DieSeele



When Berlin-based Vlimmer released his first two EPs,”I” and “II”, in winter 2015 DIE SEELE described them as "two impressive releases" and “really original”.
They marked the opening of an 18-EP journey which awaits his 10th edition on 4 May. Besides the ever remaining atmospherical character of the music which is loosely based in the post-punk, shoegaze, kraut and darkwave genres, change has always been the constant.

Never has Vlimmer opened an EP in a catchier way than on the upcoming “X”:“Nachwehen” has a deep post-punk bass, a slowed down drum loop and forlorn synths. Alexander Leonard Donat sounds like a fucked-up Robert Smith who’s backed by the sound of rattling bones. With the additional glockenspiel and the piano it’s a mid-tempo song of morbid beauty that states that getting closer to the sky doesn’t necessarily make earthly problems go away.

The 30 minutes of “X” will be available on CD, cassette and as download soon.

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The Chameleons were an English post-punk band formed in Middleton, six miles north of Manchester in 1981. Known for their atmospheric, guitar-based sound and passionate lyrics, the Chameleons are regarded as one of the most underrated Manchester bands of the 1980s. Under the moniker The ChameleonsVox, they were formed by Mark Burgess (singer and bassist) of the band after The Chameleons disbanded.

With this outfit Mark Burgess preformed and brought back to life the sound and the magic of the classic songs of The Chameleons at club Death Disco in Athens last Saturday, April 21st. The gig was sold out and the venue was at its full capacity. The band played a full two hour set with all their classics, playing something from all their albums. As soon as they stepped onto the stage they launched into "Don't Fall" followed by "Here Today" and "Monkeyland" from their debut album the legendary "Script Of The Bridge" released in 1983, making the crowd go wild. The sound was terrific and the band played very well delivering the songs in the way they ought to. Songs loved and cherished by all music lovers of the new wave genre.




"Looking Inwardly" and "Perfume Garden" (another standout) from their second album "What Does Anything Mean? Basically" followed. Mark was in great shape and was very passionate, delivering hit after hit. Nearly all the hits and fan favorites were played, such as "Less Than Human". But it was the songs from their third album "Strange Times" that took up most of the set, with "Tears", "Mad Jack", "Soul In Isolation", "In Answer", "I'll Remember" and "Second Skin". The main part of their set closed with "Singing Rule Britannia". After a small break the band returned to the stage and preformed firstly "Caution" and "Swamp Thing" from "Strange Times" (which was almost played in its entirely) and their first single "In Shreds".



Review by Nick Drivas


Photos by Marilia Fotopoulou
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The Italian darkwave outfit Ash Code stepped onto the stage of Death Disco club for the second time. Since their first visit here in Athens, the band from Naples has released two albums and many singles, so they returned with a much richer setlist this time. The trio took to the stage a bit after 11:00 and after a small intro they began with "Nite Rite" from their second album "Posthuman". The fairly new project that started out in 2014 by Alessandro Belluccio (voice, programming), Claudia Nottebella (synthesizers, voice) and Adriano Belluccio (bass VI), have managed in this short time to have a significant discography and make their own signature style. Moving in the likes of new wave, darkwave, cold wave and synth-pop styles.
 

They continued their set with some of their better known songs such as "Empty Room" and "Oblivion". But also, they played the b-side "Rivers" from their latest single "Icy Cold", sung by Claudia bringing a more atmospheric and feminine feel. In the center of their set they played their cover of The Sound’s classic "I Can’t Escape Myself". The pace of their set was well thought of, with the crowd getting more and more into them as the concert progressed and the more diehard fans started to dance. They ended with their fist single "Dry Your Eyes", which they dedicated to Panos Dread of Geheimnis Records who was the first person that gave them opportunity to release their debute single. After a small break and the cheering of the crowd they played another three songs as encore.

