Okay, novelty of the new year has worn off and now we’re back to the day to day grind in North America’s most expensive city to live in supposedly. What can I say, I love it here and never want to leave, but it’d be nice if the insane cost of pretty much everything wasn’t totally choking alternative culture out of town. Speaking of which, if you’re based in Vancouver, you should make a point of coming out to check in on us at The Red Room every Sunday, where Bruce and I will be spinning with DJ Pandemonium at Sanctuary, one of the last bastions of dark alternative dance music Van City has to offer, still going strong after some 15 years. And if you aren’t in these parts, you can console yourself with this selection of new and newish tunes, fresh from our iTunes playlists to yours.
Orphx, “Cut Through”
Ontario’s Orphx are one of the great unsung crossover acts of Our Thing. Folks on the rivet side of town know them from their string of rhythmic noise releases on Hands records, where those who favour techno will recall the singles they’ve released via Adam X’s Sonic Groove imprint, and their numerous festival appearances at kind-of-a-big-deal events like Mutek. Here’s the fun thing though: it’s only the context that differs. In either setting Richard Oddie and Christina Sealey produce the same noisy, hybridized music that peels away the surface level to reveal the common elements of each genre. Check out the video for their track “Cut Through” (directed and edited by pal of the site Dominic Marceau), a particularly bangin’ cut from their 2012 EP Hunger Knows No Law.
Architect, “Ursuppe (Liebknecht remix)”
Speaking of crossover stuff, the fellas at Haujobb just released the first compilation on their label Basic Unit Productions, featuring a variety of acts exploring the techno/EBM axis. Although the designation got quickly co-opted and rendered kinda meaningless shortly after Terrence Fixmer coined it, I can’t help but think this style is what he had in mind when he posited the idea of techno body music, a place where the common history and influences of both styles meet and intermingle. The d/l is only €2 and well worth the price, catch this choice banger from Daniel Myer, remixing his own Architect project under yet another new guise, Liebknecht.
Surgyn, “Haemorrhage (ALTER DER RUINE Remix)”
I’m so very, very excited to be making the trek across the Atlantic again this year to check out the Resistanz Festival in Sheffield. Now y’all might know that I’m a longtime Kinetik loyalist, but with that particular festival scaling down a bit this year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to see how they do it in the home of British steel. Very much looking forward to seeing some pals, drinking some room temperature lager and checking out a whole wack of acts, two of which are right here on this pre-release cut from the official festival comp. I’ve been intrigued by Surgyn’s rep as a live act for a while now, and what can I say about Alter Der Ruine, except that for a band that broke up, they still seem pretty active and I’m not gonna look that particular gift horse in the mouth. See y’all soon, tommies!
Philipp Münch and Dan Fox, “The Spirit of Consumption”
Phillip Münch has many fingers in many pies, no question. Collaborations, solo records, shepherding his own projects Synapscape and The Rorschach Garden and now working with Loss’ Dan Fox on some rough n’ ready rhythmic noise stuff. You know, with the recent attention afforded bands like Prurient and Cut Hands in your major alternative music media outlets, I don’t see why something like this couldn’t also be given some love; it’s dark, atmospheric, political and raw in equal measures.
BITES + H3X3N, “Oppenheimer”
Did you know that for years Vancouver’s annual Japanese Festival was held in Oppenheimer Park? Think about that for a sec. Regardless, that ironic factoid has nothing to do with this slab of Dracula-black synth action from BITES and H3X3N, two hella mysterious acts associated with Los Angeles’ ultra-hip event Lil’ Death. BITES recently impressed us with their remix for ∆AIMON. While less club-ready this hits the sweet spot on the atmospheric side of things, and secures their position as an act we’ll be keeping our ever-dwindling supply of tabs on.
Endless Shame – Twilight Zone (Swedish Electro remix)
And hey, what’s an ID:UD write-up without some love for our Swedish bros and sis’? Our obsession with the land of modernist design and exemplary healthcare is well-documented, so seeing a “name your price” download comp focused on EBM, synthpop and electro featuring all svenskar acts (including The Pain Machinery, Unitary, Cryo and SPARK! amongst others) was bound to get some love from our corner. Here’s a nice remix of Endless Shame’s “Twilight Zone” for y’all to enjoy, I suggest taking it in while sipping on coffee from a tiny cup and sitting in a super-stylish chair for maximum effect.