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Beyond the algorithm

In a music scene that is nearly impossible to be heard, yet alone be noticed, #WEATNU has been fighting for experimental music since the summer of 2014. Starting by forming the group We the New Underground, on Soundcloud that summer, but that was just the beginning of an idea that became a movement and finally a label that artists could stand behind

In this world we have formed, the musician is appreciated, not underrated. It is a city all its own, a hub for artists who long to be found, found by anyone they can. The seeker who wishes for something more than top 40 finds it here. Along with the many artists who release to us, with other sub-labels connected, forming a network, a machine for the avant-garde, a world that is so well hidden, few know about it, yet alone care to seek it out, but it’s there, and it’s been building for these 8 years. That machine is a self-running creation, that is helping the indie artist.

In a digital realm that is vast, a small drop of water that is made creates quiet ripples across the digital ocean. The original logo becomes those quiet ripples moving across the music scene.

The mainstream is this imaginary wall that we all fighting. #WEATNU didn’t climb that wall, we tunneled under it, forming our own underground. Using the internet as that underground, an underground that long existed, before this movement was made, even before the internet itself was conceived.

The mainstream is this imaginary wall that we all fighting. #WEATNU didn’t climb that wall, we tunneled under it, forming our own underground. Using the internet as that underground, an underground that long existed, before this movement was made, even before the internet itself was conceived.

We are the New Underground –

The Underground scene

The underground has always been the hidden driving force behind the music. When mainstream was releasing Disco in the 70’s, people in their own world were creating punk and later Joy Division starting the post-punk movement. Then the 80’s, while New wave was jamming and pop radio was pushing synth-pop. Industrial began to surface with groups like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Ministry and Severed Heads then from Belgium, EBM came forth, with Front242 and UK, Nitzer Ebb. When dance was huge, Richie Hawtin in a club in the Detroit scene was spinning techno, then later DnB, Jungle, Electronica in the UK, and Vaperwave, Lo-fi, Synthwave, Retrowave, Dream pop on the internet. And concluding, one scene building off another, connecting them somewhat with each other.

The experimental end of this spectrum began with early hits from Coldcut, Ninja Tune, WARP Records Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher thus the IDM scene. Then trickling down to, Underworld, Boards of Canada, Tycho, Tosca, GusGus, and Röyksopp showing us the downtempo and chillout field of things. Each scene is born direct from the underground. A small niche of people find the music, and it drives straight to the heart of what they are longing to hear.

WEATNU encompasses all of these sub-genres in (4) labels.

A free existence to a musician is key to survival in a corp music world, and everything we do is free to the artist.

#WEATNU 2023

WEATNU Records

Housing all forms of electronic music, avant-garde, experimental and ever-evolving underground styles we are the bleeding edge of the DIY scene.

WEATNU Records – Founded 2014

IFMACA Productions

Our cinematic/chillout label and company for royalty free stock media, formed in 2021, and slowly rising to help composers who make film-related music, that you can listen to and enjoy.

IFMACA Productions – founded Summer 2021
Our library of composers continues to build

Transmission Nova

The post-punk/shoegaze of Transmission Nova, alongside goth and alt-rock of the 90’s.

Opened in 2022
Transmission Nova – Founded Nov 2021, launched 2022.

Synthesis Noir

And this year Synthesis Noir, our latest sub-label will house, EBM/Industrial, Darkwave, and Coldwave music.

Synthesis Noir – Founded 2023 (opens Summer)

Internet radio

WEATNU [OUR] Online Underground Radio, playing 24/7 on rotation all music that is uploaded to us.
Freely send music to us.

WEATNU [OUR] playing the best of the underground, 24/7 Electronic, Avant-garde and beyond.

Alongside our sister station, Transmission Nova – WEATNU [OUR], which also plays Indie rock and shoegaze, goth, etc. Transmission Nova radio was the first before its label came years later.

Transmission Nova – WEATNU [OUR] 24/7 | Indie Rock/Post-punk/Shoegaze and Alternative. Internet radio: Playing the best of the Underground 24/7

Our movement hones in on “The Underground” of this modern era, where people are making music directly from their small bedrooms, tiny studio in their apt/flat. That obscure musician on YouTube you’ve never heard of, or the lonely talented musician that wants to be heard.

