Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of 2014- Top 10 EPs

An here goes the last list to round up 2014's listomania. Some great EPs from this year:

1.Kleerup- As If We Never Won
2.Peachblack- Dark Horse
3.Visonia & Doppelefekt- Die Reisen
4. Y- Dance of The Illusions
5.Shamir- Northtown
6.The KVB- Out of Body
7.X Priest X- Samurai
8.Client Liaisons- s/t
9.Kelluar- Vitreum
10.Tyburn Saints- With The Night in your Eyes

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best of 2014- Videos List

Here another treat for you. Top ten list of our favorite videos. Enjoy!

1.Jef Barbara- Soft to the Touch
2.Wampire- The Hearse
3. Perfume Genius- Queen
4.Ariel Pink- Picture Me Gone
5.School of Seven Bells- I Got Knocked Down (but I'll get up)
6.Tasseomancy- Reality
7.Terror Bird- The Wrong Way
8.Kline Coma Xero- Mannequin
 9.Client- Refuge
10.Odonis Odonis- Highnote

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Best of 2014- The Singles List

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Best of 2014 - The Album List

It's less than ten days before we send off another music year into history. From this perspective it was great, but the years that come will tell. We almost gave up blogging, but came back. It was great to hear the Horrors returning with another great album which somehow went unnoticed. Lust for Youth proved that they can also be pop and even more. Ronika's electro dance got us on our feet. We meet the People at Parties which are our new comers of the year and lots more.
This is the official album list of 2014.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

1.The Horrors- Luminous
2.Lust for Youth- International
3.Ronika- Selectadisc
4.People at Parties- People at Parties
5.Sebastien Schuller- Heatwave
6.Future Islands- Singles
7.Lykke Li- I Never Learn
8.Beck- Morning Phase
9.Temples- Sun Structures
10.Manic Street Preachers- Futurology

11.Papercuts- Life Among The Savages
12.Violence- Erlebnis
13.The Juan MacLean- In a Dream
14.La Roux- Trouble in Paradise
15.Perfume Genious- Too Bright
16.iamamiwhoami- Blue
17.Gold Zebra- Gold Zebra
18.Xeno & Oaklander- Par Avion
19.Sandra Electronics- Sessions
20.Alvvays- Alvvays

21.Hjördis-Britt Åström-III
22.Martial Canterel-Gyors, Lassù
23.Wrangler- Spark
24.Chinawoman- Let's Party in Style
25.The War on Drugs- Lost in a Dream
26.Liars- Mess
27.Roladex-  Anthems for the Micro-Age
28.White Hex- Gold Nights
29.Grouper- Ruins
30.Broken Bells- After The Disco

31.Teleman- Breakfast
32.Corners- Maxed Out on Distractions
33. Planningtorock- All Love's Legal
34.Gazelle Twin- Unfleash
35.Minuit Machine- Live and Destroy
36.Trust- Joyland
37.Little Dragon- Nabuma Ruberband
38.Mode Moderne- Occult Delight
39.Client- Authority
40.Wild Beasts- Present Tense

Saturday, December 13, 2014

In Conversation: People at Parties

 People at Parties came as one of the best discoveries in 2014 and we are already thinking about naming them as our newcomer of the year. Very impressive, prolific and brilliant what these girls managed to deliver this year. A real new wave music inferno combining influences from both sides of the Atlantic. People at Parties are LK Naps (Vocals) Kelly Harris (drums) and Becky Kupersmith (synths). The bands first official full length self titled release came out November  2013 in digital form with official vinyl release in February 2014. Their debut album which combines dirty lo/fi electro with underground synth pop has certainly been a great soundtrack for our 2014 and we do hope to hear more of them in 2015. About this and more, find out in this exclusive interview.

2014:  Edna Leshowitz

1. Who are People at Parties? When did you first meet and decide to do music together? 
We were all distant fans of each others former projects we didn't really know each other, but one night wound up at the same bar in Brooklyn through a mutual friend... I gave Kelly a CD of a solo project I was doing, but was looking to collaborate on something new. The next week while her and Rebbecca were still in town, we decided to do a jam session for the hell of it... just to mess around, we had no clue if we would even mesh well with each other. I don't think any of us expected to connect as well as we did that first time, it was like we had all already been in this band together forever...seamless and effortless...every sound and every space between was perfect. It was new and it was old and it was completely different. I think we all knew right then that we needed to work together seriously.

