Vandalaze, “Blab”

Vandalaze - Blab


The aesthetic of Cory You’s Vandalaze project, as communicated by album artwork and videos can make just as sharp a first impression as its music. While trying to describe to a friend the project’s style, channel-surfing across late 80s/early 90s kitsch, he asked if it fell into the vaporwave realm. “Yeah, but no,” I replied. “Less old Windows installations, more Rocko’s Modern Life“. The look and sound of Vandalaze’s latest once again rides the line between the exuberant and the grotesque, shuffling rubbery synths and jittery samples to a range of effects.

You’s deeply familiar with the history of post-industrial songwriting and production, as shown by the Covenant-style sequencing of “Icefade” and subtle but canny nods to early Puppy throughout Blab, but Vandalaze’s appeal lies in You’s ability to identify sounds and genres which have always been adjacent to that legacy, and bring them into a synth confluence which is far more open-ended. The bassline of “Fabrik Oblong” owes as much to Art of Noise as EBM, and the boisterous synth funk of “Omaha” comes across with wide-reaching technicolor appeal.

As with its predecessor, Big Diner, if Blab does have a failing it lies in You’s vocals, which often reach beyond his grasp, often sounding more like demo takes than official release material. That’s a shame, because it’s clear that You’s trying to leverage his voice as a key aspect to Vandalaze’s quirky ethos. At times this works admirably – the drippy distortion the vocals are pushed through on “Measure Of Time” fit the song’s mood well – but more often their production and delivery suffer in comparison to the capable instrumentation and production, as on the Max Headroom-like approach to “Wrong Channel” and the Jourgensen-style road-trip raconteurship of “Omaha”.

In the case of a project as dedicated to pure weirdness as Vandlaze (I wasn’t kidding about Rocko’s Modern Life: check the Nickelodeon-style “boi-yoings” mixed in with orch hits on “Wrong Channel”), it’s tough to say whether a sharper vocal delivery could run the risk of fouling what does work about Vandalaze. That question gets to the heart of what I’ve found so interesting about Vandalaze over the past few years: the spirit of You’s work is instantly recognizable, yet almost wholly unique in the contemporary synth world, and I want it to find the strange overlap of melt movie and after school special fans it deserves.

Buy it.

Tracks: March 19th, 2018

With the announcement of the last four bands – Unter Null, Sigsaly, Trepaneringsritualen, and TR/ST – the picture for this year’s Terminus Festival’s finally come fully into focus, and what a picture it offers up. Acts new and old, harsh and yielding, familiar and secretive, will be bringing a huge range of industrial, darkwave, synthpop, noise, techno, and post-punk to Calgary. The curation of the festival has always been incredibly progressive and adventurous, and while that’s still the case with this year’s line-up, it’s cool to see so many acts like Statiqbloom and Actors returning with a much larger fanbase and discography. Patreon supporters, keep an eye out for a Terminus-themed poll in the coming days, and check out what new tunes are featured in this week’s Tracks!

Vandalaze: getting freaky for the halibut.

Vandalaze x Chrome Corpse, “Nervous Blow”
Two of our fave mutants team up to bring you some of that new old school post-industrial. While we wouldn’t have necessarily pegged this one, Cory You of Vandalaze and Michael F. Ninethousand of Chrome Corpse certainly share a similar outlook when it comes to keeping EBM weird, which they do here without question. The maxi-single also includes a version in collaboration with Cretin Dilletante and a couple of other new tracks, some of which may appear again on forthcoming Vandalaze projects. C’mon wastoids, dive into this one, the slime’s just fine.

Rhythm Of Cruelty, “Dispossession”
Edmonton’s Rhythm Of Cruelty are likely one of the Terminus acts who’ll be less familiar to out of town attendees. Having caught the duo a couple of times in Vancouver, we can attest to the impact and quality of their swirling, effect-driven, and LOUD brand of machine-backed post-punk. Newcomers can get a taste of what to expect in Calgary this July with this new tune, a sample of the new cassette EP they’re releasing in a week’s time.

