Posts Tagged ‘Darkwave’

There is more than one way to listen to BEBORN BETON’s ninth album "Darkness Falls Again": it is possible to just dance and enjoy contemporary synth pop hymns that have a solid musical based in the golden 80s with a dash of cool 90s influences. Catchy tunes and mature songwriting combine to form a sonic joyride.

Yet there is another side to BEBORN BETON, which is mostly expressed in their lyrics. On "Darkness Falls Again", the Germans wade right into the political battles and culture wars of our times. BEBORN BETON speak out against the attempts to deny and deprive women of their rights. They take a strong stand against those who try to restrict love, the freedom to choose gender, and sexuality. The trio clearly call out racists, demagogues, preachers of hate and violence, and those who destroy our planet in order to enrich themselves. In short, BEBORN BETON put their finger right on the pulse of our time.

BEBORN BETON were founded by vocalist Stefan Netschio, keyboard player and drummer Stefan Tillmann, and keyboard player Michael Wagner in 1989. The trio set out with the declared aim to keep synth pop relevant and give it meaning. Their first signs of life were three self-released works, ‘Pyre’ (1989), ‘Scythe’ (1991, and ‘Die Stahlbetontour’ (1992) that came out on tape.

Following their first two regular albums "Tybalt" (1993) and "Concrete Ground" (1994), BEBORN BETON found a label-home where they joined renowned acts such as WOLFSHEIM and DE/VISION. Having conquered home, the three electro-musicians rapidly expanded abroad and the 1996 full-length "Nightfall", followed by "Truth" in 1997, and "Fake" (1999) gained the Germans strong acclaim by critics and fans around the globe.

By the time, "Rückkehr zum Eisplaneten" (‘Return to the Ice-Planet’) was released in 2000, BEBORN BETON had firmly positioned themselves as a headlining act within their scene and toured in all the strongholds of electronic music such as Canada and the US, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, and even Russia among other places. In the North of America, the Germans had scored a veritable club hit with the track ‘Another World’ in 1997. Across the Atlantic, the track’s ever-growing popularity finally led to the exclusive US release of a best-of double-album entitled "Tales from Another World" in 2002, which was followed by extensive touring in North America with APOPTYGMA BERZERK in the same year.

Yet the heavy touring and the creatively highly demanding output of so many excellent albums in quick succession started to take its toll. After the release of "Tales from Another World" (2002) and the associated touring, BEBORN BETON went on an extended hiatus.
It took 13 long years, until BEBORN BETON returned to the delight and surprise of their still huge following with a new album on Dependent Recordings. "A Worthy Compensation" (2015) was showered with accolades from the relevant magazines such as an "album tip of the month" in German Sonic Seducer and Orkus Magazine called the record an "undisputed masterpiece".

Having learned from previous experiences and not to fall back into a relentless production cycle, BEBORN BETON took their time to write another masterpiece. "Darkness Falls Again" has all the ingredients that make synth pop great. Catchy songs that make the legs twitch, a dash of melancholy, a pinch of irony, and a knife-tip of anger. Music with a meaning, welcome back BEBORN BETON!

Watch the video for ‘Dancer in the Dark’ here:

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Photo: Chris Ruiz

French darkwave band, Divine Shade has just unveiled  their new single, ‘Stars’.

The track was performed live during Divine Shade’s set in support of Gary Numan’s 2022 UK tour.

The song’s theme is simple. It addresses the concept of our “inner child” disappearing over time. Says, Rémi Thonnerieux, “I wrote this song to talk about the fact that love and resilience are the true paths to dreaming again”.
2022 has been a great new start for Divine Shade. "Stars" is their way of saying "Thank You" to everyone for this year’s success. The song will also be part of a big musical project to be announced in 2023.

‘Stars’ was produced by Ren Toner and features Shan Moue on additional vocals. ‘Stars’ is available on all major digital platforms including Bandcamp. Listen here:

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Singer Liset Alea (known for her long collaboration with Nouvelle Vague) fuses with French darkwave producer Distance H to create ‘Reason To Rush’; an impelling dream pop evocation, navigating the realms of reason and impulsiveness, luminous euphoria and its dark plunge.

Liset Alea sings her ‘Reason To Rush’ in a driving immersive atmosphere where menacing guitars weave beneath the surface.

Distance H gives birth to a musical universe that sources its array of sounds within and beyond the margins of post-punk, dark wave, cold wave, ethereal, and shoegaze, sometimes borrowing some more electronic-driven beats. For his debut EP, Intimacy, he invites an assortment of collaborative singers to express themselves by escaping into and from the vast distances of themselves and their experiences

His first single ‘Bitch 16’ made in collaboration with Ophelia from Saigon Blue Rain was released on the 29th of April 2022 and was noticed by the specialized press, by "its freshness, its mechanical and dramatic resonance".

His second single "Waters Of Woe" featuring Marita Volodina from Stridulum / Burial Fields / Blood Tears After was released on the 30th of September 2022 and was appreciated as a ‘spectacularly intoxicating track, with a captivating melody, dark and enticing’.

