We’ll be honest, folks: sometimes when we hunker down at the HQ to do one of these tapes over a sixer (Parallel 49’s Seedspitter watermelon wit this time, for those keeping score), we haven’t got a friggin’ clue as to where we’re going with it: we scramble to get a theme or sound for the tape at the last minute, and pray it somehow hangs together. This tape certainly started out that way. A rough approximation of its development follows:

Alex: Figure it’s about time for another mixtape, yeah?
Bruce: Crap, yeah. I don’t really have any ideas for a theme…
Alex: How about just stuff we’re digging right now?
Bruce: Sure. Let’s make it all stuff from 2013 just to keep it current.
*At the HQ, poring over tracks*
Alex: Huh, seems like a lot of these tracks we’ve flagged have super dry production.
Bruce: Yeah, very clearly delineated sequencing, but still dark and menacing.
Alex: Wanna call it “Black Spring” after that Henry Miller book you were jawing about?
Bruce: Heck yes. I think this one’s in the can.

Stream from the Mixcloud widget below and download right here! As always, if you like what you hear we recommend buying a few of the songs, or maybe an album if you’re feeling the love. On with it!

So Fragile #19: Black Spring by I Die: You Die on Mixcloud

Leaether Strip, “Quaanaaq”
Uncle Claus’ return to the symphonic side of dark electro brought a satisfying combination of everything we love about Leaether Strip’s old steez, with the refinement of pace and layering he’s developed over the course of his career. Nice deep and chewy sounds throughout this tune from Symphony For The Dead II

BITES, “Attrition (feat. Alan Watts)”
Straight from Los Angeles’ bug-fuck underground party Lil’ Death comes BITES with this astonishingly catchy number, an expert bit of dark and bouncy electro that has been making our DJ playlists since it first popped up on Soundcloud. Still no word on when this project will have an official release, but with pre-release leaks this solid our hopes are high.

Controlled Collapse, “Cube”
You can expect a review of Controlled Collapse’s Babel to appear on the site sometime soon, but in the meantime here’s a taster of the Polish project’s own clean and uncluttered version of dark electro. It’s not like anything else out there right now, an unexpected treat for an artist who we’re only now just discovering.

Severe Illusion, “Bite The Dust”
You might have noticed us figuratively taking up the banner of various bands who we wish had bigger North American profiles here on ID:UD over the years, and Severe Illusion are definitely one of those cases. These caustic Swedes’ Psychosurgery EP can’t help but advance the cause, bringing all of the misanthropy of their existing work with a heavier (and arguably floor-friendly) swing.

Attrition, “Karma Mechanic”
The Unraveller of Angels certainly scratched the itch that only Attrition can reach, offering elegant darkwave grooves without forsaking the dancefloor or nicely nuanced production. This cut is always tickling the ear with some decadent sound at the periphery, while keeping a skittery beat in place.

Suicide Commando, “Repent or Perish (vProjekt remix)”
Starting with Leaether Strip and ending with Suicide Commando? In 2013? Truly, we are the edge by which other cutting edges are judged. Faux self-deprecation aside, can you even believe how good this song from the new Suicide Commando is, before Australia’s vProjekt put their stamp on it even? I don’t think any of us were expecting it to be honest, but we’re happy to have it and the remix included here.