DEATH IN JUNE live in Stockholm

With a more than three months delay let me share a few words and images about Douglas Pearce’ appearance in Stockholm, Sweden on the 15th of November 2013. It goes without saying that I had been feverishly looking forward to this concert since DI6 was there in the very beginning when Swing Heil, Friedrich! started its humble operations.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 7.29.38 PMI can truly state that seeing a joyful Douglas appear on  stage wearing a viking helmet was a sight of its own. And DI6 did not disappoint that night.  Rejuvenated by an occasional sip from a glass of red wine the infamous Mr Pearce delivered an outstanding set of old and new DI6 material.

Obvious favorites that evening were the classic DI6 hymns  ‘Accidental Protégé’, ’13 years of Carrion’ and ‘Hollows of Devotion’. The atmosphere in the dark and humid catacomb-like setting in Stockholms old town was priceless and defenitely a night to remember.

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Opening for DI6 that night was the wonderful Miro Snejdr who is responsible for the fine neoclassical piano work on the  DI6 release ‘Peaceful Snow/Lounge Corps’. Miros music creates a world of its own with his almost ambient-style piano play. Who would have thought that contemporary classic music would fit so perfectly in the neo-folk context?

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Iceland Airwaves 2013 – a post punk retrospective

For some reason recovering from this years Iceland Airwaves festival took me longer than usual. Probably because this years Airwaves was the best Airwaves so far for me – doing more than 35 concerts in less than 5 days obviously takes its toll. Before the memory is slowly fading I would like to share my two post punk favorites of this years festivities with you – one obvious choice and one that came as a complete surprise.

sav-copySAVAGES are a band that just cannot disappoint. Having an iconic front woman such as Camille Berthomier must be a blessing for any post punk revival group. The dark and atmospheric set SAVAGES played on that cold and windy november night at the Reykjavik art museum kept everybody speechless. Probably one of the best post punk bands of today. If you haven’t heard them, go and listen to City’s full now!

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afufaTo be honest – and to my shame – it was their band name that kept me from seeing this fantastic Icelandic post punk formation last year. Stupid me. CAPTAIN FUFANU may be young at age but that doesn’t keep them from having a distinct and mature post punk sound in the vein of early BAUHAUS and JOY DIVISON. And the singers voice – pure magic! I went to see them on several occasions during Airwaves but my personal highlight was their sunday afternoon set at Boston. Only the finest memories are connected to that afternoon at the tiny pub in central Reykjavik – CAPTAIN FUFANU were all about post punk goose bumps. Unfortunately it seems that they haven’t released anything yet or maybe they never will. I have heard they have been big into techno only recently so maybe this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and they will be into another genre next year – I honestly hope not.

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The young wolves are out tonight

Captured Tracks has proven superb taste once again with recruiting this young and relentless Swedish post punk wolfpack. I am writing these lines with my ears still ringing from  yesterdays album release showcase at the fancy hipster/brat-hangout Riche lilla baren in Stockholm, Sweden.

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 8.22.19 PMFueled by punkrock teenage angst the ten songs on HOLOGRAMS‘ second full length release ‘Forever‘ hit you with merciless brutality and unadorned honesty. This is post PUNK as it should sound – not your standard whiny  pseudo-synth hipster treat. Hats off to those young wolves.

Listening to songs like Ättestupa, Wolves or Meditations gives you the energy to survive the darkest autumn nights. The Danish LUST FOR YOUTH, VÅR and ICEAGE – scene is about to face some tough competition from their Swedish soulmates. Another record that one just needs to own on vinyl considering the beautiful artwork reflecting a William Bouguereau painting showing two cursed souls. Before you go on with your lives go swing your hips to the pitilessly brutal drumbeat in A Blaze on the Hillside.

