We Have a Technical 205: As We Get Older

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Jean Luc and Front 242: Body Gains for the Body Gods

After settling into the new HQ, the Senior Staff are taking about last weekend’s excellent Front 242 show in Seattle! The elder gods of EBM were on point and the full breakdown is here. Also, in keeping things on an Emerald City tip, DJ Savak stops by the podcast to talk about the four day Mechanismus festival he’s bringing to Seattle. Find more information about Mechanismus Festival at their website, including line-up and ticket information. You can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from Spotify or the widget down below.

Sashcloth and Axes, “M.A.R.K. -13″

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Sashcloth and Axes - M.A.R.K. -13

Sashcloth and Axes
M​.​A​.​R​.​K. -13
Lament Records

While catching Sashcloth and Axes at this year’s Verboden festival, I was initially struck by the aplomb with which the California based one-man act was balancing noise and melody in his set. The distortion and density with which Richard Douglas’ material was delivered was a nice counterpart to the synth melodies and catchy rhythms which were also shaken in. I might have been missing the forest for the trees, though, as proper listens of his new LP M​.​A​.​R​.​K. -13 reveals how much of his style of synthpunk is rooted in EBM rhythms, some of which are shared with fellow new-school mutants like High-Functioning Flesh, going back to the genre’s most minimal roots.

The repetitive simplicity of opener “Hardware” is something of a feint, designed to prepare you for the phased synth sound which acts as a guiding thread through much of the record, but bereft of the stacks of drum fills and noise-blasted vocals which adorn much of M​.​A​.​R​.​K. -13‘s body. Once through the gates, though, Douglas is off and running pell-mell through an amusement park loaded with punchy body music rhythms and garish synth excess. Tracks like “A.I. 32″ and “Breakdown” are build on rock-solid tempos which offer enough propulsion for the former’s sampledelica and the latter’s floorpunching vitriol to liftoff.

The pairing of simple and raw programming with barked vocals Sashcloth and Axes showcases might have some folks thinking of the likes of Spit Mask, but for my money the quirky stylings of Kangarot are a closer comparison. “Mind Waste” kicks along with a spritely and almost funky bassline, kicked off by simply programmed fills, but punctuated by Douglas’ guttural moaning the whole affair becomes woozy and disorienting. For all its lo-fi engineering, M.A.R.K. -13 displays an omnivorous appetite for EBM, funk, noise, and all points between.

The line between “synthpunk” and “roots EBM” is a blurry one to be certain, and likely has more currency with regards to personal histories and interests in music rather than any claim of objective aesthetics. Regardless of genre, Sashcloth and Axes’ brutal yet undeniably fun tour of the noisy electronics carnival hits the mark at the levels of both the dancefloor and the primal id.

Buy it.

M.A.R.K. -13 by Sashcloth and Axes

Tracks: April 24th, 2018

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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.
All Of My Dreams Are Of This Place by FIRES

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.
New Wave Of Fear by Horror Vacui

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.
L'Oiseau du Désespoir by Low Factor

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.


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