Gene Boggs – Spacetime

Intriguing and pleasant mix of post-rock and ambient elements. Elements of prog, post rock, ambient and New Age are all present, held together by a vaguely science fiction vibe. Languid guitar work with a hint of twang (non country variety) animates several of the tracks, while others lean more heavily into the weird sounds sliding over one another and sweeps of synth pads side of things. Call it space rock, but (apart from a couple exceptions, like the quasi electro drive of “Luster”) without the propulsion – floating-in-space rock, perhaps. 

(Listened to tracks 1 thru 6)

Wavefront – “Ihollasi”

Beautiful synth strings, skippy/glitchy percussion programming and a penchant for unusual sound design puts this squarely in the classic IDM camp. Almost sounds like a transitional track between Autechre’s early, pretty-but-weird work and their later more challenging, intellectually tilted releases. Beautifully produced, with some real punch in the low end and great clarity throughout, this should please fans of the glory days of Warp and anyone who likes smartly made electronic music made for headphones and bedrooms rather than dancefloors.

Mux2000 – “An Immigrant’s Song” “The Stars” “There Will Be Blood”

One artist, three very different songs, all clearly created with the same overarching artistic vision. They all share a lofi approach, a strong storytelling element, and a sense of intimacy that’s almost claustrophobic, especially vocally. The best of the bunch is “The Stars,” from the album Downfall (the other two are standalone tracks). It embraces a chaotic noise-rock approach that puts me in mind of some of the best post-punk/post-hardcore acts of the late ‘00s (this would sit well alongside Oneida, for instance). The strong guitar work, repetitive-in-a-good-way vocals and start-stop dynamics will be familiar to anyone who loved the loud but arty bands that lived and died in dive bars from 2005 to 2012 or so.

“An Immigrant’s Song” leans into a more ethno folk direction, with some unusual picked instrument sounds and symphonic strings, while “There Will Be Blood” is a Welcome to Nightvale tribute that’s like a weird take on the pastoral vibes of British folk rock of the late ‘60s thru ‘70s. (I’ve embedded “The Stars” and the rest can be found directly via their Bandcamp page.)

C2 – Pentalogy

Hard hitting industrial that represents one of my favorite eras of the genre, where it began to get really heavy but hadn’t flipped over into just another flavor of metal – think Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste-era Ministry, or TV Sky-era Young Gods. Brutal beats, intense blasts of noisy synth, pulsing basslines, sore-throat distorted vocals delivering mad-at-the-world lyrics – it’s all here. And I, for one, am all here for it. (The embed may require a bit of scrolling to work; If the embed doesn’t work, go directly to the artist’s site to listen.)

(Listened to tracks 1 thru 4)

monolalia – “Sixth Harvest”

Punchy industrial/EBM that leans into film music territory at times – like if Front 242 and early Junkie XL collaborated on a track for a low budget Terminator knock off. Kinetic rhythms, powerful low end and minimal melodic elements, punctuated by a lovely breakdown about ⅔ of the way thru. If you miss the glory days of industrial, before the heavy metal elements took over, this might catch your ear. Speaking of ears, turn your headphones down before you put this on – it’s LOUD. (The artist has asked me to explicitly state this is a work in progress, but it sounds pretty complete to me!)

Hear it at the artist’s site.

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