Second last Tracks post of the year, which is always both satisfying and a bit scary. As a weekly recurring feature we tend to think of Tracks as a way to measure time, as in how many have we written so far and how many before we start the Year End lists? As we’re gonna be wrapping the site for the year in mid-December with our trad Top 25, it’s time for us to take stock, especially given the large number of late year releases of interest we have on the desk currently. Stay tuned for a few more reviews as we saunter off into the 2019 sunset. Until then, how about some Tracks?
German darkwave act Vlimmer continues with their ambitious suite of no less than 18 EPs, and we’re happy to premiere a track from the forthcoming XIIIII release. A languid and rolling piece which could be taken for a last-call number on some alien planet, “Zielzyklus” nicely encapsulates a good portion of Vlimmer’s mystery as a project. It’s by equal parts fully weird and fresh, yet has an uncanny familiarity calling back even further than the earliest roots of darkwave and coldwave.
It was pure coincidence that we recorded a commentary podcast for one of Kite’s EPs within a day or two of the beloved Swedish duo releasing their first new song in two years, but we’re taking it as a good omen. “Tranås/Stenslanda” is a massive track of buoyant synth washes and heavy duty feel, bringing epics like The Cure’s “Plainsong” to mind, as mentioned on that podcast. “Headphones can’t cover that hurt,” Niklas observes here, but we’re happy enough to try for now.
SRSQ, “Temporal Love”
Double A-Side single Temporal Love/Unkept is the first new music from Kennedy Ashlyn’s SRSQ since last year’s stunning Unreality. Like that record, this music reads as a modern-take on classic 4AD ethereal a la This Mortal Coil as interpreted by Ashlyn’s incredibly powerful voice and personality as a performer. “Temporal Love” is as good a song as we’ve heard this year in any genre, with some of the project’s most ambitious arrangement to date, and a wonderful guest vocal turn from The Body’s Isabel Moreno. Buy it, listen to it, fall in love to it.
Schwefelgelb, “Es Zieht Mich (Crystal Geometry RMX)”
We’ve written boatloads about the Berlin techno-industrial crossover sound over the last few years, both in terms of its vitality and the way in which it was quickly co-opted by less imaginative producers looking for a bandwagon to hop on. Thankfully we still have shining lights like Schwefelgelb to help us see the potential and energy the style can entail. The duo of Sid and Eddy have a new remix 12″ en route featuring cuts from fellow proven quantities Broken English Club, Kontravoid, Cardopusher and this one from Crystal Geometry. Put it on, crank it up.
Dead Voices On Air, “The Prairie Tides”
Mark Spybey has made himself exceptionally comfortable in the Bandcamp landscape, releasing a plethora of archival, field, and new recordings under the legendary Dead Voices On Air moniker as well as others. His new, BC-exclusive LP Silver the Prows is the second in the Motherland Series of recordings which have thus far highlighted the maritime themes Spybey has returned to time and again throughout his career, and the combination of glitchy samples and beautiful, contemplative acoustics on the lead track is vintage DVOA.
Next, a nice low-key number from Stockholm’s roya. As we’ve come to expect from the solo electronic project there’s a nice mixture of musical genre’s and ideas at play here, conjuring some modern electro-pop and darkwave feelings along with the certain Swedish je-ne-sais-quoi (jag-vet-inte-vad?). Some nice, economical atmospheric electronics for the transition from Fall to winter.