BETH RETTIG, the imposing frontwoman of former British synth force Blindness started her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP last summer with the release of three stirring ambient tracks (Veins, Crawl and The First One). And just last week her 5-track debut EP, titled ‘EXPERIMENTS IN THE DARK‘ featuring members of The Fall, Echobelly and Curve hit the streets. Five mesmerizing electro grooves, five spellbinding expressions, five mood swings. All family emotionally, yet all different sentiments. Put your headphones on, dim the lights, sit down, close your eyes and absorb these five fascinating and emotive experiments…
1. WHAT I DESERVE
A slo-mo Siouxsie like introspection dominated
by burning guitars that do your head in…
No fillers, the 160 killers of the
past 2 months all together.
Shake and swing, twist and twirl, move and groove…
With… Underworld/Iggy Pop, The Liminanas/Anton Newcombe, A Certain Ratio, Millionaire, Death Valley Girls, Partefacts, Bugeye/Feral Five, The Human League, Warmduscher, Crystal Castles, Rich Girls, Porridge Radio, deux furieuses, Black Needle Noise, Chemtrails, Night Haze, The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara, Joe Cocker, John Cooper Clarke
The Kills, Patti Smith, Placebo, Golden Earring, Broke Bldgs, Pins, The Moods, Sleigh Bells, Leftfield, The Chemical Brothers, Sinead O’Connor, The Honeyrunners, Stay Lunar, Girlboy J, Wilder., Devan, Black Grape, International Teachers Of Pop, Peaches, Sleater-Kinney, dEUS,
Death Valley Girls, Parquet Courts, The Charlatans, Vampire Weekend, Autogramm, Jenny, Headshrinkers, Timothy and the Apocalypse, Peaches, Pink Diamond Revue, T.C. Matic, U2, Caroline Rose, Girl K, Mechanimal, Thrillhouse, The Waterboys, Dropkick Murphys, Kill Chicago, Robert Plant, Kings Of Leon, Internet Friends, The Peach Fuzz, Keith Richards, Wolf Alice, Temples, Lucy Dacus, The Dandy Warhols, Partefacts, Where We Sleep, Gareth Sager, Pesh, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elefant, Saving Jackie, The Bankrobber, Trickshooter Social Club, The Parrots, Tricky, M. Exen, LCD Soundsystem, Suicide, Alan Vega,
Hey Colossus, Ramkot, Public Enemy, Yard Act, The Irrational Library, Tom Morello & Pussy Riot, Hideaways & Tiny Dyno, Texas & Wu-Tang Clan, La Jungle, The Horrors, Sleaford Mods & Amy Taylor, Bilie Eilish, Teenage Fanclub & De La Soul, Attawalpa, I The Mountain, Bleachers feat. Springsteen, The Fun Lovin’ Criminals Leftfield feat. Roots Manuva, The Chemical Brothers, Tiny Magic Pets, Tone-Loc, Paul Weller, The Prodigy, The B-52’s, Gruppo Sportivo, Todd Rundgren and Sparks, The FlaviansCurses, Massive Attack, Cypress Hill, Misled Convoy/Kat Five, Unruly Girls, Twist Helix, 9 O’Clock Nasty, Plastic Sun, Ghostlawans
This punky-funky disco corker is the perfect pick-me-up tune for all the wacky
weirdos who are always in the kitchen at parties waiting for free drinks and waiting
for Warmduscher to come in and kick their lazy asses. Big stroke, big chorus, big fun!
This London post-punk team unleashed their 2nd scorching album Beware Believers, last April. One of TUTV’s best full-lengths of 2022.
Slowly Separate is a schizo sonic serpent generating a mind-blowing backwash
while chainsaw guitars turn up the decibels to an illegal peak, and vox-in-the-middle James Fox rages and blazes through his teeth.
The by now legendary passion rockers from Cincinnati, Ohio with mastermind Greg Dulli leading the troops. Their new 10th LP How Do You Burn? was voted Best Album Of 2022 on Turn Up The Volume.
