As folks might have noticed, we used the long weekend as an opportunity to record and release our monthly We Have A Commentary podcast, which this time took up the classic ur-EBM of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft. We love doing these projects for a variety of reasons, amongst which they force us to think about LPs in total in a historical context, rather than as the current missive from a contemporary band (ie, the sort of analysis we do in album reviews), or as standing reserve – resources to be mined for greatest hits mixes or DJ sets. No matter how the future of music (let alone Our Thing itself) changes in the years ahead, we’re the products of our own time to the point that we’ll always be suckers for well executed LPs. All that being said, let’s shoot off in the opposite direction with six tracks wrenched from whatever larger contexts they might have.
As is tradition, Artoffact Records have released their annual compilation, featuring the label’s impressive and diverse musical roster. From right in our backyard acts (like ACTORS, Spectres, Devours and OHMelectronic) to scene legends like Apoptygma Berzerk, Download and Front Line Assembly, AoF is one of the labels we’ve celebrated most in the history of I Die: You Die. Check out the pay-what-you-want compilation to hear new and classic acts we love – too many to mention here, TBH – like this brand new song from ID:UD fave Seeming.
Drab Majesty, “Ellipsis”
Here’s a new Drab Majesty song in anticipation of the July release of their third album Modern Mirror on Dais Records. Sophomore LP The Demonstration has stayed in rotation at the HQ since its release in 2016 on the strength of its excellent songwriting, smooth production that sits somewhere near classic new romanticism, and cool delivery. New single “Ellipsis” has all that in spades, and if it’s just a taste of what we can expect from the record, we should be well satisfied. Highly anticipated ’round here.
Soho Rezanejad, “Call For Torino”
Soho Rezanejad’s 2018 LP Six Archetypes was a record more than a little out of our ballpark, but we couldn’t help but discuss it as its repurposing of classic electronic subgenres to find new vehicles for Rezanejad’s beguiling songwriting and voice was just something we couldn’t get away from last year. The first taste of her forthcoming EP Torino almost feels more like an interlude or overture than an actual stand-alone track, but all of the rich sound design and otherworldly vocals which first brought Rezanejad’s work to our attention are on full display.
Blonde Collar, “Slice”
Blonde Collar is the solo project of Xavier Garth, one half of Boston’s Dead Husband. Folks might remember that we’ve enjoyed their recent EPs of smooth tunes which cross lines between electro, synthpop, and house. Blonde Collar looks to be a tad rougher around the, um, collar, bringing some heavier bass and weight on the handful of tracks which have just surfaced on Soundcloud, but there’s still plenty of lush and evocative sensuality to be enjoyed on this number.
Field Agent, “HRv1.1
Another slab of thudding techno comes our way courtesy of the always uncompromising and inspired Stephen Lee Clark. Field Agent has carved out an aesthetic of hard-hitting beats which seem to be made up of a combination of classic powernoise and ambient elements compressed into dense grids of mono-rhythmic oppression. These ably match the ambiguity of modern warfare, technoscience, and espionage which are always gestured to by Field Agent without any comment. As always, an unsettling but impressive listen.
Zanias, “Follow the Body (DSX Remix)”
Zanias’ 2018 record (an IDUD fave you may recall) Into The All was pretty astonishing exploration of sounds and ideas that we didn’t necessarily expect based on the project’s output up to that point. Returning to the material previous to that is no less powerful though, as Zanias explored the fringes of darkwave and body music, producing the excellent EP To The Core in 2016. Thus, it’s nice to hear one of those tracks reinvented by one of our fave oddball EBM acts DSX (aka Dejan Samardzic of Haujobb), who gives “Follow the Body” a makeover of detuned hits and pinched filters, unsettling and groovy in equal measures. Apparently this was produced around the time of the EP, but hasn’t surfaced ’til now, so enjoy the unearthed recent past why don’t you?