Thousands of progressive electronic music fans worldwide are taking a break from Radiohead and Aphex Twin and instead downloading music from Pittsburgh band Prometheus Burning. This considerable Internet interest has helped the powernoise/electro-industrial duo -- comprising vocalist Nikki Telladictorian and programmer Greg Van Eck -- emerge as a flagship act of New Jersey indie label Hive Records.
Strong sales of ProBurn's 2006 album for Hive, Beyond Repair, prompted the label to authorize a remix album, which came out in July. Anagramatically dubbed nBoyde raRepi, it features reworkings by some of the duo's closest acquaintances in the harsh-electronic and breakcore scene, including Abelcain, Iszoloscope, Endif, Proyecto and fellow cyber-'Burgher Xanopticon.
"The remixes aren't typical," explains Nikki. "They took a piece of our work and made it their own. People went above and beyond what they needed to do. That's why we picked the ones we did, because we related to them on the same level."
Many of the groups on nBoyde probably draw upon inspirations similar to ProBurn's: a pinch of Skinny Puppy and Frontline Assembly here, some Throbbing Gristle and Coil there. But the duo is a bit more unusual in the scene for being a male/female act, coming across visually like Aeon Flux meets the Terminator. But Nikki says gender's not an issue in their music.
"[Greg and I] look at things the same way, so we're not gender-specific. We're actually fans of androgyny and breaking sexual stereotypes. Gender happens to be a condition of our existence. There are many all-male bands that make music that I love -- it's just about the minds involved."
Without the freedom to leave their jobs for longer tours, Nikki and Greg have taken advantage of a frequent phenomenon in the goth/industrial scene: "festival"-style shows with big lineups, such as Indoctrination in Chicago, LiveWire in Toronto, and Reverence in Madison. They've also performed at local club night Ceremony, sharing the stage with Nevada powernoise pal Endif.
ProBurn also struck up a relationship with cyberpunk writer Kenji Siratori, culminating in the band's use of his poetry on its next release, a vinyl 12-inch called Retribution, due in 2008 on the local Thaco label. The album art, by Irish illustrator Paul McCarroll, depicts a Medusa-esque succubus with tentacles squirming around her head and body. If that sounds like a character from some apocalyptic video game, the music will most likely follow suit. In any case, Nikki's ready to make a bold claim: "We're excited about this release, and confident that these new songs will sound nothing like your ears have ever perceived before." For more information, visit www.rhinoplex.org/vaneck