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: May 22nd, 2018

You know, we keep saying to ourselves that some day we’ll make the trip to WGT, just to have the experience of seeing a bunch of Euro bands that never come to North America, and just to soak up the ambience of 10,000 goths in a city not much more populous than Edmonton. For now though we have to settle for scene reports from friends who made the trek including which bands got wreck (we hear Wulfband and ACTORS scored big unsurprisingly), and exactly how bananas the line-ups to get into the venues were. Were you there this year? Holler at us about what you saw that was good in the comments! On to Tracks!

Inhalt in their natural habitat

Body Break, “four”
Ask a Canadian of a certain age about Body Break and they’ll probably say something about Participaction or namedrop Hal Johnson or Joanne McLeod at you. We have no doubt that those TV ads served as the inspiration for the name of the new project from Wire Spine/Weird Candle’s Robert Katerwol and Robert Recluse of Void Mirror, which sits nicely in the new beat/italo/EBM pocket. Word is that these demos will be developed a bit more with some guest vocalists and then compiled into a full release at a later date, so here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve.

Rhys Fulber, “Limited Vision”
Few people native to Our Thing have as many decades of studio experience in as many genres as Rhys Fulber. While the man himself needs no introduction, the notion of him tossing his hat into the techno/industrial ring (with a release on no less notable a label than Sonic Groove, to boot) merits some extra consideration. Having had a large hand in forging the sort of sounds and textures many contemporary producers are currently reaching for, it’s likely that his Your Dystopia, My Utopia record will offer a new perspective on that oh-so happening nexus. Expect a full review on this site shortly, and notice the slowly unfolding cinematic pads Fulber uses to add grandeur to this track’s core tension.

Agent Side Grinder, “In From the Cold”
The second taste of the new incarnation of Agent Side Grinder is suiting us just fine, thanks for asking. When the video for “Doppelgänger” dropped last month we commended AGS for going in a new direction that seemed commensurate with the new line-up, leaner and more tense and hypnotic. “In From the Cold” isn’t quite so rangy but does make good use of angular sequencing and a pleasingly melodic chorus to compliment the cold war samples that adorn it. We’re ready to hear what these good Swedish cats have in store for their first full-length in the new configuration.

Roya, “Away”
Here’s some gauzy work which rides the border between darkwave and synthpop with plenty of personality. Hailing from – where else? – Sweden, Roya’s tracks are full to the brim with atmosphere, and despite using some rather left-field instrumentation choices, presents her work with sharp senses of timing and songcraft. Worth digging into at greater length, we think.

Inhalt, “Alles”
Why, just the other day we were having a conversation about San Francisco’s Inhalt, with the question being when we would next hear new material from them. Turns out that the next release Content will be coming direct from Dark Entries, and consist of four new tracks and their instrumental versions. Hard to tell what direction the act has gone in although from the instrumental version of “Alles” linked below they haven’t abandoned their knack for retro-synth, with some added body music and komische flavour. Very keen to hear the rest of the EP, as we’ve noted before the fact that Inhalt have garnered so many fans on the basis of such a small catalogue is a testament to just how good their stuff is.

Dame Area, “Sfingi”
Lastly, from Barcelona come Dame Area, a duo who cite Coil and TG alongside Italian pop auteur Franco Battiato as influences. The pair trade in what might be most easily recognizable as minimal wave, but often offset with metallic percussion and a flair for the dramatic which isn’t often found in a genre commonly taken to be recalcitrant. Murky yet strident, it’s an interesting spin on some familiar styles.

Tracks: May 14th, 2018

The spate of shows rolling through our neck of the woods continues, with a bit of an emphasis on old legends recontextualizing their work. Peter Hook brought his band through town to play through both Joy Division and New Order’s Substance comps, but we were both too bushed to go (ask us sometime about dancing onstage to one of Hooky’s DJ sets years ago). And this coming weekend, after a couple of cancellations and reschedulings, Kevin Haskins and Daniel Ash will be bringing their Poptone project to the stage. We’re keen to hear how the classic (yet always somehow obscure and underrated) Tones On Tail catalog sounds in this new incarnation. On with this week’s tracks!

