Download (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
OriginVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Years active1994–present
Spinoff of
MemberscEvin Key
Past members

Download is a Canadian electronic music group formed by Dwayne Goettel and Kevin Crompton (aka cEvin Key) of Skinny Puppy in 1994.[1] The initial lineup also included Off & Gone's Phil Western and Mark Spybey of Dead Voices on Air,[2] but has since been particularly fluid, with Key and Western being the only constant members following Goettel's death. Download's music has been described as post-industrial, drawing from the band's genesis as part of Skinny Puppy but also sharing common stylistic ground with such artists as Aphex Twin and Autechre. The primary instrumentation common throughout their albums is a blend of synthesizers and sampled instruments; the music is particularly centered on elements of percussion and rhythm.

Other artists that have been involved are Genesis P. Orridge, Anthony Valcic, Bill Van Rooy, and Ken Marshall. Earlier releases frequently included vocal elements and lyrics, but since III (and Mark Spybey's departure in 1996) their work has been strictly instrumental.



As tensions within Skinny Puppy began to mount in the early nineties,[1] band members Dwayne Goettel and cEvin Key began experimenting with musical improvisations that they felt were more true to their "roots."[3] Early on, the duo brought in Mark Spybey who Key had met in Vancouver some years previous through Spybey's involvement with Zoviet France.[4] The name for the band came from the last track on Skinny Puppy's album Last Rights,[5] an especially abstract track for the band produced by Goettel and Anthony Valcic.[6]

Furnace and Microscopic[edit]

In the first era of Download's career, the band's sound was an Experimental Industrial style which featured vocals by Mark Spybey and guest vocals by Genesis P. Orridge.[7] Their first LP, Furnace, was arguably their least accessible—most of the tracks lasted for over four minutes, some lasting as long as nine minutes. Their next release, the Microscopic EP continued this style. It featured three remixes of tracks from Furnace (only one of which was remixed by the band itself, the other two were remixed by Biosphere and Newt), along with five original tracks.

Charlie's Family[edit]

Charlie's Family was another experimental industrial LP by Download, except this LP was a soundtrack to the movie of the same name, and it had significantly different sound than the previous two releases. Instead of the beat-oriented music that dominated Furnace and Microscopic, this LP's music was mostly dominated by a simple beat along with many samples of anything from women orgasming to airplanes taking off.

The Eyes of Stanley Pain and Sidewinder[edit]

The Eyes of Stanley Pain, arguably Download's most diverse-sounding and accessible industrial album, was released in 1996.[8] It spanned 14 tracks, most of which were about four or five minutes long. The only exceptions were the tracks "Glassblower" and "Collision", which were 3:02 and 10:38, respectively. Later that year, the EP Sidewinder was released by the band.[9] In the same vein as their first EP - Microscopic - it contained eight tracks, of which four were remixes. Three were remixes by Download of songs from The Eyes of Stanley Pain, and one was a remix of the song "Attalal" from Furnace by the band Haujobb (although the packaging of Sidewinder spells it "Attallal"). The other four songs were original songs recorded by Download, and the last of Download's post-industrial era.

III and Effector[edit]

III marked a turning point for Download. Their sound became more melodic and accessible while still retaining the experimental quirks of their older material. Their next album Effector continued this direction and peaked at #12 on the CMJ RPM Charts in the U.S.[10]

III Steps Forward and Inception[edit]

Two more albums, III Steps Forward and Inception were released as part of Subconscious Studio's From The Vault series. Inception contained outtakes from Download's more experimental early era, while III Steps Forward included outtakes from the III and Effector eras as well as new tracks. Although the original pressing of each was limited to 1000 copies, 2nd pressing editions are currently available from Subconscious Studio's website.


In December 2006, cEvin Key announced that new material has been recorded for a new album (titled Fixer). The album was released in April 2007.[11]

HElicopTEr & Wookie Wall[edit]

In late 2009, Subconscious Communications announced the release of the Beyond the Vault series.[12] With it, a new Download album titled HElicopTEr was included in the series which was written by cEvin Key and Phil Western with a guest appearance by Mark Spybey.[13] As stated on the official Subconscious Communications website, the album employs some of the oldest synthesizers the studio has in its collection.[14] The result differs from the more ambient releases of Effector and Fixer and is more akin to Download's previous works such as Furnace or Charlie's Family.

