Without name-dropping, a conversation with a Vancouver industrial musician friend over the weekend turned to underappreciated figures in Our Thing, namely engineers and producers. It’s only by poring over liner notes while listening to formative records that we learned to recognize some of the names of people who time and again appeared in the credits of those releases. By their very nature, these are out of the spotlight positions, and with the advent of streaming we can’t help but think that it’ll become an even more underappreciated field. As the sort of cratediggers who love connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated releases via a name on an LP’s inner sleeve or Discogs credit, we have our own favourite audio production folks whose relative obscurity’s only amplified their mystery to us, but how about yourself? Who are the people who’ve had a hand in some of your favourite records even if they never played a note or stepped onstage? Get at us in the comments after checking this week’s Tracks.

Kælan Mikla pioneering Sears-Family-Portrait-Core

Continues, “Fall Tragic”
New music from Continues is always cause for celebration around the HQ. The sort of celebration that involves punching your fist and nodding your head while getting misty-eyed and saying “fuck yeah, man” in a quavering tone. There’s been far too little from Dan Gatto’s solo synthpop project since its incredible self-titled debut back in 2012, but that’s only amplified our excitement about “Fall Tragic”. The nostalgic rush Gatto’s sentimental waves of synths conjure is always offset by the keen sense of sober self-reflection he’s honed since the earliest Babyland releases. Can’t wait to hear this performed live at Cold Waves.

Wychdoktor, “Forked Tongue”
Canadian ritual industrialists Wychdoktor return with a one-off available via their Bandcamp. As expected it’s a track with tons of atmosphere, dynamics and power, and shows off the subtle steps forward the project has taken forward in the last few years. Dense, noisy and full to the brim with that opaque fog, make a point of checking them out if you haven’t before.

Cocksure, “Yellow Dog”
Speaking of Cold Waves, the festival’s de facto house band have a new LP out in Be Rich. Three albums in, the different flavours Chris Connelly and Jason Novak bring to the revivalist project have had plenty of time to simmer and blend, and tunes like this one feel like the natural outcome of their work together rather than just an assemblage of markers from their earlier work. Nice to hear Connelly sounding classically menacing even while holding back in the cut.

Xarah Dion, “Dysphorie (SARIN remix)”
Courtesy of Linda Records, Montreal-based Xarah Dio and Canadian-in-Berlin SARIN team-up for a classic collaborative 12″. Featuring one original and one remix from each artist, the release highlights some interesting crossover territory between the Canadian minimal and electro scene and the current wave of body music. Check the preview track featuring Dion’s dispassionate french vocals set against a plucky bassline courtesy of SARIN.

Kælan Mikla, “Hvernig kemst ég upp?”
Over the past year we’ve been getting up to speed with Reykjavik’s Kælan Mikla and their journey from a very violent iteration of post-punk to a more atmospheric and synth-driven style. The band’s own Sólveig Matthildur even graced us with some recent Icelandic faves by way of getting us up to speed, but now the first piece from the band’s anticipated Nótt eftir nótt is up for public sampling. We’re loving how heavy and dreary those synths sounds while still being borne up by heavy-hitting, classic goth bass.

Null Device, “Only You”
Hard to imagine the day we get tired of hearing Yaz songs (or covers of Yaz songs). In this case it’s a very sweet cover of “Only You” by pal of the site Eric Oehler and his synthpop crew Null Device, who inject a goodly portion of their own dual-vocal and string instrument style into the track. Proceeds from this one go to Lambda Legal, for the promotion of LGBTQ+ rights, so why not hop over to Bandcamp and pick it up. Smoooooooth.