Brussels-based dark electronics act Luminance presents a multi-varied descent into the darkness we all want and need with his latest, Ahead. Comprised of one mysteriously named DA, he says the genre-jumping project is “constantly pushing the codes and limits of the genres away,” fusing elements of industrial, EBM, coldwave, shoegaze, avant-garde, krautrock and even black metal.
Pairing bleak atmospheres with alternately driving and dreamy synths, the record opens with the synthwave soundscape of a lost John Carpenter soundtrack, “Un Dernier Regard sur le Vide.” Next up in this cross-genre whack-a-mole of darkened delight, the mechanized and ice-laden synth breakdown of “Essentialize,” a descendant of the EBM electro lineage that has crept so deliciously into the work of modern techno artists lately à la Phase Fatale. On from that dystopic “Los Niños Del Parque”-style floor slammer, “Moorderar” then sees the record at its hardest, with slower and moodier wave soundscapes building with shoegaze texture and eventually unrelenting black metal dirge.
Listen to “Moorderar”‘s pulsating darkwave ascension to gazed-out goth urgency:
For fans of classic darkness in its myriad forms, there’s plenty to revel in here. Icy industrial, dreamy noir-ish darkwave, and even post-trip-hop wooziness shifts the mood from soft introspection to walls-dripping-with-sweat after hours at the flip of a switch (or likely many switches). “Reface” takes us to the golden age of dark electro and EBM with mechanical repetition and aggravated Front Line Assembly-style vocals, the minimal wave inspiration comes back on “A Missed Tick,” whereas bouncier synth lines carry us through “Exploded Patterns” and then charge back into the dancefloor-ready beat of “A Leur Seul Désir.” After nine disparate tracks united purely by the darkness pulsing through their veins, the album fades out with another ode to the ambient, retreating from the club into self-introspection again. If you’re bored with “revival” acts who regurgitate the classics with little variety, this just might be your favorite new record.
Key tracks: Essentialize, Moorderar, Reface!, A Leur Seul Désir
Ahead is available for pre-order and streaming digitally now, and the double-LP is released September 23rd on Medical Records.