An American summer camp doesn’t seem like the most likely place to discover electronic music, but that’s exactly where Volvox, real name Ariana, first came across Electronic Body Music, the quintessentially European blend of synth-punk and industrial music.
“I went home with a slip of paper with some artist names and Napstered the hell out of it,” she recounts. “I basically discovered the whole scene by following remix artists down the line, and found artists like Apoptygma Berzerk, VNV Nation and Funker Vogt.” Soon after, she taught herself the history of British rave through various file sharing sites and forums.
Growing up in Buffalo, New York after moving from São Paulo, Brazil, her first real-life foray into alternative, underground club spaces was The Continental, a local punk/goth bar. There were two types of goths in the late 1990s, she says: people who were more rock-oriented, into bands like The Cure and Sisters Of Mercy, and those who were partial to industrial EBM acts, such as Front 242, Ministry, and Nitzer Ebb. Ariana fell into the latter category. In addition to those artists, she was also listening to a “maelstrom of late 90s electronica”, with Green Velvet’s ‘Whatever’, Ladytron’s ‘Light And Magic’, and The Prodigy’s ‘Fat Of The Land’ among her early favourites.