The first gig produced by DieSeele took place the last Saturday at DeathDisco venue. The Italian band Schonwald with the Greek duet Paradox Obscur  on stage.

The couple Luca and Alessandra  delivered  its ethereal and sensual post-punk, all in hypnotic, minimalist, strained atmospheres reminded us bands like : ‘Jesus and Mary Chain’,KVB, My Bloody Valentine.The icy voice of Alessandra  accompanied by low octave synthesizers and the shoegaze guitar of Luca sending rhythmic concoctions to the audience, which was hypnotized by their beautiful sounds. Alessandra  was very expressive on stage and  also her voice was excellent  and all the people were very satisfied with their set.
 But before Schonwald started, a band that many people here in Athens wanted to see live-the duo Kriistal Ann and Toxic Razor,Paradox Obscur. 

Dancy ebm and minimal synth tunes accompanied by Anna’s passionate voice captivated us for about 45 min . The highlights : ‘flesh’ , ‘scurge’ , ‘drone’ . 
Anna also offered us three songs from her last personal album as Kriistal Ann ‘Cultural Bleeding’,so we enjoyed a more ethereal part with ‘killing jokes’ , my personal favourite ‘fading lights’ and the collaboration with Schonwald ‘fail of misery’ which performed by Luca Bandini on guitar. 
We are looking forward to the new work by Paradox obscur ,also Anna's new collaborations and works .
I like to thank the two groups that accept our invitation and all the people  were with us this Saturday..

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Another interesting conversation takes place in our blog .The Greek minimal synth duo Paradox Obscur (Kriistal Ann + Toxic Razor) hosted in our page a few days before their first live performance in Athens with the Italian duo  Schonwald. Ann,Toxic welcome to DieSeele!

*The first question is ordinary. What's the story behind the name?
Entering the process to create this project, we wanted to give a name that is catchy and fit the style of the songs and on the other hand we wanted to match in our view of the music industry today.
So the name " Paradox " was the most prevalent and more topical than ever.

*Have you two been in previous bands in the past?
Kriistal Ann: Yes, Toxic Razor deals many years making his own music, have being involved in various projects in the past  from metal, industrial, techno etc..
Until we meet, I had not thought that I could make my own music.. I always liked to sing and having had studied classical music had a completely different direction from him. When he suggested me to do something together, that time he started the multifaceted project of " Resistance of Independent Music" . I was charmed with the idea ,  so I joined this..

*As I know you participate in several projects and Anna has many collaborations. Could you tell us some things about it?
Starting something which has a direct relationship with the audience, by definition it leads you to compounds or cross your path with others. Moreover, it is selfish to produce for yourself, without wanting to listen or to try something different from what you do. Collaborations leads you to other levels of consciousness and improvement of your work, opens the horizons. To manage to achieve a successful collaboration, is also art..

*You live in Rhodes island too far from Athens.. How does it affect on your musical career?
The truth, this is a problem, especially in the part of the promotion of our work. When you are cut out from the outside world and live in a peaceful place, you can have great performance at work and inspiration, but the part of the interaction with the public is lacking..
 Fortunately nowadays there is the internet where you have the opportunity to spread your music out.. But even that, often does not have the same power with direct contact that a concert can give etc. Surely we do not have the same opportunities as a band based in Athens, let alone in a central European capital.

*If you had to choose one album that is your main influence, what would it be?
Toxic Razor: its hard to pick up just one, so to mention some of my main influences would be the whole discography from W.A.S.P., Slayer, Megadeth, Darkthrone, Death, Ulver & Celtic Frost.
Also acts like FSOL, FRONT 242, Depeche Mode, Dead Can Dance, Orbital had a great impact on me.
Kriistal Ann: With time, come in my way new things that excite me and I enjoy listening. An album which remains timeless in my preferences is from the Greek band Διάφανα Κρίνα «Κάτι Σαράβαλες Καρδιές».

*Who are your favorite musicians and poets? Would you consider putting someone else's words into music?
Kriistal Ann: Many times I have set to music, poems by major poets whom I love. Being productive in music sometimes you reach a point where your words dry up. I have saved many situations alike. The music has a broader horizon which can act..  Its hard to create some beautifully crafted phrases, which need to be a real master, and to possess beautiful words, is a privilege of the few..
Toxic Razor: we usually write most of the lyrics for Paradox Obscur , except the track ‘Words Without Voices’ which is a poem by Noel Heart.

