We Have a Commentary: Kirlian Camera, “Still Air”

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On this special bonus podcast Bruce and Alex discuss Kirlian Camera mid-career highlight Still Air (Aria Immobile) We discuss the lyrical themes, the ongoing evolution of the band and how this particular record occupies a specific place in the long-running darkwave act’s catalogue. Thanks to our Patreon supporters for making these bonus commentary episodes a reality on an ongoing basis! As always, you can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from the widget down below.

Observer: bvdub & raison d’être + Troum

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Space and distance is absolutely critical to the work of producer Brock Van Wey. His latest in an prolific string of releases, Heartless, is almost a pure distillation of the far-off aesthetic his sound design has taken over the last few years; where drums voices and other musical elements are still present, they’re awash with rich waves of delay and reverb. The result is striking, in that you often feel like you’re listening to the ripples of music that is coming from very far away. There are times, like on opener “Sleepless” and the climactic “Painless” where the massive fog of sound becomes orchestral, ever-crescendoing even as every trace of the original sound is obliterated. In other places, like the “Limitless” voices and piano sounds are permitted to float gently through the mix, retreating but still immediate in comparison to the currents echoing around them. It’s really on a song like “Faceless” that Van Wey takes things to their logical extreme, expressing tone and harmony as massive bodies crashing together, as a single pad builds itself into a glacier of noise. For all that Heartless still feels languorous, the scope and slow motion nature of its design keeping the listener at a safe remove from its 1/100 speed explosions of sound.
Heartless by bvdub

 raison d'être & Troum ‎– XIBIPIIO. In And Out Of Experience
raison d’être & Troum,
XIBIPIIO. In and Out of Experience
Transgredient Records

Despite their shared affinity for deep and reverberating drones, I wouldn’t have ever thought of pairing Peter Andersson’s acclaimed dark ambient project, raison d’être, with prolific German duo Troum. The former’s records like The Stains of the Embodied Sacrifice and In Sadness, Silence and Solitude have always connoted the weighty and abyssal themes of classic dark ambient, while Troum’s work has had an airy and ethereal nature, even while focusing on pondourous and metaphysical themes (see their excellent collaboration with Martyn Bates). Andersson and Troum’s second collaborative effort avoids the potential pitfalls of having to meet somewhere in the aesthetic median by having Troum reconstruct and rework source and sampled raison d’être recordings. The resulting work carries the heavy timbre and thrum of Andersson’s work, but is pressed through Troum’s gauzy filters and at times ornamented with echoing or scraped strings. “Eigi Einhamr” finds the pairing ending up somewhere in Dead Voices On Air territory; a mutually agreed on neutral zone, perhaps? The heady and cosmic ambitions of both projects endures, regardless of the register or whether XIBIPIIO aims for the heavenly or the stygian.
XIBIPIIO. In and Out of Experience by raison d'être & Troum

We Have a Technical 175: Some Kinda Lodge

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Gary Numan - Savage

We’re starting to get into numbers so absurdly high it’s beginning to beggar belief, but yes, friends: it’s the 175th episode of We Have A Technical! To mark this somewhat (but not really) auspicious milestone, we’re talking about Savage, the new record by the namesake of the website and podcast, ol’ Uncle Gary Numan hisself! How does this latest chapter in Numan’s industrial-cum-synth rock renaissance compare with its predecessors? How does it draw upon the poetics and theatrics Numan’s staked out since the beginning of his career? Where are we in the strange dialectic of influence between Numan and Nine Inch Nails? All these bits of minutiae and so many more are discussed in this week’s episode of WHaT! As always, you can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from the widget down below.

Sally Dige, “Holding On”

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Sally Dige
Holding On
DKA Records/Avant!

The bio that accompanies the release of Sally Dige’s Holding On proudly proclaims that despite being made with one synth, each song on the record has more than 100 tracks of audio, and in some cases that many just for the drums. That claim might give you the impression that the LP is focused on sound design and complex production, and indeed, the record is obviously the product of extensive layering and assembly. But for all its multiplicity, it’s the immediacy and knack for melody that sells the Danish-Canadian’s music.

