On last week’s podcast the subject of differing DJ styles and expectations thereof between the traditional club ethos and that of more liminal party spaces. We had an object lesson in that dynamic this past weekend, while checking out a DJ set from none other than Daniel Myer. The mixture of folks who were there out of interest in Myer’s work itself and those who were just there because it promised to be a fun night of techno was interesting to observe, and seemed to speak not only to a new blurring of aesthetic expectations, but also to the current musical intersections between electronic styles. Stay tuned for a conversation with Myer about those topics and plenty more.
Test Dept, “Speak Truth to Power”
We aren’t big fans of being prescriptive about what is or isn’t industrial. It’s a long, fruitless conversation that doesn’t actually hold a lot of value in the grand scheme of things, inevitably degenerating into mostly subjective value judgments. That said if you wanted us to talk about who the best examples of what industrial can be at its best – political, impassioned, energizing – it wouldn’t be long before Test Dept. came up. With the forthcoming album Disturbance just over the horizon and the sounds of previous single “Landlord” still ringing in our ears, we couldn’t be happier to see them still making music that speaks truth to power at a time when it’s sorely needed.
Mr.Kitty, “Empty Phases”
We’ve been tracking Mr.Kitty almost as long as I Die: You Die has existed, and watching the development of his artistry has been a really rewarding experience. A byproduct of that experience has been that we now have numerous associations with his work, from dancing to “Insects” in Vancouver clubs shortly after it first dropped, to seeing his first vulnerable performance at Terminus followed by his remarkable, furious and emotional return to that stage a few years later. Given that you can imagine are excitement about his upcoming double (!!) album from Negative Gain featuring no less than 30 songs of his own distinct brand of electro-pop. First single “Empty Phases” got listened to in our HQ about 25 times in the last few days, if even half the songs are just as good it should be an album of the year contender.
Artificial Monuments, “Succumb”
Danish coldwave act Artificial Moments sound as though they spent a good amount of time mulling the balancing act inherent in their genre. Some degree of pop ease and craft must be maintained even as gloomy atmospheres are conjured, and the tunes from Illusions Of Identity look to be doing just that. Artificial Monuments’ debut (the band is now defunct) will be getting a physical release in about a month and we’ll likely check back in then, but for now enjoy this fretful yet undeniably hooky track.
Designer Violence, “Psychoanalytic”
Here’s some raw electro-industrial from the Netherlands which still manages to communicate the spacy, otherworldly vibe of the original masters. Through the murkiness a certain youthful joie de vivre comes across – not unlike that we first caught from By Any Means Necessary and Kangarot years back. The influences are right up front, but interesting things could be on the horizon.
Standalone, “Take Over”
Steven Seibold is coming back strong in 2019, with the debuts of two new projects, Standalone and Muet (the latter featuring friends of the site Mike Love, Dan Evans and Vince McAley). While Muet heads in a rock direction, Standalone finds the Hate Dept. mastermind indulging in some melodic synthpop, complete with charming falsetto and some live percussion elements. Certainly nothing to complain about with the first couple tracks we’ve heard, reminding us a little of Continues and some of the current wave of confessional electro.
Lusco e Fusco 13, “The Bright Aseptic Room”
Lastly, some incredibly lo-fi and disquieting fare from Spain. Brais Remeseiro releases noisy and morbid stuff under the Lusco e Fusco 13 handle, and while it ranges from pure noise to death industrial to this comparatively bouncy dark electro track, it’s all delivered with a rotting and bereft spirit seemingly taken from black metal. Two of his 2018 EPs (of which we can find no trace) are just now receiving a comparatively wider reissue (read: sixteen CDs) from Toronto outfit Arachnidiscs. Obscure, difficult, yet surprisingly affecting. “Skinny Puppy playing on a boombox while being buried alive,” reads the promo copy, and for once we agree.