Tracks: May 28th, 2018

The run of exciting show announcements we’ve been detailing on the podcast just keeps on going, with the unveiling of a reprise of Clan of Xymox’s North American tour. Ten more dates are on the docket in the fall, focusing on the west coast and including Vancouver! Regardless of the ups and downs of the band’s latter era work, their early catalog remains an unimpeachable force in the ongoing history of darkwave, as we recently discussed in our commentary for Medusa. Despite our grizzled fossilgoth statuses, neither of us have ever caught Xymox live, and them passing through our city during what we’ve dubbed the Year of Darkwave is most fortuitous. On with this week’s Tracks!

Schwefelgelb: Cumulously disruptive.

Caustic Grip, “Burn feat. Veronica Sawyer”
Tip of the hat to Michael from Chrome Corpse for the hot lead on new Australian electro-industrial act Caustic Grip, who just compiled several previously released tracks into a single release via Bandcamp. The project’s name certainly displays one of their major influences, but we’re getting some pretty serious 90s dark electro in the mix on these songs as well. We’re especially enjoying some of the choices in percussion sounds used on “Burn”, adding some interesting flavour to a track that built around space and mood.

Collide, “Winter Kills”
Did you ever check out our commentary on Collide’s classic 90s darkwave/triphop release Chasing the Ghost? One of the things we talked about on it was how perfectly kaRin and Statik can do torchy when they feel like it, and boy howdy did they feel like it when they decided to cover Yaz’s “Winter Kills” for new remix/b-sides/covers release Mind & Matter, the companion to last year’s Color of Nothing. Production and performance are on point as they always are with Collide, serving you a blast of frosty torchsong realness just in time for summer.

Daniel B. Prothese, “Hoheren ebene”
The new solo record from Daniel B shows just how far afield the interests of 242’s members lie. It’d be difficult to find something more removed from what’s come to be recognized as 242’s home turf than the bright and melodic fields of pastoral synths which make up this, the opening track on his new HollEKtroKraut​​/​​HellEctroKraut LP. While the “Kraut” in the title is certainly earned, with loving homages to Schulze and Neu! abounding, we’re not so sure about the “Holle” part; pieces like this one sound utterly heavenly.

Altstadt Echo, “Exhumed I.III”
Some dark and chilly techno from right out of Detroit courtesy of producer Altstadt Echo. With an equal amount of the funerary dust connoted by this EP’s graveside art and a light swing to the beats, the Exhumed Tapes release is present without ever becoming oppressive. Should appeal to fans of Lorn and mid-period Haujobb alike.

Schwefelgelb, “Fokus (SARIN Remix)”
Two of the shining lights of the current club-based EBM movement come together for a dancefloor slayer. The definitive element of Schwefelgelb’s recent productions has been the bounce they put into their rubbery bassline, which makes for a hell of a starting point for SARIN’s aggressive take on technofied EBM. Released on a 12″ by Khemia Records (the other side of the release is a track by Blind Delon remixed by HIV+), it’s another testament to two modern body acts that are on top of the proverbial game right now.

Donna Haringwey, “Lester’s Goodbye”
More great lo-fi electronics from Germany’s Smashing Tapes. British producer Toni Quiroga offers grimy, echoing, and mean tunes which draw upon minimal wave, EBM, and power electronics. We’re not entirely sure of the connection between a scraping blast of violence like this and the brilliant theorist from whom the project takes its name, but she can certainly add this to her CV in terms of cyberpunk cred alongside the Ghost In The Shell 2 shout-out. “Staying With The Trouble”, indeed.

