So another Bandcamp Friday has come and gone, though this one couldn’t help but be overshadowed by the news that everyone’s favourite independent music platform had been purchased by gaming juggernaut Epic. We certainly have some questions, concerns, and possibly even a modicum of optimism, but it’s still far too early to tell what this will actually mean for Bandcamp or the countless artists and listeners who’ve come to rely on it. There’ll be some talk about that (and plenty more) with this week’s guest host on We Have A Technical, the one and only Matt Fanale, who’ll be filling in for Alex. On with this week’s tracks!
Lycia, “Simpler Times”
Last year’s excellent Casa Luna EP found legendary darkwave act Lycia field testing a whole range of sounds, including some decidedly poppier ones. That inclination towards uptempo synthpop pans out well on this new single which presses the band’s longstanding talents for expansive, atmospheric sound design into the service of a bouncy, floor-friendly arrangement.
Forever Grey, “Cold Hand”
A new track from LA’s terminally depressive darkwave act Forever Grey finds them just about as jaunty and melodic as we’ve ever heard the duo. It’s been a couple of years since Departed, their last LP, but it feels as though interest in the band’s been steadily rising over the past year. They have a handful of Cali shows next month which should help with that, and a tune as accessible (by their standards) as this is a handy calling card.
Alizeh Winter, “Sister Cities (Waiting for the fall mix by Damion Champ)”
The first solo single from Vore Aurora’s Alizeh Winter was a smooth and smokey bit of darkwave last fall. This new mix from INVA//ID’s Damion Champ doesn’t fix what ain’t broke with regards to Winter’s tour de force vocals, but creates a new bed of instrumentation, part drag, part technoid, part acoustic which resonates very well with them.
Qual, “Take Me Higher (Kris Baha Remix)”
Keeping things on the miserablist tip, DJs can look forward to a healthy injection of au courant but absolutely grim EBM into their sets via Re-Animated, a Qual remix comp featuring plenty of X-IMG regulars taking up William Maybelline’s bluntly fatalistic project. On this Kris Baha mix, the sprained EBM funk of the original is swapped out for an almost wistful electro re-imagining.
CIERŃ, “The Emperor Rx”
A new single from German peace-punk outfit CIERŃ sets the table for their forthcoming first full-length, a couple of years after their demo introduced us to their airy but direct style. As before, there’s something of Skeletal Family in their combination of drive and plainspoken melodies, but this track also shows off just enough modern production to frame the track’s (sadly quite salient) message in the right light.
Shad Shadows, “Destroy”
Schonwald side project Shad Shadows’ new LP Prismatic carries forward on the canny darkwave instincts Alessandra Gismondi and Luca Bandini have had on lock since their 2015 debut LP. As always, shimmering and hazy atmospheres are quickly conjured, but as a number like this shows they’re more than capable of balancing mood with dancefloor immediacy.