Canadian dark alternative label Artoffact Records has released their 2020 sampler…and the best part is, it’s free for download on their Bandcamp page. You can get it here. While 2020 was full of stress, uncertainty, and grief for the world as a whole due to the pandemic and its effects on us all, it was a year that still saw a lot of innovative music in our scene.
This sampler captures a notable fraction of the artists who helped get us through it and showcases a refreshingly diverse lineup, from the brooding synthpop of WINGTIPS, Bootblacks, Seeming, and ACTORS to dark pop diva KANGA, whose flawless vocals on “Godless”carry the track to another level. We also get some really cool contributions from Icelandic trio Kaelen Mikla (who rocked the Cold Waves Festival last year in Chicago and LA), the ever-brutal Dawn Of Ashes, and of course some of our old favorites like Front Line Assembly and cEvin Key, who collaborates with Edward Ka-Spell of The Legendary Pink Dots on the dreamy glitched-out “Night Flower.”
Interspersed throughout are a handful of newer artists who are definitely worth checking out whether you’re into deathrock, post-punk, or something else. The last track is by the late great Jeremy Inkel (of Left Spine Down and Front Line Assembly among others), who passed away in 2018 but whose talent and memory lives on in so much of the music we all love.
In a year that left us all reeling, music became even more of a lifeline, and this sampler captures that sentiment beautifully. While the album is free, please consider donating if you are able, as many of the artists and labels in our scene would not survive without our financial contributions. Happy New Year from Altvenger and I hope you all enjoy this album as much as I do!