Detonic Recordings released on November the 16th, the latest album from mnttaB called This Friction. Okay, it is a bit like this. We get an email with the album and cover plus a cryptic hope you like this message. That’s it. I know they are from Melbourne and possibly one guy. Is his name Richard Payne? Is he also known as Dik Detonic from Australian post-punk band S:Bahn? I bloody don’t know but have an inkling it is this ex Brit.

A POSSIBLE SIGHTING OF MNTTAB

So we kick off with “Alison” and there is the drum machine diligently doing its thing while the synths take center stage until the vocals chime in, A very English accent tells you that Alison is always in the right place at the right time, The tonal electronics start before the bright synths for “Denominator“. The lightness of the synths is in contrast to the lyrical content which speaks of lost dreams and entrenched sadness of being.

Title track “This Friction” is actually glorious for minimal fare. It has this science fiction feel with the sound building and becoming a near cacophony until the sudden stop. There is a woman speaking… is she speaking English? Is is hard to tell but it may be German. “Ulrike” is like a dream where you think you are awake but cannot grasp anything tangible.

Hmmm what to make of “Burnt To A Crisp“. His dinner may be ruined or all his hopes and aspirations but he’s not happy whatever the case. You mention “Xerox” and I think of Adam And The Ants which was a very catchy tune and this as well will get stuck in your head. This possibly the stand out song and I really like it with the bleating electronics and the way kind of becomes a bit intense and crazed. “Sensurround” is the last track and it feels like it was lifted from Blake 7 or Tron. It is fleeting, for as you get into it, then it is gone.

mnttaB describe this album as moods raging from abrasion to a caress. Contrail or Chem-trail? Kaleidoscope or Rorschach? Its hard to tell until you get up close. They aren’t wrong and it feels like going back in time when synthesizers were more basic, conjuring up the ghosts of Fad Gadget or Cabaret Voltaire and yet there is a fair amount of punk attitude also. Punk, minimal electronica and we are having a good time!

https://detonicrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/this-friction

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http://www.detonicrecordings.com/

Well let me tell a little story of a man named Jed, who lived on the Gold Coast of Queensland and proved he was not dead, who started up a solo project called Chiffon Magnifique and the post-punk was very chic. Jed A. Walters recently laid to rest his previous band, Tesla Cøils which made us a little sad, however since releasing the first single “Abomination” last month, things are looking up!

JED A. WALTERS – CHIFFON MAGNIFIQUE

I should warn you that this will be stuck in your head for a while, though your good fortune is that it’s a brilliant song. There are the bright synth lines and gorgeous jangly guitar, that lead you to Walters’ brooding vocals because baby he wants to be your abomination. He really is a master at creating wonderful catchy tunes that get under your skin.

This small taste has me desperately needing to hear more. For a one man project it is lush and Chiffon Magnifique definitely is as good as other current post-punk acts such as TRAITRS, She Past Away and Twin Tribes. We like this musical “Abomination” and now wait with baited breath for what comes next.

https://chiffonmagnifique.bandcamp.com/releases

http://chiffonmagnifique.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chiffonmagnifique/

Anyone who is familiar with Alexander Donat’s project, Vlimmer, might be be surprised to find that after eighteen EPs releases (yes you read right, 18!!!) , he has unleashed his debut album, Nebenkörper. The literal translation of Nebenkörper is secondary body or auxiliary body and maybe a part of this title refers to the fact that this is a full length album which was released on the 24th of September, 2021.

The dreamy, instrumental, “Farbenmüde” is the prequel to the album and in no way prepares you for the onslaught that is the angst filled “Fensteraus” and it is a bit like a Faustian epic in sensory overload. It has a wicked life of its own. Blasts of electronic beats mixed with tribal rhythms is “Mutem“. A sublime mix of metal shoegaze with industrial. There is a constant drone behind the “Restfall” as Donat’s vocals tether you to this reality and the guitars jangle and wail while it climaxes in a maelstrom. We have the single “Meter” which actually reminds me of Oomph! a little, if they had been more post-punk and it definitely deserved to be a single. “Minusgesicht” is full of foreboding atmosphere, a pall of darkness that is trying to drag everything into it and a sense of falling or fading away.

ALEXANDER DONAT – VLIMMER

I.P.A.” is truly a post-punk hybrid beast. Dark and brooding with just the right amount of noise to mix with the discordant voices while “Ad Astra” is like a wild ride of ecstasy and screaming insanity that bears you along, occasionally drops you, just you pick you up for the next part of the ride. The insistent “Wangendruck” is absolutely a gothic/EBM hybrid of beauty. It gloriously powers on with bursts of beats. There is a subtle change with “Kartenwarten“, slowing down things, a mellow shoegaze vibe before we vere off into noise inspired “Kron“. It is crunchy and sounds rather unhinged, though in a good way, as it ramps up. The last song on the album is “Nebenbei“. It is the wind down, giving a sense of introspectiveness and grief in a way, possibly full of longing. It is a lovely way to end.