I’ll Make You See God was the lead single. A sturdy steamroller, a red-hot-heated juggernaut, an unstoppable cannonball going everywhere fast. Manic blitzkrieg
guitars, ruthless drum/bass attacks, Greg Dulli‘s rush of blood vocality, and a brutal
Dulli: “That’s one of the hardest rock songs we’ve ever done.
It was written and performed on sheer adrenalin.”
This frenetic Brit force hit big time with their dazzling
debut album The Great Regression last March.
Single I Am Kate Moss is a cast-iron brainbreaker. It’s a poignant, biting, and
anxious uppercut. I’m pretty sure Moss would love this hit-and-run drone when
it would hit her ears. She is, after all, the Femme Punk Fatale of fashion.
The Prophet progresses like a vicious viper sliding to its prey until a horrific explosion strikes you in the face. Next is a titanic bass riff that keeps the roller coaster turning with scary speed. This flabbergasting monster is part of their 2nd notable longplayer Trust No Leaders.
About: “As a story or metaphor, we are all ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ – made up of
other people’s opinions and parts that don’t belong to us. That we were born
perfect but people, in their own conditioning, come along and can make us feel
undesirable/inadequate/the monster. But we can choose to be real instead.”
This is without a shadow the best debut single of 2022.
A towering tune going low, high and back. A sickly sticky pop gem wrapped in
a big-boisterous wall-of-sound. And up front, Sianna Lafferty‘s phenomenal voice
causes goosebumps when she reaches for the sky on the chorus. The ardency of Porridge Radio comes to mind.
“I am not what you want me to be
Uncle Sam won’t even point at me
Even the eyes of the Virgin Mary wall
hanging won’t even stare at me.”
Kill Me Again, one of three pieces shared so far, is an infectious groove
propelled by a pounding synth/bass riff, spiced with Coxon on saxophone
and mesmerizing (duet) vocals. Splendid stuff. Bring on the LP.
This power pop sensation impressed big time with their self-titled debut album. The outstanding dingle Chaise Longue – catchy, funny and witty caused choirs of thousands of sing-along people at festivals this past summer as I experienced myself, not at Glastonbury (below), but in Belgium at Hear!Hear! fest.
After releasing her sterling debut LP last year, songstress Ilayda Cicek and her band
came back this year for a series of riveting concerts (I saw 5 of them) and this sublime single. Her passion, her vivaciousness and vocal fervency push this electrifying pearl
way up to the stars.
12. ‘Nothing Good Comes Easy’ by DEAD LEVEE (Canada)
What a wowzer! This uplifting motherrocker boosts your state of mind with
fired-up dynamism from the get-go. Rapid-fire rawk and roll riffs switch on
a fervent feel of euphoria. It did it in the past, it does it in the present and
it will do it in the future.
Despite all the BS we have to endure (pandemic, Ukraine, natural disasters,
and other threats) it’s never too late to get back on track and why not start
with 4 and a half minutes of heart-warming guitar-fueled boogie-woogie
that triggers hope and assurance.
It’s been two years since these Scottish hound dogs made
my speakers tremble with their furious Johnny single.
But on their steamy comeback stomper they still have the same barnstorming groove and move drive. Something Good is a nasty rip-roaring-riff jackhammer,
annex agitated vocals, rotating in your head in an ear-blink. Think NYC’s darlings Interpol playing The Fall. Something good? Way better, something ace!
Geordie Greep (vocalist, guitar): “Almost everything I write is from a true thing, something
I experienced and exaggerated and wrote down. I don’t believe in Hell, but all that old world folly is great for songs, I’ve always loved movies and anything else with a depiction of Hell.”
A screwy zig-zagging haymaker it is.
From their head-spinning 3rd LP Hellfire.
“A paean to taking your foot off the gas and letting things slide, or a warning of the perils of procrastination, perhaps? It’s hard to tell whether ‘Mañana’ is meant to serve as a confessional regarding Domestic’s own perceived lack of willpower, or a celebration of idleness. It could be either of these things; and that’s one of its many joys.”.
A sirens intro, David Bowie‘s saxophone, and steel drums straight from Trinidad. Sounds like an exotic swing and shake ditty is coming up. No folks, it’s a lazy rap-sody you can play the morning after a booze marathon to get up and sober up, slowly.
