Hey gang! We’re just in the door from our trip to Cold Waves, and still buzzing from the good times with friends from near and far, awesome music and all the fine vegan food and booze Chicago had on offer. A more extensive write-up is to come later, but we can’t let another day go by without giving an enormous shout-out to David Schock and Jason Novak for putting the festival on, to Matt and Kelly for tolerating two overly excited Canadians in their home for several days, and especially to all the readers of the site who came up to say hi at the Metro. It’s ultra-gratifying to get to attend an event like this for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the affirmation that this music is absolutely worth the effort and love it gets from musicians, fans, promoters and writers. If you were in Chicago this past weekend give yourself a hearty pat on the back, and if you weren’t, well, better start planning for next year. Now let’s dig into some new Tracks!

Thank whatever gods you pray to for Youth Code. Photo courtesy of Take it For Granted.

Rotersand, “Electric Elephant”
Okay, so the upcoming release from German EBM mavens Rotersand is pretty interesting: the band have enlisted a host of guests and have recreated their debut album Truth is Fanatic in it’s entirety. Now we have some distinct views about the revisiting of older material from a modern perspective (at best it can illustrate a project’s process and give insight into their evolution, at worst it can be an exercise in myopia and betray a lack of new ideas), but whichever way this goes we at least get a pretty slick new single. “Electric Elephant” is vintage Rotersand, all pop hooks and slick production welded to deep grinding bass and a big ol’ hook that even features some unexpected falsetto from Rascal. Not too shabby at all.

Kevorkian Death Cycle, “Ravens Fly”
Perrenial US industrial act Kevorkian Death Cycle haven’t missed a step since they became a going concern again, and the demos we’re hearing from their forthcoming album I Am God would certainly seem to suggest that the well of creativity isn’t in danger of running dry soon. Where last year’s God Am I had a very heavy guitar presence, we’re starting to suspect that the new record will favour programming and expressive synthesis as its weapons of choice. Enjoy this lovely upbeat synth ballad in demo form for as long as it’s up, once it’s gone you’ll have to wait ’til 2015 to hear it again.

Animal Bodies, “Suffocation (Post Mortem) [Start the Suffocation remix]”
Still more pre-album goodness from one of Vancouver’s best bands, the mysterious Animal Bodies. Now we make a point of trying to promote relevant Vancouver music that falls under our purview, but let’s just be clear that it wouldn’t matter where this darkwave act was from, we’d be feeling the deep synth programming, strangled guitar sounds and vocals that careen between desperate and commanding. Word is they’ve got a West Coast tour coming up in November and December, those in a position to see them should not be hesitating to go for any reason.

White Christian Male, “Where Did You Go”
We’ll admit that we aren’t 100% sure what the distinction is between Michigan’s OLMS and their side-project White Christian Male. Both feature classic synthpop and post-punk tropes with some industrial experimentation for good measure, both feature an appealing DIY aesthetic that reflects a deep desire by Denis Hudson to create on his own terms and both are pretty excellent if you like new dark music engineered for maximum depth. Come to think of it, maybe it doesn’t matter what the difference is, you should probably just hop over to their collective Bandcamp and dig in.