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Terror Punk Syndicate
Terror Punk Syndicate was an electronic music group and project from Karlskoga, Sweden, founded by John David Karlgren and Giovanni Falcone in autumn 2002. We were heavily inspired by the Canadian band Skinny Puppy, and wanted to create a similar sounding group. We also wanted to oppose the (at the time) rapidly growing trend of electronic bands dismissing their hardware equipment in favour of cheap and easy-to-use computer programs/plugins, which we felt had a negative impact on both the "authenticity" and the quality of the music. We made a statement that Terror Punk Syndicate would only use "real" synthesizers, drum machines and hardware to produce music (yes, we were quite naive at the time!), and this purist approach would at first serve as the main driving force of the group.
We released our first and only demo CD Limited Edition in July 2004, after having spent almost two years struggling with writing lyrics and coming up with a band name that we didn't hate. 50 copies were made by hand and included the songs Horizon and Dysmorphia. The music was produced by me, David, and the lyrics were written by both Giovanni and myself. I also recorded the (uncredited) vocals for the CD. Later that year, after a falling out one alcohol infused evening, Giovanni was sadly no longer part of the group and I remained as its sole member. Dysmorphia later appeared on a couple of American and European compilation albums and also got some radio play. I continued writing and producing new material for Terror Punk Syndicate on my own, and in the meanwhile also worked on a few remixes for other bands of the genre/scene that I had come in contact with.
In September 2007, after three stressful years of writing, composing and polishing the material to near perfection, the album Extended Playtime was finally finished and released by Swedish label Progress Productions. The album received very positive criticism from almost all reviewers. German magazine Zillo Musikmagazin gave it a very generous 9/10 rating, and Swedish Zero Music Magazine and Release Music Magazine both gave it 8/10. Many other reviewers gave similar praise. This was a great and exciting time for me, because the album was much better received than I had anticipated it would be. In fact, in February 2008, the album was even nominated for an Album of the Year award at the yearly Manifest Awards held at Nalen in Stockholm, Sweden. And it won!
After the album was released, I continued to do remixes for other bands and also helped produce a couple of bands. I made a few attempts at producing new material for Terror Punk Syndicate, but finishing the album had taken a pretty heavy toll on me, and I felt burned out. I was suffering from writer's block, and I was also starting to lose interest in making synth music. I did one final remix in 2010, and then, after 3 years of not having produced any new material, I decided that it was time to put Terror Punk Syndicate to rest. I was at that point no longer identifying myself as part of the "synth" or "dark wave" scene/subculture here in Sweden, and, ironically, had also lost my previously intense passion for hardware synthesizers and was now using plugins like everyone else. Even though Terror Punk Syndicate had been fairly successful with the release of the album a few years earlier, and the opportunity to follow up on the success was always there, the spark was long gone and I wanted to move on to other things.
All in all, the complete Terror Punk Syndicate discography consists of approximately 25 songs and remixes which were released on about a dozen CD records (counting all compilation albums and albums/EPs by other bands), and later also streaming services like Spotify, iTunes, etc. Instrumental music by Terror Punk Syndicate has also been featured in atleast two video games, including the Android game Punk Ball developed and released by neteject in 2011.
Terror Punk Syndicate was also invited on multiple occasions to perform as a live act, including performing at a popular music festival in Sweden, but never once did (for better or worse!). It thus remained purely a studio project for the entirety of its existence, setting it aside from most other artists of the genre.