Oh boy friends, was this past weekend’s Verboden Festival something. Our duties as emcees/hosts had us running around a bit more than we normally would be at a fest where we could just lay back and enjoy the scene, but we were able to take in a whole bunch of wonderful performances and record a fantastic interview, which we’ll be respectively discussing and sharing in upcoming episodes of the podcast. The rest of the world didn’t stop just to accommodate us here in Vancouver, though, so let’s get you caught up (albeit a day late so as to give us a moment’s respite during the fest) with this week’s tracks.

Photocopy flyer aesthetics with LA’s Scimitar

Scimitar, “Desire”
We keep a pretty close eye on LA, if for no other reason than so much of what has excited us over the last decade has hailed from the city. That means that when something we hadn’t heard any rumblings about like Scimitar pops up, we’re extra keen to give it a listen, as was the case with recent single “Desire”. Classic atonal darkwave guitar and bass mixed with some driving electronic percussion and big reverbed vocals is a mix we can get behind, and is working a musical angle not many acts are doing currently. One to keep an eye on for certain.

KRSSV, “Descenso”
If there’s a better release title thus far this year than Disco Bandido, we’ve yet to hear it. Coming to us from the always reliable Pildoras Tapes label, Argentinian act KRSSV are keeping their approach to EBM full-bodied yet grimy. This number starts off like any number of German or Belgian classics you’d care to name, but soon adds some lighter and icier flair.

New Flesh looks to be another solid comp from the still fairly young but robustly represented Murder imprint from Georgia. It features a number of acts we’re less familiar with than some who’ve shown up on their previous comps, but between a Cyan ID number and this strikingly burly and wheezing number from the always great Notausgang, we’ll be digging into the closer corners of this one.

Executioner’s Mask, “Last Call (MVTANT remix)”
Texas slime-green body act MVTANT meet with the grim post-punk of Executioner’s Mask on the new volume of remixes for the former act’s 2022 LP Winterlong. It’s not a combo that seems like it’d work as well as it does, but there’s something in the incongruity of the deep, dark original vocal and the oozing, throbbing-neon threat of the new instrumental that gives it a nice sheen of biopunk weirdness we’re into.

Trauma Phase, “Sharpness”
Clearly the EP format’s been suiting Polish body music producer Trauma Phase well, with the third in their series of chronologically titled EPs now being released within just six months. After the speedy, futurepop-inflected style of its precedents, III looks to be tossing Trauma Phase’s hat into the italo EBM ring with shimmering lopers like this one.

Missing Witness, “Night”
Seattle’s Missing Witness return with a new single, showcasing a distinct sound for the project. Previously their material has been a soupy mix of harsh-toned synths and foggy vocals, emphasizing grit and atmosphere. New cut “Night” still has some of those hallmarks but feels somewhat cleaner, with nice tight sequences and deep-voiced vocals, crossing over nicely into modern electro-darkwave territory, with club and dj potential. Always a pleasure for to hear something new from these PNW cats.