It’s been quite the week in live show news, with each of the senior staff’s #1 must-see, have-yet-to-see concert experiences just having been announced. Despite having rocked an Unknown Pleasures tat since the Clinton years and having trolled innumerable parties with extended mixes of “World In Motion”, Alex has never seen New Order play live. That’s set to change when they (sans Hooky, unfortunately) play one of only five North American shows this year at the gorgeous Queen Elizabeth Theatre, surely a better environment than the open-air football field they played on as part of Moby’s Area:One fest thirteen-odd years back. For his part, Bruce has yet to calm down after learning of the news of the first Kate Bush shows in thirty five years which, in an unfathomable stroke of luck which is prompting him to reconsider his strict atheism, will be occurring while he’s vacationing in the UK. Ticket sniping planning which is closer to assassination plotting in its gravity and thorough rehearsing is currently underway. Let’s get to today’s tracks!
High-Functioning Flesh, “Self-Management”
No preamble, let’s get right to the point: go pre-order the debut LP from LA’s High-Functioning Flesh, like now. We don’t really talk about albums we’ve heard before their date of release for fear of overhyping something, so suffice to say that fans of true school EBM and post-industrial (and specifically classic acts like the Cabs and Portion Control) will be singing this record’s praises from the first listen onwards. It’s immediate, it’s raw, it feels utterly genuine and free from pretension. Need more convincing? Watch the video below. Then seriously, go order the record, and be in on this as it’s happening.
Ars Phoenix, “Chlorophyll”
“Chlorophyll? More like bore-ophyl,actually this is pretty nice.” American darkwavers Ars Phoenix have just released their second LP, Violent Rain which has some distinctly shoegaze and post-rock feels, bringing Portland greats The Prids to mind. Keep your eyes and ears open for some further discussion of this record…
Autodafeh, “No Future”
You know the common comparison for Autodafeh has always been F.242 (an influence they have acknowledged pretty openly) but the other band they always make us think of is early And One. Like those first couple of records by Steve-Dave and company, Autodafeh use minimal song structures where every element exists to fulfill a specific purpose, workmanlike and efficient. That’s an EBM MO we can always get behind, and is the chief reason we keep checking in with these southern Swedes year over year. Peep the arrangement on this one, feeling that nice distant whir and scrape alongside the simple, musclebound bassline that modulates ever so slightly over the course of the track. Good stuff.
Mental Discipline, “Butterfly (mind.in.a.box Remix)”
On the other end of the spectrum, we surely do enjoy the high-concept, progressive body music that mind.in.a.box produces. Check the hella emotional piano that kicks off this remix for Russian futurepop act Mental Discipline, followed by the trademark vocal manipulation that has marked so much of MIAB’s recent work. There’s a new album from Stefan’s side-project THYX dropping soon, and you can bet your last bitcoin we’ll be delivering a fairly extensive review of it, but for now let’s all just kick back and enjoy some transcendently executed programming and production from a modern master of the form.
Apollyon’s Visage, “Psychic Body”
There’s lots of ritual dark ambient coating around the trap/witchy tunes on the new Apollyon’s Visage LP, DE▼OUR, lending the tracks a solid less-is-more aesthetic which adds to the atmosphere. We’re digging how this one slowly builds from muted orchestral flourishes into a mid-tempo nodder. Good lookin’ out, Chris!