Been catching any good horror movies this month, dear readers? As we said on the podcast this past week, we’re looking for more at home ways to pass the time as the weather grows colder and park brews become less feasible. We’ve been grinding through some of the more obvious Hollywood fare at the HQ (Pet Semetary, New Nightmare) but are also digging into a lot of oddball 70s psychological stuff (big rec for Let’s Scare Jessica To Death). In addition to the obvious macabre crossover with plenty of the music we cover hear, watching old horror always carries that side perk of occasionally yielding the original context for classic electro-industrial samples. Let us know if there’s a particular cult flick you think we should check out in the comments after listening to this week’s tracks!
Kite, “Hand Out the Drugs”
Kite’s third single of 2020 is on the Swedish electropop duo’s classic melancholic vibe, albeit with some of the same change-ups we heard on “Teenage Bliss” and “Bowie ’95”. The rougher edge you can hear on “Hand out the Drugs” is less pronounced than it was on the aforementioned tracks – a sonic marker that can be linked to producer Benjamin John Power of Blanck Mass fame – but it’s still there and certainly gives the song a certain grandeur. Kite has never disappointed us, and thank god because their music has always offered succour in dark times.
Altar De Fay, “And May Love Conquer All”
The resurgence of Altar De Fay, the deathrock act so oldschool they had all but dissolved by the time the term started being used, continues with their new And May Love Conquer All EP. Four tracks of careening and swooping deathrock are on offer, including this title piece which does a good job of switching between driving groove and more classically haunting chiming.
Agent Side Grinder, “Inner Noises (Ash Code remix)”
We were very taken with the reinvention of Agent Side Grinder last year, specifically with the way the new line-up (made up of two founding members and a new vocalist) were able to change their sound not only to avoid comparisons with the previous catalogue, but in some ways surpass it. We’re going to have to wait to hear if they can keep that trend up, but in the meantime we’ve got remix release REMA/X which features edits and rejigs from Antipole, Tobias Bernstrup, Luminance and Buzz Kull amongst others. Check out the big darkwave feels imparted by Ash Code on deep cut “Inner Noises”, they hit just so.
SARIN x Imperial Black Unit, “Can You See?”
Berlin’s Area Z come through with a huge compilation of modern EBM from some of the scene’s brightest producers; the Uncanny Valleys vol. 1 compilation features contributions from IV Horsemen, Chrome Corpse, Celldöd, and Unconscious amongst others. While the broader world of techno-EBM has gotten somewhat stale, there are still those artists out there making solid club crossover and pure old school style tracks that aren’t just derivative copycat efforts. You’ll find a lot of those folks right here.
Unhuman, “Plastic Sky, Hands Above”
Speaking of techno-EBM, it isn’t just the new Schwefelgelb which is pushing that sound further towards classic powernoise. The new Voices Of Distress EP from Unhuman is filling in the spaces between increasingly abstracted beats with wheezing drones you could be forgiven for mistaking it for any one of a number of classic late 90s Ant-Zen joints.
Trick Casket, “Sticks And Stones”
Lastly, some super distorted and abrasive stuff from Toronto. Trick Casket are moving between industrial, metal, and goth sounds pretty swiftly on their Anhedonia EP without ever sounding like industrial metal or goth rock, if you catch our drift. Super claustrophobic tracks like this have us thinking of Black Sheep Screaming or perhaps the almost completely ignored Bleeding Light. Tip o’ the hat to BP Hughes of Darkware for this one!