Maybe a Body
Avant! Records

SDH (or Semiotics Department of Heteronyms if you want to be extra formal) have evolved a lot in the four years since we heard their debut EP Tell Them. Where their earliest material fell squarely into the electro-darkwave sound that has now become fairly de-rigeur in dark dance circles, the production and presentation of Andrea P. Latorre and Sergi Algiz’s songs has continuously progressed into lither and more flexible territory. That opening up stylistically is reflected on Maybe a Body, which presents two new songs and two remixes that all feel distinct from one another. Produced with scene mega-producer Matia Simovich using vintage sequencing and production methods that have become his calling card, the original tracks make good neighbours: “Maybe a Body”‘s thrumming bass synth and darker complexion contrast tremendously with the bright (if melancholic) neo-italo and even belaeric synthpop the band deploy on the “All of That”. The remixes expand out even further, with Phase Fatale offering a journeyman techno-EBM take on the former, and Pablo Bozzi turning up the italo on the latter, blasting it off into space disco heaven. Surprisingly meaty for a four-track release, Maybe a Body gives a real tour of both SDH’s potential, and their continued growth.

Starving Insect - Gospels Of The Worm
Starving Insect
Gospels of The Worm
Rave And Revenge

The last EP from Alex Kassberg’s Starving Insect project which we checked out offered a bright and high-def spin on EBM and techno intersections which didn’t shy away from the former’s more melodic side and was happy to tour through all chapters in the latter’s history, including its earlier and funkier ones. New EP Gospels Of The Worm isn’t quite as zany as Stillborn Euphoria, but in accentuating Kassberg’s taste for acid some new and interesting hybridizations occur. Taking Poe and Lovecraft as spiritual influences, the three original tracks here combine classic acid techno rave ups with some punishing kicks. While “Squirming Beneath A Staring Void” correspondingly draws a line between late 90s rave tracks and more contemporary producers like Fractions, the way the sheared-off klaxons of “That Ought To Crawl” bounces off a rubbery 4/4 and swiftly-burbling arpeggios will likely strike a chord with anyone still carrying the torch for mid-aughts aggrotech. Pure happenstance? Likely so, but a fun one regardless.