We’ll be giving this some chit chat on the podcast this week, but please take note that the good folks behind Cold Waves – Chicago’s premiere industrial music festival – have released the details of their virtual fest for 2020. Obviously we’ll miss all the related benefits of hitting up Chicago like good record shopping, fine vegan eats and seeing all our East Coast pals, but we’re super keen on checking out the lineup which includes new and rare performances from acts like Cyanotic, Meat Beat Manifesto, FLA, Ohgr, plus music videos with commentary from the artists, documentary screenings and a whole lot more. CW has been a major thing for us over the last decade or so, it being virtual certainly isn’t gonna change that.

Comfort Cure

Comfort Cure

Choke Chain, “Grave (Sweat Boys remix)”
It’s a Wisconsin style team-up as fresh on the scene rough EBM project Choke Chain gets remixed by The Badger State sexy synthpop project Sweatboys. The mactch-up works nicely, as the latter project brings some smoother production elements into the mix, while not diluting the energy of the original (found on CC’s quite fun demo Chain Tactics). Looking forward to hearing when Choke Chain returns the favour – we have a feeling that a tough-ass body music remix of Sweat Boys’ “You’re Gone” would be pretty hot.

Sullen Fate, “Blood Insight”
Some cyberpunk-flavoured techno with plenty of throwback dark electro feel is brought to us by France’s RND. Records, who’ve brought work from Paul Mørk and Sharplines to our attention in the past. Sullen Fate’s the new side project of long-standing LA DJ and producer Spheric, and a track like this shows off his ability to draw from a pretty wide range of sounds and give everyone a little something. Being able to tap the likes of Hex Wolves and Years of Denial for mixes on your first EP doesn’t hurt, either.

Comfort Cure, “Snake Alley”
We covered Comfort Cure in their previous incarnation as Feral Body back in 2017, but had no idea the Detroit based unit had rechristened themselves and embarked on a more minimal but still bangin’ body music journey. Looks like they’ve been at it for a minute or two, since their Bandcamp has releases going back to October of 2019. Good and atmospheric with just enough EBM muscle and motor in it, we’ll be keeping an eye on these cats going forward.

Filmmaker, “Signal”
Tip of the hat to Susan Subtract for bringing some of the recent work by Columbia’s lo-fi funky throwback EBM act Filmmaker to our attention. Various, a just-released collection of comp tracks, seems as good a place us to get caught up, and a cut like this from a few months back nicely puts across Filmmaker’s style: woozy and rough around the edges, but with an undeniable groove that keeps pulling you in.

Black Sand Desert, “Near Purgatory”
In addition to prepping the first new Hive Mind record in a donkey’s age, Chondritic Sound honcho and Noisextra podcaster Greh Holger has also put the finishing touches on the new record from his Black Sand Desert project. Offering near-total textural immersion, this lead track can either be picked apart, with the intermittent eruption of different frequencies being sought out and tracked over nearly eight minutes of bad road, or you can just abandon all nuance, turn it up, stick your head in, and fuck your mind for good.

Critical Limit, “Cold Sweat”
Some real promising synthpunk/EBM stylings out of California in the form of Critical Limit’s 4-track demo, available now via Bandcamp. If you like raw and ready synths and drums, shouted vocals and warped orch hits you should be well pleased by “Cold Sweat”. A little reminiscent of Diesel Dudes and High-Functioning Flesh in spots, it’s the sort of thing that we routinely crave and would be happy to have more of in our musical diet. Maybe you feel similarly?