I’ve always loved dancing of any kind, but industrial and electronic dance music have a special place in my heart. It begs for chunky-soled black boots and heavy eyeliner, vinyl and hardware. When the right song comes on at the right dive bar or nightclub, I find my way from the lounge to the dance floor, walking tall and looking as aloof as possible, imagining I am the hero of a cyberpunk novel. Nostalgic for the clubbing years of my past, and hopeful that I will have more clubbing years in my future, I present the goth EDM club mix of my teenage dreams.
Ayira’s “Analog Trash” and Theater of Tragedy’s “Automatic Lover” encapsulate the theme for the day—blurring the lines between human and machine in what is probably mostly a metaphor (but the possibility of machine love remains!).
I could definitely not just pick just one track from The Birthday Massacre, whose gothic darkwave sound relies heavily on a weird blend of different musical influences (post-punk, metal) enabled by electronic interventions. When I saw them live, their track had a brief malfunction and they had this fabulous sense of humor about it—they are under no illusions about how their sound relies on functioning tech. Acoustic shows are not an option.) I chose one of my favorite creepy dream tracks “Goodnight,” and and the zippier “Sleepwalking” which was my anthem during grad-school application season: “I’m all washed up/ and graced with faint applause/ dressed in a cheap facade/ I’m looking for a place I’ll never see again.”
Collide’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” always seemed way more fitting to the trippy, bad dream world of Alice in Wonderland than the original (I discovered it while looking for curtain call music for a particularly funky stage production of the novel). Though definitely the mellow oddball in this list of rave-worthy tracks, I wanted to include Poe’s “Control” which is on an album released in concert with the novel House of Leaves (written by the singer’s brother, Mark Danielewski) because it features a cool combination of a noisy track, audio recordings of the singer’s late father, and her own jazzy voice.
Towards the other end of the spectrum we have Unter Null’s angry, growling “Disgrace,” which is the most danceable invective I can think of. Equally danceable but far sexier is I:Scintilla’s “Melt” which invites us to lose ourselves, melting into more boundless, liminal spaces. To close it out, a brief foray into the electropop world with “Destroy Everything You Touch” by the band appropriately named Ladytron. Dance on, badasses.