This past Friday wasn’t Bandcamp Friday, but it might as well have been with the slew of new singles and LP releases which happened on the 7th. Your friendly neighbourhood ID:UD Senior Staff are going to have their hands full keeping up with regular weekly reviews of important new releases, and possibly triaging some stuff to Observer and Tracks. Gluts like this put the pressure on us, but are always preferable to the alternative.

Lana Del Rabies

Lana Del Rabies: Une saison en enfer.

Lana Del Rabies, “Queen Of The Black Muses”
Regular readers need no introduction to Lana Del Rabies, but in case you’ve never checked out the artist behind our favourite record of last year, this new standalone track doesn’t sit that far away from the sounds and themes of Straga Beata, with Sam An upon the myth of Persephone while chaining pure industrial drone and grind to a processional, sober lope. It’s the sort of simultaneously hypnotic and incredibly confrontational stuff which has made the project one of the most important in dark electronics today.

V▲LH▲LL, “Little Noises”
What’s more summery than the ghostly, wind-swept sounds of our phantom vikings V▲LH▲LL? As much as we kid them, its a real pleasure to have new material from the group, whose sound has moved far afield from their post-witch house origins over the years, making a cut like “Little Noises” all the more notable: a return to the aesthetics and sounds of their earliest sounds with a high definition upgrade, it’s the sort of foggy, forest ritual cut that drew us to them in the first place, albeit with a pretty wild back-half change-up we weren’t expecting.

Executioner’s Mask, “Losing A Fixed Game”
We got on board with the profoundly depressed and depressing (yet subtly arch) Executioner’s Mask with 2020’s Despair Anthems, and since then their ever-shifting blend of noise rock, goth, psych, and post-punk has never disappointed. The first taste of forthcoming EP …Almost There keeps that streak going, its guitars building towards a frantic and almost transcendent climax even as its recounting of a “double whisky evening” keeps things grounded in the parts of ourselves we can’t escape. Strong stuff.

Scimitar, “En La Oscuridad”
Los Angeles darkwavers Scimitar are an act we’ve been tracking for a couple of years via their occasional single releases. Their growth during that period has been notable, with the promise of their earliest material developing into maximal, club-ready cuts like “En La Oscuridad” with its big drums and wiry bass programming. Club-ready, this is a good spot to get into the duo if you aren’t already following them.

Tassel, “V. Crawling”
Arizona’s Tassel returns with “V. Crawling”, the single for which also includes remixes by Lana Del Rabies and Black Light Smoke. If you’re unfamiliar with the project, the song should serve as a good introduction; like much of their material it finds a nervy, unexpected middle ground between modern electronic darkwave and theatrical deathrock, complete with a fat bassline, and raunchy screeching guitar noise. Word is we may get an LP from them in the nearish future, we’ll certainly be checking for it.

Rhys Fulber, “European Skies”
Modern Rhys Fulber records have an aesthetic clearly different from the legendary producer’s other eras and collaborations, taking modern TBM into some of its more abstract dimensions (that brutalism continues to be a visual point of reference can’t be overstated). But this track on new LP Balance Of Fear shows how much flexibility Fulber has been showcasing within that aesthetic, working some of the cinematic ambience we’ve had from FLA’s game soundtracks as well as Fulber’s other projects in between the punishing beats.