Since almost four years I have been living now in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. For a small country with a population of 2 million people the music scene is quite vivid. When I moved here I was surprised by the amount of concerts and venues.
Maybe the most known musical export from Slovenia is the legendary group Laibach. With their provocative style they have gained international reputation and influenced many other bands, most notably Rammstein. Another known act from Slovenia is Borghesia, pathbreaking for EBM. I won’t write now about Laibach and Borghesia, maybe later, in some other article. Here I want to focus on bands, you might not know yet: Melodrom, Silence, Torul and New Wave Syria.
Melodrom is the band around the beauteous singer Mina Špiler, who herself also collaborates with Laibach. Their music I would consider being trip-hop in the tradition of Massive Attack or Portishead. Mina Špiler’s voice sounds very fragile, which gives the music of Melodrom an almost tangible softness, while diverse electronic effects round the music up to a solid whole. Their second album The Guide (2006) is sung in English, where the following song ‘Anything Goes’ is a nice example of their style.
From all Slovenian bands Silence is among the most interesting. The duo consisting of Boris Benko (singer and songwriter) and Primož Hladnik (keyboards and arrangements) has a solid fan-base in and outside Slovenia and went during their musical career through several genres from synthpop over experimental electronic to classical soundtrack production. Also Silence collaborated with Laibach on their album Volk (2006). Boris Benko’s well-trained singing creates a melancholic atmosphere throughout their oeuvre.
The project around founder and mastermind Torul Torulsson already gained some Europe-wide attention. Torulsson calls their style “alternative electro-pop”, I call it “synthpop of the 21st century”. However you may call it, Torul are said to have made the first dark club-hit, ‘Try’. The videoclip of ‘Try’ is eyecandy, I recommend to switch to full-screen and start dancing.
I don’t know exactly, how I should describe the music of New Wave Syria. Maybe like this: It is an electronic experiment of two young Slovenians, lo-fi and weird, somehow reminiscent of Crystal Castles, combined with a DIY philosophy. Recently I saw them live and have to admit that there is something intriguing about their music. It is very powerful. New Wave Syria recently released their second album, which is, as the first one, ‘Hello, Yes’ (2009) too, available for free download on last.fm.