Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Afternoon Clouds

I definitely don't hate taking a Friday off from work to just sit around the house to do a lot of nothing. Not even dreariness can spoil a day like today. So before a mid-afternoon nap takes place, and to go along with the cloudiness of the day, I figure now would be a good time to share some new music worthy of obsessing over. Going by these 5 songs, I'd say it's getting a bit more difficult to hide my goth side.

Youth Code, "Carried Mask"
A very recent discovery, this LA duo is about to release their self-titled debut in September on Dais Records and based on their demo cassette and the "Keep Falling Apart" 7", Youth Code looks to bring EBM and harsh electro-industrial out of the goth clubs. "Carried Mask" is the first taste of their forthcoming full-length and it combines the stompy rhythms of Nitzer Ebb with the acid-soaked vocals of Twitch-era Ministry, and finishes it off with a touch of techno flare. With prolific new albums from Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, and Front Line Assembly, Youth Code's timing couldn't be any better.

Chelsea Wolfe, "The Warden"
I'm a new convert to Chelsea Wolfe's music. One listen to "The Warden," the first offering from her forthcoming album, Pain Is Beauty and it becomes apparent why I've fallen for her. It's a ghostly electro-pop number that sounds like a more dancefloor-ready Zola Jesus.

Burma Camp, "Skin Depth"
A new project of Nicholas Wood, of London goth/shoegaze outfit, The KVB, Burma Camp explores the dark industrial textures that The KVB's music only hinted at. "Skin Depth" is a haunting dirge full of thunderous and foreboding rhythms. It's 6 minutes of tension that continues to build before reaching an unsettling end without ever coming to a full release.

TV Ghost, "Elevator
Indiana's TV Ghost is a band I feel I should love. Their 2011 album, Mass Dream was a slab of moody psych fuzz that should have won me over instantly, yet there was something that kept me at a distance from fully falling for them. But on "Elevator," the first taste off their soon-to-be-released, Disconnect, it seems that everything has come together a bit more cohesively, at least when it comes to my own personal leanings towards dark post-punk. Also, sounding like a close relative of Echo & The Bunnymen's "Pictures On My Wall" helps things go down a bit easier.

Girls Against Boys, "60 Is Greater Than 15"
And last but certainly not least, a new one from Girls Against Boys, a band I've loved since hearing "Super-Fire" for the first time, off their awesome 1996 album, House of GvsB. I won't lie, the fact that they were known for rocking two bassists (!!!) was an attractive feature. But there's no denying how dark and sexy their music was. With a brief flirtation with life on a major-label already behind them, these New York by way of Washington, D.C. post-hardcore vets are set to release their comeback EP, The Ghost Life. "60 Is Greater Than 15" is exactly what we'd want and expect from GvsB. More is obviously needed.

So there it is. Some cool and dark new music worthy of cranking up the volume as far as it goes. Listen loud and become immersed.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Coldwave - The Opposite Of Heatwave

Sometimes thinking cool thoughts helps when battling the unbearable heat. And that’s the place where this mixtape comes from. A little bit of Coldwave to fight the heatwave. A friend had posted something similar to that statement on his Facebook page and it was soon followed by people posting French Coldwave songs. Don’t get me wrong, I dig French Coldwave; and I even dig the rebirth of Coldwave from indie electro acts like Soft Metals and Black Marble. But when I hear that word I go back to the 90’s industrial version of Coldwave – the guitar-driven, industrial dance music that was pretty much my introduction to the whole genre. This mixtape skips over the big names like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and KMFDM and instead shines a dark light on other favorites of mine like Chemlab, Birmingham 6, Razed In Black, and others. So throw on some camo shorts and Doc Martens and begin to stomp around.


