Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.
Alice Glass - “STILLBIRTH”
After a lengthy discussion with Jesse James Alexander of FOXXYNEWPORT about this song and the demise/rebirth of Crystal Castles and Alice Glass as two separate projects, I am pretty excited about this new track from Alice Glass and Jupiter Keyes. “STILLBIRTH” is a really awesome and noisy track. One expert, Alex Kennedy of I Die: You Die, said it was like an Imminent Starvation track with Alice Glass singing over the top of it - which I think is the best thing someone can say. Crystal Castles was already a pretty noisy arena for Alice, but I think that this new powernoise-influenced track is a perfect introduction to what Alice can do on her own. It has a nice balance between extremely loud and calmly atmospheric. Crystal Castles will definitely be okay without her, and I am sure glad that she is exploring something much darker. I will be anxiously awaiting the next track preview from Alice Glass - If she continues to work with Jupiter Keyes, I will pre-order it tomorrow.
Apollyon’s Visage - “Black Haired Qveen”
Previously featured guest Apollyon’s Visage is no stranger to the podcast, or to me - so, in all fairness I am pretty familiar with this particular set of Canadians. Mortal Coil comes on the heels of a massive remix EP with some of my favorite artists and does not disappoint! I knew that this was in the works and was very excited for its release. “Black Haired Qveen” is a really solid mix of the dark ambiance I usually need from a witch-house-styled release, and the dark dance beats to feed my internal drum machine. DE▼OUR was a good release, but I feel that AV has stepped up everything for this release. The textures are much fuller and flushed out than anything previously released. If you like the darker ambient stuff, definitely check out the drone version of the intro track “Hypnus” on their bandcamp (labelled “Hypnus (Eternity)”).
Makeup and Vanity Set - “Adolescence”
Makeup and Vanity Set is one of my favorite synthwave/outrun acts. Their music is always expertly constructed, mixing danceable beats with new takes on old synth sounds. The song “Adolescence” - from their newest album Wilderness - is an interesting slowdown on their usual mode; rather than being dominated by little arpeggiated leads and big bright sounds, “Adolescence” pushes back the sounds that normally dominate and allow a vocalist to take the front. The vocals mix with the repeating bass lines and reverberating drums to create a sort of dreamy feeling, complemented by their signature arps plucking away softly in the background.
Perturbator - “Welcome to Nocturne City”
Contrasting with Makeup and Vanity Set’s more pulled back and dreamy take on synthwave, Perturbator always brings us a dark, aggressive vision of a cyberpunk hellscape. Heavy arps, huge drums, and growling saw pads create the dark and furious sounds of “Welcome to Nocturne City.” We’ve talked about James Kent’s music before on the site, so it should come as no surprise this new album is just as great at creating deep atmosphere; it is cinematic in scope.