We’ve been jaunting about for festivals a good deal this year between Verboden in our own backyard, Terminus and Purple City, but even as festival season begins to wind down with Cold Waves and Sanctum closing things out in Chicago over the next couple of months, we still have a couple of smaller shows happening closer to home which we’re looking forward to. On the Cold Waves tip, Front Line Assembly will be heading out on one of those satellite tours often spun out from the festival, and will be joined by Belgian legends A Split Second, who’ve been a bucket list band for both of us for years. In our own backyard, Ms. Boan is coming through on the heels of her striking turn with Boy Harsher.
We had the pleasure of checking out this new cut from the good wisconsin boys klack live at this year’s Terminus Festival, and it fits nicely with their ever so slightly evolving aesthetic. Where their style originated as sort of a straight homage to classic new beat/EBM, they’ve been slowly integrating some more synthpop melodies and even some crossover techno sounds of late, additions that only add to their immense charm. The EP for “Body2Body2Body” also comes with some hot remixes from none other than Portion Control (!!!) and Crystal Geometry, making it an easy pick up on your next Bandcamp shopping spree.
Kite, “Don’t take the light away (Randolph & Mortimer remix)”
Speaking of Terminus, we can’t help but notice that two of the remixers on the new EP from Kite shared the stage with the Swedish emotional synthpop giants on that festival’s 2022 lineup. Coincidence? Maybe, but still notable that local faves Randolph & Mortimer and Kontravoid got the opportunity to remix “Don’t Take the Light Away” and “Remember Me” respectively. Kite have been such a restrained act when it comes to remixes, only allowing a few here or there over the course of their career, so you know they vetted the contributors for this double A-side single real hard before turning over the keys to them. Hearing the results, we tend to think they made the right selections.
Mannequin Twin, “Threshold”
SLC’s Mannequin Twin have been around for a couple of years (albeit initially under a different moniker), but this bracing post-punk shot across the bow is our introduction to them. The real secret here is in the band maintaining the sort of frenetic drive stuff like this needs to keep from becoming trapped in the morass of its own atmosphere. Invigorating, dark, and big. Should appeal to those who got down with peak Night Sins.
Double Eyelid, “Better Than You Were”
We still have a couple weeks of summer left, but Toronto’s Double Eyelid have their hearts set on October with this sober and reflective bit of confessional goth rock. Double Eyelid have long been able to simmer their classic glam-goth influences down to the point that nothing in their moody delivery ever sounds beholden to the past, and instead gives the spotlight to Ian Revell’s pained vocals.
We legit had no idea that one of the dudes from noted Belgian metal act Amenra had a darkwave project, despite the duo putting out an LP on AVANT! a few years back. New album Toasts & Sentiments is due in November and from the first track we’re hearing Skemer are hitting that balance between modern electro-darkwave and the genre’s classic continental sound. Also, we’re quite into the growl that singer Kim Peers affects at some points on “Overgave”, a nice contrast to her icy posture on the verse.
Confines, “Oro Y Muerte (Kontravoid Remix)”
Brooklyn’s Confines impressed us with their smooth and considered take on modern darkwave and EBM when the project’s debut EP dropped a couple of years back, and we’re happy to have a reprise of that work in a new 4-track remix EP. Taking the stabbing bass which sits at the heart of “Oro Y Muerte” as a starting point, Cameron Findlay of Kontravoid weaves in the sort of classic electro breaks for which he’s known.