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Summer dreams in Brooklyn, NY

After a three year hiatus I wanted to let you all know that Swing Heil, Friedrich is still alive. I have been mainly posting on the Swing Heil-Facebook page during the last years – hope you enjoyed the strange melange of postpunk, postrock, shoegaze and dreampop recommendations.

Having returned from sweaty nights in Brooklyn in late August 2013, I would like to share some musical souvenirs with you that I brought home from my adventures exploring the Captured Tracks-capital.

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The relentlessly doomy goth-hillbilly DAUGHN GIBSON performed at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn on a hot summer night and it almost goes without saying that this was one of those shows that causes the hair on your neck stand up and those goose bumps just won’t disappear.

In case you haven’t heard his second full length album ‘Me Moan’ then please get it on vinyl as soon as possible. Late summer nights cannot be enjoyed in a better way than listening to DAUGHN GIBSONs gloomy electro-americana masterpieces. Just listen to ‘Into the Sea’, ‘The Sound of Law‘ or ‘Tiffany Lou‘ and you will know what I mean.

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Selebrities-Feat-590x393A fews nights after the DAUGHN GIBSON show I had the pleasure to finally experience one of my favorite bands from 2012. The Brooklyn-based  post-punk trio SELEBRITIES amazed with old and new material at 295 Kent Avenue in Willamsburg. Ok, to be honest with you I still have difficulties with their new record ‘Lovely Things’ – but that’s probably because I am still in love with the super catchy synth-driven pop anthems on ‘Delusions‘. Give it a try and listen to the track ‘Lovers‘ and build your own opinion.

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Cleaners_Martin&Giles_ca.1986It still amazes me what great and eclectic music taste staff at random bars and restaurants both in Brooklyn and on Manhattan have. Whilst enjoying the most amazing Mexican cuisine at Barrio Chino on the Lower East Side a true musical revelation happened to me. The waitress had compiled a heavenly playlist that evening which included my new favorite 80ies band The Cleaners From Venus which I have for some reason never heard of before. It may have been the cosy atmosphere at the crowded dining area on that beautiful Lower East Side – summer night but something happened to me when the Cleaners song ‘A Girl with Cars in her Eyes‘ – followed by ‘Tukani (Monday is grey)‘ – hit the aether. Both songs are from the 1982 album ‘On Any Normal Monday’ which I can highly recommend to anyone out there that has been unaware of those legends like me.

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pure-x-2011Last but not least some words about the Austin-based band PURE X. ‘Pleasure’ is one of those great records which I had completely ignored in 2011. And what a great album that is! Pitchfork writes ‘Like grunge for beachcombers or shoegaze for people happy to be alive, Pleasure is all about texture and patience, stretched to ensure maximum zoneage’ – not sure if I understand what they are trying to say but one thing I know for certain: Listening to the tracks ‘Surface‘ and ‘Twisted Mirror‘ makes me glently float away in the most pleasant summer dreams. Please grab your sweetheart, put the ‘Pleasure’ record on and enjoy those last nights of Summer 2013.

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Postpunk-Time travel: Part 1

STOCKHOLM MONSTERS

Summer 1980, An overlooked part of Manchesters Postpunk-history

What a great band and how criminally neglected. STOCKHOLM MONSTERS were birthed in the summer of 1980 in Manchester, England. The original line-up consisted of Tony France, Jed Duffy and Shan Hira. Still in their teens they were discovered by NEW ORDER bassist Peter Hook, who produced their first fantastic single „Fairy Tales“ (Factory 41, released in 1982).

Throughout their whole musical career, if one wants to call it a career, they lived a life in the shadows. It was NEW ORDER and HAPPY MONDAYS who would dominate the decade, STOCKHOLM MONSTERS were lucky enough to get a few NEW ORDER support shows in Northern England in 1981.

