Searmanas – Searmanas (Cleopatra Records 6 July 2018)

NYC-based electronic songstress Searmanas teases ‘Undo’ from debut album


Cleopatra Records has announced the forthcoming album release for NYC-based electronic artist Searmanas. Slated for release on July 6, her first full-length self-titled album covers a wide spectrum of the electronic music world, previewed by the stunning first single ‘Undo’.

Conceived in 2016, Searmanas is the solo project of electronic producer Niabi Aquena, her moniker derived from Gaelic and meaning “ceremony” or “ceremonial”. Originally hailing from the Shanandoah Valley in rural Virginia, Aquena has based her musical practice in New York City for almost two decades. A classically trained pianist and vocalist, her musical evolution has led her to experiment with electronic hardware.

Searmanas’ sound explores the role of ceremony within urban experience, resulting in severe, textured landscapes with touches of sparse vocals. Her wordless poetry ranges from industrial glitches to layered, oceanic progressions, all tied together by an aura of questioning and chaos. Her music is inspired by early Aphex Twin, Ryuichi Sakamoto, early Tori Amos, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Grouper, FKA Twigs and Fever Ray.

Searmanas has performed with the likes of John Bender, Hieroglyphic Being, Miho Hatori, and Mahogany. She is a member of Brooklyn-based media collective CHASM and regularly performs live in NYC and beyond.

“‘Undo’ Is a pause to the beginning before everything hurt. It is the release of the concept of time. It is the beginning of the process of healing,” explains Niabi Aquena. 
Searmanas ‘Undone’ is available as of May 4 through online stores and streaming platforms such as Spotify. while the her full debut album, to be released on July 6, is already available for pre-order via Bandcamp.
Album produced by Niabi Aquena, Searmanas
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio (NY)
Mix by Joshua Valleau at The Glass Wall (NY)
In dedication to Yemaya

Keep up with Searmanas
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Keep up with Cleopatra Records
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Posted by on May 5, 2018 in Electronic


The Danse Society – Futur1st (5 May 2018)

Post-punk legends The Danse Society launch their new ‘Futur1st’ EP (their first release since the critically acclaimed
album ‘VI‘) on the 5th May 2018.

The EP includes a poignant version of the NIN song ‘Hurt’ (famously covered by Johnny Cash) and is available to
download on bandcamp raising funds in aid of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation  ‘creating respect for and understanding of subcultures in our communities’.

This powerfully emotional tour-de-force brings a new feminine edge to the classic, particularly relevant in the wake of recent bullying and abuse revelations and the ‘Me Too’ hashtag.

The singer Maethelyiah has a few stories of her own to tell.

The dark atmospheric new video for ‘Hurt’ is already up on the bands youtube channel.

The full EP is available to download through itunes/amazon and direct from the bands website and also includes the grooveful ‘One Thought in Heaven’ atmospheric and powerful in equal measures, already a firm live favourite which pulls you in with mesmerising vocals, an icy but tuneful roar of a chorus, and a darkly pulsating groove as insistent as it is memorable.

The EP is completed with the uptempo, hard and powerful ‘Scream’ (the new live set opener) which rocks with both
an 80s edge and a futurist sequence more pointed in its attack – the drums more pounding, the keys more stabbing
(though no less atmospheric for it), and the guitars showing a little more edge.

This year sees the 35th Anniversary of the seminal ‘Heaven is Waiting’ album and in true Danse Society tradition the
band continue to reinvent darkness as they have since 1980.

Reformed in 2011, The Danse Society have since released three extremely well received studio albums. The band are currently near to completing their 7th studio album and preparing for upcoming live shows/festivals.

FUTUR1ST is a taste of what’s to come.

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Posted by on May 4, 2018 in Goth


Shriekback – Why Anything? Why This? (25 May 2018)

Shriekback previews ‘And The Rain’ from new album ‘Why Anything? Why This?”

Seminal British alternative rock outfit Shriekback has announced they will release their fourteenth album ‘Why Anything? Why This?’ on May 25. As a teaser, they are previewingthe first single ‘And The Rain’, along with a darkly intriguing video filmed by Howard Davidson (a.k.a. Hodah).

Shriekback was formed in 1980 by ex-XTC keyboardist Barry Andrews and bassist Dave Allen on his departure from Gang Of Four, in collaboration with guitarist Carl Marsh from Out On Blue Six. Under the auspices of the visionary Y Records label (home to The Slits, The Pop Group and Pigbag), the group found their voice experimenting in EMI Music’s KPM demo studio in London, refining a uniquely recognizable sound in 1982 on their first full-length album ‘Care’ and eventually achieving wider recognition with the singles ‘Lined Up’ and ‘My Spine (Is The Bassline)’. In 1983, they were joined by drummer Martyn Barker (King Swamp, Billy Bragg).

