By Gareth Watkins
CALGARY — After punk, there was post-punk. Maybe. Post seems to be a prefix used when things are happening that are so eclectic that it’s easier to describe them by what they’re not (see Postmodernism if you want to give yourself a nosebleed.)
Colin Christopher and Slava Nartakhov are Detached Objectives, a name Christopher chose to indicate the pair’s no-nonsense approach, as this project was a departure from both players’ current bands. Long-time fixtures on the Calgary scene (Nartakhov play(ed/s) in the Reckless Heroes, Tekhnotron and others; Christopher runs Dreaming of the Past records, has played in numerous metal bands and regularly plays live with local artists), their origins are more prosaic than their dark, pummeling music would suggest.
“I had a couple of electronic, industrial music projects running but at the time I had started having more interest in this indie-influence, darker post-punk scene and I was just looking for somebody to start a side-project with. Colin and I met up, chatted about music and it turned out that we had a lot in common,” says Nartakhov.
Their music blends live drumming with synths and is close to Killing Joke and Bauhaus, the bands that laid the foundations for modern industrial and darkwave music. There has been a post-punk revival for much of the 21st century; Detached Objectives were keen to avoid it.
“We didn’t want to be your average post-punk revival band, we wanted to blend a lot of experimental, ambient sounds, all these different influences.”
Those influences stretch from existentialist philosophy (fun fact: the first Cure single was named “Killing an Arab” after a scene from Albert Camus’ The Stranger), to golden-age sci-fi radio serials, “particularly Dimension X and [Dimension X Minus One],” says Christopher.
Their first recording, the aptly-titled EP Shuttle Launch, will be released in cassette format and heralded by a show with local synth-punks Catholic Girls and neo-goth solo project Chalks.
Though they’ve both been playing music for close to a decade, Detached Objectives has arrived at a good time for playing industrial-style music in Calgary. It’s partly thanks to promoters like Christopher and partly just the ebb and flow of styles, but there are more bands laying dissonant synths over tinnitus-inducing drumwork than ever. Neither member of Detached Objectives can say why exactly, but it’s a development that’s certain to deservedly garner them a larger audience.
Attend the Detached Objectives EP release party on Friday, March 13 at Lord Nelson’s Bar and Grill.AB, Alberta, Detached Objectives, Lord Nelson's, Shuttle Launch