Despite their synthetic nature, the record’s compositions feel very rock-like in their execution. Leading with clarion synth riffs, the rhythm programming almost universally has the feel of post-punk, which serves as a strong foundation for Dige’s singing. Songs like the propulsive title track and the pensive “I Can’t Be” especially benefit from that naturalistic treatment, their plucky basslines and rolling toms lending a warmth and groove that contrasts with the big reverbs and icy synths they share space with. In some cases like “Be Gone” twangy pathches are lathered with delay that emulates guitar, adding to the trad darkwave feel of the proceedings.

Dige’s sensibility comes across in her vocal delivery, which favours precision and control. Each syllable, each run of notes is performed with a constancy that rivals the exactitude of her programming, occasionally to the point where she sounds stiff. Still, though it’s hard to argue with her approach on a song like “Emptiness” where her decision to stick to a lower register lends her a regal bearing, and the song a great deal of gravitas. Dige is especially good at finding ways to reinforce the central melody of a cut with her voice, frequently harmonizing or trading off with an instrument in the mix, or straight up acting as one, like on “No Need to Pretend” where the word “why” is repeated with the fidelity of a quantized synth.

You can deconstruct how Holding On is put together all day – the record has layers to peel back from a production standpoint – but that won’t ever really capture its appeal. Without ever going for big brassy hooks, Sally Dige keeps melody at the forefront, never letting the density of her arrangements overwhelm matters. For a record so meticulous, it’s remarkably easy to listen to and enjoy, maintaining an airy and ethereal tone in spite of it’s considerable weight.

Buy it.

Holding On by Sally Dige

Terminal Gods, “Meridian”

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Terminal Gods - Meridian

Terminal Gods
Heavy Leather Sex

To say that a goth rock band’s last release was ominous feels somewhat redundant, but the unease Terminal Gods’ 2016 LP Wave / Form brought to our HQ was palpable, albeit in the best way possible. That record marked the London band’s clear interest in exploring territories much more moody and, yes, quiet than their early run of rollicking singles and EPs which brought them quick acclaim. The sense of tension and modulated musical stylings of that record have been doubled-down upon in the band’s new record. Meridian is a record which thrives on being eerie rather than boisterous, and takes up colder musical weapons in order to communicate that mood.

Right from the get go, “The Bird Catcher” shows just how committed Terminal Gods are to a “less is more” aesthetic, for at least some of the record. Made up of groaning strings and the slightest keyboard and drum arrangements, it’s a stripped-down but effectively creepy opener, and is wholly unlike anything in the band’s extant catalog. That’s a trend that continues. Time and again Meridian avails itself of a much wider range of sounds and influences than its predecessor, which, as I noted at the time, was itself drawing upon new wave influences previously absent. Space-rock, 90s darkwave, the bleakest of coldwave, and plenty more modes from the band’s record collections each have their turn, and yet Meridian never feels haphazard or excessive.

The smear of jittering keyboards over drum machines on “Sleep Machine” feels a bit like the late, great Horatii but the straightforward guitar and Robert Cowlin’s direct, punchy vocal is of a very different cast. With every move towards the more obscure corners of dark music they make, Terminal Gods paradoxically seem to be finding ways of writing tunes which tap into a more accessible vein. Lyrically, Cowlin still has one foot in classic rock metaphors and wordplay (“Headlong And Heartless”), but there’s been some experimentation there, too. It’s interesting to compare the remorseless predator who narrates “The Bird Catcher” with the speechifying of Tony Benn (there’s no irony to be found there – guitarist Robert Maisey is a Constituency Labour Party officer).

I’d be lying if I said that no part of me missed the Terminal Gods who cranked out the likes of “Electric Eyes” and “The Wheels Of Love”: classic gothy rave-ups which have stood up well over the years. But given how good they were at that style right out of the gate, it’d be selfish to ask the band to stay in a holding pattern, likely with diminishing returns. Meridian crams a wealth of feels and sounds into a shockingly brief (twenty-seven minute) package, and does so in stylishly reserved fashion. Recommended.

