Monthly Archives: March 2009

Xenomorph Angels on a Wasteland

wastelandWasteland was a five piece band from Athens that were formed in 1989.
They were defined by pop-goth melodies and romantic lyrics.
Their powerfull live performances helped them creat a number of devoted followers in.
Dealing mostly with love, fear of isolation and the need for communication they released
their first mini LP, “Dream Drops” in 1994.
Using mandolins, melancholic guitar riffs, atmospheric keyboard sounds and passionate vocals
they first appeared on the compilation “Divin’-Modern Tales from an ancient city” in 1993.
Wasteland had one more release in 1994, the 7″ single “Moon on Fire/Lonesome Yesterday“.
In 1996, the band released their last 7″ single,” Move / Stormy“.

They started recording a second album which was never released and they split a little later, in 1998.

Their keyboard player, Kyriakos Poursanidis, went on to form his personal project, Blue Birds Refuse To Fly.

BBRTF 2007The name of the band was taken from a Wasteland song that can be found in their album “Dream Drops”.
The release of the album “Give Me The Wings” found Poursanidis following a different musical direction from his former band.
Having Christina Mihalitsi on the lead vocals, and Poursanidis on keyboards, programming and songwriting
Blue Birds Refused to Fly became an EBM project.

Wasteland’s singer/guitar player George Priniotakis appeared on two tracks and the album was released
in 1998.

Two of the album’s tracks were included in compilations (“Girls Re-write Rock” by Voice
magazine and “Hymns“, a compilation by Sony Music targetting the european audience). The
album was voted in the 10 best of the year by the readers of Pop & Rock magazine in Greece. Today it is very rare since Physis Records’ headquarters were destroyed by the grand earthquake in Athens in 1999 and the label ceased to exist.

anapteromaPoursanidis released an other album in 2002 when he formed a side project called Aroma.
The album was titled “Oneirou Odysseia” (engl. Odessey of the Dream ελλ. Ονείρου Οδύσσεια) and singer Maria Pantelaki,
was singing in Greek.
Priniotakis appears again here but this time as the producer of the album.

Poursanidis and Priniotakis worked together for the next Blue Birds Refuse To Fly album that was titled “Anapteroma“.
This time, George Dedes of the Greek gothic-rock band The Illusion Fades, did the vocals.

The band was signed to the Italian record label Decadance and “Anapteroma” was released in 2004.

With the addition of singer Eva K., Blue Birds Refuse To Fly recorded their third album, “Xenomorph Angel” which was
released in 2007 and went on a European tour.

George Priniotakis also appears as session musician with the band Common Sense.
He also released a solo album under his personal projetc, Orama (engl. Vision ελλ. Οραμα) through Virgin Records in 1999.
The album’s title was “Oneiromixani” (engl. Dream Machine ελλ. Ονειρομηχανή).

Priniotakis also appears as a sound engineer of all the Puzzlemusic releases and many other recordings.

As the 90’s was the most active decade of the Greek rock scene, Blue Birds Refuse To Fly, is the perfect example of how the Greek bands finaly found the way to work on their own and get in touch with foreign record labels.


Posted by on March 31, 2009 in Goth, etc.



Compilation nr. 6

toxicIn 1994 one more compilation was released which gave a better picture of the Greek underground rock scene.  “Toxic babies in a rock ‘n’ roll land” was released by the Athenian record label Sub Studio and featured 12 Greek bands with music styles ranging from punk rock to stoner rock.

Bands such as Deus X Machina, HeadQuake, Rock Xerox and Nonmandol had members who released albums with their former bands.  Deus X Machina members were playing with Adiexodo, Headquake was formed by members of Melting Ashes and Villa 21, Rock Xerox members were playing with the band South of No North, and Ada Lambara of the Nonmandol was playing a few years before that with Villa 21, as well.

01.  Deus X Machina – Deus
02.  Cosmic Teds – Screaming a love song
03.  Make Believe – Floating world
04.  Headquake – Penetrare
05.  Rockin Bones – Get off my back
06.  Dirty Saints – Get mad
07.  Nightstalker – Trigger happy
08.  Bokomolech – Confession
09.  Nonmandol – Hole in the sky
10.  Rock Herox – Tomorrow’s child
11.  Party Spoilers – Radio man
12.  Terminal Curve – Shine on me

Out of these 12 bands, the only ones who didn’t have a future release were Party Spoilers and Rock Xerox.

Rock Xerox participated with a song that had little to do with South of No North’s sound (George Koulouris and Fivos Pergaliotis were former South Of No North members).  “Tomorrow’s child” was an alternative rock song, and Party Spoilers appeared with a neo-psychedelic song.

For some of the bands, this was their first release.

mbMake Believe was one of them. 

They later became a successful band during the 90’s with their album releases of “Playground” in 1995, “Blue one” in 1996 and “Wide” in 1999. 

The following track is not the compilation’s “Floating World“.  This one is titled “Leave Me Alone” and it is taken from their first album, which was released a year after the “Toxic babies in a rock ‘n’ roll land” compilation was released.

