Silvia : S/T (Schallmauer 1982 - Genetic Music 2003)
Neue Deutsche Welle minimal electro pearl... released on Schallmauer, one of the great 80's Düsseldorf labels (along with Zick Zack and Ata Tak) establishing the city as the cradle of German New Wave. The man behind this wunderschöne album is the underrated Tommi Stumpff...
This is not the latest Dead Can Dance in-the-mix album! This is Bobby Wratten’s return! Should we say resurrection? 2003 TBS’ departure from Shinkansen undeniably left place for less convincing and semi-deceiving essays on Elefant / Bar None so I was not expecting that much from this hypothetical sixth album and…huh… I was totally wrong!
Which supernatural act led Bobby to an inspirational mood again? Don’t have any clue but the melancholic beauty here is more touching than ever – especially on the first half of the bunch -, supported by synths, sequencers, drum machines, caressing guitars, unchanged Bobby’s sweet teddy boy’s voice and Beth’s superb deep backings (or mains). Besides the duo, band line-up is still involving the same people: Jonathan Akerman on drums, Keris Howard (Brighter-Harper lee) on bass and Ian Catt (St Etienne) at production…
Bodywork is voluntarily 80’s/90's -stamped, with some Factory Records and Shoegazing recalls, leading to a dark and profound contemplation overall feeling, making this album almost sound like an immediate successor to their great 2001 essay “Alive to every Smile”.
Juni Järvi : Wherever thou art (Everlasting Records Sweden)
Visiting Records shops is like going to museum when I'm in a foreign country: "un passage obligé"! And the cool thing is there are usually always nice people behind the desk who can help you finding new records. That's how I bought Juni Järvi's album : recommended, listened in the shop and left w/it. Simply beautiful melodic songs with a great warm voice and maybe a kind of retro/old fashioned flavour. The atmospheric elements and the apparent melancholy of the songs render this record as an original soundtrack for an imaginary movie.
Let's meet the young talented Swedish guy behind Juni Järvi: Mikael Bergtsson and you can try to find the real "him" on the pics.
I read you started a band (Juniper) in 2003 and after the fail of recording songs under this name and split with others members you decided to change yr name for Juni Järvi. So, what is the difference between Juniper and Juni Järvi, except the line up?
Well, actually there is no real difference between Juniper and Juni Järvi. It's been me all the time. The reason for the name change was that I found out that several bands before me had been called Juniper, amongst others an American christian rock duo. I really didn't want to be confused with them in any way so I decided to change my musical name. The change also came at a time when I was changing my music from being guitar based singer/songwriter music to full scale productions playing all kinds. Though Juniper songs won't sound the same as Juni Järvi songs the concept is the same: me!
It's a little bit funny as the name you choose doesn't sound really swedish for me but more exotic ( Indian, or something like that). So, where does it come from? And I found an old pic of you on the web and-maybe i am totally wrong- it's like Juni Järvi is a "character", another side of Mikael Bengtsson, because on yr last pics you got this retro stylish look, well, quite different maybe it just for the pics and video??
Indian?... nope. But perhaps Finnish is exotic enough? Järvi is my Finnish family name and is the word for lake in Finnish. And Juni is just a name and also the Swedish word for the month June. So "
Actually, it's not me in the pictures nor in the video. I couldn't find a good reason for being in the pictures except that it's the way it's supposed to be and I don't want to do what everyone else does. So I asked my friend Lina who is a drag-king if she could "act" me on the pictures and in the video. And she did it with style!
You are often compared to Jens Lekman and the Magnetic Fields, what do you think of this? Is it boring to always be compared to someone else or it's okay?
It's ok when people really have thought I through and have something smart to say about it. But usually people compare me with these two just by pure laziness. They listen to one song and give the verdict. And that's really boring.
Who or what influenced you to make music in the first place?
The Swedish punk movement and social injustice.
What have you been up lately? Any band you like to recommend?Oh, right now I'm producing and recording Jenny Kellerman's (Tiger Lou's sister and
Bands I recommend right now: Bobby Baby, Irene, Marble and Anna Ternheim. (all Swedish of course)
Can you give us one of your favourite addresses in
Mm, a hard one... just one? Ok, it has to be the shoreline of mälaren, a really big lake (goes from north of
What did you release so far? "Just" 'Wherever thou art', or could we find other stuff?
