The Dreams Never End are from Lisbon and this song was originally recorded for the Polis Noire compilation by Portuguese label Z22 which, not for the want of trying, I cannot find anywhere. Vai is a slice of synthpop that edges further into darker territory as the song progresses with some swirling, haunting keyboard sounds accompanying the vocals.
Grasshopper hail from Brighton and, in their own words, their sound is “pounding post-punk and ethereal goth-wave-bollox” They have been around for a few years now but I have not heard of them before Scuttle which, after two EP’s and a single, is their debut album. The influence of Joy Division and the early 1980s Leeds goth scene is prevalent throughout the album. It’s an enjoyable romp through a bygone era and highlights for me are Backwards and Leonidas. Scuttle is available on vinyl and digital formats via the band.
Lovataraxx are from Grenoble, France and Hébéphrénie is their debut album. Their music mixes various elements including darkwave and minimal synth along with some lovely basslines. It some of the tracks look (sound?) familiar it’s because they originally appeared on 2017’s Kairos EP. The older tracks such as the excellent John Foxx inspired Sidewalk and Prostration have not been affected by the intervening years. To be fair this type of music is timeless whether the year is 1980 or 2020! Choice cuts for me are Blok and Araknee. An enjoyable listen and the art work is stunning.
German act Risikotoleranz (Risk Tolerance) have released their debut self titled EP which features the recent single Hitzeschlag. The songs were recorded last summer with the exception of Die Reise which originated a decade ago. Mechanoid/robotic vocals coupled with thumping beats is the order of the day and it’s Wochenende, with it’s early Depeche Mode inspired sound, that stands out. It also gets an excellent remix on that aforementioned single so check that out too.
Ukraine’s Grotta released two tracks last month. Of the two it’s the slow burning of the darkwave and gothic influenced Ты не слышишь меня (You Don’t Hear Me) that appeals to these ears as dead pan vocals collide with at times industrial noise.
These demos by Singapore based band Prospexx have been recorded during Singapore’s lockdown. The songs are synth dominated but with plenty of punk attitude behind them. There is even a cover of the Danish punks No Hope for The Kids track Secret Police which they turn into an angst anthem for the dancefloor. It’s Terrifying World that stands out for me because it sounds like Siouxsie Sioux fronting Yazoo in places!
Greek post-punk band Data Fragments released a pretty decent self-titled album last year. Their new track A Thousand Walls is a demo which is powered by guitars, synths and drum machines not to mention a dominant vocal performance too. Hopefully there is some more coming our way soon.
Siberian based post-punk band Ploho have signed to Canadian label Artoffact Records who will release the band’s fifth album later this year. In the meantime, the band have posted a rather excellent video for new track Горький опыт (Bitter Experience) which provides a cinematic view for their gloomy sound. It’s a sound I like after discovering them via their split single with Molchat Doma last year.
Today’s session ends in Belarus but that’s the name of this new Argentinian band and not the country. This is back to basics guitar-based post-punk with tracks like Décima,
A quién and Desencantos taking my ear space and listening time.