From the opening synths and distortions of the opening track, Individual Totem’s new album Mothfly announces itself as crucial, difficult, cerebral, and… industrial. What do you do with a new single whose dance beat comes in at the 2-minute mark? If you’re a label, you run away. If you really like industrial music, on the other hand, you recognize Mothfly for what it is: an industrial album which contorts and convinces, pulls you apart but creates an organic whole. The synths are simply great, the atmosphere is dark and elusive, the band asks more questions than they answer. Mothfly is often downtempo but equally it rages. It rages in dark places, alone, with vocals unable to scream, though screaming. It’s a wonderful statement of psycho-analytic repression. The father lost in the son, or murdered, who can tell? From the opening and infectious WWW to the interesting and introspective In Memorial, to the Skinny Puppy-influenced The Ugly Game, Mothfly is quintessential industrial music.
Comprising two electronic music pioneers, Bernd Madl and Mathias Knopp, Individual Totem began making music in the early 90s and released their home-made album, Aspects Of Theories And Reality in 1994. Following this, the band was signed to Off Beat in Europe and Pendragon in the United States and released two now-classic CDs: S.E.T.I. in 1996 and Mind Sculptures Flesh in 1997. Following a long hiatus and a comeback that never materialized, Individual Totem eventually released the WWW EP digitally on Artoffact Records in late 2007.