Hola friends. We ain’t like to get too personal in these here Tracks post intros, but suffice to say that the last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful for the Senior Staff. Between moving houses, tending to a very sick cat (for those of you who have asked, Intern Mana is still in recovery but is doing much better, thank you) and other general work/life stuff, we’re both pretty emotionally and intellectually tuckered out. Thankfully there’s a lot of good new music dropping regularly enough that we can sort of pluck a post like Tracks right off the ol’ blog tree without much effort. Believe us when we say that in spite of all the stuff we have going on, we still take a great deal of pleasure in sharing our own recent discoveries, many of which are streaming below. Give ’em a spin why not?

Oh hi The Operating Tracks. Say, what's the shovel for?

Sleepless in Pyongyang, “Kronos”
This song dates back a bit further than normal for a Tracks post, but seeing as we didn’t pay super close attention when Sleepless in Pyongyang released “Kronos” as a single in September, this video seemed like a worthwhile conclusion. This thick, syrupy synthwave sound doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the agile post-punk and darkwave SiP’s Sven Claussen was plying in our beloved Din [A] Tod, but there is a regal bearing and carriage that feels familiar. Very curious to hear what a whole album of this will sound like; more on that as it develops we suppose.

In Strict Confidence, “Somebody Else’s Dream”
Say what you will about In Strict Confidence: the long-running project founded by Dennis Ostermann and Jörg Schelte has carved out a niche for themselves in the broader world of Our Thing. Their most recent material has been a sort of fantastical darkwave, with touches of Neue Deutsche Todeskunst and Neue Deutsche Härte, emphasis on the big ballads. No surprise then that their new single “Somebody Else’s Dream” is on that tip, not that we’re complaining; we love Ostermann’s voice and the production is as big and effective as always. Good stuff from a band with a terrific workrate.

Terminal Gods, “Movement”
Tough to believe, but it’s been over four years since London’s Terminal Gods kicked the crypt door down with “Electric Eyes”. They’ve been a near-constant presence on this site since then, finding all sorts of permutations for their black-light rock, but have surprisingly never tackled that hoariest of rock beasts, the LP. That’ll change in a couple months with the release of Wave / Form. We’ll of course have the full scoop for you then, but for now enjoy this harmonic bit of slowburn.

DMX Krew, “Woolly Hat”
After a concept record about Buddhism (no, really!) it looks like it’s back to basics for Ed Upton and his DMX Krew handle. Upton’s been trading in feel-good tracks which lift from electro, house, and synthpop since well before any of those genres were long enough in the tooth to be retro, and always delivers. We really hope some of the younger synthwave kids have been digging into his back catalog not only for its quality, but for how much he can accomplish with generally sparse instrumentation.

The Operating Tracks, “Collider”
Sweden’s The Operating Tracks are a pretty young project, founded in 2014, but they certainly seem to have developed their sound significantly in that time. Latest EP Colliding Bodies showcases a darker, more menacing and less out and out aggressive take on EBM, relying heavily on texture and atmosphere to get their songs across. Now that they have our attention, we’ll certainly be keeping Carolina and Carl on our radar. Swedish body music is our catnip and we like to keep a good supply of fresh stuff at the ready.

Mahr & Utu Lautturi, “The Sacrament Of Penance”
Mahr (and her Pale Noir label) won us over with a dreamy approach to post-witch stuff, making the odd nod to progammed rhythms while keeping the focus on big, pastel-coloured skies. This dramatic collab with Finnish experimentalist Utu Lautturi has a far more bracing and bombastic feel. Not quite drone, not quite ethereal, not quite industrial, this is a heavy duty piece of ritual meditation. Would not at all mind a full EP of work in this vein.