Hope your new year and holidays were festive, safe, and relaxing, kids. As is our wont we used at least some of our downtime to catch our breaths and look a bit further afield at some lists, sites, and genres we don’t have much time for during the regular crush of ID:UD coverage for some off-topic listening over the holidays, but we’ve also been keeping track of material from our side of the fence that was released over the break or which initially slipped past us over the past couple months. In short, we’re well-rested and ready to bring you another year’s worth of darker alternatives, starting with the first Tracks post of 2024!

Curses looks to the sky for answers.

Curses presents Tutto Vetro, “No Mercy”
Recently on the podcast we brought up Curses as an example of one of the producers who took the potential of italo-body to places far beyond simple novelty, and damn if the Ombra International impressario didn’t put the button on that endorsement with the release of No Mercy last week. An EP of tracks that pays tribute to the Valencia sound of the 90s, the four cuts on the EP all have that sweet combination of techno-body and hot NRG sounds that hit us just so. First big instrumental banger of the year right here.

Varg I Veum, “The Dim Glass”
We were sad to see Italian goth rock act HAPAX pack it in last year, but a new project featuring vocalist Michele Mozzillo is carrying forward at least some of that project’s stern and sober approach. Varg I Veum cleaves in a much more explicitly darkwave direction than anything HAPAX attempted, though, with melodies and atmosphere taken directly from the most classic iterations of that genre. Getting some real Frozen Autumn feels on this bouncy number from the duo’s self-titled debut LP.

Lana Del Rabies, “Mother (MVTANT remix)”
Lana Del Rabies’ Straga Beata was our album of the year for 2023, if you haven’t heard or read our feelings on the matter you can still find our extensive write up on the first page of the site at the time of this posting. Naturally a remix album is an interesting endeavour when the subject is material this singular, but we’re pretty into the lineup assembled for Becoming Everything: Strega Beata Remixed; Tassel, Plack Blague, Bara Hari, Cruel Diagonals, Bestial Mouths and Hallows are all acts we follow and enjoy and who acquit themselves more than ably here. We’re especially into MVTANT’s body makeover of the harrowing “Mother”, fit for the club or the rave in the abandoned subway station.

Years of Denial, “Sensory Box”
South Korea’s Gwi Myeon Records comes into 2024 swinging with the absolutely stacked industial techno 鬼面 : VA 01 compilation. Check the line-up: Headless Horseman, IV Horsemen, Codex Empire, Alien Skanner, Mind Matter and numerous others, firing on all mechanical engine cylinders. Peep Years of Denial’s excellent “Sensory Box” and then just snag the whole thing.

Static Dancer, “In Moment”
This is something a little different than what we’ve come to expect from Pildoras Tapes, but it’s showing us that a) the Colombian label isn’t painting itself into a corner with distinctly grimy or lo-fi body music and b) the South American body music renaissance is approaching the sound from all angles. Perhaps taking a page from recent Bite and Fleisch releases, Colombian producer Static Dancer makes his debut with an EP of cuts like this which link an interest in roots EBM with current retro-rave sounds.

Termination_800, “Ritual Of Extermination”
After releases for Crave Tapes and Wie Ein Gott, Parisian producer debuts on X-IMG with the The Flesh Is Weak EP, featuring mixes by the likes of Max Durante and Iron Court. TBM’s crossover moment in the UV spotlight might be over, but there’s still plenty of charm and aggression in pieces like this which show off Termination_800’s talents for pinched and metallic production.