Athens based artist DSTRB released his second album "Human" on the German label Raumklang Music today November 26th, 2020. Five years after his debut album "Imaginary Life" released in 2015. The description of this second release by the Greek IDM act, states: In a bleak and faceless world, devoid of compassion and meaningful human contact, in a society that worships material gain over collective wellbeing, "Human" aims to disturb the illusion of systemic normality and sets out to discover the primeval humanity that lies buried under layers of cold steel and fibre optic cables. Something that is evident in all 12 tracks that are included here. 

 His electronic experimentations kick off with "Crisis In Consiousness", where amongst distorted beats and voice samples, a creepy dystopian atmosphere is created. On the more somber "Depression", the urban vibes take a low-key tone making a theme destined to evoke nighty cityscapes. Into deeper spheres of the subconscious, the track "Είσαι Μόνος (You Are Alone)" sets a more cyber driven journey into solitude. With "Eternal Fear" we have a humane sentimental touch amongst all the glitches and post-industrial soundscapes. Next is "Kill Hate", following even more this downward spiral search of emotions.

 Half-way through we reach "Martin's Dream" where with it’s more playful beats and samples, Dimitris Strambis presents us with a more political statement by using bits of Martin Luther King’s famous speech. While on "Metamorphosis" the darkness of inner search returns with a sci-fi feel. On the other hand, with My Silver", the warm string layers make a very emotional track. With the urban beats and distorted vocal samples bringing a humane touch. "Never Be Forgotten" that follows is another fine example of DSTRB’s IDM style. The kind that is suitable for inner thought and suitable for night rides around the city. His thoughts on religion are set on "Religion Ist Heilbar", German for curable. Somewhat relevant in a time where mankind is in search for truth and compassion, in opposition to the retrospective and medieval stance of various religions. In the same vein we have the compelling melodic "Remember This" that gradually evolves from a monologue intro. The album ends with the lengthy rhythmic "Struggle". A more dynamic track that brings more fierce beats to the forefront with some almost eastern key arpeggios driving the melody. 

 The whole album is a pleasurable listen. DSTRB manages with his music to suck you in. A deep introspection that takes us from Crisis to Fear, from Love to Metamorphosis, leading to the ultimate Struggle to leave behind the brutal and violent aspects of ourselves in an effort for humanity to claim victory over the machine. And this he does in heartful way. The album was written and produced by Dimitris Strambis, mastered by Anatoly Grinberg, with the cover and artwork done by Dirk Geiger.


Review by Nick Drivas


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The Greek music project Onism was created in February 2020 as an attempt, according to its members, to express the realization that we, as human beings, are finite. They consist of Lupe (Michalis Latousakis, known also from his band Mosquito) and Efremia Michou. Their first release, the EP "Leyes", was just released in November 2020.

 The EP contains 4 tracks, all following a darkwave, neoclassical mood. The opener is "Smoke, Light & Dust", a ballad that over a light drumbeat, piano, violin and a few stabs of electric guitar, the voices of Lupe and Efremia intervene together in sorrowful way. The next song, "Let Me", is a piano driven track that is more rock orientated, with a more dynamic chorus. Like on all the compositions, the male/female vocals continuously interact. While on the romantic and atmospheric "Lies", the mood is more ethereal and haunting, with the addition of some nice layers of synths. Things get a bit more bombastic on the last song "Catharsis". Here they reach their neoclassical style peak with a much more dramatic track, that climaxes with the two singers acting out their part to the full as if in some opera.

 The release is only digital and will be officially released on all platforms on 27th of November. All music and lyrics are by Onism, recorded and mixed by Lupe himself. The lovely artwork is by George Kastanakis. Besides this release, the project has covered the songs "Roads" by Portishead and "Believer" by Imagine Dragons.


Review by Nick Drivas.


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The US goth-rock band The Wake, founded in 1986 in Columbus, Ohio as part of the so called “second wave” of goth in the early '90s, released the new album "Perfumes and Fripperies" on October 30th, 2020 by Blaylox Records. Almost 25 years since their last full-length album "Nine Ways" in 1996. The masters of American Gothic Rock have returned, and they have brought everything back: the bold voice, walls of dark guitars, pounding drums, huge bass lines and their unique songwriting skill.

 The album begins with the slow burning "Daisy", showing that the band have returned with their classic signature sound. Then, with "Hammer Hall" that follows, we bare witness to an epic track, with their monolithic wall of sound of guitars. While on "Marry Me" we have a great gothic rock tune with some really nice melodic guitar lines. On "Break Me Not", another favorite, the guitars get more chaotic, as on the title track "Perfumes and Fripperies" where the guitars step a bit back revealing the rhythm section.

 Hallway through we have "Rusted 20" continuing the album’s great flow of songs topped with singer’s Troy Payne bold voice. On "Everything (feat. Wolfie)" the band collaborated with David Wolfenden of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry who played second guitar. Here Troy’s voice gets more atmospheric bringing even more gloom to the mix. We have a change in sound on "Emily Closer (MH direct-drive mix)" where the phased bass comes to the foreground and is enhanced with some synths. As on "Big Empty" where the thumping drumming is backed with guitars full of reverb and distortion. The album closes with the slower tune "Figurine" that’s has a darker, painstaking mood to it.

 By listening to the whole album, you are left only with the exciting taste that The Wake have released yet another goth classic. Recorded over many months in different locations and various circumstances in the band’s native Ohio, the album comes together to speak with one voice. The album cones as a limited-edition Compact Disc in a gatefold with 4-page lyric sheet and liner notes. Includes also an additional track, "Rusted (Hz Healer Mix feat. Caroline Blind)".


Review by Nick Drivas


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