Back after a Canadian long weekend, we’re starting off a four-day week of coverage with six new tracks. If you’ve noticed the episode number on recent episodes of We Have A Technical ticking closer to 500, well, so have we. What might be happening on that arbitrary landmark? We have a couple of irons in the fire but want to keep our cards close to the chest, to absolutely mix some metaphors. In any event, thanks for being on board for as much or as little of that journey as you have been, folks.

Hot with the kids right now: Orange Sector?

Orange Sector, “Farben (DSTRTD SGNL TAK TIK Mix)”
Of all the acts to get a sudden boost of popularity by going viral on Tik Tok, who would have guessed long-running German EBM traditionalists Orange Sector? And yet here we are, as their track “Farben” has blown up on the youth-oriented platform, with their Spotify streams going through the roof. That said, the version used in the popular Tik Tok vid that kicked off the craze was slowed, and so taking a book from A Split Second’s playbook (you know, the one that birthed New Beat), here’s an official single release of a version of “Farben” to capitalize on the craze. We’re too old to even pretend to understand how this stuff works, but if it gets folks checking out an act like Orange Sector and maybe some related artists, we can’t complain.

MeLLLo, “You AnD Me”
Marsheaux still seems to effectively be on hiatus, but that hasn’t stopped Marianthi Melitsi, one half of our favourite Greek synthpop duo, from keeping her hand in. The latest track from her solo Melllo project brings all of the heavy-duty, expansive production as well as ear for intoxicating synth hooks which first drew us into Marsheux’s orbit fifteen years ago. Does it bear a striking resemblance to both Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever” and Marsheaux’s take on “Eyes Without A Face”? Absolutely, but that’s in no way a knock.

KYMAVR, “Scorched”
For those missing the glory days of seriously dense, mind-fucking electro-industial, the new EP from Martin Sax’s solo KYMAVR project has you covered. A far cry from the foggy intrigue Sax brings to his work as half of V▲LH▲LL, pieces from Sleep like this thrash through thickets of claustrophobic programming and distorted beats with gnarled aggression and malice. Seriously mean, uncompromising, and satisfying stuff.

Male Tears, “Sex on Drugs”
Our favourite Los Angeles electronic darkwavers Male Tears come through with some big italo by way of the Pet Shop Boys vibes on new single “Sex on Drugs”. That kind of pop omnivorism shouldn’t be a surprise to those folks who have been tracking the duo; exploring sounds that originate within and without the scene, and is a huge ingredient in their unique recipe for club music. We loved the last LP, and the singles since its release certainly suggest we’ll be into whatever the next big release turns out to be.

Assassun, “Hell Here”
The line between Alexander Leonard Donat’s main body of work as Vlimmer and his Assassun side project is often blurred, but a quick pass at Post-Climax, the new LP from the latter, brings it into clearer focus. While Vlimmer’s austere take on post-punk and darkwave is often abrasively sharp and stoic, the fuzz and distortion around the synths and drum machines which make up numbers like this one recall both the roots of synthpunk and the long history of folks from well beyond the usual scope of “dark” synth taking up that mantle over the past couple of decades. Shout out Michelle Pfeiffer!

B. West, “Ex-Fantasy”
You may know Brittany West from numerous projects we’ve covered over the years, including Lié, Koban and Sigsaly. New solo material under the B. West moniker is distinct from anything we’ve heard previously from the Vancouver ex-pat; drawing on the punk, darkwave and techno sounds we’ve heard from them previously, “Ex-Fantasy” lands in synthpunk territory, working some hard-edged melodies to an unrelenting drum beat and some manic synthwork. Very keen to hear the debut LP, due in March.