With less than a month to go, we’re starting to pull out our slide rules and calculate how we might go about fitting 2020’s best music into our classic Year End list and coverage. On the whole we’d like to think that we’re covering a wider range of music and genres today than we were when we started ID:UD, and while that can make for more work for us, we hope the end result is people checking out some styles and sounds that might have otherwise passed them by when everyone uses the winter break to fill in gaps in the year’s listening. On with one of the last Tracks posts of the year…
Patriarchy, “Hell Was Full (Bon Harris remix)”
We could spend a few hundred words trying to sum up LA’s Patriarchy and not come close to really capturing them musically or aesthetically. They’re kind of a darkwave project, kind of a pop project, kind of an industrial project and they’re either taking the piss or deadly serious about everything they do, we can’t tell and are pretty sure we aren’t supposed to be able to tell. Anyways, they’re following up their 2019 release Asking For It with some hot remix action, in this case from Nitzer Ebb’s Bon Harris, a dude who might know a thing or two about club bangers. Peep the NSFW video for further insight into what these cats are about.
Soft Crash, “Haute Surveillance”
A team-up between Phase Fatale and half of Imperial Black Unit is a combo that sounds great on paper, and while this tune absolute delivers in execution, we have to admit it’s not what we were expecting. Much more lithe than the sounds we’ve come to expect from the respective sources, “Haute Surveillance” brings balearic brightness to the already melodic EBM/techno stylings of the Spritzkrieg EP. Perfect for when you’re ready to climb up out of the bunker and freshen up.
Missing Witness, “Skinwalker”
Always nice to hear a new track from Seattle’s Missing Witness. For the past 5 years the project has been serving up some serious electro-industrial vibes, nice and gritty just how we like ’em. Definitely getting some hints of Interlace and maybe Individual Totem on this one, both in the vocals and in the obscurity of the mix, making a virtue out of that muddy psychedelia. Check out their previous releases while you’re over at Bandcamp, all quality.
Living Room Project, “Cell”
Featuring a revolving-door cast of Vancouver folk about town, the new record from Living Room Project sounds as eclectic as you’d expect given the crew involved. Centered around Chris and Kerry Peterson, current and former members of Stiff Valentine, Unit:187, Left Spine Down, Landscape Body Machine and plenty more jump on board new LP Collecting Dust. In addition to the churning industrial rock some of those names connote, you’re getting some blues rock and trip hop tossed into the stone soup, maybe bringing 12 Rounds or Collide to mind.
Magnum Opus, “Demon’s Kiss”
Faceless is a São Paulo based promotion agency, specializing in EBM, industrial, noise and related genres of music. If you’re paying attention, you know that even though Berlin is still getting the attention, South American has been a hotbed of interesting new acts over the last few years. That said, 2020 has been total garbage for everyone the years round, hence Faceless putting together a compilation to help benefit the artists they work with. Check out the sample track from Magnum Opus, and add it to your wishlist so you can pick it up when it drops December 7th.
Element, “Simpler Days”
We’ve heard through the grapevine that the long OOP back catalog of Cali darkwavers Element is in the midst of being prepared for digital re-release, and it looks as though things are starting off with a dive into the archives. Two releases totaling seventeen demos have just made their way onto Bandcamp, most of much look to have been hitherto unreleased. A tune like this does a good job of introducing the band’s aesthetic, standing astride the band’s electronic side (David Skott and Shane Talada had previously served time in Screaming To God) and the smeary gothic haze they’d also conjure.