photo by Wim Heirbout

Ono Scream  is the solo project of Apparaat - frontman Bart Willems from Belgium. Ono Scream  already have the first  full-length release  in Unknown Pleasures records. If you are fascinated by melodies and sentimentality of the 80’s  dark wave and something fresh at the same time with references to groups like Soft Moon , Kvb  e.t.c  then it is a band for you. You can check the first album here:

*Let's start at the beginning. When did you start making music and especially under the name  Ono Scream?
I started when I was about 16 years old I guess, being influenced by the first gigs I went to see. I saw The Jesus and Mary Chain on their first European tour in a small venue where they played, I think, 4 songs and they gave us noise and feedback guitars for another 20 minutes. I was sold on the spot. Later that year in the same club Fad Gadget was doing his “shave onstage routine”...loved it. Then I had a few bands, going from post punk to punk rock etc. Ono Scream was the very first project where I recorded all the instruments myself. It started one year ago. I had a lot of songs which I could not use for Apparaat, my other band. So after a while I started to look upon it as a different project. The songwriting went very easy,  half a year and probably 40 songs later I had a solo project.

*Did you have a clear sense as to what you wanted Ono Scream to be?
No, not at all. It was all gut feeling. There was no plan at all, I was just writing the songs as they came. What probably triggered me at the time was the first Soft Moon record. The approach, the energy, the songs, what can I say...a new direction. Thanks Luis Vasquez!

*I’m interested in your  explanation, which motives made you choose the name of the project?
 It's about the primal scream from Yoko Ono. The psycho therapy which should treat repressed pain from childhood memories. John Lennon was also very interested in that treatment. Listen to the song “mother”. Very intense.
Yoko Ono is probably one of the most hated women in rock history, but I have to argue about that. I think she's underestimated as an artist. Did you hear her response to the election of Donald Trump? A primal scream of 20 seconds. I could not say it better.

*Ono Scream is a solo project. How difficult is  to work alone and everything to be produced by one person?
It's very different from working with a band of course. Most of the time when I work on a song it's almost finished in my head before I start. For Ono Scream…
But that is not possible in a band because there is a lot of interaction between the members, they have other ideas etc. Which is great, but different. Producing can be a pain in the ass because I need feedback. So I bother a lot of my friends in the process to have some comments. But in the end, I'm a loner, I like working in isolation.

*When writing and recording, are you thinking at all about how the songs will be performed live?
At the beginning I wasn't thinking about that at all. But now I’m getting really curious to know how that will sound.
photo by Wim Heirbout

*Tell us about the debut album. How long have these songs that make up the new record been in the works? What are these songs about and what were they inspired by? How do you meet Unknown Pleasures label ?
Almost all songs have been written in the last 7 months. It was a vast flow. Like I said, probably 40 songs at least. This is a pattern in my life, when I have moments of creativity I just go on the flow( go with the flow of ride the wave ). Because I know It won't last. It comes and it goes. I had a rough year emotionally and it gave me a lot to write about. Songs like This endless walking tell it all for me. I don't like (want) to explain all the lyrics, I think you have to make up your own story by hearing them If I should have to say one thing about them, it's all about feeling lonely in the midst of a crowd.
I started to talk with Pedro from Unknown Pleasures records when he had heard a song on Soundcloud. We talked for a while and we soon found out we could work together. I think he was surprised I had so many songs. But I was very happy I found someone who believed in the music. That was important to me!

*Why did you choose to play such kind of music? Which bands or other artistic influences inspired your sound?
It's an expression of emotions, what can I say.... It's all clichés when you try to explain. If I would try to write popsongs it wouldn't work. This is who I am.
These last years there are some very interesting new bands who got my attention. Soft Moon, Death Day, KVB, Led der Est, Pleasure symbols, The harrow, Silent Servant, Broken English Club, Whispering Sons, Sleaford Mods and Tropic of Cancer.

*Have an idea where do you want this project to go?  What's next? Do you have touring plans?

I'm curious about the future. I hope to do a small tour in Europe at the end of the year. But that is still daydreaming. The first months I would like to focus on playing live gigs with Apparaat. We have got a good live reputation. Now let's take it on the road! Still looking for venues to play. All help is welcome!