Vlimmer is on Blackjack Illuminist Records and had the much-in-demand, Pete Burns of Kill Shelter handling the mastering. As a native English speaker, I am unable to tell you what the German lyrics are about and it is far more about the impression it gives and in the end, this is exactly what music is supposed to do. Expression in any language that still resonates with those who listen. Nebenkörper for the most part is a swirling amalgamation of gothic darkwave with shoegaze and a big helping of industrial. It is raw and at times won’t let you stop hearing new and unique things in the musical aether. At times you can almost swear you can hear a choir in the mix backing up Donat but this is an illusion and a rather masterful one. After eighteen EPs, Vlimmer have unleashed a beast of an album, so it was worth the wait.

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nebenk-rper

https://www.facebook.com/VlimmerMusic

https://www.facebook.com/Blackjack.Illuminist/

Slated to be the second track on the soon to be released full length album, Horses In The Abbatoir, TRAITRS‘ latest single, “Mouth Poisons” is yet another teaser with yet another very slick, very professional video of an eerily macabre nature. The single was released on September the 17th, 2021 on Freakwave Records by the Toronto duo, Sean Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker.

TRAITRS

The core sketch of this song was written late at night at a very good friend’s place in Frankfurt, Germany. ‘Mouth Poisons’ is an extremely personal song and lyrically I set myself up as the main target. It carries an air of ‘come see what’s going inside of me that wants to burn down everything in sight’. Definitely my favourite single we have ever released to date,” says Shawn Tucker

“‘Mouth Poisons’ was initially supposed to be a fast, angular punk track and it remained in this form for several months until Shawn wrote the bass guitar part and completely changed the way I heard the song. His melodic bass line brought out a sadness and vulnerability in the track that I didn’t know was there. All of a sudden this frantic punk song sounded more like The Smiths or New Order, so I completely rewrote my synth part to tease out those elements even more. The break before the outro is one of my favourite parts on the album,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan

Nolan was not joking about sounding like New Order, though for my money, I would have to say The Cure has to have been a big influence. The vocals are like listening to Robert Smith himself, mournfully gliding over the top of the insistent guitar while the synths gleefully run rampant in this still rather upbeat piece, in that joyfully manic way. For added extra enjoyment and killer chiller vibes, don’t forget to indulge in the sumptuous video.

https://traitrs.bandcamp.com/

(6) TRAITRS | Facebook

Kimberly Kommeier is the founding member of the band Bow Ever Down, which was formed in 1998 and in 2020, a full length album, Lost In The Woods was released. Now we have the June release for the huge electronic/darkwave album, Let It Burn.

From the get go, the title track, “Let It Burn“, will set the tone for this album. There is an electronic simpleness that adds to the sorrowful and yet defiant storytelling. It is of no longer taking the blows life has handed out, yet proudly showing those scars. For me the standout number is “Cold Machine” which it’s wonderful swirling and tinkling chorus that rises up to proclaim I would give anything to be human because they are the machine. Truly a lovely and yet so mournful sentiment. “Born Into Darkness” continues the dance of damnation.

Silence In Machine aka  Wess Fowler lends his harsh vocals to the songs, “Shed My Skin” and “Not Your Victim“. While the former is a pulsating piece from start to finish, the latter is like waves on the shore as it draw back, then comes crashing in. The common theme though is owning your fate which again can be seen in the track, “Burn You Alive“, and it has some really nice synth transitions. “Burn Them To Ashes“, has a certain, reflective quality and a anger that is almost palpable in the chorus, while “My Last Day” is such a despondent expression of the inability to go on, this is still quite full of great, infectious beats.

The remix for “Cold Machine” is a jewel and Assemblage 23 has really outdone themselves. Miss Suicide from Germany remixed both “Shed My Skin“, giving it a far more aggressive sound and “Glass Doll” which has those synth lines dancing all over it. “Burn You Alive” remix by Replicant RME, takes this song into new territory while the John Ruszin III, whom plays on the album, gives us a version of “Not Your Victim“, and it feels more pensive than the original. The Stahlschlag remix of the title track definitely has teeth, as Sebastian Sünkler is the master of that wonderful crunchy power noise, while the Silence In Machine retake of “Burn Them To Ashes” feels very off kilter, as if the insanity is too much. Continuing in this vein is the forever haunted remix of “Not Your Victim” by Adian Caine with it’s introspective and quiet defiance. The album is completed by the new version of “Glass Doll“.