Soul voice Clare Gillet takes care of the chirpy chorus.
These Welshmen released their new excellent album Druids and Bards
displaying mastermind Scott Marsden high-quality songwriting.
This impassioned hard-luck story is my fav cut. It grows slowly but surely into a soul-stirring and mesmerising heartbreaker with an epic finale. Glowing guitars, a steady drumbeat, and mixed-emotions vocals all come together for a poignant performance.
‘Love Is Cruel / The Hurt Within’. You can feel it.
This wholly charismatic and fast up-and-coming darkwave duo mixes Gothic Depeche Mode beats, with sonic Human League echoes, bass-synth-riffs à la German legends D.A.F. and spice it all up with spooky vocals. And it looks like 2023 will even be bigger than 2022.
After their eponymous bonkers debut EP (2020) followed by some staggering singles,
the high-decibels tandem nail it with another sucker punch. Leader is a funk-punk riff ripsnorter that kicks forth and back before a freakish guitar outbreak slashes and
trashes its way to the end.
Watch out for the pigman,
he looks like a meme in disguise.
“It’s a warning, an unflinching assessment of the vastness and insignificance of this
life, is precisely counterbalanced by their lesson, which models the resilience that this understanding demands. ‘Demolition Row’ is persistent, concise, and alarmingly physical.”
This blustery belter is vintage Metz. Full blast ahead. The track
featured on a split 7” with London-based group Adult Life.
From Dylan’s Desolation Row
to Metz’s Demolition Row…
Once I learned that this startling belter is about the horrible exploitation of human
beings by ferocious money sharks this jagged jackhammer blew my mind even harder than I heard it the first time before knowing about the band’s inspiration for this slam.
Expect rabid guitars, doom-and-gloom vocals, and frantic
twists and turns until the chaotic finale. Post-punk at
its razorblade best.
Jeen: “It’s about letting yourself drift in the flow of everything and hanging on as hard as you can to what makes the shitty parts more tolerable…I was thinking of that Hunter S. Thompson quote, “buy the ticket, take the ride.” It was written in April 2021, which was a rough part of last year for me. I needed to write something that reminded me to tread lightly, to forget about the heaviness of everything.
After only one spin, my ears told me that Chemical Emotion is an bewitching pop doozy. Jeen‘s emotive voice bewitches right away, the mid-tempo cadence emphasizes the meditative reflection perfectly, the compelling chorus brings Alanis Morissette to mind, and overall the orchestral sonority and the layered harmonies lead to a thrilling triumph.
Oscar Mic wrote this song after witnessing the horrific violence of
psycho Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on the news. All proceeds of
the song weent to Save The Children’s Ukraine Appeal.
We Are Ukrainian is a vivid hp-rap-pop anthem featuring steel drums
and timpani balancing somewhere between Roots Manuva and Mr. Scruff.
“Fleeing people running scared, so tell me Where’s the justice? Our leaders say they care,
tell me can you trust this? Urban warfare, your home’s done and dusted, Aiming at the
public, they wouldn’t? They just did,”
Last month Beth Rettig, frontwoman of British electro rockers Blindness launched her solo project WHERE WE SLEEP with two appealing songs, Veins & Crawl. And here’s another new one. THE FIRST ONE is a dusky and mighty-bass-loaded reverberation, turning darker, intenser and groovier with every spin. Catch the ominous, yet inescapable fatal attraction vibe right here…
Beth Rettig, the flamboyant frontwoman of British electro force Blindness has officially started her solo project called WHERE WE SLEEP today with two shadowy tracks: VEINS and CRAWL. Both songs create an atmospheric and ambient ambiance that activates, immediately your mind’s romantic side. ‘Veins’ is a groovy, relation-related reflection sounding like Beth Rettig is fronting Garbage on one of their moodiest moments. Yes, at times her strangely warm voice has that same, heartfelt tone of Shirley Manson‘s wonderful vox. Second cut ‘Crawl’ has a slower and dreamier pace, similar to the mellow reveries on Blindess‘ last year’s The Monsoon E.P. I guess you already know what to do. Dim the lights, relax and absorb these dusky electronic waves on your headphones…
Sparkling Italian synth-guitar-pop act THE BANKROBBER is centered
around siblings Giacomo and Maddalena Oberti. Turn Up The Volume is
a vivid fan since their 2018 album Missing with its effervescent shaped
pop-ular tunes without frontiers.
