WTII Records

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WTII Records
Founded 2001
Founder Bart Pfanenstiel
Genre Electronic music, industrial music, EBM, synthpop, ambient music, post-punk, electropop, electro-rock
Country of origin United States
Location Chicago, Illinois
Official website http://www.wtiirecords.com

WTII Records is an independent record label created in 2001 by former WaxTrax! Records refugee, Bart Pfanenstiel,[1][2][3][4][5] and long-time friend David Schock.


Initial Concept[edit]

The concept behind WTII actually started in 1999 while Bart was still employed at Wax Trax! During Wax Trax!’s final year, Bart and Dannie Flesher (co-founder of Wax Trax!) were working hard to move that label into the modern era of electro/industrial music by tapping into the new breed of bands making their way to the states from Europe. Bart had made a connection with Stefan Herwig, of then Offbeat Records. The two had discussed numerous licensing possibilities over several months and the first of those opportunities came with the signing of VNV Nation to Wax Trax! At this time TVT (Wax Trax! parent label) had decided to move things in a different direction essentially shutting down the Wax Trax! offices in Chicago. The writing was on the wall about TVT’s plans, so Bart took further steps to strengthen his ties with his European connections and the idea quickly arose about creating a new label to capitalize on these opportunities. Over the years Jim Nash (co-founder of Wax Trax!) and Dannie had taught Bart the ins and outs of running a label. After Jim’s passing, Bart worked hand in hand with Dannie on all label activities soaking in everything he could. To pay homage to the two, Bart wanted to create a label that would try to rekindle the spirit of Wax Trax!’s earlier years.

Armed with the knowledge of running a label and a roster of available artists, Bart sought out the help of Dave to put the final pieces in place and get things rolling. Dave was the perfect fit, because he had a strong passion for music and had spent several years working at a small independent music distributor. He had sales experience in music distribution and he had built strong relationships with several key mom-n-pop, brick and mortar and chain stores across the country.

With the groundwork in place and Dannie’s blessing, WTII Records, LLC was officially launched on January 1, 2001.

Early Years (2001-2006)[edit]

The labels initial plan was to build a solid roster and catalog by licensing established artists from Europe. The first three artists licensed by WTII were In Strict Confidence, Melotron and Controlled Fusion. WTII 001, In Strict Confidence’s Love Kills! was officially released on March 14, 2001 and the label spared no expense on their initial release. The booklet for Love Kills! was a limited run 20 page velum booklet that had to be specially printed.

Over the first five years, the label continued to grow and build a solid catalog and fan base. The label stuck to its initial plan and added well-established artists, including: Stromkern, Beborn Beton, HMB, Arcanta, cut.rate.box, La Floa Maldita, Backlash, Acumen Nation and Regenerator. With a core roster in place, the labels expansion changed focus and the emphasis went from signing established artists to developing new talent. The label signed and released debut albums from newcomers like State of the Union, Trigger 10d, Monstrum Sepsis, and PTI.

2002 saw the label first two major tours as Beborn Beton crossed the country as the opening act for Apoptygma Berzerk. The tour coincided with the release of Beborn Beton’s greatest hits album, Tales From Another World. Stromkern initially toured the country in support of their Armageddon release and then followed that up with a second tour in support of the Re-align EP.

In 2003 the label held its first festival, WTII Minifest, a two day celebration of the labels first two years. The event was held at the Underground Lounge on Friday and the Bottom Lounge on Saturday and featured performances from Monstrum Sepsis, Trigger 10d, cut.rate.box, State of the Union and HMB.

2004 saw the release of Stromkern’s back catalog, Flicker Like a Candle and Dammerung Im Traum, Trigger 10d remix album But the Girl’s the Same, State of the Union’s sophomore album Inpendum and the debut of PTI.

2005 was the year of Stromkern as the band released their DAC #1 single Stand Up followed by the critically acclaimed album Light it Up. The band completed several festival dates and a full North American Tour with label mates PTI. To complete the year they released a second single from the album, Reminders, and kicked off 2006 with a second tour of the US and Europe with industrial legends Front Line Assembly.

