Ah, the first Tracks post after a Bandcamp Friday, always an easy an entertaining round up to do. To be quite honest it’s been a long time since we had any difficulty filling out one of these posts; if anything the challenge has become deciding what to include, a quandary for which we have no rubric or logical process to adhere to. More than anything it’s a matter of just going with our guts and whatever strikes our fancy in the moment, maybe not the most scientific or optimized method of doing things, but one that keep it interesting. Yes, process writing is what you do when you can’t think of what else to write, might as well get down to business.
Seeming, “Where Were You parts 1 & 2”
I Die: You Die favourite Seeming comes through with the 2022 anthem at the 11th hour with “Where Were You” a fast moving slice of distinctive post-gothic, post-darkwave, post-everything in Alex Reed’s own inimitable style, one that defies explanation but feels utterly immediate and as real as anything. We advise sitting and listening to this one closely, we’ve gone through it a solid dozen times or so in the last couple days and every time some new line leaps out and cuts right through us. The reigning champion of detailing the collapse of our civilization in a way that makes you feel like maybe things might be okay even if we aren’t going to make it through this. Where were you in ’22 when the curtain finally, finally, finally fell?
Total Chroma, “Northern Lights”
We were big fans of Vancouver act Total Chroma’s LP Body Relics from the other year, a tasty slice of mutant EBM and synthpunk that had snatches of Cascadian wilderness woven into its shifting soundscapes. Robert Katerwol (also of Wire Spine and Weird Candle) is leaning further into that electronic evocation of natural power on new single “Northern Lights”, drawn from the forthcoming L A PLAND, a spacey bit of electro that explores the desolate pastoral wilderness of Katerwol’s Sami heritage. Forest Body Music is a thing now, go with it.
German darkwave/post-punk act released a storming and claustrophobic LP last year, and look to be following that up with something slightly more spacious in the form of Menschenleere. There’s still plenty of the chilly, windswept atmosphere which first got us into the project on tunes like this, but there’s a clear tilt towards more dancefloor friendly sounds, which might fit nicely between Henric de la Cour and Karger Traum in a tasteful DJ set.
Sturm Café, “Der Löwe ist Zurück (390th Anniversary Edit)”
Bandcamp Friday brought up a new EP of goodies and remasters from the lads in Sturm Café (with physical copies tacking on their previous two EPs, no less!); exactly the sort of odds and sods check-in we like to have every once in a while. This new rework of a track from their now-classic Europa! LP brings the italo disco elements which were likely always latent in the track’s background right to the fore.
Blac Kolor, “Haka”
While we most closely associate Hendrick Grothe’s Blac Kolor productions with Basic Unit and aufnahme + wiedergabe, he’s dropping a second 12″ with Ant-Zen this Friday. Roots is themed around indigenous struggles and cultures around the globe, and the lead track packs just the sort of pinchy TBM punch Grothe has been expertly doling out for years.
Archon of the Fairlight, “Wax & Wane (Cocteau Twins cover)”
God damn, but if this wasn’t a pleasant surprise; Georgia industrial act Archon of the Fairlight (who has been quietly releasing some pretty impressive electro-industrial this year) comes through with a cover of the Cocteau’s goth anthem “Wax & Wane”. How does the track translate to the project’s gritty stye? Quite well we thing, the anxious rhythms of the original translated into a sublimated fury that recasts the track in its entirety. Nice capper for the year if we don’t get any more from AotF, and something to hold us down ’til the next release.