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Brothers Robert and John Bustamante officially formed Fektion Fekler around 1989.  From the beginning they received some positive attention by appearing on the first Elektrauma compilation series.  They released a cassette and EP and then fell silent for a number of years but came back with great material ready to release to the world.  1996 saw the release of their debut CD From Here To Heaven on Pendragon Records which included work from the past decade.  Kling Klang Bedlam followed up in 1998 and really took off and made a name for this group in the electronic and industrial music scene with their unique and diverse sound.

This style is one that is a challenge for press and fans to describe.  You can take a bit of classic Skinny Puppy, mix in some of The Cure and touches of Project Pitchfork and mix it all up for a broad style crossing genres.  With this diversity, goth / industrial music fans can latch onto this band as one of their own due to the emotional ballad-like tapestries and the hard-core pounding beats and distortion.

This duo continues to progress and the future looks bright.  They have put together new material which a lot appeared late 2003 in the form of a demo CD which I latched onto immediately and started giving it airplay on the Gothic Paradise radio shows.  Soon they were signed to Black Flames Records out of Poland and Static Sky Records in North America for the release of their 2004 album Into The Sun.  Be sure to check them out here and by visiting the label websites.  No official website has been published yet, but watch the space below for updated information.

Into The Sun - Review

When I received a demo CD-R of this band a while ago with some of their new material, it was exciting to hear something from them again after several years. So when I received the official release of Into The Sun I was pleased with what I heard.  The album comes together extremely well, combining a broad range of styles into a nice cohesive work.

There is something here for goth / industrial fans of with many tastes.  For the hard-core industrial fan that loves the harsh distortion in the vocals, electronic loops and pounding beats there are several great tracks that are sure to please.  The album starts off somewhat along these lines with "Sunsky" including plenty of electronics and various "lighter" industrial elements.  "Generations" crosses several genre lines, but rivetheads should enjoy many of the elements present.  This track happens to be my favorite with the mix of childlike vocals with the harsher tones and the excellent electronic loops and smooth, yet catchy beat.  "Take It All" and "Legends" are the harshest tracks on the album with plenty of distortion in the vocals and almost overbearing guitar and electronic elements.

For those that enjoy melodic elements in electronic music, there is plenty to enjoy in "Generations" as already mentioned, but this band ventures further with the mid-tempo groovy tracks "Pigs Feet" and "Bleed".  Each have an electronic groove that is catchy and enjoyable without the pounding beats.  "Heathen" picks up the pace for a fun instrumental track full of great loops and melodic organ track.  Finally, "Sinsa" wraps up the electro-industrial part of this album as another great track full of addictive loops, mellow vocals and ending with a fun little guitar outro.

The last few tracks of the album fade to some great downtempo tracks that almost have a folk element to them, but should please most fans of mellow alternative tracks.  The guitar-oriented ballads include "Through The Days", "Its Over", "Saved" and the extremely fun and mellow selection "Instincts".  Ambient electronic elements come out in great form on "Visitor" as another great ballad-like track.  Wrapping up the album is a very experimental work titled "Liberate Tutemet" which basically takes everything already presented, tones it down into a venture in experimental music with trumpets, guitars, electronics, distorted vocals and so on.  This really makes a statement as to the variety and eclectic nature of this band and is a great finale to a nice album.

Rating: 4.5/5

Interview - January 28, 2005

I managed to get Robert from Fektion Fekler to sit down and answer a few questions.  This short interview is the result as we found out some great information about this unique band.

Fektion Fekler vs. Gothic Paradise

1. First a little history, how and when did Fektion Fekler start?

Robert: I actually started writing music with a friend of mine, James Mendez. This was back in '88. We formed a band called Fury & Fear. The only play we got was from friends and once when we took a cassette to a local music store.

We walked up to the counter and asked the guy to play our tape in the store. Both of us were 16. He asked if there was any cussing and we said  no.  so he popped in the cassette and we heard our music, playing loud, in a store! We loved it! So we're there discussing the mix and trying to listen to every note. Then these two girls walk up to the counter and ask the clerk "who is that?"  And he said "them", pointing at us. So they looked at us, then back at the clerk and say "no, what band is this playing on the speakers, right now?"  And he said "them, those two!"  They just looked at us and said "that sounds cool".  We looked at each other, asked for our tape and walked out. For me, that's when Fektion Fekler started.

2. Has it always been a joint project between both of you?

Robert: From 1989 its only been John and I with various guest musicians on each album. But the core is John and I.   

3. How has each member contributed?

Robert: I write all the music and John sings the vocals and writes the lyrics. From time to time I'll vocal a song, maybe he'll write a track. We contribute what the other person isn't.    

4. You released two albums with Pendragon Records and I understood you still
had a contract with Metropolis after the buyout for another release, what
happened with that contract?

Robert: To have to listen to Dave whine about the scene then get berated was just too much for me. Dave wanted a very specific album from us and we said no. The contract was annulled because we had an  Asshole Claus.      

5. How do you feel your music has changed, if any, over the years?

Robert: I don't know if it's about intentionally changing. But more, we're trying to be as honest as we can. That's the progress. That's the work. To really express yourself. It's not easy. At least is not for us. Or at least for me. That's the challenge. I think I'm getting better.

6. Have you found your musical influences and tastes have changed over the
years? If so, in what ways?

Robert: Definitely, You know, to listen to new music, it's pretty exciting sometimes. It's like a rush to the head; that inspires everyone. Some people more then others. My whole life has been about change. It's carried over into my music. I don't want to keep on writing the same song over and over. We just don't see the challenge in that approach.  To stay stagnant. Why would anyone do that?      

7. I've read that many of your influences don't really fall within the
underground Goth / industrial and related genres... how is that you ended up
writing this style of music?

Robert: I listen to all types of music. But by nature, we are an industrial band. We definitely push what an industrial band can and can't do but that's really become expected of us. You can listen to all our albums and every single song will sound different. We pride ourselves on that. The industrial genre is the one scene that took us under their wing. I'm proud of this scene and grateful they have supported our music addiction over all these years. Plus, Goth / industrial people are the coolest people to know, that's a fact. They are creative, smart and down to earth. We're just writing songs and this genre is the one listening to them. I don't question it.    

8. Since your music attracts fans in the Goth / industrial music scene, do
you feel you are a part of that scene and enjoy it?

Robert: We've been doing this for a while. We couldn't do it if we didn t enjoy it. The support from other bands, magazines, radio, club DJ's and labels has been awesome. We didn't expect it. But I'm enjoying it.     

9. Will you be touring in support of the U.S. release of your new album Into
the Sun

Robert: We've been talking about it. I just talked to Mark from Static Sky Records about doing a festival this summer. I see that happening.  

10. Into the Sun has a wide variety of musical styles. Do you think this
gives a full representation of what Fektion Fekler is all about? Or do you
think you could or would like to do a lot more if time, money and disc space
were not an issue?

Robert: The songs we have written in the past, and now are full representations for that moment. If we had more money and time, yes, we would definitely represent.          

11. Is there an overall message that you think Into the Sun has? Or should
we leave it up to the individual listener?

Robert: There's a message, it's there, if you listen. I would hope the message changes over time. It's all up to the listener.          

11. Do you have any immediate plans for more releases with Black Flames and
Static Sky?

Robert: Mark and Radek have expressed interest in releasing newer and older material. We have several options for early '06.

Website: None
North American Label: Static Sky Records
European Label: Black Flames

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