Second Still
Second Still

Front Line Assembly, “Mechvirus”
The new track from Front Line Assembly is notable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a taste of the follow-up to Airmech, FLA’s lauded soundtrack to the game of the same name, which showed the project’s capacity for atmospherics as expressed through ultra-modern production. Secondly, it’s the first new music we’ve heard from the band since the untimely passing of Jeremy Inkel, and his influence as a writer, designer and arranger (along with Sasha Keevill, with whom he collaborated on recent Front Line material) is all over this. It’s a great track and a testament to Bill Leeb and company’s continued relevance in electronic music some 30 plus years since the band was founded.

Imperial Black Unit, “The White Rose”
Australia’s Imperial Black Unit just finished up some dates in their own backyard with Youth Code, and it’s through the latter that we were tipped off to this hotness. Their debut release on a + w, State Of Pressure, still doesn’t have a release date, but until then check out this hypnotic gem that owes more than a little to A Split Second but feels wholly fresh. Not sure if the title’s meant to honour die Weiße Rose or not, but it’s a nice thought.

Kollaps, “Heartworm”
Fellow Aussies Kollaps are also making waves beyond their home continent, though of a far more harsh variety. A new compilation tape from Italy’s excellent Infidel Bodies label finds Kollaps dishing out deep and gashed death industrial noise which makes an art out of procedural levels of distortion, but offsets things with some interestingly blunted drum programming. Nasty stuff to be sure.

Glass Apple Bonzai, “Fire in the Sky”
Your friend and ours Daniel X Belasco is back with a new single from Glass Apple Bonzai, Canada’s champions of charming neon retro-synthpop. As with many of GAB’s material this taps into the intersection of retro-futurism and good old pop music longing, hella melancholy while not being gloomy or turgid. And hey, the single also features a remix from likeminded artist Andy Deane’s The Rain Within and a wild-ass Jesus Jones-esque slice of sampledelia called “What’s Your Vector Victor”, so you’ll want to be picking that ASAP.

Second Still, “Ashes”
LA post-punk trio Second Still have a new EP out hot on the heels of their new Part Time Punks session being released. A quick first pass at Equals suggests that it contains the same lo-fi swagger that made their self-titled LP from last year one we felt stupid for having missed at its release. Some of the lighter points on the EP hint at Roxy or 10cc archness, but this churning number just grinds darkly.

Panic Priest, “Gaffer”
Chicago-based darkwavers Panic Priest are new signees to Negative Gain Productions, bringing some new American gloom to the label’s already impressive roster of dark music artists. Not much to go on yet beyond the tracks available on the Bandcamp pre-order, but we’re getting some hints of classic darkwave, some nice male vocal harmonies and a bit of the synthrock energy ported over from Jack Armando’s other project My Gold Mask. Good promising stuff, and only a few days ’til we get to hear the whole thing.

Tracks: May 7th, 2018

Things are busy as always here at the ID:UD HQ as we gear up for festival season on top of the usual deluge of new releases that need listening and podcasts that need recording. Fortunately we’re feeling kind of high on life in Vancouver right now, what with the great run of recent shows, respite from the ceaseless rain and the general pleasant vibes that have been floating around the city this past week or so. Say what you will about this town, it’s expensive, it’s hostile to underground arts, it’s grey as fuck for like 8 months out of the year, all true but we love it and wouldn’t ever think of leaving. Enjoy some new Tracks with us won’t you?

Iver look kinda like Iver sound

Webdriver Torso, “Web_006”
Word trickling up from Seattle is that the city’s own relative newcomers Webdriver Torso impressed at Mechanismus Festival this past weekend. We weren’t able to verify that impression in person, of course, but the new EP from the duo is certainly an intriguing mission statement. Rhythmically sharp, the serially-titled “Web_006” shows good darkwave instincts as well as an interest in decidedly 90s industrial rock. Fans of fellow Seattleites Nightmare Fortress should lend an ear.

Missing Witness, “Try Harder”
Speaking of bands from down Seattle way, our pals in Missing Witness put out a head nodding EBM banger to go along with their appearance at Mechanismus Festival this past weekend. The band have dabbled with these sorts of basslines in the past, but this is the purest take on body music they’ve yet put out, coupled with a vocal experimentalism that reminds us Interlace a little. A great regional act who seem poised to break out on to some more prominent stages.

