Strong weekend for shows here in Vancouver, and it’s not letting up throughout the week. As discussed on the podcast last week being forced to choose which shows you can and can’t make it to based on both what you can afford and what you can fit into your life is an unenviable task; unlike recorded music you can always come back too, you won’t always have the opportunities to see bands in your town a second time, at least not soon. Still, a wealth of options at least suggests that there’s good music happening live across the spectrum of Our Thing, and that’s hard to feel salty about.
France’s Audiotrauma label is in the midst of winding things down after two decades of releasing rhythmic noise and related music, but the final installment of their annual Audiotrauma Fest is still to come. Slipped in the customary festival sampler is this impressive piece of work from Olivier Moreau. The odd one-off Imminent track has been making its way onto comps here and there, but apart from Moreau’s collaboration with Synapscape from three years back, it’s been over a decade since there was a full release from Imminent. Sprawling, ornate and hard-hitting tracks like this show just how much Moreau still has left in the tank, and keep hope alive for a fuller return.
Total Chroma, “Lost in the Wild”
Vancouver’s Total Chroma (aka Robert Katerwol of Wire Spine and Weird Candle) has debuted his recorded material with “Lost in the Wild” after about a year of live shows. Taking on more of a classic melodic EBM sound than many of Katerwol’s other projects, Total Chroma’s strength comes both from the richness of its sonic palette (dig those FM sounds and layered pads) and Robert’s vocals that express a kind of restrained desperation. Good stuff, and an excellent stylistic table-setter for the LP later this year.
Night Terrors, “Romulus And Venus”
The latest tribute compilation assembled by the folks at Coitus Interruptus, one celebrating the work of The Legendary Pink Dots and The Tear Garden, holds true to previous releases honoring the likes of Cabs and Fad Gadget. Names like The Rorschach Garden, The Present Moment, and Chase Dobson paying fealty to Ka-Spel and co. makes a good deal of sense…but Night Terrors? Yep, those anime-munching enfants terrible do a bang-up job of “Romulus and Venus”, surely one of the most melody-driven moments in the Tear Garden catalog, bringing in all of the electro-industrial excess of their own work but leaving the aggression aside for the sake of allowing the natural beauty of the song to shine through.
Slighter, “Impulse Control”
Slighter hit a pretty interesting stride in 2019, combining deep sound design, some industrial aesthetics and deep, dark and bassy dub sounds for their excellent Automata LP. New single “Impulse Control” follows up with a slightly grittier and more mechanized variation of the sound, the stereo spectrum filled with crunchy samples, strangled guitar chords and wet, squelchy synths. Another nice entry into Colin Cameron Allrich’s ever expanding catalogue of groovy and atmospheric electronics.
Street Fever, “Fortune “feat. Athena)”
As pointed out to us over on our Slack channel, Street Fever has been posting a grip of new tracks over on Soundcloud. We’ve always been taken by this act’s take on post-EBM club music; their singles have that crossover bounce that makes them pallatable across a wide spectrum of listeners while also having some classic body traits if you’re listening for them. Hopefully these tracks signal a new release at some point if the near future.
The Golden Age Of Wrestling, “At Your Best (You Are Ja Rule)”
Lastly, some rather pretty but drippy and strange ambiance from The Golden Age Of Wrestling, a new side project from Jeff Cancade of Devours. The latter act’s been lighting up west coast parties with raved-up quirky electronics that bring glitch, house, and synthpop together, but the first couple of tracks from this new project are something very different. The shimmering pads and chorals of tunes like this point towards the chiller sides of Gang Gang Dance and Braids, or possibly Holy Other.