Good times in Vancouver this past weekend, as The Senior Staff DJ’d the very well attended release party for Actors’ debut album It Will Come To You, which featured some excellent sets from The Gathering, Brutes (who gamely still played a few tracks despite severe technical issues), Spectres and Actors themselves. We love local bands, but what’s more we love when local people come out to support local bands, showing that for all the hostility this city holds towards independent art and music, the people can and will come through. Lets carry some of those positive vibes into the upcoming week shall we?

Thwip! It's Randal Collier-Ford!

Randal Collier-Ford, “Black Furnace”
For years we’ve been fans of how dark ambient auteur Randal Collier-Ford’s been able to walk the line between the conceptual and the abstract. While plenty of his records have specific themes and narratives linking them, they’re also fully rewarding as explorations of pure sound. The foreboding gore and grime documented in the video for “Black Furnace” from the [APEX] LP gestures towards a larger world or narrative, but it’s up to the viewer/listener to connect the dots however they see fit.

D/SIR, “Violate Later”
Just a little over two years since their last LP Wilde’s Crown Los Angeles duo D/SIR return with a very welcome slice of night time synth. Their first for Basic Unit Productions, the track starts with a solid bass sequence – perhaps speaking to half of the project’s recent work as Hex Wolves – and characteristic vocal from Emily Rose before going into some very atmospheric and unexpected territory. Album All That Was Left is due sometime soon, in the meantime you can groove on this single, which features mixes from DSX and Divider.

Ritualz, “Echoes”
Mexico’s Ritualz had a slew of releases in the aftermath of the witch house explosion, but it’s been relatively quiet on Juan Carlos Lobo Garcia’s front of late, apart from a black metal cover which seemed to point to a more darkwave direction. That’s all changing now with the release of a new full length on Artoffact, which looks to be drawing upon darkwave, Mr.Kitty-type synthpop, and possibly even dungeon synth. Doom promises to be one of the year’s more dense and unpredictable dark records, so keep an eye open for a full review while you check this taster.

3TEETH and Ho99o9, “Lights Out”
The news of 3Teeth’s upcoming tour with alt rap act Ho99o9 was accompanied by news of a collaborative release, which dropped just this past week. Traditionally industrial metal and hip hop don’t mix especially well (remember Front Line Assembly’s “Victim of a Criminal” and that Fear Factory track with Cypress Hill?) but “Lights Out” works, probably due to sizable crossover in each act’s sonic assault. Also worth checking out is b-side “Time’s Up” which is sort of a mechanized crossover thrash number. Catch 3Teeth and Ho9909 on the road with Street Sects this April.

Dharmata 101, “Living the Dream (FIRES remix)”
Maryland conceptual synthpop act Dharmata 101 just dropped a single for their track “Edited for Television”, featuring a new version of that song alongside remixes by Null Device, Retrogramme, Project K11 and this one from FIRES. Strong stuff, as the lyrical and sentimental cues of the original get fed through the modern synthrock stylings Eric Sochocki deployed so effectively on his debut album last year. Good melodic stuff with a lot of texture, and a nice example of when two acts of a similar emotional tenor come together effectively.

Nordvargr, “Metempsychosis”
Hot off our discussion last week of Henrik Nordvargr Björkk’s most recent record with Pouppée Fabrikk, here’s the title track from the forthcoming Metempsychosis LP from his eponymous project. Hinging on rhythmic timbres and the hoarse but echoing rasp of Björkk’s vocals, it’s a moodier take on the sort of ritual incantation Nordvargr’s become known for. Context is everything: the nominally cheerful valediction “We shall meet again” is bone-chilling when uttered here.