Acid Vatican, “Repent Motherfucker”
We’ve been tracking Antoni Maiovvi’s work for years at ID:UD, though the dark space disco producer has enjoyed acclaim in fields quite a distance from our native post-industrial climes. We were somewhat surprised to see his new Acid Vatican collaboration with fellow Giallo Disco founder Vercetti Technicolor being issued by aufnahme + wirdergabe; the bright, garish splashes of horror disco colour we’ve come to expect from Maiovvi are still present, and the duo aren’t jumping aboard the techno-industrial bandwagon. But the dark, pulsing drive of tunes like “Repent Motherfucker” certainly isn’t too far askance from a + w’s style.

C/A/T, “Retire Theory”
Brand new music from Ben Arp’s C/A/T project, the first new stuff he’s released under that moniker since 2009. We were keen to hear what Ben would do musically since he reactivated the name at last year’s Das Bunker anniversary in Los Angeles, and now we know: the sound of new EP Complex Client is both new and familiar, with the distorted beats that defined much of C/A/T’s history, but layered with the atmospherics that seem more in line with the post-witch house sounds he was exploring in interim project Corvx de Timor. You can check out the whole EP over on Bandcamp and we’ll keep you in the loop as a clearer picture of C/A/T 2018 emerges.

Iver, “Before”
Not since Myspace has there been a platform as good as Bandcamp for randomly discovering new music. True, there’s a lot to sort through, but it’s worth it when you uncover an act like Iver right at the first blush of their career. Their two track demo release is on some classic darkwave styles, complete with automated drums, strummy bass guitar, frosty pads and a mix of sombre male and female vocals. It’s the sort of style we’re always happy to hear from a new act, and is execute with enough aplomb to add the band to our considerable list of new acts to keep tabs on.

The Causticles, “Bad Coworker”
Lastly, Matt Fanale and Brian Graupner’s orbits have once again come into harmonious alignment. However, unlike natural events of uncanny beauty like solar eclipses, they’re just here to fart around and kvetch about officemates. Is this just a one-off or are we just getting the first glimpses of what a follow-up to their far too meta for their own good Eric Gottesman LP? Only time will tell, but until then, enjoy “Bad Coworker”: truly music of the spheres (the spheres are Matt and Brian’s butts in this analogy).

Tracks: April 30th, 2018

Between this week’s Mechanismus Festival, Verboden, Cold Waves, Terminus, and all of the other festival biz we try to talk about on the podcast, it’s easy to forget about other touring concerns. Hell, fresh off our trip to see Front 242 we have upcoming shows from Poptone, Alice Glass & Zola Jesus, The Body & Lingua Ignota, Fever Ray, and the Canadian double-whammy of Rational Youth & Psyche passing our way in the next couple of months. As much as festivals have proven to be a great strategy for some of the scene bands we cover, the day in, day out grind of regular touring continues unabated for plenty of acts across the dark spectrum. What summer tours are you excited to see coming through your neck of the woods? Get at us in the comments after checking out this week’s Tracks.

Ash Code
Ash Code: coiffed for success.

Caustic, “Stoma (HAEX Mix)”
Never one to let a project lay fallow, Matt Fanale has just released the first volume of remixes from his politically charged 2018 album as Caustic American Carrion. Dead Meat Vol. 1 features mixes from GoFight, 7th Victim, Coldkill, Seeming, Chrome Corpse, The Rain Within and more, not to mention this bit of sexy slow grind industrial from Los Angeles’ raining witchdustrial champs HAEX. Apparently a volume 2 is on the horizon, so probs best to get with this one now and get ahead of the ol’ Caustic curve.

Ash Code, “Perspektive”
We enjoyed “Icy Cold”, last year’s single from Italy’s coldwave act Ash Code, and the coldwave trio are following up on the (understandably) chilly impact of that single with their third LP, Perspektive, in a couple of weeks. The title track has all of the dour drive of “Icy Cold”, but the oddball time signatures and drum programming keep the listener from ever getting too comfortable, even as it turns towards the anthemic in its second half.

Pure Ground & Luminance, “Last Stand”
Having just completed a tour together, Los Angeles minimal body act Pure Ground and Brussels-born synthesists Luminance have put out a split 12″. We mostly know the latter act from their other collabs with Psyche and ex-Agent Side Grinder vocalist Kristoffer Grip, but the former band are ID:UD faves and it’s always exciting to get something from them. And hey, on top of two collabs, you also get three originals from each band, making this a pretty solid get any way you wanna slice it.