I'm already busy writing new songs so that's a good feeling for me, to know that the flow is still running.
photo by Wim Heirbout


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With parts 6 and 7 of his 18 EP series Berlin’s Vlimmer is ultimately tearing down genre boundaries. The songs grab you with cold hands and keep pushing you into new but dark rooms of a modern haunted house which appears way higher than you might have expected once you’ve managed to find a window to look through. And there it is, the undeniable feeling of uncertainty. Is the building shaking or is it you? The songs of Vlimmer are driven by rhythmic loops and the product of several layers of often distorted but fragile sounds which, as a result, are tight enough to keep you trapped in a hypertensive maze of panic. The horror lurks in there somewhere. 

EP 6 (“llllll”) offers dirty Darkwave, slowed down Postpunk, Black Metal screams behind the noisiest Shoegaze walls, heavy electronic bass fuzz and a closing 13 minute progressive monster that sounds like an exploding, mutated version of Minimal Techno packed with sounds, drama, melodies, darkness, light, darkness again, and a skydiving chorus – which eventually leads into a Drone dungeon. 

EP 7 (“lllllll”), at the beginning, pretends to be the calmer, friendlier brother in the mirror with its windy sea synths and minimalist drums that almost bring the song to a standstill. But when “Sonnenschwarz” hits you with its wild tribal drums and reoccurring noise attacks the horizon darkens and the terror is in full bloom. This EP is Vlimmer’s most versatile work to date, check out the slide guitars in “Grundbuch”, clearing the sky for the protagonist’s speech in which the introspective soul opens up – before it recognizes the evil in mankind, and, with the sudden appearance of giant waves, washes everything away. Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. 

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There are moments in which something pushes us to go away even if the thing we'd wish more would be to stay....

This song tries to describe this feeling of sorrowful departure... but sometimes, after having seen the tears on the floor, someone changes mind and decides to stay....

Walking away

Soon I will start to walk away  again
saying just farewell to hide my pain
because my hopes are already gone
like all the things that we left undone
the desires that will never be fulfilled
my heart suddenly becomes chilled
no chances for a dream born at dawn
destined to be burst by a blinding sun

captive of a past that you can't forget
you will turn also today into a regret
as for us there is no time left to wait
we are walking toward death's gate
How can I expect something sublime
from promises that are orphan of time
it's useless to talk about tomorrow
if the future looks so cold and hollow

my soul feels abandoned and alone
inner walls can be harder than stone
a door than will remain closed forever
the ancient flame now  is an ember
Even if nothing will replace or balance
the emptiness left by your absence
I can't reflect myself in you any more
while my tears are falling on the floor

more from silentport:

Silentport with Lory Fayer - Walking Away
music composed and arranged by Silentport feb. 2017
vocals by Silentport. spoken words by Lory Fayer
lyrics by Lory Fayer
recorded and mastered @ weisser herbst studio Frankfurt/Germany 2017

all rights reserved
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How do you react if you put out a release which is considered to be “a highwater mark of the EP series. Some of the more forward thinking music of recent times” (This Year in Music, UK, on EP 5, “lllll”)? Try not to think about what people expect from you.
With parts 6 and 7 of his 18 EP series Berlin’s Vlimmer is ultimately tearing down genre boundaries. The songs grab you with cold hands and keep pushing you into new but dark rooms of a modern haunted house which appears way higher than you might have expected once you’ve managed to find a window to look through. And there it is, the undeniable feeling of uncertainty. Is the building shaking or is it you? The songs of Vlimmer are driven by rhythmic loops, they are the product of several layers of often distorted but fragile sounds which, as a result, are tight enough to keep you trapped in a hypertensive maze of panic. The horror lurks in there somewhere.
A half year after Die Seele premiered Vlimmer’s 9 minute opener of EP “lllll”, “Zielschwund, Vlimmer’s is back with his most complex track: a 13 minute progressive Darkwave/Postpunk monster that sounds like an exploding, mutated version of Minimal Techno packed with sounds, drama, melancholia, melodies, darkness, light, darkness again, and a skydiving chorus – which eventually leads into a Drone dungeon.

Vlimmer’s double EP “llllll” / “lllllll” is due out on February 10 as limited edition box set, on CD, cassette or as download.

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The 3rd ep from the French synth project Egoprisme is out on TONN Recordings In this 2-track ep Jean-Marc Le Droff  builds -as usually-a synthetic universe with cold wave accents in a melancholic atmosphere. Quality synthwave songs highly recommended to any synth-coldwave listener.