2. Which artist, band or genre has influenced your music? Anything outside the music maybe? KH..I really am into David Byrne and Mark Mothersbaugh, I love that they are artists in every sense of the word...I just finished Byrne's "How Music Works," it's a great overview for anyone to read who is the slightest bit interested in the relationship between artist creativity and the music industry.
LK..It would be so hard to pick one band or genre so I'm going to say Dan Flavins light installations..the simplicity yet the strength and intensity has always inspired me.

3. Being divided between NY Brooklyn and San Francisco, where do you feel at home?
Home may be different for each of us but I think as a group we are incredibly comfortable on both coasts

4. Could you elaborate on your songwriting and recording process? Who takes on what particular responsibilities?-
It's sort of different for each song, we don't really have a formula. The writing process is usually a flood of energy and emotion for all of us. I think the coolest thing about PAP though is we know when one of us is on to something interesting,... and to keep going with it, weather it be one of us noodling around with one sound, one sample, one hook, one vocal line, one beat, someone will say ..hey wait that's cool keep going keep going..and encourage, then we will continue to explore that feeling until it burst out into something we feel is powerful enough to record.

 5. Until this date you have released a great debut album which was sold on sliding scale donation basis. Has this way and format proved as good for the debut release? Any chance of releasing it officially under contract?
KH...We think this format of release was a total success...It puts the power in our hands and proves that the harder you work as an artist the better the payback. We are totally responsible for ourselves and our own success. I think that most artists will eventually follow suit. I think we would be interested in working alongside an artist collective type thing, maybe where shared concepts and styles help catapult us into other arenas, maybe to new audiences.

 6. Your debut album provides a lot of good new wave energy, it’s quite atmospheric and could easy fit into 1984 as good as in 2014. Now almost a year after its initial release, how do you feel about it? Would you change anything?- ---
Thank you, nice compliment! I think there are probably many things each one of us would want to change, and hindsight is 20/20..the thing is the process from the initial emotion that even drives us to the idea of the song, into a fully developed record ready for the universe, is quite a process for us, but In this record i think it needed to come out exactly as it did. That's where we were and exactly how we felt at the time of conception, and if we could go back in time and change things we would never have that initial gut wrenching thrust. the force that drives us. Going back and changing feelings is like retouching, we aren't against it, but we felt we needed to put the raw tracks out there and not rethink and edit how we felt. We did re record 2 songs from our original demo EP and would up just going back to the originals after all was said and done. They just felt better the first time.

7. Tell us more about your live performances so far? How was the feel a warm and positive reception from your audiences? Any outstanding experiences?
LK We absolutely love playing live. Its a must. Its one of the most magical things about this project. I think our audiences have been incredibly supportive encouraging and honestly, for me very inspirational. I have met so many interesting and amazing people throughout the life of PAP and I look forward to meeting more
KH I think we really surprise people when they see that we are playing everything live, and out of amps. We do not have a laptop or any backing tracks....so when people see how connected we are...they really respond. Our shows are loud, and our vibe still the same as our record...it gets people excited to hear synths turned up and driving our sound through amps...LK delivers her voice on top and creates a unique vibe that people are not used to seeing live.

 8. How important is your visual image, does it go ahead the music?-
 We think the visual does compliment the music, the artwork we have is a visual interpretation of the sound, and as far as our physical selves, we do in fact love great style, but we all kind of just wear what we feel good in, we are somehow attracted to geometry, vintage things, new young designers that we meet, sometimes our friends make us outfits and that is really the best. I guess i would say the music comes first but i suppose it is hard to separate the two.

