It has been a while since I heard a track of this Belgian electropunk outfit on X-Wave Radio. By then they had a few releases out that were old sold out. A little later I discovered that these releases are available from Bandcamp.
The trio makes excellent punk. A vocalist, live drummer (who sounds like a drumming machine, which is quite a feat) and a guy on keys. The music is very much punk, but (as expected) ‘half electronic’. Perhaps they are the ‘most electropunk’ band that I know.
In spring 2018 I got to see them live in a total punk bunker in Aachen, Germany, an extraordinary lively show.
On 1 February Komplikations released their latest 12″ on the same label as their previous releases: Rockstar Records. The preview track “Radio” was less energetic than previous releases. The other tracks prove to be even more so. There is even some sort of ballad.
The music still sounds like Komplikations with the typical vocals, drumwork and synths, but the punk-sound, even the punk-feeling, wore off. There still are the political / social lyrics (a punk band has to have a message, eh?), but I sorely miss the energy of the previous albums.
It is odd how the music business works nowadays. On Deezer a Duchess Says single became available a while ago. “Negative Thoughts” announced an upcoming album. Then a little later the album is announced on Bandcamp and can be preordered. One track could be listened for free, another (“Negative Thoughts”…) after you preordered the album. Now the album is out and you can listen to it entirely on Bandcamp without buying it.
“Sciences Nouvelles” is (like previous albums) is short only 36 minutes. Two tracks I already knew (see above), two tracks can also be found on the split with Prince Harry.
Just like with the previous album “In A Fung Day T!” (2011) the pre-released tracks seemed to imply that the band is going more in their electropop direction rather than the weird punk style. The opening tracks of “Sciences Nouvelles” seem to confirm this idea. However “Negative Thoughts” is a bit ‘rocky’, only once the album gets the good old weird punk sound of Duchess Says with the “Pink Coffin” track that we already knew. “Poubelle” (track 5) is nicely weird, but (on the Duchess Says scale) ‘low energy’ and we immediately go back to electropop, followed by a strange sounscape type of track. There is some slightly psychedelic experimentation which is amusing. I do prefer the more energetic sound of the band and when compared to all that came before, the latest album is again a step back.
I am not really blown away by the latest Duchess Says. The previous album did grow on my as well, so maybe this will happen again. After a few rounds I can say that “Sciences Nouvelles” is nice to very nice, but not as nice as previous releases.
The label seems to be new to me too. Maybe I should have a listen to what they released before.
I discovered this noisy band a couple of years ago when I was looking for electropunk. They were formed in 2009 and have released their third full-length in four years time. The band uses guitar-noise that may remind of a band like Swans here and there, but they have also got ‘pulsating electronics’ which are closer to a band like zZz. Sometimes the sound goes in the direction of ‘electropunk’, at other times the band has more of a noise-rock sound. There are also softer, more experimental tracks.
Like on previous albums “Paradise” is not an overall masterpiece, but most tracks are nice to good and a couple of tracks are very good.
I like to listen to the noisy side of popmusic nowadays. Often that is the ‘shoegaze’ side of the spectrum, but I must say that this dirty kind of ‘electropunk’ is a welcome addition.
Funny sidenote, the band shares labels with noise-lady Pharmakon and the famous Zola Jesus.
When my eye fell on this 7″ in the shop of Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, I did not know that it is actually a brand new 7″. Some three years after lp (click on the bandname to read the review) there is new material of Black Bug.
The title track of this 7″ is an uptempo and nicely raw sounding electropunk track. Side B, “Push You”, sounds more like that wave-sound that is so popular nowadays. It is not really “minimal wave” that I used as a tag, but more like the style between shoegaze-rock energy and minimal wave, perhaps reminding a bit of some material of The Soft Moon. So what do they call that these days? “Now-wave”? “Ghost wave”? No matter, as long as it is good and that certainly goes for this 7″.
Videos for both tracks can be found on the Facebook page of the band, so it is easy to listen to the music.
New material of my favourite electropunkers, the weird and wonderfull Duchess Says from Canada. This split vinyl opens with some typical uptempo rock sounds, but soon goes over in Duchess’ frenzy. Then follows a more electropoppy song, nice and weird. The third track is also great, not too typical for Duchess Says, but what is typical for a band that goes from electropop to grindcore on a single album? Anyways, the Duchess Says side definately excuses buying this lp.
The name Le Prince Harry rings a bell, but apparently I have never (really) listened to them. Their four tracks go perfectly with those of Duchess Says. The music of Le Prince Harry is also weird, uptempo and punky, but with even more electronics than in Duchess Says. Their 2012 lp “It’s Getting Worse” also proves to be a wonderfull album with pulsating synth rhythms and simple but effective guitar-work and vocals. The music reminds a bit of my countrymates zZz, but Le Prince Harry is faster and the tracks on the split lp are even more uptempo.
Certainly a very good pop-album, though a weird one, as it should be. The label also has a couple of interesting names in their roster by the way.
A while ago a Prodigy show in Amsterdam was announced, sold out in no-time of course, but I am going to see them live again; same place, different album. No longer unexpectedly, the band prereleased two tracks and now the new album.