Review + Photos : Nick Drivas
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The second Future Sonic Festival took place this year at club Death Disco. The lineup consisted of three bands, The CabinFever, Boxes Of Blow and newcomers Wanderlust. Each band featured an hour long set. It was remarkable that the turnout was really good, especially for a Sunday. Considering that the night before the club celebrated its 5th Birthday with a massive party that ended sometime in the morning!
First up on stage was the new alternative rock band Wanderlust. This was actually their first live appearance (Although its members have been active years in the scene since they used to be in bands such as Cloudscape, Goya’s Dream, Frequency On). They played very well, showing that they are tight outfit, delivering some very good melodic indie tunes.
Next up was the band Boxes Of Blow that’s starting to make a name for its self the past year. The post-punk band played a dynamic set with a much darker sound that also showed psychedelic, electronic, shoegaze and noise elements. They have a pretty dense sound fronted by their singer/bass player Thodoris Koutsogianni’s deep voice. He also has a side project going on, the darkwave synth driven Strange Sense. Boxes Of Blow played many of the songs that will be on their debut album that has been recorded and is due to be released sometime this year. Most notable where the tracks that have already been uploaded by the band such as "The Longest Lost Hope", "Your Presence" and "Feelings" with which they closed their performance.
Last up on the bill were The Cabin Fever. A new wave/post-punk band that goes way back. They were active in the 90’s and reformed last year after some 20 years! The band members have been in many bands in the past such as The Braindead, The Virgin Web, The Drops, Nexus and New Zero God. Last year they contributed to the compilation "Stimmen Der Seele Vol. 2" by DieSeele.net with their atmospheric instrumental track "Western Skies". Last night they opened their set with "Scream", a very melodic mid tempo new wave track. Then they performed some songs from their early days such as "Breathless", "Let Me In" and "Fear Of Truth" before giving us something new with "In Step With Time". Next they played a really good cover of The Sound’s "New Dark Age". The three piece delivered a really great sound, bringing to mind classic new wave from the 80s. Overall, an enjoyable night, with three bands that show that they have much to deliver and we will keep an eye out for them. 

Review / Photos : Nick Drivas
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Finally, after many long delays Spettro Family’s first full length album “Glow in the Dark” is available in 250 copies limited edition vinyl format. Initially the album was released in digital format in spring 2017 and was scheduled to be released in vinyl during the summer by a US label. The project was unfortunately abandoned and after many months, the album got its proper release by a UK label in January 2018.

“Glow in the Dark” comes in a transparent special green/black splattered vinyl color (looking very cool indeed), accompanied with colorful vivid graphic artwork by the artist. Musically it consists of 10 songs, 6 of which are brand new songs and 4 are songs from previous releases. So, the album could be regarded as a compilation, or at least a nice introduction to Spettro Family’s music universe. For those familiar with Spettro Family’s musical output, this album will be a nice surprise, as the new songs sound very fresh and have a synthwave direction, away from atmospheric darkness and towards an 80s nostalgia and positive mood. Nevertheless, the weird and unexpected music elements still exist (but in a less obvious way), judging from the “horror electronics” subtitle on the album cover.


The album starts with “Diapason”, a new track sounding very fresh and inviting, perfect for a starter. Next comes “The Giggler”, a new track with the same fresh sound featuring movie dialogue samples. Next comes “1978 La Fuga” one of Spettro Family’s best tunes, originally appearing in 2011 cassette album “Candelora”. Dark, moody and full of horror this two minute track is a classic! Next comes “Haunted Zurich”, a nice track from 2015 cassette album “Per Svegliare un Sonnambulo” and finally side A ends with “Brasov Black Biserica”, a reworked track from 2012 vinyl mini album “La Famiglia Spettro”, one of my favourite Spettro Family releases.

Side B starts with “Manhattan Baby”, again a well known song from 2015 cassette album “Per Svegliare un Sonnambulo” and continues with 4 new songs: “Glow in the Dark” sounding like a video game soundtrack, “Disco Sabba” featuring some treated vocals and a groovy danceable rhythm, then comes “Zordak” very melodic and nostalgic. Finally, the album ends with “Villa Sarina”, a haunted 4 minute slow paced track which might seem rather unfitting with the previous tracks, but is very characteristic of Spettro Family’s ghostly sounds and effects and makes a perfect ending to the album.


“Glow in the Dark” is Spettro Family’s first full length release and should be regarded as the band’s most accessible album, compared to their previous works released in various limited 7” vinyl and cassette formats.

Review by Stefan Stavrides
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Sadaemon presents on premiere for Die Seele the tvideo of the title track of his last album "The inner sky" fruit of the collaboration of this colombian musician, the brazilian singer Camilla Sombrio and the italian lyricist Lory Fayer.
The video of this instrumental track shows wonderful skies fulls of clouds,, nothern lights and stars, to suggest the intimate, but often forgotten link between humanking and the energies and laws that dwell in the Universe.
The whole album is downloadable for free on bandcamp:



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We made an interwiew with Gianni  Caldararo, the singer of Vestfalia's Peace, the band that has been  the 2017 revelation of the italian scene, despite their beginnings root back in the '90s with some demo tapes and a  cover of "Scythe & Spade" on "Beyond the Horizon", a compilation tribute to And Also The Trees, but Gianni will explain everything better than me.


Despite your debut cd has been published in 2017  the band's story roots back in the '90; can you tell us something of that far away beginning?