 9. What music do you listen to if you are not recording your own?
KH...Lately I have been going back in time and listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain. A friend of mine just turned me on to Hala Strana..he blends Eastern European instruments with loops...I love that it provides a different visual for me every time I listen.
 LK..I have been into really deep house lately..drum and bass and lush synths with no vocals or minimal vocals..on the opposite side of that, also lately have been listening to my Nina Simon records and early german/swiss electronic/postpunk stuff like Malaria & Grauzone

10. One guilty pleasure from 2014?-
LK...FKA Twigs
KH...Kendrick Lamar
RK..Howard Stern

11. After the debut album release, what comes next? What are the further plans and promotional activities?
We do actually have allot going on! we have a show coming up DEC 14th in Brooklyn at "baby's alright" and, a spring mini tour in the works... some really cool DJs and musicians are working on some remixes of the old fan favorites from the record, we have some songs from the record in a new series coming out after the new year, AND we have a new single we are working on a video for to be released early spring...so we have had our hands full and it feels great.

12. Any plans of coming to Europe and touring outside USA? We are constantly considering Europe...maybe burning flame can put on a festival and invite us to play!? We want to do something in the spring, so we are trying to make connections now.

13. Where can fans gain access to your music?--- Right now its easy access on soundcloud and our website through gumroad. We stayed away from the big distribution to keep things simple and in our control...we felt very precious about this album and how it would be released.

A very special thanks to:
LK Naps
Kelly Harris 
Becky Kupersmith

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Next Wave: Miaux

Miaux is the stage name for the Belgian underground artist Mia Prce who is originally from Sarajevo (Bosnia). Mia a contemporary pianist whose music is dreamy and melancholic art pop. To this date, from 2010 Miaux has released four EPs and this year finally sees her releaseing her debut album 'Dive'. The album is out on the Belgian record label Ultra Eczema. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

WAW: Kline Coma Xero- Mannequin

Kline Coma Xero is one of the brand new acts coming from Seattle based Medical records, a label know for a very distinctive and experimental minimal synth styles. The band was mainly influenced by the sterile and isolated iconography of authors such as Philip K. Dick, William Gibson and JG Ballard. The sound scapes are analogue spanning a realm of styles from experimental noise, tape loops and early industrial. We are presenting the video for their song "Mannequin" which was released this year. You might notice a Kraftwerk refernce in both vision and musical style.

WAW: Tempers- Hell Hotline

Tempers have announced a brand new video for the song "Hell Hotline" which is one of our favorite tunes this year. The video was revealed through their Youtube channel and was directed by Bela Borsodi. This is their third and final single for this year. We hope for their debut album in 2015. 

Psychic TV Release New Album 'Snakes'

Psychic TV will release a brand new album entitled 'Snakes' on Angry Love Productions. This is their first album since 2009 and musically it touches on various parts of Psychic TV's 35-year history. This LP will be a limited run of 1,000 copies bearing stunning five-color artwork and will have the trademark "random recycled vinyl" color process, meaning each copy of the vinyl will be completely unique in color. 'Snakes' is out next week, December 12th, 2014. 


Saturday, December 6, 2014

A-ha Deluxe Reissues Announced for 2015

A-ha have confirmed an extensive reissue plan for 2015 which will see four of their albums expanded and remastered. 'Stay on these Roads' (1988), 'East of the Sun', 'West of the Moon' (1990) and 'Memorial Beach' (1993) will all be reissued and expanded next year. 2015 will also see vinyl reissues of the first two albums, 'Hunting High' and 'Low and Scoundrel Days'. www.superdeluxeedition.com

Dimension Gondry: Daft Punk- Around The World

Here another great video in the Michael Gondry series most of you will remember from the 90's MTV heavy rotation. The song was taken from band's debut album 'Homework' and it was released in 1997. As already mentioned the video was directed by Gondry while the choreography was credited to Bianca Li. The video features five groups of characters on a platform representing a vinyl record: robots, skeletons, athletes, mummies and women as synchronized swimsuits move to the rhythm and beats of Daft Pank. According to Gondry, the video is meant to be a visual representation of the song in which each group of characters represents a different instrument or something from the musical arrangemtn. "Around the World" was Gondry's first attempt at bringing organized dancing to his music videos. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Retrovision: Experimental Products- Glowing in the Dark

Another great tune from 1984 that sadly did not chart on our 1984 singles countdown. It's one of the two singles Experimental Products released during their career. An excellent and obscure synth-pop at dead center of the eighties sounding very futuristic and ahead of its time. The single was reissued in 2005 and has been covered and remixed by DJ Hell. Even without touching still very up-to-date with today's music.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Spandau Ballet's Story in Music Documented in 'Soul Boys of The Western World'

