One of the primary goals of ID:UD is always going to be spreading the word about projects we like. Even in an age where musicians have access to massive social networks and a growing number of music-based websites to disseminate their tunes, it’s never going to be possible for any one project to reach everyone. In fact, being heard above the din of the hundreds of thousands of other groups and artists competing for the same decreasing slice of the audience’s attention-span is proving to be one of the major challenges any band faces as they try to get their music out there. Consequently, there’s plenty of really great music being made that we don’t feel gets the attention it deserves, sometimes outside the act’s home city or country, and sometimes even there. Hence this article: 12 artists whose audiences we’d love to see grow, and whose music we want to help spread. You may have seen us write about some of them previously, but we guarantee all but the most music-obsessed amongst you won’t know all of them. We’ve included some links to their various web presences, so that if anything strikes your fancy, you can favor them with a download or even just a Facebook like so you’ll see their new endeavours pop up in your feed.
Enjoy, and if there’s a project you think deserves wider recognition, drop a link in the comments!
For a project that emerged three years ago, Volt 9000 is already way ahead of the game. Consider the fact that since the release of his first album Retrogenesis in 2010, Cory Gorski has released two more records, including this year’s Mutronix, a fresh take on electro-industrial informed by ohGr, video game culture, science fiction and politics. Consider also that Gorski has developed a distinct, and colorful visual aesthetic for V9K via his videos and album artwork that shames plenty of older and more experienced acts in the field both by virtue of its professionalism. The Toronto based project is apparently already at work on their next record, continuing the break neck pace of development that takes advantages of a new musical landscape that has left them unfettered by label-based release schedules or distribution models. Both musically and as a testament to the quality a totally independent act can bring to the table, Volt 9000 are setting the standard for acts on the vanguard of the Canadian industrial scene.
We’ve gone from having our curiosity piqued by the tidbits we heard from this Vancouver duo, to enjoying their debut record of shrieking noise and rhythms, to becoming full-bore shills for them after catching them live a couple of times, all in the space of a year. For Lief Hall and Quinne Rodgers, the question of presenting electronic music in a live setting isn’t a problem, but an opportunity to go apeshit in the lights, dance, and costume departments. They’ll be touring with Grimes starting in a couple of weeks, and while we’re lukewarm on the headliner, you’d do well to check Myths out if they roll through yr burg.
Brought to our attention via their association with ID:UD favourites The Present Moment, LabXIV’s first single “Without a Friend” appealed to our predilection for forward thinking takes on classic synth tropes. Named for a 14 day studio session that birthed the same number of songs, the mysterious project (their membership is unclear beyond vocalist and song-writer “Simon”) deftly tread the line between the sterility and of mid-eighties EBM and post-industrial and the melody and warmth of classic electropop. With the imminent release of their debut 12” record on Coredark records and a run as support act on TPM’s upcoming European tour, the project is set to join their fellow artists in the burgeoning Los Angeles synth scene in the international spotlight. You can download their debut now via Soundcloud for a limited time.
A troupe of razor-sharp young Germans, Die Selektion offer a sparse, tightly-wound blend of electro and classic coldwave and have been delivering fraught, addictive tunes to back up their sound at a frenetic rate over the past couple of years. Unlike many other bands interested in reexamining the coldwave canon, they cast a far wider net than pure anachronistic recreation allows: club jams aplently have cropped up, allowing punters and cognoscenti alike to kick it on the dancefloor. Seamlessly absorbing and combining styles which had their heyday long before they were born, Die Selektion are not fucking around: they’ve even brought a trumpet.
The poster child for our current obsession with the crossover of post-witch house sounds and the greater industrial scene, V▲LH▲LL make spooky, beat-driven music with a distinctly Nordic feel. Their debut EP has been a recent favorite at the HQ, blending influences from as far afield as neo-folk and dark ambient, while stepping up from the dicey production one would normally associate with a triangle band to the level established by similarly minded act ∆AIMON. As the side-project of a producer who operates well within the borders of Our Thing (you might have heard of their stuff, but we aren’t telling you who it is) the connections to industrial aren’t imagined, but writ large, these vikings are marching beyond the crossroads of sounds and scenes into unexplored territory, swords and shields in hand. Għøsŧs of Λnŧįquįŧұ and their fantastic debut single “ÆG1R (They Go Into The Sea)” are downloadable on a pay-what-you-want basis from Bandcamp.
