28th WGT-The highlights

Posted: 14th May 2019 by blaue-rosen in Music News,press releases
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wgt bannerMay is usually the time of year when we start preparing ourselves for our annual visit to the beautiful city of Leipzig. The 28th WGT is less than a month away and we’d just thought to give you a summary of the highlights of the festival for this year.

The festival’s line up accommodates once again, every taste from power electronics to dark ambient and rock. There are 20 bands from the UK (Alien Vampires, Am Not, Arhai, Cradle of Filth, Cubanate, Darkher, Double Echo, Empathy Test, Empirion, Evi Vine,  Inkubus Sukkubus, Lene Lovich band, New Model Army, Nitzer Ebb, October Burns Black, Sad Lovers and Giants, The Adicts, New Model Army, UK Decay, White Lies),  that will perform in the festival this year and several bands which have been in a hiatus for many years but will reunite and perform exclusively for the festival. Let’s not forget the famous after parties, which will feature favourite UK-based DJs behind the decks as well.

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Monthly playlist- Favourite albums April 2019

Posted: 13th May 2019 by blaue-rosen in Music News,press releases
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“Art is restoration.The idea is to repair the damages that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented -which is what fear and anxiety do to a person-into something whole”-Louise Bourgeois

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logo playlistThe soundtrack of April 2019, made up of our favourite releases of the month, is making a trip  that starts in a mind-numbing, spiritually freeing atmosphere and ends in a similar but more lyrical sonic environment. We loved this month’s releases because they included albums whose sound cannot be really described or categorised. We are talking about the albums ‘Kina‘ by MAYa&Tolga Baklacioglu and ‘Seven Steps Behind‘ by MANA. In the latter, Daniele Mana has managed to create a sound that achieves an enviable balance between electronic and neoclassical experimentation. Fascinating rhythms which are rich in texture, bring to the foreground instruments that challenge the limitations of their nature and create a kaleidoscopic, disquieting yet ethereal soundscape. It is inspiring to realize that even though the rhythms give the illusion of being static, the flow they encompass is unique and very unusual. After a point, the sound and the atmosphere becomes more mystifying and cryptic compared to the beginning. Sonic snippets of passing choral vocals discreetly ‘interrupt’ the Burton-like atmosphere that is created.

‘Kina’, is differently experimental compared to MANA’s album. Through its seven tracks, you will be guided into a time-altering space filled with distorted techno rhythms, dreamy vocals, industrial textures, tribal percussion and noisy moments. If we were to characterize the sound of this album we would say that it is a sort of ‘deconstructive minimal tribalism’. We read: “It makes total sense that MAYa and Tolga should have made an album together…There is however one unusual element to their collaboration: they have never met. Tolga lives in Eskisehir (Turkey) and MAYa lives in New York City…”. The production of this album is commendable as it provides volume and space to each element of this challenging arrangement so that each one can freely transfer us into its complex dimensions. The vocals, equally multidimensional, are sometimes reduced to expressive hums and other times, they reveal their more ethereal qualities and somehow bind this whole album together.

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Monthly playlist-Favourite albums March 2019

Posted: 15th April 2019 by blaue-rosen in Music News,press releases
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“I believe in empty spaces, they are the most wonderful thing”-Anselm Kiefer

March was a month whose sonic footprint was mostly industrial and darkwave. We listened to 75 independent music releases during last month and the ones that had the strongest impact on us had a heavy and melodic sound. There were albums that had as their starting point ideas around the preservation of the environment and others that found inspiration in alchemical processes and psychedelic states of mind. We equally enjoyed the few but precious releases that had more evidently punk rhythms and aesthetics as well as those ones where the synthesizers were creating a melodic and captivating sonic trail that we absolutely had to follow…

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Monthly playlist-February 2019

Posted: 10th March 2019 by blaue-rosen in Music News,press releases
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“…because we live in an industrialized, fast-paced world that prefers that the soul remains asleep…” (Bill Viola)

February was a particularly dynamic month, rich in independent music releases that cover the whole spectrum from ethereal/neoclassical to psychedelic rock. Even though most of our favourite albums are clustered around the post punk genre, the doom metal/ black metal and the experimental music releases were so intense that, in a way, set the mood of this whole monthly playlist.

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When I was growing up all the women in my house were using needles. I’ve always had a fascination with the needle, the magic power of the needle.The needle is used to repair the damage.It’s a claim to forgiveness. It is never aggressive, it’s not a pin (Louise Bourgeois)

Blaue Rosen salutes the International Women’s Day 2019 with a playlist that celebrates the music of female artists in their solo careers. There is a ‘thread’ that connects our favourite songs from these releases and it has to do with the melancholy and darkness that these artists are expressing from the guerilla_girlsdepths of the human psyche. The personal stories of some of these women artists, have strongly influenced and constantly inform their music, sometimes manifesting in otherworldly and dramatic ways. At the same time their sound  simultaneously becomes conceptually incomprehensible and very much ‘within our reach’. Enjoy our playlist!