The prominent concept is the use of the word burn. Fire is not only thought of as dangerous but also as cleansing, to wipe away completely what was. A renewal like a phoenix dying and coming back to life through fire. These are songs about survival and coming from a dark place. Kommeier has a big voice that is quite delightful and garnered a host of talented musicians to remix her tracks, so you should check out Let It Burn by Bow Ever Down.

https://boweverdown.bandcamp.com/album/let-it-burn

https://www.facebook.com/nora.hazeena

https://www.facebook.com/silenceinmachine/

https://www.facebook.com/misssuicideofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/Psiactive1/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100044546464584

https://www.facebook.com/STAHLSCHLAG

The Latin American gothic music scene never fails to give us some sparkling musicians. From San José, Costa Rica, Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos are a seasoned darkwave band with several albums under their belts and currently signed to Deepland Records.

August brought us the release of the latest album, Black Light. This is where you are going to get your value for your money. No less than fifteen tracks and there are no remixes from this trio made up of Ariel Maniki (vocals, guitar, synths, bass, programming), Janice Black (synths/keyboards) and Eva Red (bass and vocals).

ARIEL MANIKI AND THE BLACK HALOS

The first guitar lines are reminicent of London After Midnight, on the title track, “Black Light“. There is something just spine tingling about the progression which climbs and swells. “Strangers” is a wonder piece as it feels uplifting and dark at the same time. The guitar riffs will become highly recognisable once you have heard them.

The bassline harkens back to The Cure’s Faith period in the song “Emptiness“. The synth swirls and entwines you. “Sadness” is a bitter-sweet ode to losing a loved one to a depressive melancholy, waiting with them to come back to you. It’s is slower and more delicate yet the chorus soars through the pain.

All the spookiness is with “Oh Milena!“. Is she alive or dead or, perhaps, even the undead?! Cue the dead sexy saxophone from James Perry, which is an interesting juxtaposition to the Hammond organ sounding synth, so prominent in Hammer Horror movies.

Again the spook factor is present in “Mirror“, with creepy laughs and a slightly more manic feel with Caro Campos, not for the last time, joining Maniki on vocal duties. “We Only Have Tonight” is a touching, gothic tribute to a forever love. It is sweet and seductive with the guitars, both acoustic and electric aplenty.

The beginning of “Absence” is misleading. It seems all so quiet but will soon reveal the surging synths that roll into the vocals. Campos‘ voice is angelic as it accents the interludes. Maniki has been to the Robert Smith school of creepy whispers in a song where something is going to drive you insane with the wait. So in a way the torture is “Pain“.

The Pale Horseman” sounds exactly like modern, gothic, western should. That iconic guitar made popular by Ennio Morricone in the spaghetti westerns is there but all prettied with synths and a helping of dark sarsaparilla, if you please bartender. It’s mighty dusty. The guitar work is beautiful in “Sleep” and with the vocals, it is a reminder of The Wake in the early 90s. It really is a lovely throw back and the song is truly a succulent morsel.

Flowers have meanings. “Lilies And Carnations” can be flowers that mean a deeply desired love and they can also represent death of a perfect love and terrible grief. The latter is the premise of this track, the fleeting time lovers have together, which is a complete difference from the more dirge like “Shelter“. Maybe he’s the dark shaman that lives in the woods destined to never leave but in any case this is a far more gritty piece.

Coming to the end, the last two tracks are “Afterthought” and “Cocoon“, with the former being a meandering tribute to the power of being so caught up in love and all else fades away. “Cocoon” is a trippy little piece that plinks away like a child’s music box with ghostly intent.

From the first time I heard Ariel Maniki’s voice, it reminded me of another, then it hit me. The ever youthful Sven Friedrich of Dreadful Shadows/Zeraphine has a very wonderful rich tone and Maniki is scarily and delightfully similar. The album is a velvet tapestry of lush tracks that contain a nice balance of electronic along side more traditional instruments. Full of gothic romance and horror, which for most of us is the same thing, it paints a delicate fog drenched background for the children of the night to fall in love with. Definitely do check this out if your little dark heart beats within Black Light.

https://arielmaniki.bandcamp.com/album/black-light

https://www.facebook.com/ArielManikiMusic/

Post punk duo, The Cold Field, released the album Hollows on August 6th, on the label Cold Transmission Music which is famous for their darkwave retinue. Their debut, Black River, was warmly greeted and so Hollows has been much anticipated by fans.

THE COLD FIELD

The emphasis is very much on the atmosphere which is created by the echoing vocals, the deep bass plus jangle and buzz of guitar. The album is comprised of ten tracks and notably, two are instrumental pieces for the most part. “Ride The Breeze” is the intro to set up the feel whilst, “Floating Above The Wasteland” is filled with gorgeous bass lines and guitar work, whilst the faint ghost like whispers are seemingly unintelligible and beyond deciphering.

