Tag Archives: Synthpop

The Sounds of Romania

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Why is it that people from Western and Central Europe tend to over-see Eastern Europe? Is it the languages? In this English-dominated world many are less exposed to Eastern European languages. People seeking the exotic go far away to Africa and Southern America, but have maybe never been to Poland, Romania, Slovakia etc. But these countries are everything else than grey and boring.

A few months ago I have been the first time to Romania, namely in the cities of Suceava (Bucovina) and Cluj Napoca (Transsylvania). It was a very nice experience to finally visit the place, about which I have read lots of books during my whole life.

Regarding Romanian new wave music I was a complete newbie. Something I intend to change hereby. I researched what the Romanian music scene has to offer and was quite surprised by the amount of great bands. Ten of these bands especially caught my attention and shall be presented in the following.  Read More →

The Sounds of Slovenia

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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. Read More →

Ádám Bérces · Cold Minimal Electronics from Hungary

berces1One thing I really like about minimal wave music is that it is de-centralized. That means, there are many musicians out there, singing in their mother tongue, which is not always English. This gives us also access to more exotic language regions.

After a minimal wave concert in Budapest around Halloween 2012, I met with the musician, we had a little talk and stayed in touch afterwards. His name is Ádám Bérces. The following will be a short portrait of this promising minimal wave instrumentalist, his first album and his sound. Read More →

dAVOS · Austrian Synthpop

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What is Austrian music famous for? I hope that the first association is not the yodeling. Mozart, the Wiener Walzer and the Neujahrskonzert probably will come to your mind. Considering popular music there was once Opus’ ‘Life is Live’, and, of course, the still legendary Falco.

The Vienna-based synthpop trio dAVOS is the living proof that Austria’s musical innovation did not come to a halt. With a blend of nostalgia and yet something fresh and new they managed to adapt synthpop to the zeitgeist of the 2010’s. They recently released their second studio album I Could Sense a Tragedy. At this occasion let’s take a closer look at their history, their music and the new album. Read More →

Interview · Grave Jibes Fanzine

Did you ever hear about Grave Jibes Fanzine? It is a Russian magazine with high-quality content about post-punk/new wave music. The magazine can be downloaded for free (either in English or in Russian) at the address: www.gravejibes.com. Unfortunately, the magazine was discontinued in 2012. To find out why I contacted the mastermind behind the project, Pall Nattsol. In the following interview he talks about his experiences and contacts during his journalistic work, about his plans and reveals, why Grave Jibes doesn’t exist any more. Read More →

The Overheard Songs

overheard-thumbYoung Mick Jagger once said he would rather die before still playing ‘Satisfaction’ live when being 60. Many bands had a real hit in their history, by which they are measured ever after. This can be very annoying for a musician. Also new wave spawned a couple of stereotypical songs. But these bands’ hits are most likely to shade their other oeuvre and one or the other gem has been just ‘over-heard’. Read More →

What happened to… Venus in Furs?

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By chance I found an old vinyl a few years ago at a flea-market. I never heard of the band before. Nonetheless, the cover was appealing to me and so I bought it. For quite some time the LP was laying around in my room, I forgot about it, until one Sunday evening I played for the first time, what soon after and till today would become one of my favourite bands.

There was always something mysterious about Venus in Furs, as there is hardly any information available. On the music portal LastFM the entry of Venus in Furs is mostly occupied by a fictional band of the same name as appeared on the soundtrack to Velvet Goldmine. Read More →

afmusic · Germany’s Most Innovative Label

As my musical review of the year 2012, the top 10 songs and albums, got quite some attention, I wanted to write about the label, which produced most of the mentioned musicians. It is called afmusic and is situated in Germany. On their homepage we can see that it exists since 2008. Since then it had a kickstart and got quite some reputation, which makes it “germany’s most innovative label for dark wave, independent and gothic and within germany unique in this field.” Read More →

Dressed in Black · On Dark Culture

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The term ‘subculture’ is in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies defined as a group of people within a culture, which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong (Samovar 1998: 50). In other definitions the term ‘co-culture’ is preferred, “because it calls attention to the idea of dual membership” (Martin 2010: 9); “Co-cultures may share many of the characteristics of the dominant culture, but their members also exhibit distinct and unique patterns of communication” (Martin 2010: 9). Read More →

A Musical Review of 2012

2012 went by really fast. But all the good times do. I got to know a lot of nice people, intensified my journalistic work, had interviews with upstarting musicians like Victor Sierra, Calling All Astronauts, Ádám Bérces and The Melting Clock, but also with legends like Jarboe (ex-Swans) and Ronny Moorings (Clan of Xymox). Also I organized music events in Slovenia and Slovakia and worked as a DJ at several occasions. Read More →