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albums_gigs2019 is shaping up to be another exciting year for independent music, both in terms of live music and on what concerns album releases. Judging from the very first albums that have been released so far and from the artists that are expected to produce new music in the following months, it seems that we are up for some great sonic treats the following months. As far as gigs are concerned, there are also great names that have already planned to visit London until the end of 2019, some of whom we have not had the chance to enjoy live for quite some time. But let’s get to it…

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Monthly playlist-January 2019

Posted: 7th February 2019 by blaue-rosen in Music News,press releases
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“An active line on a walk, moving freely, without goal. A walk for a walk’s sake…” (Paul Klee)

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Some might say that the first albums to be released every year, set the tone for the whole year so if our favourite 22 albums of January are any indication of that, then we are to brace ourselves for a very interesting year ahead!

logo playlistIf the soundtrack of this month was an image, then it would be a very dark one with highlights that sharply divide the surface, creating an effect similar to that of a thunderous sky. The albums that form this playlist have sometimes strong and other times softer influences and they occupy a sonic space that has black metal, post rock, darkwave, punk, industrial, post punk, deathrock and experimental elements. This playlist turned out to be focused on self released albums as these were the ones that had the strongest impact on us this time.

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Howard Rickard and The Pale Riders or else a modern day story of ‘outlaws’ and ‘outcasts’

…And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts And I looked, and behold a pale horse And his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him…

When Willie Nelson released the album ‘Wanted!The Outlaws’with a brilliant cover which replicated the aesthetics of bounty hunters’ posters, he did it to make a comment about the position of outlaw country music in contrast to the more traditional Nashville sound. Similarly, when Johnny Cash was singing ‘Folsom Prison Blues‘ on his debut album, he was partly referring to his own life and the time he had spent in prison. One would think that these people have always been more than great songwriters with great public appeal. They were always the protagonists in their own stories, they made music out of their experiences, they have performed it with all the contextual gravity that a lived experience encompasses and they have lead lives that inadvertently inspired their songwriting. Because of that, their music has been loved so much and in such a profound way than the music of others.  (more…)

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These are our favourite releases of 2018! Click on the image to interact with the data!

soundtrack of 2018

(Click on the image to interact with the links)

The music world might have become even ‘poorer’ as a result of the passing away of Mark E.Smith in 2018, but I don’t think that anyone who loves the independent music scene, can deny the fact that 2018 has been a very generous year in terms of album releases and gigs. We music stats 2018got to listen to great albums and we had the chance to enjoy bands that celebrated important anniversaries in their career, perform live. Within 2018 we enjoyed the release of impressive debut albums by new bands, proving that there is always space for more creativity within genres that might seem ‘saturated’ from many aspects! 2018 was the year when the cassette format became even more popular so that we might soon have to start talking about a serious comeback and when the independent music scene and its audience, continued to grow even further.

We cannot forget the live score that Godspeed You!Black Emperor provided to the contemporary dance performance of ‘Animals of Distinction’ at The Barbican. The extracts from Jenny Holzer’s texts that were included in this performance lead us to the Tanks at TATE Modern where we enjoyed more installations by this multifarious artist. During this visit, we also got to know of the work of Aldo Tambellini and his fascination with black colour. We misread the word ‘expressive’ for ‘oppressive’ in the brief text that accompanied one of the installations and for days we were puzzled by the idea of the ‘oppressive qualities of black colour’.It was several months after this visit, when the latest album of Current 93 entitled ‘The Light Is Leaving Us All’ was released, that these circular ‘mandalas’ that Tambellini has done, gained richer meaning. At the beginning of the year, we had the surreal experience of listening to dark ambient music compositions Gigs 2018while they were animating the fa?ades of some classic buildings at Regent Street during Lumiere 2018. Finally, during 2018 some gigs once again demonstrated the infinite limitations of all ‘recorded’ media (i.e. visual, audio, writing) to capture the energy and impact of a performance  . How else can we explain the fact that no medium was able to transfer the intensity of the performance of Blixa Bargeld with Teho Teardo at the closing of the 27th WGT in Leipzig, the performance of Current 93 at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire especially during ‘Sleep Has His House’, the magic that ATARAXIA have spread all around the Schauspielhaus, the energy of Diorama and Siglo XX at Felsenkeller at WGT, and the awe that Peter Murphy has once again filled us with, during an unforgettable gig at O2 Academy Brixton, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus! 2018 was the year when we got to see The Dresden Dolls perform live in London after 12 years and 2019 will be the year when we will celebrate the career of Dead Can Dance!

During 2018 we have listened to 824 releases  and we picked the favourite of our favourite ones, 74 in total, that make up the soundtrack of the year! All of these albums were present in the 12 monthly playlists of the year which you can access from the following links:

Monthly playlist December 2018
Monthly playlist November 2018
Monthly playlist October 2018
Monthly playlist September 2018
Monthly playlist August 2018
Monthly playlist July 2018
Monthly playlist June 2018
Monthly playlist May 2018
Monthly playlist April 2018
Monthly playlist March 2018
Monthly playlist February 2018
Monthly playlist January 2018

Let’s all have a great 2019!

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“Cruelty has a Human Heart
And Jealousy a Human Face
Terror the Human Form Divine
And Secrecy the Human Dress
(William Blake: poem ‘A Divine Image’)”

monthly playlist logo2018 concludes its music journey with amazing gigs that we will keep in our minds throughout the rest of the year. The album releases of December have somehow helped to make the transition to the next year smoother. Our monthly playlist makes a journey from ethereal folk to post punk and metal. It includes impressive debut albums and the new album by the great ‘magician’ of piano, Lubomyr Melnyk.

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