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Fragrance. is the french synthpop project of Matthieu Roche. 'Collapse' is the  third  single from the upcoming ep  « Dust & Disorders » coming out 13th January.
It has been mastered by Hélène de Thoury (from Hante. & Minuit Machine) at Synth Religion Studio in Paris. The whole EP (music, lyrics & artwork) has a common thematic which is confinement, isolation and its prolongation : escaping through dreams, building up illusions, the thirst for journeys and for being in motion.

Fragrance. links :

Bandcamp (opening on January 13) : http://fragrancemusic.bandcamp.com
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This list is entirely generated by one person so reflects my tastes and ideas . It’s not objective, and there’s no way it could be. Plenty of worthy and important albums perhaps missing from this list, and it might look different if I made it again another time. Signed or unsigned artists does not matter to me .This list does not contain any compilation album, any live album or any album that released in the past and re-released in 2016. 

Pedro Code’s  personal project  is my favourite from 2016. Each song has a special place in this beautiful album composing a perfect blend of dark wave, ethereal and electro tunes. A beautiful and moving musical masterpiece worthy of your attention.

After two eps, the French cold wave act returns with a tasty album full of  cold ethereal wave melodies. Dark synths, beautiful guitars and deep female vocals make the cold wave of nowdays.

The Detroit darkwave trio's third album shows the band progress musically with more complex and deeper songs than the previous albums. An atmospheric concept album produced by drum machines, synth, fuzzy bass, and subtle lyricism.

A great debut by the Polish band. Cold wave with postrock  and ambient soundscapes. Blissful, melancholic and dark.

Augustus Muller develops  the perfect blend of minimal electro record, synth pop  but at the same time a rather modern piece of electronic music.

After an ep in 2015, the London-based new wave project returns with Some Vague Desire  features eight new songs that combine edged guitars with lush and driven bass lines following the sound of  my favourite Lively Art Rec .

The Athens-based duo releases  the third album  maintaining the same successful formula that defines their characteristic style: male or female lead vocals, lyrics in German, English and Greek, songs based on poetry by famous writers and very creative ideas regarding song composition and execution.You can read our review here.

Simona Ferrucci and Alessandra Romeo after the successful 'Slanting Ray' present another beautiful new wave album in which  cold vintage drum machine rhythm section meets liquid melancholic atmospheres and female vocals. 

Another haunting album from the avant garde electronic act  Bestial Mouths  driven by Lynette Cerezo  vocals evoking  both Siouxsie and Diamanda Galas. The batcave of nowdays is here.

Alessandro Parisi  releases a concept album following a mix of acid lines, medieval voices and dark synths.

In their second lp , the Danish band mix together influences from neo-psych ,post rock ,drone ,shoegaze and noise rock and the result is very distinctive and attractive to any serious listener.

Second album by the Swiss cold wave act  that creates a superb blend of gothgaze and dark post punk driven by chaotic synths , a reverberating rhythm section and guitar layers.

Second album by the Italian avant garde project.Listening to it you meet dark ambience, noir jazz , hypnotic female voices all that create an  atmosphere very close to Badalamenti's and Denovali records sound.

Philippe Blache  produces another  masterpiece  driven by Nataliya Romachina’s ethereal vocals. Cinematic dronescapes , invocative poetical and neoclassical ambiences driving the listener to a fairy trip. You can read our review here.

A little gem from Mexico. Minimal synth melodies with deep male vocals and elegant  female vocals (Kriistal Ann , Keren Batok , Ditta Perditta) . Any fan of dark synth music will appreciate it.

The 5-song ep is a perfect sample of  impeccable  synthpop with references to the nostalgic 80's.

The  debut album by the dark synth band founded by Kriistal Ann  and Chroma Carbon.Ten beautiful songs alternating female and male voice in a  cold wave atmosphere. You can read our review here

The fifth album by the British duo presents a shoegaze and psych rock  driven by minimal synths, deathly drones and doomy vocals.

Debut album for the Bologna–based project. Electro-Darkwave, Post-Punk & drone influences consist a diverse album that no one  can leave uninterested.


The Cologne-based band dares the balancing act between wavy postpunk and industrial krautrock , driving and gloomy but still full of catchy moments. Five beautiful songs that stay on your mind for a long time.