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Darkwave band, Stariana has just unveiled their new single, ‘Paradise Is Lost On You’.

‘Paradise Is Lost On You’ is an anthemic rebuttal to the flawed notion that a person loving and living outside the traditional norms of society is somehow immoral or broken.

We will celebrate being alive and live as vibrantly as possible, regardless of what those who won’t understand might think or say.  Paradise is lost on them.  In other words, the song brings the message of not giving up in the face of adversity.

Check the single here:

Stariana is a post punk/darkwave trio based in Eugene, Oregon, heavily influenced by post punk mainstays such as Depeche Mode, New Order, Bauhaus, Jesus And Mary Chain and 90’s era Britpop; Elastica, Blur, The Stone Roses with just a little bit of Blondie and Joan Jett mixed in for flavor. 

Stariana is:
Nikki Brackett & Victor St. Petersburg (of Black Magdalene) and Tethys.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Having showcased ‘Immersive Waves’ recently, my interest was sufficiently piqued to explore the rest of the EP from gothic/occult wave duo Raven Said. With ‘Immersive Waves’ being the last of the EP’s five tracks, it feels like I’m coming to it backwards first, although I so appreciate there is a flaw to this logic.

‘A Flowering and a Flattering’ drills in with some expansive synths wafting over a hi-NRG dance beat and thumping bass, and it falsely points toward pumping trance before going cinematic, darkwave, and then the arrival of the vocals – a heavily-processed, growling monotone baritone that’s quintessential goth – changes the tone again, and with fractal guitars chiming against a pulsing bass and stomping mechanised beat we’re in the domain of 90s second wave goth as characterised by the likes of Suspiria and the Nightbreed label’s output.

It’s the chorus-heavy guitars and theatrical vocals that dominate the broodingly dramatic ‘Transparent Sorrow’ that draws all of its cues from The Sisters of Mercy circa 85 and Ghostdance, Skeletal Family, et al, and dark grooves are the leading element of the murky ‘Except My Love for Her’. The drum machine may be backed off, but the crisp snare echoes into the sonic fog while the bass booms. The rasping vocal sounds more like a menacing threat than pleading, before the frenetic ‘Sredni Vashtar’ goes full electro and sounds like The Sisterhood’s ‘Jihad’ played at 45 instead of 33, or a KMFDM outtake. This level of electronic hyperactivity is perhaps the least successful song on the EP, and it’s not aided by the mix, with the vocals up and the drums and synths backed off. It feels somehow cheap.

But then ‘Immersive Waves’ draws together all of the best elements of the preceding tracks into a rippling mix of vintage goth and electropop steeped in theatre and atmosphere and it’s magnificently moody and leaves you wanting more, and more….

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Darkwave project, Distance H has dropped their new single & video featuring Marita Volodina, ‘Waters Of Woe’.

‘Waters Of Woe’ addresses the necessity to overcome the pain and anguish of broken promises, by others or by oneself, making the promised lands inaccessible. It’s the saving distance to escape collapse when the time comes for resignation and abandonment. It’s also the distance to be taken with our ghosts, (past or present), which haunt the mind and the memory.
To free yourself from the stigmata of the past, to emancipate the psyche into the present. That is ‘Waters Of Woe’.

Parisian producer/artist, Manuel H once again invites a feature singer, Marita Volodina, for the new single.

It’s vintage goth with a contemporary spin. It’s also a cracking tune. We dig it, and you can check it out here:

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Gothic/occult wave duo Raven Said has just unveiled their new EP, Chants To Dissolve.

Chants To Dissolve is about the spiritual essence that represents a certain alchemical phase of Solve (a transitional process between the Nigredo and Albedo phases in basic Alchemy).

On the abstract, the EP represents the invisible and inaudible flattering of a butterfly’s wing to the deafening roar of the inescapable wave of the coming future. Physically, it’s an effort aimed at changing the composition, without an exact result In a philosophical context. This means that the future is not defined and there is only the possibility of one or another existence; a certain point of polyfurcation, a set of evolution.

With pulsing vibrations of guitar and synths transformed into elegant canvases in cold tones, Raven Said is the flexible fusion of darkwave / goth rock / post-punk; the musical expression of symbolic mysticism and psychology.

Check ‘Immersive Waves’ from the EP here:

The founders of the band – Andrey and Maria united for creation of old school Goth Rock / Occult Wave project. One of the most famous poems of the American romantic writer E. А. Poe inspired the band’s stylish title.
Raven Said accumulates the energy of Second Wave Goth Rock and complements this with elements of Post-Punk and New Wave to form their original modern sound.

Musically, Raven Said takes inspiration from the likes of Rosetta Stone, Nosferatu, Witching Hour, The Cult, Mephisto Waltz, Cinema Strange among others. Raven Said’s lyrics focus on occultism, attraction to the world beyond and following into the realm of the unconsciousness themes.

