One advantage of doing this site is we generally get a pretty good idea of what’s coming out a little bit ahead of time, and can sort of draw maps of what interests us and how the meta of Our Thing’s music is developing over the course of a calendar year. It’s not always a very cut and dried process, especially with the ever shifting borders of our interests – what synthpop and post-punk (amongst other styles) falls within our purview is always a question we’re asking. That said we’ve already seen such wild and new ideas start to emerge in 2020 that we’re kind of wondering what Our Thing even looks like. Hold on folks, things are gonna get weird.
A mid-tempo electro-rockers more in keeping with the likes of Agent Side Grinder wasn’t exactly what we were expecting as the next taste from Rotersand’s forthcoming How Do You Feel Today? LP. But then again, the oddball horns of first single “You Know Nothing” weren’t par for the course either. The slick production and ear for harmonies that we’ve long expected from the German duo are on full display, though, so here’s hoping that How Do You Feel Today? will push some boundaries without sacrificing hooks.
Solo Ansamblis, “Baloje”
Every few years Jacek from Artoffact will drop us a line with something he thinks we’ll like. His track record in determining what will get our attention has been pretty solid (Seeming and Legend being two notable examples) so when he reached out to us about Solo Ansamblis, we were game to check it out. Surprise, it’s real good. But also quirky in a way where we’re having trouble finding accurate comparisons. It’s post-punkish, art-punkish, dubby and has references to broader alt music styles in its DNA, but that doesn’t come close to really capturing it. Tell you what, watch the video for “Baloje” (which our friend Mykx described as “… if Michael Haneke directed the video to the Bloodhound Gang´s Bad Touch”) and see what you think.
Fee Lion, “Baby”
We really liked what we heard from Chicago’s Fee Lion last year. Her dark sensual electro had more than enough substance in it rhythms and programming to keep it close at hand for DJ gigs and Spotify playlists through the end of 2019. New track “Baby” – the first since the announcement Fee Lion would be playing Cold Waves this year – is comparable but much more menacing and spooky than expected. If the project goes in this direction we won’t be dissapointed, unnerving dancefloor bops being of particular interest to us here at the HQ.
Clan Of Xymox, “She”
As we discussed recently, modern Xymox records are a mixed bag. The better tracks find Ronny & co. looking for a balance between dark synths and a smattering of the rock instrumentation that was introduced to the band some twenty-odd years ago. New single “She” manages just that, welding some classic goth bass to a dead simple programmed kick. Tapping relatively young acts like Antipole and Ash Code for remix duty is a savvy move, too.
Spacetalk, “Memory Stream”
Have you heard us rant about Syrian’s Death of a Sun? If not here’s a summary: the Italian futurepop act put out a space-disco/italo record in 2013, and the blend of styles was sublime. The last Syrian album moved away from the hybrid sounds, which is why we’re so excited by the new single from Spacetalk, the project the band has founded specifically to explore that territory. New single “Memory Stream” is hitting the spot directly, bolstered as it is by some decidedly New Order bass and guitar sounds. More of this please!
Starving Insect, “Stillborn Euphoria”
Swedish producer Alex Kassberg brings EBM, electro-industrial, and acid together for a big riotous stomp through post-apocalyptic landscapes on his new EP as Starving Insect. For something with such a grimy set of influences, Stillborn Euphoria is strikingly polished and grand, with echoing kicks and chilly pads fine-tuned for dancefloors. If the idea of Fractions and Dead When I Found Her coming together sounds intriguingly impossible, we implore you to dig in. Check out the Synapscape remix on the flip side, as well!