I’m not gonna lie, it feels kinda weird to resurrect my Retrocution column for the first time in more than a year… with an artist who, by his own account, has been actively trying to move away from “conventional” synthwave for a while now. But for James Kent, I’ll make an exception.
After all, Kent’s work as Perturbator was one of my earliest exposures to synthwave. I wouldn’t be anywhere near as big a fan of this music — maybe a fan at all — if not for Dangerous Days. So even though my tastes within the genre have since shifted a bit more toward the pop end of the spectrum, I tend to listen whenever Kent drops something new — conventional or otherwise. And in the case of his latest effort, Lustful Sacraments, the listen proved to be quite an excellent one.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, we’ve got ourselves a double header here. And what better to round out this double feature than with a double album, appropriately titled Dual. It might be a coincidence that we’re running this today, but it’s no coincidence that German darkwave pioneers and masters Deine Lakaien are commemorating their thirty-five-year career and tenth overall release with a sprawling double album of new work and ingeniously imagined covers of a breadth of artists that may just leave you scratching your head. Rest assured, if anyone can handle it, it would be the masters of the craft.
Bristol, U.K.-based Hateful Abandon are anything but a conventional black metal outfit. From the band’s founding in 2004, Vice Martyr (the band’s sole member at the time) has maintained an interest in genre blending. And following the enlistment of Swine, (from the eponymous Somerset, U.K., band) that concept remains alive and well on their third release, Liars/Bastards. In particular, there’s an obvious salute to roots anarcho-punk, including legends like Crass. There is something revolutionary about Hateful Abandon—something that, much like the best anarcho-punk bands, makes you feel part of the club.