Tag: Beborn Beton (Page 1 of 2)


Making up for lost time and revenue since 2020, the music industry really went to town on their various income streams in 2023…

Albums were being released in multiple coloured vinyl editions with the same content, sometimes as many as eight versions… while this helped in inflating physical chart positions for marketing purposes, it also gave an incorrect perception of success. As Stephen Morris from NEW ORDER once remarked to Smash Hits back in 1983: “If you believe in the charts, then you may as well believe in fairies…”

With Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino declaring that concert ticket prices were generally too low and that artists could easily “charge a bit more”, this was exactly what quite a few did and there was a noticeable price hike observed across all levels over the year.

But what about the music? This year’s song listing was quite straightforward to compile, with a smaller shortlist compared to previous years with DURAN DURAN, KITE, PISTON DAMP, LEATHERS, DELERIUM and LADYTRON missing the final 30.

Just a note that ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has never compiled an albums list, due to long form releases now having a much longer gestation period than in the past. Therefore, songs are a much better representation of the music from a calendar year. If you like the song, then check out the parent album or EP if applicable via your chosen music platform…

Selected from tracks available on the usual online retail platforms with a restriction of one song per artist moniker (so yes NINA, John Grant,  Finlay Shakespeare and Laura Bailey each appear twice but in different combinations), here are the ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 SONGS OF 2023 listed in alphabetical order…


Hailing from Melbourne in Australia, Brigitte Bardini is the latest artist to embrace her dark side having begun as an acoustic singer songwriter. Moving away from the dreampop and shoegaze of her earlier material, ‘Start A Fire’ captured an alluring gothique on top of a gritty dance tempo while simultaneously haunting and melodic. The stylised rage was sinister stuff but aurally and visually absorbing.

Available on the BRIGITTE BARDINI single ‘Start A Fire’ via Ruby Valley Records


BEBORN BETON Dancer In The Dark

Not a rework of Bruce Springsteen, the brilliant ‘Dancer In The Dark’ saw BEBORN BETON managing to out Camouflage CAMOUFLAGE with an infectious pop sensibility that more than likely came from front man and lyric writer Stefan Netschio’s love of DURAN DURAN. With another Cold War looming as if The Berlin Wall never fell, ‘Dancer In The Dark’ was a message to remain positive in the face of adversity.

Available on the BEBORN BETON album ‘Darkness Falls Again’ via Dependent Records



A product of lockdown, BLACKCARBURNING is the solo vehicle of Mark Hockings with the lead singer of MESH taking on multiple roles including programming and production. The spikey throbbing energy of ‘The Mirror’ provided a dark disco highlight away from the parent band’s template. “I’m just generally a fan of arpeggiated bass lines” he said, “I don’t think you can go far wrong with a repetitive sequence and a Roland drum machine”.

Available on the BLACKCARBURNING album ‘Watching Sleepers’ via COP International



With Lloyd Cole “excited to still be finding new methods, new perspectives, new sounds”, the standout song ‘The Idiot’ from his Chris Hughes’ produced album ‘On Pain’ gave a touching synth-laden narrative on the relationship between David Bowie and Iggy Pop as they relocated to Berlin in 1976 in an imagined conversation as the pair escaped their narcotic dependency while cycling to the studio and discothèque.

Available on the LLOYD COLE album ‘On Pain’ via earMUSIC


CREEP SHOW The Bellows

A supergroup comprising of John Grant and the trio WRANGLER comprising of Stephen Mallinder, Ben Benge Edwards and Phil Winter, CREEP SHOW released their acclaimed debut album ‘Mr Dynamite’ in 2018. Utilising a punchy backing track, ‘The Bellows’ was like a blippy PET SHOP BOYS with layers of treated and vocodered vocals before being countered by enticing Middle Eastern resonances in the synth solo.

Available on the CREEP SHOW album ‘Yawning Abyss’ via Bella Union


DAWN TO DAWN Seventh Floor

Their first new track from DAWN TO DAWN since their 2022 debut album ‘Postcards From The Sun To The Moon’, the Montreal trio of solo artist Tess Roby with THE BEAT ESCAPE’s Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee conjured images of headlights on night drives with the shimmering story of love and lust that was ‘Seventh Floor’. With dreamy synthscapes and hypnotic drum machine, this was a wonderfully understated dance number.

Available on the DAWN TO DAWN digital single ‘Seventh Floor’ via SSURROUNDSS



Creating their own “Feraltropolis”, the palette of tools on ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ saw FERAL FIVE use traditional instruments, electronica and AI voicing in a quirky but accessible fashion for a commentary on today’s strangely dystopian post-truth world. Exploring the theme of light pollution, the fine squelch laden ‘Silver Sky’ saw great vocals and backing reminiscent of INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS OF POP and DUBSTAR meeting GOLDFRAPP.