Buy it.

Meridian by Terminal Gods

Tracks: September 18th, 2017

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Back in Canada after a weekend in the States, and we’re starting to feel kinda sad we won’t be at Cold Waves next weekend. Despite having attended for numerous years, and loving the festival and it’s attendees, we just couldn’t make it happen schedule-wise. That said, we’re super excited for all of our friends who will be in attendance, and to hear which bands were the standouts on a pretty stellar line-up. Did you hit it up? Let us know what was good in the comments, we’ll be here drowning our FOMO sorrows in new Tracks.

Whispering Sons

Whispering Sons

Blush Response, “You Will Cry Out in Grief”
We mentioned his new Konkurs joint last week, but you should also know that Joey Blush has some Blush Response material on deck as well. Peep this split with Years of Denial and Alexey Volkov from London’s Khemia records, all squelchy modular clangor on the one side, to complement the menacing minimal joint on the b-side. We’ve been watching Blush Response for more than a few years now, and as always, we’re consistently impressed with the project’s near constant movement forward in terms of sound and style, never settling in one style for too long. Whatever’s next from Joey, we doubt it’ll be long before we find out.
Albedo Edition by Blush Response / Years Of Denial & Alexey Volkov

Whispering Sons, “White Noise”
Belgium’s well-curated Weyrd Son Records doesn’t have the largest roster, but fellow Belgians Whispering Sons are a perfect fit. The second 7″ from the post-punk act released by WS has high drama and plenty of atmosphere, but also a rock-solid sense of mechanics and drive, perhaps drifting into Agent Side Grinder territory.
White Noise by Whispering Sons

The Devil & The Universe, “Black Harvest”
aufnahme + wiedegarbe stalwarts The Devil & The Universe have their fourth full length Folk Horror in the pipe, which is pretty damn impressive when you consider the project has actually only existed since 2013. First single “Black Harvest” is a trip, combining some In The Nursery-esque strings with burbling synths and syncopated drums. It’s actually pretty funky, and makes for an interesting pairing with the ritual and ambient sounds they’ve explored in the past. If you’re looking for something to throw onto your pagan forest orgy playlist, this might do the job.

Analfabetism, “Begrävning”
The third LP from Fredrik Djurfeldt’s Analfabetism looks to be delivering more of the grinding, shrieking noise which the Severe Illusion frontman has dished out in his solo project. However, Skammen was recorded in our own home of Vancouver; will the impassive power of our rainforested vistas make its way into the Swedish artist’s palette? We’ll keep you posted.
Skammen by Analfabetism

Acretongue, “Abacus”
Fully six years since the release of the project’s first and to date only album Strange Cargo, here’s a new one from South Africa’s Acretongue. With such a lengthy absence from producing and releasing music it can be hard to tell exactly where an artist is at from one song, but if we recall correctly this is very much in line with the thoughtful, designed post-electro sounds Nico J has dealt with in the past. Could this mean more new material is en route?

11 Grams, “Machine Malfunction”
Some solid and punch 90s-style EBM action from Rob Early of Retrogramme in collaboration with Australia’s Simeon Fitzpatrick. Early’s work in Retrogramme’s always had some excellent aggro chops despite being in more of a synthpop vein; a full record of tensely programmed stuff like this is definitely something to look forward to.

