Anti Body Language, the debut full-length album by Trace Amount, will be released April 15th via Federal Prisoner, the label founded by Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Black Queen, Jerry Cantrell) and visual artist Jesse Draxler. Today we are teaming up with Trace Amount’s mastermind, Brooklyn-based producer, vocalist, and visual artist, Brandon Gallagher, to give you his 10 picks of albums that fueled his creative mind and helped him craft Anti Body Language.
First conceived in 2019, Trace Amount took shape during the early stages of the pandemic, inspired by the grim realities of life in New York City at that time, and has evolved at a lightning pace ever since.
The sound is a harsh strain of industrial music, evoking apocalyptic dread through primal rhythms, layers of synth and noise, and Gallagher’s distorted moans and screams. Decibel Magazine has hailed Trace Amount as a “one-man sonic demolition unit”; CVLT Nation has termed it, an “experimental industrial onslaught”; Post-Punk.com has warned, “Trace Amount is not for the faint of heart.”
Influenced by the daily grind of urban existence and paranoid visions of a hyper-technological world, Trace Amount sets a dark tone, but on Anti Body Language glimpses of color appear from within the void.
Oppressive bangers like “Anxious Awakenings” are balanced by tracks like “Tone and Tenor,” featuring the sumptuous vocals of industrial-pop chanteuse KANGA, and the album’s closer, “Suspect,” which sees a sanguine saxophone weave its way into the mix.
Gallagher states: “Trace Amount falls under the industrial umbrella, but truthfully I get inspired by a lot of hip hop and experimental ‘pop’ music as well. Putting all electronic music under the same umbrella, I think you’re limitless as to where you can go with songwriting. I love Skinny Puppy and Nitzer Ebb, but I also love M.I.A., Ghostemane, and Eartheater. It seems like an insane combination but I was heavily influenced by all of these artists and I think you can hear all of their influences through my music, one way or another.”
Anti Body Language was co-produced by Fade Kainer (Statiqbloom) and mixed by Ben Greenberg (Uniform) at Circular Ruin in Brooklyn, NY. The album was mastered by Kris Lapke (Alberich).
Top 10 Album Inspirations for TRACE AMOUNT
Skinny Puppy – Too Dark Park (1990)
Maybe this is a hot take, but this is definitely my favorite “industrial” record. I feel like it’s that album for Skinny Puppy where they did their style the best. The songs have a lot of structure but also feel really unhinged, which I think set them apart from a lot of the other late 80’s / early 90’s industrial. How are you not moshing at the end of Spasmolytic? KICKING THE HABIT.
Favorite Tracks – Tormentor or Spasmolytic
HIDE – Castration Anxiety (2018)
This might be my favorite album of all time. An insane blend of extremely uncomfortable samples and gut wrenching vocals put together in a really digestible way. The arrangement of everything is done in such a way that you feel like you’re just being dragged and tortured through a pitch black abandonded warehouse.
Favorite Tracks – Fucked (I Found Heaven) or Close Your Eyes
Uniform + The Body – Mental Wounds Not Healing (2018)
This album came out right as I was beginning to fully flesh out what Trace Amount would become and I was so inspired by this collaboration because of how raw, yet creative I thought it was. Uniform’s Wake In Fright is an all time fave for me, but I knew they were heading in the direction of playing with live drums, etc. I feel like this collaboration was an extension of that Uniform style before they fully dove into the more “rock” driven albums like The Long Walk + Shame.
Favorite Tracks – In My Skin
M.I.A. has been one of my favorite artists since high school and I always find myself going back to listen to her early records, thats why I picked both Kala and Arular. Both albums have a ton of legendary tracks and I couldn’t just go with one. I remember coming across the video for Bird Flu on Myspace and was immediately obsessed. Her use of drum focused samples was always really cool too.
Favorite Tracks – BirdFlu or Pull Up The People
Death Grips – Ex Military (2011)
In 2011 my old band would occasionally play shows with Full Of Hell. During that time I became friendly with Dylan, their singer, and found myself enjoying a lot of his recommendations. One day he posted the cover of Ex Military on IG, and I was like well I need to check this out… First listen I was blown away. I hadn’t really heard something that combined everything I love about hip hop music with such an experimental and aggro edge. Still to this day this record holds up in a super forward thinking way. Takyon full volume is the ultimate pump up jam.
