Produkt is the first tangible release from man of Daniel Myer’s long-awaited Liebknecht project, a moniker he’s been using for techno-EBM related sounds for a few years now (and distinct from the comparable but distinct Rendered project he launched this year with Clement Perez). Produced in collaboration with Rinaldo Bite, the tracks on the EP reflect an immediate and distinct take on the crossover sound du jour, sleek and modern but gritty when it’s called for. Key to these song’s appeal is just how front and center they are rhythmically, placing them emphasis on the interplay of punchy drums and classic body music basslines which have been deconstructed and rebuilt to 2017 specifications. A track like “Saint Pete” isn’t too far from the sort of thing Gesaffelstein was peddling a few years back but with the added bonus of highly sculpted reverbs and a suite of squelching effects that give the track a sense of elasticity. “Köln” and “ICE Over Erfurt” each make good use of variation in how their bassy hooks are presented, subtly and overtly using modulation and shifts in programming to keep them fresh. Per the release notes for the EP these four songs are leftover versions from the as yet unannounced album. Considering the fullness and replayability of this teaser, that record should be a rager when it finally emerges.
There’s no moss on Veil Of Light’s Markus W. Pretty much concurrent with that project’s latest thundering amplification of coldwave, Front Teeth, he’s released the second EP from his Sleep Forever side project. Less noisy and morose than its predecessor, Alms, Vertigo sounds like a move towards the clearer and brighter sides of coldwave and synth which the last couple Veil of Light LPs have gone out of their way to obfuscate with noise and violence. That said, with initial track “Point Break”, it sounds as though Markus might be going for the same degree of intensity, if not distortion, as his main project. Tense and threatening, it’s very clearly the work of the same person who created Ursprung and Front Teeth. But things soften in both sound and mood as the EP progresses. Barrages of toms kick through the title track, but act in service of the loping, mournful tone of the song rather than seizing the spotlight. Markus’ keening vocals sometimes run flat (pitch-wise, not dramatically), but when he writes to his range, as on “Under My Skin”, they gain an airy quality not found on Veil Of Light records. The snappily sequenced “Disconnected” closes things off with Markus facing “the teeth of the world” – still very much a dour sentiment, but one he’s equally capable of expressing with grace as well as fury, as Vertigo shows.