Observer: Joel Eel & Zentriert Ins Antlitz

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Joel Eel
Very Good Person

As the title of his debut suggests, there’s something weirdly affable about the music Joel Eel makes. The Torontonian producer/performer makes some lo-down, dirty and wet synth music that fits into the ever expanding territory where body music and techno meet, his own monotone vocal delivery adding personality to many of the varied tracks on Very Good Person. There’s actually a pretty decent variety of sounds on display here: where the title track features Eel reciting lyrics in Korean over a rattling rhythm track and a sharp synth loop that recalls early Black Strobe, it’s quickly followed by tracks like “Fever” and “No Hard Feelings” which invoke classic acid and EBM in their design and instrumentation. The use of tension and is especially important to these songs, as demonstrated by the slow-burning “OMG”, which gradually adds percussion elements and has a bassline that shifts from subterranean groove to raunchy squelch and back again, while Eel enumerates a list of post-modern afflictions before capping them off with an apathetic “Oh my god”. For a comparatively brisk listen, it’s a release that goes quite a ways to establishing the project’s toolset and personality, all of which is handily summarized in the varied takes on “Love Below” that close matters out.

Very Good Person by Joel Eel

Zentriert Ins Antlitz - A Part Of Regression

Zentriert Ins Antlitz
A Part Of Regression

As discussed on the podcast this week, the lengthy hiatus of Germany’s Zentriert Ins Antlitz was recently snapped with a new EP. While its trappings (free, self-released, high-quality FLACs) are classic ZIA, a lot’s changed. The chilled-out moods and mellower sounds of …No are certainly still present (there’s nary a peep of their churning dancefloor ambitions of the past), the band’s instrumentation and style have undergone some significant changes in the intervening years. Choral elements hold sway in “Fallout”, set against a mellow groove which bears some traces of the band’s roots in electro-industrial, but ends up somewhere between Liquid Divine and Enigma. Even if the medieval sex jamz of the latter aren’t maintained throughout the rest of A Part Of Regression, the laid-back vibe certainly is. “Regression”, “Remember”, and “The Arc” each proceed languidly in downtempo fashion, with pretty keyboard figures swirling over nodding beats. They’re perfectly pleasant and relaxing pieces, but all save the last tend to run towards the long side without much in the way of movement (for its part, “The Arc” slowly builds and releases tension with some more classic pulses and pads). Despite its long run-time, I’m not sure A Part Of Regression offers enough to get a sense of where the new ZIA is heading, though it does at times sound like a band caught somewhat adrift.

Download it.

We Have a Technical 174: Don’t Pivot

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Zentriert Ins Antlitz

Zentriert Ins Antlitz were split between Bronski Beat, Steely Dan, and Smashmouth cosplay.

The first record by Imperative Reaction and the most recent one from Zentriert Ins Antlitz are under the microscope in this week’s episode of the podcast. We also have a (hopefully measured) discussion of the 3 Teeth 9/11 controversy which has been burning up the Internet of late. Also, a couple more upcoming albums for the last third of 2017 have been announced! Thrill to the discussion, chill to the pointed commentary and kill some time with Alex and Bruce on the official I Die: You Die podcast. As always, you can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from the widget down below.

Replicas: Phil Western & Tim Hill, “Dark Features”

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Replicas is the handle we use to write about reissues and archival releases, offering some thoughts on the original material, and whatever additional goodies or format shifts may have been appended. This week, a psych-techno classic from one of Vancouver’s smokiest exports…

Phil Western & Tim Hill - Dark Features

Phil Western & Tim Hill
Dark Features

What is it?
At the time known for his work in Download and Plateau, Vancouver’s own Phil Western took a scenic detour from the straight-up, no-chaser techno of his debut LP, The Escapist, with his 2001 sophomore record. Recorded in conjunction with long-time collaborator and video artist Tim Hill, Dark Features borrowed from both the noisier experimentation of Download and the downtempo, stoner techno of Plateau, but cross-pollinated those sounds with a helping of psych-rock and shoegaze. Tunes like “He Never Showed Up” and “DMT” are lush, florid pieces which sample from a little bit of everything in the kitchen, but also hold together incredibly well as compositions. It was a big leap forward for Western which allowed for his contributions to his work with cEvin Key to be understood more clearly, and elements of its broad, warm, and psyched-out sound have found their way into much of his discography ever since.