*I think that synth cold wave is in rising. Why does it happen?
All are fads that come and go. Yes, the times we live in, there is an upward trend in what some started in the 80s. In its most simplified form.. but is not the cold wave that has actually rise, but digestible music that many present it as masterpieces by taking already  made loops and placing them into different versions.
*What are your inspirations for your lyrics, music and artworks?
As you realize, being a member of an independent band is not an easy task. Besides a talent you must possess in music, you should be also good lyricist, photographer, designer, or just have a thick wallet to spend on such issues..
Fortunately, some talent that I have in photography,  took us from the difficult position of the cover a few times, as well as the contribution from some of our good friends like Jan Vinoelst who edited the cover for "Anacrusis" .
But still it is always a matter of the right choice of creating a cover or lyrics.

*How do you create your compositions? Which is Anna's role and Toxic Razor's role in the compositions? How do you collaborate?
Tocix Razor: In this coexistence, as you rightly put it, everyone has his own role. Anna is good at inventing melodies and sounds that could fit in each song. While I mostly handle the rythmic parts, various synth fx and the final mixdown.
In a new song, we usually start with the bassline and the drums and after build upon that, the melody and add the extra sounds that will fill the track. Then comes the lyrical approach.
When there is chemistry and same point of view, things are easier in collaboration.

*Are there any other kind of art-except music- that you are interested in or participate in?
Kristal Ann: Art is a vehicle for the development of the spirit. From little i started dealing with music while I did some courses in painting, a talent that I inherited from my father. Much later I was captivated by photography. So initially I started used an old analog camera that belonged to my father. I have been a member of a photography team for a time and through some books and seminars, I learned to escape the narrow conservatism..
At times I get the need to write a poem or short story. All this is more for personal pleasure and to fill gaps in the modern way of living..
Toxic Razor: I also like poetry a lot, but due to the lack of time and the overload of work with my other projects and the label I run, i can hardly find time to enjoy some reading.
Some of fav poets/authors is Andreas Empeirikos, Charles Bukowski, William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Andre Breton,  Guillaume Apollinaire etc...
*What are your musical tastes? Do you listen different styles ( I know that Toxic Razor likes metal music ; ) ?
Kriistal Ann: I can listen to some songs from the dark scene, but I can not say I do often.. Many times I need a different breath and so I look to other genres such as contemporary jazz, rock, and even classical music.
Toxic Razor: I like listening to all the genres but metal and electronic music is what I prefer most. 
Also I ‘m into the 80s influenced retrowave/synthwave scene which many great artists have emerged the last years like Lazerhawk, Powerglove, Gost, Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Evanton, Megahammer, Protector 101, Danger Mode and many more…

*Tell us a few words about your last album 'Anacrusis’. Is there a kind of evolution after the first album?
We feel that our second album is kinda underprivileged in contrast with our debut as we dedicated a lot of time and much effort to create 'Anacrusis' and truly believe that its a step forward than its predecessor, the tracks are more coherent with more variety in sounds and with a more powerful production as well.
So yes we do think it has evolved since our previous releases.

*You are about to give a concert in Athens for first time in 23rd April. How do you feel about it and about playing with Schonwald for a second time? What the audience has to expect from Paradox Obscur on stage?
We feel quite anxious about the Greek public. As people have a tendency to scoff everything that is greek and overestimate everything from abroad . Moreover it is not a fear that springs from nowhere, since we did not have any support by compatriots except from some specific people. The Greeks will hardly get in trouble to tell you a good chat or to congratulate for something they liked.. There is conservatism, and even hatred to be expressed more quickly and easily than a kindly word.
That was why we wanted to keep secret the origin of this project. At the beginning and for a period of three months, it had worked very well.. This project had an unexpected launch publicly.. Later when the secret could not be kept, lost the value in the eyes of Greeks. It sounds harsh, but it is the truth.
We are really happy to have the opportunity to play again with Schonwald !
They are loveable people, and there is a mutual friendliness that we have developed. The audience that will come to see us, will hear songs from throughout the discography that we've released so far. As well as a few songs from the solo project Kriistal Ann.
If all goes well, there may be an opportunity to be heard on stage the collaboration song with Schonwald " Fail Of Misery ".

For us it is so important that the Die Seele radio and you personally supported our work and we really appreciate your contribution to this. Thank you so much Niko!