In 2006, the label celebrated its 5th Anniversary with a promotional compilation entitled "The 5 Year Hits" also known as the "WTII 5th Anniversary Compilation." The album was a mix CD that featured the labels club hits and contained a track from every artist on the WTII roster. The CD was mixed by well-known Chicago DJ’s Jeff Moyer and DJ Pulz-8 and mastered by Chris Randall of Sister Machine Gun [6][7][8] The CD’s were handed out at shows, clubs and conventions across the country and can still be downloaded for free on the WTII website. [6][7][8]

Over the first 5 years WTII had experienced success in licensing tracks and musical snippets to several high profile TV stations, independent films and video games. State of the Union, Stromkern, Trigger 10d and Monstrum Sepsis all had tracks appear in episodes of MTV's Made, MTV's My Super Sweet 16, MTV's Trailer Fabulous. Monstrum Sepsis’ music appeared on A&E's Biography and Vh1’s Driven and Stromkern’s Stand Up appeared in a SpikeTV’s webisode called Death Guild and was featured in the hit video game, Project Gotham Racing 3. Monstrum Sepsis’ Mace appeared in The Matrix:Reload and Monstrum Sepsis scored the soundtrack to the online Matrix:Reloaded video game. Trigger 10d and HMB appeared in the independent film Shut-eye with HMB’s Impulse receiving the honor of the title track.

Middle Years (2007-2010)[edit]

The labels sound and roster continued to diversify and the emphasis remained on developing new artists. In 2007 the label ventured into the electro-rock scene with the signing of New York based The Qualia and released the third and final single from Stromkern’s Light it Up album.

2008 saw much more activity from the label as they released albums from State of the Union, Monstrum Sepsis and signed electro/alternative act The Thought Criminals. The end of the year also saw the signing of powerhouse newcomer The Gothsicles. Their video game infused form of chaos started 2009 with a bang and that energy carried over throughout the year as the label signed and released a greatest hits collection from industrial pioneers, Dessau, a single from The Thought Criminals and signed gothic legends Attrition.

In 2010 the label added another new artist in coldwave rockers, Am.Psych and released sophomore albums from The Qualia and Trigger10d.

At the end of 2010, WTII’s persistence and success caught the attention from members of Nail Distribution. The label began negotiating a deal that would provide full distribution coverage across North America and in December of 2010 an agreement was reached between the two. This international agreement was a major step forward for the label. After years of self-distribution, the label was now able to focus more on artist promotion and development

Current (2011-2014)[edit]

2011 started a new era for the label as they approached the year with a new distribution network and a catalog worth of upcoming releases. The label signed UK up and comer Method Cell and their album, Curse of a Modern Age was the first album released using the new distribution network. Later that year the label signed and released albums from Canadian hardcore industrial artist Stiff Valentine, the legendary Claus Larsen’s (aka Leaether Strip) alter ego Klutae, Sweden’s synthpop/electronic rock band Lowe, and Pittsburgh’s industrial act Rein[Forced]. In addition to the new acts, the label had releases from The Gothsicles and The Qualia.

In the summer of 2011, WTII celebrated its 10th Anniversary with Minifest 2, a 4 day festival which featured performances from WTII artists Trigger 10d, Am.Psych, Rein[Forced], The Gothsicles, Stiff Valentine, Dead on TV, Stromkern and other local and national acts. Throughout the year there were also performances across the globe from The Gothsicles, The Qualia, Stiff Valentine, Rein[Forced, Method Cell, Klutae and Attrition. The busy year was capped off by an East coast tour from Lowe. The highlight of their tour was a CMJ (College Music Journal) showcase in New York City.

To kick off 2012, Stromkern made their long awaited return with the release of a new EP. The label expansion and diversity continued as they added a mix of new and established artists. Coming off their impressive performance at the Minifest 2, electro-punks Dead on TV made their WTII debut in the spring with the release of the Fuck You, I’m Famous EP. Analog noise manipulators Prometheus Burning made their label debut in the fall with the release of Kill it With Fire. The label compiled its first free mp3 compilations that included tracks from everyone on the label and was available for download on the label’s website, Amazon.com, iTunes and several other sites. To round out the year the label released a remix album from Stiff Valentine and a new album from Rein[Forced].