What’s on it?
Dark Features has been treated to a gatefold, double-vinyl release. In addition to the original track list, this ArtOfFact reissue comes with five bonus tracks on the D-side. They’re interesting to listen to in contrast with what made the original cut. Some, like “I’m Already Dead” and “The Olden Days” feel like slightly wallflower-esque versions of their more varied LP counterparts; polished and well considered, but not yet ready to take the plunge with fuzzed out guitars and vocal harmonies. The historical essay Western’s written for the liner is especially informative, detailing the record’s genesis in locations both physical – West Vancouver and Gibsons (of Beachcombers fame for all you Canadians) – and astral; Western discusses the sound of the record’s origin in his first experiences with DMT. The song of the same name which grew out of that trip’s always felt like the linchpin of the record, and it was interesting to have that corroborated.

Who should buy it?
At least for myself, Dark Features became the epitome of a local, independent classic. I bought the CD from a shop Phil had dropped copies off at earlier in the day, and its easy-going nature made it the soundtrack to plenty of walks through the city and late night reading. This reissue should be of obvious interest to long-time fans of Download, Plateau, or the Subconscious sound in general, but its delimited vision of techno should have broader appeal. The softer, psychedelic side of it will resonate with Legendary Pink Dots fans, and its rock grooves find a chemistry with its techno elements which I remember umpteen bands aiming for (and generally failing at) in the late 90s and early 00s. An overlooked gem finally getting some shine, Dark Features has shades to suit all the seasons it’s weathered.

Buy it.

Dark Features by Phil Western and Tim Hill

FIRES, “Red Goes Grey”

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Red Goes Grey
Metropolis Records

Eric Sochocki laid out the rubric for making the music on FIRES’ debut in a recent interview with amodelofcontrol: “1. It has to make me want to dance 2. It has to make me feel something 3. It has to be pop”. Apparently things went according to plan, because the record is made up of catchy, personal songs with club appeal. A confident step forward from Sochocki’s songwriting and production work in the intense industrial rock project Cryogen Second and its post-rock follow-up Becoming the Devourer, Red Goes Grey is a bracing mix of electronics and rock instrumentation and arrangement.

More specifically, FIRES uses synthwave production as a delivery mechanism for big hooks and highly emotional vocals. The pop-bass, gated-reverb snares and synth stabs on the verse of “Counting Walls” could have been the basis for a funky Outrun banger, but instead they roll effortlessly into a knockout chorus that would feel totally at home transplanted to a post-hardcore cut. It’s a formula established early on opener “Believe Me” where a cleverly positioned bridge and breakdown contrast the song’s repeating synth lead, and on the arresting title track where doubled vocals are lifted aloft on a tide of processed guitar noise and a deep bass and drum groove. Finding the sweet spot between genres is no mean feat, but Sochocki consistently walks the line, inserting rock nods into electronic instrumentals like “Tell No One” and “Follower”.

Unexpectedly, it’s the vocals that often feel like the album’s lynchpin. A lyric like “Someday you’ll wake up/Without a life left to fuck up” could easily be mawkish if underdelivered, but is leaned into with a conviction and sentiment that sells it completely. While not possessed of the most powerful or distinct voice, Sochocki makes the most of what he has both via extensive use of vocal production that positions him comfortably among the synthetic instruments, and through his willingness to be vulnerable. These are his songs, and the sincerity with which he delivers them speaks to that; when he intones lines like “It’s just a temporary amputation” on closing ballad “Some Kind of Progress” the moment is earned and the song is all the better for it.

A record like Red Goes Grey could have stumbled in so many ways. Many acts have tried to marry the same sounds, but ended by diluting them into a flavourless mush, and more than a few artists have come off as histrionic when shooting for affecting. That it succeeds so frequently in its aims shouldn’t be overlooked, although that accomplishment is overshadowed by how purely listenable and enjoyable it is. FIRES’s brand of electronic rock is what it sets out to be, and has the execution and heart to match its ambitions.

Buy it.

