Terence Fixmer and the Current State of EBM

Just around the corner from an Ostgut LP, Terence Fixmer has been a staple in a scene that rooted in electronic origins. Best known for Ralf Hütter’s description of their 178 Kraftwerk album ‘The Man Machine’, body music or old school EBM is the primal marriage of electronic and goth. Influenced by new wave a post-punk while staying completely dedicated to electronic production, the Belgian-bred sound is a testament to sustainable raving. Terence remains a staple on top of the scene. Weaving 4/4 hard dance with brooding growls and distorted vox, today’s EBM has come full circle to the modern electronic edge. Fixmer’s 8 track album ‘Through The Cortex’ uses two decades of experience to channel the natural sound of alternative dancefloors Berlin and beyond. 

Born an age of analog, the gritty sounds of EBM resemble the bands and attitude of the 1980s as post-punk clashed with electronic. Living in France, just across the Belgian border, Fixmer’s formative years were spent addicted to the old school genre’s founding fathers such as DAF, Front 242, and Nitzer Ebb. It wasn’t until the early 90’s that he began to explore the studio. Opting for a single synth instead of diving into the world of a record-collecting DJ, Fixmer started down the path of endless opportunity. 

‘Now I really want to produce without being a prisoner of a sound. I love to do Techno EBM as much as I love to do this dark Techno. Sounds are in my head, tomorrow they can be something different.’ – Terence Fixmer for Post Punk

The late nineties functionally changed the definition of what EBM meant on the dancefloor. The Hacker, DJ Hell, and even Green Velvet injected the powerful drum lines of Detroit resulting in a techno fusion unlike any other. Fixmer reached worldwide recognition with the release of his debut album Muscle Machine on DJ Hell’s seminal International Deejay Gigolos imprint in 1999. It was a new age for the genres as Muscle Machine signaled an everlasting between techno and the old school sounds of EBM. Things got interesting when Terence’s 2002 remix of Nitzer Ebb led to an ongoing collaboration with the legendary band’s frontman Douglas McCarthy. 

Representing the sound behind all that is Berghain, Ostgut Ton’s recent albums are homage to the classics. Educating the next generation with the same sounds that fertilized the golden age of rave, the post-commercial dance spectrum is looking bright in the darkest possible way. Following Martyn’s break-revival in Ostgut LP39, Fixmer is next in line as the blast from the past. Evident in the album preview of side B1 ‘Accelerate‘, industrial reverb and echoed vocals are a calling card for what makes EBM unique. The elegant channel between the coined choruses of Joy Division and the pulsing warehouse strobe is a heavy recipe for the club.

Though the new wave is confirmed as a bastard child of the old school sound and good old-fashioned German techno, EBM remains as timeless as ever. The industrial revival may not need to be called a comeback, but these sounds stand as a top-billed fixture at Europe’s most influential spaces. Fixmer’s sets are still packed with the likes of Throbbing Gristle,  D.A.F. and Front 242. Fixmer/McCarthy has become a long-term thing with over fifteen years and nearing as many records under their belt. All is right in the universe and EBM techno is still timeless on the dance floor. 

Led ‘by analog sequencers, melodies and ultra-saturated sounds of synthesizers than drums and percussion’, the forthcoming LP by Terence Fixmer is a subtle statement on the state of genres. Transcending the boundaries set by the endless list of tags all categorized by a prefix of ‘sub’, this producer can truly be describes as a pioneer.

Buy Through The Cortex LP