Coldwave – The Opposite of Heatwave
1. Razed In Black, “Cyberium (On Speed)”
2. Deathline Int’l, “Tainted Love”
3. Sister Machine Gun, “Not My God”
4. Steril, “No Remission”
5. Hate Dept., “New Power”
6. Schnitt Acht, “Rage”
7. Chemlab, “Exile On Mainline”
8. Penal Colony, “Reconciled”
9. Birmingham 6, “Contagious”
10. 16Volt, “The Dreams That Rot In Your Heart”
11. SMP, “Electric Prod”
12. Machines Of Loving Grace, “Butterfly Wings”

And soon enough industrial music became my total obsession. This was the stuff that was suited for both dancefloors and mosh pits where it demanded loud listens and total immersion. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

26 Letters, 26 Bands

We did a similar mixtape 6 months ago so this time, instead of a song for every letter, it’s a band for every letter. And just like last time, when coming up with this tracklist (done off the top of my head, of course) it reveals that I tend to lean goth and industrial. No wonder I wear a lot of black.


26 Letters, 26 Bands
1. And One, “Rearming Strafbomber”
2. Bauhaus, “Kick In The Eye”
3. The Cure, “Disintegration”
4. Depeche Mode, “Blasphemous Rumours”
5. Ell V Gore, “Lobotomy”
6. Faith No More, “Ricochet”
7. Grinderman, “Worm Tamer”
8. Health, “Die Slow”
9. Interpol, “Evil”
10. Jagwar Ma, “Man I Need”
11. KMFDM, “Godlike”
12. Ladytron, “Destroy Everything You Touch”
13. Ministry, “Flashback”
14. Nine Inch Nails, “Terrible Lie”
15. OMD, “Helen Of Troy”
16. Prong, “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”
17. Quicksand, “Thorn In My Side”
18. Ride, “Dreams Burn Down”
19. Skinny Puppy, “wornin’”
20. T. Rex, “Telegram Sam”
21. Underworld, “Always Loved A Film”
22. Vår, “Motionless Duties”
23. White Lies, “Bigger Than Us”
24. X, “We’re Desperate”
25. Young Galaxy, “Youth is Wasted On The Young”
26. Zola Jesus, “Poor Animal”

There you have it. A random mixtape on a Sunday afternoon. As always, listen loud and become immersed.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hot Hot Hot!!!

Has anyone noticed just how hot it is outside? It’s been pretty unbearable and aside from a trip to the record store, I’ve managed to avoid being outside altogether. Of course, the good thing about cabin fever is that it inspires mixtapes. So here’s a mixtape featuring a bunch of songs (a baker’s dozen, to be exact)  that remind me just how friggin’ hot it is out there.


1. Primal Scream, “Higher Than The Sun”
2. Cat Power, “Sun”
3. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “As Sure As The Sun”
4. Wye Oak, “Hot As Day”
5. The Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat”
6. The Cure, “Hot Hot Hot!!!”
7. CSS, “Too Hot”
8. Icky Blossoms, “Heat Lightning”
9. The Big Pink, “At War With The Sun”
10. Tempers, “Hell Hotline”
11. Ascetic:, “I Burn”
12. Ministry, “Burning Inside”
13. Ciccone Youth, “Burnin’ Up”

There you go: 4 mixtapes in 4 days and just like that, a sweltering long holiday weekend is done.  Until next time (hopefully mid-week), listen loud and become immersed.

June 2013 Backtracks

The upside of long holiday weekends is obviously not having to go to work. The downside is how quickly boredom hits. Thank god for this marathon of The Walking Dead. Getting reacquainted with the first two seasons only justifies my hatred for Andrea as well as the bad-assery of Daryl.

But the real upside to long weekends is that it gives me a chance to come back here after a couple of months of neglect and catching up in our Monthly Backtracks Mixtapes.  Our third mixtape in three days gets us back on track as we finally revisit last month with June 2013 Backtracks.


June 2013 Backtracks
1. Jagwar Ma, “The Throw”: The best part of being friends with fellow DJs is that we tend to check out each other’s music recommendations based solely on said DJ’s music tastes. That’s what led me to this Australian act, Jagwar Ma. It was DJ Michael V. (follow him on Twitter - who had posted a 9-minute remix of Jagwar Ma’s “Man I Need” – a swirling psychedelic opus that owes heavily to the Madchester scene. The rest of their debut album, Howlin’,  brings Britpop and dance music together so seamlessly that it’s easy to forget what year it is. “The Throw” falls squarely on the dance music end of the spectrum with a hypnotic groove that recalls a decade gone by without sounding like a complete throwback.