Red Goes Grey by FIRES

Tracks: September 11th, 2017

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Morning, gang! We had some fun chatting with bands about the wacky world of DIY merchandising back at Terminus, and some of their notions, both hypothetical and realized, were pretty great. Despite our weakness for buying merch, we ain’t exactly the best at cranking it out. That said, the relatively well-received Death To False EBM design is once again up for grabs in remixed form, as the remaining collaborative crewnecks with Das Bunker from last year’s DB20 fest are finally available for sale (just in time for fall). Cop one if you’re looking to stay warm in the months ahead and want to leave no uncertainty as to your views on wack af electronic body music. On to this week’s Tracks!

Vomito Negro always lookin' the part.

Vomito Negro, “Unleash The Demons”
We’ve been waiting on Black Plague, the forthcoming LP from the legendary Vomito Negro, for over a year at this point. There still doesn’t look to be a firm release date, but we’ve at least got some album art and, far more importantly, another tune from the dark EBM masters’ impending release. There’s some vintage house swing in this cut which is a bit of a different look, but the minimal and mean construction, plus the oppressively gritty pads give it more than enough classic Vomito Negro meanness.

Sigsaly, “Push”
Fresh new darkwave courtesy of the freshly minted Sigsaly, a side-project of Vancouver stalwarts Koban. The project finds the duo putting aside their electric bass and guitars and focusing entirely on electronics, at least in their debut track “Push”, where the propulsive bassline and tomb-reverb on the vox are paired with jittery synths in a way that creates tension and a creeping menace. No word on whether any more material is forthcoming, but we’re always excited for new Van City darkness in any form.

Whiteqube, “The Return”
You guys remember Whiteqube? The LA based electronic act who really made an impact on us out a few years back with their wild videos and unique sense of humour? Well they’re back, and appropriately have a video that gives us the same feelings, as filtered through synthwave VHS aesthetics. Also Airwolf, the crime-solving helicopter. And hey, the song is a lot of fun too, with nicely rounded EBM touches in the rhythm section. Strong stuff to accompany the recently released The Return which we’ll be writing up at some point in the near future.

Konkurs, “Descender”
Despite both being busy with their various solo efforts, Joey Blush (Blush Response) and Emad Dabiri (SARIN, Human Performance Lab) have reunited to put together a new EP for the prolific aufnahme + wiedegarbe. Like their previous release Object of Subversion has finds two guys conversant in that techno industrial crossover sound combining their strengths to make music that reflects their individuals aesthetics. First track “Descender” is a straight grinder, and a reminder that for all the producers hopping on this particular bandwagon, there are a few standing head and shoulders above the fray.
Object Of Subversion by Konkurs

raison d’être & Troum, “Eigi Einhamr”
Not sure how it passed us by the first time, but a collaboration between dark ambient master Peter Andersson and (not so dark) ambient experimentalists Troum is putting out a second LP in the coming weeks. It sounds as though core sounds recorded by Andersson as raison d’être haven been processed and rearranged by the German duo over the past few years. The shimmering, almost DVOA-style echo coming off this lead track sounds very Troum, though the slowly descending, mournful tone is vintage Andersson.
XIBIPIIO. In and Out of Experience by raison d'être & Troum

Statiqbloom, “Survival”
Author and pal of the site Andi Harriman’s put together a digital/12″ comp in honour of the Synthicide parties she throws each month in Brooklyn. ID:UD faves like SΛRIN and Cute Heels make appearances, as does Brooklyn’s own Statiqbloom with this grinding endurance test. Andi’s got one foot in the roots of goth and another in the present of dark synth, so you know she’ll have curated some solid stuff. By the by, be sure to catch Statiqbloom on the east coast in the next couple weeks, or on the west coast in October.

