Top 10 East-Central European Post-Punk/New Wave

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This time I wish to introduce you to some post-punk/new wave gems from East-Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on songs not sung in English. All these bands contributed and contribute to form the aesthetics that we appreciate. From Polish coldwave over Ukrainian Novaya Scena to contemporary Hungarian minimal wave, you will find it all here – in no particular order.

She Past Away – İnsanlar

Turkey
Genre: Darkwave
Year: 2012
Album: Belirdi Gece

Among the newcomers of the last few years She Past Away are definitely my favourite. The musicians from Turkey know how to mix nostalgia with progression. If the 80’s were happening now, this would be their sound. It was, actually, hard to choose one song to feature, but the most outstanding on their first album is perhaps ‘İnsanlar’ (‘Humans’).

She Past Away – Insanlar

 

Maria Loves Me – Grad

Croatia
Genre: Gothic Rock
Year: 2012

Croatian band Maria Loves Me doesn’t have much songs yet, but what they have is really promising. ‘Grad’ (‘City’) can be downloaded for free on last.fm.

Maria Loves Me – GRAD Cocteau in Fog Version

 

1984 – Biała Chorogięwka

Poland
Genre: Coldwave
Year: 1991
Album: Radio niebieskie oczy Heleny

Bands like Siekiera helped form the Polish coldwave scene in the late 80’s. Although a little bit forgotten nowadays, the coldwave scene once had a big impact on the dark culture in this country. Here’s a song by the band 1984, one of my favourites, called ‘Biała Chorogięwka’ (‘White Flag’). The song has been recorded in two different versions.

Version 1:

1984 – Biala Choragiewka (other studio version)

 

Version 2:

1984 – Biala Choragiewka (White Flag)

 

Borghesia – On

Slovenia
Genre: Minimal Wave
Year: 1985
Album: Ljubav je hladnija od smrti

Slovenian legends Borghesia are maybe best known for being industrial/EBM pioneers that gained international recognition with their hit single ‘Ni upanja, ni strahu’ (‘No Hope, No Fear’). They also produced a bunch of minimal wave, and ‘On’ (‘He’) is definitely a classic.

Borghesia – On (1985)

 

Ivanov Down – Outch Putch

Ukraine
Genre: Post-Punk
Year: 1993
Album: Novaya Scena – Underground from Ukraine!

The two Ukrainian cities of Kyiv (Kiev) and Charkiv were the birth place of an obscure music scene, called Novaya Scena (New Scene). This song by Ivanov Down, ‘Outch Putch’, may seem kind of weird, but it offers a unique experimental sound, typical for this scene.

Ivanov Down – Outch Putch

 

Paraf – Odlazak

Croatia
Genre: New Wave
Year: 1984
Album: Zastave

Many people might not know that former Yugoslavia put out a huge amount of listenable music in the 70’s and 80’s. This song by Croatian band Paraf caught my attention. The female singer’s voice is reminiscent of Nico or Siouxsie and the instrumentation is classic post-punk.

Paraf-Odlazak 1984 (RI Cro Goth Rock-Post Punk)

 

Nosztalgia Direktíva – Tegnapok

Hungary
Genre: Minimal Wave
Year: 2008
Album: Untitled

Nosztalgia Direktíva is a minimal wave project from Budapest, Hungary. They have a dark, industrial-like sound, which easily catches one’s attention. ‘Tegnapok’ (‘Yesterdays’) shows the atmosphere of Nosztalgia Direktíva the best, which is described on their fanpage as following: “Rusty, entirely stripped industrial structures have their chilling and creaking dance with the letargic melancholy of the frozen time in East-Central-Europe”.

Nosztalgia Direktíva – Tegnapok

 

Siekiera – Nowa Alexandria

Poland
Genre: Coldwave
Year: 1985
Album: Nowa Alexandria

‘Nowa Alexandria’ by Siekiera (speak: shyekyera) is maybe the most influencing and legendary song in Polish coldwave. A typical ear-worm, but one of the good kind.

Siekiera – Nowa Aleksandria

 

XIII. Století – Elizabeth

Czechia
Genre: Gothic Rock/Metal
Year: 2004
Album: Ztraceni V Karpetech

A little bit bloated, yet epic and catching is the track ‘Elizabeth’ by Czech gothic rock band XIII. Století.

XIII. století – Elizabeth

 

Voyvoda – Iztok

Bulgaria
Genre: Post-Punk/Post-Rock
Year: 2011
Album: Iztok

Voyvoda is a newer group from Bulgaria, which introduces a very intriguing fusion of post-punk and post-rock. By listening to the song ‘Iztok’ you can make yourself a picture of how this would sound. Their album is available on the homepage of af-music.

Voyvoda – Iztok

 

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena.
His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

7 Thoughts on “Top 10 East-Central European Post-Punk/New Wave

  1. Bobby on 27th August 2013 at 17:22 said:

    And from Georgia:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEz8AuQ3R9I
    Tgis song is in English but they have on Georgian language also

  2. goth from east side of Europe on 2nd November 2016 at 23:19 said:

    There is also Ukrainian gothic legend Komu Vnyz, but they are more gothic rock with folk ( synthesizer lines ) influences than “pure” new/wave.

    You can discover even more bands at:
    https://www.facebook.com/easterngothic

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