It's been a good year for independent music in general. Many artists and labels online are now reaching fans with ease ,thanks to sites like Bandcamp where some albums are digital downloads. After many repeated listens, I  present my 30 favourite albums of 2015 -surely some of your own favourites are missing. The choice was hard to make because the alternative underground music scene was fertile and prolific. On another day, the order could swap around a bit (with the exception of the number 1 album, which I really think is just the best). 30 choices in synth,cold wave,dark wave ,experimental and so on…dark alternative music  I would say.After my list ,Mary Vareli’s list is following with her selections in folk-ethereal genre. 

A minimalistic, gloomy masterpiece by Mr. and Mrs. Arafna, mixing up influences of minimal wave and industrial pop. Fragile ghostly melodies full of melancholy, couched in deep black analogue electronics.

Second ep by the Belgian band  and a great mixture of dark,atmospheric cold wave and shoegaze music.The ep is availiable on digital download and on cassette.

The Swedish singer and multi-instrumentalist Anna von Hausswolff releases her 3rd album presenting a  breathless post rock full of contrasts.

Another masterpiece by Pedro Code’s personal project. An album full of melancholy driven by Pedro’s emotional vocals .

Chelsea Wolfe came back with a bleak, beautiful masterpiece.Now more than ever, Wolfe’s deathly gloom matches her music succinctly. 

Kriistal Ann’s  third full-length solo album and perhaps her best effort so far. Nine songs that combine the minimal synth sound with ethereal dark melodies .

Cold wave, minimal wave and post punk at its best .The Swiss/French band releases a dark, claustrophobic album with a great range of German, English and French vocals.

The best effort by the band Liverpool. A perfect mix of cold wave and ethereal sounds driven by great female and male vocals and creating a nostalgic feeling.

The one-man project from Brussels creates a brilliant electronic dirge, that floats between oldschool ebm, cold wave and synth.

BLACK EGG-MELENCOLIA(Aufnahmeund+Wiedergabe)
Minimalistic drum beats, coming from retro drum machines, analogue synthesizers, distorted voices and noises, experimental loops , hypnotizing dark atmosphere.UsherSan  and Corina Nenuphar creates an  occultistic musical journey. A high quality album.

THE SOFT MOON-DEEPER(Captured tracks)
With ‘Deeper’ Vasquez has distilled The Soft Moon's sound into something even more severe.An album genuinely expressive and creative merging together industrial aggression and abrasive electronics.

FOREVER GREY- BOUNDARIES(Bat-cave production)

The duo from Michigan compiles their best songs from cassetes in a cd format.Intelligent cold wave and a perfect combination male and female vocals.

Dark hypnotic post-punk with a swelling, romantic heart.

The Italian duo creates a superb blend of gothgaze and dark electro pop driven by chaotic synths , a reverberating rhythm section and guitar layers .

LOVE IN PRAGUE-FALLEN ANGELS(Unknown pleasures rec.)
The French duo creates 9 songs  drawing on cold wave, dream pop and post-punk genre creating an ethereal and gloomy atmosphere.

TEMPERS-SERVICES (Aufnahmeund+Wiedergabe)
A post-punk inspired electro-pop of the 80’s, warm synth tones and drum machine backbeats. The 10 beautiful songs are catchy and some of them club-friendly.

Nic Hamersly releases another great compilation with songs driven by cold wave synths ,dizzying sequences and spectral vocals.

The 3rd album by  the French-German duo.Coco Gallo and Stephane Argillet release another cold, hypnotic and minimalistic masterpiece.

NAO KATAFUCHI-EMERGENCE(Sub culture/Anna logue /Nadanna)
The Japanese artist create songs with straight synthetic analogic-vintage patterns and a more engaging and fast rhythm  inspired by the music of the 80’s.

Nathalia Bruno’s solo work certainly carries  a mixture of ethereal,dark and shoegaze music.Certainly, the project’s initial release is recommended to  fans of dark, gloomy wave and hypnotic music that has a certain high standard of quality.

Post-punk ,shoegazing guitars and passionate male vocals. The German band releases their first album -an excellent dark musical gem.

