Who is going to sift through all the new music in the world to help us find diamonds ?

You might be thinking, Ken, you run a music review page, why would you want to direct people to other pages with the same function? Because I don’t do this for financial gain. I do it to share music that moves me with the world. To help support bands that you need to be listening to. I have continued to try and get better and grow. There are things I feel really good about but the format I do well isn’t everything and isn’t for everyone. I wanted to share some of the pages I am going to and finding great bands and ideas on how I can be better at what I do. In the end we all have the same goal and that is sharing music we believe in to help bands we love get a wider audience. I hope this can also act as a guide for bands looking to share their music and get press. Bands, if you are not sending a copy of your album to reviewers, you are doing yourself a great disservice. I can’t speak for everyone, but personally bands that reach out and interact with me are the ones I am thinking about first. Take the first step.

http://www.obscuraundead.com/?fbclid=IwAR0ngAAcj75grPhZ0FgHHPMm5n0RBslN5UM0g426Q-OkMNS5YsBqm41wuzw

Obscura Undead – I love this site. They are always posting and do a lot in terms of news and happenings. They focus mostly on Goth/Industrial/Synth and keep right on the cutting edge. Megan and Sherri put out some of the best review videos around which are always interesting and have a fresh take. High production values and lots of personality and humor.

https://postgothic.com/?fbclid=IwAR0wD86xZRLpGEtH2aiFCM82aWBGYxNx2tadGC7J58R0NQfu5-0G8Wfb50c

Post Gothic – Run by Oskar Terramortis who has been a part of the European goth scene for ages. This page focuses on Goth and modern traditional in particular. Very in depth and knowledgeable, Oskar knows his business and is a true pro writer. When he says something is good you can feel confident it has been through the paces and proven.

Industrial Island – This is an awesome podcast run by Michael J. Carrasquillo formerly of Wax Trax. Focus is on Industrial which is an area I am never as up to speed on. Michael knows everyone in the business and is always up to date on hottest new tracks. He spent long enough with the label to know it when he hears it.

http://dreadmusicreview.com/?fbclid=IwAR1xKdILuH3VRBf1dFrDKqDolqHzd3ATZyGUDoB5dM3dLRwURbNNAZMZHYk

Dread Music Review – This is a more eclectic page with a pretty wide range from Metal/Goth/EDM/Hip Hop. Really professional look that covers a ton of ground.

https://www.post-punk.com/?fbclid=IwAR0jwHdeGDDTjDNZzz6okDcn1sfzzi1C5VexCGZMGpysx63WQKGws82eYvs

Post-Punk.com – This is a widely followed page run by Alex Baker along with contributors Frank Deserto and Andi Harriman . It’s widely followed for a reason….it’s really good. Great writing and huge reach. A lot of bands do premiers with Alex because the level of quality here gets everything he releases in front of a lot of eyeballs. I had the good fortune to meet him when I was in Berlin and he is a wonderful human who cares about music.

http://catvsbat.podbean.com/?fbclid=IwAR1mlhGfb1kkY1XcKzy6NMCOvyx1Ko-HZI2hLqsuGiBRPU42RP1v8WurOB0

Cat vs Bat – This is a wonderful podcast that does the latest in music reviews as well as discussion or a variety of music culture topics and interviews with artists. Always a lively conversation and I’ve found some real gems listening to the show.

Michael Nagy – Runs an awesome youtube channel that does reviews focused on Industrial but has some goth/metal mixed in. I really like his interview style and they always are shot with a professional look and interesting questions that draw great background out of your favorite new bands.

http://worldofgothmagazin.wixsite.com/goth?fbclid=IwAR2FDOI0mjHql4wgoY5Qz5mRqzo2ofc6GyBXp_Hcen_6TPY5y2Czj1Onuyg

World of Goth – I really like this online zine for the attention to aesthetic and goth culture in addition to in depth reviews. It really comes at the goth scene as a culture rather than just a music style which adds a nice element.

https://www.theinfidelnetwerk.com/?fbclid=IwAR2yX74FPv9HUuS_WJoXIQoZ6T_B1tTDqBoR2cPMDf3etn4GDR0Qm0HyAX0

The Infidel Network – A really cool promotion sharing page with a pretty wide range of styles. Videos, interviews, reviews they really cast a wide net but aren’t afraid to get into some of the more experimental music.

https://luminousdash.be/?fbclid=IwAR0zoHYu3XfbUbvsgLA6hzD8RDRIJTxs9yxN4pcAQvAkiq8AUPMuwATs3sA

Luminous Dash – Cool online zine from Belgium with a focus on Indie and minimalist. They do news coverage, interviews, reviews with a lot of great European stuff I don’t otherwise see.

http://www.elektrospank.com/?fbclid=IwAR004-vjJuFSWG_dzh5CnXtX0706og1z7wqYXsMOi7YBSi0OWnDBzNvlU5o

ElektroSpank – Online music magazine covering Goth/EDM/Industrial. They do a really cool format and their reviews are longer and pretty deep. In fact i should really figure out how he sets this page up 🙂

https://whitelight-whiteheat.com/?fbclid=IwAR0-WgkohSVc5ETdaUp86tQdMoLmpJZAWeSDEwXcBL-BOfYhZ82zgUFAzOc

White Light/White Heat – In a way I think they really set the standard. It looks about as pro as you can get. when i was first starting out i got feedback from them because I really like their page. They handle an enormous amount of content and do a lot of quick hits along with longer pieces.

