So, if you pay attention to talk about industrial music on the ol’ internets, chances are you heard people deliberating over the list of the 33 Best Industrial Albums of all time list over at Pitchfork. We spent an hour or so discussing it ourselves on the podcast last week, and all kvetching and nit-picking aside, it’s been real cool to see people talking so passionately about the genre. People have been posting their own takes, alternate lists, defences of P’fork, and regardless of whether we disagree with anyone’s opinion, we’re happy to see so much conversation happening. So maybe the ‘Fork list did it’s job? Tell us what you think in the comments below, and hit up some Tracks content while you’re at it.
Henric de la Cour, “A Texas Dream”
The title points south, but the video for Henric de la Cour’s latest single finds him lamping about Coney Island, still searching for succor in Pagliacci-goth pantomime. We’re less than a year removed from Gimme Daggers, and it looks as though the “A Texas Dream” 7″ is a stand-alone affair, but “A Texas Dream” has the sort of faux-naive synthpop melancholy which drew us to HdlC in the first place.
Kirlian Camera, “Hellfire”
Apparently representing a transition between 2018’s Hologram Moon and the forthcoming Cold Pills LP, the Hellfire EP fills us in on what’s new with everyone’s favourite alien symphonic darkwave act. This take on the theme from the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic book version of Lucifer (!) fits oddly smoothly with the last few years of Kirlian Camera’s output. The bluesy stomp which has been endemic to recent radio-friendly pop-rock segues well with KC’s symphonic arrangements. Stay tuned for more news on Cold Pills…
Randolph & Mortimer, “Electronic Body Weapon 1”
Look, our Sheffield-based crush Randy and Mort might be way more than just straightahead dancefloor body music with an old school flair, but that doesn’t mean that can’t crush that style when they want to. Hence “Electronic Body Weapon 1”, a gift to DJs and dancefloors worldwide. You like immediately, super danceable basslines? Drums that pump and smash? Spooky synth pads as a garnish? Then cue this one up and be ready to be pleased. Somebody book these cats in North America, it’s time.
Empathy Test, “Empty Handed”
Empathy Test have made their nut putting out sweet, catchy electropop with bigtime hooks. New jam “Empty Handed” (from the EP of the same name) is a good indicator of what the song does best, with an understated opening that swells to an enormous, hella-feelings chorus, all delivered with sincerity. On tour currently with Vancouver’s Actors, we can attest to them as a live act, if you have yet to check them out, get on it nowish.
Virtues & Failings, “Cracks”
Vancouver’s new (and still very cryptic) synthpop act Virtues & Failings have just released a second EP following up on their nostalgically harmonic debut from last year. As before, their combo of lo-fi warmth and studied synthpop classicism makes for a rich dynamic. Finding ourselves halfway between Simple Minds and newer fare like Body Of Light or Sex Park on this one…
Venal Flesh & Cellar Graves, “Black Leather (Klinik Cover)”
Coitus Interruptus Productions, the crew responsible for those cool Cabs and Fad Gadget tributes, have a new release paying homage to none other than Dirk Ivens. With numerous acts including Teknotron, Physical Wash, Mirland, and Chrome Corpse amongst others taking on songs from a broad swathe of Dirk’s career (including the Klinik, Absolute Body Control and Dive), it’s a nice reminder of how much influence Ivens has had in industrial, and how many artists have been impacted by his work. We’re especially taken with this cover of “Black Leather” by Washington’s dark electro act Venal Flesh and our friend Chase Dobson, aka Cellar Doors.