It was also the first time for the band Bokomolech, who later released some very successful albums during the 90’s.  This five-piece Athenian band was formed in 1991 when they were students at the University of Athens and they took their name after a Romanian doctor.

bokomoleTheir line up was Dimitris Ioannou-vocals, Evi Fraggedaki and Costas Raggousis – guitars and vocals, Lila Katerinaki – bass and vocals, Vlasis Karagiannis – drums.  Playing a noise-rock style, Bokomolech could be considered as epigons of the punk rock scene.  The band released the albums “Xero” in 1995, “Jet lag” in 1997, and after a period of silence, “Exit (trance)” in 2003. 

They were lucky enough to work with producer Steve Albini, who also worked with Nirvana, The Stooges, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Manic Street Preachers, Page and Plant, Mono, Om, Bush, Joanna Newsom, Nina Nastasia, Jawbreaker, The Membranes, Superchunk, Low, Dirty Three, Cheap Trick, Slint , Neurosis and Zao.  “Exit (trance)” was recorded in France and was also released in Portugal and Germany.  In 1997 they released the EP “Insect (Songs)”, and in 1999 the “Slow Burner” EP came out.  They came back for a gig at Mylos Club-Thessaloniki in March 2008, with Christina Kasessian having replaced Evi Fraggedaki.

The following video is the song “When I leave” from the “Insect (Songs)”.

Click here for their myspace profile.

Rockin’Bones was formed in Athens during 1992 with Babi Bone on guitar and vocals, Nick Cage on bass and vocals, S.Pyros D. on the drums, and Fuzzy (ex Personality Crisis), who joined them in early 2008, on guitar.

rockin-bonesThey released their first 7″ single in 1994, titled “Psychomama“, and in 1997 they released the 7′ single “Mary Jane“.  Influenced by bands such as The Ramones and Social Distortion, it took them a few more years to release their first album. 

In 2001 “On Fire” came out and during 2008 they released one more 7″ single through Blind Bastard Records.  Babi and S.Pyros D. were also performing with the Greek desert rock band, Earthbound

Unfortunately, Costas “Fuzzy” Papachronis lost his life in a car accident late in 2008. 

The band decided to have a gig in his memory on January 17 2009.  The following video was filmed during this gig.  The screen behind the band has footage from theatrical plays and tv series where Papachronis appeared as an actor.

For their MySpace profile, click  here.

hquakeThe band HeadQuake was formed by Leonidas Papadakis (ex-Melting Ashes and Spiders Web), Babis Dalidis (ex-Villa 21 and owner of Creep Records), and Thanasis Banasios (ex-Zodiac Trip and Tractor Bowling) in the early nineties. 

Their sound ranges from grunge to alternative rock. 

For a few years, several musicians joined the band and left again.  In 2009, with the addition of guitar player Stelios Giannoulakis, they released their first full length self-titled album.

Their MySpace profile is here.  

Nightstalker had their debut release the same year with the release of “Toxic babies in a rock ‘n’ roll land”.

nightstaThey became the most well-known stoner band in Greece after four releases:  In 1994 they released the EP “Side FX”, in 1996 their first LP came out, titled “Use” (it was re-released in 2006), the album “Ritual” was released in 2000, and “Just a Burn” in 2004.

Going through a number of line up changes, the only member from their original line up who is still playing with the band today is Argy, the singer and occasional drummer of the band.  Nightstalker, through their powerful live performances, attracted a large number of fans and recently announced the release of a new album titled “Superfreak”, which will be out during 2009.

Their current line up:  Singer/drummer Argy, bass player Andreas (who is also a member of the band Rotting Christ) and guitar player Tolis.

Their MySpace profile is here.

terminalTerminal Curve was formed in the early 90’s by singer Gerasimos Kanakis, guitar player Iason Leontidis, bassist Vangelis Pangos and drummer Nikos Gerakitis

With the help of Urban Aspirines, I found out that they released the single “Penetrate / Senseless Thing” in 1993, an LP titled “Feedind Frenzy” in 1995, and the single “Losin’ it / Back Again” a year later.  “Shine on Me” was a punk rock track with heavy metal riffs.  I can’t clearly say whether the band was a heavy metal band or punk rock since they were flirting with both music genres.  There’s not much information about them and I suppose they split during the late 90’s.

jesus-toy2A bonus 7″ single was given with the first 500 copies of this compilation.  It was the single “Play Deep, Breath Loud” by the stoner rock band Jesus Toy.

According to Tape Recorder, the band was formed in 1992 and some of the HeadQuake members played with them.  They participated with one more track in the compilation “Sub Collection # 2” in 1997.  One year later they split to form the band Vibratore Bizzaro.

Their official website is here.

About the rest of the bands, you can find information on past posts, as follows:

  • About Deus X Machina, click  here
  • About the Cosmic Teds, click  here
  • About The Dirty Saints, click  here
  • About Nonmandol, click here

Its obvious that the compilation album “Toxic babies in a rock ‘n’ roll land” was a compilation holding a great number of bands that would become successful in the years that followed.  For that reason, it’s not easy to overlook this compilation. 

On the other hand, it gives a clear picture of how active the Greek rock bands were during the 90’s, since most of them spawned a large number of releases.