Tracks: January 15th, 2018

Okay, now that we’re into the swing of things here at the HQ, it comes for the Senior Staff to start planning our year. It’s been an unusually busy January thus far, and the new releases don’t seem to be slowing down, so it’s not like we’re worried about having stuff to write about. That said, we are curious what the folks who read the site and listen to the podcast are interested in seeing on I Die: You Die in 2018. We’ll probably do a formal survey at some point in the future to really get an idea of what kind of stuff people enjoy and don’t enjoy on the site, but in the interim, feel free to drop us a line here in the comments or via e-mail or our social media channels with your thoughts. Is there a specific feature you’d like to see us do more or less of? A new idea you’d like to see us tackle? Any specific artists we should try to and talk to at some point? Let us know!

Frank Spinath remixed his look and his album

V▲LH▲LL, “Ormens Offer”
Toronto played host to a rare North American gig by our beloved Swedish Mystery Vikings V▲LH▲LL over the past weekend. Sounds like things went swimmingly, and those of us not lucky enough to have been in town for the show can take some comfort in this, the first preview of the act’s second full-length release, Grimoire. There’s a mix of folk and pop in the vocals on this one, but the slinky yet stuttering groove underneath it feels just like that peculiar mix of ancient and futuristic dark sounds V▲LH▲LL have had on luck since their emergence out of the mist.

Kirlian Camera, “Haunted River”
If you listened to We Have a Technical last week you may have surmised that we’re pretty excited about Hologram Moon the upcoming album from Italian darkwave monarchs Kirlian Camera. We gobbled up first single “Sky Collapse” are equally excited about this second taste “Haunted River”: all the majesty, atmosphere and endearing weirdness we’ve come to expect from the group, along with some orchestral sounds that really work in the context of a beat-oriented club track. Stay tuned for more on the LP as it develops, we guarantee you we will have opinions.

Meat Beat Manifesto, “Nocebo”
Jack Dangers certainly needs no introduction from the likes of us, and a new LP from Meat Beat will obviously garner attention from just about every corner of the world of electronics. From film scoring to the incredible visual dimension of live sets we’ve caught in recent years, Dangers doesn’t coast on his laurels and we’re keen to hear what the forthcoming Impossible Star has to offer. Wet yet stripped down, this number gets across both the funk and rigid programming which have always been in Meat Beat’s DNA.

Lionhearts, “No Going Back (Forma Tadre remix)”
We had a conversation about Frank Spinath’s solo project Lionhearts on the podcast a ways back, and agreed that while it was an album that had a lot to recommend it in terms of atmosphere and songwriting, it was also perhaps a touch too mellow to make an impact. Remix album Companion addresses that somewhat by turning up the tempo of numerous numbers, as a diverse and impressive cast of collaborators including Architect, Acretongue, IRIS, Mildreda and Hecq (who worked on the original LP) have a go at the songs. Especially grand is this mix by Forma Tadre, who really give “No Going Back” into a regal ballad of massive proportions. Is this a sign Andreas is back making new material? We hope so.

SARIN, “Korean Air Lines”
Seems like scarcely a month can go by without us getting wind of something new from SARIN, the techno-ebm outlet of Emad Dabiri. Like we’ve come to expect this one has the straight up body-bassline and percussion mixed with techno structures that allow it straddle the line of both genres effectively. This one appears courtesy of a 12″ by Area Z, which also features cuts by Unhuman, Elements of Joy and Tomohiko Sagae. Also, it was mastered by Eric Van Wonterghem of Absolute Body Control, Monolith and inumerable other projects, which is a cool touch to be certain.

Black Mecha, “Counterforce”
Lastly, some seriously screwball electronic chaos brought to us courtesy of the always intriguing noise/metal label Profound Lore. Reminding us of old Negativland as much as all that wacky hardvapor stuff coming our way from Russia, Black Mecha hew loops out of wholly arrythmic programming. Info on the project is scant, but the press release states that the cover art is “advanced actualization of Internal Masonry S. Star Sigil rumination emanation metaphor technique of which encompasses special geometric based inner space mind constellation illustrations.” So…there’s that.