This year the band came back with a stellar new 6-track EP, named LIGHTERS and is voted Best EP of 2022 by Turn Up The Volume.
Say no more.
Enough reasons to have a chat with capobanda Giacomo about the EP
but also about their Euro tour, a scary night in France, The Clash (of course),
the siblings’ inspirational father and more.
But, as usual, we start an interview with a piece of music. Here’s one of my
fav tracks off the EP where they went from bankrobbers to bankrockers.
When and how did THE BANKROBBER started its musical journey?
“We started as a band many years ago, playing the songs we loved. We had
the rehearsal room in the cellar under the house, after the first gigs we wanted
to start writing our songs and over the years the project has changed shape
up to today’s line up.”
Who came up with the band’s name and is there story behind?
“We were kids and we mostly listened to punk music. We had a list of names
from songs or album by artists we loved like “Shadow Play” by Joy Division and “Bankrobber” by The Clash. I decided for The Bankrobber because it sounded great
to me and it still does, I also love the meaning so I really like our band’s name.”
Your father was in a prog rock band in the 70s and now his daughter and
son are making music for some time. Were you inspired by your dad?
“Sure! We grew up in a house full of music and records so it helped a lot
to build our passion for music and our creativity. He also always bought
us the records we wanted and encouraged to make music but without
Father Oberti on the far left – drummer for
with prog-rock band Men Of Lake in the 70s
Which of your songs would you pick to introduce
THE BANKROBBER to people who never heard of you?
“Hard question! I think our music has a soft romantic side and a more energetic side,
so I will probably would say “Blood” which was released between the two albums.”
The brand new EP ‘LIGHTERS’ is a great work of pop
excellence. Does the title relate to the 6 songs?
“Actually it’s not, we are going to release another EP called “Lovers” and the full album’s title will be Lighters and Lovers. We chose this name from one of the songs we were producing for the record but then we decided to save it for a future release.”
With song titles like ‘Kill My Name’, ‘Hate Me’, ’Bury Me Softly’
and ‘Leah Dies’ it’s like the EP is not really a happy one.
“We define this new work something between Dark and romantic, there are often
both elements. introspective, abstract and dark lyrics that somehow speak of love.”
WHITE SKIN is my absolute fav piece.
What’s the song about?
“White Skin is a love song about distance. A love letter.”
“The video for ‘White Skin’ is top too.
What did you want to express with the clip?”
“To get a more precise answer we should ask my sister who conceived and directed
the video but it is set during prom and she wanted to give the protagonist an almost magical aura to make the story dreamy and romantic.”
Next year another EP named LOVERS is coming out.
What can you already reveal about it ?
“It’s going to be a five songs EP, we produced everything in the same
period so the whole project sounds heterogeneous but with common
We can also say that there will be a feat. In one of the songs.”
Any anecdotes about your recent Euro tour?
“We are very happy to be back after two years without concerts.
During this tour everything went very well except for a couple of scary
accommodations and a crazy adventure by night. We were in France and
we almost had to cross the country in one day. So after the concert we
headed back to the next city but we were too tired and we looked for
rooms to rest a bit.
At one point we entered the parking lot of a motel to see if there was the
possibility of staying overnight when we realize that the gate had closed
behind us blocking us inside.
No one was answering at the motel’s phone number so we
had to wait for someone to come in or leave. We decided to
sleep in the van while we waited and after a few hours
a very drunk man came in opening the gate and leading
us to freedom!”
What’s the best track/album you heard all year?
“I loved Skinty Fia by Fontaines D.C.”
Suppose you were asked to cover a Xmas carol,
which one would it be and how would it sound?
“Christmas songs sound too happy for us, haha. Actually, I like almost
all Christmas tunes but I don’t really know if I don’t know if I could make
a version with our sounds while keeping the spirit but let’s try with “The Christmas Song ” by Nat King Cole.”
Which track will you play when the clock
strikes midnight on 31 December.
