ATTRITION:a history

“Forever there will be the speculation that the exploration of darkness as a beautiful place will lessen our fear of it all, ease the pain a little…”
Lilly Novak. from The Hand that feeds review. 2000

1991

A Tricky Business recorded at Cabin studios in Coventry for Contempo records in Italy…includes the paen to love lost – A girl called harmony – “the most glorious gothic anthem since “bela”…” National Chart/Canada. Cover artwork from Mark P. Lomax includes the first appearance of the attrition “hand” logo. The Thin Red Line single precedes it with a remix from Pankow.

1992

Something in my eyethe follow up single with promo video shot on location in Rome. The Cage Studios. Martin starts building the band’s own professional studio…enabling a lot more diversity and experimentation and the first outside production work. Remix work begun for bands such as Die Form, Regenerator, Midnight Configuration, New Mind…Play Cold Spring’s “Pushing against the wire” festival alongside Meat Beat Manifesto, In The Nursery, Legendary Pink Dots…

1993

Contempo collapses – label manager Sebastien Koch goes on to form Audioglobe distribution-
The Hidden Agenda
 – “fusing classical textures to clean, precise minimal electronics…” Compulsion/UK – the first album recorded at The Cage…with engineer Mark Beswick (Martin later does live sound for his band Pillow…) The album and Lip Sync single released on Hyperium records, Germany
an early version of I am (eternity) appears on their Heavenly voices box set.
The Cage expands briefly into a promotion company for dark, ambient and industrial musics…

1994

Martin travels to Los Angeles to work on re-mastering the early Third Mind albums for CD re-issue on Projekt…they are re-issued over the next two years with the tracks from the singles and compilations included…perform at festivals in Europe including the UK electronica festival….an embryonic Apoptygma Bezerk open for them in Oslo…

1995

Ephemera – a cutting-edge industrial masterpiece” – The Wire/UK

A dark ambient instrumental follow up to the Death House album – initially planned for release as a solo album on the Artware audio label…released on Hyperium records when they hold Martin to the contract!…Martin’s first child Naomi is born….he co-founds the music technology dept. at City College in Coventry…later Garry Cox and Mark Beswick join him on the staff and several attrition extras are recruited from the students… Martin collaborates with Lydia Tomkiw (of Algebra Suicide) on her Incorporated album… attrition’s classic haunting version of Silent night appears on the first Excelsis: a dark Noel compilation on Projekt.

1996

3 arms & a dead cert“an entrancing blend of insistent electronics and beautiful orchestration…Bowes is without doubt one of the greatest living composers…” Industrial Nation/USA.

The last for Hyperium and the first new album for Sam Rosenthal’s Projekt Records. The first appearance of viola player Franck Dematteis. The band go to the States for the first time and play the Projekt festival at the Vic Theatre in Chicago …Martin works the live sound for Black Tape for a blue girl…They follow this with their first North American tour. Joined by John Waller on keyboards (Julia’s husband…)Sam Rosenthal handles much of the live sound with help from now tax-exile Ashley who helps out on much of the tour. The band perform 10 dates in the east and mid-west with Sean Bowley of Eden. After an exhausting tour Julia leaves the live line up for the last time…
Martin’s side project Engram has it’s only released track (until many years later) on the Alleviation compilation on Silber records… The band are featured in Mick Mercer’s Hex files:the goth bible…

1997

Etude  …an elegant music of a baroque and even medieval cast. Alternative Press/USA
an album of classical reworkings of earlier material in collaboration with Franck Dematteis, a member of the orchestra of the Paris opera. On Projekt. The Eternity EP is a rhythmic electronic reworking…. Touring in Germany in the spring ends in a car crash hit and run in Braunschweig, thanks to a drunken member of their secret police…Polish dates are cancelled…the events are mentioned in the German parliament…Play the Carnival of Magick festival in the UK and with Die Form in Belgium….Martin introduces Franck to them and he contributes viola to their Duality album…Stromkern’s debut album Flicker like a candle takes it’s title from the lyrics of My Eyes from the Hypogonder club album…Martin remixes a song from that CD and also produces the Venus Fly Trap’s Dark Amour album…a second successful tour of the US east and midwest in the autumn, including some shows with Lycia in Texas and a crumbling club 680 in Atlanta with Apocalypse Theatre…