Blackcell, “Remote Viewers”
Colorado’s Blackcell have been around for a donkey’s age and their stripped-down, analogue sound has a history far longer than we could chart here. However, we like the theory behind their recent trio of “Phase 6” releases: brief cassettes featuring live tracks hitherto unrecorded. They’re pitching the series’ art as being “inspired by the original Industrial Records cassettes from the late 70s”, and if that wasn’t enough of a tip off as to their influences, surely the title of this minimal and tense track is.

Nevada Hardware, “DMCF”
Info about newcomers Nevada Hardware is scarce right now, but the sounds referenced on their debut EP No FutureM are as good a calling card as any. Classic cyber-rave samples and passages meet modern club programming, plus a large amount of vintage Wax Trax sneering befitting the project’s home in Chicago. Retro futurism’s nothing new in the post-industrial world, but we dig how of the grebo-cum-rivethead style of the past Nevada Hardware are able to mine.

The Gothsicles, “Merry Christmas Mechanismus”
Did you peep our interview with DJ Savak about the upcoming Mechanismus Festival in Seattle on We Have a Technical this week? Go listen to that for some context. Anyways, as you might be aware, The Gothsicles have a habit of releasing songs to commemorate festival appearances, hence “Merry Christmas Mechanismus”, an ode to the fest, the bands playing, Seattle itself, and of course the dope vegan food at The Highline. If ya’ll want more fest info you can find it here, the ‘Sicles play Night 1, if you’re gonna be there please send us any photos of Brian playing Street Fighter II and high-fiving Grendel. We’d like to see those.

Tracks: April 24th, 2018

Hail friends, this is the very first post coming to you live from the new HQ, located in scenic East Vancouver. All things considered the move went tolerably well with a minimal amount of frustration (aside from last week’s podcast gaffe, our apologies), and with the new digs comes a little more dedicated space to bring you all the quality ID:UD content you’ve come to expect. Like the endless gushing about Front 242 we have on tap, having just seen them in Seattle this past weekend. Anyways, here’s Tracks: enjoy this new but largely indistinguishable to the reader era of I Die: You Die.

Horror Vacui
Horror Vacui: as crusty as they wanna be.

FIRES, “All My Dreams Are of This Place”
Nashville electro-rock act FIRES offers a one-off single highlighting the mix of guitar, synthwave and emotion that made their 2017 debut Red Goes Grey so notable. Interestingly, the guitar production on this number is a little more natural and twangy than we’ve heard from Eric Sochocki in the past, acting as a real contrast to the synth bass and vocal cut-ups that make up the rest of the track. A nice little variation on the sound the project has previously established, and another reason to get excited to see FIRES perform at Terminus this summer.

Feral Body, “Chain Ritual”
Here’s some dark and smokey darkwave which doesn’t come from the likes of Vienna or Naples, as its sound might suggest, but instead from Detroit. Having Jeff Swearengin in the booth certainly can’t detract from the atmosphere, but the combination of cold, static-heavy beats and ghostly wailing which is maintained throughout this three track release speak to a new act with a clear sense of what sounds and moods they’d like to evoke. Tip of the hat to our man in Detroit Marc Church for this one.

Agent Side Grinder, “Doppelgänger”
Our first real taste of the new line-up of Agent Side Grinder is here, and yup, it’s different. New vocalist Emanuel Åström is pretty distinct from the departed Kristoffer Grip and the lack of bass guitar is a bit jarring, but ultimately those changes may be for the best: if this is to be a new incarnation of Agent Side Grinder, there should be a distinct break from what came before. And hey, if you were into ASG’s trippy, hypnotic loops and subtle nods to krautrock and acid, you’ll still find those here on “Doppelgänger”. A promising new beginning from these Swedes.

Horror Vacui, “Don’t Dance With Me”
Our favourite Italian gang of anarcho-crust goths are back. Horror Vacuii’s third LP New Wave Of Fear is out and looks to continue the able tradition of mopey yet muscular goth they’ve been lobbing about squats and crypts for a good while. We’ll likely have a full take on the record shortly, but in the meantime here’s a snotty and fatalistic missive from all of the wallflowers creeping about the corners of the dancefloor.