“This is unpredictable! It will depend on the moment
but I think I would put something really powerful.”
Name three things you really want to happen in 2023?
“In terms of projects I’m building my production studio and I hope to work
a lot in it, I also would love to play with my band at some great festivals and
of course, I want to feel good with my friends and family.”
Thank you for this interview, Giacomo!
May the road rise with The Bnakrobber in 2023.
Yesterday came the incredible news, totally unexpected, with this
message on his Twitter account that MARK LANEGAN passed away…
“Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney,
Ireland. A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived
by his wife Shelley. No other information is available at this time. We ask Please respect
the family privacy.”
The unique bariton voice and terrific songwriter born on November 25, 1964 in Ellensburg, Washington had a roller-coaster career along with Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Gutter Twins (with Greg Dulli), with countless collaborations (with Isobel Campbell, Kira Skov, The Twilight Sisters, The Walkabouts, Soulsavers and plenty more) and with, most of all, his 12 remarkable solo albums.
He was a 24/7 artist who also lived as fast as he could during the 90s and early 2000s, at times with life-threatening consequences. He credited Courtney Love for paying 1 year of his rehab in the late 90s.
Last year, in March – being clean and healty for more than a decade – he caught Covid-19 in a devastating degree. In a book called Devil In Coma a few months later he described his comatose battle with the virus that almost killed him.
“From the moment I was brought out of my chemically induced sleep and was told what had happened and where I had been, I was determined to survive this nightmare, even though I had very little say, actually, no say in the matter, and had zero ammo to fight with.” The cause of his premature death isn’t revealed yet, but that bloody virus made him very vulnerable.
To salute this phenomenal rock warrior I picked
15 career-spanning highlights and called the playlist…
VIOLET NOX is an experimental electronic tandem from Boston – Dez DeCarlo and
Andrew Abrahamson, from Boston – who collaborate frequently with other artists. They operate sonically somewhere in a bright void between earth and outer space where they create synth symphonies for dreamers, romantics and all of us who want to escape from reality now and then, enjoying relaxing and mind-pleasing soundtracks.
Intriguing, right? Absolutely. Discover more about these architects of transcendent trips in stereo in this upcoming chat. But first, as usual, Turn Up The Volume starts an Q & A with a piece of music. In these case, listen to one of the highlights of Violet Nox‘s stargazing 2022 EP ‘Eris Awakes‘.
When and how did VIOLET NOX start its musical journey?
DEZ: “The idea for the project was originally inspired by John Coltrane‘s music.
One night when listening to Coltrane, the music clicked with me deeply and I
understood the improvisational space he was coming from.
I really wanted to create a project that was experimental combining electronic
sounds. In 2016, Karen Zanes and I got together with Eric Jackson, an electronic
drummer, and Violet Nox was born!”
What’s the story behind your project’s name?
DEZ: “Violet, is a very high frequency color and energy that I love.
Nox came from the word “Equinox” meaning change, transformation,
new beginnings, reset.”
Which artists is your work influenced by and why?
DEZ: “I’m heavily influenced more by life experiences that transform
me and melt into musical sounds and patterns. I like sitting in silence,
taking space, then creating from a blank page.”
ALEXIS:“The artists who may have influenced my contributions to Violet Nox
include: Can, Albert Ayler, Brian Eno, Silver Apples, Konono Nº1 & Sun Ra.”
ANDREW: “I think that is something that unites Dez and I in the creative process,
the idea of starting from a blank page as much as possible. In my mind we’re making functional music, so the mental effects of things like binaural beats and extended
drones are more of an influence to me than particular artists or genres.”
. You’re an indie DIY act. What does that mean in reality?
DEZ: “Everything, really. Andrew and I both came from punk rock backgrounds.
We record all our own music, create our marketing and publicity and manage our
press contacts. We also produce our own events. Community is very important
We have a team of solid amazing friends who we work with that create videos
for songs and visuals for our live performances. A big shout out to Allison
Tanenhaus and DebStep for all their creative input and help with Violet Nox!
It’s a lot of energy networking, connecting with people, releasing your records,
organizing shows, but it’s all possible! I highly encourage any artists who are
waiting for things to happen, to take the lead and do it yourself!
