As much attention as we’ve been paying to all of the various festivals being announced around North America over the past couple of months, we have a sneaky heavy live schedule of our own over the next couple of months. In addition to some local biz (we have Dead Cells, Nouveau, and Ringfinger later this week), we have Gary Numan, Front 242, New Order & Pet Shop Boys, Kaelan Mikla & Kanga, and probably a handful of others we’ve forgotten about coming through Vancouver. It’s gonna feel great to not only be at these shows, but also chat about them on the podcast. Another nice little bit of normalcy.

Urban Heat

Urban Heat

IVA//ID, Illuminate (feat. Male Tears)
Two Los Angeles acts come together, as darkwavers Male Tears join forces with industrialists INVA//ID for the track “Illuminate”. The track certainly favours electro-industrial instrumentally, but the addition of gothic-styled vocals adds another dimension to the track, spiking its aggression and snarl with some grander and more baroque menace. A welcome team-up from two acts on the cusp of some wider recognition.

Echoberyl, “Silent Monster (The Other Side of the Mirror”More maximal Euro darkwave courtesy of France’s Echoberyl. Like the material on the last LP Mother Solitude and Other Dark Tales (and the recent cuts from more explicitly electro side-project Fluid Ghost) the duo’s songs use thick, dancefloor friendly electronics as a vehicle for a goodly helping of continental drama and melancholy, striking a balance between old and new school, and consequently serving as a portential bridge track between EBM or synthpop and more gothic styles in your DJ set or playlist. 

Urban Heat, “Trust”
Some direct and effective post-punk with a mournful new wave spin from Austin’s “Urban Heat”. At a quick pass the rest of the Wellness EP this is taken from is considered and well-sculpted RIYL Actors or perhaps Agent Side Grinder in their chiller moments.

modebionics, “FOLD VICE (single edit)”It’s not often a newish project really captures the feeling of early Front Line Assembly like modebionics does on new single “FOLD VICE”. It’s partially due to Rolan Vega.’s vocal delivery and processing which has that specifically Leeb quality to it, but also in the rigid percussion programming and menacing synthwork, evoking that specific moment in time when EBM and post-industrial sounds were evolving into both dark electro and FLA’s trademark electro-industrial sound. We’ll keep on saying it, this project is one rivets will want to keep an eye on. 

Menthüll, “Dash Boy”
Another lush blast of coldwave makes its way to us from Quebec’s Menthüll. We’ve long since become a broken record when it comes to touting the duo’s strengths, but as always the way they’re able to adorn weighty and satisfying rhythm sections with just the sort of gauzy charm and atmosphere this style demands is impressive.

Devours & Kellarissa, “Change My Mind”
Lastly, with a late contender for the synthpop jam of the summer, Devours teams up with fellow Vancouver synth maven Kellarissa for this wistful one-off. Kellarissa’s new(ish) LP Voice Leading is a great jumping on point for anyone unfamiliar with her work.