CHARNIER-ST(Wool-e tapes)
Another band from Brussels.Six songs-a perfect sample of post punk and cold wave music.

William Maybelline’ s personal project presents 10 songs that follow oldschool electro ,cold wave ,post punk paths and intense lyricism driven by strong male vocals.

The second full-length album by the Athens based electro-minimal duet .Listening to his album we will meet old school dark wave and synthpunk, poetry,avant garde and romantic sensibility.

L’AVENIR-ETOILES(Cold beats rec)
 Jason Sloan creates another great hypnotic synth minimal wave album.

The one-woman  project based on Turkey  released 3 digital download albums in 2015 .All compositions combine dark wave and dark electro sounds with tribal and ambient soundscapes  delivered by deep sometimes ethereal ,sometimes otherworldly female vocals.

AFTERMATH 6 6 6 6 - AFTERMATH(Black verb rec.)
Philipp Läufer solo project. The 8 songs are a perfect sample of experimental shoegaze,dark wave,industrial music creating a  gloomy atmosphere .

The French one-man project released this 4-song ep -a blend of harmonic, lush synths and emotional vocals.

Montreal synth quartet returns with their second effort presenting dynamic polished synth sounds,retro-chic and fast-paced electropop.

The second lp from the Greek duo,a nice sample of analogue minimal electronics and dancable rythms .

list by Rise&Fall (Transmission Radioshow)

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As known , NADJA was a significant group New Wave / Dark from Liguria, active in the '80s .In November 2015, following a long and patient recovery audiotapes recorded in 1987, leaked into the digital out a new work NADJA: CD nadja '87 (FU).
Listening to the CD reserve a big surprise: the texts of the pieces are previously unreleased, and sung in Italian.To date, the material available online for NADJA was related to songs from La Joie (1984) and Eros (1985), with lyrics in English; it was not available documentation on this change in the group's production.

In 1985, just before the release of the compilation on vinyl CODE, NADJA indeed changed vocalist ; Osvaldo Lanata left the band .Therefore NADJA, which remain Fabio Giannini, Michele Militello and Roberto Andreotti, is looking for a new singer, identifying Maurizio Montemauri .With this line up the band, which had meanwhile decided to continue its production with texts in Italian, it remains until the dissolution, which occurred in 1987.

The history of a band is often enriched by episodes 'behind the scenes' between the components; between those who follow a band, there is often curiosity about personal rivalries, the leadership, and so on.
The components of NADJA (since its complete form about musical style, the 1981 formation with Giannini - Lanata - Militello - Andreotti), were not friends before the creation of the group; even knew each other.The collaboration, respect, affection, has been created by working together; perhaps for this reason still it lasts.

On 'clashes' between the components of which remained memory is reported by the official Facebook Page of NADJA:(https://www.facebook.com/Nadja_italian_darkwave_band-861144237288209/)

the following memory of Michele, in 1983:

“We rehearsed the parts of a piece; I do not very convincing interpretation of Osvaldo, Osvaldo did not convince my bass part. While we was discussing the tones climbed a little,  Osvaldo said:
"You are playing bass like the bassist of Japan!" .
I replied:
"And you are singing like you were in a group of ‘Liscio‘!"
I dropped down my bass, and went out to take a shot of half an hour; cools off the nervous, I went back to the rehearsal room.
The others were still there ; I taken down my bass, I went on trial “.
It was all over; the episode did not remember any more, and if they have not even spoken…”

Ordinary dialectic, then, between members of a musical group.
The truth about the lineup change in 1985 is therefore very simple: Osvaldo was interested in pursuing other musical projects, and NADJA did a change of musical production, with Italian lyrics; nothing to do with rivalry over the leadership .
Gossip lovers will be disappointed, but still NADJA components of both teams are in good relationships.

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Before being known, L'Ordre d'Heloise line up has been for almost two decades Alain and Frèdèric, who passed away in 2014. The album "Apres le chaos" is an hommage by Alain to the memory of his missed friend. F. is a track composed for him, so me and Metass'T'Asie prepared this video as Christmass Present, because we are sure that this would have been the track he would have chosen for a video!
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There were a lot of great songs in 2015, and  many creative videos to go along with them. Whether it was the dancing, the storyline, or the production value that blew viewers away, each clip always featured some element that have spurred my interest. Here is a list of my favourite videos that dominated our screens across the last 12 months.