Officially I have released one full length album 'Wherever thou art'? and the single 'The stars above Indian lake'. But I have released many cd-r records with both Juniper and Juni Järvi. But you just wait, I've got stuff coming for sure.
Any last comment?
Ok, be nice to each other, don't eat animals and buy my record. Lots of love !
Interview by Katy from the wonderful Baka-Poï fanzine latest issue ever (RIP January 2007)
Bruno Nicolai : Femmine Insaziabili Soundtrack (Easy Tempo 1999 - Original 1969)
One of the best 60's Italian movie soundtracks ever or when Morricone's disciple Nicolai equals his Master...Jazz, bossa and pop flavoured jewels, magnified by sugary and insatiable Edda del' Orso vocals.
the faintest ideas : your imaginary bullets really hurt EP (hhbtm)
Releasing for Asaurus, HHBTM, Yellow Mica, Magic Marker and Music is my Girlfriend is a performance achieved by only one band in the universe: The Faintest Ideas formerly known as The Javelins!!! And gosh they’re prolific!!! This EP is another follow up to their album on Magic Marker and it is part of the HHBTM EP club series (150 copies worldwide). Again, the Swedish boys are true to their original trademark with six orgasmaddictive speedy-jangly-noisy-punky tunes, in the vein of TVP’s, Sarandon or Boyracer…
Qu’ils sont lointains les airs moroses que l’on pouvait se donner du haut de nos quarts de siècle au son de « Dieu que cette nuit est belle ». Déjà on évoquait les rides et les cheveux blancs, puis aussi nos peines, nos rêves, les heures perdues et nos secrets…
Le vide est de retour. Quelle bonne nouvelle ! « Où étais-tu quand je pensais t’avoir perdu ? » interroge Nicolas Falez ! Et toi, t’étais où dis, hein ? Les rides, elles sont plus profondes…les cheveux blancs dissimulés…les peines ont débarqué avec les croque-morts …les rêves ont pris forme dans les mains de sage-femmes …on court derrière les heures perdues et nos secrets, on finit par les partager …
Mixtapes and Cellmates : S/T LP (Nomethod Records)
Notwist, Postal Service, Mrs John Soda… in this non-exhaustive list of your favourite electro-organic melancholic pop bands, please do not forget Swedish quintet Mixtapes & Cellmates… Launched in February with the single “Quiet”, their first eponym album is out on Nomethod Records (Aerial, Bear Quartet). Although being shoegaze-tagged, their sound is less distinctive than their fellow countrymen Radio Dept., with an occasional tendency to upbeat it à
ð Buy the album HERE
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists : Living with the Living+Bonus EP (Touch and Go)
Listening to a new Ted Leo album is always a very peculiar experience… From the initial “Why the hell did I buy this ?”, which process leads us to the final “ Can’t stop playing it !” ? This kind of uncommon way he has to bury an emotion under layers of heavy riffs and to lastly procure a thrill while shouting head off must be a part of the answer… Stylewise, he’s again true to himself, sweeping up the frontiers between powerpop, punk, heavy metal and dub... Ted Leo must be one of today’s conquering music heroes. And…like a miracle… this is the first Ted Leo album directly available in my very own country ever! (thanks PIAS).
==> Buy it HERE
1) Mocca, the best Indie-nesian band in the world ! New album very soon !
Stars in Coma : Transformation 3" EP (Cloudberry Records)
This is the brand new single from Swedish one-man band Stars in Coma and it’s ace, the same kind of immediate warm feeling you’ve got when listening to The Embassy or Jens Lekman !! The guy – André Brorsson- already released bunches of great songs notably for “Music is my Girlfriend” and “Action Pop!” labels.
