Ensconced in the new HQ, it’s another edition of Tracks, our longest-running regular I Die: You Die feature. You know moving houses is generally fucking garbage and a massive pain, but it does give you opportunities to reflect on the topic of physical media and what you hold onto. Whether it’s going through boxes of CDs and tapes and being reminded of gems you’ve held onto for personal reasons, or opportunities to reconsider your vinyl filing system, one of the few silver linings of packing and unpacking everything you own is the opportunity to interact with your stuff. Does that justify holding on to physical media in the digital age? Maybe not for everyone, but if the recent unearthing of a bunch of Pretty Hate Machine longboxes this past week taught us anything, it’s that some folks are still on the hunt.
Grendel, “Something Real”
We’ve talked a lot about modern Grendel in these parts, with specific focus on how the project has evolved from best-in-class aggrotech to a lusher, larger song-based approach to industrial. New track “Something Real” (which appears on Infacted’s new Infacted 7 compilation) highlights that gradual change while also speaking to some of the project’s legacy: to our ears the piano and guitar tinged track actually has a shades of some of JD’s classic melodic numbers, think “One Eight Zero” but with enhanced songcraft and production.
Klack, “Le Car”
We’ve been singing the praises of Eric Oehler (Null Device) and Matt Fanale (Caustic)’s Klack for a minute now, but it really should be highlighted how fast and effectively the new beat styled project has made it’s mark. Take the title track from new EP Le Car for example; while the eighties sound design from vocoder to bass sounds is put together just so, the song has an identifiable sensibility about it, it feels like Klack even without vocals from either member. 2019 is the year the planet gets Klacked apparently: happy to be along for the ride.
Night Terrors, “Down”
Those Night Terrors problem children just don’t stop, and have been grinding out lo-fi, genre-hopping electro-industrial at a steady clip for a couple of years now. Overman is a collection of early demos and outtakes, plus some new work, though in the absence of further documentation it’s tough to tell what’s what. Old or new, we’re digging the submerged engine rave of this number.
Headless Nameless, “Wild Fire”
The newly minted Encephalon side-project Headless Nameless is certainly a change of pace from our Ottawan friends. Where the influence of rock music (and specifically big, operatic excesses therein, shouts out to Jim Steinman) is certainly no secret, HN has a more doomy blues vibe to it, albeit shot through with deep grinding electronics. Very pleased to here Alis Keller’s voice taking the lead on debut track “Wild Fire”, her distinctive delivery matching up perfectly to the song’s slinky mood. More unexpected goodness from a crew that specialize in the same.
Moscow duo Crossparty hadn’t passed our way before, but we’re always keen to hear how younger acts are latching onto and further mutating the witch house genome. Crossparty seem to be speeding up the normally sluggish BPMs on their new Loud Love release, but more than the tempo it’s the off-kilter vocal melodies of Varvara Shueva which lends tracks like “Heavenlygarden” some left-field appeal, and aids the project’s crossing dreampop and techno streams.
Rendered & Black Egg, “Armenia Redux”
Even on their own, Rendered and Black Egg are projects featuring members with accomplished discographies from across the industrial, noise, and techno realms. Factor in trying to track their recent singles released via Unknown Pleasures, a + w, and Fleisch and the question of what to expect from a collab between the two projects becomes very open. The No Compromise 12″ smoothly brings together those diverse sounds and styles, though, with tracks like this shifting from foggy atmospheres to tightly grooved EBM with aplomb.