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Posted by on March 27, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave



The Invention of Morel

One of the strangest acts was the Athenian band Morel who took their name by the book “La invención de Morel
of the Argentinian sci/fi writer Adolfo Bioy Casares.

morelpicjpgFormed by the guitar player/poet George Koukios in 1985, Morel became the first band
from Athens that were signed to the indie record label Ano Kato records from Thessaloniki.
Their line up: George Koukios-vocals/guitar, Vasilis Peppas-bass, Michalis Vernadakis-Guitar,
George Andreou-keyboards, Nikos Sidirokastritis-drums.

morel 10.000 meresTheir first album, titled “10.000 meres apo edo” (engl. 10.000 days from here ελλ.  10.000
μέρες απο εδώ) was featuring 14 atmospheric songs with surealistic lyrics, based mostly
on guitar melodies.
This album was released in 1987 coming with a small book full of poems.

Morel’s music style can be described as post-punk although it is dificult to categorise it.

The band gave a small number of gigs and after the release of their their second album
Vouva Topia” (engl. Mute Landscapes ελλ. Βουβά τοπία) in 1988 they played to Bologna’s Bienalle along
with Noise Promotion Company.
“Vouva Topia” was an instrumental album.

Koukios got also involved with filmscoring, wrote the music for a film titled “To megalo
” based on a book of the Greek novelist Karagatsis and directed by Emirzas.
The movie was about to be broadcaste by a Greek tv channel but the Greek Orthodox church
demanded to stop, so it was not shown.

Morel split in the early 90’s after a car accident, right before the first day of recording
sessions for their third album.

Koukios released a solo album in 1994 titled “Homa, Selini, Nero” (engl. Soil, Moon, Water
ελλ. Χώμα, Σελήνη, Νερό).
He continued writing music for tv series, theatrical plays and movie commercials.
He also released poetry and novels.

His personal site is here.

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Posted by on March 26, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave



The Hands of Cain – The Only Sound

handsI received the following the other day:
The Only Sound”: a retrospective album with all previously unreleased material of
The Hands of Cain“, to be released March 2009, by Anna Logue Records, on limited edition
160 gr. vinyl.

For more info & for international orders:

To order from Greece send e-mail to: ”

I think, thats cool.
It’s good to know that some very old friends which I haven’t seen for years, will release an album.

And even better…it’s their old, classic stuff that will be released…

Now, to take the things from the start, I have to write here about Ausschwitss.
Like they point out on their myspace profile: “Ausschwitss” (not “Auschwitz”, as it was intentionally misspelled).

So, Ausschwitss was one of the first Greek punk rock bands back then, in the very early 80’s.
They were formed in 1981 by guitar player Dimitris Stamatiou, bassist Dimitris Chorianopoulos and drummer Spyros Floros.
Keyborad player Costas Papakitsos joined this Athenian band.

The funny thing is, I still remember each one’s nickname…

They were all around 15 years old, influenced by the Damned and the Clash but using Greek lyrics.
Ok, Papakitsos was a little more influenced by Siouxsie.

They tried a couple of singers before deciding that Chorianopoulos and Stamatiou would take over the vocals as well.

One of their singers was Raphael, the brother of Zanis, who was the dj at the punk rock club Aretoussa.

Ausschwitss built a reputation by playing in the known underground live clubs of the Plaka district, Aretoussa and Sofita with other punk groups
bands such as the Stress  and Guillotine (Guillotine later changed their name to Soldiers Of Anarchy and finaly, Ex-Humans).

Unfortunately they didn’t release anything but they managed to record two of their songs, “Chameno Kormi” and “Apeili”.
They ceased to exist in 1983.

It was n’t hard to find and hang around with the Ausschwitss.
They were in the district of Patissia and it was easy to meet them at a small bar called Blue Note.

Blue Note was one of the first bars with a vcr so most of the punk rockers and new wave kids were there to watch their
favorite bands.
You could go watch foreign bands on video at Blue Note, during the whole week and go watch some some at Dragon Fly during
the weekend…just for a change.
As most of the kids couldn’t afford paying the drinks in Blue Note, there was a kinda game between them and the waitors some times.
The waitor would come and ask what would you like to drink.
You would say “hm…let me think about it for a while… come  back in five minutes please.”
Then you would change your sit, going to an other room of the bar where you would give the same answers when the waitor
would come to move again to an other room.
I know it sounds silly…but it was funny also.
Thankfully some waitors were not so smart…

hocStamatiou, Chorianopoulos, Floros and Papakitsos changed their minds and during the same year, 1983, they formed a dark
wave band named  The Hands of Cain.
Seems like, under this name, the band managed to record enough matterial for a full length album.
This time, they used english lyrics.
They gave a number of gigs, most of them at Pegasos club at Exarhia district.
Their profile mentions that “due to bad timing and a disagreement with Creep Records they never had any of their material released“.
In 1985 the band decided to split.
Their drummer, Spyros “S. Adam” Floros joined the dark wave band Film Noir and released two album with them.

Due to a strange twist of fate and the web, some of the Hands of Cain demos were discovered no less than 22 years after
the group broke up by Marc Schaffer of AnnaLogue Records.
In 2009 all existing Hands of Cain material will finally be brought to light in a retrospective vinyl release by Anna Logue Records

Anna Logue Records is a German label, founded in 2005 and they release previously unreleased material by original early 80’s
Well, good luck guys.

