Well met friends, another week and another Tracks post to get started with. Looking at the selections for this, the week of April 17th, we’re struck by the way these posts have changed over the years as a reflection of our tastes and outlook. Yeah, it’s pretty natural that if you do something for a dozen years give or take there’s gonna be some evolution, but when we first wrote the Tracks post way back in 2011 the idea that we’d be doing it 12 years laster, and that there would be such a massive breadth of music relevant to our interests from artists established and just emerging, well, it would have been heartening to say the least. One of the great rewards of this site is having the excuse to dig into new music every week, and serve it up piping hot. As with the below!
Visceral Anatomy, “World Stopped”
It’s been more than three years since the debut release of Chicago’s Visceral Anatomy, but as Hannah Avalon and Vincent Segretario also have a day gig as Wingtips, it’s perhaps not surprising that it’s taken the duo a while to return to their more decisively electronic side project. One way or the other, the project’s take on mutant EBM sounds makes a welcome return with tracks like this one which have plenty of bubbly, lo-fi charm but don’t skimp on actual hooks and composition.
Ellen Allien x Ash Code, “Dance and Kill”
Ellan Allien did an EP with Ash Code. Does that seem unexpected to anyone else? Maybe not, as the techno maven Allien has intersected with our thing a few times over the years (we’re fond of her take on Covenant’s “Bullet” as an aside), so it’s not unheard of for her to dip into the dark side for a track or two. Teaming with Ash Code would seem to produce some interesting results, as evidenced by the title track from the EP; “Dance and Kill” has some of AC’s post-punky darkwave, but is fully immersed in Allien’s propulsive techno production, a sleek hybridization that slides between both worlds effortlessly.
The Mystic Underground, “The Lonely Ones”
Here’s something fun from New York based synthpop act The Mystic Underground; new single “The Lonely Ones” forgoes the unbiquitous 80s markers in favour of early nineties house piano and FM bells. It’s reminiscent of some of our recent faves from acts like Null Device, zeroing in on the melodic heart of the track and then building it out with considered arrangement choices and instrumentation, a standout tactic when so many modern synthpop acts are chasing vintage sounds at the expense of songcraft. Single available now with a quite nice remix from Beborn Beton if that’s your thing (it’s ours).
We’ve enjoyed Yannick Franck’s work as one half of Figure Section over the past few years, and now courtesy of Antibody (who’ve recently released solid work from Autumns and members of Die Selektion) we have this nice and nasty bit of work from his solo RAUM project. Conjuring the cool menace of early Klinik and Die Form, this track gives +3 to hit and damage, snicker-snack.
Dague de Marbre, “The Truth that Binds You”
We featured another track from the forthcoming record from Chrome Corps frontman Antoine Kerbérénès a few weeks ago, and this second track gives us more of what we enjoyed about “Each Ring that Devours Us” – a thoughtful and composed approach to the genres we associate with the broader Vertex-affiliated crew, but without giving up on the intensity and melodies we also expect. We talk a lot about the emotive side of vintage dark electro, and Kerbérénès is putting that to good use here.
Ortrotasce, “Mock Stranger”
We were first drawn to mysterious US based EBM act Ortrotasce via their Belgium circa ’87 vibes on singles “Y?” and “Lockout”, which spoke to both the body music grandmasters and the new beat movement. Those tracks along with a few more have been compiled onto the War EP, which expands our understanding of the project somewhat. Check the lead track “Mock Stranger”, which layers on some big saxophone licks and some stern-voiced vocals both sung and shouted for impact. This is pretty much catnip to us, so expect to hear more about this act in these parts going forward.