HKKP TR, “Kontrolle”
This tasty slice of technofied-body music hails from the third installment in X-IMG’s Self-Aware compilation series, due May 1st. While the label is noted for being Emad Dabiri of SARIN’s outlet for his various projects, these comps have showcased numerous other artists working in the fertile nu-EBM field, with this volume containing works from Nordstaat, Blush Response, Rhys Fulber, Rendered and others, including Dabiri’s own project Human Performance Lab. Looking for an entry point into that sweaty late night dancefloor sound? You could do a lot worse than here.

Paladin, “Mythmaker”
The archetype of the alchemist, a hermetic scientist-cum-magician ferreted away and working on the minutiae of occult formulae – isn’t just relevant to the themes and sounds Chris Gilbert explores as Paladin and Mild Peril, it also nicely sums up his approach to work. Gilbert’s released yet another version of his now-classic Matter LP, this time featuring heavily mutated versions of the original compositions, many with a synth-folk feel which matches his self-applied “wizard-disco” moniker. Check how much has changed from the original “Paladin’s Theme” to this iteration.

Harsh R, “Even Keel”
Olympia-based harsh industrial act Harsh R have announced their next cassette The Year of the Dog and the pre-order version just so happens to include the original version of “Even Keel”, a track we got to hear in remixed form on the “Bad Person” single. Avi will be making his way up to Vancouver for Verboden in just a few weeks, and we’re very excited to see him do his punky DIY thing in the flesh.

Hag Horror, “Movement”
Lastly, some chilled-out giallo/synthwave from Berlin producer Hag Horror. The Bedroom Tapes EP gracefully picks up pointers from John Carpenter and early Gatekeeper, offering up low-key but evocative tunes which set a mood and let it hold rather than going for heavy duty flash and shock.

Tracks: January 30th, 2017

It’s hard to know what to say about what happened in the US this weekend, and right here in our own country of Canada on Sunday. The undistilled hatred and ignorance is staggering, and we here at I Die: You Die stand with our friends across the globe who condemn the actions of the United States administration, as we mourn the loss of life in Quebec. These are scary and difficult times. When we find ourselves feeling hopeless or powerless, we often like to remind ourselves that the best and most important thing any of us can do is to send whatever support we can, be it monetary or volunteer time, to those on the frontlines battling these injustices and caring for the wounded, and the families of those affected by violence born from hatred. If you’re looking for a good place to start, The Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre and the ACLU would be excellent choices.

Rein Rein Don’t Go Away

It’s actually been a little while since we were treated to anything new from our favourite Mystery Vikings, so the arrival of the STΞNDHΛL EP is welcome indeed. There are some glitchy tics to this particular cut, but the foggy atmosphere of a timeless world of ice and spirits endures. Be sure to check out the whole EP!

Black Tape for a Blue Girl, “The Rubicon”
Now we normally associate Sam Rosenthal and his long-running Black Tape for a Blue Girl with an ethereal or darkwave sound, but darn if the first track off their newish Blood on the Snow EP doesn’t take them into neo-folk territory. Subject matter aside, the track features sparse, beautiful guitar that eventually crescendos with some very emotive strings. It’s a bit of dramatic switch from the gentle melancholia of their last LP (a favourite of ours last year btw) but one we’re totally on board for.

Rein, “Missfit”
Sweden’s Rein seems to be pivoting from the more trad EBM sound of her original demos, for a smoother vibe. She still busts out some growls, but the edges have been sanded down to a shape suitable for club play. Some of that may come from her collaborator on this one, noted electro producer Owl Vision. It’ll be interesting to see where things land when a full-length LP arrives, but we’re happy enough with this particular morsel to play wait and see.

Blac Kolor, “Chains”
Hendrick Grothe’s starting up a new slate of Bandcamp exclusive Blac Kolor releases; the ’24U’ series will showcase “some old, some previously unreleased and even some experimental, context-free stuff” two tracks at a time. The exact vintage of this rattler’s unknown, but it’s classic Blac Kolor, replete with bass that feels like it’s about to explode your cans and just the right dose of scraping noise.