To listen to the Hands of Cain click  here.
To listen to Ausschwitss here.

Anna Logue Records.
You can always order their album the way that is mentioned on the top of this post.

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave



INTERVIEW: Martin Birke of Genre Peak

For those of you who don’t know Martin Birke, I have to point out that he is a great guy (don’t pay any attention to the pointing gun in his video, “Hell on the Surface“) who has, thus far, spent his entire lifetime as a musician.

Initially beginning as an electronic percussionist, and later as a recoding artist, Martin released three CD albums with Casualty Park.  He has also done commissioned scores for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The Oxygen Cable Network, and LionsGate Films (“Blood, Guts, Bullets” and “Octane and Retribution”).  He was a member and co-writer of four albums (Kurumba, Idiophone/Orcus Drawl, Nocturnalis and Urubamba) for the electro/acoustic-improv group Sandbox Trio with Daniel Panasenko and Chuck Ehlis.

In my opinion, Mr. Birke is one of the busiest musicians in Sacramento, especially since he recently released the second album of his personal music vehicle, Genre Peak.


GENRE PEAK - Martin Birke

Ok, Martin, I know I am a little late since “Preternatural” was released during 2008, however, there are a great number of questions that I would like to ask you but I have to find a way to sort them out.  With that being said, I’d like to first welcome you to the Tribe4mian blog and thank you for this interview.

01.  When did you start playing music?

MARTIN:  I started taking drum and piano lessons at the age of 6, my mother enforced these and soon I found that I had a natural ability for percussion and excelled in that.  My first teachers were jazz-fusion drummers who taught me complex beats and time signatures.  In my teens, I had won several school talent contests and was gigging with local bands by the age of 13.  With piano I became increasingly frustrated with reading music and soon just taught myself by ear, learning chord structure and composition. Music was just always a part of me, and my mom says as a baby I sang before I ever spoke.
02.  Through the years, I would guess that the English band Japan had a strong influence on you.  Could you tell us which are your influences because I would also guess that people don’t really care what I think.

MARTIN:  Well, I’d say Peter Gabriel and David Sylvian are the two biggest influences on me as a writer/composer/singer.  As a pre-teen I listened to Genesis, Yes, The Police and Rush – my prog-rock days. 🙂 Later, bands like Japan, Ultravox, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk were some favourites in the late 80’s and early 90’s. In my late 20’s I listened to a lot of Bowie/Eno, Jon Hassell, Laurie Anderson and especially Einsturzende Neubauten as Alex Hacke & Blixa Bargeld became my idols.  Now I’m into Thomas Feiner, Massive Attack and Alan Wilder’s Recoil project as well as many other musicians virtually unknown to American music lovers.  My favourite classical composer is Erik Satie. I’m also fond of Aphex Twin/The Tuss, Bjork, Burnt Friedman, and the great Vangelis.

Genre Peak - "Preternatural"03.  Mick Karn, Japan’s bass player, appears on “Preternatural” which I guess was a pleasant surprise for your audience.  Could you tell us some of their reactions as well as how this experience was for you?

MARTINMick Karn was going to join Genre Peak as a full-time member (I’d admired Mick’s playing since I was a teen, so I was very happy that he was interested in working with me), and Daniel Panasenko, our bassist, was leaving the group.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t work out travel, lodgings, and the expenses of touring without a major label backing us since Mick lived on the other side of the world.  So Genre Peak toured regionally in ’05 and ’06 then disbanded.  I wasn’t completely happy with our first album, “Ends of the Earth”, and my former bandmates didn’t share my enthusiasm for promoting the record, so I wanted try again with different players.

I reformed the band as an international studio project along with producer/guitarist Christopher Scott Cooper, Canadian singer Tara C. Taylor and special guests Mick Karn, Gustaf Fjelstrom, Stereoskop (from Spain) and Kiss & Fly (from France), who contributed amazing performances and remixes . They where all a tremendous help.  I suspect the good sales of “Preternatural” are a result of these guests – and the well-written material.  😉

04.  On “Preternatural” a strange thing occurs:  It is the least “Japan- influenced” album of yours and I find the album moving to a different level, creating a unique sound for Genre Peak. (By the way, the album is excellent.  I have a friend who borrowed it from me three months ago and every time I ask him to return it, he plays ‘stupid’…)

MARTIN:  I had been listening to Recoil, Massive Attack and The Golden Palominos a lot.  I wanted to make an album like that.  Every song sounding different, with different vocalists and themes.  “Preternatural” was a major amount of work and I feel it’s my best electro-pop effort to date.  It’s production is wonderful, working with Christopher Scott Cooper has really changed my sound and we enjoy a wonderful, easy-working relationship.  Chris is also a vastly experienced industry man who knows many musicians, so he’s been an invaluable friend and agent for Genre Peak, as well as very tasteful guitarist.