Along the way #WEATNU has formed Radio | Label | Magazine | and in 2023 formed its net-label to help the artist, who may not wish to sell their work, but instead be appreciated for it, under creative-commons licensing through archive.org.

#WEATNU – Net-label

WEATNU Records – net-label on archive.org – under creative-commons licensing. (opened 2023)

WEATNU continues to influence the indie scene

The image of #WEATNU – becomes invisible radio waves moving across the music scene, beyond web apps, beyond software barriers, and beyond the algorithm of social media, resisting restraint from the corp world. An idea is carried across the ocean, and around the world.

mind map of #WEATNU (c) 2023

Artists from different parts of the world

Artists from many places around the globe join us, we are a world-wide event. It started in the UK and spread to Australia, and now Russia where The Underground still thrives, thanks to the pioneers who keep it going; those early 80’s artists.

Artists and fans are given new options also in 2023, now that we have our network website.

Forum and social gathering

WEATNU Network – social network + forum, opened 2023

A free to join forum / social gathering for people to come together and share music, and to join #WEATNU, where one simply becomes part of the community, sharing each others music on the internet.

We are the New Underground seems to be influencing the music scene, in some way, by the people who hear the music we release to the internet. Those unknown musicians suddenly find a niche audience.
There are micro communities across the world and have been for years, and WEATNU is here as the lighthouse for all to see from endless miles on that digital ocean we are traveling over.

Some artists who have come through our doors went on to become semi-famous, even successful and some were already this way before they arrived, only needing a boost for their self-esteem or finding a new audience, even enjoying the community we have here.
For every person who can be helped here, they find their niche audience, and this continues to happen, due to the power of the internet.

What we offer is freedom to the artist and fans who alike wish to find music that isn’t mainstream, but has true, raw talent. Both the unknown and the known are welcome to join our movement. We need you all, now more than ever.

May we continue to grow in this hard music industry, but with your help, we will succeed.

We are the New Underground – We are all one.

Almark – #WEATNU Digital Magazine – June 2023

Join our network and get to know the community.
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeatnuRecords
Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weatnurecords
WEATNU Records on Bandcamp – https://weatnu.bandcamp.com
Transmission Nova on Bandcamp – https://transmissionnova.bandcamp.com
IFMACA Productions on Bandcamp – https://ifmacaproductions.bandcamp.com/artists
Discord chatroom: https://discord.com/invite/4jy5wBR

Website: https://weatnurecords.com

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Interview with Tom Ellard

Industrial/Dance Pioneer,
Tom Ellard formally of “Severed
Heads” speaks on new album “Rhine”

What new things have you been cooking up in the synth factory, namely

Tom Ellard: I’ve spent too many years meeting deadlines; the music industry, advertising, academic. The push for the last few years has been to escape that. Obviously there’s still a lot of things in life that have to be delivered on time, but this is not the best way to make music. Instead, there’s a lot of things going on here that don’t have a set purpose, until they insist on being realized by their own impatience. RHINE is a name I borrowed from a different project that had failed, and said OK this unexpected thing is now RHINE, what does that mean? What do I do with this?

What has changed on this album?

Tom Ellard: I’m not able to know what is meant here – changed from Barbara Island? That’s like a magazine that has run since 2006. It has a certain style and appears every 4 years (that’s the design). So different from Op3? That was almost krautrock. I am not sure what my centroid is supposed to be. Maybe RHINE is exactly that.

<iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=26885020/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/” width=”300″ height=”150″ seamless=””>Rhine by Tom Ellard</iframe>

Vocals on Rhine: the lyrics have always been a trip to me.
Are there hidden meanings to your songs?

