This mix starts with a nice handshake from some modern post-punk and classic new wave, but it quickly escalates into some electro/EBM hand-to-hand combat. Bring your gloves.
- Undertheskin — “Burn”.
Perhaps one of the most underrated post-punk bands in the business, every track is a death-grip of guitars and drums that leaves you beaten and exhausted like a car crash.
- A Transition — “Cold”.
The instrumental post-punk jam is a beast we see too infrequently. This choreographed dance of evocative guitar and head-nodding riffs doesn’t need a single lyric to convey feelings of searching, finding and regretting.
- A Flock of Seagulls — “I Ran”.
Their aesthetic became a punchline and was a distraction to near peerless songwriting, musicianship and production. I mean, that guitar. What new wave act burned brighter than AFOS in their ’82-’83 run?
- Billy Idol — “White Wedding”.
Every Billy Idol song lives and dies by his vocal delivery. This song, when his discography is fully stacked and tallied, is what everyone hears when they see his sneer. It is the ultimate conviction through performance.
- Killing Joke — “Follow the Leader”.
It’s tribal, but not JUST because of the drums. Youth’s bass and Jaz’s vocals create a gravity well for conscious thought, and the track becomes less about listening than it does about experiencing. It’s only natural state is “loud”.
- Empirion — “Red Noise (Rotersand Rework)”.
After a hiatus of a million years, these electronauts from the 90s return with an LP that aims for the dancefloor with the subtlety of a napalm drop. Recommended if you have a heartbeat.
- Street Fever — “In Your Lungs”.
This song has a whole new inflection in our COVID-19 crisis, but at least we can dance our way toward physical distancing. I mean, how depraved is that synth stab?
- Kanga — “Viciousness”.
This one-woman sonic armada delivers a tour de force of beats, bass and brio, and few electro-industrial-dance artists have delivered a first LP so fully realized. We’re living in Kanga’s world and better off for it.
- Boy Harsher — “Tears”.
Listen to the bass drop at 1:58. Let it patiently morph into a deceptive bridge before it drops again at 2:51. That’s all you need to understand why Boy Harsher is bigger than Jesus.
- Noise Unit — “Deceit”.
This is North American EBM cut so pure it’s amazing it wasn’t banned during Bush’s anti-drug crusades.
- Armageddon Dildos — “East West”.
Let’s talk about 80s geo-politics with a song about, um, fucking in the park. Wait, what? Exactly.
- Ministry — “So What”.
The best song from their best album? Fight me. (RIP Rieflin. God created the kick drum for him like he created the guitar for Prince. Proof.)
- Front Line Assembly — “Iceolate”.
Remember when electro-industrial fetishized the near-future dystopian technostate? It was a lot more fun when we weren’t actually living in it. But this shit still spanks hard, so bend over.
- Dusty Springfield — “Spooky”.
What we’re all secretly singing to ourselves when we’re getting dolled for da club.