Vandalaze, “Great Big Things (Cyborgs on Crack Remix)”
Take some North American retro-weirdness, crash it into some equally weird Croatian throwback sounds and don’t skimp on the orchestra hits. That’s how you get this bit of mid-80s nostalgia, courtesy of mutant pop radio act Vandalaze and the mighty (mighty strange at any rate) Cyborgs on Crack. Both projects have a penchant for making mutated versions of FM synth radio pop, so it stands to reason that one remixing the other would yield…well, this. Oddball to be certain, but entertainingly so.

Sixteen Knives, “No One Cares For You”
Here’s some more lo-fi post-industrial fun being passed our way by the XOS label. Info on Sixteen Knives is scant, but most of the cuts from the Prime LP we’ve checked out are built around vintage electro-industrial loops and give off an oozing, pulsing sense.

Vandalaze, “Big Diner”

Vandalaze - Big Diner

Big Diner

After three EPs-cum-remix-releases, Cory You’s Vandalaze project has a proper full-length within which its lo-fi blend of oozing synth-funk and industrial is allowed to congeal. Big Diner doesn’t break significantly from those releases, but over twelve tracks it’s easier to get a sense of what’s at the project’s core: samples are loaded into keyboards and jammed on overtop of blocked out funk rhythms and bubbly melodic programming. Early Art of Noise and Severed Heads are the reference points which come most handily to mind, but there’s something of mid-period Moev in the way You contrasts a channel-surfing, slap-happy technicolor aesthetic with solid rhythms that makes the connection between EBM and funk that’s so often overlooked, or perhaps even Wire’s early 90s dalliances with techno.

Tunes on Big Diner are kept super short, which matches nicely with the off-the-wall aesthetic. There’s no need to return to a chorus more than once as surely some new mutation will bubble up. There’s something oddly contradictory about Big Diner‘s nostalgia for an era in which things seemed to be changing faster, but You’s use of oddball 90s signifiers feels more in keeping with Deleuze’s lines of flight: an ad hoc strategem for avoiding stasis or pinioning. In short, You seems to be riffing on Severed Heads or Pee-Wee’s Playhouse more as materials at hand with which to build steam and get some weirdness going, rather than as solid-state foundations of inspiration. Nor is Big Diner only mining the past; You has stayed abreast of vaporwave, witchouse, and the innumerable other Internet microgenres which have oddly crossbred with industrial in the online clusterfuck of styles, and manages to work motifs from those in here and there with aplomb.

If there’s a weak spot which’d be highlighted in red during Big Diner‘s Dreamcast boss fight, it’d be the vocals. You’s not exactly a natural at staying on key, and seems stuck at the crossroads of trying to carry melody as best as he can and just jumping off the deep end into distortion and yowling. When he limits his reach, as on “Blockhead” and “House Of Two Oceans”, things go more smoothly. It’s a drawback, but not a dealbreaker, and is exactly the sort of warp in the weave you’d expect from a project so committed to screwball deliveries. You don’t get to be this weird without ruffling some feathers, and I’m sure You wouldn’t want it any other way.

Buy it.

Tracks: January 4th, 2016

So here we are, back with your first regularly scheduled Tracks post in nearly a month. On the one hand, yes, that means we’ve got a slew of new songs to poke through and report on, but on the other that means we’ve gotten a bit soft what with all the vegan holiday roast, whiskey, and sleeping in that comes with our downtime. But don’t let our sluggish form dissuade you; we’re here with a fresh batch of cuts to get the year rolling which are in far finer fighting form that us. You guys…you guys go on ahead. We’ll just take a knee for a minute…

Ari Mason, “Dim the Lights (Burnt Out)”
Negative Gain Productions put the lid on a stellar year with this single from Los Angelean Ari Mason. We think we might’ve caught wind of her Xymox cover a while back, but her original material’s well worth your time, with the odd touch of midnight minimal/darkwave shaded over elegant synthpop sketches. Sounds as though NGP will be releasing her sophomore album later this year, and we’d be very interested in hearing what someone with roots in Europe’s trad scene will come up with in the mutant hotbed of LA.