Tom Ellard: There is not so much things hidden in the lyrics as I don’t try to make them universal. Like I might have a personal experience, and I could translate that into a generalized experience so that everyone could recognize it, but I don’t see the advantage in doing that. I will just talk about something that I have in mind and if you have something else in mind then that’s fine, it’s not a documentary. Sometimes there might be a bit of play where I will use some words by which a few people will catch the meaning and enjoy the discovery. It’s always designed to entertain on a few levels. Like Bridge To Everything has some allusions to Scientology, and the bit about having your head shaved is a reference to Narconon. So you might think I’m talking about that, but then it’s really about the extras in George Lucas’ THX 1138, and that leads to something else.

Is there a story behind Rhine?

Tom Ellard: There is no single narrative. There are different narratives mingled together. My original RHINE project was about forming synthetic solids by using high pressure sound waves.
That alluded to JB Rhine, the American psychic researcher. He thought he was discovering psychic powers in his lab but I have a different theory about that which is too complex to explain here. But while I was working on RHINE, I was recording music for relaxation and that in itself is a result of the experiment, that something was formed even if not the expected result. It’s not that complex, it’s like living on a beach and calling an album BEACH.

Rhine feels like a Sevs album and taking a left turn from familiar ground, poppy and strange once again, what
brought you back into this territory? It’s as if you’ve rebooted your sound and started over, yet there is plenty to

Tom Ellard: It’s more like having been a professional athlete at one stage, retiring and reaching a point where you can have a fun run without being reminded of all the crap. I have moved on from that. It got tedious, and I would never let things go back to that way of working – you must have the next record ready by June and there will be three remixes required etc… I don’t need to go back that way.

How are you creating music these days, mostly analog, less DAW? That deep bass in this album, is that the SH101?

Tom Ellard: It’s whole mix of things over more than two years and I honestly couldn’t pick out everything. The early tracks were sequenced and then I might go back and play it manually instead. Then listen to them together, keep that cut that. It’s not done according to principle, it’s what works. Like there is a snare drum sound on Fingers which I did over and over again on every damn thing I had to try get what I wanted – there’s a multitude of different white noise bangs on the multitrack of which maybe #12 and #7 might have been the final choice. Some of the later tracks like “Department” are obviously based around one or two devices that do something well. The MS2000 does the warbles, the bass is a Fantom and the melodies are an SY77. Because that’s what worked. In the past I might have owned two keyboards, so it was all of a type. That’s not the case any more.

Do you compose from start to finish. Or record the drums first.

Tom Ellard: Usually it’s melody. Could be on piano. Then start developing lines in response to that. In the more complex tracks, the drums were the last thing and might have gone through many versions over the two years. Like “oh that’s too heavy”, “that’s too fiddly”, “that’s just sludge” , followed by leaving it alone for three or so months to get a perspective. Simple drums are the start but usually don’t survive to the end, because I get tired of them after a couple of bars. The vocals were right at the end. They had to be done on two Mondays between 10am and 12pm, so they were really cranked out as quick as possible.

Still recording to tape at times, or just mix-down through DAW?

Tom Ellard: If tape makes sense. If it’s an affectation then no, what’s the point? Not everything sounds better on tape. Some tracks you might bounce a particular set of sounds to tape, see if that makes them move away from the rest of the sounds. The end section of “Lolly” has a ridiculous number of layers, including some tape. But all of this technology is just tools.

The album was recorded in the terse tapes, is that right, from past Severed Heads albums?

Tom Ellard: It’s just where the gear is camped at any moment. It has moved about and sometimes it was in a suitcase. Really it refers to a working space. There are still things here that were here in 1979, if that is necessary for the definition.

<iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1902038632/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/” width=”300″ height=”150″ seamless=””>The Illustrated Family Doctor by Severed Heads</iframe>

Considering your work in the past with the “The Illustrated Family Doctor” in composing music for the entire
film. Do you see more film works in your future?

Tom Ellard: Australia is a small population, smaller than New York, or Tokyo. There are fewer opportunities here, and they are starkly there or not there. For a few years I had lots of synch work. Then I had none. It may come back, who knows? I could move to Los Angeles if I really wanted that, Australians tend to move, but I am not so worried. These days I have a completely different career, this is what fate has decided. It might decide again.

Are you working on new games, videos at this time?