05.  Martin, you have a lot of history behind you… I remember you toured Germany in the past.  How was this experience?

MARTIN:  I had played all over my hometown in the 80’s, my first band was a rock trio called Security (me-drums, David Netz-bass, Daniel Panasenko-guitars …we were in our teens) and then me and Daniel Panasenko formed an industrial jazz quartet called THWACK with bassist Chuck Ehlis and saxophonist Arthur Chivis. I was first nationally published in 1990 by a music magazine’s sampler release with an agro-jazz track I did with that band for a demo tape I made.  My first professional scoring gig was for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in NYC back in ’93.  We did some amazing music for them and they paid well, it was a wonderful experience for a 24-year-old.

In the 90’s I was in 2 bands signed to The Frank-Mark-Arts label in Germany. Sandbox Trio was a very Neubauten-ish trio doing experimental soundscapes, electro-beats, and atmospheres.  We did four albums, a couple indie-film scores, commercials, and also toured with my pop band Casualty Park all over Germany.  Frank-Mark-Arts was a wonderful indie label that paid us very well and made touring an adventure…we only wish we could have made the label more money.
06.  Is there a difference between the American and European audiences?

MARTIN:  I think there is.  My experience has shown that Europeans are more accepting of new and experimental groups, although we did open for a few major bands here in Sacramento and were treated well, despite our obvious European pop sound. I may be biased as all of the bands and artists I like are unknown in the USA for the most part.

GENRE PEAK - "Hell on the Surface" Video Shoot (June 2008)

07.  I see you have strong connections with musicians from almost all around the world, including Canadian, Spanish, French musicians.  Is it difficult to cooperate when all this distance is involved?

MARTIN:  Well, yes.  Paying for travel expenses and coordinating sessions can be difficult as I run my own tiny label for Genre Peak and Microsphere.  I have to pay for everything and that makes me miss the old days when the label would do those things for me.

But with technology as it is, we can exchange multi-track sessions thru the internet or post service.  Aside from flying Tara C. Taylor down from Vancouver to our SF studio for vocal tracks, we worked with the other artists through the internet, which worked out well enough…but I still prefer having everyone in the studio in person if at all possible.

08.  You have also written music for theatrical plays and movies.  How was this experience?

MARTIN:  I’ve done several independent films, one major film, and several commercials over the decades. I must say I really enjoy scoring films and wish I might have another opportunity to do this again someday.  I’m a big film-buff and have studied film-making for 25 years.  I’d say Tyler Bates, Jerry Goldsmith, Vangelis and Clint Mansell are among my favourite composers.  I’d love to have their job!

09.  How would you describe Genre Peak’s music?

MARTIN:  I guess I would call Genre Peak electronic-trance music, with pop undertones?  It’s lush, dark and warm.  And different enough from most bands, I hope.

10.  Your lyrics have a ‘darkness’ to them.  Could you please enlighten us a little as to why you gravitate to the dark side?

MARTIN:  Well, I’m not really a happy person for the most part (LOL).  Many major disappointments and loss in my time have left me feeling mistreated by fate.  I write about the absurdities, stressors, and paradoxes of modern life but I try to keep an ambiguity to my words.  I like lyrics that are abstract.  Too many artists are way too literal and happy in their writing, which to me, comes across as silly and amateurish.  Look at any emo-American band these days, i.e. Fallout Boy, Death Cab for Cutie…What childlike trip these bands write…how did they get off American Idol???

11.  People in Europe believe that the States is like “Heaven” for musicians.  Is it so?

MARTIN:  Well it can be if you have connections and write mediocre, easy-listening music or hip-hop. (Hip-hop has become the essence of “corporate music” over here…quite sad.)  But if you want to do something original and edgy, don’t come here unless you’re already famous.

Genre Peak - "Ends of the Earth"12.  With Casualty Park you had two albums released through a German label and one through a Greek label.  Do you prefer European labels?

MARTIN:  I’ve had nothing but good experiences with European labels.  They all cared about the music and were not afraid to spend money promoting it.  My thanks to Frank-Mark-Arts and Cyberdelia Records… good people!

13.  What is your involvement with the Sandbox Trio?

MARTIN:  I played electronic and acoustic percussion and synths with Sandbox Trio from 1992 to 2002.  (Chuck Ehlis, our instrument builder and slide guitarist, died suddenly in 2000.)  We did four immaculate albums that are still available at most online stores.  Out of the 16 records I’ve been a part of over the years, SB3 is the only music of mine that I still listen back on occasionally.

14.  What does the future hold for Genre Peak?

MARTIN:  I’m working with Christopher on a CD-single called “Candy for the Meatman”, a new track, and some remixes from the previous album.  We’re involving a cello player, which I’m excited about.  It will probably be released in late ’09 or early 2010.

15.  Where can people find Genre Peak releases?

MARTIN:  CDs and MP3s are available at most online stores worldwide… Amazon, iTunes, etc.

I recommend folks buy Genre Peak CDs.  We have wonderful digi-pak designs, and MP3s, I feel, quash the dynamics of recordings these days.  I have an iPod but never use it, except on planes.  I love the compact disc and stand by it.  I don’t like the idea of music albums becoming intangible in the future.

I hope people around the world will realise that radio only plays 2% of all the music that’s released and seek out lesser-known and more experimental acts.  It’s a far more rewarding experience.