A word on this new label: Cloudberry Records is based in
F. Marchet : Rio Baril
« Quand la ville s’endort, pas de quartier louche… » roucoule Florent Marchet. Il parle de Rio Baril, une ville forcément bien fréquentée…on y croise Eric Arnaud le garagiste, Arnaud Cathrine le vétérinaire, Philippe Katerine le patron du Louxor, Charles Fréger le photographe, Dominique A, homme politique proche de l’horizon et la fanfare locale, le Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra…
Sebmartel : Motus
Mais est-ce une ville ou la campagne ? City or Country ? « Coitry ? » Les deux à la fois semble nous rétorquer l’unique et inclassable Sebmartel. « Les mots mordent, les mots tuent… » comme en témoigne « Motus » en guise d’ouverture…
Anne Bacheley, despite her anglicized « y » name-ending, is a pure and undiluted “Made in
Ferns : On Botany (Fruit Records)
Long time foreseen, never forgotten, Ferns’ "firstest debut" album knocks at our doors and it was about time…A really arty object actually, with a piece of golf course glued on top! The Malaysians already have good press in their home country and there is no reason for the rest of the planet to snub them! A bit like the Pale Saints, but without any noisy side, they’re Masters in ethereal and atmospheric pop with superbly “strumming” guitars and angelic male vocals. Let’s initiate a dialogue with them:
All this greenery ! Is "Ferns" an ecologist band ?
We're not ecologists by any stretch of the imagination, just mere city-folks who have a keen appreciation for foliage.
But are you sure this charming "On Botany" packaging is 100% biodegradable ?
You know how they say you should stare at the colour green from time to time, to soothe your eyes? Well, the packaging's meant to do that for you. We did try planting real grass seedlings on the cover but figured that waiting a month for the darn things to sprout would be too much for most people!
Warren's voice is very aerial, almost unreal, is he human ?
Oh he seems human, alright. Except for the green thumb. So we surmise he's at least 85% human and 15% venus flytrap. You'd be surprised to learn that he was also responsible for lots of unearthly growling noises when he was fronting his old metal band.
Why has the release of the album been so many times delayed ?
Life got in the way. Juggling day-jobs is no easy thing, but making music is sometimes the only thing that keeps us sane. Plus it gives us something to do on weekends :)
How do you see the recent Asian infatuation with twee & guitar pop in countries like
To be honest, we're probably the only band in
Are you interested in touring European countries ?
We're very interested in touring
Big thanks to Ferns and Isman
Butcher Boy : Profit in your Poetry ( How Does It Feel To Be Loved)
This summer hour-switch is a horrible thing, weakening my delicate biological stability... Is the purpose to gain a bit of energy or to participate to continued development? Well I’m not in an energetic mood at all and my brain has never been so underdeveloped than tonight!
Let’s forget those pure self-centred considerations and have a look at what springtime is bringing us from the Glasgow shelf again…10 songs, 30 minutes, more than enough to realize – after many listens - that Butcher Boy has this kind of acute pop vision, this fine songwriting supported by razzle-dazzle jangling guitars, fantastic lyrics and such a unique eerie voice…...Lloyd Cole! Remember? Are you ready to be heartbroken? Profit in their poetry!
==> "Profit in your Poetry"
Cats on Fire : The Province complains (Marsh Marigold)
Our new fave Finnish band -since their unsurpassed 2006 EP « Draw in the Reins »- (pleaaase Ultrasport, don’t be offended, still deeply in love with you too!!) has released its debut full length!!!! To be dead right, it’s ABOUT to be soon officially released but already available through Marsh Marigold shop and Indiepages.
The 3 first EP songs are attending, in a slightly revised arrangement, more polished, more gentle but not too much, with weightless guitars and cleaner-cut organs, as far as “The Smell of an Artist” is concerned. The rest of the bunch is surprisingly more down-beat, alternating between blooming ballads and deep poignant melodies…the more you dig, the more you want to stay in the hole…Let’s bury ourselves!!!
Perfect Zebras : Zebra (Polydor 1983)
Perfect Zebras made two albums. They were just another haughty "synth-pop" band amongst many many others. Nobody wants to remember them. However Paul Robertson, like Mark Hollis, was a prodigious and exceptionnaly gifted songwriter...I'm claiming a compulsory rehabilitation !!!
The Sproutts : "Plutons" (Auto-produced)
Planet Pluto is no more: that was one of last year’s saddest news! But planet Sproutts is there for us!! Discovered two years ago with their shining debut “Flying out of the Machine”, New Zealanders’ reappearance, with this freshly auto-produced album “Plutons”, is a 90° turning in their career orbit : vintage instruments on the rocks, vocal harmonies à gogo and ready-to-eat creamy melodies…a truly exciting identified object, somewhere between Weezers’ catchy hooks and a convulsing Pinback…
Small talk with singer / multi-instrumentist Chris :
-How do you explain less than 50 persons attended some of your recent N-Z gigs?
