Hey, gang! The senior staff – along with plenty of other gothy folk of all persuasions and a whole mess of people who in all likelihood could carry on extended conversations on the subject of dreamcatchers – saw the first stop on the new Dead Can Dance tour at Vancouver’s gorgeous landmark Orpheum theatre (for Galactica fans, that’s the Opera House where all of Gaius’ dreams about the Final Five which proved ultimately meaningless took place). No spoilers from me, apart from the fact that both Brendan’s and Lisa’s voices are in wonderful form. Go see the show if it comes anywhere near you.
Anyway, all of the tracks featured in this week’s round-up are pretty mellow as far as ID:UD fare goes, but I’ll try to make up for that with a bit of a rant at the end. Stay frosty!
Amidst all of the breathless speculation about Alan Wilder possibly returning to the Depeche fold (Vaguebook strikes again!), we shouldn’t lose sight of M. Wilder’s chief concern: Recoil. The project’s been providing slick, evocative manna for those of us who like a healthy schmear of overproduction on their electronic compositions (myself included) for decades, and did some nice collaborations with Daniel Myer a while back. Up next on the docket is curating a tribute to synth-poppers turned deconstructive prog provocateurs Talk Talk. I’ll come right out and say it: Talk Talk have always been a knowledge gap for me (though I can always talk Wire if yr into terrifyingly precocious experimentalists), but I like this bit of smoothness from the forthcoming release.
Noir, “My Dear (Assemblage 23 Remix)”
Tinkling, minimal synthpop that hides more than it shows and has some Ego Likeness and A23 remixes in the trunk? I know, Spahn Ranch was the first name that came to my mind, too. Wait, no it wasn’t. Not at all. Regardless, former SR vocalist Athan Maroulis, who’s also sat in with Black Tape For A Blue Girl and runs a jazz label in his spare time, has a new synthpop project with a single due in three months and an album in the new year (both on Metro). I’m digging both the original and this ecstatic mix from Tom Shear.
Having taken a brief respite after FLA’s European tour (which I caught two stops of), The Leeb & co. are back for some double-fisted action, with, as you’ve likely already heard, Front Line scoring a mech-combat video game, and a new Delerium album on the docket. Sounds like Music Box Opera‘s division of labour will feature Leeb, then Rhys for one half of the tracks, and our pal Jeremy Inkel on the other. Very keen to hear how that plays out over the course of an LP. Give the first track a spin and download it here.
No More, “Take Me To Yours”
Speaking of bands I caught in Europe last year, minimal synth die-hards No More dropped an album a few months back (Sisyphus) and a digital EP just last week (Hypnotized). Really liking the simplicity of this; a nice nudge to catch up on their recent stuff after seeing how much more their live set had to offer apart from “Suicide Commando”.
Addendum: A quick memo to the record industry. I didn’t get to writing this column ’til much later than I’d have liked on Sunday night, given that I sat through the entirety of the Olympic closing ceremonies after hearing that a new version of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” would be premiered there. Like the Kate obsessive that I am, I hopped online immediately afterwards to buy the digital-exclusive track (hoping that it would also see a limited 12″ release which I could throw more money at). To my dismay, while the track can be bought in the UK for 99 pence (a price I’d be more than happy to shell out despite being nearly twice as much as what iTunes tracks cost in Canada), here in North America it’s an “album only” cut. The album in question? A shoddy, hastily-assembled hodgepodge of the tracks featured in the ceremonies for $20, and if you think I’m giving even the slightest fraction of my workaday wage to Russel Brand’s cover of “I Am The Walrus”, you’ve got another thing coming.
The vestigial, regional restrictions which were once placed on physical records continue to be imposed upon digital sales. This is suicidal. You can talk as much as you’d like about having your hands tied by tariffs and international red tape, but when you are turning away people desperate to give you money for a non-physical product with absolutely no overhead on the basis of where their iTunes accounts were registered, you don’t just lose the moral and artistic high grounds, you lose the business acumen and common sense high grounds.
I am a record geek. I have always been a record geek and always will be one. If, in this day and age, with my information plugged into countless avenues specifically set up to take my cash in exchange for digital music, you still can’t find a way to monetize my near-psychopathic love for Kate Bush on an occasion as high-profile (and ripe for profiteering) as the Olympics, then you’re beyond all hope.
Adapt or die like the dinosaurs you continue to prove yourselves to be.