Available on the FERAL FIVE album ‘Truth Is The New Gold’ via Reckless Yes


FRAGRANCE. Much More Like A Wave – M!R!M Remix

Matthieu Roche is the enigmatic Parisian behind FRAGRANCE. whose debut ‘Dust & Disorders’ was expanded in 2023 with five new tracks. The first remix from it came in the shape of an excellent ‘Much More Like A Wave’ rework by London-based Italian producer M!R!M. “I love his take on the song” said Roche, “I always felt that the chorus of this song could work as an anthem and he definitely achieved that with his remix”

Available on the FRAGRANCE. digital single ‘Much More Like A Wave – M!R!M Remix’ via Sugarcane Recordings


GLÜME Dangerous Blue

Following the acclaim for her debut ‘The Internet’ and her first liev appearences, the second Glüme album ‘Main Character’ with high profile guests such as Sean Ono Lennon and Rufus Wainwright was set to elevate her to the next level. However, things did not quite work out that way with health and financial concerns by the end of the year. ‘Dangerous Blue’ was one of the sparkling highlights despite its cooing melancholy.

Available on the GLÜME album ‘Main Character’ via Italians Do It Better



Formally of synth-tinged Portland band FRINGE CLASS, Madeline Goldstein presented her best single yet in ‘Seed Of Doubt’ to launch her ‘Other World’ EP. With a wider narrative on “the restlessness of alienation and isolation, the longing to move, to feel power, and to flee”, ‘Seed Of Doubt’ was a brooding slice of gothwave in a manner tinged with some ghostly allure thanks to a haunting soprano delivery.

Available on the self-released MADELINE GOLDSTEIN EP ‘Other World’


JORI HULKKONEN featuring JOHN GRANT I’m Going To Hell

“For my 50th birthday I wanted to do something a bit special” said Jori Hulkkonen, “however, the list of realistic projects quickly narrowed down on yet another album. I did manage to invite some friends and heroes to be featured on it, though.” The album assembled an impressive supporting cast; displaying his love of PET SHOP BOYS, hearing John Grant with his rich baritone on a house-driven pop track like ‘I’m Going To Hell’ was pure joy.

Available on the JORI HULKKONEN album ‘There Is Light Hidden In These Shadows’ via Blanco & Tinto Recordings



ITALOCONNECTION’s long player ‘Nordisko’ came with a twist by paying tribute to pop from the Nordic region via a collection of cover versions. Written by Jay-Jay Johanson, his marvellous 2002 tune ‘On The Radio’ was given an airy feminine disco makeover featuring Jaia Sowden on vocals. With absorbent sequences and glistening keys, it was a fine disco friendly shapeshift from the artpop original.

Available on the ITALOCONNECTION album ‘Nordisko’ via Mordisco / Blanco Y Negro



Athens-based Finn Jaakko Eino Kalevi sought to find beauty in the chaotic nature of the everyday on his new double album ‘Chaos Magic’. One of its many highlights ‘The Chamber Of Love’ bore a resemblance to WHAM! “I wrote the song before I ever heard ‘Everything She Wants’ but the arrangement was different” the Finn said, “I love ‘Everything She Wants’ so I arranged this song sounding more like that. It is more electronic now…”

Available on the JAAKKO EINO KALEVI album ‘Chaos Magic’ via Weird World / Domino Recording Co



When artists are mutual fans, it can lead to collaborative possibilities and even ‘Lust’. KID MOXIE and NINA teamed up via Italians Do It Better to capture a seductive film-noir tension within a fantasy world with the EP launched by a cover of ‘Waiting For The Night’, a song made famous by Jennifer Lopez. With a cool air of enigmatic mystery, the downtempo synthwave treatment on ‘Lust’ exuded a sensual anticipation of consummation in their duet.

Available on the KID MOXIE & NINA EP ‘Lust’ via Italians Do It Better



KNIGHT$ What Planet Did You Come From?

The first new music from KNIGHT$ since 2021, the vibrant hook-laden Eurobeat of ‘What Planet Did You Come From? (Baby)’ threw in the kitchen sink with synth, sax and vocoder. With shades of Patrick Cowley’s work for Sylvester and Bobby Orlando’s Divine productions, it affirmed that James Knights’ Britalo was just the tonic in these difficult times despite highlighting existential issues closer to home.

Available on the KNIGHT$ EP ‘$auna Mu$ik’ via Specchio Uomo



From their third album ‘Strange Disciple’ themed around “toxic infatuation”, the fittingly titled ‘I Will Never Learn’ summed up life’s trials and tribulations in a wonderful example of why NATION OF LANGUAGE appeal so much in their glorious mix of synths, live bass, sequencers and electronic percussion. A haunting girly falsetto howl provided a beautiful touch alongside their usual NEW ORDER, OMD and ULTRAVOX influences.

Available on the NATION OF LANGUAGE album ‘Strange Disciple’ via PIAS



Having impressed with her first NEU-ROMANCER EP ‘Neue Romantika’ earlier in 2023 while touring the world with ZANIAS, Berlin-based Australian Laura Bailey ended the year with the cowbell heavy Hi-NRG romp ‘Burning Eyes’ on CURSES’ enjoyable album ‘Next Wave Acid Punx DEUX’ compilation. It made use of both her vocal and bass prowess which were less prominent on her largely instrumental debut release.

