The passing of Gridlock’s Mike Wells last week has been sorely felt within the post-industrial world, with those who knew him stressing his approachable and affable nature. Our admiration for Gridlock here at ID:UD is no secret; for Alex in particular they were a crucially formative band who forever changed his ways of thinking about and listening to music in general, not just of the styles Gridlock helped pioneer. We’ll have a special episode of We Have A Technical addressing Wells and Gridlock’s legacies later this week.
SRSQ, “Someday I Will Bask in the Sun”
If you haven’t yet listened to Kennedy Ashlyn’s new SRSQ single, stop reading and just hit play on the embed. Okay, back? Did you get that little frisson when the amen break kicked in, that feeling of surprise, and maybe if you’re like us a little delight? That initial little rush of “huh, okay wow” means it may take you a minute longer than usual to be reminded that Kennedy remains one of Our Thing’s most incredible, expressive voices, especially in the context of this This-Mortal-Coil-esque slice of medlodic dreampop. Just close your eyes and let it take you away.
ESA, “One Missed Call”
Jamie Blacker has been on a hell of a run with ESA for the last batch of releases. The excellent sound design of his earlier releases has been spiked with keen-edged aggression and arrangements in recent years, giving his material a significant amount of club appeal and big system impact. The first tracks we’re hearing from the forthcoming Designer Carnage are certainly in line with that evolution, but damn if he hasn’t had a track as compulsively head-nodding as “One Missed Call” maybe ever. Always a year end contender in these parts, this Valentine’s day release is keenly anticipated in our offices.
Missing Witness, “The Feast”
It’s been a few years since we’ve had a proper release from Seattle’s harsh darkwave/industrial outfit Missing Witness, though the standalone tracks they’ve put out since 2018’s excellent Traitors EP have done a good job of keeping them close at hand. Crawling Down will be released later this week, and if its other four tracks have the same combination of mean grime and snapping metallic rhythms as this track (and we’d be fools to think otherwise at this point) we’re all in for a treat.
We suggested that last-year’s Nebenkörper might be an ideal jumping on point for the roughneck styles of post-punk and darkwave plied by German act Vlimmer. New single “Erdgeruch” very much feels a continuation of that record, with plenty of clatter and angst adorning what is actual a rather sleek and clubbable tune underneath all the noise.
Menthüll, “Pour Un Silence”
Here’s some more coldwave/synthpop elegance from Quebec’s Menthüll, who’ve now released an LP’s worth of fantastic singles in the past couple of years. Stuff like this trades on mood as much as it does hooks and accessibility, and tunes like this continue to show off just how adroit Menthüll are at cramming a whole plethora of sound, instrumentation, and harmony into brief one-off numbers while still evoking a clear and tasteful sense of cool restraint.
Ritualz has been pushing towards a more aggressive darkwave sound for a while now; while Mexico-city based producer JC Lobo has had some recent releases that align with his OG witch-house sound, what we’re getting on “Disintegration” feels like a direct evolution of the ideas and production of 2018’s Doom. That’s good news for those seeking something a bit left-field for their club sets, as the synth and drum programming has a distinctly industrial feel, while maintaining a goodly bit of atmosphere. New EP drops February 1st, with several new tracks and remixes by Pictureplane and Sidewalks and Skeletons.