Wow! 2015 was a great year for alternative dark music. While spending my New Year’s eve in the German capital of Berlin I managed to compile a solid best-of list for you – not without a little help from my friends – thank you!
As there were so many good songs this year I decided to split these into two categories: synth/electro-driven and guitar-based. At this point I want to express my deepest admiration and respect to the featured musicians and their music.
Now that is something. Paradox Obscur from Rhodes, Greece, definitely have the potential of becoming the next big thing in synth wave. They use only real hardware synthesizers and drum machines and recently put out their second longplayer Anacrusis which tops their earlier releases. Among all these great songs ‘Deconstruction’ is the most striking.
Keluar are, indeed, masters of experimental dark electronica. The songs on their recent EP Panguna again draw some exceptional soundscapes.
The list would be incomplete without featuring Vólkova. In 2015 I also had the honour to interview Cesar and Paula. Their new album Traumas and Dreams + Remixes was released this year. There are plenty of amazing songs on this record, but the most outstanding is perhaps ‘The Call’. There is also a remix of this song by Minuit Machine.
The Turkish flag-ship of dark music, She Past Away, returned this year with their second album Narin Yalnızlık (“Delicate Loneliness”). Lots of fans have been waiting eagerly for this release. The songs on their second album are a little bit more diverse than on their debut.
The title track ‘Naked Curtains‘ of Modern Blossom‘s recent EP is synth at its best! The main tune is very much reminiscent of ‘Underpass’ by John Fox. Four minutes length appears to be long enough, but still too short to really “fall” into the atmosphere this anthem discharges.
A big surprise this year was the second album Ceux Qui Restent by Canadian minimal wave act Police des Moeurs.
Italian synth duo Schonwald took their sound even further towards the shoegaze direction of which ‘Lux’ is a perfect example of.
Victor Sierra‘s journey towards the unknown continues on their third studio album Go for the Strange on which the French Steampunks keep true to their extraordinary sound.
After a longer period of writer’s block the self-obsessed musician Chris Corner AKA IAMX re-appears with newly gained creativity and a rockier sound. ‘Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me’ is a strong “synth-blues” song.
Bewitched as Dark from Turkey is considered to be witchhouse – a concept not fully clear to me yet. However, their piece ‘Nobody Loves You!’ – among others – makes a lot of sense.
Continue to page 2 to see the list of the best guitar-based songs of 2015