Available on the compilation album ‘Next Wave Acid Punx DEUX’ (V/A) via Eskimo Recordings


NNHMN Soldier of Beauty

As NNHMN, wife and husband “non-humans” Lee Margot and Michal Laudarg have been encapsulating these unsettling times in music. Adapting their dark electronic body style with more varied dance elements on their appropriately titled ‘Circle of Doom’ album, courtesy of a particularly hypnotic bassline, the wonderful serene glory of ‘Soldier of Beauty’ gave the viewpoint that the only honest thing to fight for is peace.

Available on the NNHMN album ‘Circle of Doom’ via Young and Cold Records


OMD Look At You Now

Derived from a Paul Humphreys demo with the working title of ‘Zimmer Frame for Andy’, this came bursting with the usual OMD hooks and was perhaps only missing a Paul Humphreys lead vocal. Lyrics such as “When the energy is gone and the feeling is just wrong” and “The power in your hand is pouring out like sand” pointed towards the ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ album’s political themes on the blind stupidity of Brexit.

Available on the OMD album ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ via 100% Records


PAGE Det Här Är Mitt Sätt

Although the ‘En Ny Våg’ album title song took the PAGE “Numanisation” process to its zenith by featuring Chris Payne, outstripping it was the excellent jaunty robopop of ‘Det Här Är Mitt Sätt’. Within its four chord progression, there were catchy riffs and some fabulous vintage Moog soloing in what was originally conceived as a homage to ‘Fade To Grey’, song which Payne co-wrote.

Available on the PAGE album ‘En Ny Våg’ via Energy Rekords


THE REMAINDER Broken Manhole Cover

As well as Neil Arthur, THE REMAINDER also comprises Liam Hutton and Finlay Shakespeare, both members of the live BLANCMANGE family. The excellent dance friendly ‘Broken Manhole Cover’ recalled LCD SOUNDSYSTEM and it was all intentional as Neil Arthur told ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK “you’ll hear me singing via a gated tremolo FX the words ‘LCD SOUNDSYSTEM’ most of the way through the song.”

Available on THE REMAINDER album ‘Evensong’ via by Blanc Check Ltd




R. MISSING All Alone With Seas

Fronted by enigmatic Sharon Shy, having released enough singles this year to make up an album, R. MISSING are in danger of falling under the radar with the bubbly electronic pop noir of ‘All Alone With Seas’ almost passing by unnoticed despite being one of their best songs of late. A long playing release, while old fashioned and not playing the modern streaming algorithms, may provide the focal point that the New York-based duo deserve.

Available on the R. MISSING single ‘All Alone With Seas’ via Terminal Echo



Covered by acts as diverse CARTER THE UNSTOBBALE SEX MACHINE and Liza Minnelli, the latest interpretation of PET SHOP BOYS stark narrative of a kept woman came via this wispy account by Swedish duo SALLY SHAPIRO. Keeping the original theme of relationship dependency close to its heart but offering an icier Nordic vision from a female perspective, Neil Tennant said “We’ve heard it! The chorus in particular sounds good”.

Available on the SALLY SHAPIRO single ‘Rent’ via Italians Do It Better


DIE SEXUAL Bound, I Rise

From out of the shadows to under the strobe lights, DIE SEXUAL are the Los Angeles-based wife-and-husband duo of Rosselinni and Anton Floriano, the latter part of BLACK LIGHT ODYSSEY who remixed the DEPECHE MODE bonus track ‘Oh Well’. Their dark electronic influences examine themes of domination and submission with the seductive ‘Bound, I Rise’ seeing the bottom switch to the top in a hypnotic EBM friendly stomper.

Available on DIE SEXUAL EP ‘Bound’ via A System Exclusive / Hush Ltd.



“It’s an absolute rip off of OMD’s ‘2nd Thought’!” admitted Finlay Shakespeare of his glorious ‘Illusion + Memory’ album highlight ‘Ready Ready’. Almost Motorik in presence with a wonderfully pulsing drive and gorgeous synth tones, our hero doesn’t refrain from thoughts about “feeling at home through just a voice on the shortwave, when in fact you don’t know where you are and you could be in the crosshairs at any time and place.”

Available on the FINLAY SHAKESPEARE album ‘Illusion + Memory’ via Alter


SIERRA Stronger

Parisian producer Annelise Morel has been quietly impressing audiences over the past few years as SIERRA with her brand of intriguing darkwave. After several EP releases, her debut album ‘A Story Of Anger’ was a major artistic leap forward. Including collaborations with Carpenter Brut and HEALTH, the standout track was her autobiographical statement ‘Stronger’.

Available on the SIERRA album ‘A Story Of Anger’ via Universal Music


SOFT CELL The Day The World Turned Day-Glo

Always adept at doing covers having had hits with ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘What’, SOFT CELL presented a brilliant electro tribute to Poly Styrene with ‘The Day The World Turned Day-Glo’. Taking a musical leaf out of ‘Sex Dwarf’ with Dave Ball making his syndrums and synths sound so menacing yet accessible, while Marc Almond delivers a vocal recalling the anguish of ‘Martin’ with sleazy sax passages resonating with the dystopian lyrics.