Tracks: June 27th, 2016

We’re just a couple of days shy of the fifth anniversary of I Die: You Die, and to be quite honest we’re terrified at how quickly the time’s gone by. High school only lasted a few years and that took fucking forever, but it really doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since we decided to make a third (!) attempt, this time a serious one, at putting together the sort of website we’d want to read about the sort of music we’d want to hear. There’ll probably be plenty of sentimental reflection on this week’s episode of the podcast, but if you’re into the whole brevity thing: thank you. Thank you for reading, listening, commenting, contributing, submitting, and everything else you’ve done to make the last five years fly by. Enough navel-gazing, here are your tracks for this week.

The Operating Tracks: Cats and Body Body Body

Konkurs, “Face The Target”
Here’s a hot premiere from an act from whom we’ve been keen to hear some official work from. Toronto’s SΛRIN and New York by way of Berlin’s Blush Response have been getting no short number of spins ’round the HQ for their recent grimy takes on body music, so the pitch of them teaming up for a collaborative project was welcome news here. This ID:UD exclusive first taste of what Emad Dabiri and Joey Gonzalez have been cooking up together hits all of the dark and squelchy spots you’d hope it would. Keep your ears open for Konkurs’ first 12″, available thru Veleno Viola via Ready Made Distribution in August.

Body of Light, “Tremble”
Holy Christ, the transformation Body of Light has gone through. The first recordings we heard from the act were on some very rough and tumble styles, still melodic but more subdued than what brothers Jarson are up to now. We liked the former stuff plenty, but this new track “Tremble” feels very in line with the impression we got hearing Body of Light live in Vancouver this year, an act that have emerged into a brighter, forthright presentation from a production standpoint. If you hear some modern synthpop and darkwave (and dare we say futurepop?) in this song, know that we do to. Can’t wait for the LP.

Double Echo, “Entropy”
Liverpool’s Double Echo very swiftly tilted away from some of the dreamy and shoegaze elements in their earliest work, and and are now fully in the throes of classic, doomed-out goth with all of the filigree and mist one could hope for on their new EP, Ancient Youth. Tunes to pass out in the snow to, or at least for fans of Mephisto Walz, Corpus Delicti, et al.

Vierance, “Black Water”
We normally associate Toronto’s Deth Records with techno-ebm styles by the likes of SΛRIN, but the label also dabbles in some darkwave and minimal territory. Witness this slinky piece of business from TO’s Vierance, whose third EP Deth will be releasing in July; calm and collected but spiritually and atmospherically aligned with many of the more bombastic acts the label deals with. Still more evidence of Toronto’s strong showing in the new Canadian darkness sweepstakes.

The Operating Tracks, “Subculture”
Some new instrumental hotness straight from Stockholm, courtesy of neo-oldschool body act The Operating Tracks. The duo’s material has generally favoured the sinister side of EBM in tone and execution, but they seem to be letting it hang out a lil’ more freely hear, not quite into techno-crossover territory but certainly nodding it that direction. It’s nice to hear an act with a relatively small discography playing with different interpretations of their style, showing what could be possible on future releases.

Leaether Strip, “Here Comes The Rain Again”
Uncle Claus is back with another in his recent spate of 80s synthpop covers. Maybe more than any of the others, this seems to have been constructed with the lower, cleaner register his vocals have been gravitating towards in recent years. The naked emotion which Claus has been putting front and center in LS releases of late (which we recently discussed) grafts perfectly overtop of Lennox’s words.


Welcome to the home stretch. As is our custom, we’re getting our Year End coverage kicked off by asking some friends of the site (musicians, DJs, writers, promoters, and other all around decent and knowledgeable folk) to share a few words about albums they’ve enjoyed this year. Not necessarily their favourites, mind you, but any record which they find themselves returning to and having something to speak about. We love learning what our friends are passionate about, and not just because it saves us from having to write a Monday post (really). We almost invariably find a handful of records at the liminal points of Our Thing which we might have overlooked, and more often than not there are a couple of records from squarely within our purview we found we’ve given short shrift to. This year’s selections are no exception. Thanks very much to everyone who contributed, and take the opportunity to check out some records you might otherwise have passed by before we start the countdown tomorrow.