A move to a major label, Arista, allowed the band to fully realize their sound on ‘Oil & Gold’(1985), a milestone album that remains the band’s best-known (helped by the success of the single ‘Nemesis’) and the foundation of their popularity on the US college circuit and elsewhere.

‘And The Rain’ is dark and infectious, conjuring up steamy, swampy, Southern Gothic blues.This 14th studio album, which boasts a wide, organic and detailed sound, is already being described by early listeners as their best since the landmark album ‘Oil & Gold’. The sound is dense, woody and fibrous. Here we find evolved Bo Diddley beats and African blues”. However you describe it, this is Shriekback refocused, reinvented and reinvigorated.

Band members have also pushed themselves musically and sonically – Barry contributes a lot of guitar, Carl has essayed some slide guitar and keyboards and Martyn has brought in a whole arsenal of world percussion alongside his drumkit. Regular Shriekback listeners will hear more guitars and live drums and fewer loops and electronics. The sonic palette is very broad.

Written, performed and produced almost exclusively by the core trio, this is very much a ‘band’ album, crafted over time with the three core members working in their own studios, as well as in group sessions at Yellow Fish and Echo Zoo studios to capture live drums. But the writing and production on this release has been much more collaborative, with Martyn, in particular, having more input than previously.

New collaborator Scott Firth (of P.i.L) adds irrefutable bass to selected tracks, while Shriekback regulars Wendy and Sarah Partridge contribute their ever-invaluable backing vocals. Live drums were recorded by Ian Caple (who’s been with Shriekback since the beginning) at Yellow Fish in Lewes and Christoph Skirl at Echo Zoo in Eastbourne. The album was mixed and mastered by Stuart Rowe in The Lighterthief Bunker, Swindon – his fifth Shriekback album in this role, an indication of the value placed on his objective ear and technical skill.

‘Why Anything? Why This?’ will be released on May 25. While fans should keep an eye out for the album via digital stores and streaming platforms, the album is already available for pre-order from the band directly at


1. Shovelheads
2. And The Rain
3. Catmandu
4. Such, Such Are The Joys
5. Wriggle And Drone
6. The Painter Paints
7. Useless Treasure
8. The Church Of The Louder Light
9. Sons Of The Dirt*
10. Thirty Seven

Keep up with Shriekback
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Posted by on May 3, 2018 in Alternative


Stella Diana – 57 (Vipchoyo Sound Factory (IT), Siete Señoritas Gritando (ES) 25 May 2018)

Dreampop veterans Stella Diana are back with the awaited follow-up to Nitocris (2016), which inspired rave reviews.

Over the course of five albums and nearly two decades of existence, the Italian combo has become recognised as one of the best shoegaze acts around, thanks to their master songcraft, their hypnotic rhythmic section and soaring, textured guitars.

They have managed to grow a sizeable international following despite having been singing entirely in Italian until 2015, and while they keep exploring new sonic frontiers, their style remains uniquely recognisable.

Also, they somewhat anticipated, and keep leading the so-called Italogaze movement which includes bands like Clustersun, Rev Rev Rev, In Her Eye, ElectricFloor and Novanta.

No accident that the bewitching track ‘Do Androids‘ features guitars of Rev Rev Rev’s Sebastian Lugli.

In this new album 57 every song has been composed in total freedom, without pressure and without schemes, aiming to create a dreamlike, delicate and unreal sound.

Dreamlike as the hermetic lyrics, used only as an extra colour in each song, even if, in general, what they describe is always the loneliness and lack of
communication between people.

Named after the ancient name of planet Venus (Morning Star), Stella Diana were formed in 1998 in Southern Italy’s city of  Naples by Dario Torre (vocals and guitar) and Giacomo Salzano (bass guitar), joined by Giulio Grasso on drums.

They bring together the layers of shimmering guitars of bands like Ride and Lush, the dark wave atmospheres of Bauhaus and Joy Division, and
new wave structures reminiscent of Echo And The Bunnymen and The Chameleons.

But Stella Diana are not at all a mere sum of their influences.

As Primal Music‘s Del Chaney put it, they “meld together a heady brew of driving post-punk, melodic dreampop and hazy shoegaze to produce musical soundscapes so mesmerising that they literally take my breath away”.

In accordance with their strong DIY principles, 57 was recorded and mixed by bass player Giacomo Salzano, and produced by the whole band in their own
recording studio, allowing to keep complete control over the music.

The obsession with simplicity is present also in the cover art. A blood-red number on a black canvas, but a number that is not immediately clear, looking like a mark, or a piece of cave drawing.