Given that they’ve been kicking around our hometown for nearly five years, we can’t believe that we still haven’t gotten around to checking Spectres out live. They’ve carved out a healthy reputation for themselves amongst punk circles, but their post-punk-by-way-of-deathrock steez should put them on the radar of gothy types seeking a break from both electronics and fashion-plate acts, and their 2010 Last Days LP is a great piece of work that treads a fine line between austere fatalism and unhinged fury. We (well, Bruce) wish we were able to give more shine on the site to some of the great new raw deathrock that’s been coming out (which has been touching upon crust and metal in some interesting ways), but in the meantime here‘s a great primer for those interested.
Most people conversant with the last 15 years plus of the industrial scene could probably name at least 3 or 4 Haujobb side-projects without having to think about it. DSX is a different beast however, driven as it is by Dejan Samardzic, the traditionally less prolific half of that particular duo. While the only official release thus far has been the excellent “The Weak, The Broken & The Poor” single (featuring Martin Sax of T.W.A.T. and EkoBrottsMyndigheten on vocals) we’ve had the occasion to check out the demos Dejan has put together, a collection of the rigid basslines of body music and the mechanical atmospheres that made Haujobb’s New World March such an inscrutable and propulsive listen. Consider this one of our hot tips; even with no label or album announced we’re anticipating great things in the near future. Sleep at your own peril.
The evocative but homey style of IDM MEND exhibited on their recent demo EP has proven to have good legs. Legs that have been doing their calisthenics and getting in a jog on the regular. It sounds as though progress is being made on what’ll be their first LP, and they’re gigging on the regular in and around Chicago, but in the meantime we can’t recommend kicking them a couple of bucks for their demo on Bandcamp highly enough. Without ever brooking irritating earworm territory, its four tracks of wonderfully arranged, soft and bouncy melodies and percussion have an uncanny way of working themselves back onto our media players again and again.
By Any Means Necessary
In our review of BAMN’s self-titled release we made sure to note that although Sam Witherspoon wears his influences (specifically to Skinny Puppy) on his sleeve, his promise as an artist with a grasp on melody and texture was considerable. What we didn’t know then was how well the LP would hold up for us over the course of the year to date. After a year of spinning it out at various gigs and frequent headphone listens, we’re confident to declare By Any Means Necessary the real thing: a young project with a fully-formed idea of how they want to sound and the chops to do it. Rumour has it the project will be collaborating at some point with the dark electro mavens over at Electro Aggression Records at some point in the near future, we’re very keen to hear where the next exploration of classic post-industrial sounds will take them.
Like Die Selektion, Lebanon Hanover have been establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the groundswell of young European bands revisiting coldwave (we’re arbitrarily calling this phenomenon the Neue Dunkel Zeitalter – everyone can agree that The Sound kicks ass), but audiences in North America have been slower to pick up on them. That should be easy enough to rectify: their doomy bass and staccato percussion are tailor made for downtempo dancefloors and impassive gazes being tossed back and forth across them. Check a brand new cut from their sophomore LP, Why Not Just Be Solo, set to drop in October.
While the Phillipines isn’t exactly a country synonymous with electronic music, Ronobe have always taken care to associate themselves closely with their homeland. Equally divided between the dark (their debut EP Something to Die For fits well into the post-witch house rubric) and the light (recent single “Spark/Aeons” ventured into a gauzy strain of bright electro-pop), the duo have already weathered a brief split and come back together, seemingly reenergized by the experience of an ending followed by a new beginning. With a recent promise that the next release will explore a junction of the two-sides the project has displayed thus far, we’re happy to see a project that looked like it may have ended before it had the opportunity to really get started forging ahead.
This Chicago act has yet drop an official release, to the best of our knowledge, but the handful of original tracks and remixes for other bands that have surfaced have left a mark. After being impressed by the //TENSE// remix that hipped us to them, their own cut “Cold Hands” became a club favourite of ours, pairing some minimal EBM percussion with a killer, icy lead that’s straight new beat. Bonus points for their name, of course. Hell, with the recent publication of PKD’s Exegesis the new crop of American dark synth acts could find all manner of new gnostic inspiration, pink lasers and all. Anyway, while we’re waiting for VALIS to broadcast a full release from Sirius, check their existing material.