We’ll be headed out of town next week for Terminus in Calgary (and taking the subsequent week off with the exception of recording an episode of We Have a Technical), but things are looking plenty busy around here between now and then. We’ve got a commentary podcast in the hopper, 4-5 records in the review queue and a strong gross of mid-year tracks for your ears as we careen through the Summer, headed for the traditionally jam-packed Fall season. Stay tuned, stay alert, and stay safe friends, it’s wild out there.
Smog Index, “The Shade”
Brand new shit from the latest L.A.U.R.A. (that’s the Los Angeles Underground Rave Association run by Lower Tar if you didn’t know) split; meet LA’s Smog Index. The sound is rough and noisy, with classic industrial drums, a pinch of modern techno sounds, and a helping of rhythmic noise and punky energy to top it off, absolutely a formula we are always hungry for and happy to have served to us. The Autumns tracks on the release are well worth you time as well, the EP is a solid bit of business from a busy, high quality label.
MEND, “Time Only Stops When We’re Weightless”
New music from MEND? Given that it’s been eight years since the wonderful Vanishing Point LP we’d just about given up hope, but this new track is a great reintroduction of what made the Chicago duo’s approach to IDM so likable. Driving and intense but with warmer and softer dimensions than you’d usually expect, the band’s dedication to sound design and considered compositional style pays off well here. Here’s hoping there’s more to come.
Civic Center, “Eyes To The Horizon”
We were talking on the podcast last week about lateral perspectives on the earliest waves of post-industrial experimentation. Well, the second and apparently final LP by Civic Center (part of the much-buzzed about Chicago Research crew does just that, showing off an interest in early Cabs and Klinik at their most austere. Analogue ambiance, radio play-styled sound design, and a hybrid of cut-up style sonic bricolage and early 20th century high modernism all clash here.
Patriarchy, “The Man for You”
LA’s Patriarchy have been keeping their name in circulation since the release of their last LP Asking for It via a stream of high-profile, high quality remixes from the likes of Zanias, Kontravoid, Kris Baha, Rhys Fulber, Light Asylum and more. Forthcoming LP The Unself is due August 26th, with more of the chaotic mutant synth and electropop Actually Huizenga has made her calling card, reinforced with co-songwriting and production from Matia Simovich. One to keep an eye on from the city that keeps offering up top tier dark synth acts of all stripes.
Nghtly, “Venerdì D’Arte”
More deep scouting work from X-IMG records, who are premiering Italian producer Francesco Tella’s new project Nghtly. While there’s definitely some of the EBM influence we’ve come to expect from the label’s output, Nightly’s tapping of chiller and spacier techno textures and pads from days long since past is what’s of real interest here.
Priest, “Perfect Body Machine”
We’ve been hit and miss with Stockholm synthpop act Priest for a while now; while we appreciate the aesthetics and effort to create a really distinct visual indentity for the band, the material hasn’t always grabbed us. Well, if you ever needed to know what sort of leftfield move might get us on board, look no further than “Perfect Body Machine” from the new LP Body Machine. It’s half electro-funk (complete with a vintage mid-Eighties spoken half-rap) and half synthpop, all dancefloor hit, right down to the slightly off-key synth horns. Well played Priest, well played.