Observer: Mangadrive & Mikroben Krieg

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Death Turismo

It’s almost uncanny how well Mangadrive has slotted into the booming synthwave scene. Although the retro-future neon aesthetics of that movement are quite sympatico with the highly polished presentation the South Carolina producer has always used to present his work, the high-speed sequences and psy-trance arpeggios that define his discography haven’t ever felt like a throwback. It’s instructive then to note how Mangadrive uses those elements on Death Turismo in concert with 16 bit sounds and warbly modulation to make high octane outrun-electro. The intricate ways synthlines dodge and dive between each other on “Bloodstained Glass” and “Shinigami Tunnel”, constantly changing up their exact presentation either through arrangement choices or in tempo breakdowns that mimic the racing game conceit that informs the record. Equally important is how many different ideas are fitted together to form songs, like on the versatile “A Runner in the Blight” that morphs from a simple synthwave tune to dramatic Ghouls n’ Ghosts-esque chiptune, or how “Lich Magnet” is programmed as both an electro-funk and a electronic exotica number as viewed through darksynth vr goggles. In a genre that can be limited by a tendency to imitate and replicate, Mangadrive is blasting onwards onto strange and unexplored new highways.

Death Turismo by mangadrive

Mikroben Krieg - Intrascape

Mikroben Krieg
Crime League

Portugal’s Mikroben Krieg’s been around for a fair while, but I’ll cop to not being familiar with them ’til their new release on Crime League. Michael Morton’s done a great job of establishing a spacey (yet warm) downtempo vibe on his label’s releases, and Intrascape certainly fits well enough in that fold. Sole member Nelson Brites weaves pads, pianos, and guitars (the latter courtesy of Rapaz Improvisado) in an intimately minimal fashion which often feels proximal and unassuming. But it’s the subtle use of rhythmic counterpoint that gives Intrascape a real personality. Distinct rhythms are used to conjure seemingly contradictory moods; “Torn Lips Never Whisper Boldness” is simultaneously frenetic and contemplative, while closer “Zer0 Day” has both a lazy lope and a weight which grows progressively heavier. Discretely mixed without ever sounding sterile, and featuring timbres which should appeal to fans of MEND and perhaps even FSOL, Intrascape does a nice job of creating the sort of internal world its title suggests while avoiding the trap of becoming too ponderous or cryptic.

Buy it digitally or on CD.

Intrascape by Mikroben Krieg

We Have a Technical 173: Trapped in a Sad Head

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Gavin Friday

Gavin Friday: subtle and considered poet and theologian. No, really.

It’s tough to say whether the priority (or lack thereof) given to lyrics in Our Thing differs from that given in other niche genres. Whatever the answer, there are plenty of wordsmiths at the darker end of things who’ve won us over with considered and layered lyrics…most of the time. In this week’s episode of the podcast, we’re each picking five songs with lyrics we just don’t get. Mixed metaphors? Vague wording? Density on our part? All possibilities are considered. As always, you can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from the widget down below.

So Fragile: Colin Cameron Allrich of Slighter

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Slighter in his natural environment

For this month’s So Fragile mixtape we tapped Colin Cameron Allrich of Slighter to let us in some of the influences on his forthcoming ERODE!. Alongside acts like Comaduster and FIRES, Slighter is one of the new wave of artist/producers drawing from the most forward thinking wings of electronic music sound design and composition, utilizing them on trad instrumentation to create a sleek, modern version of industrial rock. Featuring a wide variety of sounds from a broad swathe of genres, some familiar and some totally unexpected and new, the mix has us very ready for the album drop on September 25th. You can preorder the deluxe edition now via Bandcamp, which features remixes from Dean Garcia (Curve / SPC ECO), Keith Hillebrandt (Nine Inch Nails), and more!

Burial, “Subtemple”
Digital Gnosis, “Fovea”
John Carpenter, “Night (Zola Jesus & Dean Hurley Remix)”
2 Bit Pie, “Slipaway”
Euanwhosarmy feat. Lynsey Lupe, “For Nothing”
Autolux, “Hamster Suite”
Slighter, “Mute Yourself (Muted Gospel Mix by Dean Garcia)”
Speedy J, “Actor Nine”
Ben Frost, “The Beat Don’t Die In Bingo Town”
Underfelt, “In Passing”
FEX, “I Want Your Heart”
Gonjasufi, “Your Maker (Daddy G Remix)”
Spring Heel Jack, “Bane”
ODDHUMS, “Big Brave”
We Fell To Earth, “Burn Away”
Archive, “End Of Our Days (Moon Gangs Remix)”
Hybrid feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw, “Blackout”

