Phew! Now that our personal review-pocalypse 2011 has subsided a little (seriously, who thought it’d be a good idea to release like ten notable albums the same week? Gawd.), we have some time to mess around and write about some recent, or recent-ish songs we like. I don’t have much juice left for the lead-in this week, I spent all my creative energy trying to think of Blutengel jokes, which is harder than you might expect. It’s like trying to make fun of an Elephant for having big floppy ears: it’s part of the deal man.

Does this look like a man who gives a fuck what I think of him?

Blutengel, “Nachtbringer”
There is an internal schism at ID:UD on the topic of Blutengel. Bruce thinks they are a silly band and doesn’t much care for them. I think they are an incredibly silly band and also that they are pretty rad. Part of it is that I admire folks who so fully commit to their thing, their thing in this case being some Capital-G-end-with-a-K Gothick business. I fully expect that when Chris Pohl gets his Vamp on he lives it 24/7, I’m not gonna see a picture of him at the food court in a pair of tearaways eating a currywurst. Doesn’t hurt that their songs are well-produced and above all catchy, a quality that allows me to forgive any number of objectionably ridiculous aesthetic decisions. Looking forward to seeing their storied cheeseball live show at next year’s Kinetik. As an aside, is there a term for when a compound word is made up of two different languages, as in the title of this song? Seems like there should be.

Haujobb, “Crossfire (Dryft remix)”
Dudes, it’s not that often that I wait ’til I get my physical copy of a record to listen to it, especially when presented with a legitimate means of previewing it ahead of time. There’s the arbitrary, reptile part of my brain that feels like a new record will always sound best when played off a physical medium, regardless of any evidence to the contrary (forget you FLAC, you are enormous and my laptop speakers are unable to convey your supposedly untouchable fidelity). That said, I find myself having a real hard time not listening to all of Haujobb’s new album on Bandcamp now that it’s up there. I’ve had to sate my hunger a bit by poking through the remix disk, which is also currently available for perusal. Quite the line-up of remixers on that one, and I’m a straight up sucker for Dryft any day of the week. This kinda reminds me a bit of Ninetynine era ‘Jobb, maybe a bit less sparse and with those pretty pads that Cadoo does so well. C’mon Canada Post, shake a leg with my CD, I’m not gonna be able to hold out much longer.

SMP, “Weak”
Appearing as a bonus track on the remastered re-release of SMP’s debut album Stalemate from all the way back in ’95, this little number treads the shark-infested industrial/hip-hop waters tastefully and effectively. Production work and instrumentation by SMP’s Jason Bazinet and our boy Loud Chris of Vancouver’s mighty Stiff Valentine in their guise as Deathproof, whose lush, full sounding remix and production work is becoming a serious mark of quality. Also, I love the cuts on this and think the rapping is decent, and I’m a way bigger snob and pedant about hip hop than I ever will be about industrial.

Stromkern, “Sub-Librarian (Version)”
Before I even get to how psyched I was to hear that one of the my late Nineties-Early-Two-Thousands favourites were making their return, I feel like I should mention that everyone I know who has ever encountered Ned Kirby always says what a cool guy he is, like, to the point where I feel the need to mention it. Of course there’s plenty of nice dudes, but it’s especially gratifying to hear someone whose work you admire is also pretty righteous on a personal level. Anyway, the drums on this have a very rock feel to them, solid sing-alongable chorus, sounds like a nice evolution from their last recorded output. 2011 has had some stellar albums, but new Stromkern might be my most anticipated for 2012 currently. Not sure if this’ll make the album as it’s an alternate version of a track that appeared earlier in the year on a Dependent comp, but hell, I think a record in this style would go down smooth.
sub-librarian (version) by Stromkern