Low Factor, “Facedown”
Montreal act Low Factor’s new album being released on German label Young And Cold is as good a hint of their sound as any, at least to those familiar with Kas Product. Like their label’s namesake, Low Factor have a yen for tightly programmed synthwork which borders on the anxious while also riding a cocky sense of disaffection. Check out the mix of thudding beats, lithe synths, and too cool for school vocals on this number.

Nordstaat, “Linientreu”
Another taster from the upcoming X-IMG (the label curated by techno-ebm wizard SARIN) compilation Self-Aware III. Nordstaat are as far as we can tell a relatively new act, who refer to their style as “black techno”, due to the influence of black metal and power electronics on their work. Those characteristics may not be super apparent on the track embedded below, but it’s a techno-industrial banger nonetheless, all speedy sequences and kick-cymbal drums for maximum dancefloor impact.

Tracks: April 16th, 2018

What a weekend it’s been! Verboden is officially in the can, and after four full days of cramming in as much live dark music as we can, we’re pooped. So pooped, in fact, that we thought this would be a great week to turn things over to the community in the Telekon Slack channel we run with Talking To Ghosts. The crew there are talking about new music non-stop, and with the mix of artists and aficionados we have, we knew they’d come up with a great slew of tracks!

Lana Del Rabies

Maenad Veyl, “Talon”
Lately I’ve been very hungry for a specific type of EBM/techno fusion, and while perusing the “ebm” tag on Bandcamp, this track from Italian techno producer Thomas Fereiro (AKA Avatism) under the moniker Maenad Veyl grabbed me very hard indeed. With a gritty metallic staccato to the dominant synth riff and deep, echoing percussion, the ebbs and flows call back to a classic acid sound that sits this track down in good company with the current crop of techno producers pulling influence straight from the backcatalog of EBM’s halcyon days. – Hexcession (FKA Pathogen)

Gör FLsh, “Long Roads”
Hailing from Québec City, Gör FLsh blends heavy metal, industrial and a dash of EBM and whips it into a frenetic track that challenges the electronic genre. Durand’s seamless mixing of complex sounds begs one to don the 80’s metal jacket you wish you had stashed in your closet and to rock our with fingers raised. A little retro, a lot modern and thoroughly fun. – Aisha

Lana Del Rabies, “Vicious End”
Under the appropriately transmutative name, Lana Del Rabies, Phoenix based artist Sam An continues to confront the chaos and uncertainties of this anxious world with her harrowing and visceral work. Released March 23rd on Deathbomb Arc, her new album, Shadow World, offers an unflinching blend of punishing rhythms and unsettling vocals – revealing darkness and a personal intensity, equally on display, as seen in the video for Vicious End. In producing Shadow World, Sam An writes that she found herself dealing with an incredibly difficult year, partly due to the current political climate, but also for personal reasons. She states: “I felt a lot of darkness in the public consciousness as well as a lot of darkness in myself. Things happened that were out of my control, things happened in situations where I lost control of myself.” This seems to underline a tone of deep purging presented in Vicious End. Its repetitive dissonance and uncomfortably pure catharsis shares a beautiful expression of honesty cut clearly through the noise. – Brant Showers of ∆AIMON

Peter Turns Pirate, “Jaw Drop”
The one man force of nature known as Peter Turns Pirate is back at it again with a new EP. “View As Strange” features five new tracks and as an added bonus, tracks from his last EP. However, this particular track is a favorite of mine. A hard driving, body moving three minutes and twenty-six seconds rife with braggadocio with pop qualities laced in it. Pop seems to be a dirty word in industrial, but this song makes it work pretty damn well. It’s as frenetic and action packed as the singer himself. I think it’ll get even the staunchest Goth up and moving. – Danesha Artis, Standard Issue Citizen

Locked Club, “Osaka Madness feat. RLGN”
I can’t find much about Russia’s Locked Club, but their track “Osaka Madness” with RLGN has made me excited to hear what else is going to be coming on their ЛОМАЙ EP. Pulling more towards techno than EBM perhaps, a simple bassline pulses through the track, complemented by a bright, sort of lo-fi pluck that carries the pace of the song. The song constantly evolves – driving hats and the pluck flow into claps layered with metallic clangs, contrasting with a sort of soft pad, which gives way to a hard, driving bass line that makes your body move for the full five minutes. –
Wesley Mueller, The Blood Of Others, Talking To Ghosts