Available on the SOFT CELL album ‘*Happiness now completed’ via BMG


SOFTWAVE Taking Life For Granted

Despite its positive pop sound, the reflective lyrics on the second SOFTWAVE album ‘things we’ve done’ highlighted the challenges of living in a modern world full of dualities. ‘Taking Life For Granted’ saw the Danish duo of Catrine Christensen and Jerry Olsen go all ABBA-esque with someone “lacking gratitude” under attack, although the rousing chorus and a particularly joyous instrumental break gave the infinite hope.

Available on the SOFTWAVE album ‘things we’ve done’ via Electro Shock Records



A fabulous cover of the Italo flavoured Kim Wilde B-side to ‘The Second Time’ from 1984, the throbbing ‘Lovers On A Beach’ is NINA sounding sexier than ever before. Ricky Wilde said “I just thought there was a little bit more that it needed that I maybe wanted to add back in the day”. With sharp spikey edges boosting the trancey template, he provided a superb extended end section that paid homage to Giorgio Moroder in the best way possible.

Available on the RICKY WILDE X NINA album ‘Scala Hearts’ via New Retro Wave



ZANIAS Lovelife

Following one of the most traumatic periods of her life, Alison Lewis returned as her solo alter-ego Zoe Zanias to present ‘Chrysalis’.  As the title suggests, it was a rebirth. With glorious arpeggios and lush synth strings, ‘Lovelife’ was bolstered with bass guitar by live bandmate Laura Bailey aka NEU-ROMANCER while an array of pitch-shifted voice samples acted as an abstract lead vocal before the actual one kicked in.

Available on the ZANIAS album ‘Chrysalis’ via Fleisch


A selection of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s favourite music of 2023 featuring 230+ tracks has been compiled for its ‘Initial After Brilliance’ playlist

Text by Chi Ming Lai
7 December 2023

BEBORN BETON Darkness Falls Again

Formed in 1989, Germany’s BEBORN BETON released their first album proper ‘Tybalt’ in 1993 having issued three cassettes independently.

After the US only compilation album ‘Tales From Another World’ and a tour opening for APOPTYGMA BERZERK in 2002, the trio of Stefan Netschio (vocals), Stefan Tillmann (keyboards + drums) and Michael B Wagner (keyboards) went on hiatus.

The extended break did BEBORN BETON the world of good and when they returned in 2015, it was with ‘A Worthy Compensation’, their best album to date.

Produced and mixed by Olaf Wollschläger whose credits include MESH, YELLO, S.P.O.C.K, PSYCHE and MINERVE, the new long player ‘Darkness Falls Again’ takes aim at greedy capitalists and war mongering zealots hell bent on destroying the planet in order to satisfy their own fragile egos. Despite the lingering doom, the overall message is to remain positive in the face of adversity and collectively resist in order to make the world better place for all.

Reflective of the album’s title, there is a shadier austere to start; ‘My Monstrosity’ can’t help but recall 21st Century CAMOUFLAGE with the moodier build and aesthetics from their most recent album ‘Greyscale’ in particular, although the gothier vibes point to other directions and tensions.

‘Dancer in the Dark’ manages to out Camouflage CAMOUFLAGE with an infectious pop sensibility and tight rhythmic construction that actually grooves. With simple six string inflections à la ‘Violator’, it is a reminder of how catchy DEPECHE MODE were once… speaking of whom, ‘Last Chance’ comes over like DEPECHE MODE meeting Marilyn Manson in an embodiment of the narrative’s anger.

With a rich oboe tone ‘Trockenfallen Lassen’ is a Germanic ballad with the raspy air of WOLFSHEIM, but in an about turn, the brilliant ‘I Watch My Life on TV’ is shaped by hypnotic dance motifs with icy pulsating resonances while enticing synth solos show that the frame has not been broken in silence. Not an OMD cover, ‘Electricity’ swings more in a DE/VISION vein with some grit and a live drum feel, the darkness falling over a spiky chill which even throws timpani into the mix.

Declaring “God is dead” over a thumping metronomic beat, ‘Burning Gasoline’ is doomy but glorious electro-disco, a song like THE OSMONDS ‘Crazy Horses’ that highlights environmental destruction by corporations and the need to stop as “we are running out of time”.

Things don’t get much cheerier for the close as ‘I Hope You’re Not Easily Scared’ is an anti-capitalist observation. Taking many shapes including an epic orchestrated section, choppy synthbrass hooks, timpani and an eerie choral fade out, it is an ominous end but the message is got across.

Of BEBORN BETON’s socially-conscious environmentalist protest album, Stefan Netschio said to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK: “We were and are still living in a time of a multi-level crisis. So the darker tone just came naturally. Still, we hope that people will feel the strong uplifting energy of the songs that is meant to drag peoples’ minds out of this misery and give them hope that things can change for the better.”

Gloomier than its predecessor ‘A Worthy Compensation’, despite the realistic pessimism, ‘Darkness Falls Again’ is an excellent well-crafted album that offers hope.