Wookie Wall: For the 2010 "SubCon Beyond Fest", a tour in support of the albums released in the Beyond The Vault series, Download announced plans to release an EP that would be sold during the tour. Though Download apparently went as far as to commission album art, the so-called Wookie Wall EP never materialized during the tour though the title track was integrated into the setlist. Supposedly the band considered the possibility of expanding Wookie Wall into its own full-length album, but in 2011 three of the proposed Wookie Wall tracks were added onto a re-release of Download's Helicopter.[15][16]

A special-edition of Furnace (Furnance Re:dux) was also released with Subconscious' From the Vault II series. The new release includes a second disc with a collection of the live jams and improvisations that were the basis of the finished album.[17]


On June 11, 2013, Download released their ninth studio album Lingam.[18] In Hindu scripture, the lingam is the beginning-less and endless cosmic pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.[19] Lingam employs some of the band's more ambient styles featured on previous albums like Effector and Fixer.[20]

Unknown Room[edit]

On March 8, 2019, Download released their eleventh studio album Unknown Room.[21] From the bandcamp listing: 'Unknown Room is the project's 11th studio album, recorded in Los Angeles over a several-year period, culminating in a recent two-month session in the Fall that Key describes as being "extremely intense."[22] Unknown Room is the last album to feature Phil Western who died while the album was being prepared for release in 2019.[23]


Title Release date Label Notes
Furnace October 3, 1995 Cleopatra,
Subconscious Communications
Re-released in 2007 as part of
the Vault II series with bonus disc
Microscopic (EP) January 9, 1996 Cleopatra,
Subconscious Communications
Charlie's Family 1996 Metropolis,
Subconscious Communications
Sidewinder (EP) April 30, 1996 Nettwerk
The Eyes of Stanley Pain May 28, 1996 Nettwerk,
Subconscious Communications
Music video for "Glassblower"
directed by William Morrison
III October 21, 1997 Nettwerk,
Subconscious Communications
Effector October 24, 2000 Nettwerk,
Subconscious Communications
Inception: The Subconscious Jams 1994-1995 (Compilation) January, 2002 Subconscious Communications From the Vault #1 (of 7),
Limited to 1000 copies
III Steps Forward April, 2002 Subconscious Communications From the Vault #3 (of 7),
Limited to 1000 copies
Fixer April, 2007 Subconscious Communications From the Vault II
HElicopTEr 2009 Subconscious Communications Beyond the Vault
LingAM 2013 Subconscious Communications Metropolis Mail-order
Unknown Room March 8, 2019 Artoffact Records
44 Days (EP) July 12, 2019 Artoffact Records


  1. ^ a b Lucas, John (12 Jan 2011). "Subcon Beyond Fest's cEvin Key brings sci-fi sounds from beyond". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Download". Nettwerk Music Group. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  3. ^ Valerio, Paul A., ed. (1995). "Interview: Download". Industrialnation (12). Moon Mystique: 22–23. ISSN 1062-449X.
  4. ^ Weaver, Rodney, ed. (1997). "Interview: Download". Infectious Substance. 1 (3): 32–36.
  5. ^ Alexander Atmox (Feb 2019). "cEvin Key - VK Fans Interview (2018)". VK. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  6. ^ Reed, S. Alexander (2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press. p. 276. ISBN 9780199832583.
  7. ^ Gourley, Bob (Oct 1995). "Interview: Download". Chaos Control Digizine. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  8. ^ Download: The Eyes of Stanley Pain at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  9. ^ Download: Sidewinder at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  10. ^ Comer, M. Tye (25 December 2000). "RPM" (PDF). CMJ New Music Report. 65 (696). New York, NY: College Media, Inc.: 25. ISSN 0890-0795. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  11. ^ Download: Fixer at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  12. ^ "Subconscious Releases 'Beyond the Vault'". Official Skinny Puppy News. 27 Aug 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  13. ^ Download: Helicopter at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  14. ^ "CDs and Posters: Behind the Vault". Subconscious Communications. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  15. ^ Evangelos (5 Oct 2011). "Download: HElicopTEr + Wookie Wall". Chain D.L.K. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  16. ^ Paul, Simon. "Download: Helicopter + Wookie Wall". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  17. ^ Goldberg, Corey. "Litany Liner Notes: Furnace Re:Dux". Litany. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  18. ^ Download: LingAm at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  19. ^ Kahrle, Mikael (23 May 2013). "Listen to "Yoni" from the new Download album "LingAM"". Release Music Magazine. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  20. ^ Yücel, Ilker (23 Dec 2013). "Download - LingAM". Regen Magazine. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  21. ^ Download: Unknown Room at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  22. ^ Van Isacker, Bernard (27 Dec 2018). "Download to release 11th album 'Unknown Room' on Artoffact Records". Side-Line. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  23. ^ Bruce (13 Mar 2019). "Download, "Unknown Room"". I Die: You Die. Retrieved 15 October 2020.

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