Britain's iconic band Spandau Ballet story in music have finally been documented in a film.'Soul Boys of The Western World' is a journey through the 1980s and beyond; the story of a band, an era and how one small gathering of outsiders in London shaped the entire world’s view of music and fashion. The film is not only a fascinating, often hard-hitting social and cultural document of the time, but a brutally honest story of how friendships can be won, lost and ultimately regained. 
The film received its World Premiere in Competition at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March, to rave reviews. Long-time Julien Temple collaborator Hencken won acclaim for her honest and uplifting archive-only feature documentary, which combines newsreel footage with never-before-seen video from the band's personal archives, as well as candid interviews with all five band members.  


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Get Well Soon November EPs + Carless Whisper Cover

Get Well Soon announced the release of three brand new EPs for this November. Each EP will come with it's own theme and the album might follow next year. Two of the EPs 'The Lufthansa Heist' and 'The Infinite Desire of Zeppelin Alfred von Nullmeyer' are already released while the third one 'Greatest Hits' will be out by the end of week. They will be releaesd as a limited edition of 10“ vinyl records and as digital download. The gorgeous artwork is by Hermann Schenkel. One of the highlights on the third EP which includes cover songs is the brilliant cover of George Michael's "Careless Whisper" which celebrates 30 years anniversary this year. 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Next Wave: Hjördis-Britt Åström

Hjördis-Britt Åström is our brand new nordic obsession from Sweden. The man behind the music is Dmitriy Gruber, the founder and the musical mastermind here. Dmitriy likes horror movies, VHS, wine and night drives through the forest and that is what inspires him for his musical creation. The music, bedroom electro, dark and cold, where frozen beats overlap with cunty lyrics leaving a pop song underneath. It's like electoclash is alive again for a moment thinking back to early Ladytron and Miss Kitten. Vocal duties come from among others Yana Semour and Mariana Diakova who are part of his team. This has been a great year for Hjördis-Britt Åström as they managed to release two albums (II) and (III) and several EPs. Music with great sense of personality and style. We hope to have more of them in the near future, meanwhile check the music.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

OMD's Junk Culture Deluxe Reissue Announced

During their recent interview for BBC Radio 6 Music, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys have confirmed the 2CD deluxe reissue of their fifth studio album "Junk Culture" from 1984.The album which peaked at #9 in the UK and #182 in the US and gave us four hit-singles - "Locomotin, "Talking Loud And Clear", "Tesla Girls", and "Never Turn Away" - will be reissued next year instead of previously announced November 25th of this year. More info on the album's re-release to follow soon. 

Comateens Debut Album Reissued on CD

A very limited Collector's Edition of COMATEENS, the band's self-titled debut album recorded in December 1980, released in 1981 and never before available on CD has been released as a limited edition.The album also Included a bonus track, the first 1979 recording of "Cool Chick" featuring Ramona Jan on guitar and Harry Viderci on drums, and originally released on a self-produced 7" vinyl single. 
The tracks on this CD were transferred directly from the original master tapes of the album and so capture the true sound of the band at the dawn of the '80s, including any imperfections that might exist on those original tapes. The CD cover is a replica of the bands first U.S. release on vinyl, and features the iconic photography of Jean Baptiste Mondino. The inside cover presents the design that was used on the European release of the LP and cassette with photos by Joe Stevens. 
More info: comateens.com/shop

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WAW: Der Noir- L'Inganno

Our next video comes from Italy based trio Der Noir. It was released last year as well as their debut album. Their is a very dark tone preset in their music which is visualized in the artistic b&w music video which was recorded by by Simone Mogliè & Fernanda Veron. The song also features an unusual combination and mix of German and Italian singing vocals.

