The Sounds of Ukraine

vysokyj_zamok

Ever since I was the first time in Ukraine in 2005, I fell in love with the country, its people and its language. It was so different to everything I knew before. The normative basis is not unity, but diversity. Add a rich history with lots of glorious, but also painful moments, add the right amount of poetry and melancholy. Add some music. While most of this music belongs to the pop and folk sector, in the recent years alternatives are on the rise.

Let me introduce to you some alternative bands from Europe’s biggest – yet to many unknown – country.

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Expression of Aesthetic Needs

kriistal

Kriistal Ann from Rhodes, Greece, became one of the figureheads of synth music in Europe. Active in the darker kind of music since 2007, Ann has a discography of which others can only dream. This busy lady persuades not only her solo career, but part-takes of several other projects and collaborations, most notably Paradox Obscur. Let us hear what Ann has to tell us. Read More →

A Musical Review of 2016

2016

2016 was in many ways a strange year that will most likely become a marker of big changes, like 1989. We were facing severe geopolitical and sociological changes and lost a whole series of inspiring people like David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Greg Lake and Pete Burns.

But there were also moments of light in 2016. Considering new music it was, actually, great. Like every year I compiled a list of extraordinary songs for you – in no particular order. Read More →

First Interview with Black Pond

bp

I am very honoured to have today the possibility to chat with two very important music protagonists who are involved actively and passively in the wave movement since the 1980s:
Jeff Gallea from California, known as mastermind behind darkwave/synthpop project Eleven Pond (1986-1987), which he reformed in 2011 due to rising interest of contemporary music fans in their back-then only album ‘Bas Relief’ (1987) – by now this album gained cult-status. Beta Evers from Germany, who has founded several music labels – Kommando 6, Bodyvolt, Venus Noir – and is known for her solo efforts in synth-based music as well as for collaborations with other musicians.

One of these collaborations recently caught my attention, namely the EP ‘Chasms’ by Black Pond which is the common project of Beta and Jeff. Their next record ‘Deepest Chasms’ (Electronic Emergencies) is scheduled for December 5th 2016 – in a few days – which makes this the perfect moment for a little talk. Please enjoy with me the first-ever official interview with Black Pond! Read More →

XV Wroclaw Industrial Festival

wif16

There are many reasons to visit the Polish city of Wrocław: It is incredibly beautiful, has a moving history and offers a lot of cultural places, museums, galleries, bars and coffee-houses. Furthermore, Wrocław is also the Cultural Capital of Europe 2016.
But my main reason to go there every November for a few days is a different one. The Silesian capital is the spot where one of the biggest annual festivals for industrial music is taking place. Read More →

A Hat is Merely a Crown That Lets No Rain in

hat

Far from being a talented tailor, I had the idea to make a hat by myself. Also because they are quite expensive if you want a good one. All you need is about 10 Euros, an old sweat-shirt and some patience. There are many ways how to make a hat. This is how I did it.

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Post-Punk: A View from Those Who Fell in Love in the 90s

iancurtis1These days, when fewer and fewer people interested in rock music know what it feels like to live without an Internet connection at home, I would like to take a quick nostalgic leap back into the days when it all begun – for me, at least. It’s not like I feel old (even though back in the early 2000s, I would definitely consider my present self an old, terribly old and terribly boring man), but it’s kind of funny how the digital natives generation explores completely different paths to rock music. Read More →

Savetier’s New Wave Journey

europeanghostJuly 2016 – finally I could make my dream come true: Travel to Northern Italy and meet all the great bands, about which I have been writing for years, in person. Through these I also got to know other musicians from that region.

On July 16th I picked up Cyrene in Ljubljana and together we started our road-trip towards Bologna. The next seven days were filled with meeting fascinating people and listening to their awesome stories. We enjoyed the company of Caron Dimonio, Two Moons, European Ghost, Temple of Venus, BeStrass, Dade City Days, Schonwald/Shad Shadows, Tetrolugosi, Modern Blossom and The Black Veils. The result is the following recording of over an hour. Nothing was scripted, you will see the musicians how they really are. Enjoy! Read More →

The Berlin Spirit

berlin

While writing these lines, I am on the bus, leaving Berlin. I am vividly replaying last week’s highlights in my mind. Am I ready to leave the city, that never was just a city but a spirit, behind?

No, I am not, never was.

Therein lies the lure of Berlin. The city catches you in its spell and before you realise it it holds you hostage without a ransom. Like a drug it captivates you in an eternal dream. To lose oneself in a world of fun or drown in a pool of opportunities is easy. Many open-minded people seek their luck in Berlin, because it promises freedom. Read More →

Rockscape 2016

minaspiler

Banská Bystrica is definitely one of the most beautiful cities of Slovakia. Located in the very centre of the country the city became prosperous through copper mining in the late Middle Ages. Its beautiful buildings and façades in the old town attract lots of visitors every year.

From 24th to 25th of June 2016 the Rockscape festival was organised for the fourth time in the amphitheatre of this picturesque place. When I looked at this year’s line-up, two bands caught my attention: The Last Days of Jesus (Slovakia) and Laibach (Slovenia). Read More →