16. Is there anything you’d like to add for the viewers, Martin?

MARTIN:  Yes, be an artist.  Be a creative element on Earth.  Don’t be afraid to live minimally for your art and don’t fear judgement or rejection.  Art is not about making money or impressing friends or being popular, it’s about contributing to the fabric of your culture, internal, and spiritual growth, gaining insight and knowledge.  Nothing is more conducive to life than creating.  And do something or try to do something nobody has done yet.  History only remembers art and war, and war is for those who fear.  Life is so short, let’s make something that will be here after we’re gone.  How glorious is that?

I’d like to take this opportunity now to thank you, Martin.  It was a sincere pleasure to sit with you and I do hope you keep us informed as to where you are headed.  🙂  I wish you the greatest of success in “Preternatural”, as well as all your endeavors.

Martin Birke – programming-synths-percussion-samples-vocals
Christopher Scott Cooper – guitars-samples .
Tara C. Taylor – vocals
and featuring:
Mick Karn – bass
Gustaf Fjelstrom – bass
Stephen Sullivan – guitar synths


Official MySpace

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Interviews, Music


Tags: , ,

Life and works of Arnakia

I think that some bands never get the success they deserve.
Constant line up changes and bad luck, holds them back although the band members do their
best to fight back these conditions.

For me, the Athenian band Arnakia falls in this category.
Excelent musicians that spent many years on stage and released two good albums to split after
the sudden death of their drummer.

If you allow me, I could compare the sound of Arnakia (engl. Little Lams) to the one of the New Model Army.

arnakia-1986They were formed in 1984 by bassist Dimitris Papatheofilou as a three piece punk rock band
with Greek lyrics and started playing live mostly at Pegasos club in the Exarhia district.
They went on several line up changes until they recorded their tracks “Kamia Efkeria
(engl. No chance ελλ. Καμμιά Ευκαιρία) and “Oli ine fantasmata” (engl. Everyone’s a ghost
ελλ. Ολοι είναι φαντάσματα) that were featured on the compilation “Sintagi Anti Thanatou
(engl. prescription against death ελλ. Συνταγή αντί θανάτου) that was released in 1986.

arnakia-1990The band was set on hold for a couple of years as Papatheofilou had to go to the army,
where he met the guitar player Haris Papasideris.
In 1988, after both musicians were done with their military “torture” they activated Arnakia

stoma-tou-lykouThis time, Antonis Protonotarios joined the band on the drums and went on a string of gigs
prepearing their first album “Sto Stoma Tou Likou” (engl. In the wolf’s mouth ελλ. Στο
Στόμα του Λύκου) which was released in 1993.

Their post punk sound and their direct, bitter, dark and sometimes political lyrics attracted
a great number of followers.
Their gigs were full of power and energy.

Their track “Na ise etimos” (engl. Be Prepeared ελλ. Να είσαι έτοιμος) was featured in the LP
compilation “Magiko Votani” in 1994.

While recording their second album, titled “Arnakia“, their drummer, Antonis Protonotarios
died on October 1996.
Papatheofilou and Papasideris finished the album that was released later, in 1999.

Recruiting the drummer Spyros Letsis and Takis Kororos (from the band Outland) on rhythm
guitar, Arnakia had one more gig before they split in 1999.

arnakia-lpArnakia was a band that started with the first Greek punk rock wave and during the years that
they’ve been active, they gained the respect of the Greek underground scene supporters.


Posted by on March 23, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave



Mick Mercer’s, “Music To Die For”

The following is about Mick Mercer’s new book, “Music To Die For“:

Mick Mercer - "music to die for" - Mick Mercer - Gothic Rock -“My fifth book concerning Goth has now arrived and is out now.

MUSIC TO DIE FOR is 624 pages long, containing individual entries on 3,581 different bands, from 70 countries, with 183 photos. It covers bands from the beginning of these scenes to the present day and, wherever possible, contains full line-up details and discographies as well as unusual facts revealed by many of the bands. This is the biggest guide ever printed about the underground scenes in which Goth, Post-Punk and all things noir co-exist with equal splendour.

You can find this on
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., but, if possible, please use the link below to buy directly from the publisher thereby supporting them for their trust in taking on such a project. They accept Paypal, and for such a chunky book, they’re doing a very cheap deal on postage. They are actually an independent record label and have released a fantastic series of Goth re-releases, so since they support the scene it would be nice if people acknowledged that by buying directly from them.