Relic, “Pray”
Cincinnati’s Relic may be one of the most aptly named projects in the industrial rock genre, drawing heavy influence from its golden age of the early 1990’s. Their new EP, Social Drift, would not sound out of place on either the Re-Constriction nor Fifth Colvmn labels from that era. With several highlights over its six tracks, one of the numbers standing out it is “Pray”. It’s very reminiscent of the output of Numb’s early catalogue, replete with stabbing synths & sub-automatic basslines. This is definitely an act to keep your eyes on. -JSun Lhundub Dorti Bruner, Dharmata 101

Sophya, “Technicolor”
Israel’s Sophya are releasing their first proper studio album since 2006’s Third Wish. The teaser they’ve given us with “Technicolor” showcases their cross-pollination of darkwave and dreampop, with shimmering guitars and woozy synths forming an ambiance that is simultaneously warm but somber, soaring but withdrawn. Sonja Rozenblum also sings in the band’s native language on this track (I assume). I Die: You Die has been speculating that 2018 is the year of a major darkwave revival in the universe of Our Thing. If that holds true throughout the year, then Sophya’s return could not have picked a more fitting time to release a new record. Broken Mirrors comes out April 21st. – Zander, Lilith,

Tracks: April 9th, 2018

Presumably you spent your weekend like we did, packing to move, recording a bonus podcast, watching about a dozen hours of pro-wrestling, going to drag comedy shows, and seeing Boy Harsher and The Soft Moon to top it all off. In case you had better things (???) to do, here’s a recap: moving sucks, Bianca Del Rio remains the Don Rickles of drag, AJ vs Nakamura disappointed, and we had a good time at the show, which you’ll be able to hear about on We Have a Technical this week. We’re pretty exhausted, TBH, and with Verboden on the horizon it’s probably best that we just get to Tracks and then get back to it before we lose momentum and crumble into dust.

Visitor ain't saying shit about the new Edmonton EBM formula.

Visitor, “God Of All Flesh”
Edmonton’s Visitor have cropped up with a sound that’s about as far away from what comes to mind when we think of our prairie neighbours as we could conceive. Trading in a body-rocking and distinctly funky style of EBM, the duo’s demo release was quickly snapped up late last year, and is now being followed up with a full length LP on up and coming Berlin label Detriti. We’ll likely have some long form comments on Expat when it’s released in a month or so, but until then just enjoy the echoing, slap-heavy bass of this cut.

Celldöd, “Du Fick Som Du Ville”
Hot on the heels of last week’s slice of brutish analogue body music, we get another taste of what Celldöd is up to. As with all of Anders’ work in this project, you genuinely get that this is the product of hardware production, with all that that entails from a sequencing and performance perspective, raw and real as it comes. You can find the cut on the Myth Machine compilation from NEN Records , a release that is “dedicated to myths as a ways of giving meaning to the suffocating meaningless reality”, natch. Check the Myrrman track that is streaming currently while you’re at it.

Fixmer, “The Wall”
aufnahme + wiedergabe with a stealth release from ol’ Terrence Fixmer, aka one of the dudes who was exploring the techno-EBM sound for literal decades before it caught fire the other year. As such he understands perfectly how to work a bassline and add texture, separating the four cuts on The God from lesser productions by newjacks and trendhoppers. We’re def feeling the spastic, yelping vocals employed on “The Wall”, which has the feeling of being just slightly off-kilter, but in like, the good, kinda dangerous way.

The Gnome, “Flowing”
Here’s some ambient prettiness by way of Tony D’Oporto, AKA The Gnome. We’ve tracked his collaborative work quite regularly here on the website, be it his ambient records with Mark Spybey (now up to five LPs, if we don’t mistake ourselves), or his more dancefloor driven work with David Thrussell as Crisis Actor. His solo work’s always had a dreamy and languid pace, and his new full-length for ant-zen looks to continue that tradition.

Blac Kolor, “Awakening (feat. Jean-Luc De Meyer)”
We’ve been waiting for Blac Kolor’s debut for Hands for a minute, and now that it’s arrived we’re quite excited to dig into it. Hendrick Grothe’s growth as a producer has been notable, bringing in more complex ideas and structures into his atmospheric take on instrumental industrial dance music. Peep the rhythmic noise touches on this new one, shifting his sound just a bit closer to Hands’ house style, but also working a vocal from Front 242’s Jean-Luc De Meyer into the track as well. We have yet to give this whole LP a proper listen, but when we do you can bet we’ll be writing something up.