The duo from Michigan presents an intelligent cold wave and a perfect combination male and female vocals.

Female gloomy voice ,ethereal and ferocious guitars and  drones work together in the creation of shadowy claustrophobic album especially recommended for the fans of Chelsea Wolfe. 

Sara Paradisi (keybords, voices, organs, theremin) and Camillo Perazzoli (keybords, voice, organs, bass guitar) release their second album. Vintage organs , theatrical presentation , surrealism and a creepy atmosphere  consist a very interesting release.

24.Kælan Mikla - st (Fabrika records)
A  record  that combines post punk with synth and darkwave elements with the use of the Icelandic language  giving  a unique tint.

The British  band has lovingly crafted their debut album from the base materials of shoegaze and dream pop. Highly recommended for fans of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive.
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Kriistal Ann, the singer of the Paradox Obscur and Chroma Carbon, singer of Factice Factory  have founded Sine Silex ,this interesting side project, that has recently published a ten tracks album, characterized by their emphatic and emotional duets, with lyrics written by Chroma and sung on the electronic minimal music composed by Ann.
"Antidote" is opened by the almost reciting voice of Chroma on a synthetic and melancholy electronic carpet. Ann's voice, full of interpretative pathos, adds a charming emotional transport.
"Operative" has a more animate danceable basis, on which the double singing stands like a dialogue that is developping among imaginary artificial sceneries.

In "Ether" the voice of Chroma seems an invocation that raises from a suffering rhythm, while the warm and emotional voice of Ann sounds like the one of an angel that gives comfort, strength and warmth.
In "Six'' to twenty seconds" Ann and Chroma sing as one voice on a music with a sci-fi suggestion: like the look upon Planet  Earth of two astronauts that are waiting for the count down to leave our planet.
In "Les Nimbes" the music is syncopated. The voice of Chroma sounds as it comes from a distance, like a memory, while the one of Ann, is stronger and emphatic, like the voice of a woman that screams loud her memories or regrets.
"Modeliste", is a track  that has already been heard online a few months ago. It has the winking charm of the electronic music with a retrò ambiance and dancable sounds.
"Rifle", even keeping its electronic characteristics has also some remnants of new wave sounds and the intimate and dark atmosphere sounds like the one of the confession of unmentionable things.
"Nénuphar" has a most modern sonority with a touch that's a midway between glitch and a refined ambient.
"L'amnesie" has a rarefied beginning, on which Chroma voices sing, again with a reverberation that makes it sound coming for a distance, while  thickness and emotions rise in the long interval in which Ann sings.
"L'embrun" it is a track filled with emotions and melancholy, close to the most slow and intimate ones of the Factices Factory. Once more the intersection among the disenchanted voice of Chroma and the intense, dramatic one of Ann creates a cocktail of emotions from which it is difficult to be not overwhelmed.

In conclusion,I might state that it's a good album, whose roots sink in the cold minimal and synth wave of the 80's, but at the same time don't lack the references that make it to belong to the present times.

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We  have enjoyed a lot of interesting music videos this year. Here are some of my favourites according to my personal taste. 

VV & the Void - Thorn from Jean de Oliveira on Vimeo.

(official video) Day Before Us - Per aspera ad astra from DayBeforeUs on Vimeo.

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New album, composed by eight pieces for Day Before Us, project of Philippe M. Blache, that now is enriched with the voice of Natalya Romashina.
"Saint of Grief" it is an ambient track, that opens with a dark and very oppressive sonority, on which are inserted  high chorals and a sound of organ at the end, like to symbolize the elevation from the evil, from the Earthly worries.
"Vigils of time" it is a mystical song, where introspective feelings melt with transcendent suggestions.This seems to be represented by the music of meditation that allows our minds to perceive the superior spheres.
"Per Aspera ed Astra" mixes ambient and ethereal sounds, and it's enriched by the beautiful voice of Natalya that raises on the notes like an angel that before sings and then performs a prayer, or perhaps a warning to the humanity.
(official video) Day Before Us - Per aspera ad astra from DayBeforeUs on Vimeo.