It doesn’t wallow in its darkness, unlike more established bands that trade on collective misery. In their melodies, hooks, beats and lyrical expression, BEBORN BETON motivate the fight rather than the resignation by calling for the revolution rather than just wondering where it is…

‘Darkness Falls Again’ is released on 17th March 2023 by Dependent Records as a 48-page artbook with bonus CD, digisleeve CD, black vinyl LP and limited edition white vinyl LP as well as on the usual digital platforms, pre-order via http://lnk.spkr.media/beborn-beton-darkness





Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Chris Ruiz
14th March 2023


Stefan Netschio, Stefan Tillmann and Michael B Wagner released ‘Tybalt’, their first album proper as BEBORN BETON back in 1993.

The trio became a cult success on the alternative electronic circuit with a US tour opening for APOPTYGMA BERZERK in 2002 among their career highlights. But the sojourn across the Atlantic took its toll and BEBORN BETON went on an extended hiatus.

Returning in 2015, the comeback album  ‘A Worthy Compensation’ saw the band refreshed and present possibly their best collection of work to date.

Now 7 years on, a brand new long player ‘Darkness Falls Again’ is due in the Spring. Its first single ‘Dancer In The Dark’ makes an important statement on behalf of its parent album. With greedy capitalists and war mongering zealots hell bent on destroying the planet in order to satisfy their own fragile egos, the message to remain positive in the face of adversity. Without this hope, there is no will to resist and make the world better for all. The worse thing to do is to say nothing…

With a hypnotic second single ‘I Watch My Life On TV’ now public, BEBORN BETON front man Stefan Netschio chatted to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about the making of ‘Darkness Falls Again’, when to sing in German, how to choose a Johnny Cash cover and borrowing from DURAN DURAN…

‘Darkness Falls Again’ follows 7 years since your last album ‘A Worthy Compensation’, but it is nowhere near as long as the 13 year gap which preceded that. Is it healthier to have larger spaces between records? Can bands release “too much” music?

I have often found that with a high frequency of releases from the artists I follow, there comes a lower level of depth in the music. We in BEBORN BETON do not live off our music, we have the luxury to take as much time as we need to work on our songs and album and artwork concepts, to reflect on the things we need to say in our lyrics, the emotions we want to stir with the compositions.

And finally take as much time as we want to finalise our albums with our producer of choice. If we feel, after countless revisions, we are still deeply moved by the work we have created, then we are definitely onto something profound and lasting. There is probably some narcissism to it but there are times when I listen to our songs, especially from ‘A Worthy Compensation’ and ‘Darkness Falls Again’ and I start wondering “This is really us? How did we manage to create such beauty?”

‘A Worthy Compensation’ was your welcome return, how do you look back on its making?

We started working on the songs for ‘A Worthy Compensation’ about 20 years ago. I had quit my job and left my hometown to relocate to the city of Hamburg. We had just been touring the United States with our friends from APOPTYGMA BERZERK, so that was an exciting period in our lives with lots of things happening, meeting and working with interesting people. Being on the road for more than 2 weeks confined to a van and motel rooms, playing shows almost every night in mostly sold-out venues, touring the US brought us even closer together as a band and as friends.

And when we returned to Germany, even though we were living in different cities, hundreds of kilometres apart, we always found ways and time to make music together. So, every other weekend I went to visit Till and Michael to work on new material. After finishing some songs, we eventually met Olaf Wollschläger in 2005. We instantly clicked and so whenever we wrote something new, we went into the studio and did some production work. 10 years later we had put an album together that contained the essence of our lives of that past decade. Highs and lows, ups and downs; it is indeed a very emotional and personal album. So, we were relieved that it was so well received. It put us back on the map.

Was ‘A Worthy Compensation’ like getting back on a bicycle or horse? Are there any favourite tracks from it?

For us, it actually felt like we never really dismounted the horse in the first place. We always made music of some sorts. We had been in the studio many times and learned a lot about mixing and production.

We played festival shows in Germany and Europe every now and then, we did remixes for other artists and also collaborated with other bands. A lot of this probably went unnoticed by the public because we just hadn’t released a new album. Favourite tracks… well, when you are working on an album this long, it is like raising children and you become emotionally attached to each and every one of them. Especially when the stories are personal and heartfelt; ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘I Believe’ are definitely highlights, but for me personally the title track ‘A Worthy Compensation’ is a song that weighed heavy on my heart. It was cathartic. It was the last song that we finished with Olaf in the studio. And when we did, when the vocals were recorded, the moment when it all came together and took form, I knew that we had created something special. The story bears so much pain that it became a tearjerker for many years and years to come.

When first you started releasing music, did you ever feel an affinity with the other German bands like ALPHAVILLE, CAMOUFLAGE, WOLFSHEIM and DE/VISION?

When I grew up, ALPHAVILLE was a band to look up to. The first album was just “Wow”! I think every synthpop fan loved ALPHAVILLE one way or the other. And Marian Gold is a super nice guy and an exceptional performer. He has such a unique voice.