Haujobb, “Penetration”
A few years back, just before the release of Blendwerk, there was talk of a forthcoming live Haujobb record which never materialized. A shame, as our favourite dynamically dour Deutsche duo have always reworked their classic catalog live to fit their current ethos. But finally, some official evidence of how Haujobb brings it to the stage has been offered up to the public, with versions of fourteen Haujobb classics (and one computer crash) appearing on Haujobb Alive. Peep this motorik reworking of mid-period classic “Penetration”.

Tracks: March 26th, 2018

Friends, moving sucks. As we gear up to move out of the classic ID:UD HQ, we’re going through the lengthy exercise of packing up innumerable CDs and records, and of course with that comes a certain amount of nostalgia. Yes, it’s hard to get anything done when you’re caught up looking at the liners to a classic Manufacture LP purchased at a Nettwerk garage sale, or trying to figure out when exactly you acquired some weird Bolivian EBM tape that you may not have actually ever listened to. Of course there’s also the pure joy of rediscovering a record you had completely forgotten about, and need to hear right now, moving date be damned. Procrastinate? Us? Never. Enjoy tracks, while we go get more boxes from the liquor store.

Dejan Samardzic of DSX throwing shade. Photo by Stark Jorgensen.

Cryo, “Control ( remix)”
Been a minute since we’ve heard anything from Swedish EBM heads Cryo, but the group are coming back strong with new single “Control”. The duo of Martin Rudefelt and Progress Productions boss Torny Gottberg have always had an ear for melody big textures that suggest outer space themes, even when a track, like this one, has a more personal lyrical bent. Beyond the atmospheric but still rhythmically focused original tune, the single features remixes from Assemblage 23, Xenturion Prime, Iambia, Tomas Almgren and this smoothness courtesy of ID:UD faves

Chrome Corpse, “Pressurizer 4”
Just last week we were talking about PNW industrialists Chrome Corpse’s new collab with Cory from Vandalaze, and it’s looking like CC’s Michael F Ninethousand has a lot more coming. Not one but two new EPs are on their way from the punky electro-industrial project, Pressurizer 4 and Burning Chrome, both coming via Vertex Records. The former release will have three new tracks and remixes from Chrome Corpse’s self-titled debut LP, where the latter will be all originals. Peep the title track below, and keep your eye on this project, who seem to be ramping up to something big in the near future.

7th Victim, “Don’t Go Outside And Never Talk To Anybody”
Our friend Rodney Anonymous of The Dead Milkmen’s been something of the scene’s cut-up uncle for the last few years, tirelessly championing dark electronics of all stripes, often to an audience which balks at anything outside of the “traditional alt rock” aegis (now there’s a contradiction in terms). Anyway, Rodney’s just getting his own solo electronic project underway, and the first 7th Victim track we’ve been privy to is this bit of screwball synth which owes a good deal to minimal wave but has Rodney’s distinct sense of humour fully intact. It’s part of a stacked charity compilation with the proceeds continuing to help Claus and Kurt of Leaether Strip, featuring the likes of Caustic, Decoded Feedback, Forma Tadre, Die Krupps, and a whole bunch of other acts we imagine Rodney’s happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with in support of a noble cause.

Daddybear, “Brown Acid”
We’ve been hearing rumblings about Matt Fanale’s Daddybear project for years, and here’s the first dose made available for public consumption: a swinging EBM piece which hearkens back to the genre’s connections to acid house, complete with the anticipated Woodstock samples. There’s plenty of kitsch appeal, natch, but much like the recent Klack EP the appeal of the tune isn’t entirely tongue in cheek, and Matt’s continuing to hone his craft.

Unconscious, “Silent Slaves”
Solid state techno-EBM comes to us by way of Italian producer Unconscious. The lead tune of the Clerical Perversions EP rises and falls with class and ease, drawing upon a range of sounds from within and without electro and EBM. We’ve noticed a distinct shift in the way techno producers have been intersecting with post-industrial work in the past year or so, with approaches beyond concrete blast beats becoming more common, and this is a nice showcase of how some of the smoother elements of EBM can gain new currency.

