Look, we’ll be the first to admit that our perspective on industrial festival season is more than a tad shaded by our North American perspective. Are we out of the loop with regards to what it burning up underground venues in Sweden or are we just plain jealous of all the parties in Leipzig we miss out on? Who can say? But if nothing else, we can say that we’re envious of everyone who got to send the long-running Maschinenfest off with a glorious three-day finale this past weekend. Dive, Iszoloscope, Imminent, Winterkalte, Architect, Orphx, and Vromb amidst so many other noisy luminaries? That’s a line-up we won’t see the likes of for many years to come. Hails and blessings to all who graced that abrasive stage this year or in years past, and on with this week’s Tracks.
It feels like a million years since we’ve had a new release from Daniel Myer’s Architect (in fact it’s only been a year since the “Deconfiguration” single dropped). That’s understandable how busy the man is with his various and sundry other projects. “Deconvolution” is a welcome arrival then, focusing in on the subtle arrangements and deep sound design that have defined the project for so long. Along with the two originals and four remixes of the title track, including one by Orphx (!!), the release is a nice reminder of what Herr Myer gets up to on his own time. Hopefully a follow-up to Mine is in the works, but this a pleasant way to hold ourselves over in the interim.
The Causticles, “Cool Pastor”
We’re used to seeing Matt Fanale and Brian Graupner collaborate in their own and each other’s projects, so it probably only makes sense that their labels would come together for a mega-party-sized collab at some point as well. Undustrial Records vs Tigersquawk Records is a massive 23 track compilation featuring remixes and originals from both rosters, including Caustic and The Gothsicles (duh), Beauty Queen Autopsy, Pill Brigade, CTRLSHIFT, Klack and so many more. And it’s name your own price? Worth it for new Causticles track “Cool Pastor”, which is exactly what you think it’s about. Smooth!
7th Victim, “Dance To The Name Of Snakes”
While we’re talking about middle-aged folks willing to flip a chair backwards, Riker down, and rap with Today’s Youth about what’s really going on, we’d be remiss in not checking in with our pal Rodney Anonymous, who’s used his long-standing punk cred to petition for a thousand and one electro and/or industrial bands in recent years. Rodney’s long been a petitioner for overlooked synth bands in his native Philly and lands abroad, but his solo 7th Victim project’s just released its debut Giallo LP as a means of connecting the dots between his inimitable goof-fuckery and the broader world of dark synth which he’s more than happy to run riot in.
Standard Issue Citizen, “Torches”
Longstanding Buffalo/Pittsburgh aggro-electro act Standard Issue Citizen have been gigging the fuck out of New England and the surrounding regions of late without much in the way of new releases, so it’s nice to hear them re-emerging with a declarative pepe-smashing anti alt-right single. It’s sad that it takes something so blunt to make what should be self-evident obvious, but it’s still refreshing to hear it: fuck any and all white nationalist water-carrying rivets.
Hey, so we could wax on at length about the ways in which VNV have adjusted their futurepop trajectory to match up with broader synthwave trends, but we’re much more interested in how Italy’s Syrian are indulging in the most decadent and overt of their homeland’s disco sensibilities and finding themselves sympatico with all of the sounds which are currently dominating soundtracks and the like. What’s the line between italo disco indulgence and tasteful retro synth nods? Do Syrian even care?
SØLVE, “Blue Heat”
Why Kill Time (When You Can Cover Cabaret Voltaire) is a brand new comp paying tribute to the titular industrial OGs, featuring a ton of artists across the spectrum of Our Thing, including Bestial Mouths, NØIR, God Module, Snowbeasts, and plenty more. We’re especially taken by pal SØLVE’s intense, ritual take on “Blue Heat”, a track from absolute masterpiece Micro-Phonies that consolidated the Cabbie’s blend of industrial, post-punk, and proto-body music into a concise and powerful whole.