As we’ve mentioned on the podcast a couple of times, touring’s very much picking up again, at least in our corner of the world. We have Lebanon Hanover and HEALTH passing through Vancouver this coming week…as well as Weird Al Yankovic (though that’s more likely to be discussed on an upcoming episode of Bombers than in these pages). Things still definitely aren’t normal and all of the new variants are keeping us on edge, but damned if it doesn’t feel nice to have some choices for live music again.

Randal Collier-Ford

Randal Collier-Ford

Kollaps, “Relapse Theatre”
Aussie outfit Kollaps have always done a great job of linking the original noise and pure experimentalism of the earliest industrial acts with modern gear and influences. That side-stepping of many of the more codified forms of post-industrial ends up yielding refreshingly blunt and full-scope walls of industrial noise like this, the lead track from new LP Until The Day I Die. Expect a full review later on, but for now brace your ears.

Minuit Machine, “Lion in a Cage”
While Minuit Machine are by no means a new act, it feels like they’re gearing up to break a lot wider for international audiences this year. Their last two EPs (2020’s Don’t Run from the Fire and 2021’s Basic Needs have struck a fine balance between their minimal and darkwave origins and club-ready body music sounds, and the recent announcement of a vast North American tour has them poised to grab a lot of well-deserved attention. Witness “Lion in a Cage” the first single from the forthcoming 24 LP, due in the Fall, we daresay it’s the perfect opening volley for their new campaign.

None of Your Concern, “Hard Heart”
Hot on the heels of the excellent SPECTRAL a few weeks back comes the latest from None Of Your Concern. If you were feeling that release’s buzzy electro flavour mixed with EBM, and queer club sounds, you’ll find it on “Hard Heart”, which percolates with analogue synth bloops and tense/teasing vocals. Put these cats on a tour with their fellow Chicagoans Pixel Grip, and send them EVERYWHERE, this stuff is blowing up at some point so it might as well be sooner rather than later.

Poison Point, “Fallen Hearts”
France’s Poison Point was quite active for a few years in the mid-to-late twenty-teens, but it’s been a full six years since their last LP release. That draught comes to an end in September with the release of Poisoned Gloves, with Timothée Gainet once again as the sole member after a few years of working as a duo. Of the two tracks on offer ahead of the release, we think “Fallen Hearts” best displays the project’s take on modern, electro-flavoured darkwave; you can detect touches of classic minimal and wave behind the club-ready beats, with some interesting layering of vocals and arrangement choices that provide depth and intrigue.

Randal Collier-Ford, “The Ominous”
The style of Randal Collier-Ford’s compositions has been pleasantly expanding in recent years, moving beyond the traditional pace and structures of dark ambient to take on all manner of neo-classical and cinematic elements. This new standalone single is a great example of the latter, with the intermittently ascending and descending keys and pads ably suggesting the Alien films which inspired it (getting real Prometheus vibes in particular).

Soft Riot, “Windows To The Wild (Qual Remix)”
Longtime friend of the site JJD’s work as Soft Riot often enters our field of vision from the post perpendicular of angles. A recent track from a comp has been given a suite of remixes, including this version by William Maybelline. The laid back, Neue Deutsche Welle-inspired funk of the original (keep an eye for Maybelline himself in the video) is sent careening into Qual’s terrain of a manic EBM nightmare.