Click HERE
With this book I am delighted to have discovered details on many countries I had never been able to infiltrate before, and the world unfolds as follows:  Argentina – 31, Australia – 75, Austria – 22, Belarus – 3, Belgium – 28, Bolivia – 7, Brazil – 53, Bulgaria – 11, Canada – 77, Chile – 24, Colombia – 28, Costa Rica – 2, Croatia – 6, Cuba – 2, Czech Republic – 13, Denmark – 12, Ecuador – 4, Egypt – 3, Estonia – 2, Falkland Islands – 2, Finland – 47, France – 174, Germany – 346, Greece – 35, Greenland – 1, Hungary – 7, Indonesia – 1, Ireland – 13, Israel – 2, Italy – 172, Japan – 25, Kazakhstan – 2, Latvia – 3, Lebanon – 2, Liechtenstein – 4, Lithuania – 11, Luxembourg – 1, Macedonia – 5, Malta – 1, Mexico – 60, Monaco – 1, Netherlands – 49, New Zealand – 14, Norway – 28, Pakistan – 1, Paraguay – 3, Peru – 6, Philippines – 8, Poland – 36, Portugal – 55, Puerto Rico – 9, Romania – 20, Russia – 70, Serbia – 1, Singapore – 2, Slovak Republic – 6, Slovenia – 3, South Africa – 4, Spain – 84, Sweden – 93, Switzerland – 31, Thailand – 5, Turkey – 6, UK – 579, Ukraine – 11, United Arab Emirates – 1, Uruguay – 5, USA – 1092, Venezuela – 6 and Yugoslavia – 5.

Musically we have representatives from these distinct and Goth-related genres:  ‘Alt’ (covering a multitude of sins) – 336, Ambient – 71, Classical/Ethereal – 33, Comedy – 1, Deathrock – 12, Electro – 99, Electronic(a) – 79, Folk/Country – 67, Glam – 11, Gothic – 1042, Gothic/Metal – 449, Historical – 4, Horror – 25, Indie – 99, Industrial – 117, Other/Exp/Minimalist – 135, Post-Punk – 356, Psychobilly – 93, Punk/New Wave – 234, Rock – 238, Shoegaze/Psychedelic – 36 and Surf/Garage – 44.

Mick Mercer - Official Site:  Mick Mercer - Gothic Rock - spread the word now that it’s out! I hope you find it worthwhile and useful, and I obviously want as many people as possible to do likewise. Your help in circulating the news is much appreciated.

BIOG-wise I can tell you I have been writing about music since Punk, having started with Panache fanzine in 1976, which ran right through into the 90’s.

Along the way I spent well over a decade freelancing or the music papers Record Mirror, NME and Melody Maker, as well as editing the magazines ZigZag and Siren and have continued writing regularly online on livejournal and here for many years.

Mick Mercer - Gothic Rock - Mick Mercer - "Hex Files" - Mick Mercer - Gothic Rock - Mick Mercer - "21st Century Goth" - Mick Mercer - Gothic Rock -

I have written more about Goth than anyone else in the world, I should imagine, and my previous four books were Gothic Rock Black Book, Gothic Rock, Hex Files and 21st Century Goth. (All of these will be self-published as Author’s Editions later this year, which means a great many more pages will be added.)

I do a free online pdf magazine each month called THE MICK, stuffed full of new interviews, reviews and photos.

I hope you enjoy the book and can maybe Add To and feature this page in your Top Friends? The more people learn about the book the more attention the bands get.”

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Posted by on March 19, 2009 in Goth, etc.



Inactive Messiah – Your “Sinful Nation”

For several years now, I have complained about the “invisible walls” surrounding Greece and the multitude of talent hidden behind them. Had it not been for MySpace, I would never have had the opportunity to taste the various flavors the music industry has kept shrouded in darkness while only thrusting bouzoukis and pop acts into my field of vision.

But thanks to MySpace I have discovered a whole new world to stimulate every corner and nook of my soul. And now I, along with others, relish every genre Hellas has to offer that couldn’t reach across that great ocean of separation.

One such band that I have followed for a few years now is Inactive Messiah, a heavier version of what I would normally listen to, but definitely a band who has grasped hold of my senses and swirled me into a new dimension. They are classified as Black Metal/Death Metal, but don’t let that intimidate you if you usually shy away from the raspiness of the stereotyped classification. 

Inactive Messiah

Inactive Messiah

Originally formed back in 2001 under the name “Womb Of Maggots”, they released one album titled “Life Odium”. They then renamed themselves Inactive Messiah and in December, 2004, released their self-titled album with Black Lotus Records.

Inactive Messiah - ALBUM - bE mY dRug (2006) (Cover Design by Seth Siro Anton)A few lineup changes and the passage of time brought them back into the studio to begin the composition of their third album, “bE mY dRug” (the second release under the Inactive Messiah name). Recording through Devilworx Studio in Athens, Greece, and Finnvox Studio in Helsinki, Finland, their new material brought about a more melodic, aggressive, and dark side to the band.

More punch was added to this CD creation with the participation by the Hellenic National ERT Choir and the Symphonic Orchestra of Slovakia, which was comprised of 80 musicians. The choir and orchestral selections were arranged by Chris A. (Chaostar/Septic Flesh/The Devilworx). An equally impressive selection of guest musicians also participated in the CD: JP Leppäluoto (Charon/ex-Poisonblack) sang in the song “Be My Drug”, Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) recorded the guitar solo for the song “Beat It” (cover – Michael Jackson) and Arto Tuunela (Major Label) performed Finnish vocals on the song “Before The End”. 

Inactive Messiah - Live

In the summer of 2006, Inactive Messiah signed a deal with Holy Records of France and released “bE mY dRug” in December, 2006. A whirlwind of international reviews ensued with articles written in Album Of The Trimester (6/6), Metallian Magazine (FR), Scream Magazine (NO), Legacy Magazine (DE), Album No. 3 of the month in Rock Hard Magazine (GR), and Metal Hammer Magazine (GR).