DJ Marc Church of Produckt313 Detroit
2015 – a great year for music and hard to pick a favorite amongst so many exceptional releases. Here’s a quick spotlight on a deserving release. Blush Response released an ep Future Tyrants on the always impressive aufnahme + wiedergabe label. Since relocating to Berlin, Joey Blush’s music has shifted from a pop-structured Nine Inch Nails vibe to a dark techno monster. Future Tyrants shows an exploratory progression of style without losing the past EBM and industrial influences. It’s an authentic and modern sound, still dance friendly but equally as experimental. Most exciting about this adventurous and commanding shift is that Blush is one of the few “Our Thing” artists who’s made the significant transition to another side that your typical industrial-ebm head may not be familiar with. Future Tyrants becomes a gateway record for fans to hopefully explore alongside a plethora of similar-minded techno-industrial artists like Silent Servant, Headless Horseman, Phase Fatale and many more. Recently signed to Ant-Zen, look for an album Reshaper in Spring, a 12” on Violet Poison’s Velono Viola label, another 12” of body music for a+f “Body Architect”, a collaborative project call AVM and more mixes. The din of industrial is changing, and its face is Blush Response.

Prurient - Frozen Niagra Falls
Alex Reed of Seeming, author of Assimilate
There exist fans of industrial music’s most purist noise who want nothing to do with any substyle touched by club beats, melody, or emotional range. Such dismissiveness repels socially, but simultaneously allures with its envy-inducing seeming of the ideological hardcore. Seethe no more, I say to the noise elitists, beat-hungry club kids, and brooding goths: Prurient’s LP Frozen Niagara Falls has come to unite the divided tribes. Dominick Fernow has been making noise since the late 1990s, but this record is at last his “break.” His supremely modern noise invokes the metallic skidding of failed hard drives amplified a thousandfold. Individual frequencies emerge solo from the stony grind and sing mournful and melting until they reverberate into half-bodied moans. Every now and then a beat emerges—laboriously pounding drums, a Leeb-esque hi-hat loop suspended over taut bubbling textures frozen in granular synthesis. But there is no dancing here, and there are no songs (unless you’re the sort who calls “Screaming Slave” a catchy tune). Fernow has taken all the ingredients of canonic industrial (with, yes, just a hint of goth), but reconfigured them into something barely recognizable, as if molding his record on post-rock’s relation to rock. Terrifying, petulant, loud, soft, vast, and needling, Frozen Niagara Falls is my record of 2015.

Matt Fanale of Caustic
Most of my favorite albums stem from me thinking “How the hell did they DO that?” I love artists that create works with such a unique, complete vision that I know literally nobody could replicate that sound or vibe without being a sad mockery of the original work. GoFight’s sophomore release Napalm Baby is one of those albums. Jim Marcus and Co crafted a hard, groove laden dance masterpiece this time around. Napalm Baby is sexual, spiritual, and political, sometimes all in one track, but mostly it’s just a goddamn good time to listen to. Tracks bounce with chunky drums, sputtering and soaring saw leads, bitchin’ basslines, and hooky lyrics galore. Oh, and those patented Jim Marcus vocals? Jim’s vocal harmonies almost piss me off at how gorgeous they are. The energy of this album never fails to simply make me happy.
If forced to pick a favorite track to introduce people with I’d have to go with “Gay on the Dancefloor”, it epitomizes everything I’ve already mentioned, plus a huge chorus that you’ll have stuck in your head for weeks. Nobody else could make this except GoFight, and I’m so glad they did.

Rodney Linderman of The Dead Milkmen
Picking the best album of the year is not an easy task, as 2015 was to music what 1849 was to prospecting (coincidently, mule rentals were up 400% in both years). If this year’s wealth of great songs didn’t make you feel like a teenager again, nothing will – so put down the goddamn bath salts.

