My friends, it is with a heavy heart that I must pass on the news that Vancouver’s famous Travelling Beans have left this earthly plane and gone to the great cannery in the sky. A foundling discovered in the coatcheck of a club night some time in the year of our Lord 2001, the Beans were a fixture of social gatherings and concerts, and were famously photographed in settings around the world and with various celebrities of Our Thing, including Peter Murphy and the surviving members of Skinny Puppy, even sharing the stage with Front Line Assembly and iVardensphere. We will never see their like again, and even as we commend them to their rest we pause to imagine them being held aloft by angels, while someone drunkenly snaps a picture of them in one of Heaven’s seedier nightspots. Rest in peace, Beans.
High-Functioning Flesh, “Ridgid Embrace”
Still more hard-ass retro EBM from Los Angeles, this time taking its cues from Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft. High-Functioning Flesh are currently something of an enigma to us; all we know is that their four-song demo is crammed full of muscular basslines, half-sung-half shouted vocals and kick-snare drum patterns of the electro-punk variety. It’s definitely a European blend (think Jäger 90), but hell knows we’re probably ready for an American Anhalt band to grow out of that fertile Angelean soil. Go snag the demo from Bandcamp.
Encephalon, “A Lifetime of Puppetry (Nova Spire remix)”
Hard-hitting, glitched up remix of our beloved Encephalon, courtesy of fellow Ottawans Nova Spire, appearing on the by donation OIL Sample compilation from the Ottawa Industrial League. Featuring a variety of bands based in or hailing from the nation’s capital like Ad·ver·sary, Antigen Shift, Urusai, Iszoloscope, the comp exists to help fund the insidious League in all their doings including a two-day festival, popping off on the 27th and 28th of this month.
Kirin J Callinan, “Embracism”
Agressive weirdness with an industrial touch from NYC’s Kirin J Callinan. Imagine that instead of being scraped off the wheel, the foetus grew into an instense, awkward and homoerotic young man with a commanding voice. “A man can meet another man in a bar. On the sportsfield. At his place of work. Or in his own apartment. OR ON THE INTERNET RIGHT NOW.” Watch for the step at 2:10, it’s a doozy.
Mr. Kitty, “Unstable”
Dark, sweet stickiness from Texas’ Mr. Kitty in the form of a brand new synthwave single. I can think of roughly five occasions since the beginning of the year when I’ve been asked if I was familiar with the project, and a listen should clarify why; this guy has the juice to be a crossover act a la Cold Cave, his ascension wrapped in zippy drum machine programming and lilting male vocals. You should probably quit wasting time and get with this right now.
Ohm, “Detroit (Demo)”
Two of British Columbia’s finest Craig Huxtable and Chris Peterson have been teasing us for a minute now with the odd drop from their new project Ohm, and the arrival of this song is accompanied by the news that the album may have a home and see the light of day soon. Heads who know are waiting with bated breath, these cats have enough production and performance chops between them to outfit 10 scene bands, peep this surprisingly smooth track for a taste of what’s to come.