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The main exponents of Athenian dark / minimal wave scene SELOFAN gave another great live performance "in the dark" of Death Disco. Ioanna  on vocals and synths and Dimitris  on vocals, bass,saxophone and  synths  last Saturday presented "In The Darkness", their 3rd album  on the stage of a full of people club.The greek retro intro gave the place to the first song ‘schwarz’  which   gave us a perfect idea of what we will expect  in this evening.

They separated the concert into  two parts. In the first part they remined us the best moments of their previous albums such as ‘fosforizo’, ‘love is a mental suicide’ and in the second part  they presented more their last album. The duet had no difficulties creating gloomy romantic atmosphere heavily influenced by 80’s post punk and minimal wave music and  awakening  our emotions. Rythmic  basslines ,icy synths, poetic  lyrics , all parts of a unique  presentation and a  perfect combination to express their emotions . This show was also accompanied by visuals ,dancers and performers which was creating a unique atmosphere following with the best way the slogan "In the dark all just seem more romantic."

Personal favourites  of the show the songs  ‘you should learn how to leave’ , ‘the wheels of love’, ‘schwarz’ and ‘fosforizo’.

 In conclusion, a great show by the duo and comparing it with their first performance,  I think they have made many steps ahead both in the sound and the stage performance and perhaps they have become the biggest name in Fabrika label .
About 22.30 the opening act by the female duo Monowelt took place on DeathDisco stage. After the first song , they exceeded the initial stress and then gave their best and the nostalgic and cold wave style of the music that the band was trying to revive with successful effort brought an overpowering acceptance by the audience . I was surprised by their new song ‘cut the cord’ that show us the new direction of their sound into a more synth romantic style . Another highlight was ‘ohne abschied’ with the theatrical and experimental presentation as you can see from the video below. They left me an excellent impression and I think in the future they can give us exceptional music. Well-done girls!!

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Here is the new video of " Suono su Tela" by Corde Oblique, a track from  their forthcoming album "Maestri del colore" that will be published by the russian label Infinite Fog the 2th may, both i a standard edition both in a limited one with 4 extra tracks". It's an emotional, methaporical video, vhere the feather floating on the violin tunes represents at my eyes the music, and the two dancers the humans that paint their footprints on the landscape of life....until the music ends...... and the feather falls down.

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Selofan released their 3rd full-length album, entitled “Στο Σκοτάδι” (Greek for “In the Darkness”) in a limited edition vinyl format through their own label Fabrika Records, which rapidly sold out, following last year’s acclaimed “Tristesse”.
In this album, the Greek duo continues to evolve their sound, 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.
Selofan dare to split the album in half, offering side A to their foreign audience containing 5 songs in German and English, while side B is dedicated to their native Greek audience, containing 4 songs in Greek followed by a concluding instrumental track. The cd version of the album comes with the bonus track “Lass Mich Loss”.
Compared with their previous works, the new album features Dimitris and Joanna in even better vocal performances, starting with theatrical sophisticated speech tone treatments (“Schwarz”, “Orient”, “In the Darkness”, “You should learn How to Leave”) and exceeding to extreme insane desperate cries (“Alaska”, “Should We Dance?”). Other songs like the album’s starter “The Wheels of Love”, “Nightclub in the Sky” and “Lass Mich Loss” are in the typical vain of the already established Selofan style on both previous albums.
Musically the band’s sound shows some new elements, partly slipping from darkwave and minimal synth towards a more experimental vivid style (“In the Darkness”), incorporating some gentle industrial beats (“Snakes”, “Alaska”). Visually, the band appears for the first time in the album’s cover art, photographed in a mysterious dark place, turning their back on us. Furthermore, the album’s same titled song “In the Darkness” is accompanied by a great official video, featuring both members of the band acting among others.

Selofan continue to amaze us, producing a diverse album which surely won’t get us bored, but will always take us by surprise regarding its minor details. In addition, the Greek audience particularly should feel honored by this album. Thank you Selofan!

review by Stefanos Stavrides
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 Thank you for the interview! I’m very happy for this conversation. Welcome to DieSeele!

*Selofan were very active the last few months..A new album, live gigs and your name getting bigger day by day.  How do you find the reception of the audience in Greece and abroad?
Thank you “Die Seele”. Both the environment we live in and our personal obsessions demand to be active, but we don’t feel we would become popular in terms of commercialism. Our home is a small but eclectic scene of uneasy listeners, the construction of which started first abroad but lately the Greek audience adds passionately bricks to this building.