Well, the story is about four friends who shared a passion for music since their childhood. We know each other since we were children and we had been living our lives in a tiny village in the centre-south of Italy before moving towards great industrial italian cities, in our 20s. We started playing at a very young age the music we liked, like goth and new wave from The Cure to Joy Division.


What pushed you to reform the band in 2015?

As I said before, we currently live in four different cities, between Turin and Rome and we rarely met during the last ten years. We used to meet at our native village, in the countryside, only in special occasions such as Christmas or in the summer holidays. We spoke about a possible gig in a local club in 2012 (due to a friend who pushed us to meet and play again a reunion gig) and we did it in december of that year. We felt that it was the right moment to begin playing again more music and to record a whole album with new and old songs.


Time changes us and our lives; do you think that it has changed also your approach to music?

Sometimes I look back at my life and I can see it flowing like in an oil painting or like in an old 50s italian film set in the countryside. This is my first approach to music: remembering memories and put them into melodies that can call back stories from the past. It hasn't change very much and I always try to be honest with myself and mix things I liked when I was younger with my last listenings from the present: so, I think my approach to music hasn't really changed that much. I'm only aware that there is so much new music in the present and that it would be stupid to ignore it.

Is it hard to keep on playing having replaced in different towns?

It's not easy because of the time of our lives before the distance itself. Today you can easily take a train and meet somehow, even if you are very distant from each other. During the year, for example, we use to meet and make rehersals in Florence, that is an equidistant point from where we live, but actually, time is our worst enemy.

Do you think that your origins in a small southern italian town have influenced somehow your music and the subjects of the lyrics?

The fact that we came from an unknown part of Italy (even for italians) is something that many people can't understand. Our whole region is only 300.000 inhabitants, like a district in Rome or Milan and our little town is only 800. When we came back home for holidays it seems almost like we've travelled through ages. The air that we breath, the simplicity of the people and the marvellous view of the surroundings has always filled our spirit with inspiration.

The nostalgia for your birth town seems to come back also in some of your tracks.

I'm glad you noticed it. It's not a nostalgia for the place in itself but for the simple life we used to have until we lived all together. I remember nostalgically when I could close the door of my home and meet with each other. We didn't need a smartphone, skype or any other technological stuff to talk and laugh together. This could sound nostalgic, but maybe it's true: I am very nostalgic.

Why do you chose Vesfalia's Peace as band's name?

This is an odd story. At school, I used to take notes in italian and english while studying History and sometimes there were weird names coming out from my personal copybook. We had another name at the time and it was “Carestia” (Famine in english) but it was really heavy to carry on with, so one day we decided to change it with a temporary one in order to find the final name. We picked it up from my history copybook and we never changed it (even if it's not correct grammatically, but we decided to leave it as it was).



What are your inspirations when you compose a new track?

Books, dreams and the places I've visited are great source of inspiration.
In music, I try not to sound like anyone I like: it could be strange but that's how it is. I try to be Gianni while singing even if I'd like to be Scott Walker or Charles Aznavour, but they are way better than me, so why I should try to imitate them?


There is a track that has a particular meaning for you?

There are two songs, “The Peasant” and “Wet Ferns Shine” that really touch me. Those songs were composed in 2003 and I have good memories of that period in my life. Something was still magical and pristine.

There are feelings or visions that you'd like that the public would have thanks to your music?

I really hope so. But it's something only listeners can feel.

If you should make a balance after almost one year from the issue of "Loneliness" what would you say?

“Loneliness” has been released in March 2017 and nowadays I can't really understand if people had listened and liked it or not. I found mixed opinions about it and I'd like to receive more feedbacks about it.


For you is important to play live?

The live gig is something any band should experience. Recording  is still a mechanical process and the songs can sound a bit artefact because of the overdubs you can add to the tracks while mixing. It's only on stage that you can understand if all the work you made is working. 

What do you feel in front of an audience?

I personally try my best to perform without singing out of tune or hit the wrong note while playing. I feel that this may compromise a bit the fact that I should be more relaxed and maybe let myself go with the audience. 

Do you have any plans for the future?

At the moment we're going to play some live show in Europe and we hope to start recording new songs as soon as possible. As I said before, time is our worst enemy and to make thing well means to take a lot of time for making. We have a bunch of new songs and we hope to record them on the same session and not individually. And, most important, we'd like to find a stronger musical dimension in terms of resulting fresh and new at the same time.


Gianni, I know that you have also another project called "La pietra lunare"; do you want to tell us also something about this?


