2019 was pretty productive in all alternative music with so many stunning albums and I find it hard to recommend only a few. I will include some artists that I presented here in WL//WH and a load more too! First, I’d like you to pour some quality absinthe in your glasses, and then…listen with passion!!! All records here are in the first position!!!
- Rev Rev Rev from Modena, Italy, killed me nicely with their last album ‘Kykeon’. The whole record is an artistic adventure magnificent to the senses like a guilty look from last night’s feast!!!
- This Cold Night from Austin, Texas with his last effort ‘Black Cherry’ EP which is a brilliant 4-track study on how to coldwave the post-punk genre!!!
- NOIR, collective from New York with its last ‘A Pleasure’ EP. I suggest you do yourselves a good favor and as you are all into the wide darkwave stream, listen to what they have achieved with the new record!!!
- California’s Blood Ponies with their debut album ‘Hoax’. It includes 10 very loud and really very loud post-punk oriented bullets! I lost my mind with them!!!
- Another debut record that shocked me was the first S/T release by Italian dark, nugazers Solitude In Apathy. Everything is passionate and raw over here as the band sounds way more than just a promising new act!!!
- From the region of Grand Est and the city of Metz in France, Hanging Gardens with their latest ‘Materia Prima’ album. Vocalist Nadia B and multi-instrumentist Loic V is a team that shapes some pretty impressive, persuasive and at the end, some utterly conclusive darkwave art at its very edges!!!
- ‘Cravings’ is the title of the latest album by Sweden’s darkwave act Memoria. The album is a stunner with pretty angular performance and sound in all!!!
- Three gorgeous albums by the Belfast-based boutique and dedicated label TONN RECORDINGS. First, the name debut LP by Colombian synthesized wizard David P. (David Pinilla), who is heading to becoming another acknowledged ambassador of the Latin synth cult tribe!!!
- Second, Crystalline Stricture‘s ‘Technique’ LP as the whole album is an adventurous collage of the most avant-garde minimal/ analog synthetic sounds and techniques. A brilliant job in here too!!!
- And third, ‘The Seep’ mini-album by Blind Delon & Sopoorific. It includes two shining electro-synthwave bullets plus their remixes by Vogue. Noir, and Hante.!!!
- Speaking now of Hélène de Thoury and Synth Religion label; 4th long play for her moniker Hante. with ‘Fierce’ LP which was as expected, a magnificent release!!!
- Then, and after a 3-year hiatus she returned with her friend Amandine Stioui as Minuit Machine and their latest album ‘Infrarouge’. A very strong team with very strong songs!!!
- And on October 31 through that label, the German coldwave outfit Box And The Twins published their superb third album ‘Zerfall’. Or should I say, their best work so far?!?!?!
- L.A.-based electro darkwave duo Milliken Chamber and their debut ‘Absence’ LP. An utterly glorious album of 10 darkened enough synthetic chapters which may easily stand alone as maxis while all together consist a pretty edgy and excellently produced album!!!
- Fabrizio wrote about NNMHN; Following the obscure, brooding and cinematic Lynchian atmospherics of last September’s second album ‘Church Of No Religion’, Berlin-based, Poland-bred duo NNHMN, made of Lee & Laudarg, is back to a more concise and rhythmic song format, exploring the blurry line between darkwave and synthpop. I agree with every word, and I only add that here, NNHMN offered an album that surprised us all. An outstanding release was ‘Shadow in the Dark’ LP!!!
- The London-based all-female international post-punk gang GHUM with their new ‘The Coldest Fire’ EP. The team presented a staggering little record where you may listen to a mosaic of grooves and colors and storms as they were all sired in the early ’80s and twisted forward to the next decades until now!!!
- American-French darkwave act Lower Savage with ‘Undertows’ debut album. A startling debut album where they channel their coldwave oriented musings through the darkwave musical spectrum while blending it all with some par excellence gothic poetry!!!
- Krakow, Poland, and Undertheskin offered the raging album, ‘Negative’, with 7 songs that are filled with “venomous” narrations and all presented with a luster sound which makes it all even more imposing as it already is!!!
- England, electronic maverick producer Dean Garcia (Curve, SPC ECO, S T F U, Blurred City Lights) returned with his new Inkräktare project, together with Mark Wallbridge (a.k.a. Vasko The Pig), Rose Berlin (SPC ECO), and Preston Maddox (S T F U, Bloody Knives). ‘We Are Not Really Here’ LP was a state of the art album in all!!!
- London-based singer/ songstress Evi Vine, and her album ‘BLACK//LIGHT//WHITE//DARK’, featuring collaborations with Simon Gallup from The Cure, Peter Yates from Fields of the Nephilim, Martyn Barker (Shriekback, Marianne Faithfull, etc), and Geraldine Swayne (Faust). That album simply nailed me!!!
- London-based outfit Where We Sleep with ‘Experiments In The Dark’ EP. A dark delight served up in five tracks featuring names like Axel Ray from United Ghosts, Ben Pritchard (formerly of The Fall and currently in Manc Floyd), and Debbie Smith of Curve, Echobelly, and SPC ECO fame. That album was excellent!!!
- The Kentucky Vampires with ‘Blood and Tears’ EP. Old school gothic rock which if created nicely then it is not only imposing but playful and a real mess, yeah!!!
- Peg Leg Love with ‘The Funeral Empire’ LP. Simple-Things-California-Deathrock-Rules!!! Addictive and twisted as expected!!!
- From the press-kit: London After Midnight‘s classic album ‘Selected Scenes from the End of the World’ completely remixed from the original multitrack master tapes, including unreleased bonus material!!! The Gift for everybody out there!!!
- And, from the Athens’ desk WL//WH, I must give you these 3 forthcoming…issues! Kalte Nacht unleashed their brand new official video for ‘Ghost Dance’ which was a hit in the head!!!
- On December 5, Paradox Obscur from Athens GR unveiled the brand new and fresh in the flesh official video clip of ‘Abeyance’ from the upcoming album ‘SYNΘESIS’ that is slated for release on March 15, 2020!!! I have listened to this album and I can assure you that you and I and all of we shall fall dead and happy!!!
- …and an announcement from Marva Von Theo! ‘Embrace This Madness’ is the first single from Marva Von Theo’s upcoming second album ‘Afterglow’ slated for release soon in 2020!!! I have also listened to that album and I can assure you that we shall all die again in peace my brothers and sisters!!!
- Last, here is my fave compilation release in 2019. ‘The Unquiet Grave 2019’, Cleopatra Records, Produced and compiled by Athan Maroulis (NOIR)!!!
I WISH FOR A VERY NICE AND HAPPY YEAR 2020 FOR ALL
LOUD CITIES MIKE D.
Every Wednesday, Loud Cities on air by Mike Dimitriou on Mercury Radio, 22.00 – 00.00 (21.00 -23.00 CET). An alternative music broadcast-based mostly on Post-Punk, New/Dark Waves, Shoegaze, Synth Wave, Minimal electronics, EBM, Indies, and Alt-rock music. Every week with brand new releases, promos, tributes and whatever occurs in the global underground scene, listen loud!