Keep up with Stella Diana
Website | Facebook | Youtube

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Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Shoegaze


In Her Eye – Change (self released, 1st June 2018)

Only a few years ago nobody would have associated shoegaze to Italy; yet today Italogaze – as it has been dubbed -, starting from an underground word of mouth, has gained a solid international credibility; shoegaze lovers are enthusiastic about bands like Be Forest, Stella Diana, Clustersun, Rev Rev Rev, and happily discover other outfits that animate the scene.

A certain team spirit has been building up too among the bands, many of which are brought together in Mutiny Collective, constantly keeping in touch to exchange ideas and organise events.

Among the most active are Milan-based In Her Eye, whose talent has already been noticed by influential Italian media like Rockit and La Repubblica newspaper.

Their sound is a powerful mixture of 80’s new wave echoes (New Order, The Cure), shoegaze and sonic suggestions (Swervedriver, My Vitriol, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.); all filtered through a genuine rock attitude.

Change is dedicated to movement, to transformation.

In the last few years, original band members (Aldo Bernuzzi, Giuseppe Galotti, Stefano Schiavella) passed through a lot of changings: relationships, new births, life philosophies.

The line-up has changed as well: with Raffaele Bocchetti (former Stella Diana) joining the band, the In Her Eye classic sound recreates and enrichs itself with new hues and shades.

New songs, featuring also backing vocals by Antonia Chiara Ciancaglini (The Mystic Morning), reflect this situation: their signature sound is still there, but they’ve brought it to the next level.

Sometimes it’s psychedelia, sometimes it’s pop. It’s all a game of change.

Change is out on 1st June 2018.

In Her Eye have so far released debut album Anywhere Out Of The World (2011), and Borderline EP (2014).

Since 2015 the band has been involved in a handful of tribute compilations (The Cure, Ride, Wire), while composing the songs for the new album.

Keep up with In Her Eye
Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube

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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Shoegaze


Zealot in Wonderland: The Wildhearts: One Love, One Life, One Band by Gary Davidson

Full of laughs, introspection and rock ‘n’ roll antics, Zealot in Wonderland is the story of one man’s unexpected thrust into a powerful obsession with British rock band The Wildhearts. Like every honeymoon period, this one begins with the sun in the sky and the stars to aim for. However, as I get to grips with my own life, relationships, and debilitating depression, what once seemed like a simple journey to my younger self spirals out of control, until my longing for an interview with The Wildhearts’ lead singer, Ginger, causes the honeymoon to turn sour. But through it all, it is ultimately the music which sees me through.

More information about this book, directly from the author at:

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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Books/Literary


Dirtmusic ‎– Bu Bir Ruya (Glitterbeat 28 January 2018)

There are so many artists and so many releases around us that I am missing lots of them. Luckily enough, I didn’t miss this one…

Dirtmusic is the project that Chris Eckman (The Walkabouts) and Hugo Race (Bad Seeds) founded in 2007.

Their fifth full length album Bu Bir Ruya (“This is a Dream” in Turkish) was recorded in Istanbul and came out in January.

Here they work as a trio with Turkish musician Murat Ertel from the psychedelic Turkish group Baba Zula.

The title of the album describes perfectly the whole thing.

With the opening track, Bi De Sen Soyle, starts a journey into a dreamworld of Eastern psychedelia.

Seven tracks of slow, mesmerizing rhythms, and guiding wispers, ethnic, electronic, and folk merged.

I have a special place in my collection, where I keep some my favorite “different” albums shuch as:
Bill Laswell ‎– Hashisheen : The End Of Law, Hector Zazou ‎– Sahara Blue, Brian Eno – David Byrne ‎– My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, David Sylvian – Gone to Earth, Bob Marley ‎– Dreams Of Freedom (Ambient Translations Of Bob Marley In Dub) and this is where I’ll put Dirtmusic ‎– Bu Bir Ruya.

Thanks guys, you gave us an excellent album.

Dirtmusic are hitting the road in a few weeks.

17.05. – BG – Sofia – Mixtape 5 / A-Side
18.05. – RS – Belgrade – Kulturni Centar Grad (w/ Igralom)
19.05. – RS – Novi Sad – Novosadsko Pozorište
21.05. – CR – Zagreb – Močvara
24.05. – SI – Piran – Druga Godba Festival
01.06. – MK – Skopje – OFFest
28.06. – PL – Lublin – Different Sounds
30.06 – IT – Florence – San Salvi
01.07 – IT – Pescara – IndieRocket Festival
18.07 – CZ – Ostrava – Colours of Ostrava

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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Electronic, Psychedelic