Tracklist – “bE mY dRug”:

01. Inactive Messiah (Intro.)
02. Sing
03. All Your Dreams
04. Be My Drug
05. Synthetic Snow
06. Beat It
07. Pain
08. Hear Me Tonight
09. Before The End
10. Lord Of Lies

Preview and/or purchase HERE

Inactive Messiah - Live

Inactive Messiah hit the road and performed in various tours, festivals, and gigs, including 32 shows in the the “Blitzkrieg 4” and “The Domination Tour 2007” throughout central and western Europe, as well as a 13-show “Balkans Assassination Tour 2007”.

Inactive Messiah - ALBUM - Sinful Nation (2008) (Cover by Natalie Shau)In January and February, 2008, they were back in the recording studio, this time with Devasoundz Studios, to begin work on their next CD. An even more aggressive, dark, and atmospheric release, “Sinful Nation” was again signed with Holy Records, and was released in April, 2008. Once more, they hit the road with Vader, Septic Flesh, and Devian on the 42-show “XXV Anniversary Tour” performing in almost all the European countries.

Tracklist – “Sinful Nation”:

01. Satyricus
02. Soulless
03. Chosen One
04. Failure
05. Theatrical World
06. Sinful Nation
07. Showdown
08. Eat My Flesh And Drink My Blood
09. Forged In Flames
10. From Birth To Death
11. Like An Endless Lament

Preview and/or purchase HERE.

After the tour, Sotiris (guitars) and Michalis (drums) left the band and Inactive Messiah continues to tour with Xristos (vocals), Thanos (guitars, soft vocals), and Lefteris (bass).

You can catch them live as they sweep through Greece and Turkey on the “Sinful Jesus 2009 Tour” beginning this Friday (20 March, 2009), along with Web, Sad Dolls, and sorrowfulangels at Texas Necropolis in Athens, Greece. Doors open at 19:30, gig starts at 20:00.

Sinful Jesus Tour - March 2009

Although I won’t be able to be there, (that ocean of separation imprisoning me again), I do hope you make it a point to drop by and check out a most amazing band who has won over my heart, not only by bedazzling me with talent, but also because they are amazing men in general, and I thank them for letting me fall under their wings from time to time.

For more upcoming tour dates and international locations, including France and The Netherlands, click HERE.

Official MySpace Profile – click HERE.

Official YouTube Profile – click HERE.

Official Facebook Profile – click HERE.  (Must be logged in to view.)

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Posted by on March 19, 2009 in Heavy Metal, Music


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Athenian Summertime Concerts (non-Mom friendly)

Not so many concerts this year, propably because of the economic situation. Most of the bands in Rockwave festival are coming back for second time, some of them for 3rd or fourth. Not many new bands either, most of them are veterans and promoters feel safe getting them  to Greece.
No harm done, some people want to see them again and some didn’t have the chance to see them last time.
For those of you who will attend the summer festivals, BRING WATER WITH YOU.

March 19 The Subways
March 21 Amon Duul II
March 28 Cinematic Orchestra
April  1 Covenant, Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection
April  4 65 Days Of Static
April  9 Groundation
April 10 Die Krupps
April 10 Opeth
April 11 Sisters Of Mercy
April 11 Cassius
April 22 Youssou N’Dour
April 26 Sad Lovers And Giants
May    8 God Is An Astronaut
May   12 Depeche Mode
May   26 Lila Downs
May   28 AC/DC
June   3 Franz Ferdinand
June  12, 13, 14 Synch Festival – Tortoise, The Matthew Herbert Big Band, Friendly Fires, Junior Boys, Fujiya & Miyagi, The Bug, Fennesz, Merzbow, Cluster
June  18-23 European Music Day
June  27 Rockwave Festival (1st day): Placebo, Moby, Gogol Bordello
June  28 Rockwave Festival (2nd day): Killers, Duffy
June  29 Rockwave Festival (3rd day): Motley Crue, Monster Magnet, Arch Enemy, Lauren Harris
June  30 Rockwave Festival (4th day): Slipknot, Mastodon
July  14 Paul Weller
July  15, 16 Cosmic Festival – Femi Kuti & the Positive Force, Ska Cubano, Roy Pace & Aretuska, Nneka
July  21 Linkin Park
July  22 Deep Purple
Sept  13 Callisto

Check this old fest too.

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Posted by on March 18, 2009 in Uncategorized


Yeah! + Nexus – Rain and Luv Bombs…

I discovered today these vids which are very interesting.

The first one comes way back from 1987 when Yeah! were playing live at a small venue, in Exarhia district, called 127 dB Club.

The video finds the band performing the song “Rain” with the following line up: Yiannis Drenoyiannis, Chrysa Pantazi, Vasilis Kaskabas, Costis Anagnostopoulos.

On the second vid, there is no live footage but just photos of the band Nexus while you can listen to their song
Drop the Luv Bomb” taken from their 4rth and last album, “The Beat Syndicate“.

Nexus were formed by members of the bands Flowers of Romance and The Drops,  to split in 2005
and form in 2006 the post punk band New Zero God.

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Posted by on March 18, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave