Okay folks, last call: with only a couple of weeks of regular coverage before we enter the Year End grind of relistening to our favourite albums and debating their merits for our Top 25, this is the time to let us know if we missed something particularly notable in our coverage this year. While we make an effort to keep tabs on whatever interests us, there are still lots of records we never get to hearing and there’s very little more frustrating than realizing that we missed out on something a few months too late for best of the year honours. So do us a solid and drop any suggestions you may have in the comments and we’ll make an effort to give ’em a go before we kick things off the week of the 19th. On to Tracks!
Randolph & Mortimer feat. Avnoar, “Solta No Caos”
Regular readers will know how taken we’ve been with the wave of body music currently emanating from South America, and so a link between that scene and one of our favourite acts today, regardless of origin, is a lay-up for us. In addition to delivering some solid acid EBM with which to begin to wind the year down, news comes with this single that a brand-new Randolph & Mortimer LP will be greeting us in 2023.
Veil of Light, “Apricot Kiss”
Maybe our internal compass on this sort of thing is completely busted, but we a bit taken aback when cueing up the new single from Veil of Light, the first from the forthcoming Sundancing. When the band put out 2021’s Landslide (full disclosure: a record we just didn’t find engaging) the shift away from their meaner/louder sound was notable, but the sound of “Apricot Kiss” seems more synthpop infused, building up a wistful, if not still somewhat chilly bit of heartfelt pop we couldn’t have imagined from them say, five years back.
Sole Massif | Tineidae | Access to Arasaka, “Power Disruption”
We’ll admit to not being familiar with Sole Massif, the first element of this three-way collaboration, but given the standards we’ve come to expect from Tineidae and Access To Arasaka, there seemed no way the Engage EP could disappoint, and a track like this cinches the deal. Finely processed but incredibly grand glitch and ambiance which almost reinvents the powernoise wheel from first principles.
Pärnits x Bedless Bones, “Armastus on Seadus”
A stunning bit of affecting darkwave courtesy of one of our favourites, Estonia’s Bedless Bones, who has joined up with author and cultural critic Mikk Pärnits for the track “Armastus on Seadus” (that’s “Love is the Law” unless Google translate is mistaken). While we can’t speak to what Pärnits’ lyrics bring to the song, but we can say that there’s a lovely undercurrent of hyperpop a la Arca in the vocal and drum production we never would have expected but that brings a whole new angle to BB’s music, and a not at all unwelcome one. This wormed its way into our ears and has yet to leave this past week.
Los Angeles has been popping with our kinda music for as long as we’ve been doing this website, and that seems to show no signs of slowing down with the passage of time. Latest example: post-punk act Scimitar bring some rusty-sharp guitars, simple but effective drum programming and a whole lot of grit to their demo, with tracks like “Almas” making the case for them as a band to watch out for: you’ve got some classic darkwave in the mix, but shot through with a kind of rangy, yelping nervous energy that infuses it with desperation. There’s room for cats like these at the table, so set a place for ’em in 2023.
Kibble, “Warm Fireplace”
Lastly, as if contending with Whamaggedon and make our annual human sacrifices to ensure that Mariah will return to her slumber in the new year, we have another X-Mas novelty track from the mysterious Kibble, this one ensuring that you’ll have the right soundtrack for all of your disaffected Ballardian holiday sexcapades. What sick individual with far too much spare time and talent could possibly be behind this (and that 1000 Ho-Ho DJs atrocity from a couple of years back)?