So has Peter Heppner; WOLFSHEIM had some killer songs and their success was more than well deserved. But affinity would be too strong a word. It was respect. CAMOUFLAGE had some major hits in the beginning and they released a couple of fairly successful albums, most of which escaped my radar. I was interested in different bands.

DE/VISION and BEBORN BETON did start about the same time and early on we did some touring together. At some point, their career took a different turn and they kept releasing album after album. Every now and then our paths cross when we are booked for the same festival. Fun times we had.

How does the creative dynamic within BEBORN BETON work with regards writing and instrumentation?

Usually it begins with a lyrical idea or with some chord progressions that are conceived on the piano. So we get together and we infect each other with more ideas to take the initial demo further. Sometimes we get quickly to a stage where the essence of the track is already laid out and ready for production. Sometimes it takes us several sessions over a period of weeks to get there. But there is nothing like these magical moments when we create some truly emotional pieces together. When the excitement kicks in while you’re writing, your judgement might be clouded, so we take breaks to give it a rest and let it sink in, then revisit songs to see if the initial spark is still there. Since we have no reason to rush, we give it all the time that it needs. It’s our QA.

You have worked with producer Olaf Wollschläger again on this album, what special qualities does he bring to your music?

Olaf Wollschläger knows where we are coming from musically. He breathes the exact musical air that we do. When we introduce him to a song, there is hardly ever much explaining to do. He is able to see the essence of our songs and enhance them. When you are working together for such a long time, you develop a friendship.

We’ve known him more than 15 years now. Some marriages don’t last that long. And we can still laugh about the same jokes and are fascinated by the same music. And when we meet with him to produce our songs together, we are fairly certain that the end result is not far from perfect.

So what is ‘My Monstrosity’? How does this track shape the tone of ‘Darkness Falls Again’?

We chose ‘My Monstrosity’ as the opening track because it kind of sets the mood for the whole album. This detuned piano sound right at the beginning of the song is derived from an actual piano that stood outside a garden centre, battered by wind and rain. And it is meant to tell you “You are about to hear things that are not going to be easy to digest”. It is a rather uncommon song for BEBORN BETON and that’s the beauty of it. Starting off with something people would not expect from us. I find it musically intense and pretty dark lyrically. I hope people will love it as much as we do.

The album title is mentioned in the first single ‘Dancer In The Dark’; with all the tensions in the world coming from the East and being Germans, has there been a feeling of “Déjà vu” at all?

No, not really. It was a different time back then. Or I was just too young to see the whole picture. Surely there had been Middle-East crises, but none of the countries had the resources to be much of a global threat.

And as far as I’m concerned, The Cold War was just two superpowers not getting along and bluffing each other. They all had these nuclear weapons, but the players themselves didn’t play out the supervillain act. There was no imminent danger. Except for one NATO manoeuvre simulating a nuclear strike that almost set the wheels in motion, a regrettable mistake that changed the course of history for the better. The leaders seemed to have that last bit of sense to not push the button because they were all too afraid they would get wiped from the face of earth.

For a reason, the last few years there have been fights on multiple fronts. There was that idiot that destabilised the US. Then there is the other one that has gone completely nuts, void of reason destabilising the world economy, and in-between all of Europe trying to de-escalate the situation, still they can’t just look away and leave the oppressed to themselves. And the even bigger crisis in the long run being the race against climate change.

We actually finished the songs, the album concept and title before there was a war in Europe, so we initially planned on painting a picture of a dystopian future. We did not expect reality to catch up this quickly.

‘Last Chance’ is interesting in that there are sections that are almost goth-metal?

I can see what you are getting at. When we are working on a song with Olaf, there are no boundaries and given the fact that our musical tastes are very diverse, anything can happen. Goth-metal is a strong categorization for a synthpop song and for people that have not heard it yet, it may be misleading.

The song incorporates some vocal parts that are treated with a vocoder and different levels of distortion and in conjunction with that bass synth line it has its Marilyn Manson-esque moments, but these moments are brief. I feel it is an embodiment of the protagonist’s anger and looking at the whole picture it is just an enrichment of the song’s sonic palette, so when the chorus kicks in, the subtle metal connotations are gone. Then again, I gotta hand it to you, the song has a bit of a rock attitude.

‘Burning Gasoline’ points to your environmental concerns?

I guess the title and the lyrics indicate as much… environmental concerns, mildly put. The exploitation of Earth’s natural resources and their processing, plus the use of fossil energy sources is destroying our planet, rendering it uninhabitable for generations to come. If we do not change our course of action our children and grandchildren will pay the price. The idiocracy regarding climate change and its origin is unspeakable and it gets my blood pressure through the roof.

‘I Watch My Life On TV’ features some wonderful synth soloing, what was that inspired by and what sort of VST or hardware have you used on this album to achieve the sound you desired?

These kinds of melodies are burned into the BEBORN BETON DNA. They are part of what we are. We have always been fond of those uplifting sequences that are reminiscent of 70s and 80s mystery and science fiction TV series and movies. Sound and instrument-wise, there are hardly any tools that are not at our disposal. It’s always a mix of vintage and modern hardware and software instruments.

