We’ll have a full discussion of it on this week’s podcast, but in the short term let’s just say that Drew McDowall’s live performance of Time Machines in Vancouver over the weekend didn’t disappoint. In a darkened warehouse the power of the record’s core drones, augmented by McDowall’s improvisations, was given free reign. Time Machines is as ideal of a Coil project as could be chosen for this sort of presentation sans Balance or Christopherson, as the sense of becoming unstuck in time which the trio were pursuing with the record relies upon a sense of anonymity and placelessness. More details from the astral plane to come, in the meantime stay grounded with this week’s tracks.
Qual, “How Many Graves”
The first track we clocked from Qual’s forthcoming album The Ultimate Climax “Black Crown” was more on the death industrial tip, but first official single “How Many Graves” is straight up EBM. That’s a-okay by us. We enjoyed the previous forays William Maybelline (of Lebanon Hanover fame) has made into body music, especially when he spikes it with a little atmosphere. And hey, pair it up with an aesthetic-ass video full of classical statuary and video-toaster effects and you’ve got a slam dunk for a Tracks inclusion. Definitely excited for this LP to drop on the 28th via Avant!
Miracle, “Light Mind”
The lavish and decadent style of Miracle’s debut EP Fluid Window grabbed us way back in 2011, and at first blush their brand new LP The Strife Of Love In A Dream is continuing everything about the duo we liked the first time around. The arch effeteness of Roxy Music, the bracing experimentalism of frequent collaborators Ulver, and the dark synth-rock chops of early White Lies are all in place on this number.
The Stricken, “Meet My Master”
Claus Larsen’s had a full slate of collaborative projects on the go for many years now, and despite the strife his family’s been going through of late (again, they could very much use your support), that schedule’s continuing unabated. His new project The Stricken is a collaborative effort with Bronski Beat’s Ian Donaldson. The first track finds Donaldson arranging a battery of industrial percussion which brings Test Dept. to mind, but makes for a fitting foundation for Larsen’s vocal spleen. The Stricken’s self-titled LP is out in a couple of weeks.
Street Sects, “Contempt”
Safe to say Street Sects are amongst the most confrontational bands we’ve seen in recent memory, musically, artistically and live: their performance at DB20 in 2016 legit scared us a little. Beyond the sheer antagonism, the band have been moving their sound in interesting directions, with recent 7″ Things Will Be Better In Hell embracing a punky angular sound and their side from a forthcoming split with Portrayal of Guilt going in on some screechy electro-industrial. They’re gonna be touring with 3 Teeth and Ho99o9 this year. It’ll be interesting to see how audiences take to them in that context.
SDH, “Tell Them”
2018’s rep for bringing us fresh and addictive darkwave continues. The latest entry is the first single for new AVANT! signees SDH, or Semiotics Department Of Heteronyms. The Barcelona duo might spend their days contemplating the death of Ricardo Reis, but by night they’re crafting some smooth and smokey tunes which don’t forsake drive for atmosphere, as the first taste of their forthcoming LP shows. We’ll be keeping an ear open for the full unveiling of their sound.
Person: A, “Higher Ground feat. Emmon”
Finally, this lovely slice of lush, eighties flavoured darkwave from Person A, featuring Emmon on vocals. You know when a song seems so immediate and familiar that you’re convinced it must be a cover of something you had on an unlabeled mixtape back in high school? Yeah, this is that, except it’s an original from the Swedish project helmed by Niklas Kärreskog. We’d do a whole album of this in a hot minute if Niklas was so obliged.