La Pietra Lunare (The Moonstone in english) is a side-project born after the split with Vestfalia's Peace, in 2006. Duccio and I decided to record an album inspired by italian literature and italian music (the name is taken from a novel by the italian writer Tommaso Landolfi). So we had surrounded ourselves with many classical musicians and we recorded the first full length album between 2009 and 2014, working at the distance. It has been influenced by a lot of songwriters and folk music and the result is a kind of neoclassical / folk music with dark attitude. The record has been printed in 2015 by Lichterklang and it has been reprinted in April 2017 by SPQR label.


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On the last Friday of the year, the Turkish dark wave, post-punk, goth band She Past Away gave another live performance for the Greek audience. This was their third time in Athens, playing once again at club Death Disco. Their popularity in Greece is growing every year, resulting to it being a sold out gig. Another reason for them being so well known in Greece is that their 2 albums "Belirdi Gece" and "Narin Yalnızlık" have been released by the Greek label Fabrika records.
 
The support act chosen was the relative new band Ghostland. Although they have been active, playing live since 2015, they still have not released any material. They have recorded material for an album and from what we learnt they are in the process of putting the final touches. Hopefully in the New Year will have something released by this promising band. As a four piece (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards), Ghostland took to the stage and presented a 45 minute set. In that time they presented many of their own songs, giving us a first taste of what to expect by them in a future release. One could say oldschool post punk, goth rock. A nice rhythm section with brooding bass and drum machine topped with atmospheric vocals and guitar. They also played two covers, The Cure’s "The Hanging Garden" and The Sisters Of Mercy’s "Heartland".

Next up on stage after a small break, the curtain opened for the much anticipated She Past Away, since the venue was well packed to full capacity. Frontman Volkan Caner (vacals, guitar) and Doruk Öztürkcan (keyboards, percussion) took their positions on stage and launched into their set playing a variety of songs from their two up to now albums. Most notable, were the favorites "Kasvetli Kutlama", "Sanri" and "Katarsis" just to name a few. Its remarkable how this band has made a name for its self being the first act of its kind to breakthrough their homeland Turkey. Considering that they sing in their native language. Possibly this and the fact that they make great music is what made it possible. They have managed by sounding like something between The Sisters Of Mercy and The Cure to create their own distinctive sound. The crowd was very responsive, dancing and cheering all through their set. Especially at the end where they cheered them on to play another three songs at the encore, showing their thirst for more.



The next day She Past Away played with the Greek act and labelmates Selofan in the town of Thessaloniki.


Review by Nick Drivas

Photos by Marilia Photopoulou (She Past Away), Nick Drivas (Ghostland).
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Just a few days before Christmas, on Wednesday December 20, Fabrika Records presented a very special album release night, in DeathDisco, Athens, Greece. A night with Tango Mangalore performing his new album "Dear Shore", supported by Spettro Family appearing in front of the greek audience for the first time.



Tango Mangalore, already well known in the Greek underground scene, presented his new second album (first on Fabrika Records) in his established stage presence: Sailor costume, heavy eye makeup, friendly attitude towards the audience. Whether his constant blushing smiles were signs of worried embarrassment or were given intentional, is something yet to be investigated. His short screams at the beginning of each song which I enjoyed, as well as his exceptional whispering vocal effects on some songs, reminded me of ghostly Hollywood movie pirates.




Tango Mangalore's onstage perfomance ranged from minimal synth to excessive synth punk, with echo-treated vocals delivered in high speed and energy. His set consisted of the "Dear Shore" album in its entirety, plus material from his previous works and collaborations, notably his debut vinyl album "Commandante Macabro". Most notable songs performed: "Dear Shore", "Mort Marin", "Cry Madame" and the powerful "The Menagerie".
 
Spettro Family, the solo project of Steve Spettro, opened the gig. Judging from the already overcrowded audience, it appears that Spettro Family has many Greek fans and many people like myself were curious about the Family's show.
 


Originating from Italy, having strong influences by the Italian horror movies and soundtracks both musically and visually, Spettro Family creates a show full of mystery, aiming to entertain and attract interest. "We are Spettro Family and we are a rock'n'roll band" announces Steve, obviously referring to the beloved Sisters of Mercy in a dark sense of humour. Dressed in black costume with a peculiar witch hat, face full covered like a robber, big leather gloves in his hands, the menacing slow-moving figure takes his place on stage behind the synths, producing creepy synth sounds coupled with sampled scary speeches from obscure Italian movies. The figure has brought his marionette doll with him to assist him in playing the synths, then he moves towards the audience, actually sings in a tormented voice two songs over pre-recorded music (which proved to be cover versions of songs by Drab Majesty and Zola Jesus as I was told), then jumps offstage to pass the microphone to the audience in order to scream along to the successive sampled screams sounding from the speakers. Some were really shocked or taken by surprise like me, while others found the whole thing amusing and funny.



