While we’re likely well-behind a lot of you in terms of the world reopening, it was just announced last week that clubs and dancing can reopen with no restrictions beyond masks and vaccine passports here in Vancouver. That’s a big sigh of relief for us – while we’ve found some avenues for DJing online over the last couple years, there’s nothing like doing it for a live dancefloor, and hearing the music on a big system. Here’s hoping we remember all the stuff we’ve been posting about since the restrictions were put in place and can slot ’em into our upcoming sets – we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Driada, “Décadence (Randolph & Mortimer remix)”
Russian producer Driada isn’t someone we’ve been following closely, but if you want to get our attention than getting Randolph & Mortimer to remix you is a good way to go about it. Yes, Driada’s newest release Край / Land (Remixes) (a follow up to the 2021 release) has some contributions from producers we quite enjoy like MESHES and Gewalt, but it’s R&M who bring the nasty bass and distorted orch hits that accent the metallic hits and electro stylings of the original to neo-body territory. Coming soon to a dancefloor near you if your local DJ has their ear to the ground.
The last time we heard from Japan’s Baroque they were turning in some solid work on a split with Notausgang. On new comp Atlas Of Penance from the Flagelante collective they find themselves in similarly strong company, including Liebknecht and Filmmaker, but the solid yet fluid EBM pulse of this number stands on its own. Again, can’t help but hear some real affinity with the last decade of Portion Control material on this track.
Sacred Skin, “Earthbound”
Los Angeles new wavers Second Skin have changed their name to Sacred Skin, and are celebrating the change with new single “Earthbound”. Like all their tracks, the duo perfectly capture that eighties movie soundtrack montage energy, but without descending into mere imitation: their combination of songwriting and area-correct production helps their material sit comfortably alongside the sounds that inspire it. With their string of excellent singles and some live performances under their belt, now should be the time for an LP, yes?
Blank, “Thick Black Line”
Italy’s Blank have always summed up the intersections, contradictions, and ineffability of the term ‘Our Thing’. Sort of post-industrial, somewhat house-ish, kinda futurepop, sometimes downtempo, often trancey, it’s difficult to precisely pin Blank’s sound down, but you know it when you hear it. The title track from the new Thick Black Line exemplifies all of these conundrums and blurred genre lines while nicely getting Davide Mazza’s dancefloor instincts across.
Werner Karloff, “Imagenes del ruido”
2020’s Illuminated Displays EP introduced us to the work of Mexico City’s Werner Karloff – lithe, bubbly, deceptively speedy, and hooky. The combo of EBM, synthpunk, synthpop, and minimal wave elements Karloff refines down to a sleek and efficient aesthetic is still front and center on this lead track from the upcoming Atemporal EP.
My Love Kills, “Back to Life”
Swedish act My Love Kills bring some of the classic dark electro on their newest single “Back to Life” for Progress Productions. While the backbone of the track is a solid 16th note EBM bassline, the song’s highlight is the big emotional chorus that puts us in mind of classics by the likes of other Swedish acts like Interlace and Run Level Zero. This kind of thing always strikes a chord with us, mainly because we’ve always got a soft spot for the place where body music and the more textural sounds of dark electro meet and mingle. And the Nuclear Sludge remix on the b-side is just a hot bonus to boot.