DSX, “Pinpoint feat. Aletta Welling”
Finally, some new music from DSX, the analogue EBM project from Haujobb’s Dejan Samardzic. You may remember that we were very fond of DSX’s Anonymous EP a few years back (naming one of our favourites of 2012 even). Since then we’ve heard a number of compilation tracks, a couple of remixes, and last year a collaborative release with Schwefelgelb’s Sid Lamar, but it’s only now that we’re seeing a full new release from Dejan. Soviet Synthesizer drops May 31st on Basic Unit Productions, featuring six new pieces of raw-as-balls body music, with vocals courtesy of The Horrorist, Jennifer Touch, and friend of the site Aleta Welling, aka the female voice from inumerable :wumpscut: classics, and accomplished visual artist in her own right.

Tracks: March 12th, 2018

Good times in Vancouver this past weekend, as The Senior Staff DJ’d the very well attended release party for Actors’ debut album It Will Come To You, which featured some excellent sets from The Gathering, Brutes (who gamely still played a few tracks despite severe technical issues), Spectres and Actors themselves. We love local bands, but what’s more we love when local people come out to support local bands, showing that for all the hostility this city holds towards independent art and music, the people can and will come through. Lets carry some of those positive vibes into the upcoming week shall we?

Thwip! It's Randal Collier-Ford!

Randal Collier-Ford, “Black Furnace”
For years we’ve been fans of how dark ambient auteur Randal Collier-Ford’s been able to walk the line between the conceptual and the abstract. While plenty of his records have specific themes and narratives linking them, they’re also fully rewarding as explorations of pure sound. The foreboding gore and grime documented in the video for “Black Furnace” from the [APEX] LP gestures towards a larger world or narrative, but it’s up to the viewer/listener to connect the dots however they see fit.

D/SIR, “Violate Later”
Just a little over two years since their last LP Wilde’s Crown Los Angeles duo D/SIR return with a very welcome slice of night time synth. Their first for Basic Unit Productions, the track starts with a solid bass sequence – perhaps speaking to half of the project’s recent work as Hex Wolves – and characteristic vocal from Emily Rose before going into some very atmospheric and unexpected territory. Album All That Was Left is due sometime soon, in the meantime you can groove on this single, which features mixes from DSX and Divider.

Ritualz, “Echoes”
Mexico’s Ritualz had a slew of releases in the aftermath of the witch house explosion, but it’s been relatively quiet on Juan Carlos Lobo Garcia’s front of late, apart from a black metal cover which seemed to point to a more darkwave direction. That’s all changing now with the release of a new full length on Artoffact, which looks to be drawing upon darkwave, Mr.Kitty-type synthpop, and possibly even dungeon synth. Doom promises to be one of the year’s more dense and unpredictable dark records, so keep an eye open for a full review while you check this taster.

3TEETH and Ho99o9, “Lights Out”
The news of 3Teeth’s upcoming tour with alt rap act Ho99o9 was accompanied by news of a collaborative release, which dropped just this past week. Traditionally industrial metal and hip hop don’t mix especially well (remember Front Line Assembly’s “Victim of a Criminal” and that Fear Factory track with Cypress Hill?) but “Lights Out” works, probably due to sizable crossover in each act’s sonic assault. Also worth checking out is b-side “Time’s Up” which is sort of a mechanized crossover thrash number. Catch 3Teeth and Ho9909 on the road with Street Sects this April.

Dharmata 101, “Living the Dream (FIRES remix)”
Maryland conceptual synthpop act Dharmata 101 just dropped a single for their track “Edited for Television”, featuring a new version of that song alongside remixes by Null Device, Retrogramme, Project K11 and this one from FIRES. Strong stuff, as the lyrical and sentimental cues of the original get fed through the modern synthrock stylings Eric Sochocki deployed so effectively on his debut album last year. Good melodic stuff with a lot of texture, and a nice example of when two acts of a similar emotional tenor come together effectively.

Nordvargr, “Metempsychosis”
Hot off our discussion last week of Henrik Nordvargr Björkk’s most recent record with Pouppée Fabrikk, here’s the title track from the forthcoming Metempsychosis LP from his eponymous project. Hinging on rhythmic timbres and the hoarse but echoing rasp of Björkk’s vocals, it’s a moodier take on the sort of ritual incantation Nordvargr’s become known for. Context is everything: the nominally cheerful valediction “We shall meet again” is bone-chilling when uttered here.