Favorite Tracks: Takyon (Death Yon) or Klink
Genghis Tron – Dead Mountain Mouth (2006)
I grew up in the myspace era, so there was a ton of “cyber grind” and bands with synthesizers. Some good, mostly bad. Through all of that I found out about Genghis Tron, mainly because I was a huge Converge fan and they recorded this record with Kurt Ballou. I also found out they were using Fruity Loops, which at the time was the only DAW I knew how to use. The record sounded massive but they still had those FL sounding splashy crash cymbals. Dead Mountain Mouth still holds up.
Favorite Tracks: The Folding Road or White Walls
Pharmakon – Abandon (2013)
This album was my introduction to Sacred Bones and a deeper dive into the harsh noise world. I was so into how raw and abrasive it sounded, but also that it felt like it was composed in an extremely thoughtful way… an album with actual songs – opposed to the free form harsh noise I was already somewhat aware of in the NJ + NYC punk scenes.
Favorite Tracks: Ache
Statiqbloom – Asphyxia (2019)
This record was one of the first true industrial records that I heard in a more contemporary way that I was like, “It’s possible to start a project that’s heavy as hell, but can still vibe to in an after hours goth club”. The songs are great and for how heavy and dark they are, extremely catchy and memorable, but there are so many textures and layers that make for a really complex listen. I knew at some point I wanted to work with Fade, and I’m glad I did on Anti Body Language.
Favorite Tracks: Possession or Eight Hearts Eight Spikes
Deli Girls – I Don’t Know How To Be Happy (2019)
In every era, there has always been a super diverse music scene in NYC, but the one that is currently happening with artists like Dreamcrusher, Deli Girls, Kill Alters, etc is really rad. A ton of super forward thinking artists that continuously push the boundaries. This record is a great blend of what I love musically about artists like M.I.A. and Death Grips, but is still super punk and raw, and in a really hard to describe way sounds so much like NYC.
Favorite Tracks: I’d Rather Die or Here We Go Again
Nitzer Ebb – That Total Age (1987)
An obvious choice for any Industrial Top 10 list for sure… and I normally don’t find myself listening to a TON of music made before 1990, but this is the absolute best starting point for “industrial” music. Classic arpeggiated bass rhythms that will get your ass shaking, straight forward upbeat – kick snare beats, and energetic as hell yelled vocals. No frills just banger after banger.
Favorite Tracks: Join In The Chant or Murderous
More about TRACE AMOUNT:
Of equal importance to the music is Trace Amount‘s visual dimension, expressed through graphic design and video work created by Gallagher himself and by collaborators of his choosing, illustrating a mix of real urban decay and sci-fi fantasy that intersects with the sonic assault to complete the picture. Gallagher states: “I started off as a graphic designer, but as I’ve progressed I’ve gotten more into video editing and animation. With Trace Amount I would describe the whole visual aspect as art direction. The beauty of it being a solo project is that I get to work with whomever I want depending on where I see it fitting.”
For the Anti Body Language album cover, he teamed up with none other than Federal Prisoner co-owner and world-renowned artist, Jesse Draxler. “I began working on Anti Body Language in early 2021 and by the end of March I had the record fleshed out instrumentally and most of the lyrics were written,” he says. “Since this was my first full-length with this project and I was really proud of how the songs were coming along, I wanted to aim high and work with a bucket-list level artist. For me that was Jesse Draxler. I felt his style would nail the overall attitude I was aiming to achieve with Anti Body Language, and it absolutely did.”
Anti Body Language is Trace Amount’s first full-length but it follows a slew of other recent releases; Gallagher has been barreling forward in high gear for the past year. Some highlights of the past twelve months include: the release of Under the Skin, a remix collaboration with Pig Destroyer’s Blake Harrison, released via Deathbed Tapes; the release of Alien Dust, a collaboration with Qual (William Maybelline of Lebanon Hanover), released via Faktor Music; a US tour with Black Magnet (20 Buck Spin); and the release of Endless Render 2.0, a redux of Endless Render, which features the drumming of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Billy Rymer, as well as a new B-side featuring remixes by Kontravoid, Qual, Michael Berdan (Uniform), and Misery Engine.
A testament to the power of collaboration; an example of the ways in which sound and vision can complement each other; a beacon of sheer drive and work ethic; Trace Amount is an exciting new force in the scene of industrial music and beyond. No limits.