So we have a couple of hardware synths in our arsenal. Our beloved Moogs, an ARP, some Korgs, a couple of Waldorfs, an Oberheim and a bunch of Roland synthesisers, plus a ton of boutique effect pedals and we also used Olaf’s Prophet and his tasteful collection of Eurorack modules. A friend of ours owns a small museum of vintage analogue synths and of course we paid him a visit to record some tracks with his old Jupiter 4, Jupiter 8, Roland System 100 and GRP A4. The GRP A4 is a rare and insanely beautiful sounding analogue boutique synth from Italy.

All these synthesisers have their distinct sound and above anything, we love the hands-on approach with these machines. When it comes to VSTs… you name it: Arturia, Native Instruments, UVI, u-he, Xfer, GeForce. Pretty much everything. When you put your mind to it you can get every imaginable sound and all these happy little accidents. Olaf and we are pretty much up-to-date on what’s happening in the music technology business.

‘Electricity’ rhythmically swings with a live drum feel and even throws in some timpani. Where do you stand on bands using live acoustic drums in a concert context when the original recording has more and sometimes exclusively programmed electronic percussion? 😉

As an artist you should be allowed to evolve and try out whatever tickles your fancy. When you are an aspiring single artist, most of the time you don’t have a drum kit or a drummer at your disposal, so you start programming beats. At a later stage in your career, your taste in music evolves and your status allows you to hire a drummer and you take a song to another level. Whether or not this results in an improvement is subjective. Sometimes it works, adds drive and energy to the track, sometimes it just kills the vibe that was the essence of the song to begin with. So, I am not totally against it, but I can understand that fans lose interest in a band that started as a purely electronic act and then turns into a rock band. Well, grow a pair. The number of new artists to explore is endless.

You primarily sing in English but like with ‘Was Immer’ on ‘A Worthy Compensation’, ‘Trockenfallen Lassen’ on this album is in Deutsch, so how do you decide what song is delivered in your own language, what factors do you take into account?

We chose English as our first artistic language because it is international and has a wider reach. It’s also fun to write in English because the language has so many options for wordplay and ambiguity and its melody is so great to sing. German lyrics are way harder to conceive, in my opinion. It can be very beautiful and whenever we find a song that presents itself as an opportunity for a German lyric we are happy to take it. When we perform in front of a German audience, as we usually do, singing in German hardly leaves anything to the imagination. To be authentic, you have to tell the truth and hit a nerve.

With ‘Trockenfallen Lassen’, we managed to write a strong lyric that leaves room for interpretation and we weaved it into an ambient soundscape with melancholic chord sequences and it became a beautiful gem. If you ask me, it is one of the strongest songs on the album. These are magical moments that just happen. You cannot plan for this.

The 2016 ‘She Cried’ single featured a cover of THE HUMAN LEAGUE’s ‘The Black Hit Of Space’ while the deluxe edition of ‘A Worthy Compensation’ included a Johnny Cash song ‘Folsom Prison Blues’; are there any cover versions planned as future bonuses? Some DURAN DURAN maybe?  😉

The list is very long. Our musical taste is so diverse and we have heard so much great music in our lifetime.

And doing a cover is always fun. For example, on our second album we did a cover of ‘Being Boiled’ that we also performed on stage. ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ also has a story to it. Initially the idea sparked when in 2000 we toured Germany with our friends from ICON OF COIL. They told us that Stephan Groth had the idea of putting a compilation together with Johnny Cash cover versions and they told us which song they had chosen to do. Time passed, nothing happened. Then in 2002, we toured the US with APOPTYGMA BERZERK and the topic came up again. We browsed the works of Johnny Cash and finally decided which song it was going to be. Time passed, nothing happened.

So when we put together the bonus material for ‘A Worthy Compensation’, we remembered there was still that cover version to be made. And since that compilation didn’t happen, we recorded it exclusively for the Complete Edition of the album. Surely I can see us working on some DURAN DURAN in the future, but at the moment we are focusing on our own material. By the way there is that song on our last album that kind of pays homage to early DURAN DURAN. Not many people have noticed, but some have.

Oh yes! ‘24/7 Mystery’ has a ‘Girls On Film’ vibe… so ‘I Hope You’re Not Easily Scared’ closes what could be considered BEBORN BETON’s protest album, how do you hope ‘Darkness Falls Again’ will be received?

Every artist hopes that his new output will be received well, we are no different. We are aware that the political content of the album may throw off people, but that’s ok. There are plenty of other bands to explore.

Our albums have never been a quick fix. There is always a lot to discover, so many layers of sound to dive into. So much that you cannot grasp it with just a few listens. Our albums have always been growers. But if you give them time they will stay with you for life. Throughout our history, there have always been songs that had some bitter and melancholic references wrapped in a sweet melodic shell. These are the matters we like to address. The new album has an overall darker touch than for example ‘A Worthy Compensation’. We were and are still living in a time of a multi-level crisis. So the darker tone just came naturally. Still, we hope that people will feel the strong uplifting energy of the songs that is meant to drag peoples’ minds out of this misery and give them hope that things can change for the better.