Dark Music Net – Out of Germany run by my friend Michael. This page was actually the first to share Sounds and Shadows reviews before i got my own page. I feel like we really share a passion for music and doing less pieces but more in depth. Sometimes I think this page is the other side of my coin in Europe, highly recommend


Rule of Three – Incredible mix cloud Show and magazine featuring Pete Burns of Kill Shelter and Christian Schaefer. They focus on Shoegaze, Coldwave, Darkwave, Goth. Both are certified musical experts and they comb through the vast wasteland to bring you the goods. This is a must listen

MusicShock by Alex Shock Music does a wonderful blog full of passion and fire from Alex Dematteis in England. Someone who cares about bands and new music.

https://musicshockworld.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/my-review-the-amaranth-my-turn-again-2019/?fbclid=IwAR0R9gJe6CAm6LHDZ6e4-VHq7GcpRv36CiASIoUjs_Ce2NDuZO_Jc–XLcA

Other Voices – Great review page that focuses on new music and does in depth reviews

https://www.facebook.com/other.voices.50/about?lst=1673700987%3A100040381777694%3A1575530763

Dark wave Publications – Run by the amazing Veronica of the band Death Loves Veronica. This page is the real deal. A great musician reviewing bands she loves. It’s a must read

Sounds and Shadows – Wait, you are already here 😉

Review of the Cold Transmissions Festival At Blue Shell 7/13/19

I am very open about our special relationship with Cold Transmission Records from Frankfurt Germany. I feel like their musical family approach to releasing Post Punk/Dark Wave/Electronic/Goth music is a template for how new labels can grow bands through a personal relationship and passion for distributing the art they are creating for new fans. Andreas Herrman, Suzy Herrman, and Yvonne Kiel have been working to build something wonderful through an emphasis on quality of music and artistic freedom for their artists which through word of mouth is growing into one of the fastest up and coming labels in this scene. This concert was special and represented what is possible when someone has a vision that puts personal gain aside and instead fosters an environment for unity, beauty, and friendship that brought together fans of this music style from all over the world. We came from America to meet friends from Germany, France, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Canada, Sweden, Israel, Turkey and many more all in one club to celebrate without pretense the music we love and what Cold Transmission has accomplished in bringing all these people together. It’s really hard to express in words in the digital age just how special that was and what it felt like to be a part of it. You see that was the secret, anyone could do this. It was one of the most welcoming inclusive environments I’ve ever witnessed at a show, and I have seen a lot. If you loved music there is a place for you here and it made my head spin thinking about the possibilities for how do I make this happen in America. Because everyone needs this. Everyone deserves it.

Lets talk about the epic lineup that was brought together for this show. One of the things that was a cultural shock for me as an American. The show was in Cologne Germany at this wonderful club called the Blue Shell. Doors opened at 7pm (Still quite light out during the summer) 1st band started at 7:30 pm sharp. This was no exaggeration. In America the idea of getting “goth” people to show up before 10:30 pm is laughable. Even when the event says doors at 8pm. So when we showed up at 7:20 pm thinking we will have a long wait before music we saw a packed sold out house that went from the stage to the back wall. People were engaged and clamoring to get to that stage. I was speechless to see this level of passion for new music and the energy and excitement was crackling through the air from the moment the doors opened.

A shot from outside the Blue Shell! That club was full. This was the overflow. (Spot Rachel for 151 bonus points)

First up was Crying Vessel. I had been extremely excited to see Slade play live for a while and it did not disappoint. Hearing the snapping drive of the live drums Basil was laying down really added an urgency and and fierceness to the melodic beauty of Slade’s singing. The sound system was honed right from the get go and each lyric cut across the distance of a room full of excited fans. Slade reached up with a bit more edge and length on his notes to really lift up the power of his performance. Mixed with those floating effect driving guitars this had even more of the energy and swagger that has been missing in dark wave music.

https://cryingvessel.bandcamp.com/

Setlist: Intro, Empty Glass, Lovers in Paradise, Aftershock, If it all was Real, Killing Time, Kiss the Fire, Dig Deep, Illusions, The Second Sleep

Crying Vessel – photo credit to Jean-Francis Galler
Crying Vessel – Photo credit Jean- Francois Galler

Band number two was IAMTHESHADOW featuring Karl Morten Dahl of Antipole. What an amazing team up. It was at this point I was really struck by how diverse the sounds of the bands on display were. Pedro Code has such a deep rich voice and passionate delivery. The crowded room was drawn in to such a level of intimacy and enveloped in the dark crooning style. Karl’s signature syncopated guitar sound added a unique flavor to Rui and Victors pulsing rhythm section to give this show a one of a kind experience. The rises and falls were so dynamic as Pedro lifted and diminished the power of his voice without much movement. (The stage was tightly packed to give little room for dancing). The beauty of this album which i have reviewed before is powerful and staggering. However I found myself overwhelmed with emotion hearing it raw and exposed this this format and looking out at a captivated audience swaying in time by the dynamic waves of sound washing over us. Then as a surprise the band played two Antipole songs with Pedro providing his resonant artistry to treat the crowd to a performance never heard on stage or album. When they played my favorite Antipole song “Closer” and I heard Pedro’s voice burn forth through the crowd I was overwhelmed. Breathtaking. Hard to image how seamlessly these two bands wove their songs and styles together to make something new.