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At 11.30, the Frozen Autumn took place on the stage of Death Disco .The  Frozen Autumn once again came to the Greek audience who admittedly loves them enough. For me, it was the third time I saw them live. Unlike the other two gigs of Frozen Autumn that I have attended in the past, both Diego and Froxeanne were dancing on stage throughout their show and the energy was transferred to the audience. Looking at the video and the photos that are available on this article it’s obvious that Frozen Autumn are not static behind the microphone and the synth. 

This show was also accompanied by visuals which was creating a unique atmosphere.The music cold, moody darkwave absolutely blanketed in waves of atmospheric synths.The band alternated their places behind the microphone and the synth in a seemingly automatic almost robotic way and both Diego and Froxeanne was singing and performing perfectly. The strongest moments was ‘Silence is talking’ ,Is everything real’, This time’ , There’s no time to recall.
The opening act  was the Italian four-member band  Hidden Place first time in Greek audience.With melancholic, onward driving songs heavily influenced by 80s Electro Wave,they had a very positive stage appearance. 

All we enjoyed their older songs such as ‘Window Sill’, Picture Hall’ or newer such as the powerful  ‘Alla Mostra Dei Costruttivisti’ . . It would be difficult not to dance with the powerful melodies and the rhythms of this ‘best of’ setlist. Another  tip of their setlist was my favourite song from their neofolk side-project  Lupis Gladius  ‘Gli Ultimi Bagliori’. Despite Frozen Autumn’s  undeniable qualities as a live act – Hidden Place easily were the cherry on the cake of an excellent night.

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A track born thanks to the infinite possibilities that internet unfolds: The Colours of silence, a band formed by the brazilian Keybordist Helios and the german singer Bjarkan, here with the lyrics of the italian Lory Fayer: this is really music without borders

a love song dyed of blue
I write im my  lyrics and themes
the description of my dreams
of my only true and deep desire
of what puts my soul on fire

I entrust one kiss to my lines
I smile to you using my rhymes
trying to forget for a moment
a distance that can't be broken

the alphabet becames the hand
that reaches your foreign land
the frontier that keeps us apart
to stroke sweetly your heart

you can't imagine the sadness
behind my words of tenderness
all the things I would like to do
if all my hopes could come true

sometimes tears turn into ink
the space an ocean where I sink
I look at you  closing my eyes
only toughts can cross the skyes

I pick up my pen like a drug
to find phrases warm like a hug
a letter closed with a seal of blood
while in my eyes it starts a flood

I sing a love song dyed of blue
sad because I can't be with you


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Nada cd, lp, tape Holy Hour, Woll-E Tapes, Self Released Digital download Rec. 2015

Second album that confirms the potential that the band had already expressed with the debut album "The White Days".
This year, they have grown their reputation, without exploiting for this the militancy of Fabrice in Ranja, for the brave choice to be appreciated for the music they make and not because "they are members of ...".
In this album there are 10 tracks, Sung in German, French and English, like the former one, to use the sound characteristics of each of these languages ??to express different moods.
"Tonband" is characterized by the powerful bass line clearly influenced by post punk, enlightened by cold keyboards, and sometimes enriched by a female choir.
"Mask" is slower and claustrophobic, where lingering doubts are emphasized by the double singing in French and English, in which the female voice of Lissette Schoenly that seems emphatically describe the emotions, as if to represent the voice of conscience, or a like a sign of schizophrenic estrangement.
"Indianer" has a firm tone, nervous, a crescendo marked by a repetitive drum machine and a minimal synth, to which are added sounds, to add more and more strength, pathos to the track.
"Ignite" is characterized by  a forestanding bass  and effected sound, at the border of distortion, lile to emphasize an emotional tension, a turmoil raging like a fire.
"L'Aurore" is a melancholy piece, very slow, where the instruments seem to accompany as a background the spoken lyric to let it in the spolight.
"Rabid Dog" opens winking at minimal sound that seems to be the peculiarities of several groups of the last wave, especially in France, and then grows to a faster pace, almost punk, but still very meager.
"Lodged" still has analog synths forestanding, and is characterized by the duet between Chroma and Carbon Kriistal Ann, that has already widely experimented with the side project Sine Silex.
"Disaray" is a piece very wavish , with a voice with effects that gives a sensation of  remote '80s, as the whole piece, which looks straight out of a vinyl of the early stage, keeping intact all its charm and its emotional grip.
"Klinge" alternates  glacial keyboards punctuated with a nervous bass, that gives a tormented aura to the song.
"The Owles" is a slow track, almost anthropomorphic, where the rhythm of the bass reminds  a heartbeat, and the guitar riffs evoke nearly the emotions described by the voice.
This is, an album that will not disappoint those who either already knows them or, more in general, the  fans of the 80s sound, the one of the wave of the origins, here also legitimized by the long militancy of Chroma and Fabrice, and by the DNA of Theotime.

