Half of the Senior Staff was down in LA this past weekend, taking in some local nightlife, reconning with Cali heads, and most importantly catching the big festival set played by The Cure. It’s weird to reflect on how a band so crucial to the development of comparatively lesser known goth bands can also have the sort of celebrated pop career which attracts tens of thousands of folks from across tastes and generations, but such is the paradox of the band behind numbers like “Why Can’t I Be You?”, “Friday I’m In Love”, and “In Between Days” whom the press insists on pigeonholing as “gloomy”. In any event, we’ll probably have some further discussion of California goings on this week on the podcast, but for now let’s give you some tracks to get you going after the long weekend.

Don’t avoid the ‘Void

Kontravoid, “Turn Away”
It’s been a long seven years since the first Kontravoid LP came to light. In the time since its release Cameron Findlay has consolidated his project’s style and presentation, settling into nervy, body-moving EBM with dark-edged vocals and smokey atmospherics. New album Too Deep is still a few weeks out, but we’re grooving hard on “Turn Away”, a track that instantly transports us back to one of the sweaty, intense shows we’ve seen Kontravoid perform over the last few years.

Twin Tribes, “Fantasmas”
We were absolutely mad for Twin Tribes’ debut LP last year, and the idea that the follow-up is on the horizon so soon afterwards is very exciting indeed. As with first single from Ceremony “Tears & Feathers”, “Fantasmas” feels like a solid continuation of the group’s distinctive guitar darkwave stylings, although this might be the most capital “G” goth they’ve sounded in the vocal department yet. That transportive Spanish chorus has us amped to hear what the Texas act has in the hopper.

Peryl, “Molotov Brutality”
Up and coming German producer Peryl has been cleaving pretty close to the modern dark techno template on his first releases, with rumbling kicks stealing the limelight, but this tune from his new Rebellion EP on Lebendig is scratching our EBM itch just right. Just enough atmosphere and dynamics are threaded through the cut across its runtime, but an undeniable bassline stays at the center of everything.

Witch Root, “Cruel Whip And Tender Heart’d”
Coming out of Manchester, Witch Root deliver a gloomy, lo-fi synth sound which would be easy to file under dungeon synth were it not for the big and airy mood of their tracks, not to mention the far more Romantic atmosphere conjured by titles, art, and ambiance. The end result feels like a convoluted journey to something not dissimilar from gothic darkwave, but with a unique and not at all hackneyed style. Worth investigating further…

[L]e Complex, “Convulsion”
Via Crunch Pod, here’s something from the new project of Hiram Armando Sanchez of Fabrikmutter. While some tracks of the debut Malevolent Dreams LP retain the crushed and distorted style of that project, plenty of others, like this once, get some traction from ambient hums and tones and build atmosphere with restraint rather than pure gnashing. Should appeal to powernoise fans looking for something halfway chill.

SØLVE, “New Wounds”
Hapy Birthday to friend Brant Showers of SØLVE and ∆AIMON fame! As is now tradition, Brant has released new music to coincide with his born day, serving up a two track single with original “New Wounds” and smashing cover of Tones on Tails’ “Burning Skies” that ports over to Showers’ distinctive post-witchhouse production and performing style with aplomb. We have it on good authority we’ll be getting more new music from him soon, but in the meantime lean back and enjoy the end-of-summer bleakness why not?