In the pre-internet era, access to original music in the underground goth, industrial, metal, and electronic scenes was limited. Asleep By Dawn Magazine fulfilled a mission to introduce new artists to those who wanted something less…mainstream. With over 100,000 units sold and another 60,000 free compilation CDs distributed to subscribers, Asleep By Dawn Magazine compilation series was one of the most successful outlets for original music from the dark underground.
By the time the final volume was released in 2007, the list of participants had already included such luminaries as Robert Smith, Ministry, The Cult, Paul Van Dyk, In This Moment, Loreena McKennitt, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, Peter Murphy, Skinny Puppy, Blue Man Group, and even the late, great Sir Christopher Lee.
Fast-forward fifteen years later: ABD is back, with a new 22-track compilation album called From The Vault. Spanning 1985-2005, the collection includes a vast sampling: The jangly and bombastic gothic folk of Faith and the Muse’s “The Silver circle,” the classic gothic rock anthem of The Merry Thoughts’ “Boy Sinister,” Shriekback’s Arch-Deviant Mix of their iconic hit “Nemesis,” Swedish synthpop outfit Kite’s, pulsing and buoyant disco reverie “Ways To Dance,” and many more.
These tracks include those that legitimately placed on mainstream media charts, as well as indie chart toppers and one track from a self-released demo. As part of the “Underground Club Mix” series, the songs are aimed at the dancefloor and feature artists from the US and Europe, including one foreign language cut: the spellbindingly gothic “Elizabeth” by Czech band XIII. Století.
The collection was curated by DJ Ferret, aka Patrick Rodgers, from Philadelphia label Dancing Ferret.
“The concept for this album is definitely rooted in the pandemic,” said Rodgers. “The sense of losing so much, and also of looking ahead to an unknown future, really impressed upon me the need to shine a light on these older songs. As the industry made the leap from physical to digital, and then digital to streaming, some of this music got left behind. Helping to preserve a part of our musical history made this a very fulfilling project….Whether it’s in a club or on Twitch, DJs play a key role both in raising awareness and curating music, so it makes sense to give them something they can work with. Of course, the same tempo lends itself well to driving, working out, or anything that you want to stay energized for.”
Rodgers also made a conscious effort to shine a light on lesser-known acts. “Only one band on this compilation has been on a previous Asleep By Dawn release,” he says. “In some cases, the bands have vanished, or the members have moved on to new projects. Others are still going strong. If you like a track, we urge you to support the artist by also buying their music instead of just streaming it.” He also suggests listening to the songs in order: “Some of these tracks are no longer digitally available (or have never been sold digitally). It is our hope that our compilation helps preserve this material for future generations.”
In one nod to the changing nature of the industry, this will be the first Asleep By Dawn title without a physical release. “Manufacturing went up, shipping went up, and demand for compilations as a category went down,” Rodgers said. “Even doing this as a digital-only title was a gamble, but I’m happy to gamble on these songs.”
And this gamble is certainly something darkwave fans can sink their teeth into, with its sprawling array of expertly curated tracks pulled from some of the best artists across several generations of the international goth/industrial scene.
This Asleep by Dawn compilation is available through digital sales platforms, including Amazon, Bandcamp, 7Digital, and others. To avoid competing with the existing sales of participating artists, the compilation is being sold in “album only” format.
You can purchase the album here.
- Shriekback – Nemesis (Arch-Deviant Mix)
- Kite – Ways To Dance
- Death Ride 69 – F##ked Up Generation
- Imperative Reaction – As We Fall
- The Merry Thoughts – Boy Sinister
- God’s Girlfriend – Jean, I Think I’m Sinking
- NCC – Seven Steps of Nervousness
- The Echoing Green – She’s Gone Tragic (Catastrophic Mix)
- Faith And The Muse – The Silver Circle
- Star Industry – Nineties
- Sheep On Drugs – 15 Minutes of Fame
- Sweep – Emptiness, Your Loneliness
- kHz – Let It Go
- GASR – New Society
- 1 AM – 1000 Beats
- Every Move A Picture – Signs Of Life
- Mentallo & The Fixer – Wicked
- E-Craft – Electrocution
- Neuroactive – Space Divider (Video Edit)
- Vigilante w/John Bechdel – The New Resistance
- Alice 2 – Garden Of Life
- XIII. Století – Elizabeth