With the decidedly fall-like weather Vancouver has been offering up of late, we’re well into the warm beverages and records-on-the-couch stage of the year. It’s always a good time to reflect on how well albums from sunnier months hold up, but it’s also a time when we can really dig in on deep listening, and give stuff the attention we might not have been able to afford it when it was warmer and we were more easily distracted. The only thing keeping us from going full hibernation at this point is our imminent trip to Chicago for Cold Waves IV, and the knowledge that we’ll have a whole lot more music to process before the season is out. Pull up a chair and peruse some Tracks with us, why don’t you?
Soft Riot, “You Never Know What Might Come Next”
Cosmic wackiness with a love for 70s BBC sci-fi abounds in the title track video for Soft Riot’s fourth LP, You Never Know What Might Come Next. The project of Vancouver-to-London transplant JJD (a recent podcast guest) is always moodily psychedelic with some pointers to new wave sharpness, and well worth the time of those burned out on traditional electro/synth structures. Stick around for the late-nite public access bonuses.
We’ve been waiting patiently for new music from Urusai (aka friend of I Die: You Die Gregg McGillivray), and lo, we have been rewarded with a new track from his forthcoming EP Bruised, due out on Crime League this October. Those who have heard the project’s excellent 2005 album Microbial will be pleased to hear the return of that record’s glitchwork, alien textures and ghostly melodies, albeit with some advances in the production department. A welcome return from a high calibre Vancouver technoid artist more people need to be up on.
Leaether Strip, “Such A Shame (Extended Version)”
Uncle Claus continues his recent project of guiding longtime fans through a gallery of his own influences with a two-tune, four-track tribute to Talk Talk. The strength of the original tune’s a good fit for the more stripped down sound Claus has been pursuing on recent LS releases, though the existence of the Solar Fake cover has us hoping that Daniel Myer might perhaps hop onstage for a duet at some festival down the line.
We’ll admit it, we didn’t cop the debut from French industrialists Horskh when it dropped last year. But hey, there’s nothing like an extended re-release via the good folks at Audiotrauma to help us rectify that, and also to make us feel like idiots for missing out. While this new addition to Dawn heavily favours a slow build and cinematic style, we’ve heard some other tracks that are straight out bangers, complete with an ultra modern production style. New version of the record hits on October 5th, and in the meantime you can hear the five cut original on Bandcamp. Bracing stuff.
Missing Witness, “Silence”
Care for some coffee black darkwave straight out of the Pacific Northwest? Seattle’s Missing Witness has you covered with this grinding cut off their debut EP Silence, available now via Bandcamp. The artist behind MW has kept things deliberately foggy both in terms of sound and the project’s image, but we’re always inclined to give love to regional reps for Our Thing, especially when the tunes arrive fully realized and out of nowhere. All atmosphere, all attitude.
La Luna, “Heart And Seek”
Finally, some lo-fi bedroom synth from new Vancouver act La Luna. Despite the rough n’ tumble recording of the demos on Cosmonaut, they show a savvy enough ear for harmony and the hows and whys of weaving melodies in moody stuff of this ilk. Worth keeping an eye on.
That Horskh EP is killer! Just full-tilt end-to-end. Listened to it more than anything else this year…
Thanks for bringing Horskh to my attention, great stuff!