It was a bit of a bittersweet weekend around these parts, with the pair of hometown farewell shows for Skinny Puppy absolutely delivering, and then the news of the passing of Killing Joke’s Geordie White coming just yesterday. To be sure, we’ll be talking about both events on this week’s podcast. If nothing else, both are reminders that no one, least of all some of our industrial heroes, are getting any younger. Let’s take a look at some new tunes by newer acts.
Ortrotrasce, “Image Farewell”
Floridian industrial and EBM producer Ortrotasce has been impressing us with a string of releases that show a lot of variety in terms of ideas and execution. The latest is “Image Farewell”, a surprisingly mellow and almost cabaret-styled piano led number that explores territory the project hasn’t yet touched on. Of course you’re still getting some rock solid drum and synth programming, which puts it into some fairly unique musical territory. Maybe it’s just us, but it’s kind of recalling Fad Gadget a little?
Caress, “Night Call”
There’s a pleasant, almost laconic ease to the way in which LA’s Caress approach the melodic sides of darkwave and synthpop. Pieces like this, the title track from Caress’ new record on Negative Gain Productions, roll by with some of the characteristic component sounds of current club-focused darkwave, but with a real sense of dreaminess which hearkens back to the genre’s much more atmospheric and less beat-focused roots. Look for a full review on this site later.
Spike Hellis, “Stitches (Sterile version feat. Robert Lane)”
Hell yeah – we’ve been feeling the Spike Hellis remixes that have been popping up for the last half year or so, and now they’re compiled into a single release, Altitude Sickness, which features a few heretofore unheard cuts of note. Case in point: this baller-ass, in and out synthpunked up version of “Stitches” featuring none other than Robert Lane, of the now infamous cult US industrial act //TENSE//. It’s a pairing that only makes sense and we’d love to hear more of should the opportunity arise.
Caustic, “Hold That Tiger”
You’d likely be able to find the odd whiff of dub here and there in the corners of Matt Fanale’s Caustic records if you cared to look, but for the appropriately titled Buggy EP he’s going right down that line of work. The acknowledged debt to the likes of Techno Animal, Scorn, and site-face Gorgonn is immediately apparent in pieces like this (which isn’t, as far as we can tell, an interpretation of “Tiger Rag” – we’ll have to wait for Fanale’s loving tribute to Dixieland jazz coming in the new year).
HORSKH, “Turbine On”
It’s been a few years since we checked in with France’s HORSKH, but they’ve kept chugging along with one full album and a number of singles being released since 2017’s Gate. Speaking of chugging, the latest single from the forthcoming Body album, due in July, finds them using their razor-sharp production style to draw lines between bass-heavy clubdustrial and classic industrial rock.
Menthüll, “For the Last Time”
We’re sweet on Quebecois synthpop act Menthüll, basically ever since we first heard them. Following them closely has been something of a journey as they’ve gone from sweet and soulful tracks that recall the genre’s classic era to the more darkwave direction that recent numbers have touched on. Witness “For the Last Time”, a cut that is less about bright hooks and more about some tense and insistent drum programming and ghostly voices that swirl through the mix.