“The Day Is My Enemy” sounds even more ‘punkish’ than previous material. Some tracks are very energetic, other seem less so. Different guest vocalists have cooperated to this album, one of them is the immediately recognisable Jason Williamson from the weird and nice band Sleaford Mods that I recently ran into. Williamson’s lyrics contain the f-word frequently and the same I can say about other tracks on this new Prodigy album. The band says that the new album sounds rawer, perhaps that also goes for the lyrics then.
The track with Jason William’s vocals is called “Ibiza” and the tough rap-like vocals go very well with the electropunk of Liam Howlett. There are a couple of other great tracks, others are just nice. The music of The Prodigy tends to grow on me and perhaps hearing them live might give these tracks an extra boost. As for the moment I can say that if you enjoy the developing style of The Prodigy, you will probably like their latest effort. I cannot yet say if this album is better than “Invaders Must Die” (2008), but time will tell.
In the summer of 2013 I visited a Dutch festival and in some cd stand my eyes fell on two volumes of a compilation called “Death # Disco”. To my surprise I recognised several band- and project-names, but in my head they were from different scenes. Death # Disco is a disco evening in Berlin where they play a variety of music. Old fashioned gothic/wave, more contemporary wave of the “minimal wave” genre, but also shoegaze (that apparently is called “ghost wave” sometimes). The same can be said about the compilations and volume IV is no exception. New this time is that IV is a double cd.
The compilation opens with the strange band The Devil & The Universe that have a quite easy sounding EBM/synthpop-like track. There is also the electropop/-punk project ADULT., the shoegazers of The Soft Moon, minimal wavers such as Newclear Waves and Tropic of Cancer, the more poppy project Xeno & Oaklander and projects with an industrial background like Klangstabil and Echo West. Then there a whole range of projects that I never heard of.
Like volumes II and III there are a few good tracks, a lot of alright tracks and a handfull of tracks that are not my taste. But for 10 euros you get a good overview over ‘the larger wave scene’ and that makes this compilation a suggested buy.
Not too recent, but I just discovered this and I want to bring this band to your attention. The energetic music of Black Bug goes from electropop to (electro)punk to digicore and then with (no)wave influences. Sometimes there are ‘wavey’ male vocals, sometimes distorted female vocals. The electronic music follows the vocals, sometimes wave, sometimes punk and this is also when the guitars get in. Yep, this is the good stuff!
Link: Black Bug
Strange how things work sometimes. I listen a lot of different kinds of music. Since Last.fm this has increased a lot and now in combination with Deezer perhaps even more. A while ago I ran into the brilliant band A Place To Bury Strangers who make some sort of shoegaze (1980’ies wave elements, screaming guitars, etc.), but much more uptempo than the “dreampop” variety of the style. I have been looking for other interesting bands in that style and found good bands that combine guitars and electronics. To my surprise one of these bands (The KVB) played at last year’s (2013) Wave Gotik Treffen and than two more (The Soft Moon, Lebanon Hannover) at Summer Darkness. At a music-stand at Summer Darkness I checked the boxes of the usual goth-mailorder and found A Place To Bury Strangers, but also quite a bit of “minimal wave” (and related) music. That part included “Death # Disco” compilations, compilations of a Berlin based monthly clubnight. To my surprise these compilatons contain bands that I previously discovered as “shoegaze” (The KVB, The Exploding Boy, The Lost Rivers, etc.) and as “minimal wave”, another genre that I enjoy discovering (Agent Side Grinder, Xeno & Oaklander, Echo West, etc.). Apparently everything is growing together or is not as separated as I initially thought.
In any case, “Death # Disco III” goes from very nice uptempo analogue dancemusic to screaming guitars. Some tracks are downright briliant, but others are pretty boring, an experience that I got used to in ‘both scenes’. Nice to run into these compilations though.
Link: Death # Disco
I got to know Bang! Bang! Eche! a couple of years ago when on a P2P network I was looking through someones “nowave or whatever the kids call it this week” folder. This was a pretty big folder, so I just picked out a couple of things based on bandnames. Bang! Bang! Eche! do not make nowave though, more something like electropunk, or actually not even that, it is weird, uptempo popmusic with electronic influences. The band released two eps, rereleased them as online eps and the self-titled 2008 ep and “Sonic Death Cunttt” 2009 ep are now again available from the band’s Bandcamp as “Ep I” (2009) and “Ep II” (2010) with a different order of the tracks and a video for the first ep and an 8-bit “original version” of a track on the second ep.
A while ago the band announced that they had an album ready and a label to release it. When the label said something critical, the band reacted with their usual strong language on their Facebook and the label decided to not release the album at all. Now after quite some silence there is a new online ep with only three tracks and a different, more mature sound. “Ur The Best” opens with a nowavey fast noisy track that is really great. The second track is more punky and more poppy at the same time and however nice, not as good as earlier material. The last track is even more poppy, a bit of the popsound with electronics that you hear more nowadays. It is a very easy-listening track compared to the madness of the first two eps. But, the songs sound good and might very well bring the band under the attention of a wider audience. Also the new ep is a ‘name your price’ Bandcamp release, so nothing should hold you back to try some nice electropop/-punk.
Links: Bang Bang Eche, The Underground Management