Dimension Gondry: Beck- Deadweight

We could easy go on with ten videos from Bjork, but let's see who else Gondry worked with and whose ideas he managed to visualize in a music video. We will stick to the 90's in this next one and it is Beck from his tropical side. Gondry directed two videso for Beck, "Cellphone's Dead" and "Deadweight" and we decieded to feature the second one, which has also appeared as a soundtrack to the movie 'A Life Less Ordinary'. The video features scene from the movie and Beck in paradoxical world where the video and movie are in dialogue with each other, a rather different take on a movie soundtrack.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In Conversation: Minuit Machine

Minuit Machine have already been introduced to our blog during the last month. Hailing from France to some they might be new comers and to the other already a familiar name in Darkwave waters. We decided to catch up with the girls and find out something more about their sound machine. As already mentioned, the duo took shape in 2013 when they released their debut EP. This is a big year for them as they have released their debut album 'Live and Destroy' and they are currently touring an promoting it. Let's see what Hélène and Amandie have to say about Minuit Machine, past, present and future.

1. B- When I saw your name for the first time for a second I was confused and associated to the classic Moroder’s outfit Munich Machine. Many people might wonder what the story of behind the name Minuit Machine is? Any reference to it?
H - Haha, I never thought about that! There is no particular references to Munich Machine. I was looking for a good association of two french words that would represent the music we play. And it came suddenly one night, « Minuit » means « Midnight » in french and « Machine » is the same word in both language. I can’t really explain why but it was an evidence, the perfect combination.

2. B - Let’s take this past reference to talk about the influences. Is there any particular artist or genre that influenced the music of Minuit Machine?
H - Of course, a lot of bands influence our music, past and present. But when we are composing the songs, it’s something that comes from really deep, it’s our emotions that we’re changing into sounds and melodies. I remember when we played our first gig, someone told us that he recognized the influence of The Human League in our music and I was really surprised because I love that band and I would say that yes, this is one of my biggest influences. But I’m not conscious at all about how people can hear those influences in our music, we don’t even really think about it. But to tell a few names, for me, it would be: Xeno&Oaklander, The Human League, Depeche Mode, The Frozen Autumn, Gold Zebra, Linea Aspera, Tears for Fears, Turquoise Days…
A – Yes, exactly :). I feel like the melodies and lyrics I’m creating now are influenced by all of the artists I’ve been listening to in my life. But if I had to pick a few bands that are always on my mind, I would say: IamX, Metric, Erasure, Depeche Mode and The Cure.

3. B -You mentioned on bandcamp that you both met in 2013 when Hélène was still touring with her band Phosphor. Minuit Machine was born soon after it. What happened to Phosphor?
H - I started Minuit Machine in june 2013 and Phosphor splitted up in november 2013. but there is no link between this two facts. I lived in London during two years and I met Nathalie and Jake there but I moved back to Paris at the beginning of 2013. I was travelling every month to practice or touring with Phosphor and it worked pretty well! After a european tour in october, Jake told us that I wanted to leave the band for personal reasons. It was quite a shock but we totally understood those reasons. We decided that it was the end of Phosphor because we couldn’t imagine the band without him.

4. B- Hélène you have experienced working with a band of three people and now a duo. The musical direction has more or less remained the same. What is different concerning the song writing and performing live? What is the best fit?
 H - For me, those two projects are totally different. I joined Phosphor when Nathalie and Jake already released a first EP and they needed someone to play the synth. Little by little, I have been involved in the composition process but for me, it always has been Nathalie and Jake’s project. I learned so much thanks to Phosphor and I’m really proud to have been in this band with those two fantastic artists. But in Minuit Machine it’s totally different, it’s my baby! My sensibilities, my emotions… I can totally express myself. With Amandine, we work in a complementary way, making all the decisions together. But on stage, I would say it doesn’t change anything to be two or three musicians. I’m still playing the synths haha !

5. B- Are you keeping in touch with Jake and Nathalie? Amandine, how about you any previous musical experience? H - Yes but it’s not easy with the distance. Anyway, I follow their musical projects with attention and I am amazed by how things turn out for the three of us.
A – I had my first band when I was 20 years old. We were 4 and our music was a mix between New Wave and Grunge. It lasted 2 years. It was a great first experience but in the end, I didn’t recognize myself anymore in the music we were making. After that, I had several bands, amongst which an electro-rock project.