Vandalaze, “Great Big Things”
Do you like synth-funk, Tapeheads, and Art Of Noise tracks that are 92% orch hits? Because holy crap Vandalaze/Slimetrax mad scientist Cory You certainly does. We assume. The Vandalaze project cannily draws neon felt marker lines between EBM and its kookier neighbouring genres and sounds with sample-happy irreverence. You’s a canny navigator of the modern currents of Our Thing as well as its history, and you can expect a closer look at Vandalaze’s third full length in this space in the weeks to come.

WIK▲N, “Thee Heavy Air”
WIK▲N hasn’t been the showiest or noisiest act to come out of the witchouse diaspora, but a free DL split with perennial ID:UD darlings D/SIR certainly caught our attention. A simple enough piano figure is built up with the sort of drumming and atmospherics we’ve come to expect from the UK producer. He’s about due for another EP, we reckon.

Kangarot, “XM Comedy (Instrumental Version)”
Something new from industrialist Josh Reed’s Kangarot is usually enough to perk our ears up, especially when it shows up as part of a neat compilation from Greece’s Underground Industrial Records. As evidenced by this collection, the last couple of years have been pretty great for tweaky, lo-fi electro industrial, and this number Reed fits very nicely alongside tracks from other low profile (but worth peeping) acts like Cyborgs on Crack, DPRM and Blut Reaktor.

Urusai, “Faultline”
So, apparently Karloz M of Manufactura fame has activated a new incarnation of indie industrial label Crunch Pod in association with his own Auricle Media to put out a new compilation of noisy, technoid and ambient sounds. Whether this is a full reactivation of Crunch Pod as an entity to release music is unclear, but hey, have a gander at The Future of Dreaming‘s excellent line-up of contributors, including Nimon, Synapscape, W.A.S.T.E., Iszoloscope, ESA, Flint Glass and many many more. Plus a new number from friend of ID:UD Gregg McGillivray’s Urusai? Well worth your time to check out, we’d say.

VERIN & ∆AIMON (feat. Chris Vaughn), “Come Down (LOSS remix)”
Waaaay back in March of last year we pointed out this collab between VERIN (aka Chris Shortt) and the ever inspiring ∆AIMON, a tribute to the late Ric Laciak of RAS DVA fame. Some 10 months later we’ve got a massive 10 track remix single for the song, appearing under the auspices of audiotrauma, the label run by Arco and Syco Trauma of Chrysalide fame. Appropriately, Chrysalide delivers a mix, alongside Cardinal Noire, Inexora, and a host of others. Check this moody bit of low-key industrial atmosphere from LOSS, and then go scoop up the whole thing.

Observer: January 20th, 2015

Menschliche Energie
The Truth Is Lying

The most successful neo-old school EBM acts tend to be the ones that keep the genre’s occasional tongue in cheek moments close at hand. Such is the case with German body music purveyors Menschliche Energie and their recent LP The Truth is Lying. While the hallmarks of body music are here in abundance on analogue synth based tracks like “It Never Stops” and “Only the Brave”, the slightly more arch numbers like the crooned “No Me Gusta” and a light and bouncy cover of Depeche Mode’s “New Dress” make the best impression. It’s the sly wink that comes across in a slightly off-kilter leads and the continental vocal delivery that give this release its charm; a knowing wink to offset all the sinewy muscle and tension.

