Today we’re very proud to present the premiere the video for one of our favourite songs this year, “Occult Commando” by Vancouver’s Ancient Babes, the highlight of the excellent Futuristic Demon EP. The slow, darkly mysterious synthpop track works perfectly with the dreamlike imagery of a woman who decides to participate in the ritual of a group of acolytes that stop her car in the countryside. Turn it up loud and fullscreen this thing, it’s worth it, immerse yourself. Unless you’re at work, in which case, shrink the screen and squint.
The video was directed by Ghostprom (who also directed Doomsquad’s “Waka Waka”) and was produced by the Heretical Objects Cooperative, a new record label that uniquely also has a film/video division. It’s the first time they’ve created a video for a non-Heretical (an Orthodox?) artist.
We have been fans of both Terror Bird and Sally Dige since forever, and today they have given us a real gift: a Dige-directed video for the new Terror Bird single. Employing the low-budget chic techniques we’ve come to love, it matches Ms. Never’s thrashy guitar infused synthpop single ever so perfectly.
New Terror Bird cassette coming in July! Can’t wait! And Terror Bird will be touring Europe this summer, so check that out if that’s where you’re at.
Oh this one makes us happy. Sur Une Plage, a duo from way out westward in Vancouver, may be new to this world, but members Joshua Wells (of Black Mountain and Lightning Dust) and Colin McKill (of Lord Beginner and Hard Drugs) are no newcomers. “Restaurant” is such a fun, fast, synthpop track, reminiscent of the very best of Devo. They’ve got a bunch of great great (and free!) tracks on their Bandcamp that add up to a 4-track EP. Best new band in the West!
Vancouver-based outfit Moev is the focus of today’s Friday Classic Dark feature. The group was formed in 1981, on the cusp of British synthpop’s infiltration into the American mainstream. In Canada, synthpop was becoming a thing, too, around this time; Images in Vogue had just formed, Strange Advance cropped up shortly thereafter, and Spoons began to feature drum machines and synthesizers more prominently in their work. Against this (cursory) backdrop, Moev’s early output displayed an estimable blend of dark synthpop and hook-laden new wave. By the mid-1980s, the group signed to Nettwerk Records, home of industrial acts Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly. The Nettwerk deal coincided with the first of Moev’s many reconfigurations in musical style and personnel.
Although Moev has produced several notable tracks, we wish to draw your attention to “Cracked Mirror”, their infectious and bittersweet debut single. Two recordings of this stellar track exist; the 1981 version from their self-released debut EP, and a rather different, but equally compelling, rendition from their 1982 12″ Rotting Geraniums. Kick off the weekend with both interpretations of this Canadian synthpop classic!
Moev – “Cracked Mirror” (1982)
Moev – “Cracked Mirror” (1981)
A few months back, we were very impressed with Sam King’s Vancouver-based project Ancient Babes. “Occult Commando” is a new dreamy downtempo track which, in conjunction with the gloomy atmospherics of “Cybertronic Vibes”, illustrates the astounding stylistic breadth of this project. Both tracks appear on the stellar Futuristic Demon EP, which you can get as a “name your price” download here.
Loud, haunting and psychedelic, Vancouver’s Ancient Babes unleashes Cybertronic Vibes out into the stratosphere and beyond. Druidic vocals with an 80’s shoegaze vibe that reminisces about a sci-fi film soundtrack from the 80’s that could have been. Ancient Babes’ mastermind Sam King has been busy getting his PhD in particle physics while simultaneously writing Ancient Babes tunes in the depths of the CERN labs. Now that the god particle is all but uncovered, we can look forward to hearing more from this dreamy project.
Jay Arner – Don’t Remind Me (Teen Daze Remix)
Jay Arner – Don’t Remind Me
Another week, another Jay Arner remix to keep our endless appetite for the Vancouver psych-pop songwriting genius satisfied. Last week we had this yummy self-remix of “Midnight on South Granville.” Here we’ve got renowned fellow Vancouverson Teen Daze stirring the stew. The original is provided as reference. Jay’s awesome debut album is still available from Mint Records.