The upcoming festival season is coming into clearer focus, with this year’s Cold Waves line-up having been announced a few days ago. Once again, it’s a roster which links classic North American industrial to plenty of contemporary acts and sounds, with some splashes of European flavour for good measure. We’ll be discussing the line-up in closer detail on this week’s episode of We Have A Technical, but for now let’s start the week off with six new tracks.
Zohra, “Look for Love”
Zohra is the new solo endeavour of Zohra Atash, whose work in apocalyptic darkwave project Azar Swan should be familiar to readers of this site. While we aren’t 100% sure what to expect from the forthcoming debut Murder in the Temple, the single “Look for Love” provides some intriguing clues. Firstly, Zohra’s distinctive delivery is paired with slamming electronic percussion and bass with little additional melodic content beyond some washes of feedback and processed noise, a minimal approach that centers the artist’s own personality as a pillar. Conversely the title track features a guest vocal from none other than Lydia Lunch, a contrasting presence and foil for Zohra’s writing and programming to take the spotlight.
genCAB, “Perish the Thought (2023)”
We’re on record as having enjoyed David Dutton’s return LP as genCAB immensely; after a hiatus of some years the project’s vision for melodic electro-industrial feels very much of the moment. The recent release of “Perish The Thought (2023)” acts as something of a retrospective on the project’s evolution – in taking on a remake of one of his older tracks more than a decade later, you can hear all the ways that Dutton’s vocals, production and design skills have evolved. Like many of our favourites (we’d compare genCAB favorably with Encephalon and Comaduster) it shows both an understanding of songcraft, as well as a deep complexity of production that informs rather than distracts from the tune’s strength.
Brixx, “Double Axe (Forces Remix)”
Aussie producer Brixx had a sleeper hit around ID:UD HQ in 2021 with her Conversion Therapy EP, showcasing a subtle and chilly approach to new beat and body music. Now remixed by the sorely missed Forced, some Cabs-esque flourishes have been added to the excellent “Double Axe”, though the core mood which made the original so evocative hasn’t been messed with.
Chrome Corps, “The Michael Zone”
It’s been a while since we heard new material from Chrome Corpse, so long in fact that they lost their terminating vowel along the way. Now officially rechristened Chrome Corps, their contribution to the 62-track diabetes charity comp Insulin Shocks finds them veering far deeper into acid and classic electro territory than they ever have in their explorations of EBM. A one-off of something indicative of a new style to match the name change? We’ll have to wait to find out.
NNHMN, “Lush Longing”
“Lush Longing” from the soon to be released LP Circle of Doom is the kind of track we’ve been waiting for from Berlin-based duo NNHMN. Like many acts that debuted during the electro-darkwave renaissance of the last five or so years, the band had atmosphere aplenty but was harder to pin down in terms of identity; the smokey texture of their tracks often obscuring their individuality. More recent cuts have priortized a clearer, more graspable sound that has tangible substance and edge via its detuned lead and throbbing rhythm track.
Trauma Phase, “Means”
We noted that the I EP released last December by Trauma Phase showed off a whole new side of the Polish producer’s work. Speedier, more polished, and much more shaped by turn of the millennium electro sounds, II picks up right where its predecessor left off, delivering tight, sparkling dancefloor stormers like this one which bring some scintillating cyber aesthetics into the mix.