As with chainsaw-juggling and snake-handling, the best Rock ‘n’ Roll songs appear effortless at first glance, no matter how brilliant the musicianship is. And the best Rock ‘n’ Roll albums have a live feel (and make you want to make you kill authority figures). Going by that criteria, the winner is… Chant’s Brave New Apocalypse.

“Adoration” is a textbook example of great Rock ‘n’ Roll songwriting, and “Dead Muse” has been playing on constant repeat in my head since July. Ten listens in, and Brave New Apocalypse still sound fresh.

2015 Alphabetic Mixtape

Ashbury Heights, “Phantasmagoria”; Beauty Queen Autopsy, “Good Giving Game”; Caustic, “Fuck in a Suit”; Chant, “Adoration”; Cocksure, “Porno Drones”; Dead When I Found Her, “Threadbare”; Deathproof, “Shitlist”; Ego Likeness, “New Legion”; Go Fight, “Rocket”; The Gothsicles (feat. Angelspit), “This Club is Closed”; High-Functioning Flesh, “Afterbirth”; IAMX, “No Maker Made Me”; iVardensphere, “Stygian (iszoloscope Remix)”; Killing Joke, “I Am The Virus”; Lindemann. “Skills in Pills”; Mindless Faith, “The Fluffer”; Primitive Race, “So Strange”; Shiv-R, “Of the Machine (Aclyum Remix)”; The Flesh, “The Light”; The Prodigy, “The Day is My enemy”; Velvet Acid Christ, “Christ Whore (God Module Remix)”; XP8, “XP8 is Dead”.

Sophie Richardoz, Friend of I Die: You Die
Earlier this year, co-founder of Raster-Noton Carsten Nicolai released the third installment of what should be a five-parter, and I can’t get tired of it.
Shifting from austere glitchy segments to grandiose ambient movements, Xerox Vol. 3 is by far the most intense Alva Noto album to date. It has quickly become my go-to record for any time I want to relax or feel better: I put headphones on and just let the waves of emotion flood me. It is breathtakingly beautiful, very compelling and soothing at the same time. Instead of letting my mind wander, it seems to always pull my mind back to focus on the sounds (which, believe me, can be a true blessing).

It’s difficult to explain why Alva Noto speaks to me on a whole other level than many other similar-minded projects (especially from the Raster-Noton label)… There is something about the sound design that hits a particular sweet spot. The production is sheer perfection, and I think this series of albums can be very approachable for those who are not already familiar with minimal ambient electronica.

DJ Andi Harriman, author of Some Leather, Some Wear Lace
This year brought the revival of EBM and industrial. There’s no denying that many electronic artists began adopting these terms to label their own tracks, which – more often than not – didn’t match the definitions of our beloved genres. As a traditionalist, I am always listening for the old school cues such as perfect sample placement, killer basslines and an earth-shattering kick drum. The Berlin-based producer SARIN has all these elements in his second album titled Psychic Stress.

It was love at first listen when I came across the track “Total War” with its heavy delay that was reminiscent of early Front Line Assembly. Other tracks conjure up the ghosts of early Leaether Strip, Bigod20 and even Cybersonik, the early 90s hard techno project of Richie Hawtin. As an album, the overall aesthetic (including the album cover) makes me hopeful for the future of our so-called EBM and industrial scene, keeping it fresh and exciting while maintaining the original values of the genre’s pioneers.

