With the Dead Can Dance tour now postponed into the new year (and with all tickets being cancelled/refunded), we’re once again without any live shows in our near future here in Van. We’re not saying anything that anyone hasn’t already thought and said a hundred different ways and times before, but the parts of us that thrive on live shows are really feeling it right now. As always, we’re starting the week off with half a dozen new tunes, and as always we hope we might stand a chance at getting to hear one of them live somewhere down the road…

Mask on, fuck it mask on with Kontravoid

Kontravoid, “Faceless”
Over the course of the last decade Kontravoid has become one of the most reliable dark synth acts in terms of turning out honest to goodness great songs. 2019 LP Too Deep really solidified Cameron Findlay’s split-the-difference EBM and synthpop sound, and new track “Faceless” (the title song from an EP due October 15th) seems to be carrying that sound forward with an instantaneous melody, bubbling bass synths and Findlay’s distinctive vocals. Also the video is really something you should check out. The mask is back, brace yourselves y’all.

Diesein, “Drop Dead”
Laslo Antal’s work, either in Sixth June or in solo project Diesein, has earned not just a guaranteed check-in listen here at ID:UD HQ, but long and considered listens under ideal conditions (preferably at sunset with a glass of something strong). Coming a few months after the experimental, single forty minute track LP 1984, Antal’s solo record Even The Best Are Worst looks to carry forward his brand of crepuscular and semi-acoustic darkwave, with smooth and inviting numbers like this. Anticipate a full review in these pages shortly.

Ghost Twin, “Candle”
Following not too far behind the release of their 2021 LP Love Songs for End Times prairie darkwavers Ghost Twin return with new single “Candle”, and it’s a real corker. The operative vocals at the outset set the tone, but it’s not long before some rhythmic synthwork and sinister guitar licks make their way into the mix. Ghost Twin have proven themselves to be pretty adept at both softer and more banging arrangements of electronic darkwave, and it’s certainly something to hear them play with the way they mix those variations here.

Bedless Bones, “Ashes Indigo”
We’re quite pleased to hear new material from Estonian darkwave project Bedless Bones; we were big fans of the debut LP Sublime Malaise, a record that showed a delicate mastery of vocal and textural interaction. The first taste of sophomore LP Bending the Iron Bough certainly aligns with our expectations in terms of quality, but also features a smattering of strings, guitars and other sounds we weren’t necessarily expecting. Bedless Bones has always been adept at ethereal sounds, but this is far closer to classic darkwave of that stripe than we had anticipated. That said it’s a great song and certainly has us interested to hear more of what the LP has in store.

Ductape, “Fire”
Some dour but catchy post-punk/darkwave coming to us from Istanbul. There’s an art to combining such a strained and tense chord progression with an inviting beat, but this number nicely hits that equilibrium. Ductape’s Araf EP’ll be out shortly on Swiss Dark Nights, who’ve really been stepping up the regularity and quality of their releases of late. Nice stuff from Red Green’s new favourite band.

Satellitstat, “Going East”
The current wave of Russian (and eastern European) post-punk has been around for long enough and caused a significant enough ripple in the broader dark music world that it’s perhaps overdue for a send-up. Swedish act Satellitstat (“from the Eastern parts of Stockholm”!) lampoon Russophilia with po-faced sincerity on their new EP which hits all of the musical and thematic items in the playbook, and doesn’t sound half bad while doing so.