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Prélude à l’âme d’élégie is the fifth release of Day Before Us, a neoclassical, cold and dark art project formed by Philippe Blache in 2011. Opn seems the ultimate vehicle for the exploration of exulted poetical feelings, inner realities and lyrical movements of the soul in this evocative masterpiece that seems to incorporate all elements that used to be the musical idiom of Day Before Us so far, and at the same time exceeding them in the most advanced way. Day Before Us manages to capture the rare feeling produced by the haunting sound of the first period of 4AD, proving that the secret behind all influencing music is to reach experimentation exceeding, however, a solid basis, that of classical studies in music. In Prélude à l’âme d’élégie originality is proved via a blend of mystical resonance, ambient textures and compelling minor-key melodies, alternating between Recitatives and vocal parts in various languages, written and performed by Jessica Peace, Natalya Romashina and Davide Riccio.
Listening to Prélude à l’âme d’élégie I couldn’t help thinking that all initiative processes start with the contact with the four elements. Consciously or not Day Before Us managed to release eight tracks, four of which, the first ones conduct the listener to the realm of transcendentalism via a sublime, alchemical process.
“Lorsque la nuit lasse étreint l’inconnu” is the ordeal of Water, what an element to start, diving in this way into the subconscious. Nostalgic melancholy flirts with sea waves, sounds of seabirds, forcing long gone childhood memories to emerge with escalating tones and a deep meditative ambience.
“Ecstasy of the stigmatist” is musically connected with the thematic introduction of the previous track, as the transition is subtle and the listener feels like wandering in dungeons and dark cathedrals, where awe is evoked via religious elements as well as the promise of ascension.The track becomes theatrical, as after a short dialogue reminding an old film, and having the element of Earth in mind, music starts to behave like a flower jumping out of its seed, out of the soil and into the Air of the next track, managing the ordeal of the Earth element.
“Voyna serdtsa”, the third track is the ordeal of Air. Natalya Romashina, starts with an incantation, like right before dusk, and continues with enchanting ethereal vocals in a neoclassical mood, manifesting the promise of the Air, meaning the intellectual elevation. “Alda börnom” is pure Fire, sentimental and erotic, like the sizzling sound of a comforting fireplace burning dry wood. And, now, with the beautiful voice, of Jessica Peace the listener is ready for the rest of the journey. “Talk room” has a dream pop feeling, with female whispers (Jessica Peace) and the sense of eavesdropping conversations, or just words and numbers, very theatrical. “Rise of elegeia” reminds me of a confession, again full of neoclassical elements and the warm voice of Davide Riccio. “Tempestarii” is good old Day Before Us and with “La somnambule” the circle of nostalgia ends with female vocals, Jessica Peace again, and the need to repeat the journey. The artwork of the album is based on Kamila Nora Netikova’s photographs, adding to this atmospheric masterpiece, definitely an influential one! 

Review by Mary Vareliwww.paradoxehereal-magazine.com )
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Taken from the upcoming self-released 4-Track EP "The Second Coming" 

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