*You are part of a great label (Fabrika rec.) with some of the most talented groups. Tell us about the Fabrika team and your friendship with the other bands especially with Lebanon Hanover.
Fabrika is a platform for unconventional artists, releasing limited editions of vinyl. Fabrika managed to remain outside the current marketing mechanisms and still become a successful, independent, Greek record label. We are absolutely happy to belong to the Fabrika family, because even if we didn’t we would be its most loyal fans and buy for sure all its releases. This is our connection with the other bands and especially Lebanon Hanover and She past away, we really love each others music in a way that any possible creative cooperation between us just feels natural. There is no 'you' and 'me', there is 'us', we support each other, play gigs or tour together, even mix members. This artistic freedom maximizes creative energies and is the most wonderful thing we get from the label. So it happened that Larissa of LH felt she could express herself through our music and sang in one of our tracks and we also played bass and synths on a she past away track.

*Vinyl or cd? Why the vinyls are released by Fabrika label and the cds are released by Dead Scarlet records?
As a music consumer vinyl for sure, as a band both formats and even more are equally good. Did you know that we already have two tapes released from other labels? Time to reveal you a small secret, Fabrika is Scarlet’s younger sister, so the music remains in the family, it’s just the name that changes.

*Which bands inspired you to become musicians?
Our lives are influenced by the sound of the underground in the 80s, many bands from different scenes and countries inspired us not to become musicians, this happened naturally for different reasons, but they sure contributed to the fact, that we don’t focus in one particular music style and enjoy mixing elements from different genres.

*Selofan is a duet. However, we can see the difference in the mood and style between songs performed by each one of you. Which is Joanna’s role and which Dimitris’?
 The roles are quite clear, Dimitris “synthesizes” the sound and Joanna the words, of course we both contribute to each others part and fire up each others imagination.

*What do you find beautiful and aesthetically inspiring? Is it a kind of music, or other forms of art? I think that poetry is one source of inspiration according to your lyrics.
Poetry is a basic source of beauty, some of our tracks are based on our favorite poems. But also the underworld princes, all outsiders, old rejected movie divas, drama and drag queens, gay culture, we are inspired by the extremes of passion in every thinkable way.

*What do you think of Greece? Are there enough opportunities here for you?
Athens is our base, it feels like a long lasting but hopeless marriage, where at the same time you deeply love and hate the partner. Opportunities are not given to us, so we create them for ourselves. 

*What kind of message, feeling do you try to convey with your music?
Love each other, death waits around the corner with a rose between his teeth.

*On stage Selofan present a theatrical  concept with their performances .I think there is  a specific  aesthetic. What can you say about it?
The theatrical part is mixed up with the personal element, we walk on our own path but also reinvent ourselves once on stage. The concept is improvisation and we are lucky to have friends, who inspire us by just being who they are part of this project by performing on stage and in our videos. 

*Your music is an amalgam  of diverse music structures and moods, that sometimes gives to the listener  a deep romantic sensibility and sometimes is cold ,giving  the feeling of despair and suffocation . What does inspire you to pursue this sound?
Our emotional world is the leading energy, our lifetime’s experience, we are romantic realists.

*Some songs are in German, others in English and some others in Greek language. How do you choose the language for each song?
We don’t, the language chooses the song itself. The audience in Athens can be strict with bands using the Greek language, either they warmly support or they totally reject them. For us music and the feeling it transfers is universal as long as it is honest and we consider multilingualism as a gift.

*You are about to give a concert in Athens on 16 April @DeathDisco. How do you feel about it and about playing with the talented female German duo ‘Monowelt’?
We can’t wait. Athens is the concert we always get more emotional about, because it is the only place where the audience understands us 100%, not only because of the elimination of the language barriers, but also because most of them are close friends, so that it feels more like a private party, happening only once a year, where we want to be good hosts. That is why we invest more time to prepare this show and it is the only show which includes a unique surprise-performance. Monowelt is our new favorite band from the 80s..:) Beside the fact that the girls are lovely, they really sound like coming from another time and we are looking forward to their live show.

*What are your plans for the next months?
To squeeze out of our every-day madness more time for ourselves and our music, in terms of live-show-plans, next one is the Wave Gotik Treffen.