Over the years the UK has continued to churn out some of the brightest artists in the scene. WTII discovered this talented pool a few years earlier when they signed up and comers Method Cell and The Thought Criminals. In 2013, WTII had the privilege to sign two of London’s favorites in Mechanical Cabaret and Deviant UK. Both artists’ came armed with multiple releases which started the year with a bang. Mechanical Cabaret released a “Best of” called Selective Hearing in March and a new album in October and Deviant UK released North American versions of two of their classic albums. The label added another legendary act in SMP (Sounds of Mass Production) and released their album called Death of the Format. Two new acts, Blume and Die Sektor, released albums in the fall and both bands have quickly become two of the hottest acts on the scene. Both Blume’s Autumn Ruins and Die Sektor’s (-)existence have quickly climbed to the top 10 in album charts across the globe and led to several festival and one-off dates around the world.

In the fall of 2013 the label made another significant step forward when it entered into an overseas distribution agreement with Planetworks Entertainment. Now with Nail handling the labels North American network and Planetworks taking care of the overseas markets, the label now has complete coverage across the globe.

2014 looks to be another promising year as the label has added Slave Unit, Frontal Boundary and Autoclav1.1 and are expecting new releases from State of the Union, Deviant UK, The Gothsicles, and Method Cell.


Over the years the label roster has continued to grow with a plethora of artists that vary in sound and style. With releases from artists like Stromkern, Autoclav1.1, Prometheus Burning, SMP, Slave Unit, Beborn Beton, Deviant UK, Mechanical Cabaret, Blume, State of the Union, Trigger 10d, The Thought Criminals, The Gothsicles, Dessau, Die Sektor, Frontal Boundary, Attrition, In Strict Confidence, Monstrum Sepsis, Klutae, Trigger 10d, Stiff Valentine, Method Cell, Lowe, The Qualia, cut.rate.box, Dead on TV, Rein Forced, PTI, Backlash, am.psych, and HMB, WTII has been pushing the electronic spectrum to new limits.


The label is distributed by NAIL Distribution a Division of the Allegro Media Group in North America and Planetworks Entertainment the rest of the world.

WTII Records Artist Roster[edit]


