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      Xander Harris' New Single Explores the Disco's Darker Corners

      July 20, 2016 1:59 PM

      Photo by Devaki Knowles

      Under the name Xander Harris, Justin Sweatt has spent the last five years exploring the synthesizer's darkest possibilities. But like the show that gave him his moniker or his beloved Giallo films, Sweatt's work is also a suggestion that horror comes necessarily coupled with comedy. Drawing on the creeping thunder of Goblin soundtracks, the minimal bluster of John Carpenter's film work, and the primary color dancefloor gems that line the hallowed halls of italo disco, Sweatt's used a string of singles and LPs for outre labels like Not Not Fun to both terrify and confound. Your emotional response is more dictated by circumstance. In a club, you'll smile, but at home on a dark stormy night you'll double check the locks.

      He's back today with a different sort of terror, this time in the form of a new album called California Chrome on Mogwai's Rock Action label. The first single "Buckle Bunny, feels indebted to his history of love for noisy synth slingers like Throbbing Gristle, Coil, and the whole history of EBM—high drama electronics contortions that can strike fear into the hearts of punters and fill dancefloors at the same time.

      Sweatt says it was largely intended as such. "I like to explore harsh sounds and dance-y EBM rhythms and pile tons of melody in the midst of it to make a porridge of sound," He wrote in an email to THUMP. "This track is my love letter to Skinny Puppy, a band that I never ever get tired of listening to."

      Listen here in advance of California Chrome's September 23 release on Rock Action.

      California Chrome tracklist:

      1. The Scarlet Deception
      2. Straight Up Satan
      3. Basilisk Stare
      4. The Eye In The Triangle
      5. Predator State
      6. Nervous Serpents
      7. Buckle Bunny
      8. Dirts

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