So, the first monthly roundup of 2008 – and with there not having been an equivalent for December, this is perhaps covering a longer period than normal, meaning that tracks I would have liked to include have not made the cut to keep it at ten.
Anyway, here are my ten tracks of the past month.
So, where to start? Let's start with the dancefloor.
Track of the Month
Dirtygrrrls Dirtybois (Modulate Mix)
Endzeit Bunkertracks [Act III]
Quite probably the strongest track on this at-times-patchy-compilation, this isn't the first remix of this now ubiquitous track to be a cast-iron dancefloor filler, but I'm thinking it is probably the best. The core, catchy refrain remains, bolted onto a cracking beat that bears all the hallmarks of Modulate's best output.
Going back a bit, I kinda rediscovered this album recently. Interference is almost the "lost" Cubanate album, where they seemingly shed a lot of fans. It's hard to see why, in hindsight – the hard-edged beats and aggression of their best known output is simply replaced by monstrous breakbeats and, in tracks like this, even more aggression than before. It's not hard to believe the story about this album referred to here, either – and perhaps I should try unleashing this track on a dancefloor now: with the likes of Cyanotic around nowadays enjoying success, this frankly was way ahead of it's time.
Risen Through The Ashes
Talking of aggression…I picked this album up a good few weeks ago on a whim, having seen the video on MTV2, of all places. This is ass-kicking metal, which is technically very good but even better is the fact that there is more to admire than just that. It's catchy as hell, oddly enough, for what is not far off death metal, and is currently proving particularly popular at Stormblast, too.
Hero In Mr Sholensk
This Life Is Where You Get Fucked
I mentioned this a week or two back when it first appeared, but it's worth mentioning again as it is so damned good. If you don't know who Rabbit Junk are, or what they sound like, it's kinda hard to explain. They mix industrial, metal, digital hardcore, pop, drum'n'bass and just about anything else they can lay their hands on, meaning that it is rare for two songs to sound remotely similar. This new track shows something of a progression, in that things appear to have settled down a little, but the apparently endless invention still shows in both the construction of the song and additionally in the slightly odd video. The forthcoming album is finally due for release in mid-March, apparently, and I have to say I'm really looking forward to it.
Endzeit Bunkertracks [Act III]
Another track from EBIII, and this is from a band that I had no paid any attention to before – I realised when looking for more stuff by them that I had at least four other tracks from compilations! This is the best of those that I have, though – crunching industrial beats with sheets of guitar: just the kind of thing I've been listening to a lot of, of late. Time to hunt out an album, methinks.
Crush & Spurn (Bonecrusher Mix)
Forever Never Ends
Another band I have not heard before: I've been aware of them for ages, but never got 'round to listening to them until this promo track arrived in my inbox. More fool me: this is great. Sparsely programmed, snarling industrial that deserves a wider audience.
Storm [feat. Frank Spinath]
Old School Policies
Another promo picked up in recent weeks is this cracking track from yet another band I have not perhaps paid enough attention to in the past. It is well-produced electro-EBM, with a dark edge that seems to take repeated listens to fully appreciate it. The bit that really makes it, though, is the use of Frank Spinath from Seabound for the soaring chorus.
Pioneer To The Falls
Our Love To Admire
Yep, this past month or two has been a case of catching up. With a lax release schedule into the new year and few gigs to attend until recently, it has given me the chance to properly listen to a few things I had been putting off, and as noted above this has brought a few things to my attention. This isn't something I would ever be DJing with, but I still love it. Interpol have been compared to Joy Division in the past, and it isn't hard to see why, but there is more to them than that. This is the slow-burning opener to the latest album, and while others seem to think this is a weak track, I love it. It has a feeling of bittersweet yearning, that gently builds to a cracking climax.
Time for something retro again, with the one of the greatest alt.rock tracks of the nineties. The recent announcement of a new album, and the first tour in years seems to have rekindled interest – and it's never a problem to see a song as good as this on MTV2….
Bread of Bitterness
Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
This was seemingly album of the year everywhere in the extreme metal press for 2007, and now I've finally got hold of it, it isn't hard to see why. This is extraordinary stuff – aside from the intro and outro tracks, it is four tracks proper stretched over forty-five minutes, of black metal that truly pushes the boundaries way beyond anything anyone else is trying at present. It sounds huge (the production is astounding), particularly when played very loud, and like any BM should it sounds deeply evil and menacing, without any hint of irony.