Running an enterprise like I Die: You Die for as long as we have has some odd side effects. The constant search for new music to shine a light on forces one to think about just how much there is out there, and how little of it you’ll ever hear. It can also keep you at arm’s distance from music you’re well-acquainted with; no time to listen to old favourites when there’s new stuff to be heard. That’s a trade-off, to be sure, but we’d like to think that our crate-digging habits (virtual or meat-space) ensure that when we do return to our own personal classics, we’ve been changed by the journeys we’ve taken since the last listen, and sometimes even find whole new approaches to those records informed by others. It’s with that in mind that we say that while we’re really excited to write about a handful of records by bands we’ve been long-term fans of in the last days of 2016, we’re just as excited to find out what unknown unkowns (to borrow Rumsfeld’s phrase) are still out there waiting for us. With that in mind, here are this week’s tracks, by artists familiar and otherwise.
Binary Park, “Nothing (Club Mix)”
We were of the opinion that the last LP from Binary Park (a project of longtime collaborators Torben Schmidt and Alfred Gregl) was just a bit too low-key, in spite of its merits in the production and performance category. New single “Nothing” is on that same smooth EDM/EBM tip, and while it still feels reserved, the combination of the galloping bassline and the vocal from singer Huw Jones inject some energy and emotion into the mix. We’re unsure if this crossover sound will ever take hold in the rivet scene, but taken on its own terms it makes for an enjoyable listen.
We dig how Bratislava’s dISHARMONY have found some interesting middle ground between melodic IDM sounds and trad electro-industrial, a mix that is especially apparent on this track from the forthcoming Fragments of Time. There’s something in the way that the processed and vocals and samples slide in between the deliberate drum programming and twinkling synths that puts us in mind of acts like Interlace and Individual Totem, where the forceful and the thoughtful can coexist and in fact reinforce one another. Album drops October 30th on Alien Productions, stay tuned for a full review.
Blind Delon, “Eduoard”
A propulsive track which rides the minimal synth/post-punk boundary from the elegantly named Blind Delon. Recalls the expressive synth work of countrymen End Of Data and Fatidic Seconde, but with a rhythmic drive which shouldn’t be underestimated. Unlike Jef Costello, Blind Delon are going in fully loaded.
Bestial Mouths, “Being Boiled (Randolph & Mortimer remix)”
100% unsure how we missed this when it dropped: one of the best new body music acts in the UK remixing Bestial Mouth’s cover of one of our favourite Human League songs. Somewhere between BM’s high drama and Randy and Mort’s dispassionate mechanical know how pulses the spirit of the original version, a synthpop masterpiece that never seems to lose impact no matter how many times it gets covered, remixed or re-released. The voice of Buddah lives on.
Amrou Kithkin, “The Shroud Of Turin”
Naming your band after ancient Magic: The Gathering cards will always pique our interest, and thankfully this Polish duo doesn’t disappoint. Languid and dreamy, their second EP has some of the trappings of modern synth interests but at its core it’s classic dreampop which has all of the echoing and ethereal sounds which have always endeared that genre to goths of all ages. Perfect listening for sleeping in on rainy autumn weekends.
Tom Ellard, “Walkthrough”
Okay, this one’s a bit conceptually tricky: stick with us, folks. Tom Ellard of Severed Heads infamy’s developed a video game, Treasure Map 2 which is being presented as part of Poland’s Unsound experimental music festival. The game seems to be predominantly exploration based with a post-nuclear theme, but sound and music play such a crucial role in it that Ellard’s described it as “an album of music that you can walk through at your leisure, at your own pace”. That sounds slightly reminiscent of Gatekeeper’s Exo project, but it’s tough to tell without playing it. And, just to further complicate matters, the audio track Ellard’s released isn’t of a soundtrack, but of a walkthrough of the game, which players can use as an audio guide through Treasure Map 2‘s terrain (the game comes as a DL with the track, Mac version also available). If the visuals backing the recent Better Head Than Dead tour are any indication, Ellard’s dry brand of zaniness ports over well to the visual realm, so Heads fans might want to set aside some time to explore this recent topographical venture.