STOCKHOLM MONSTERS’ music was melancholic and atmospheric, bass-heavy and melodic. It was Postpunk-poetry at its best. Some claimed that in terms of musical professionalism they couldn’t really live up to their big „Factory“-brothers. That might be true, but in terms of teenage Postpunk-angst, there were not many who could create a similar live-experience. Listening to „Kan Kill!“ (from their outstanding 1984 studio album “Alma Mater”) or „Partyline“ (Factory 146), my personal favorite STOCKHOLM MONSTERS song, reminds of a time when it all began. It reminds of NEW ORDERs first record „Movement“ (still the only NEW ORDER album relevant to me), which was more or less a JOY DIVISION album without Ian. Listen to „Partyline“ and decide for yourself. Maybe you find that Tony France’s singing is out of tune, maybe you think the guitars are not sounding right. But maybe you will agree that all that makes STOCKHOLM MONSTERS sound even better.

CRYSTAL STILTS Alight Of Night CD

All roads lead to BrooklynCrystal Stilts - Alight of Night

Quite recently I re-discovered SUICIDE, one of those unique bands that emerged from the early New York City Punk scene. Without any doubt their first album “Suicide” from 1977 is more than a classic. It is a musical masterpiece, that inspired generations of bands and its relevance today is bigger than ever. On SUICIDE’s second album “Dream Baby Dream” is my personal favorite, it also found its way to Swing Heil, Friedrichs Mixtape Vol.1 on Spotify

CRYSTAL STILTS  from Brooklyn, New York have a lot of SUICIDE blood running in their musical veins, combined with a noisy but somehow relaxed JESUS AND MARY CHAIN twist. Can you imagine adding a tinge of VELVET UNDERGROUND now? Well, that’s the main ingredients of  CRYSTAL STILLS’  album “Alight of Night”, which is definetly worth checking.  Released 2009 via Angular Records,”Alight of Night” amazes the listener with wonderful songs like “The SinKing” – and what a song title that is. Getting lost in CRYSTAL STILTS  minimalistic-psychedelic sound eruptions is a true relief in times of soul-less indie-boybands ruling the charts.

CRYSTAL STILTS on Myspace! CRYSTAL STILTS on Youtube!

THE CHURCH Untitled #23 CD

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Finally I had the opportunity to interview one of my all time favorite 80ies bands. The Australian Shoegaze-Psychedelic-Rock band THE CHURCH started 1980 in the Australian city Canberra, in their first years they were probably one of the most fascinating, yet not very well-known New Wave bands. In 1988 their hitsingle “Under the Milky Way” was released and brought them some success in the charts. Their 1988 album “Starfish” is one of those fine musical moments in time that no band today will ever be able to recreate again.

church1Now they are back. THE CHURCH are about to release their fascinating new album “Untitled #23”. Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper continue to walk their path of athmospheric- psychedelic Pop. My personal favorite on “Untitled #23” is definetly the wonderful epic song “anchorage”.

I had the sincere pleasure to ask Steve Kilbey a few short questions.

Steve, are you already getting bored with people asking you about thePhoto by Anthony Collins title of your new album? I mean it’s called “Untitled #23”, probably a lot of uninspired people find that worth joking about…

It’s funny that you call the album “untitled” and a lot of people ask what that means…but i don’t get bored with answering it. I usually make up some story about it.

Is there a story you would like to share concerning the  song “Anchorage”, which is probably my favourite on “Untitled #23”?

I have never been to Anchorage, so I wrote the words to this blind. I knew this piece of music should become a song about a city. And Tim suggested Anchorage when we started. I just imagined all the rest, it’s like snapshots of someones fucked up life and love.

church2Would you agree that it gets more and more important for you throughout the years to create an album that works more as a whole, rather than have single hits on it?

Wow, I wouldnt mind a hit and a whole…if you know what I mean…but if it has to be one or the other….god, i dont know…

Was there any particular thing that inspired you the most while doing “Untitled #23” ?Steve Kilbey by Anthony Collins

I became re-inspired by melody and i sought to inject lots of melody into everything.

Thank you Steve, for a few of those magical musical moments in life.