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Hello Alessandra and Lucas! I would like to thank you at first for your time here on Die Seele radio.
1) We already know how did the name Schonwald come up. Lucas, if I’m not wrong it’s the last name of one of your parents and at the same time it means ‘’already in the woods’’. How did you decide to use this and not something else?
Luca : Yes, you're right ! Schonwald means in German something like "already in the woods" and it has also a personal connection because it's a variation of my mother's family name, in fact I'm of German descent, the correct surname is Schönwald.
We think that the name is full of poetic suggestions so very good for a band name.

2) What is your music past before Schonwald and Shad Shadows ?

Luca : Our first band for witch we were involved to was a project called "Tennis" a kind of alternative dreamy pop band, after a while I joined Alessandra in her project called "Pitch" an indie cult band of the 90's here in Italy.

3) How is it to work together as a couple?
Alessandra : We are a couple and we have just got married two weeks ago.
When we play music is a sort of emotional waterfall created by the feelings between me and Luca so it's an advantage to the creative process.

4) What are your music influenses and where do you find insipration to create new songs?
Alessandra : We love bands like The Cure, New Order, The Jesus and Mary Chain, DNA, Suicide; our music is truly inspired by the 80's sound!
We grew up listening to the New York NO WAVE scene and British Post Punk bands mainly.

5) Tell us some words about Shad Shadows. Why a second project?
Luca : Shad Shadows is completely electronic stuffs, without guitar and bass. We are oriented on the search of sounds recalling movie scores, late 80s and 90s industrial dance.
I started a second project because it was a challenge to me for starting to sing and try to express myself with another kind of music.

6) What your lyrics mean for you?

Alessandra : In my opinion, writing song lyrics means to communicate without too much schemes and to let freely flow our own sensations and the images that are much closer to my experience of life. Usually, my lyrics consists of the repetition of sentences and words that give a more obsessive and more
hypnotic mood to the song.

 7) What are your other interests besides music?
Luca : We love ART.
Regarding visual artists in our top list there are Bruce Nauman, Bansky and Marina Abramovic. About painting we like a lot the impressionism, Abstract expressionism and we like also the portraits of Kevin Cummins as a Photographer.

8) You are about to give a concert in Athens for first time. How do you feel about it
and about playing with Paradox Obscur for a second time?
Alessandra : We are very excited to play there for the first time of course and can't wait to share the stage again with Anna and Kostas of Paradox Obscur. We played last year in Belgium and it was great !
9) What the greek audience has to expect?

Luca : Dark atmosphere from our previous album "Dream for the Fall" and also sick noise hypnotic rythm from the songs of our last album "Between Parallel LIghts".
interview by Onyria
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Monowelt is a two-member female darkwave band based in Berlin, Germany. Originally hailing from Russia and Poland, Daria and Marta met in Berlin in 2010 and begun working together, later forming the band.

“Ruckschau” is their debut album, consisting of songs written and performed live during the last two years. Recorded with the help of William Maybelline (Lebanon Hanover), mixed by Chris Manolitsis, released in two-colour limited edition vinyl format by Geheimnis Records, “Ruckschau” establishes the band as a very promising act in the modern darkwave scene.

Monowelt use analogue synths, heavy drum machines and distinctive bass-guitar sounds coupled with passionate low-tuned vocals, producing a solid genuine darkwave sound. Both girls provide vocals, while most lyrics are in German but also in English and Russian, making the album more interesting and diverse. Monowelt’s sound could be described as minimal darkwave synth and would appeal to most darkwave, even oldschool gothic rock fans. Lyrically, songs deal with personal emotions and private thoughts.

“Ruckschau” runs about 43 minutes and consists of 9 songs, all well-balanced and properly ordered. In particular: “Ozean”, the album’s starter, very atmospheric and representative of the band’s sound. “Mauer des Schweigens”, my personal favourite, sad melancholic and gradually evolving. “Pustota”, the album’s fast-paced hit, features the girls at their best. “Angst”, featuring soft synths blended with catchy bass-guitar. “Krieg”, slow-paced rythms with expressive double vocal work. “Ohne Abschied”, the album’s swan song, an 8 minute epic of pounding desperation.

Monowelt are very talented and seem to really enjoy making music, but they’ve also taken great care in defining their own artistic style, both musically and visually. Overall, a debut album that shouldn’t be ignored, from a band that probably has a lot to offer in the future.

Review by Stefanos Stavrides
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