began in September 1996, in Berlin, during Static Icon's first European tour. The band started looking for a producer for the single in July, but after many meetings with various people in the German electro scene, they finally decided that they would produce the single themselves. The band opted to use two new tracks as a pre-taster to the kind of direction they knew they were heading in, instead of re-releasing a track from Sin Machine. What the listener finds is a spectrum of electro styles.

The title track is the natural progression from Sin Machine, but a very different version to the one found on Slave. 'Come To Me' combines breakbeats with melodic electro, and lyrically, introduces the Slave theme. The re-working of Institution clearly says goodbye, once and for all to Sin Machine. Static Icon's first single is a record of a band in-between a stylistic change. It reminds the listener of their debut, but at the same time, introduces a taste of where the band were heading with their second album, Slave.


t o p :



s i n . m a c h i n e : a l b u m : 1 9 9 6

click for more information

The true history of the Sin Machine album starts in 1990, when Alan Wicks started songwriting, just after the band formed. Among the earliest of these compositions were 'Institution', 'Shame' and 'Reality Of Life'. Between 1990 and 1995 the entire Sin Machine album was written. When the time came to record the album for Machinery Records, the band decided to use the best of their prolific backcatalogue of twenty songs, instead of just using the most recent. This is partly why the album is divided into three sections, in order to seperate the wide variety of material and style changes over the four years.

The first section, 'Bound', contains the earliest songs and at the same time, lyrically, concern the enslavement of a person due to conditioning or self-limitation. The second section, 'Passion', contains four of the last songs to be written in 1994. Each track conveys the underlying theme of finding a part of freedom, without the shackles of convention or morality. They are about the misuse, abuse and misunderstanding of what we really need. The third section, 'Release', brings the conclusion and solution. Lyrically, the realisation of experiences and the understanding of life's lessons allow the true character to show itself to the world.

Initial recording began in 1994, with the music being keep true to the original demos. On completion, the multi-track tapes were sent to Berlin, home of Machinery Records, to be mixed and mastered. As it transpired, those tapes were stolen, due to internal diffuculties with an ex-employee. Consequently, Sin Machine was never released on the intended date of October 1994. It was not until November 1995 when the conflict was resolved, with many court hearings, that the band were free to re-commence work on the Sin Machine album again. As the tapes were never found, recording began once more, at the start of November 1995, this time with Static Icon producing, with the technical assistance of David Briggs.

The band recorded the album in Melbourne, Victoria, this time, heavily re-working many of the songs. Initially, the album was to include 12 tracks, with 'Angelic Hell' and 'Another Time' originally intended for a single. Recording was completed in December 1995, and the final master was sent to Berlin. Sin Machine was finally released in Feburary of 1996, a year and a half after it's intended release date.


t o p :