Body Plaze

Vandalaze’s Body Plaza is as indebted to weird ’80s sample funk as it is classic EBM. Whether it’s the ludicrously rad wailing guitar all over “Talk the Talk” or the ascending vocal snippets that accent the excellent “Mutoid Spasm”, the influence of the Me Decade pervades the release regardless of which styles it dips into. There are some particularly classic arpeggios and synth stabs on the soundtrackish “The Hand of Gold” and a convincing approximation of Severed Heads on “Datavision”. Really the only place any of it falls short is in Cory You’s vocals which too often stray noticeably from their comfort zone to ill effect. Still, with all the synthwave and Outrun littering Bandcamp with tape releases, it’s nice to hear a project that’s tapping into a different and rich vein of influence from that ever receding era.

Tyler Milchmann
Die Lieden

Falling somewhere between the stoicism of Neue Deutsche Härte and a high-drama orchestral version of electro-industrial, Tyler Milchmann’s Die Lieden is something of a unique quantity in the current dark music landscape. Das Ich is an easy touchstone for the set’s twelve songs, most of which involve a mix of synth and sampled strings and a bit of chuggy guitar for good measure. Milchmann himself is a solid enough presence as vocalist investing tracks like “Nobody” and “Das üble Blut” with appropriate gravitas and grandeur, going over the top in his delivery just enough when the proceedings demand it. While some of the arrangements can be a bit cluttered and occasionally detract from the melodies with rapid changes in instrumentation, you certainly couldn’t call Milchmann lazy; every inch of Die Lieden is packed with bombast and detail enough to pique the interest fans of teutonic todeskunst.

Tracks: January 5th, 2015

We’re back from the holidays, having been respectively well-rested in Rome and stuffed with Tofurkey, and are keen to dig into another year of discussion here at I Die: You Die. We’re not exactly in the mood to do a whole bunch of New Year’s resolutions or mission statement type declarations, as we did plenty of navel-gazing in our year-end coverage and will likely have another of our wishlist type write-ups for the year to come, but we do have plans for the site, both ambitious and incidental, which we’re looking forward to talking about in the coming months. For now, we’ve flagged a bunch of tracks which dropped while we were taking our breather, so let’s get to it!

Retrogramme, “Saved (BITES Remix)”
DC act Retrogramme have a pretty open-ended synthpop aesthetic, and are more than happy to work in plenty of neigbouring styles (as discussed when we reviewed “For Our Dearly Departed“). Tapping Xavier Swafford to add some of the rhythmic, oppressive synths he earned his rep with as BITES (before 3 Teeth got started) is a good move, lending plenty of pulse and sway to this piece. Retrogramme’s next LP, Feed, will be coming out soon on EKP; we’ll keep you posted.

Seeming, “The Flock (D0Wn THe L▲DD3r EDIt By V▲LH▲LL)”
You know whose remix game is underrated? Those ghostly nordic pagans V▲LH▲LL, that’s who. We’re especially fond of the takes they’ve done of pop songs by the likes of Lana Del Rey and Madonna, and it just so happens that their post-witch aesthetics work just as well when applied to NY genre-benders Seeming (who you may recall took home our album of the year nod for 2014). This may or may not be related to a remix release for the latter artist, but either way we’re happy to have a team-up from two of our fave artists of last year.

Rhombus, “A Moment Today (First Demo)”
A somber and rather stripped-down demo from introspective yet hard partying trad goth crew Rhombus. This personal and reflective take on things certainly isn’t new for the Huddersfield group, but on Open The Sky and “Here Be Dragons” that was always shot through with some anthemic jolts. Does this mark a moodier turn for the band, or are we reading too much into one demo?

Cygnets, “Run With Us (Lisa Lougheed cover)”
Okay, bit of a history lesson for all you non-Canucks out there: Lisa Lougheed’s seminal Canadian synthpop jam is most well-known to those of us here in the Great White North as the closing theme from The Racoons, an animated television about anthropomorphic wildlife dealing with environmental and ethical issues. Edmonton’s Cygnets pay tribute to this wonderful bit of Canadiana with a free cover you can snag via Bandcamp, a nice capper to their two fabulous 2014 albums Sleepwalkers and Isolator. Home-and-Native-land vibes so strong you’ll want to read it The Hockey Sweater and call it Gord.

