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This electro-industrial project from Hamburg, Germany, which achieved some considerable success during the late 2000s, was the brainchild of one Sami Mark Yahya, who had also worked as a fashion photographer. Radically different from the harsh, so-called “hellektro” acts which dominated the dark scene at that time, its sound was a bold fusion of electro, big beat, and techno, with witty tongue-in-cheek, self-aggrandizing lyrics, but also an undercurrent of melancholy and longing. Signed to the influential Accession Records on the strength of just one compilation track, Faderhead released his debut album, FH1, in 2006, which was an immediate success. He then got back in the studio and within a year had recorded a second album, FH2, following its release with well-received sets at the high-profile festivals Infest and Wave Gotik Treffen. However, despite producing his biggest club hit, “Dirtygrrrls/Dirtybois,” the album sold poorly. Yahya blamed internet piracy, but the low sales figures may have had more to do with the fact that the jokey, upbeat character of the album disappointed many fans enraptured by the dark heart of his debut. Claiming disillusionment, Yahya parted company with Accession in mid-2008, leading to speculation that he intended to quit the music business. Less than six months later, however, he unexpectedly released a a new track as a free download, the sorrowful, Nine Inch Nails-esque ballad “Exit Ghost,” which was immediately hailed as the best thing he had ever recorded. This was followed in short order by a new album, FH3, released on the new L-Tracks imprint, an offshoot of the Lost Legends gothic clothing label. His darkest and most bitter album to date, it saw him bringing back many of the best qualities of his debut, and was hailed by fans and critics alike as a return to form. The next year, he released Horizon Born, a mini-album of ballads on which he continued to explore the emotional, melancholy side of his songwriting, and scored another major club hit with a remixed version of the title track. ~ John D. Buchanan