Vlad McNeally of Kallisti Design
While vaguely keeping on the topic of “Our Thing”, I’m going to run here with a dark horse pick – Myrkur’s debut, M. On the surface, this Danish one-woman project is pigeonholed as ‘black metal’, but that’s as accurate as trying to attach Chelsea Wolfe to the same label. Heck, it’s produced by Kristofer Rygg of Ulver, a band known for wildly shirking genre expectations. It’s still an honest tag at times, and while there’s definitely a couple moments where those juggernaut double bass drums and crazy lo-fi guitars and garage session shrieks drive that through, mostly M is a work that would be at home amongst neofolk pianos, brooding occult metal, and its ethereal hues certainly give anything on 4AD or Projekt Records a run for its money. I’d also like to give a shout out to HEALTH for pulling a similar trick with their hard electronics, but it would be a shame if ID:UD’s more goth-friendly readers overlooked this walloping debut just because of the metal facet of Myrkur’s diverse sound.

Kathleen Chausse of Heathen Harvest
It’s been a interesting year to be a Coil fan. This year marks the 5th anniversary of Peter Christopher’s death, the release of Backwards, Drew McDowell’s first solo album, a new Thighpaulsandra album, and the beginning of the reissues of past Coil albums including demos and unreleased material.

Backwards is an album that was shelved for 23 years. It was intended to be released on Nothing Records and was recorded in Trent Reznor’s studios. This album interests me because it features unreleased and original versions of tracks featured one of the most influential albums of my life, Ape of Naples.

It’s interesting to hear the ideas they were exploring for the tracks which was remixed to form New Backwards and Ape of Naples. Track highlights include a version of “Heaven’s Blade” that sounds like a mix between Kate Bush & Jack Dangers. In the tracks “Fire of the Green Dragon” and “Be Careful What You Wish For”, there’s moments where it sounds like Trent Reznor and Coil influenced each other and some of that play that comes through. I found it a nice touch to end this album the way Ape of Naples started, hearing “Fire of the Mind” put in a different context is interesting with a almost tribal Muslimgauze sound. I would recommend this album as something to compliment The New Backwards and Ape of Naples.

Eric Gottesman of Everything Goes Cold
My all-time favorite band, Babyland, broke up back in 2009. Dan Gatto’s solo follow-up, Continues, has been pretty slow in releases, but Dan posted an emphatic suggestion to check out HEALTH right before their new album, Death Magic, dropped in August. I might not have checked them out otherwise- their earlier work is eclectic to say the least, leaping around between noise-rock jams, minimalist disco, and a host of other stuff I wouldn’t usually go out of my way for. On Death Magic it all comes together perfectly.

HEALTH freely strings together elements of trap, indie rock, and synthpop with heavy distorted percussion and tribal drum interludes. The description makes it sound like a mess, but it isn’t- Death Magic is a monster of songwriting and sonic manipulation. It’s industrial (or post-industrial) music that has at long last been totally freed of its own trappings.

Michael Kurt of [product] and Talking to Ghosts
This album, which came out in April, has been one that I listen to about every two weeks. It is just one of those albums that sunk deep into my consciousness and I find it very comforting at this point. It is hard for me to find black metal that I go back to this regularly, but there is a perfect blend of atmospheric/Cascadian and traditional black metal that I believe Ghost Bath spent a lot of time crafting. Tracks like “Golden Number,” which is the first full track after an intro, I get stuck on and listen to over and over again because there are so many passages that weave their way through the songs. I can really feel the emotional intention of these tracks; whether it is within the structure or the silence, each element is intricately placed and fits the tone of the entire album.

Wes Mueller of reakt[ion] and Talking to Ghosts
Traditionally, you hear new music from an artist every year or two, and with that you often hear leaps in style. With M‡яc▲ll▲, you have this interesting, constantly evolving flow; you hear what the artist is trying out as they’re trying it.

2015 has been an amazing example of that. M‡яc▲ll▲ has 4 releases this year and each one is an iteration on the one before. With The Stone and the Heart, M‡яc▲ll▲ gives us some trap and giallo infused tracks. Then in Movement the trap gives way to EBM influenced synth lines while the giallo holds strong. We also get something we have never heard from M‡яc▲ll▲ before; we get vocals.