Vandalaze, “Mutoid Spasm”
Bit of mid-80s-industrial-funk from Sacramento’s Vandalaze, fresh from their December release Body Plaza. We normally make a point of using Soundcloud and Bandcamp embeds in these posts for a variety of reasons, but this is an occasion we gotta recommend you watch the video; project mastermind Cory You has his clip-editing skills leveled up good and proper to provide the exact right kind of visual accompaniment, an homage to all your finer cyberpunk tropes. Full-screen this one and scare your co-workers real good.

GHXST, “Galaxia”
It’s been a while since we checked in with New York’s GHXST, but that’s all on us. The grinding noise rock genome in their make-up is in full effect here, with a great balance being struck between Shelley X’s druggy, almost trepidatious vocals and doomed-out riffs. As always, the gothy touches in GHXST’s sound are present more in mood than in concrete sound, but regardless of genre this is still some great dark shit meant to be turned up.

Tracks: April 28th, 2014

If you were in Vancouver this weekend and lucky enough to be on the hella exclusive guestlist, you would have been a part of what is sure to become an annual Van City rivet tradition: The Borkaboo Society Swedish EBM and Vegan Pizza Cook-Off. Yes, the city’s elite cadre of SwEBM aficionados gathered at the ID:UD HQ to partake in delicious, cruelty-free pizza pie, with toppings and combinations thereof provided by each attendee. We at I Die: You Die take our pizza real-serious like, almost as much as our Sverige body music, so you know we were jamming out to Scapa Flow, Cat Rapes Dog, The Pain Machinery and Container 90 while downing slices of spicy adobo and soy-pepperoni goodness. Of course those celebrations don’t mean we get time off from writing up some interesting new songs of note, a selection of which we have assembled for your perusal below.

Also, we would you believe that tickets for AFTERMATH are now on sale and they are DUMB CHEAP, like $15 a night if you buy in advance cheap. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are all available via Brownpaper tickets, step on up!

Not pictured: Dolph Lundgren movies on TV, Ekobrottsmyndigheten blasting on speakers

DSX & Sid Lamar, “Black Clouds Separated”
Frost Vol. 1 was a pretty succinct statement of purpose from Basic Unit Productions, a label comp that laid out the dark, cool techno-ebm crossover sound reflected in all their releases since. Volume 2 of the series is now on the horizon with a fairly impressive tracklist of its own; aside from established outside acts like The Horrorist and Marching Dynamics we’re getting a healthy dose of roster goodness from the likes of Blac Kolor, Square7, Liebknecht and of course DSX, appearing with a track featuring Keluar’s Sid Lamar. You’ll recall that DSX (aka Dejan Samardzic) previously kicked it with Keluar’s vocalist Zoè Zanias on recent single Shifted, which we were similarly impressed with.

Black Sheep Screaming, “Tri​-​Polar Maneuvers”
Serbian electro-industrial act Black Sheep Screaming are notable for their harsh and unpredictable nature, in the same way that rain is notable for being wet and ice cream is notable for being delicious. Their last release got some attention around the HQ by virtue of its unique and inscrutable character. Although we could draw comparisons to say, Chrysalide and late-period Mentallo & the Fixer, neither fully encapsulates the quixotic and aggressive tone of BSS’ output. New single “Tri​-​Polar Maneuvers” carries on in that tradition, where else are you gonna find brapped out soundscapes, samples of Doakes and screeching metal on metal in this day and age?

3 Teeth, “Catalyst”
We’ve written at length about how amped up we are for 3 Teeth’s debut, and about how no small part of that has been due to the steady stream of pre-release music that has magically balanced the feeling that they’re giving us something to chew on while also maintaining the mystique around their forthcoming debut. New track “Catalyst” is a pleasant example of how they work that division, an instrumental that calls to mind some of latter-day Nine Inch Nails’ more composerly moments, it displays a wholly different side of the LA act than the gritty industrial rock workouts that have become their calling card. Can this album just come out already, we’re dying over here.