We have been lucky to have some great small independent labels release music
for us too! UK labels: Reverb Worship and Sleep Fuserecords, USA Infinity Records,
and German labels, Aumega Project and 23 SWRecords-which is a sub-label of Aumega Project.
We also had 2 songs included on the recent German compilation “Empire of the 4 Moons, Gruselthon records. We released various remixes with UK duo “The Deckadent Movement” and Boston artist J. Bagist.”
. ANDREW: “So many talented people beyond the band contribute so maybe
a Do It Together ethic is more accurate. I’d say Do It Ourselves but DIO is taken.”
Which of your songs would you pick to introduce
VIOLET NOX to people who never heard of you?
DEZ: “I’d say “Eris” from our Eris Wakes EP that came out last March.”
ANDREW: “I’m going to say “Wolfe Visitor” off of ‘Whispering Galaxy’ just
because I went back through our catalog to answer this question and
forgot how much I like it.”
This year saw the release of your excellent ‘ERIS WAKES’ EP.
Are the songs related or are all six standing on their own?
DEZ: “The songs are definitely connected with more of a space, star, galaxy vibe for sure.”
ANDREW: “Writing and recording that EP was a transformational period for the band artistically. For me that struggle toward a new sound is what unites the songs. The Eris Wakes has other meanings but it captures that well.”
. Who/what is ERIS?
DEZ: “Eris is the Greek goddess of strife, discord and chaos. She is the patron Saint of chaotic creation, rebellious, transformative, awakening, the truth-teller, she is pure fire. Eris is also one of the first dwarf planets to be discovered in the solar system.”
Who developed the EP’s artwork and what
did you want to express with the image?
JEFF: “My name is Jeff Bartell and I’m an artist living in Brooklyn, NY and I created the artwork for ‘Eris Wakes‘. Like with any artwork I do for music projects, I sought to create something thematically fitting and visually satisfying in terms of connecting with the overall album or sonic expression.
In the case of this particular record, I wanted to balance some sense of the chaos, while blending that with a sense of surreal dreaminess. I think this dichotomy is represented in the album and now, the artwork.”
Artwork ‘Eris Awakes’ EP (stream below)
Suppose your music was the soundtrack of
a movie, which one would it be?
DEZ: “From the “Eris Wakes” album I would say “Spaceport 5.”
ANDREW: “I’d say “Senzor” from “Empire of the 4 Moons” Gruselthon Records Germany, since that whole comp is already sort of a soundtrack to a science fiction novel of the
same name by Enko Landmann.”
What’s the best track and album you heard this year?
ANDREW: “If I only get one, what I’ve had on regular repeat is Taravana
by Luigi Tozzi off Deep Blue: Volume 3 on Hypnus Records. Anything on Hypnus if I get more than one.”
NOELL: “Best album Cat le Bon “Pompeii” and best
track “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” by Roy Ayer’s”
If you were asked to cover
a Xmas song which one would it be?
ANDREW: “If my hand was forced I’d opt for all tracks
of the William Shatner Christmas Album simultaneously.”
DEZ: “The Chipmunk Song.”
NOELL: “Whams! Last Christmas for the win.
The music video for this song is amazing.
Go watch it!”
Name 3 things you really want to happen in 2023.
DEZ: “We would like to release a full album which we plan to do in late Spring 2023.
We definitely will release more videos and remixes. We would love to tour more and possibly performing in Europe would be the dream!”
NOELL: “In 2023 I would like to see Global Action and attention towards Climate
change, women and trans rights, the end of Ukraine crisis, a resolution to Iran’s
civil unrest, Somalia’s famine. Covid is still with us! I would like to see more people
wear a mask. Lastly, on a personal level, I just want to hang out with more cats!”
ANDREW: “I can’t get the reins around just 3 things on a world scale so I’m going to restrain my picks to what I’d like to happen in my personal realm of music. For that much simpler 3: I’d like to see collaborations spawn collaborations. I’d like to be near people listening and seeing in ways that surprise them. I want to remember as much of it as possible.”
Thank you Dez, Andrew, Noell ad Jeff for this chat.
May the road rise with Violet Nox in 2003!