Folks, we’re gonna level with you. The chances that you will NOT be hearing about our 12th Anniversary (aka the Midnight Anniversary) t-shirts in this space until pre-orders are over are basically nil. As good Canadian boys, we are naturally inclined to be retiring when it comes to self-promotion. The truth of it is that we’ve set the margins on these things real thin, in the hopes that it’ll offset the exorbitant costs of shipping – European friends, we hear you and we’re sorry but there’s not a lot we can do about it – thus we’re hoping to sell enough to be able to do more of these projects in future and have some extras for giveaways. That’s of course not us trying to guilt-trip you into buying a shirt, moreso just to reassure you that this isn’t a money-making endeavour for us, and we’re just looking to break even, hence the continual reminders for a few weeks. Overexplained? Great! On to the new music.

Blu Anxxiety

Gettin’ sweaty with Blu Anxxiety.

Hallowed Hearts, “Open Your Eyes”
This one almost slipped past us, but we’re glad it didn’t. We’ve been on board with Alex Virlios and Andrew Sega’s Hallowed Hearts project pretty much since inception, the two veterans coming together to do solid song-driven goth rock numbers with lots of hooks baked in. New single “Open Your Eyes” is certainly a good example thereof, and we aren’t gonna complain about the fine guitar licks and expert programming that set it up proper. Another good one from an act we rather enjoy.

Scimitar, “Flame War”
Los Angeles has been the nexus of the North American dark alternative revival of the last 12 or so years for a lot of reasons, both geographic and cultural. That means that we’re never surprised when a new band from the city comes to our attention, we’ve come to expect good things from LA. Scimitar have been one of our recent faves in that tradition; while they have yet to release a full album, the darkwave duo have been putting out a series of opaque singles primed for jet black club dancefloors, keeping some of the punky energy going between the minimal programming and strong vocals. Need a taster? “Flame War” should clue you in real quick.

Matriarchy Roots, “Greatest Escape”
Dimitris Doukas keeps himself fairly occupied with a near-constant stream of Restive Plagonna releases (watch this space for discussion of that project soon enough), but he’s about to release the fourth release (and first LP) by his Matriarchy Roots project, whose preceding release was a big hit around ID:UD HQ. It’s a bit tough to tell from this overture whether The Merge will feature as much uncompromising power electronics in Doukas’ latest exploration of feminist themes, but his increasingly sharp and polished production looks to be on point here.

Blu Anxxiety, “Buried Alive”
Blu Anxxiety are a fairly unique quantity in the current dark alt landscape; their sound bridges deathrock, industrial rock, has snatches of hip hop and other genres woven in and generally seems like the sort of thing that could only come from New York. New single “Buried Alive” (taken from the Haunted Music for Haunted People comp) captures their Alien-Sex-Fiend-via-the-streets vibe to a tee, halfway between a full-bore drum machine rockout and a spooky darkwave disco cut, its a welcome reminder of Blu Anxxiety’s charming discomfit.

Crush Of Souls, “The Gift”
A darkwave record from one of the guys from Crocodiles (yes, that Crocodiles) isn’t anything we had on our 2023 bingo card, but we’re willing to entertain it. Charles Rowell’s working with throwback influences in the genre rather than chasing current club success, though, opting for DX7 bells and a mood that’s half With Sympathy, half Book Of Love.

Hex Wolves, “Woken Queen Redux (Nootropic Night Vision Remix)”
DTH X CMP Audio’s Hex Wolves teaming up with longstanding IDM label Component Recordings makes a whole lot of sense, and this humidly atmospheric maxi suits both entities’ aesthetics well. Seattle cyberpunk Nootropic’s rumbling take on the source track adds some bounce, sure, but also zeroes in on the mood nicely, conjuring a rickety streetcar ride through the backstreets of whatever rainslicked metropolis you might care to imagine.