Set list:

01. into your eyes 02. Fall apart 03. Everything in this Nothingness 04.the skin 05.october novel(Antipole) 06. Closer( Antipole) 07. This violence 08. Embracing theFall

www.iamtheshadow.bandcamp.com/

https://antipole.bandcamp.com/

IAMTHESHADOW – photo credit Jean-Francios Galler
IAMTHESHADOW – photo credit Jean-Francios Galler

Playing third was Joy/Disaster from France a band I had limited exposure to before the festival. Having them play after IAMTHESHADOW ended up being a master stroke. All the eloquent subtle beauty was left behind for a blast of pure energy and intensity. It started as a dark foreboding creep with Nicolas Rohr’s echoing rhythmic chanting solemnly floating on top of Soupa Rundstadlers room swelling bass lines. The air crackled with intensity from the contrast. Following a performance like IAMTHESHADOWS was no small feat and Joy/Disaster delivered with a show stopping set full of lashing venom differing from the their album. It was a breakneck march of driven tempo charging up a hill in battle cadence . Because this was the set I had the least expectation for I think it was the one that left me most moved. I was expecting post punk and was assaulted with burning punk aggression played with precision and sweeping melody. The performance was capped by a touching moment where the band presented Andy with a signed guitar for his 50th Birthday present to the ovation of the crowd. Again showing the emotion and sense of family this label has with it’s artists.

Set List:

CRITICAL PLACE
PARANOIA
FADE AWAY
STRANGERS
KISSES & PAIN
OMEGA
EXTINCTION
DEALER OF LIFE
LOBOTOMY
RESURRECTION
HUMAN ROBOTS

https://joy-disaster.bandcamp.com/

Joy/Disaster – Photo by Jean- Francois Galler
Joy/Disaster – Photo by Jean- Francois Galler
A touching moment with Andy and Nicolas Rohr

Closing the bands for the night was Silent Runners a band I had some knowledge of before the festival. I can tell you the album did not prepare me for the quirky and intense performance they had live on stage. Hailing from the Netherlands singer Dolf Smolenaers oozed with stage presence and connected with the crowd setting up a blistering atmospheric set of laser sharp texture and melodic longing. The off kilter drum beats and and carefully timed guitar and keyboard lines left me in mind of Factory records Happy Mondays. Stanley’s guitar riffs came in varying waves and set the boundaries of the controlled chaos. It surged at you from all over the stage while the crowd swayed and stared in rapture. What a sizzling close to a night of amazing live music

Setlist: Human Capital, Wilderness, Dark Mountain, I Walk Away Again The Knife, Roadkill, Forgotten, Through The Night, Cavemen.

/silentrunners.bandcamp.com/

As the bands finished the fun was just beginning. The dance floor flooded and Rule of Three with Christian and Pete started spinning wax with expert hands and discerning ears. Epic set list below

Rule of Three – Photo by Jean- Francois Galler

Bad Sector – Negative (edit)M!R!M – Liebe Machen [ Kill Shelter Remix ]The Soft Moon – Black (extended)Neon Electronics – Invisible Man [ Kill Shelter Remix ]Kill Shelter – Get Down ft. The Shyness of StrangersTempers – Strange Harvest *Agent Side Grinder – Doppelgänger (extended):Wumpscut: – Fear In Motion [ Remyl Remix ] (edit)FJERNLYS – Lunar Sphere (edit)Kill Shelter – Bodies ft. Buzz Kull (extended)Soft Kill – Whirl *Nitzer-Ebb.com – I’m Undone *

The night was finished by Cologne Disorder blasting everyone’s favorite retro dance hits until we couldn’t dance anymore.

Rachel being a dance commander

This was the first Cold Transmission Festival but with it’s resounding success it certainly won’t be the last. I felt something special in the Blue Shell that night. I know everyone around me felt the same. People traveling a great distance to feel a part of the magic they created. We came from many places, spoke many languages, but we were all united in what Suzy, Andy, and Yvonne have built. Bands, Dj’s , Music Writers, and fans. Basking in the connection and glow of the music we love. This was a experience I will hold in my heart and my mind until my dying day. When you get the chance to be a part of something magical like this I can only say grab it and hold on as tight as you can. Moments like this are what make existence worth while and it is never too late for you to be a part of something monumental.

Sounds and Shadows with Cold Transmission
Gallit ( Highway 7 Radio ) Karl (Antipole) Pedro (IAMTHESHADOW) Me 😉