“Reaching For Things Things You Cannot Hold” is a great example of the style, with the low echoing vocals, delicate guitar work which is layered in synth. Other stand out tracks are Beauty Expired”, with its rapid pulse and its variance in tone, while “Into The Light” actually does have a slightly more airy feel to the music, a

From the get go, you hear the influence of Joy Division, Lebanon Hanover and Ritual Howls in their music and the common themes in post punk music of isolation, a longing for what is denied and the nature of addiction. There is the ever present spectre of existential dead that pervades all, for this is music that sits on the edge of dusk asking how did this all come to pass.

https://thecoldfield.bandcamp.com/album/hollows

https://www.facebook.com/thecoldfieldadelaide/

https://www.facebook.com/coldtransmissionmusic/

https://www.coldtransmission.com/

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/artists

Toronto based, post punk duo, TRAITRS, only just released back in July the EP, The Sick, Tired And Ill, and now have a full album to unleashed on fans in November called, Horses In The Abattoir. August sees the first single, “Oh, Ballerina“, off the new album, a sample of what is to come. Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker are the fellows behind TRAITRS, with the former on synths, piano, programming, sequencing and the latter with vocals, lyrics, guitar, bass.

TRAITRS

The lyrics on their own are a little creepy and this may have lent itself to the grim and horror like video that accompanies it. It is all summed up in one line, I need to know you are scared. From the dirge piano at the start and lonely vocals from the void, build the atmosphere. It takes off, doesn’t look back with a life of its own, as the keyboard cries and the guitar accompanies it.

Released on the label Freakwave Records, TRAITRS can be found on platforms, such as Spotify. “Oh, Ballerina” might be spooky but that’s the appeal of darkwave/gothic that you can have high energy beats with fresh synths and it will still be macabre and enthralling. The video is slick and beautifully made just as the music is, so check it out before the album gets here.

https://traitrs.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/traitrs

https://www.facebook.com/freakwaverecords/

http://freak-wave.com/

https://open.spotify.com/album/6CTvfaa0I6B5VpzFNJ4Dgu

As we have slipped into another year with the spectre of covid, overshadowing everything, it can be expected that most music has been influenced by this current climate and the new EP by darkwave duo, Johnathan|Christian is no exception. together, we’re alone, is the latest offering from Christian Granquist (lyrics and vocals)and Johnathan Mooney (composer, piano, instrumentation), who are based in Los Angeles, California.

First song off the block is the flag waving “My Dying Words“. This is the line in the sand number about never giving up no matter the odds and it is rollicking piece. Sung with conviction and gusto, it weaves and rolls with the punches.

The title track, “Together, We’re Alone“, is a duet and fractured ballad between Elisa Mammoliti and Granquist. The theme of loneliness, a life lived without trying to find love that could have been a hair’s breath away. Longing and sadness prevail, like a weight on the heart.

A fair ground organ opens the track, “My Beautiful, Broken Butterfly” and it rolls on fantastically after that. An instrumental piece that is slightly disjointed, giving the impression of being broken and yet, still beautiful in its composition.

Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)” is classic Adam Ant from the 1979 album Dirk Wears White Socks. Who can resist a song about beings from space giving advice about men with chicken zygote, firmly implanted on their countenance? Not me. This is whimsical and oddly satisfying in a proper sort of way. I don’t think Stuart Goddard aka Adam Ant, would disapprove at all.

together, we’re alone” is a quirky and interesting EP. Complied of an anthem, a ballad an instrumental and a cover…. it works oh so well for Johnathan|Christian. They definitely seem to be influenced by the late 70s and 80s British music scene making them a bit darkly dapper and you should check them out.

https://johnathan.bandcamp.com/album/together-were-alone

https://www.facebook.com/jchristianmusic

So maybe it’s time to get your goth on and revel in the debut single, “Glamour Girls” from Brisbane/Meanjin band, Sacred Hearts. The band explained in a radio interview, that they are femme fronted, LGBTQIA+ band, something that is close to their hearts, as well as their great love of retro post punk bands such as Echo And The Bunnymen, Nick Cave and The Cure.

SACRED HEARTS

Not going to lie, I don’t know much about these ladies other than that they are young and pulling on a lot of influences. There is the jingle jangle of guitar and those dark brooding bass lines, topped with delicate vocals, that swirl and lure you into the musical darkness. In true goth fashion, a la Dr Avalanche, a drum machine gives you the rhythm.

Lyrically this is a number about the dubious world of actresses and models, being beautiful doesn’t always translate to being treated well. It is melancholic and graceful. If this is a taste of what Sacred Hearts have for us, we might be in for a treat as they continue to create music. For now though, I hope you will enjoy “Glamour Girls“.

https://sacredhearts.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/sacredheartsmusic/?hl=en