What Benny Benassi and The Bloody Beetrots are for pink-shirt-wearing mainstream girls, XP8 is for the alternative electro scene: and Italy's most successful export in that field, these days
The band, started in 2001 as a trio including previous singer Paul Toohill , composes an airy blend of EBM, electronica, techno and trance, bringing their various visions and talents to life with synthetic vibrancy and danceable beats, crossing electronic genres with relative ease.
Aimed at the heart of the dancefloor, the music keeps listeners moving through the night in timeless waves, emitting subtle hints of the 1980s while slipping easily into sounds of the new millennium: glitchy patterns, sharp simulated strings, and clear vocals travel through bright sequences and brooding atmospheres.
After having released their first demo, Forgive, on the now defunct mp3.com website, and receiving good feedbacks, they signed a deal with the Polish label Black Flames Records, who would reissue the demo on May 2004 as Forgive[n], quickly followed by the RE_Productions EP in October 2004.
In several interviews though, the band seem to consider their real debut the 2005 album Hrs:Min:Sec, released on the acclaimed German label Infacted Recordings.
Over the years, XP8 made a name for themselves due to their energetic live performances: the band played all over Europe, from their native Italy to Russia, and attended prestigious festivals like the Wave Gotik Treffen, Blackfield and NCN Festival in Germany, VP Live in Belgium, K.O.M.A. in Norway and Kinetik and Terminus in Canada. Also their remix work is much sought-after, and bands as different as Attrition, Mortiis, Icon Of Coil, Dope Stars Inc, Steve Aoki, Wayne G, Soman (among the others) has been remixed by XP8.
Their third studio album, The Art Of Revenge, released on January 18th 2008 once again on Infacted Recordings, immediately received good reviews, and was subsequently licensed in North America to Sigsaly Transmission Media and in Russia to Gravitator Records: meanwhile, it reached place #1 at the Dutch Underground Charts and peaked at #5 at the famous Deutsche Alternative Charts, proving once again how XP8 is constantly on the rise.
The accompanying promo video for The Art of Revenge has also seen heavy rotation in several Italian music TV channels and even reached the #1 position in Music Box's Top 20 in October 2008.
Pushing forward even harder in 2009, XP8 worked extensively on the eagerly anticipated new album, titled Drop the Mask: demos of the new album found their way to Metropolis Records who signed them for North America.
Drop The Mask is a further evolution of the band’s sound by showing the duo of Marco Visconti and Marko Resurreccion taking their collective music prowess to new heights.
The album was introduced by the single Want It, a groovy and sexy electro-industrial tune who also features the guest vocals of Daniel Graves of Aesthetic Perfection fame, who lends XP8 his mighty screaming which turns the song into a pure dancefloor smasher, and was released also as a deluxe digipack limited edtion in Japan by Deathwatch Asia, featuring exclusive remixes and new songs.
2011: now ten years old, the Italian duo sign off their first decade by delivering what both fans and DJs have long demanded, a no-frills return to the classic XP8-style futurepop epitomised by the 2008 album The Art Of Revenge.
Yet this is no step back: rather, it is a very deliberate and superbly-crafted return to familiar musical territory.
Where Drop The Mask pulled in different directions, X: A Decade Of Decadence exhibits a singularity of purpose: to drive the listener onto the dancefloor.
This is futurepop at its finest, surely the catchiest and most accessible work XP8 has produced to date. And as if to underline these new-found commercial credentials, X also finds XP8 reunited with Stewart Who?, the instantly-recognisable voice of Wayne G s platinum-selling club-classic Twisted, for the killer cut Trip, following on from his live collaboration on XP8’s Twisted cover which was one of the highlights of the Resistanz Festival, earlier the same year.
A decade of decadence just ended, another is about to start: and it did with the release of Burning Down, a remix EP focused on the same-titled song, which was also chosen by the band for their third official video, and which became already a true classic of the whole genre.
With hits like The Art Of Revenge, Muv Your Dolly, Cuttin'n'Drinkin and Burning Down under their belts, XP8 entered the 2010s by re-affirming once again their constant search to evolve their own sound, incorporating elements from every electronic dance styles, culminating in Adrenochrome, the band's most mature effort to date.
Making the bold move of getting rid of every label support and going fully independent, the band was able to set up a crowd funding event which was successful a mere 18th hours after its start. Defying the current trends that see bands and musicians releasing singles, XP8 went once again back to their own roots and planned Adrenochrome as a real concept album, with a full story behind it, where the music becomes soundtrack to the tales told. The album sold out its limited edition run in six months, prompting the duo, by now well-aware of the constant request for new XP8 tunes by their crowds, to put together a companion EP titled Meathead's Lost HD, featuring remixes from bands as diverse as FabrikC, Syrian, C-Lekktor and V▲LH▲LL, again showing the firm belief to embody the crossover where all the various facets of alternative electronica meet and merge. Completing the tracklist, an exclusive cover version of IAMX's classic Nightlife and XP8's own version of the Doctor Who theme song.