As of this writing, a thread about futurepop deep cuts we started a few days back is still going strong, with all manner of people jumping in to advocate for everyone from NamNamBulu to NCC. If you haven’t yet, take a gander at some of the picks to wander down nostalgia line or find some hitherto unknown treasures, then head back here to get caught up with what’s happening in the moment with this week’s Tracks.

Agent Side Grinder

Agent Side Grinder painting the town black.

Agent Side Grinder, “Waiting Room”
Agent Side Grinder’s ability to adjust to a seismic line-up change and deliver one of 2019’s best records was an impressive feat, and it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see how they’ll follow A/X up. “Waiting Room” feels a bit like a throwback to the band’s earlier and rougher days, with its speedy minimal wave programming, a hooky as all hell chorus, and Burroughs samples.

Unity One, “Today ( remix)”
Absolutely stonking remix ahoy, as the long absent but never unwelcome decloak and deliver a very characteristic take for Unity One. We fully admit that we hadn’t heard the original (released on Unity One’s 2018 LP Awakening) but you don’t get much more m.i.a.b. than this; big drums, an appropriately uplifting build and Stefan Poiss adding some vocals at the climax for maximum inspirational montage vibes. Word on the street (okay fine, Facebook) is there will be some new material from soonish, which to be honest is a pretty good reason to be excited for 2023.

NNHMN, “Unreal”
Here’s another missive from Berlin’s NNHMN aimed straight at contemporary darkwave dancefloors. The duo maintain their keen sense for what’s au courant, but the sawtooth programming and a bit of je ne sais quois from French electro on this cut also give it some delightful throwback thrills.

Klack, “Beat Unity (Beats mix)”
Wisconsin’s great new beat hope Klack return with new single “Beat Unity”, a release that highlights a few of Matt Fanale (Caustic) and Eric Oehler(Null Device)’s influences beyond the Belgian school. Across the single’s six mixed, all executed by Oehler, you get a taste of the 90’s electronica, big beat and NRG sounds that have informed the duo’s work. Not only that you get two very interesting new takes; one a solo vocal and harmonium version of the track and a full on Senor Coconut-styled electro-latin mix. Never a dull time with these fellas.

XLV, “Tethers”
Andrew Dobbels’ XLV project has endeared itself to us over the past few years with its rhythmic, minimalist noise which isn’t especially beholden to the common deliveries of those sounds. This taster from forthcoming LP Spinal Landscape does a quick and bracing job of communicating the project’s ethos to anyone unfamiliar.

Hidden Lines, “HEAT”
So far as we can recall, this is our first encounter with Stockholm based duo Hidden Lines, who come out of the gate strong on what appears to be their debut release HEAT. Drawing inspiration from numerous eighties wave schools, the title track (which is accompanied by a remix of “Strahlst in Gedanken” by Majestoluxe) eschews a lot of the current electro-darkwave markers in favour of a beat-driven but still distinctly minimal synth-styled approach. A solid shot across the bow, these folks are now on our keep-tabs list.