NZ is quite small and the population is quite spread-out. So, sometimes it can be difficult to get a following in a city other than where you live. If there's another similar, more prominant, band playing the same night as your gig, it can eat into your audience numbers. There weren't many people at our
As an auto-released band, how difficult is it for you to get played or hosted on N-Z radio shows?
Plutons has been doing quite well so far. We've been quite luck really. Most student radio stations have been supportive. National Radio and Kiwi FM have also been fantastic. We don't tend to bother with mainstream radio.
-What has changed in the N-Z indie scene today and where the hell is that golden nunesque paradise gone?
-Your sound has clearly evolved to a richer synthetic texture. Which vintage keyboards did you bring over?
We have a Korg microsynth, various Yamaha portasounds from the 1980s, a Casio CT-70 from the 1980s. We've also got a Lucidtone Optical Theremin pedal, which makes most of the crazy space-ship type sounds on Plutons. It's hard to say at this point whether the new direction in our sound is permanent or temporary- I guess we'll find out in a year or so.
-Now you reached the Plutons, didn't you again neglect to ensure you had enough fuel for the back flight?
We didn't carry fuel for the return journey. However, I am starting to write some snippets in my tiny one-bedroom spaceship. I figure that if I can generate about 40 snippets, that will be enough to get us back to Earth, by which time the snippets will have evolved into songs and we'll be ready for another album.
Finally, I'd like to say hello to all your bloggers in
Thanks to Chris and Charlikiwi
=> Get "Plutons" from Powertool Records
Airport Girl : Slow Light (Fortuna Pop!)
Going through the first 2001 album “Honey I’m an Artist”, I had the feeling the band really sounded great despite not having a recognizable style, a little like a multi-fruit tart…with highly-selected fruits! This feeling is reinforced today with the very long awaited 2nd essay “Slow Light” released early 2007 on Fortuna Pop! (actually the label – one of the best around for sure- is owned by bass player Sean Price).
Although the whole taste is quite homogeneous and self-sustaining, with a very present alt-country stamp, each tune on its own is like a revised cut-and-paste extract of your own discography : Pastels, Felt, the Loft, Comet Gain, Always, The Hit Parade…with really really enchanting moments... Highlights are “Don’t let me down again”, “The Weather Song”, “Twice around the Bay”, “Show me the Way” and “Bullfighting”. Need to be a part of YOUR discography! Buy it HERE or HERE.
Everything is in this gem : piercing voice, contagious beat, straight-line Hammond chords, cathartic shriek , twangy guitar solo...
Liechtenstein : Stalking Skills 7" (Fraction Discs)
After the splendid "Draw in the Reins" EP from Cats on Fire, this is the third proper release for Fraction Discs as a label, officially out on 7th of March. Liechtenstein is an all-girl swedish band comprised of Renée, Elin, Teresa and Naemi. Renée has done some live shows with Swedish indie-tronica act Compute, playing the synthesizer and singing. Teresa is also making electro together with Otur, and Elin, the drummer, has played in various punk bands in the past...They've played together for about a year now, and Elin only joined the band in the early autumn 2006, so it's Tammy (playing with Jens Lekman) who has recorded the drums for the single.
The very C86 "Stalking Skills", which must be in everybody's favourites' lists by now, is a true smash hit, but the 2 other songs are beyond all my expectations : "Cravings" is recalling the best Aislers Set' songwriting and "Fallen Heroes" is so...Heavenliesque...
The Sunny Street : "They hurt you everyday + Rainy hearts EP" (Lavender)
Some may remember with sparkling eyes the very short and charming debut album “We sang a yeye song” by Electrophönvintage released 2 years ago on Unique Records. At the time, the french band, carefully driven by singer-songwriter Rémi Parson, was a new bright ray of light in the cloudy sky of shimmering and naive guitar pop “made in France”…
TSS was born as a kind of recreation during this impatient summer before we went to
Tell us more about this departure , this breaking off and this dream which seems to have inspired you , giving a solemn and melancholic tone to your compositions, compared to Electrophönvintage…
Last year, Delphine was finishing her studies and I had found nothing but a job in a factory, so our English dream came back stronger than ever with nothing holding us back anymore. "They Hurt You Everyday" allowed us to sort our feelings out, sad and cheerful, before going for it! Things were really jostling together, to say the least!
Was it obvious for you that these songs could be sung by no-one else but Delphine ?