Release Artist Album
WTII 001 In Strict Confidence Love Kills
WTII 003 Controlled Fusion Patient Zero
WTII 004 Arcanta The Sacred and the Profane
WTII 006 Melotron Fortschritt
WTII 007 Various Artists The Resurrection
WTII 008 HMB Great Industrial Love Affairs
WTII 009 State of the Union Black City Lights
WTII 010 Stromkern Armageddon
WTII 015 Trigger 10d The Difference is a Boy
WTII 016 cut.rate.box Dataseed
WTII 017 cut.rate.box New Religion (Digital Only)
WTII 018p Beborn Beton Selections from Tales from Another World (7 song promo only)
WTII 018 Beborn Beton Tales from Another World 2xCD
WTII 019 Regenerator War
WTII 020 Stromkern Re-align EP
WTII 021p La Floa Maldita Selections from Salut Jacques (5 song promo only)
WTII 021 La Floa Maldita Salut Jacques 2xCD/DVD
WTII 022 Monstrum Sepsis Deep Sea Creatures
WTII 023 State of the Union Inpendum
WTII 024 Trigger 10d But the Girl's the Same EP
WTII 025 Monstrum Sepsis Doors & Windows EP
WTII 026 State of the Union Timerunner (single)
WTII 027 Various Artists Resurrection 2
WTII 028 Stromkern Flicker Like a Candle
WTII 029 Stromkern Dammerung im Traum
WTII 030 PTI Blackout
WTII 031 Stromkern Light it Up
WTII 032 Stromkern Stand Up (single)
WTII 033 PTI Exhaust
WTII 034 Monstrum Sepsis Movement
WTII 035 Backlash Lodestar EP
WTII 036 Backlash Heliotrope 2xCD
WTII 040 Acumen Nation Nation What the F**k
WTII 041 Stromkern Reminders (single)
WTII 042 Various Artists WTII 5th Anniversary Compilation "The 5 Year Hits" (promo only)
WTII 044 State of the Union Black City Lights V2.0
WTII 045 The Qualia Nevada's Greatest
WTII 046p The Qualia / Backlash Split Better Single/Escalator People Single (promo only)
WTII 047 Stromkern Hindsight (Featuring Victoria Lloyd) (single)
WTII 048 State of the Union Evol Love Industry
WTII 049 Monstrum Sepsis Artifacts
WTII 051 The Thought Criminals Die Young: Stay Pretty
WTII 052 The Gothsicles Sega Lugosi’s Dead
WTII 053 Dessau The Truth Hurts
WTII 054 Various Artists Resurrection 3 (Digital Only)
WTII 055 The Thought Criminals All the Freaks (Digital Only Single)
WTII 056 The Qualia Secret Weapon
WTII 057 Trigger 10d Trigger 10d
WTII 058 am.psych Side Effects EP
WTII 059 Attrition Wrapped in the Guise of My Friend
WTII 060 Trigger 10d A-List (Digital Only Single)
WTII 061 The Qualia Station Wagons (Digital Only Single)
WTII 062 Attrition The Wrapped EP (Digital Only EP)
WTII 063 Trigger 10d Misplaced (Digital Only Single)
WTII 064 Method Cell Curse of a Modern Age
WTII 065 Stiff Valentine America Bleeding
WTII 066 The Qualia Memorial Gore
WTII 067 Klutæ Electro Punks Unite
WTII 068 Rein[Forced] X Amount of Stab Wounds in the Back
WTII 069 The Gothsicles Industrialites and Magic
WTII 070 Lowe Breathe In Breathe Out (Digital Only Single)
WTII 071 Lowe Evolver
WTII 072 Klutæ I Know It’s Sick But It’s So Much Fun (extended Psychopomps version)
WTII 073 Various Artist Minifest 2 CD (Limited Edition Festival CD)
WTII 074 Stiff Valentine America Inbreeding
WTII 075 Various Artists WTII Records FREE Spring Sampler (Digital Only)
WTII 076 Stromkern Dead Letters (EP)
WTII 077 Stromkern Dead Language (EP)
WTII 078 Rein[Forced] Dichotomy (Digital Only Single)
WTII 079 Dead on TV Fuck You, I'm Famous
WTII 080 Stromkern Stromkern Single 3 Pack
WTII 081 Lowe Mirage (Digital Only Single)
WTII 082 Prometheus Burning Kill it with Fire
WTII 083 Mechanical Cabaret Selective Hearing
WTII 084d Mechanical Cabaret Selective Hearing (Deluxe Digital Edition)
WTII 085 Deviant UK Very Bad Things (US Version)
WTII 086 SMP Death of the Format
WTII 087 Blume Autumn Ruins
WTII 088 Deviant UK Barbed Wire Star (Digital Only)
WTII 089 V/A WTII 2013 Free Sampler (Digital Only)
WTII 090 Rein[Forced] Pre-Existing Conditions
WTII 091 Mechanical Cabaret Beyond Science and Superstition
WTII 092 Blume Western Rust (Digital Single)
WTII 093 Die Sektor (-)existence
WTII 094 Stiff Valentine Empire of Illusion
WTII 095 Slave Unit Through With You
WTII 096 Stiff Valentine Empire of Death (Digital)
WTII 097 State of the Union My Time Away
WTII 098 Autoclav 1.1 ten.one.point.one

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wax Trax! Records (Chicago Sun-Times "Centerstage Chicago" ed.), Chicago, Illinois: Sun-Times Media Group, retrieved March 24, 2011 
  2. ^ "Wax Trax! Luminary William Tucker Takes Own Life", CMJ New Music Report (Great Neck, New York), Vol. 58 No. 11 (621), 7 June 1999: 3, 16, retrieved March 24, 2011 
  3. ^ Saeger, Eric W. (3 March 2011), Method Cell, Curse of a Modern Age, March 3–9, 2001; Vol.11, No.9 (The Hippo [digital edition http://www.hippopress.com/past-issues/61 ] ed.), Manchester, New Hampshire: Hippo Press, p. 43, archived from the original on March 8, 2011, retrieved March 24, 2011 
  4. ^ Rahim, Amirah; Amburn, Kali (2006), WTII Records Old School Values, New School Sound, Rock*Star Journalism, retrieved March 24, 2011 
  5. ^ WTII Records Official Site, retrieved March 24, 2011 
  6. ^ WTII 5th Anniversary Compilation "The 5 Year Hits", on Discogs, retrieved May 9, 2011 
  7. ^ WTII 5th Anniversary Compilation, WTII, retrieved May 9, 2011 
  8. ^ WTII 5th Anniversary Compilation, on 8-Trax Recordings, retrieved May 9, 2011 

External links[edit]