Friends! Thank you for coming back to hang out with us this week. The doldrums of Vancouver winter are in full effect, which means a perpetual greyness has descended on our fair city, one which we will likely not see the back of for a good 2 or 3 months. Of course we couldn’t possibly complain too badly about, what with large swathes of the rest of the continent buried under ridiculous amounts of snow recently, we get off easy. Still, living under a bright but colorless sky can wear a person down, and we find that the only reliable antidote is the liberal application of music. And hey, what a coincidence, we just happen to have a bunch of new songs right here! Wow, serendipity or something.
Glass Apple Bonzai, “The Freeze”
Dovetailing wonderfully with our latest podcast, your boy Daniel X Belasco has released a teaser for his new all synthpop project Glass Apple Bonzai, and it’s pretty fantastic stuff. Although the neon aesthetics and presentation have always been there to point the way, we think Daniel goes a ways towards pointing out just how indebted the current run of Outrun electro is to yr classic synthpop, what with those super emotive pads and and digital verbs and laser toms and whatnot. Stand up and take notice, GAB is gonna be releasing a full length and hitting up the ID:UD stage at Kinetik this year and yer gonna want to be able to say you knew about it before everyone else. The past is the future, and the future is here.
Chrysalide, “Beside The Impossible (preversion)”
As you may have heard, Alexey Protasov of digital hardcore mavens Ambassador 21 was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He’s undergone surgery, but there are plenty of medical bills still hampering him. There have been a couple of fundraising projects from within the industrial community, the latest of which is the Fuck All Diseases benefit comp. It features tunes from the likes of Tzolk’in and Malakwa (as well as Ambassador 21 and Suicide Inside, natch), but the track that’s really caught our attention is the first new material we’ve heard from Chrysalide since 2011’s fantastic and downright mean Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life. It’s a characteristically seething piece of work, but opts for restrained menace (check the Tones On Tail-ish vocals). Kick a few dollars to a good cause, and whet your appetite for what’s sure to be another rule-breaking release from the French outfit.
Be My Enemy, “To Protect and Serve”
Here’s a bold prediction: if Be My Enemy puts out an LP of tunes as strong as this one we might be looking at a full-on revival of a certain flavour of industrial rock this year. Cubanate axeman Phil Barry’s latest missive relies heavily on syncopation and mechanical pacing to make an impact, like a truncheon against a skull if you’re wanting a metaphor that relates to the lyrics of the song, which concern the abuse of police power. Very, very good stuff from a scene veteran more people should be taking note of.
Terminal Gods, “Red Light Love”
On the heels of the Machine Beat Messiah EP, our favourite limey biker band’s dropped yet another by-donation live release. With two 7″s and the aforementioned EP under their belt, Terminal Gods now have a fully-fleshed out setlist, and it’s fun to hear tunes we’ve been bumping at goth clubs in a looser context (more whisky, less vodka), like this old chestnut which gets some impromptu Tom Waitsification.
Mahr, “Seven Pillars of the Dweller”
Longtime readers may recall how much we enjoyed Her Embrace, a collection of remixes from Pale Noir honcho Mahr. While those versions highlighted Mahr’s ability to cast a gauzy atmosphere over the work of others, her two tracks on a new split with Bombadier weave an entirely different instrumental spell, bringing a pure, high-gloss sound design vision of dark ambient that rattles cans. The perfect accompaniment to bending the outer fringes of astral space to your will, or just a quiet evening in with a nice Speyside single malt.
Mr.Kitty, “Insects (IIOIOIOII remix)”
Much like with ∆AIMON, we’re basically at the stage in our fanboyish devotion to Forrest Carney that if there was a new Mr.Kitty song we could post in Tracks every week, not a week would go by without you seeing one. What can we say, we love our dark, angsty synthwave and this guy keeps knocking ’em out to satisfy the demand. This is extra special though, as this remix by Juggernaut labelmates IIOIOIOII signals the pre-order for a new CD version of Life, a record you may recall we thought was one of 2013’s best, but had some definite release issues vis a vis the physical version. The new CD will also feature this remix and a bonus track, which is reason enough for us to get up onto it, you can do so as well via Bandcamp. EDIT: Bandcamp is being a dick and not letting us embed this specific track, so either hit the little FFWD arrow til you get to it, or head straight to the source.