What are your next plans as BEBORN BETON?

We have just lifted a second single off the album and there will be a third one that will be accompanied by a video before the album sees the light of day. I don’t want to go too much into detail, but we plan another release for later this year with one or two surprises.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to BEBORN BETON

Special thanks to Volker Maass at Operating//Generating

‘I Watch My Life On TV’ is available now without a countdown plonked into a countdown via the usual online platforms

‘Darkness Falls Again’ is released on 17th March 2023 by Dependent Records as a 48-page artbook with bonus CD, digisleeve CD, black vinyl LP and limited edition white vinyl LP as well as on the usual digital platforms, pre-order via http://lnk.spkr.media/beborn-beton-darkness






Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Chris Ruiz
10th February 2023

BEBORN BETON Dancer In The Dark

Post-KRAFTWERK, following the international success of ALPHAVILLE with ‘Big In Japan’, a number of German electronic acts followed their lead with songs in English that could crossover into wider markets such as CAMOUFLAGE, WOLFSHEIM, DE/VISION and BEBORN BETON.

Formed in 1989, BEBORN BETON released their first album proper ‘Tybalt’ in 1993 having issued three cassettes independently. After the US only compilation album ‘Tales From Another World’ in 2002, the trio of Stefan Netschio (vocals), Stefan Tillmann (keyboards + drums) and Michael B Wagner (keyboards) went on hiatus but returned in 2015 with ‘A Worthy Compensation’ featuring the excellent songs ‘I Believe’, ‘She Cried’, ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘Was Immer’.

With a brand new long player ‘Darkness Falls Again’ pencilled in just before the likely release of the cheerful new DEPECHE MODE opus ‘Memento Mori’, BEBORN BETON strike first with the brilliant ‘Dancer In The Dark’; not a rework of Bruce Springsteen, the song manages to out-Camouflage CAMOUFLAGE with an infectious pop sensibility that more than likely comes from front man and lyric writer Stefan Netschio’s love of DURAN DURAN.

Leaving nothing to spare, the video for ‘Dancer In The Dark’ sees the Essen threesome in a bowling alley, testing each other’s precision and wits over ten frames. The image is reminiscent of Dave Gahan, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher when they made one of their first TV interview appearances as DEPECHE MODE on ITV’s youth magazine show ‘20th Century Box’ in Summer 1981.

With current world events and another Cold War looming as if The Berlin Wall never fell, ‘Dancer In The Dark’ is a message to remain positive in the face of adversity; “don’t let what now feels like the end of the world sweep you off your dancing feet” says Netschio on behalf of BEBORN BETON. Their ninth album, Darkness Falls Again’ promises catchy leg twitching tunes and mature songwriting to form a sonic joyride as racists, demagogues, preachers of hate and those who destroy the planet are called out.

Produced, mixed and mastered by Olaf Wollschläger whose credits include MESH, YELLO, S.P.O.C.K, PSYCHE and MINERVE, ‘Darkness Falls Again’ features artwork by Volker Maass who presents the ‘Operating//Generating’ series of radio shows on laut.fm – so forget “that you must die!” and be a ‘Dancer In The Dark’ as ‘Darkness Falls Again’.

‘Dancer in the Dark’ is available now on the usual digital platforms

The album ‘Darkness Falls Again’ is released on 17th March 2023 by Dependent Records as a 48-page artbook with bonus CD, digisleeve CD, black vinyl LP and limited edition white vinyl LP as well as on the usual digital platforms, pre-order via http://lnk.spkr.media/beborn-beton-darkness





Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Chris Ruiz
7th January 2023

TORUL Explain

After three albums fronted by the charismatic Jan Jenko, it was all change in 2016 for TORUL on the appropriately titled ‘Reset’, with the introduction of new vocalist Maj Valerij.

To trail a new album coming later this year, the Slovenian combo are back with a brand new single ‘Explain’ which showcases some grouchy bass guitar syncopating off a solid beat. Over smatterings of weeping electronics, Valerij explains to his listeners that “She’s coming again in my dream”. In the mysterious visual accompaniment directed by Aleš Bravničar, a disused airfield is used as a backdrop for its leading lady Tina Kopušar to roam in search of life, or is it?

Valerij smokes a pipe intently and stares her out; is he a ghost from a bygone conflict or disaster? The aeronautical relics from The Cold War rusting from abandonment might be a clue… but as bandmates Torul Torulsson and Borut Dolenec make cameos, it’s difficult to fathom! Explain!

With Valerij now fully ensconced into the fold, it would appear that TORUL have survived the departure of Jan Jenko, with ‘Explain’ capturing the intensity of their previous work, a template that was inspired by the likes of THE CURE and TEARS FOR FEARS who the band have covered on previous albums.

The download bundle comes with three remixes, the best of which comes from Germany synthpop trio BEBORN BETON who add a rather wonderful pulsating electronic disco feel to proceedings.

‘Explain’ is released by Infacted Recordings, available as a download bundle from https://infactedrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/explain




Text by Chi Ming Lai
17th February 2018

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