"Zatvornik" is opened by a sound of bells that stand above oppressive sonorities, like to symbolize the eternal fight between  good and evil. The voice of Natalya sounds like a creature of light that has answered to the call of the bells to lull the hearts with a song full of sweetness.
"L'aile du soir" at the beginning reflects the crepuscular atmospheres suggested by the title, the celestial atmosphere of the music and voice is interrupted by dark intervals, as the thoughts and the regrets that haunt the men's minds on the deathbed. This makes us understand that the evening to which the title refers is a metaphor that represents "the black lady" and the voice of Natalya perhaps represents the one of an angel come down for guiding who departs to the doors of the Heaven.
Also in "In Igne Purgatorio" it is opened by a sound of bells, this time a "dead knell" and the dark atmospheres to which they leave the place remind the fire that "purges and cleanses the souls", not the fire of the Christian eternal punishment but rather the esoteric alchemical purifying flames, that burn our sins to allow our souls to raise and evolve.
In "Depicted chronicle" the voice of Natalya sounds like the one of one soul  that reflects on  its terrestrial experiences in a mixture of regrets and melancholy, on the background of soft piano notes and the sound of falling rain.
"Nihil interit" makes us think about a departure, to the separation that the soul finally reaches from the material things, and to a soul that finally can begin its upward journey, toward the Source of All  , where life is born and goes back harmonically, as the final notes of the piano suggest us.

It's certainly not an easy listening album: it requires attention to be understood and appreciated, but the feelings that it can give to who does it broadly compensate the effort made.
The album is availiable in cd format via Rage In Eden .

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BELLS OF SOUL is the project of the brazilian musican and poet Sânian that for once put in music a lyric by me.
Porcelain doll is a song about the scars of time: the creeps on the face of an old porcelain doll forgotten in a corner of a garret are a metaphore of the lines that time and disenchantment paint on a face: like this porcelain doll many people had a beautiful young smile that year after year turned into a serious, hopeless face, while dreamtime fades into the harsh reality, like the ancient playroom in which once the porcelain doll was like a princess.

Tell me what games did they played
In the dollhouse where you stayed?
Who has soiled your hand so small?
My sweet romantic porcelain doll

What secrets hides your silence
While your lips keep on smiling
The mysteries of your angel face
My porcelain doll dressed in lace

Your miss the kiss and the laugher
The girl that once you looked after
Dust paints you white like a dove
My porcelain doll made for love

I wonder who splintered your face
And then abandoned you in disgrace
Forgotten, like an unclaimed prize
My porcelain doll with sad eyes

The ancient enchantment is broken
Happiness was just a fading moment
Now everything is become so cold
My porcelain doll left in the mould

Your heart is longing for a sound
While the snow falls on the ground
In small flakes that look like tears
Poor porcelain doll, nobody cares

Lory Fayer
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The Canadian cellist and composer Julia Kent came from New York to meet the Athenian audience  at the Anglican Church of St. Paul, for two concerts  Friday 25/11 and Saturday 26/11 both sold out weeks ago.
Perhaps best known for her work with Antony and the Johnsons with whom she won the Mercury Prize in 2005, Julia  Kent has also played with Rasputina and Swans, and cineastes will be familiar with her contribution to Paulo Sorrentini's 2011 film This Must Be The Place. But her solo work consisting of 4 albums( ‘Delay’ , ‘Green And Grey’ , ‘Character’ , ‘Asperities’) is also worth listening.

The concert took place in the special place of the Anglican Church of St. Paul ,a place with  ​​exceptional acoustics that create a unique connection between performers and public. Julia Kent with the emotional sound of the cello accompanied with  electronically varied loops , sound layers and harmonies gave an artistic leap of her magnitude and her ability to merge electronic with classical sounds. Kent built texture and mood producing a haunting, powerful  combination of low string tones, subtle electronics, and scratchy field recordings .Hypnotic minimalism , sometimes dramatic , sometimes romantic but always very touching. During the show Julia was very gentle contacting with the audience sometimes ,expressing her opinion for the politics in USA always with humour .

In  conclusion, Julia Kent  managed to create such powerful images  without adding  words to her music, expressing herself imaginatively and apparently effortlessly, as if all she needed was to communicate with her cello. She played about 70 min. choosing a setlist with her best songs ,most of them from her last –and my favourite album- Asperities’ and no one can complain.

I would like to thank Julia for this magical night and Iooking forward to a new album or another live performace in the future.

Photoshooting Marilia Fotopoulou

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