Tom Ellard: There is both a prequel and sequel to HH in early development, and both are critical solutions of problems in the first game. It’s not too bad for something that one person programmed over a year, but I think I would very much like to change the “computer game” look of the game to be more photographic. This is not easy. I am taking spherical photographs at the moment and trying figure out a way to move smoothly between them. There’s not the right look yet. This sort of thing will require a few years. There is also a storyline which must now be made into a “bible” , so that it is consistent across all three titles.

I noticed your latest montage of art regarding the new video to Rhine, excellent work.You’re also teaching these days?

Tom Ellard: I am the Program Director of the Media Arts degree at UNSW Australia. That means a lot of management, course design, financial planning etc. etc. that add up to a fair amount of stress. When we’re at full speed, there’s no time for music, video, anything.

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From reading your the albums PDF, I can tell that the Internet is leading you back from the past into a new light of music lovers and fans, your thoughts?

Tom Ellard: We made an album in 1985 called “Clifford Darling Please Don’t” Live In The Past. It’s being re-issued in 2015. That says everything I could hope to say.

Can we hope for more Ellard releases in the future? Sorry, I’m so use to thinking of your music as Severed Heads, I can’t seem to get it out on my own head.

Tom Ellard: There will be stuff. The word “release” is little bit old fashioned. It’ll be less frumpy than that. It could be under different names, because stability causes cancer. There will not be any new Severed Heads music, the joy is gone from that.

Do you plan on digging up the old bones and the head of your past moniker and go on a tour once again, this time for Rhine?

In our agreement with Gary Numan it was pledged that Severed Heads would not play any gigs in Australia after Adelaide. We have kept this promise, because Gary is an angry god.

What makes Gary Numan an angry god? 

Tom Ellard: Actually we told the Numan crew at our final show that we were retiring and they gave us a farewell card which he’d also signed. Once after that we performed in the same city (which was OK because we said Adelaide was our last show, and it was technically). But really it was a funny device to stop a cycle of farewells, which it did. A few calls after that were just “Gary says no”.

If not the absence of a head, then your own head will do. Are you planning to do some touring in the name of Ellard then?

Tom Ellard: I am happy just to do the occasional appearance.

Puzzles on Rhine, a map too boot, all very interesting, those videos that were cryptic, have been leading up this haven’t they?

Tom Ellard: There is a consistent line of clues between HH, Barbara Channel, 3 and RHINE. So far I have seen no decodes, so the game goes on. There is also a connection with the coma-tone that was introduced by Co Kla Coma, (however for legal reasons, that signal is no longer available.) This all adds up to a overarching narrative, for the entertainment of the people that have followed it over the years. Entertainment can take longer.

What inspires you to write music? Don’t worry, a thesis isn’t needed for such as vague question.

Tom Ellard: It is necessary to my happiness, and that’s really all there is. No one else has to listen, but hiding it is pretentious.

I have to know what’s the story behind the dog on your twitter account, and the chicken? – laughs

Tom Ellard: The chicken was from my account on Linked In. I made an account as A. Chicken, so it would say “A Chicken wishes to connect with you” on Linked In. I had many people around the world that wanted to link with a chicken, but then LI closed the account. That gave me the position to refuse to use LI, because they don’t understand the importance of self parody. The dog is just a stupid looking dog.

What motivated you to release “Rhine” on USB, nothing unusual since you’ve done similar things in the past with MiniDisc etc?

Tom Ellard: It’s by far the most effective physical media container at the moment. I had to make sure it was as inexpensive as possible, while still providing a pleasing keepsake. My audience are not all wealthy. Even cassettes cost more now. Bandcamp might go off-line some day, but USB should be around for another decade.

You like to call these releases pop albums, yet this isn’t modern pop at all, but it’s own sound, interesting as always.

Tom Ellard: It’s the opposite of difficult music, then I guess.

Do you hope that others create their own sound instead of the same copy paste musicians we all seem to run into these days?

Tom Ellard: To be honest, electronic music is all nostalgia now. That’s why I’m working in game design, because it’s like electronic music was once – difficult and needing new ideas.
But if a band wants to be Tangerine Dream, OK, that’s fine. Just don’t be too lazy.