Tracks: September 5th, 2017

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Some weeks we really have to dig to find worthwhile music for Tracks, and some weeks (like this one not so coincidentally) there’s an absolute embarrassment of musical riches to partake in. The deluge of late 2017 releases is just over the horizon, and we’re bracing ourselves for the onslaught, and hoping to keep our heads above water. Of course we’re keen to revisit some of 2017′s other releases as we move gradually towards considering our EoY contenders, although it’ll be at least three months before any of that gets set in stone. Day in, day out, the ID:UD wheel keeps on turnin’. Turnin’ to Tracks as it so happens!

Ides Of Gemini

Ides Of Gemini are staying off social media to avoid spoilers for "The Castle Of Ortanto"

SØLVE, “The Falling Tower”
As has become tradition Brant Showers (of ∆AIMON fame) has released a new track from his SØLVE project to mark his own birthday, September 2nd. The percussion based ritual electronics you expect from the project are here in full form, but we’re also noting the slightly expanded lyrical palette of the track, in contrast to the minimal repetition that has generally been the project’s MO. Although Brant has said that he wants people to download the track and save their cash, he’s also generously donating any proceeds people send his way on Bandcamp to Suicide Prevention charity Hope for the Day. Happy Birthday B!
the Falling Tower by SØLVE

Human Performance Lab, “Black Widow”
Despite the relocation to Berlin, Emad Dabiri of SΛRIN has managed to keep all of his various ducks in a row, and is prepping a new Human Perfomance Lab 12″ for release on aufnahme + wiedergabe. The collaborative project with his partner Matthew Cangiano of Toronto’s Vierance has always leaned slightly more bouncy and less strict than Dabiri’s other work for a+w or his own home-brewed Deth Records tapes, but plenty of the harsh neo-rave realness we’ve all come to love and expect from his brand is on display here.

Randolph & Mortimer, “Citizens (Schwefelgelb remix)”
If you read the site regularly, you’ll probably have read our recent enthusiastic reviews of EP releases by new school body music acts Randolph & Mortimer and Schwefelgelb. This instance of the former remixing the latter certainly lives up to the promise inherent in the team-up, with the distinctive sample-work of R&M married to one of those punchy basslines that the Schwef fellas do so well. You can snag this on that Some Have to Dance… Some Have to Kill compilation from Mecanica records, which also features tracks from L-Sedition and Millimetric.
Some Have To Dance …Some Have To Kill by Randolph & Mortimer

Ides of Gemini, “Heroine’s Descent”
Looking for some full-bore goth rock, with a big helping of Siouxsie splashed across the salted prow of our patron saint Rozz Williams? LA’s Ides Of Gemini (including Scott Batiste of ID:UD ride or die faves Heart of Snow) are taking us all to church on third LP Women, and this cut should have enough brazen razzmatazz to make us all think about recounting, if not repenting, our recent sins.

Mala Herba, “rusalki”
A tip of the ID:UD cap to ol’ Claus Larsen of Leaether Strip for hipping us to one-woman darkwave act Mala Herba recently. Although the Austrian project only has two songs available at the moment (both of which will eventually seen light as part of a cassette release), we’re incredibly taken with the powerful vocals and their contrast with the gritty electronics. “rusalki” is as strong an intro to a band as we can recall in recent memory, and we’ll certainly be keeping close tabs on them based on it. Very promising stuff.
ep by Mala Herba

Drab Majesty, “Oak Wood”
Lastly, a touching tribute from Drab Majesty to the memory of Them Are Us Too’s Cash Askew. The Dais fam has been resolute in their love for their fallen sister, and the plain spoken lyrics of the A-side of this 7″ are a testament to Cash’s legacy and the continuing pain of her absence. “Where was the rain / We won’t forget.” Cash Askew Forever.


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