1998

Tour Germany and Switzerland with In the Nursery. Festival tours in the U.K., Germany (The Leipzig Wave Gothic Treffen…the world’s biggest gothic festival…with Christian Death, Clan of Xymox, Das Ich, L’ame Immortal etc….), The Teplice festival in the Czech Republic, Poland (headlining the first night of the Castle party festival with Inkkubus Sukkubus)…Martin starts an abortive collaboration with Caroline Seaman (This Mortal Coil/Heavenly bodies etc…)…

1999

The Jeopardy Maze… an almost perfect example of darkwave-ambient”…Rocksound/UK.
The first album to feature cover artwork from renowned dark fetish artist John Santerineross...and liner notes from Australian writer Maggi Deguchi – on Projekt for the USA and German label Trisol for Europe…It is Franck’s last appearance…
After a succesion of new female singers Christine Reid joins…

The third and eventful US tour…Boston to LA in a white cadillac – via CBGB’s in New York and a show on Route 66 in New Mexico…braving snow storms over the Rockies , a car breakdown in Lake Arrowhead while visiting Regenerator and a narrow escape from an armed attacker in Los Angeles… lose keyboard player James half way through the tour in Chicago after a fall from the stage results in a broken leg…Pat Ogl and the late William Tucker help us sort out the mess….sound engineer Craig Ward takes over on synths for the rest of the tour…
Embark on the biggest UK tour for years and the first shows in Scotland and Ireland – including the Cerebus festival in Edinburgh with Sneaky Bat machine, Narcissus Pool, …European dates in Belgium, Holland…the Dark Nights festival in Amsterdam… they walk out on a tour of Germany with Italian band Kirlian Camera after experiencing that bands right wing following first hand… .Kissing a virtual angel a limited edition 3″ CD of classical pieces out on Ars Benevola Mater in Italy..(a divison of Amplexus).

2000

Years

Esoteria “mesmerising and haunting” Black Harvest/UK.
a limited edition collection of ambient works culled from previous releases & rarities on Russian label Brudenia ….and Red Letter…100 copies on 7″ vinyl on the Austrian Klangaleria label

First shows in Denmark in January…
Martin is special guest on the music industry panel at the Goth Con festival in March in Atlanta. Georgia.
Release the first live album Heretic Angels compiled from the 99 US tour.
Collaborations with Indefilms result in a multimedia CD video package for Acid Tongue – the song is also included on K-Tel records Industrial comp music of the shadows 3 alongside Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Ministry, Neubauten etc…
Martin remixes The Klinik for their End of the line box set…
Simon Stansfield takes over from Craig as regular live keyboard player…
Headline the Convergence 6 Goth festival in Seattle in May with Peter Murphy, Voltaire, Unto Ashes… Christine misses the flight home…!
Play the 12th Dour festival in Belgium in July…with Covenant, Neubauten, Motorhead, Buzzcocks…
Martin records a yet to be released new version of the punk classic “Gary Gilmore’s eyes” with TV Smith….
As Projekt records is forced to downsize operations they sign to Martin Atkins’ Invisible records in the US.


The Hand That Feeds ” a blend of musical dissonace and psychotic paranoia…one of the first essential albums of the new millenium…” Rocksound/UK.
Their remix album is released that summer with mixes from Chris n Cosey, In The Nursery, Regenerator, Stromkern etc…on Trinity for Europe (where it also includes a limited best of CD..) The year culminateswith the biggest ever US tour in October..25 dates in 6 weeks with spinmistress Batty…play variously with The Damage Manual, The Last Dance, VNV, Thou Shalt Not….Ned Kirby of Stromkern handles the live sound…..back home in November they play the Dark Celebration festival at the Astoria, London with VNV Nation and Spahn Ranch….