As we talked about on last week’s podcast, we’re very glad that the ecosystem of festivals which have their own unique aesthetic seems to be returning in force. Mechanismus has announced a handful of other acts since we discussed the Seattle fest last week, and now we’re just getting the news that cult EBM festival Familientreffen is returning for the first time since 2019. Headlined (thus far) by Spark! and Sturm Cafe, it looks to be picking up exactly where it left off, showcasing the best in European EBM. Will the Senior Staff ever make it to Germany for that ultimate bucketlist fest? Who’s to say? On with this week’s Tracks!

Huh, this photo of Beborn Beton was taken by Chris Ruiz of all people.

Beborn Beton, “Dancer in the Dark”
If the only thing you know about Beborn Beton is “Another World”, you should really make a point of checking out the whole catalogue. The now venerable German synthpop band have hits, and while their output has slowed in the last couple decades, they still know their way around a tune. Need evidence? Have a listen to smooth, upbeat “Dancer in the Dark”, the first taste of their soon to be released LP Darkness Falls Again; nice clean programming, a hummable melody and even some tasteful touches of guitar. Also y’all should peep the video, because Beborn Beton bowling is not an alliteration we ever expected to type, and yet here we are.

Zanias, “Simulation”
A wonderful slice of electropop from Zanias (aka Alison Lewis), whose consistency as a solo artist and in partnerships and label work with Fleisch has made her one of the most influential in Our Thing over the last decade. We’re definitely feeling the digital electropop angle being worked here, a distinct contrast to the more organic sounds explored on the last LP. We’re gonna get the chance to hear this live when Zanias plays live at Verboden in a few months time, and to say we’re excited would be a massive understatement.

Liebknecht, “Voula”
Weren’t we just talking on the podcast last week about digging into the minutiae of the styles and influences running through Daniel Myer’s broad and wide discography? Why, yes we were, and no sooner do we say that than an object lesson in that practice comes along in the form of a forthcoming Liebknecht LP featuring Myer and Rinaldo Bite’s latest forays into state of the art body music and techno. And we’re damned if this one tune from Fabrikate doesn’t manage to touch upon electro, EBM, IDM, and modern techno all at once.

Saigon Blue Rain, “Dolls Dresses”
Paris duo Saigon Blue Rain showed a knack for weaving some decidedly bright and poppy streaks into their take on continental darkwave and minimal wave on 2019’s Pink Obsession, and they look to be maintaining that talent on the previews for the forthcoming Oko LP. While a couple of tracks show off grand and lush post-punk basswork, this psychedelic confection finds a spot smack between Kirlian Camera and The Glove which we didn’t know existed.

Semantix, “Recoil (Balvanera Remix)”
We’ve had our eye on the second tape from Texas’ Semantix for a while. The fine folks at DKA have their ear to the ground when it comes to fresh body music on both sides of the continent, and Violent Protocol doesn’t disappoint: it has squelching rhythmic programming dialed in to air-tight levels. In particular, this remix coming courtesy of fellow DKA act Balvanara delivers instantaneous EBM club fire, with a classic bassline and plenty of modulation.

Maelstrom & Lousiahhh, “I Am Not a Casualty”
One of our most anticipated records of 2023 is Maelstrom and Louisahhh’s Sustained Resistance, and a listen to the third pre-release cut should make it clear why. We obviously loved Louisahhh’s 2021 effort The Practice of Freedom a whole lot (naming it one of our Top 5 releases of the year) but the angle being taken with this material is different if no less intense. Check the breakbeats that cut through the deep, filtered bass at the track’s outset (recalling C-Tec’s “Foetal” maybe?), setting the stage for the song’s intensity and controlled force. This record can’t come soon enough.