Chicago's synth-man Blake Karlson, who had already recorded Plastic 2.0 (2016) with his trio Plastic, formed another trio,
Civic Center (with vocalist Jack Brockman and bassist Clementine Wink) that debuted with three cassettes:
A Place For The Weak (2019),
Even A Worm Will Turn (2019) and
He Who Hesitates Is Lost (2019),
later summarized on the double-cassette compilation House In The Distance (2019), notably the
gothic dance over voodoo beat and industrial noise Within Earshop
and the thrilling
background noise of A Ladder Can Always Fall.
The sound of The Ground Below (2020) harkens back to the
electronic gothic music of decades earlier, but it's mostly a confusing mess.
Fly on the Wall clearly winks at synth-pop of the 1980s.
Namesake (2020) is an album of more conventional synth-pop with
dark-punk overtones, despite the haunting instrumental
Parceling the Sky.
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