WL//WH Best Post-Punk / Darkwave / Dark Synth Albums Of The Year
I like reading playlists, not too long though, otherwise I fall asleep, but I don’t feeling comfortable about doing it, I have too many second thoughts that ruin my few hours of sleep… so it was just like a stream of consciousness with blurring boundaries and several omissions.
1. DRAB MAJESTY ‘The Demonstration’ (DAIS)
2. DEATH BELLS ‘Standing At The Edge Of The World’ (Burning Rose/Funeral Party Records)
An irresistible mix of jangle guitars and moody gloomy post-punk highlighted by a charismatic frontman, an impressive debut from another great band from Oz.
3. BUZZ KULL ‘Chroma’ (Burning Rose)
5. NONE ‘Poison’ (Unknown Pleasures Records/Black Verb)
With 4 full lengths and 7 EP’s in an year, the young German female artist is surely the most prolific, her intriguing cold synth darkwave sound always resonates deep inside, she’s got ideas, vision and talent, definitely the best newcomer of the year.
Magnificent goth-tinged darkwave debut from L.A. 3-piece, Rachael Pierce’s voice is outstanding…
7. IN THE NURSERY ‘1961’ (ITN Corporation)
Timeless experimental, refined and ‘contaminated’ take on post punk and beyond from long-standing twin brothers Nigel & Klive Humberstone, ‘1961’ is their year of birth, maybe to deep, sophisticated and engaging for these superficial and quick times, music to be slowly sipped over a good glass of scotch.
8. HANTE ‘Between hope & danger’ (Synth Religion)
Hélène De Thoury solo moniker is a guarantee of sophisticated, emotional, personal and ‘progressive’ dark minimal synth sound. Always inspiring as shown by her live shows
9. PRINCIPE VALIENTE ‘Oceans’ (Manic Depression)
Already their third album but their complex and nuanced dark sound never ends to amaze.
10. MODE IN GLIANY ‘Convulsive’ (TONN Recordings)
Hard not to be haunted by the bewitching and melancholic cold and minimal analog synth melodies and black and white hazy soundscapes from the French artist Boris Volt.
11. PROTOMARTYR ‘Relatives in descent’ (Domino)
Despite the growing popularity, the Detroit post punkers opted for the minimalism and the sharpness of the arrangements and it worked : a dense, solid and visceral album full of angst and desperation with few burst of light, an honest and uncompromising statement against these obscure times.
12. PARADOX OBSCUR ‘Artifact’ (Young And Cold Records)
The third album of the Greek duo of Werkstatt Recordings founder Toxic Razor and Kriistal Ann with its wide palette of minimal, fully hardware, dark synth sound, doesn’t disappoint and establishes Paradox Obscure, more than ever, as a crucial figure in the cold electronics scene, with its raw energy, sweeping passion and irresistable dancefloor attitude.
13. MOLCHAT DOMA ‘S krysh nashikh domov’ (Detriti Records)
From the capital of Belarus, thanks to some DIY enlightened minds, comes the fresh and vibrant mix of post-punk, new wave and synthpop by Minsk 3-piece, top-notch stuff!
14. DIE SELEKTION ‘Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt’ (aufnahme + wiedergabe)
An high quality second album from the German trio with their evolving danceable dark electro synth sound, reminiscent of the 80’s NDW, D.A.F. and Palais Schaumburg; Hannes Rief’s trumpet then is absolutely mind-blowing.
15. BLEIB MODERN ‘Antagonism’ (Third Coming / Black Verb / Manic Depression)
With their third album Phillip Läufer & co. deliver their usual compelling slice of gloomy, dense and melancholic post-punk. Its austere, suffered, tormented and intense tone combined with a more mature improved songwriting, will tear your ‘blackened souls’ apart.
16. SCHONWALD ‘Night Idyll’ (Manic Depression Records)
London-based favourite Italian duo is back with their fourth album to give us their mature balance of cold synth darkwave meet 4AD’s dreampop and shoegaze sound, once again impeccable and inspiring.
17. STOCKHAUSSEN ‘Signos’ (Infravox Records)
Mexico City’s artist Angel Kauff proves himself to be one the finest and essential voices of the dark analogue minimal-synth sound; frozen, melodic and emotional music for cold hearts and dark minds.
18. ANTIPOLE ‘Northern Flux‘ (Unknown Pleasures Records)
It seems like yesterday when I listened for the first time the fragile and melancholic instrumental post-punk, with 80’s Mancunian hints, from a mysterious outfit from Trondheim. Karl Morten Dahl’s moniker has finally achieved its excellent debut album, the songwriting is more confident, the vocals of Paris Alexander and Eirene add an extra flavour and dimension, those hypnotic entwined guitar leads make my heart melt, just the first step for something bigger…
19. SALLY DIGE ‘Holding On’ (Avant!)
The second album from the Berlin-based Danish-Canadian multidisciplinary artist is a further evidence of her absolute importance in the electronic dark-synth scene : just one synth and her voice, 80s synthpop meets new wave, ‘Holding On’ a captivating dance banger, she seduces and makes you dance, can we ask for more?
20. SEXTILE ‘Albeit Living’ (Felte)
A pretty good ‘difficult’ sophomore album from the L.A. quartet, a band with the uncommon ability to blend classic post punk, raw rock’n’roll, surf, punk, industrial and electronica in a personal and contemporary way.
My hypocritical honorable mentions :
Ghost Twin, Death Of Lovers, M!R!M, Bewitched As Dark, Autobahn, Selfishadows,The Shyness Of Strangers ,ultrviolence ,Ono Scream, Scene Noir, Silent Runners, Skeleton Hands, L’Avenir, Gold Class, Supernova 1006, Утро, CircaTapes, Double Echo, H.Grimace