Vandalaze, “So Real”
A little something for those who yearn for a simpler, more neon time. Not too far off from the stuff White Car did on Everyday Grace, Vandalaze is plumbing that mid-period Cabs, Severed Heads kinda style, where aggression and experimentalism gave way to smoothed out digital weirdness. Of course the benefit of hindsight allows for some interesting diversions, the single for this track finds the song interpreted in a variety of contemporary and classic ways. Not shabby at all.

Information Society, “Land of the Blind (Aesthetic Perfection mix)”
If you’re like us, you grew up during the dark days when InSoc was doing the remix/greatest hits rounds on Cleopatra, a shadow of their former MTV buzzclip selves. Those weren’t particularly great years for the Minneapolis-based group, but the latter part of the last decade has found the group receiving some acknowledgement for their role in the history of freestyle and electro. There are still some traces of their years in the goth/industrial salt mines though, as the remix line-up for new single “Land of the Blind” will attest; you got some Inertia, some Whiteqube and even a lil’ Aesthetic Perfection on board for remixes.

So Fragile #17: Long Live the New Fresh

Like we said a few weeks back, LA is poppin’ off like a mobster boss when it comes to vital new stuff which is in the EBM vein but doesn’t necessarily come from established scene routes and founts. Over the past year or so, we’ve become devotees of many bands in California on the whole who are bringing outside energy and perspectives to some of the industrial, minimal wave, and body sounds we love, and we wanted to showcase some of them with a special mixtape. All California, all new fresh. Let’s go, stream or download at the bottom of the post!

//TENSE//, “Turn it Off (Extended Version)”
A band we won’t soon be tired of big-upping, which you’ll note we’ve been doing since our first ever mixtape. We’re told the new record comes out soon, we’ll be here patiently waiting in our faux-leather jackets and ridiculously oversized aviator-style sunglasses until then.

Vandalaze, “Video Void”
One of our doggs from the virtual den of digital iniquity that is the Violent Playground forum! Cory Yu is lightin’ up Sacramento with his mix of nu-ebm and minimal synth, not sure if a record is on the horizon, but once we know you’ll hear about it in these pages, guaranteed.

White Car, “Feed Me”
White Car stand at a cool nexus between early tape-loop industrial experimentation and the wave of funky electronic music that bears no allegiance to any particular subgenre. Recent transplants to LA, their 2012 album from whence this cut is pulled received scores of accolades from in and outside Our Thing.

Branes, “CGI, E-Mail Order Bride”
Pulling from the more beat-heavy side of classic French coldwave (hell of Kas Product feels on this tune) as much as anything, LA’s Branes also offer up a big side of goofy (often food-related) fun on their Perfection Condition LP. With new Alien Sex Fiend records in relatively short supply these days, we’re happy to have learned of these kooky kats.

Youth Code, “Keep Falling Apart”
What with how much we’ve been talking about them of late, we can’t blame you if you’re beginning to think the LA duo are blackmailing the senior staff with incriminating photos of us and a greased wallaby at the Ikea ballpit, dear reader. While we’d like to like to be able to put such rumours to rest, we won’t stop talking about Youth Code because their first tracks jack us up the way classic, noisy EBM did when we were first getting into it lo those many years ago.

Violet Tremors, “Control SubMission”
We’ve been enamored with this Los Angelean minimal wave duo since we saw them open for ohGr and our pals in Left Spine Down a year or so back, and their LP also impressed. This for the floor mix steps up the tempo but loses none of the charm of the original.

Tearist, “Lo V”
Last time they blew through Vancouver we tried to buy a vinyl from Tearist, but the dude said they left it outside in the van, so I couldn’t. TRUE STORY. We won’t hold it against them though, seeing as they gave one of the most unhinged performances we’d see all year. Enjoy this uncharacteristically laid back cut, laid back for Tearist anyway.