Raven Said has served as a support act for cult artists such Golden Apes (DE), The Danse Society (UK), Das Ich (D), My Own Burial (ES), Murnau’s Playhouse (FI), Moon Far Away (RU), Orplid (DE), Larva (ES) etc.

Raven Said has received considerable acclaim and recognition. The band has participated in numerous online, print and radio interviews and has been reviewed in various online and print publications worldwide. They have also taken part in online festivals – Absolution NYC, Goth for Sanctuaries, ARG-Fest & Luna Negra.

2017 saw the release of the EP, Seven Deadly Tapes which was well-received both in Russia and abroad. In 2020, the band released the LP, Beyond the Darkest Hour on the UK label, Secret Sin Records.

Broadening the forms of traditional Goth rock, Raven Said are experimenting with new shapes and themes having the artistic charm and authentic visual aesthetics.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Well, if you’re going to do goth, it’s best if you go all-out on it. Cleveland-based electro-goth rock collective Dispel certainly don’t toy with half-measures.

‘Flames of Greed’ is the lead single from their second album, Inferno (out on October 12th).

As the title may suggest, the album is based on Dante’s seminal text, and the premise is that ‘Dispel follows Dante and his guide Virgil down each layer of the Nine Hells, dedicating a song to each level of mortal sin. Sprinkled with diabolical personalities from ancient mythology and fantasy literature, this undertaking took two years to complete.’

‘The Flames of Greed’ is an interesting hybrid of pulsating electro pop and dark disco, spiky post-punk and high theatre, with Ravensea’s semi-operatic vocal dominating the insistent drum-machine driven electro grind that pulsates away relentlessly and it’s compelling, multisensory, especially when accompanied by the video…

Ah, the video, directed and edited by filmmaker Rafeeq Roberts, which ‘sees vocalist Ravensea play the part of the diabolic and tormenting empress of greed Fierna, her powerful voice serenading the fallen souls who succumbed to greed in the material world, delivering their eternal fate in Hell’.

It’s epic, and no mistake. And given the inspiration and subject matter, it’s entirely fitting.

This isn’t simply goth or a cliché rendering of any goth template: Dispel fully embrace presenting high art and literature, and when so much is dumbed down to nothing, it’s welcome, and the presentation is impressive.

And while content is king and image only counts for so much, presentation definitely matters. Dispel have got it all going for them here.

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The latest single by Swedish post-punk/darkwave act A Projection sees the Stockholm-based quartet maintain their recent move towards a more electronic sound with a new single entitled ‘Anywhere’ that has a distinct mid-80s electro-pop vibe. Out on 30th September, a video for the song has been made available a day ahead of its release.

The group’s upcoming fourth album, In A Different Light, has already had the songs ‘Darwin’s Eden’, ‘No Control’, ‘Careless’ and now ‘Anywhere’ lifted from it as singles. Encompassing both ‘80s post-punk and electronic elements, it will be their second full-length record released on Metropolis Records and follows 2019’s ‘Section’. Further details will follow shortly.

Initially inspired by the dark post-punk/proto-goth of The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy and Joy Division along with the electronica of Depeche Mode, the band are also known for their compelling and dynamic live shows.

The video for ‘Anywhere’ has been made by Ukrainian filmmaker and artist Shorkina Valeri, who also shot the recent promo clip for ‘Careless’.

Watch the video for ‘Anywhere’ here:

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On September 9, darkwave artist Curse Mackey will release his highly-anticipated new full-length album, Immoral Emporium, the follow-up to his 2019 industrial masterpiece, Instant Exorcism. Curse will also embark on a North American tour as a special guest for darkwave legends, Clan of Xymox.
Immoral Emporium is an intense, dark electronic music experience. Curse emphasizes, “This is a NEW album for modern times, in the here and now.”

True to his word, Immoral Emporium pushes the boundaries of genre with a vast dynamic range, from a tortured whisper to a triumphant howl. The first single, “Lacerations” is a dancefloor stomper with hypnotic vocals, a hard-hitting chorus with wailing synths and bin-shaking beats.

The album moves into poppy, upbeat club territory with the earworm ‘Dead Fingers Talk’.  The buildups are big, such as in ‘Omens and Monuments’, with monstrous synths that bring Immoral Emporium to a goosebump-inducing, cathartic end leaving the listener looking forward to the future.

Curse says, “Immoral Emporium was created under very remote, unusual, stressful conditions. This record is a dangerous listen. By the time it reaches the last song, I, as the protagonist, am essentially already dead. However, my last words are meant to give hope to the listener, my friends around the world…that you can live to fight another day, knowing you don’t have to give in to the fear, pain, and worry. These things will pass and you are not alone."

Clocking the William Burroughs reference in ‘Dead Fingers Talk’, interest in the album is piqued here at Aural Aggravation, and never more so than by the promo clip for ‘Lacerations’, released as a taster for the album, which you can watch here:

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