[Almark] Just wanted to say, I have a friend who sampled the drums to Pilot in Hell, as he tells me, many years ago.

Are you currently listening to new artists these days, no not pop of course, electronic, possibly abstract music?

Tom Ellard: For no particularly good reason, I am not listening to music much at all at the moment. This sounds like a critique, it’s not, it’s just that right now there’s so much data coming at me that any silence is pretty damn good. Or early 20th century jazz – jug and washboard. That’s good too.

Seeking any record labels these days, or sticking with the non-label life?

Tom Ellard: I have three labels currently, all are re-issue labels but they keep me busy. Then I get people that want to be a label for new releases and that’s cool, but it’s really about money, and if you’re not good with money then you shouldn’t be doing it – I know that from personal experience. It took about 1 million dollars of marketing to get NIN up and popular. Getting new music up is very heavy lifting. Keep it simple, keep it low cost, less worry.

Your thoughts on “We are the New Underground.” Do you think it will help future artists come to the light who are making music in the dark?

Tom Ellard: I don’t know what the underground is. No one really knows, and there is a lot of discussion going on about that. It’s a paradox, because if you know about it, it’s not underground. If you are completely unknown, maybe that’s it? But that’s not what people really want, they want to be known. So, the words have to be the right words, or you never get what you really wanted. A new underground would be something that was invisible that response to something else that was invisible.

If someone were to walk around in your head, what would they find?

Tom Ellard – Wurst

Buy Rhine on Sevcom.com

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Album Reviews – Tom Ellard: RHINE

Long before Richard D. James, there was Tom Ellard. First forming ‘Mr. and Mrs. No Smoking Sign‘ at the end of the 70s, eventually becoming ‘Severed Heads’. Rhine is an album to be analyzed, because it has so many different facets. Sitting down and putting the headphones on is my favorite past-time. A time to reflect. Ellard’s music has always been ‘head music’, music for thinkers. You could call this album art, or you could call it unique, but you can never call a Tom Ellard album dull. The complete brilliance of each pad, bass and drum pattern all set into motion, become RHINE.

Recorded at Terse Tapes, Australia. ‘over a period of years’, ends up as a familiar masterpiece we haven’t heard in a while. A name borrowed from another project; one swap for another. Between pop-laced lyrics and pure analog, this album fills the ears with strange, cut-up vocals, voices talking about telepathic utterances and puzzles. The video to Rhine was just a taste of what was to come. CEO welcomes the ears to the busy sounds that meet every Severed Heads fan, and vocal patterns, we become so giddy about. More happy tunes turn into Lolly track #2. Rhine is comprised of many analog synths that any synth lover would give their VST’s to own, Blofeld to SH101. Mir ist es Kalt enters with deep bass tones, that only the sub-human in us understand. Carry the Birds: comes at us with a closed filter cutoff to a drum beat around notch freq; melody break and mood swings carry the Birds, deep lyrics set to the backing track. Far from Your sky, sung by Ellard. Welcomed by Geography, an enigma of riddles pointing to GPS coords, that appear to be a puzzle, clearly intentional. Fingers more cryptography and catchy basslines, where is this album going? Sending fingers to the sky, always fun to listen to strange lyrics. The music nature of the times and beyond. Rhine sounds like nothing else today. and we think this is a good thing. But Rhine is more than just another album, this is music from a land across the world, from the mind of Ellard. How can it not be different? Rhine is the future of Mr. Ellard’s sound, upon his break away of his past and Severed Heads, we still hear what the remaining sound of Severed Heads was about. A most haunting song ‘Star beacon’ much like  ‘Harold and Cindy Hospital‘, comes to the end of Rhine. But beyond the end there are more gems on the USB ‘hardcover’ if you were lucky enough to purchase it.

Purchase Rhine on sevcom.com

or direct https://severedheads.bandcamp.com/album/rhine-2

Almark – #WEATNU Digital Magazine

Some of our favorite Ellard albums include

Bulk Head
Greater Reward
80s Cheesecake
Bad Mood Guy

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