A girl called Harmony - a video by Edward 209
Inside a cage of sound, writhes a human voice and soul. Cold waves of electronics are juxtaposed against voices that seep through cracks in the walls of machinery and wires. Lyrics dart out in bullets from soundscapes peppered in sharp vocals and sound bites. A viola plays in the distance, giving life to this inorganic mass. Such is the imagery that spawns Attrition, who, with its marriage of the classic and modern, has brought to music the equivalent of a surrealist painting.
From its earlier sparse and stark soundscapes, to a more expansive palette of orchestral work, Attrition has successfully melded several genres into one. The music flows - from gothic to industrial to experimental to classical - so smoothly, they might as well be making their own category.
Conceived in Coventry , England during the early 1980s, the band has undergone many changes in members, revolving around founder Martin Bowes.
They released their debut album The attrition of reason, on the UK 's Third Mind records in 1984 and followed this with records on several independent labels and tours through Europe, from the UK to Germany to Scandanavia to the Balkans, They garnered a strong underground following. In 1996, Attrition moved to Projekt, releasing 3 Arms and a Dead Cert . Since then, the band has moved on to even greater levels, collaborating with Paris opera member Franck Dematteis in classically reworking previously electronic songs.
With each album they release, Attrition gains an increasingly curious audience, complemented by several successful US tours and more than fifteen albums of constant variety. With an ever-expanding sound, they remain one of music's dark and fascinating lights.
- written by Akane
Founded by Martin Bowes in the early 1980's, Attrition was considered an important part of the burgeoning "Industrial/Experimental" music scene (alongside such bands as SPK, Test Dept., Coil, Clock DVA and the Legendary Pink Dots). The group's early albums released on the European Third Mind and Antler labels demonstrated a new approach to sound creation, a marriage of experimental and traditional approaches.
In 1989, Projekt released the retrospective Recollection ('84-'89) , giving America it's first taste of the Attrition sound.
Living and working in Europe, Martin and company toured the continent before settling back in their native England in 1991. With the creation of their own studio ("The Cage") in Coventry , Attrition's musical output intensified. The band released A Tricky Business on the Italian Contempo label, spawning the underground club hit, "A Girl Called Harmony." In 1994, under the careful direction of Martin and Projekt founder Sam Rosenthal, Attrition's back catalog was readied for re-release on Projekt: Archive.
A few years later, Attrition band signed to the German Hyperium label, then in 1996 moved to Projekt.
The label immediately released Attrition's 1996 3 Arms and a Dead Cert . That summer, the band played "The Projekt Festival" in Chicago , then embarked on their first US tour.
In 1997, Attrition collaborated with Frank Dematteis, a member of the Paris opera, to produce Étude , an album of classical interpretations of their own songs. A second tour of the US followed, then an extensive tour of the UK., Germany , Czech Republic , Switzerland and Poland .
Bridging the bands many unique sound directions and multi-faceted approaches, in 1999 Attrition released The Jeopardy Maze . An eclectic blend of industrial rhythms, gothic atmospheres, classical, techno and rock influences --- surreal texts and surreal textures...
Further tours of the US followed over the next two years, while the band released The Hand that Feeds , their album of remixes… an ambient collection for Russia, Esoteria , the rarities album Keepsakes and Reflections and their first live album from their 1999 tour of the US...
After a brief hiatus Attrition returned in 2004 with one of their most critically appraised and darkest albums.. Dante's Kitchen … including the darkwave classic “Two Gods”. The band toured extensively in 05/06.... Including their first trip to Mexico. Martin finally founded his own label in 2006 releasing Tearing arms from Deities. 1980 -2005 …a 25 year anniversary collection of rare, remastered and reworked songs from the bands entire career…and a succession of reissues and rarities including Something stirs - an album of their earliest works...
2008. The band have just returned home from their first full tour of Russia... Attrition return to Projekt records with the release of possibly their most intriguing album to date… “All mine enemys whispers – the story of Mary Ann Cotton” A darkAmbient exploration of the life..and death…of a notorious victorian serial killer…
Attrition have always been uncompromising, yet accessible, and always unpredictable...