Alternative Music Friday
Post punk, coldwave band Super Besse was formed in 2013 in Minsk by Maksim Kulsha (vocals, guitar), Alexander Sinica (bass) and Pavel Mikhalok (keyboards).
The band has recorded three albums: 63610* (2015; the song Holod made it to the soundtrack of "Hotel Mumbai"), La Nuit* (2017) and the latest, Un Rêve, released on 9 March 2020 by the Riga-based label I Love Records. On the new album the artists, currently performing as a duo, serve up a mix of bold bass, restless guitar, deep techno and vocals. The album features songs with lyrics in Russian, dealing with some existential topics such as identity and reflection on life. The warning hidden in the unsettling rhythm can also be read without the knowledge of the language.
“In the UK we don’t know much about Belarus apart from the fact that it was once part of the Soviet thing and seems to be a bit of a strict place to live. This hasn’t stopped Super Besse who are three skinny youths (…) who have dug deep into music history to take inspiration from Factory Records and with their stripped down, bass driven, post punk of the early eighties and translate it through their own uncertain world of the modern times to create a thrilling and quite brilliant music that transcends its roots to create something utterly modern and brilliant," reads the UK blog Louder Than War.
On February 5, 2021, the band released the remix compilation Un Rêve by DJs and electronic music creators, going even closer to the dance scene.
One of the most prominent German bands on the global alternative scene. At ŁF4K they will present songs from their successful album released in January 2021, Vertigo Days.
Founded in 1989, the group has undergone several stylistic transformations in its history: from heavy metal, to dark indie rock and electronic music. The unique structure of the new album, music combining melancholic pop, sonic electronics, hypnotic Krautrock and driftwork ballads, and finally the participation of international guests are all not only a new step in the band’s career, but also a confirmation of the unique character of the group, its musical openness and constant search. We wanted to question the concept of a band by adding other voices and ideas, other languages, and also question or blur the idea of national identity – this is how the band’s leader Markus Archer describes the album in the material published by Morr Music.
In the seven years that have passed since the release of their earlier album. Close To The Glass, the band members have been involved in other musical projects, made guest appearances in songs by other artists, run a record label (Alien Transistor), composed music for films, and organised a festival (Alien Disko). These divergent paths are revisited on Vertigo Days in a surprising way, which becomes evident in the structure based on group improvisations, with songs flowing and interpenetrating each other, and in the spirit of the album: fresh and invigorating. There is also something cinematic about Vertigo Days, reflecting the time spent working on the pieces for the album. Lieko Shiga’s cover photo has the same atmosphere.
This newfound musical openness of The Notwist was first announced by the single Ship, featuring Saya Uenon of Japanese pop duo Tenniscoats, where her anthemic vocals resound against the krautrock rhythm.
As you listen to the album, you will also meet, among others, American multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar in Oh Sweet Fire; jazz clarinetist and composer Angel Bat Dawid in the somnambulant dream pop Into The Ice Age; Argentinian songwriter Juana Molina in Al Sur or members of the Japanese brass band Zayaendo.
What is most impressive about Vertigo Days is the way the songs are combined into one long, flowing suite, a long-distance musical experience. It is meant to be reminiscent of live performances, when artists mix and match their songs in unexpected ways. This philosophy is also reflected in the lyrics, which make up one long poem. As the situation changed so dramatically, while we were working on the record, the theme of 'the impossible can happen anytime,' more about personal relationships in the beginning, became a global and political story, Markus Archer explains. This regularity is also visible in the poetic abstraction of the lyrics: in each of the songs, the deeply private is transferred to the universal level. The only certain thing is that there is no certainty. To remain in uncertainty requires courage. It is also the situation in which we feel most alive, and Vertigo Days is an album that is full of life, enthusiasm and the love for music and community.