In M‡яc▲ll▲’s next release, Thє Λrmy of Ξmpty, the feel has morphed into something between EBM and synthpop, and the vocals have carried over from Movement. Finally, last month we got Earthshine + Impervious. Again we hear how the sound has these little evolutions; the feel has moved back to giallo while still maintaining hints of the previous experiments, and the vocals have faded away.

M‡яc▲ll▲’s pace of releases provides a wonderful sense of their evolution and experimentation. It’s something we aren’t used to from musicians – the creative process is hidden away behind longform releases. Maybe it doesn’t need to be. Maybe more artists should let us into their process and see how they evolve and change.

Scott Fox of iVardensphere
Any album that is energetic, catchy, well produced, soulful, thumping, simultaneously lighthearted and dark, sex-positive, life-positive, scene-positive, positively positive, funky as all hell with a live and let live, political without being preachy, rock the party, wake the fuck up, stand the fuck up, hook up and fuck because it’s awesome mentality, which makes me dance around the kitchen smiling and singing along (badly) with a pancake spatula in my fist raised over my head as I sign to ‘the man’ that I will not be oppressed, I will not be told that who I am is not good enough, and it is most certainly not too loud, is a solid album in my books.

Like a blast of fresh air to a scene that’s been in the same sweaty club for years, Napalm Baby is a much appreciated release that, for many reasons, is going to be in steady rotation on my playlists for years to come. They made an album that makes me feel better just by listening to it. That is the stuff that classic albums are made of. This album is a rocket…get out of her way!

Thanks to all our friends for their contributions, tune in tomorrow for the beginnings of our Top 25 of the year!

SΛRIN, “Psychic Stress”


The close relationship between techno and EBM is an interesting intersection, if only because there’s less direct crossover than one might expect. Barring a few notable touchstones in the public consciousness (like Richie Hawtin dropping “Let Your Body Learn” into his seminal techno mix Decks, EFX & 909 and the astonishing success of Gessafelstein’s only barely veiled take on body music) most folks on either side of the divide ignore what’s happening on the other side of the fence. It’s releases like SΛRIN’s PSYCHIC STRESS that really drive home the relationship, though, combining selected traits of each genre into a pleasingly rough and retro-futuristic whole.

While you could make plenty of arguments for producer Emad Dabiri’s use of structure or arrangement being his links to the world of techno and electro, I think it’s a broader understanding of economy that really acts as a bridge. Where even the earliest and purest examples of true school body music rely on equal parts bombast and energy to get across, SΛRIN keeps a tight rein on the shape and flow of tracks, carefully cycling elements in and out of the mix to avoid crowding. Opener “God Disease (XTNDD Mix)” is all drums and dialogue samples, its percussive bassline pushed down down until the hits feel like an extension of the rhythm track rather than accompaniment. He plays with a similar trick on “Interceptor”, gradually opening the envelope on his bass synth until the track blossoms into a nasty groove, hitting hard before dissolving in an acid burnout.

Notably, there’s a departure from many of the project’s earlier tracks in terms of fluidity in rhythm. Less lockstep and more in the pocket, the circular sequences that make up the majority of “Crash II” and the shadowy title track have far more bounce in them then you might expect. The latter especially makes a point of decoupling some drum hits from the sequencer grid, building an elastic funk in the process. As with everything it’s an idea SΛRIN uses sparingly but effectively, favouring small scale changes to his game over enormous shifts in execution.

“Best of both worlds” assessments tend to leave a lot on the table as critical mechanisms, especially where a record like PSYCHIC STRESS comfortably exists in multiple genres without needing to rep either. The idea that Dabiri is working both sides of the equation doesn’t necessarily capture how natural the short LP feels. You don’t need to pick out the provenance of a song like “Titan” to enjoy it: it’s far more rewarding to turn it up and let it bang its point across. SΛRIN thrives on that immediacy, and it’s rapidly becoming the calling card in his slowly expanding catalogue.

Buy it.