As we enter late winter here in Vancouver, aka the Rainy Season (/jk, every time of year is the rainy season) it kind of feels like the calm before the proverbial storm. With tons of upcoming shows we’ll be attending, the onset of festival announcements for the summer and fall, and the ramp up of the release calendar, it’s important to take a few moments and enjoy how chill things are before everything goes bananas. Then we get a week like this in Tracks and it all hits home, things are gonna get going sooner rather than later.
Cam Findlay aka Kontravoid is the endboss of modern electronic darkwave, and the announcement of the forthcoming LP Detachment via Artoffact already had us pretty amped. Then the video for “Reckoning” dropped last week and things got real wild. Even before you get to the visual aspect of the clip, the vocal distortion and processing, hard body music bass and rhythm programming has the song earmarked for club play, but when you add in the video… well, just click play below and take it in. Get ready y’all, this is gonna be a big one.
Shannon Hemmett of ACTORS’ LEATHERS project has been due for an LP for some time, and new single “Crash” has us further anticipating that eventual announcement. Having followed the project since its inception, its notable to us how much Hemmett’s songwriting and performance style has evolved – yes, LEATHERS invokes some of the neon eighties markers of synthwave, but eschews the style-over-substance approach that plagues so much of that genre via the application of solid hooks and melodies. Low-key one of the projects we’re most excited to hear new music from as 2024 rolls on.
Kanka Bodewell, “Believe”
Hey, did you folks know that Orange Sector’s streaming has blown up thanks to one of their tracks going viral on TikTok a la Molchat Doma? Us neither, and it’s a fool’s errand to try to make sense of this sort of thing in our opinion. In any case, the timing’s good as one half of the anhalt stalwarts, Martin Bodewell has teamed up with Uwe Kanka of Armageddon Dildos for a bouncy, synthpop-styled electro record. It’s not the first collaboration between the two groups, nor is it Bodewell’s first foray into poppier territory, but there’s nostalgic charm to an upbeat track like this.
Meta Meat, “Hue”
Hanging out firmly in the left field of Ant-Zen’s broad experimental purview, French duo Meta Meat offer up their first new cuts since 2021’s Infrasupra on the Voices EP. Pieces like this are a display of Meta Meat’s sharp sense for production and sound design, applying downtempo and technoid structures and methods to decidedly more acoustic and earthy timbres, resulting in a sound which is proximal to but still decidedly different from the always thorny “tribal industrial” tag.
Let’s make it an Ant-Zen two-fer! It’s been seven years since we had new music from Olivier Moreau, and even longer since there was non-collaborative material straight from one of the pioneers of power noise. The dropping of “Starvation” from Imminent’s moniker did mark a shift away from some of Moreau’s more aggressive and violent soundscapes, but the title track from forthcoming 7″ Mythrality has the frantic kinetic energy we associate with all of his work, regardless of titling, and the counterpoint between the skittering rhythm programming and the spacey arps on this number picks up right where Cask Strength left off.
Front Line Assembly feat. Bootblacks, “Force Carrier (remix)”
Okay, something is afoot here; a few months ago Front Line Assembly randomly released a remix of one of the instrumental tracks from 2012’s excellent Airmech, the soundtrack to the video game of the same name. That track featuring Ayria, was followed by another featuring labelmates Ultra Sunn, and now a remix of “Force Carrier” by Bootblacks, also of Artoffact. It’s a nice take on the sound of the original figuring in some guitar and modern darkwave texture, and makes us wonder: is some kind of 12th anniversary Airmech release in the works? We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.