Good gravy, 2017’s turning into a back-loaded year. Despite the appearances early in the year of some of the records we’d been most anticipating, we’re currently swamped by the sheer volume of releases relevant to our mission here at the site or by artists we’re often on board with. Seriously, our “to write about” list is starting to fill out to a length commensurate with a festival line-up. A damned good festival line-up, mind you, but one which’ll likely have us in the weeds right until our Year End coverage kicks off. Let’s keep things rolling with this week’s Tracks!

Azar Swan

Azar Swan. Photo by Angelle-Leigh Breaux.

Seeming, “Talk About Bones (Whirlwind Mix)”
Starting off with something of an exclusive, we’ve got the lead track from Seeming’s new Let’s Talk About Bones maxi which’ll be dropping on Friday. We had plenty to say about the way in which endings are both immanent and yet forever forestalled on SOL, and so it seems fitting that the first stand-alone “single” release from that stunner of an album is its closing track, reworked here in radical form. While the intensity of Alex Reed’s vocals remains (with some harmonies that were only barely perceptible in the original now a central focus), the punchy synth-pop chops of this mix cast a whole new light on the tune.

DIN, “Dirt”
DIN is the new project from Los Angelinos Josie and Greg Vand (the latter of whom should be familiar to readers of this site as one half of High-Functioning Flesh). The sound of the project falls somewhere between modern wave and minimal synth, with tweaky guitar, a surprisingly busy arrangement of percussion elements and a somber vocal. It’s remarkably insistent, instantly locking the listener in with an emphasis on groove and movement that keeps it boiling for a solid four and a half minutes. Digital and vinyl out this Friday from DKA Records, the current reigning North American champs for this sort of thing.

Conformco, “Eighty Sixed”
New stuff coming from the Glitch Mode crew, Conformco’s got the sample-happy funk-groove of classic Wax Trax fare down to a tee, and why shouldn’t it? When you’ve got Jim Marcus and Charles Levi tagging in with core members Sean Payne and Chris Harris you’re getting plenty of the original DNA mixed in with that of the next generation. They have a RevCo cover appended to the single, but the band’s original tune has more than enough grimy fun to stand on its own.

Azar Swan, “Territorial”
If you thought you had synth act Azar Swan pegged you might want to check what the band have been up to lately. Their first two LPs did an admirable job of finding melody and warmth in darkness, their 2017 single “The Golden Age of Hate” found the duo moving into much more fraught and unnerving lands. With a new release due from the unstoppable aufnahme + wiedegabe, Zohra and Joshua have shared “Territorial”, which would seem to confirm our suspicion that the group are moving from from darkness to moonless pitch. Another late year release to look out for in a year packed with them.

In Strict Confidence, “Herz (Binary Park remix)”
We didn’t totally love the most recent album from In Strict Confidence, 2016’s The Hardest Heart, although “Herz” wasn’t too bad a track somewhere between the darkwave and NDH sounds the band has dabbled in for the last few records. Come to find the long-running German project have released a new single “Herz & Frozen Kisses” that serves up remixes of the two tracks plus b-sides. We like this version offered up by Binary Park, which invokes some modern Depeche Mode sounds and takes the track firmly into electropop territory.

TSTI, “Strange Times (Police Des Moeurs Remix)
Speaking of Depeche Mode’s influence, it was felt throughout the excellent LP released by TSTI this summer. The Black Celebration feels of this track get some modifications on an EP of remixes by the likes of The Horrorist on Basic Unit. Experimental French coldwaves Police Des Moeurs speed things up – much more “A Question Of Time” than the original’s “Fly On The Windscreen”, if you catch us – but also sprinkle on some newer synthwave feels.