6. B- Coming back to Minuit Machine. Your debut album ‘Live and Destroy’ is out now. There is this certain dark tone on it. Can you tell us some stories about the recording production process?
H - Generally, I start composing the electronic drums and the bass synth lines. After that, I add some melodic synth lines. I’m working on this melodies until I really feel touched or get emotional… Only at this moment, I know I found something interesting. When the structure of the song is done, I send it to Amandine.
A – When Hélène sends me the instrumental tracks, I listen to them many times so that I can feel the global atmosphere. This atmosphere is what inspires me to create a melody and write the lyrics. My goal is always to find lyrics and melodies that suite Hélène’s synths and electronic beats.
H - After that I mix all the tracks together and rework the whole song until we’re both satisfied with it.

7. B- How do you promote your music, social networks vs live shows?
A – These last years have been very hard for the music business and the new artists. So we believe it is paramount not to neglect any way of promoting our music. Facebook and Twitter are the perfect tools to communicate and make people know our music. Live shows are extremely important too. When we’re touring, we meet lots of people, and it is also a chance for us to prove that we’re a real band with powerful live sounds.

8. B- What music are you listening when you are not recoding your own? With this year’s end approaching any special album you would like to share with the fans? An album you will remember 2014 for.
 A – The music I listen to depends very much on my mood. I would say that these days, I love listening to grunge music. A few weeks ago, I was into italo disco, and before, I was into pure 80’s bands like Roxette, The Cure (their old records) and Erasure. I also listen to more recent artists such as Empathy Test and Coctail Twins. I know that Coctail Twins are gonna release an EP soon, and I can’t wait to listen to it. My 2014 album are Oblivion by Ash Code.
H - I’m kind of obsessive when it comes to music. I don’t fall in love often but when it’s happen, I can listen to the same song or album over and over again. Last year, I was obsessed by the album « Sentinelle » from Xeno & Oaklander and the song « Love, french, better » from Gold Zebra. This year, it’s the songs « Deliverance » and « RFLX » from H ø r d and « Losing Touch » by Empathy Test. For the 2014 album, I would say the self titled one from Keluar.

9. B- What lies on the horizon of Minuit machine, beside the live performances and promotional activities, what else is in plan for Minuit Machine?
A – For now, we’re pretty much focusing on the tour but we have lots of plans of Minuit Machine, such as a second album for 2015 and maybe a very special release before… :)

10. B- How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Where, links? 
A – For news, you can like our page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/minuitmachine 
Or follow us on Twitter: @minuitmachine. You can listen to our music on bandcamp: http://minuitmachine.bandcamp.com or on soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/minuit-machine 

A very special thanks to Amandine and Hélène and to Cagliostro from You Can Utopia blog!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Retrovision: Belaboris- Rakkauden Jälkeen

Thirty years ago Belaboris released their final tune and said good bye to the music world in this format. This was a cover version of the Finish singer Carola who released this song in the late 60's. The band managed to release their one and final album during the same year. Their recording material was recently picked up by Dark Entries Records and released on a compilation entitled 'Once Upon a Time'.

Eyeless in Gaza Release a Compilation of Rare Studio Recordings

This year has recently have been a great come back year for Eyeless in Gaza. They have released a brand new studio album 'Mania Sour' in August and the original album collection has been reissued on Cherry Red during the same month. This new release is entitled 'Mythic Language/Egg Box Mask' an eclectic mix of early Eyeless In Gaza recordings – experimental, plus studio recordings 1981-82, mostly which are aural documents reflecting the variety of settings and conditions under which they were recorded. This does not necessarily display the usual high quality audio standards of Ambivalent Scale who will release this compilation in late November. 


Friday, October 31, 2014

Siouxsie and the Banshees' Final Albums Reissued

The reissue of the last four albums by Siuxsie and the Banshees has been quite a topic with this month finally giving it an official release announcment. This package include the final four albums (1987′s 'Through the Looking Glass' 1988′s 'Peepshow', 1991′s 'Superstition' and 1995′s 'The Rapture'). All four releases come with remastered audio from the original master tapes, rare bonus and unreleased tracks plus extensive sleeve notes. And just a reminder that in April their debut single "Hong Kong Garden" was reissued on double seven-inch vinyl.