The most interesting thing about the explosion of italo-body (that’s the fusion of italo disco and ebm if you haven’t been keeping tabs) for the last few years has been the rapid way that the sound has branched out into other electronic styles, frequently those that were shaped directly by those genres in the late eighties and early nineties. Swiss act Psycho Weazel’s double A-Side single Mains D’Argent embodies that via both its two originals, and their accompanying remixes. If you listen to the title track (on which the duo are ably assisted by genre impressario Curses), you can hear the echoes of italo’s moodier vibe and how it became integrated into synthpop and freestyle, while the remix by Martin & Guy draws the line from those genres into 12″ fuelled dance club culture in the style of Razormaid. Meanwhile, Local Suicide collab “Matra Murena” recalls the ways that retro sounds were rebranded as electroclash in the early 2000s, its dispassionate male and female vocals, big kicks and gated snares settting up some sneaky references to the early stirrings of trance via a big choral melody that contrasts the otherwise sterile mix. No surprise then that the Motor Solo mix and Rafael Cerato mixes follow that trail of breadcrumbs, tossing off builds and breakdowns for maximum DJ mix appeal.
Tati au Miel
A free-roving producer who moves across noise, field recordings, and pure experimentalism for its own sake, one can never anticipate what the sound of a new record by Montreal’s Tati au Miel will be, but a certain emotionally uncanny pull is almost guaranteed. That’s certainly the case with the new Carousel EP, which gets under the skin with chilly ease in less than fifteen minutes. Opener “La Berceuse” is made up of mild chimes, strings, and dreamily cooed vocals, and while those seem quite different from the circuit bending trippiness which makes up follow-up track “Stuck In A Reverie”, both disarm and unsettle. Based on au Miel’s previous work one is almost waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of some squalling noise wipeout which never arrives. The reedy, hushed breaks and Satie-like piano through which the vocals wind on closing track (and focal point) “My Heart” finish the Carousel ride with a flurry of emotion, though it never rises above a whisper.