My first song was instrumental, I didn't feel like singing and I thought Delphine would tell me, with some reason, it was no use keeping on doing projects …
But as we listened, we found it very different, it had its own sensitivity. So Delphine joined me and her voice made everything clear, the project was now making sense and the songs were created in no time.
What is your secret to render in such a good way this string sound on some titles, despite your "bedroom" configuration?
I cobbled up and my computer suffered from it. I recorded the guitars and the voices with the small microphone on the screen and the rest with a cheap software with these strings sounds …I found them very moving because they sounded imposing and fake at the same time. It was a quite sad combination, I think, and it was what I was looking for. I superimposed several layers. As I was not in a hurry, I tried to work harder than I used to, to pay more attention to details. In the end, I was surprised it all didn't sound too cheap!!
Is there any chance for a second album by Electrophönvintage to be released this year?
I'm afraid it won't happen this year unfortunately. We've met people in
Big thanks to Rémi and Eve
Hermine : Torture (7" - Salomé Discs 1980)
Hermine Demoriane set up in the tradition of the French punk/no wave divas Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Cristina Monet, unclassifiable, more interpreters than singers... “Torture” was her 1980 debut single, produced by David Cunningham from Flying Lizards... I’m so addicted to the emotional strain of this song…Her voice is so vulnerable…
The Orchids : Good to be a Stranger (Siesta)
The Orchids are a special case in the Sarah Records family. Starting at the end of the 80’s with a series of singles and 2 albums (Lyceum 1989+ Unholy Soul 1991) featuring the finest Felt/Weather Prophets/Postcard influenced pop, they finished with an almost progressive-dance album “Striving for the lazy Perfection” in 1994 which, despite some summits, didn’t quite fit with the initial Orchids’ spirit. Their career ended with the 28/08/95 Sarah Farewell Party gig…and a certain feeling of incompleteness…
Then in 2005 came the rumour of the Glaswegians’ rebirth, which I didn’t really believe in until I came across the new song “Another Saturday Night” on the “Little Darla has a Treat for you vol.
Pas chic chic : First demo
Wow ! Can't believe what I'm hearing and can't believe it's in French ! Pas chic chic is a new band from Montreal having a similar kind of guitar-bass-korg 60's sound I locked on to with Birdie or Call and Response for example. Very astounding when you're told some of band members (Eric Gingras and Roger Tellier-Craig) are notably from well-known post-rock outfits Godspeed You ! Black Emperor and Fly Pan Am !! Could we call this "Post-pop" ? "Pas chic chic is the spaces between spaces, where particles writhe in different directions at the same time". That augurs well for the future...
Honor to whom honor is due, after 5 years of silence, this is the long awaited come-back from David Skirving (founder member of Camera Obscura) with a brand new singer Sandra (ex Superété). Although it's very difficult to make any practical link with the 2002 Shelflife release, it does sound fucking brilliant ! The album "Close to the Ocean"is due later this year on Plastilina / Letterbox and we can't wait any longer...
We've been conquered several months ago by their first speedy-jangly single "Lucy What you're trying to say" and this new one is even more up-beat with great punky guitars and shouts à la Ruts or early Killing Joke...Pogo à gogo !!!
4) The Hermit Crabs : Feel Good Factor EP (Matinée-01/07)
Melanie Whittle and Des Mc Kenna are former California Snow Story so is this how CSS could have sound like today if they had not been put "on hold" ? Not exactly cos' CSS is more the David Skirving affair ! The truth is this wonderful debut EP on Matinée is carressing our eardrums since several weeks now and is really sounding like early Camera Obscura. Album out in spring 2007.
Deux : Agglomerat(Recordings from 1982 to 1992)
"You can be someone - If you grow with me - Your simple Song - Is something else - You simulated - Your love for me - You can be someone - If you grow with me"
That's how I heard Deux and their Ersatz Audio-sounding "Game and Performance" for the first time thanks to the recent BIPPP (french synth wave 1979/85) compilation. The coïncidence being that the french wave duo was about to resurrect in December 2006 through this restrospective album "Agglomerat" featuring material for the first time on CD ! Everything is in it : Kraftwerk, Deutsche Welle, french synth pop...Those songs "could have change the world but didn't". How they never reached more consideration at the time remains a mystery to me...
==> Buy it HERE !!!
==> Felicita video :