Hola, gang! Now, as you may have intuited from the odd softly dropped mention in these pages from time to time, Alex and I have been known to enjoy the odd tipple of beer. In fact, a year or so back we paired up some potent potables with various records. As that piece indicates, there’s a subtle discrepancy between our respective palates, in that I actually have one. In any case, after boring my friends on Facebook to tears with beer reviews, I’ve recently started up a Tumblr, imaginatively titled I Beer: You Beer, where I’ll be reviewing beers (predominantly from BC) and as a bonus gimmick, pairing their characteristics with those of industrial or goth records. More details on this endeavor’s genesis can be read here, but let’s lay aside yeasty matters and get to Monday’s tracks.
Vanligt Folk, “Idioter av församlingen”
Hat-tip to the boys at Storming the Base for pointing me to this Swedish duo’s self-titled debut EP, which was recently released by the tastemakers at Progress and features one of the most invigorating blend of elements I’ve heard in some time. You’ve got your trad EBM basslines which we’ve come to associate with much of Swedish body music, but that’s where the similarity ends. The wacky drumming reminds me of nothing less than mid-period Talking Heads, there’s a classic rock style (but not “classic rock”, if you catch my drift) to the vocals, and the lyrics are apparently aimed at class consciousness (another hat tip to Ville of Run Level Zero). This track is about as “normal” EBM as Vanligt Folk get: check out this as of yet unreleased track for a feel of their reach, and do not sleep on their EP.
Worms Of The Earth, “Enshrined In The Sacred Stones (club mix)”
A doofed-up take on a cut from WotE’s solid Anāgāmi LP from last year. Somewhat more dancefloor friendly, but there’s still all of the “being pressed through a metal cheesecloth” feel of the original.
Die Selektion, “Faust”
Following from the mammoth Forward + Rewind comp, the always excellent aufnahme + wiedergabe present us with another huge comp, this time the by-donation Transform | Transport | Transcend. Plenty of the usual suspects we’ve come to know and love via a + w are represented (In Death It Ends, La Fete Triste), plus some ones I’ve not heard of (Someone named their band after Wire’s Dot Dash? Rad!). Here’s the ever-stylish Die Selektion doing their sexy mix of cold wave and electro.
Standish/Carlyon, “Nono/Yoyo (White Car Don’t Want My Love Remix)”
Word through the grapevine suggests that despite the attention received by his sideproject Streetwalker, Elon Katz is set to turn the ignition on White Car again (hah!). On this mix, White Car apply screwball techno-pop to the already wacky electro and yacht rock hybrid developed by former Devastations Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon. Tinkly yet suave as fuck, like Brian Ferry and a cheap Casio.
Blurred City Lights, “Circles”
A new and quickly realised project from the one and only Dean Garcia, Blurred City Lights has a far more dusty and almost low-fi feel than the sonic wizard of Curve fame’s other current gig, my beloved SPC ECO. That said, Garcia’s unequaled production chops are still on full display.
Soft Riot, “Cinema Eyes”
Paris label Desire Records’ And You Will Find Them In The Basement comp features an embarrassment of predominantly London-based synth wave riches: the dearly departed Linea Aspera, the dour duo Lebanon Hanover, and uh, the…darkly dreamy Mild Peril (sue me). Vancouverite transplant Jack Duckworth also makes an appearance via his Soft Riot project, and there’s some Prince and Duran Duran here beneath Duckworth’s on record love for Nitzer sequences.
Schism Trace, “Ribcage Retractor”
It’s been about a year since we heard a peep from Sweden’s Andreas Franzén, and while short, this track shows not only that Schism Trace is still on the books but is widening its sound. The drums and bass are very much of the style of electro-industrial we heard on “Last”, but the more contemplative pads are a new element. Hoping we get an official release from this project sometime soon!