2. Empire Of The Sun, “Alive”: Another act hailing from Australia, Empire Of The Sun aims as big as their extravagant stage-show with their second album, Ice On The Dune. The record’s first single, “Alive,” has a stadium-sized chorus that calls for instant sing-alongs.

3.Future Bible Heroes, “Let’s Go To Sleep (And Never Come Back)”: I have to admit that when I started doing college radio, I fell for Future Bible Heroes before ever hearing The Magnetic Fields. That might explain why I’ve always gravitated to FBH’s clever, straightforward electro-pop. Their brand new album, Partygoing is the exact album I’ve been waiting to hear from this band. Knowing Chris Ewen (full disclosure, he and I are friends and have DJ’ed together on multiple occasions) it’s clear to see his fingerprints on each song as his synths flicker and flutter leaving enough room for the vocals of both Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson. It’s the latter’s airy coos that make “Let’s Go To Sleep (And Never Come Back)” sound like a soothing lullaby.

4. Austra, “Painful Like”: Canada’s Austra relies heavily on the operatic vocals of Katie Stelmanis. It’s what carried much of their 2011 album, Feel It Break. And while their sophomore effort, Olympia may not stray too far from that same course, the electronics are allowed to paint a bigger picture with subtle touches of techno-pop and house music seeping in. “Painful Like” is one of Olympia’s highlights with its percolating beats  and simmering synths giving the song a slightly fractured R&B aura.

5. Nine Inch Nails, “Came Back Haunted”:  “I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to lately. For the last year I’ve been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I am happy to say is finished and frankly fucking great.” That quote was how Trent Reznor announced that new NIN material was forthcoming. It was one of the best things I’d ever read because no one expected it. A new album in September (Hesitation Marks due out on 9/3) and a full-on arena tour in the fall all preceded by “Came Back Haunted,” the first new Nine Inch Nails song to emerge since 2008’s The Slip. It reminds me of “The Hand That Feeds” but with less guitar sort of tying NIN’s distant past with the more recent past like Pretty Hate Machine-meets-With Teeth. Also, it’s definitely no coincidence that “Came Back Haunted” was released on June 6th, otherwise known as my birthday.

6. Ell V Gore, “Her Vicious”:  Ell V Gore is a Canadian artist I know very little about. But with a name like that, it’s no big shocker that his music would have hints of goth, death-rock, and No Wave. His first EP, Static Sex is a guttural blast of unhinged goth-punk. The clanging “Her Vicious” sounds like it’s drenched in sex and depravity most likely having never seen the daylight.

7. Big Deal, “Dream Machine”: UK duo, Big Deal have already done a bit of evolving since their first album, Lights Out. Back then, they were stripped down to just two guitars and bare emotions for all to see. On their latest, June Gloom, they add drums into the mix transforming songs from heart-wrenching to gut-punching. It’s a change that works well for them as heard on the cascading chorus of “Dream Machine.”

8. Franz Ferdinand, “Right Action”: It’s been a while since we last heard from suave Scottish post-punks, Franz Ferdinand. August will see the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, the band’s follow-up to 2009’s Tonight. That album was preceded by two singles. “Right Action” finds Franz Ferdinand striking a familiar pose armed with angular guitars and Alex Kapranos’ seductive croon.  And right now, the world can use a little bit more Franz Ferdinand.

9. Splashh, “Headspins”: Young UK upstarts, Splashh take their cues from the ghost of indie rock’s past. Their debut album, Comfort, has plenty of 90’s tricks to it, but with “Headspins” they’re borrowing some Pixies-dust and adding some fuzz to make it their own.

* Not included on the Spotify playlist *
10. Pixies, “Bagboy”: Speaking of surprise comebacks, the Pixies returned with their first new song since 2004’s “Bam Thwok.” On “Bagboy” they may be without Kim Deal, but that’s the song’s only drawback as it sounds just as one would think the Pixies should sound in 2013. 

And there you go, finally caught up with out Monthly Backtracks Mixtapes. Tomorrow we've got one more mixtape just for the hell of it since it is a long weekend and all. As always, listen loud and become immersed.