In their 45' show, Spettro Family performed songs from their various releases in an uninterrupted continuous mix with sampled vocals and sound effects. Most notably: "Brasov Black Biserica" the Family's trademark composition from the excellent 10'' vinyl "La Famiglia Spettro", "Manhattan Baby" from the casette only album "Per Svegliare un Sonnambulo", "Diapason" from the forthcoming much anticipated vinyl album "Glow in the Dark".




Lastly, it should be mentioned that great care was taken in DeathDisco's lighting section. All lights were masterfully directed to produce dramatic visual effects combined by the artificial smoke machines, thus making both artists dominating the stage with their sole presence.

Review by Stefan Stavrides
Photos by Marilia Photopoulou
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Halfway there: In 2020 Vlimmer will have completed an 18 EP journey through the gloomy genres of atmospheric music. On 1 December the German one-man project is going to release a double EP entitled “IIIIIIII” / “IIIIIIIII” (EP 8 & 9) which comprises of 10 new songs ranging from airy, haunting dream pop, catchy synth  to dense layers of sound, harsh electronic beats, sawing guitars and even a sampled Cossacks choir.    
DIE SEELE exclusively premieres the electronic dream pop-induced motoric darkwave of “Menschenschichten”. It is music for endless night drives leaving behind the bright lights of the city and the shallowness of thoughts. Digging through piles and layers of Friday night out folks the song depicts finding the one true thing in a place where you didn’t expect anything at all.

“IIIIIIII” / “IIIIIIIII” will be available as download, limited edition box set and on CDs and cassette tapes released by Blackjack Illuminist Records.


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It was a great night. Saturday 11 November 2017 took place DeathDisco's MiniFest v1 a mini festival featuring 3 bands for the first time ever in Greece: "iamtheshadow" from Portugal, "Hante." from France, and "Pink Turns Blue" from Germany. Due to early presale and good promotion, the show had already sold out resulting to no tickets available at the door.


According to schedule, the show started with "iamtheshadow", who got on the stage while the venue was still half-full. The 3-member band from Lisbon, fronted by singer/guitarist/keyboard player/composer Pedro Code gave a sufficient 1h performance of their best material. Notably songs performed: "The Winter's Long", "Hurts and Takes", "Everything in this Nothingness", "Tongueless" and at the end "There is Nothing More to See". Their show was mainly built on their frontman, leaving the other two band members to a subsidiary role. In fact, the bass player was set rather far away on stage, giving the impression of being unconnected with the rest of the band. Musically speaking, the band captured their sound relied heavily on Pedro's characteristic voice, a steady ponderous commanding voice that easily drives us to the band's musical universe. Available for purchase on the upstairs spacious merchandising section were: This year's "All Our Demons" gatefold vinyl album and last year's "Everything in this Nothingness" debut cd album.


While the venue started to get fully crowded, Hélène de Thoury (aka "Hante.") appeared on stage, casually dressed in black and feeling rather comfortable upon our inspecting eyes. She gave her show exposing her inner emotions, sometimes sensitive other times outbreaking, singing her emotional lyrics and playing her expressive synth tunes. Strangely enough, she quickly managed to capture our full attention all by herself, filling the stage with her presence and lovingly french finesse. Many songs performed, including my favourite "Éternité" (...je t’aimerai toujours...) a very representative song of Hante's repertoire. Available on the merchandising section were: This year's "Between Hope & Danger" album on both cd and vinyl format, as well as last year's "No Hard Feelings" 12" vinyl EP.



Finally, it was time for "Pink Turns Blue" to enter the stage and continue the show. A band from Germany, with quite a history and discography on their back which sadly I'm not familiar with. Set as a trio, the band gave a solid compact post-punk sound, based on well played live drums, accompanied by compact skillfully executed bass guitar playing, coupled with accurate passionate vocals and guitars. The band performed their songs almost without gaps in between, resulting in a condensed satisfying show, followed by an even more sufficient encore. After all these years, the band proved to be in excellent shape, as anticipated by their Greek loyal fans.



Soon afterwards, the night continued with the familiar DeathDisco dj programme, giving the opportunity for the bands to sign their merchandise and have a drink, while watching the crowded dancefloor. Also worth to mention, is that after the stage was gear-cleared, a birthday party took place there, with a large double birthday cake offered to selected regular DeathDisco fans. As already said, it was a great night and we 're now looking forward to MiniFest v2!

Review by Stefan Stavrides
Photos by Nick Drivas
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