Tag: Dlina Volny


“Do your thing, don’t be afraid”, that is the message from the intimate independently made documentary by Radio Plato about DLINA VOLNY, the enigmatic trio from Belarus.

Masha Zinevich (vocals), Vad Mikutski (bass) and Ales Shishlobegan (synths) began making music together as DLINA VOLNY in 2016, issuing their debut EP ’Neizmerima’ not long after. While their first album ‘Mechty’ emerged in 2018, a wider international breakthrough came in 2021 with the impressive second long player ‘Dazed’ released by Italians Do It Better, the label best known for GLASS CANDY, CHROMATICS and DESIRE.

Describing themselves as ’brut-pop’ thanks to their post-punk meets synth-noir aesthetics, the doomy spectre of The Cold War looms in their sound. Strong songs such as ‘Do It’, ‘I’m Not Allowed’, Tomorrow’ and ‘Redrum’ are complimented by an artful visual presence. With the dark disco of ‘Bipolar’ asking “what is it like being on the border?”, the ongoing conflicts in their part of the world and their public stand with Ukraine led to uncertainty and DLINA VOLNY relocating to Lithuania.

On behalf of DLINA VOLNY, front woman Masha Zinevich kindly answered a range of questions put to them by ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about their musical universe and upcoming UK + European live shows.

How did you feel as a band that the time was right to take part in a documentary because some might view this as a conceit when you have released only two albums?

When Radio Plato pitched us the idea for this documentary, we felt like it was a great way for us to communicate our thoughts and feelings with our audience. We do that through our music but in a different way. So it was nice to discuss, elaborate on and appreciate what we’ve been doing amongst the three of us and share it with the world.

Were you concerned that a documentary might negate the cool mystique that has arisen about DLINA VOLNY which has been part of the band’s appeal?

No concerns at all. We like to talk to our listeners on social media and get to know each other. We’ve made quite a few mates all over the world this way, which is incredible. This film is one of those instruments for our people to understand us a bit better and see what our day-to-day looks like.

I do hope our mystique is still appealing and is still there haha

DLINA VOLNY could be considered unusual as a modern band in that you appear to spend a lot of time together, both creatively and socially whereas others engage remotely?

I’ve always thought that bandmates are supposed to be close. It always seemed to me that my favourite bands are best mates apart from just being a collective of musicians making music and touring together. And we work best when we’re in the same room and we take advantage of this opportunity. Working remotely would work too but there would be a different feel to it.

What concerns social life, we spend so much time together sharing our feelings with each other, pouring our hearts out that it’s only natural to me that one would want to chill with friends, go to shows etc, after all that hard work as a collective too.

How has the move to Lithuania worked for you?

It’s been working really well. We have a studio (in a prison), which is a first for us and we couldn’t be happier about that. We’ve also made quite a few mates from the Lithuanian arts scene, who are wonderful and incredibly talented people, who are loved and appreciated by Lithuanian people very much. There is a sense of community and belonging, which gives one endless opportunities to make music, shoot videos, collaborate and bring one’s ideas to life.

One of the biggest revelations in the documentary is that ‘Redrum’ was heavily influenced by THE DOORS… once you know that, it’s really obvious, what is the story?

We all love THE DOORS. Whenever there’s a jukebox in a bar, we always play THE DOORS and sing very loudly while showing off our most emotional moves. For some reason, I’ve always thought that everybody does the same, but at a bar in Mexico, when we were celebrating the end of our tour with LEBANON HANOVER, I realised that this was only our group’s sacred ritual. I found it even more special after this realisation.

We are all about emotion and feeling and each member of this legendary band brings so much of it to their music. We adore it, and ‘The End’ is so cathartic, so when ‘Redrum’ was being born, we felt this energy coming through and thought we should keep going in this direction.

Your debut album ‘Mechty’ from 2018 was bilingual, but how did the decision to record an album entirely in English with ‘Dazed’ come about?

It has always been more natural for me to write in English, since I would always listen to foreign music and spend a lot of time in London from a very young age. Writing in Russian was a challenge that we came up with when we started the band, just like the whole concept of DLINA VOLNY at the beginning – low vocals, synths, bass.

On ‘Dazed’ we wanted to just let go and write what and how we felt like. So writing stories in English was just that – a natural urge.

While your songs deal with the fragile reality of life which is enhanced by the contralto vocal delivery and dark atmospheres, there is usually a melodic sparkle coming from the synths like on the ‘Dazed’ title song, ‘Bipolar’ and ‘I’m Not Allowed’, was this template influenced by anything or any other bands in particular?

Not sure if it was influenced by any band in particular but the idea was to create dark surroundings and contrast them with a ray of hope in the form of those melodic sparkles. We do like to conceal dark meanings in more upbeat sounds, if they may be called that. We feel that it adds to the melancholy.

Since ‘Dazed’ was released in Autumn 2021, tensions have risen further in your part of the world. How has that affected you as artists and activists?

Well, we live in constant worry. The fact that there’s absolutely nothing we can do is super depressing. We can only find escape and release in playing shows and recording new music. Being on tours is healing and absolutely priceless so we are incredibly grateful that we can do that.

The glorious ‘Whatever Happens Next’ made some important statements?

It sure did. This song puts what we feel in simple words and powerful sounds. Unfortunately, it remains relevant, but now pertains to more than one dictator.

DLINA VOLNY and Italians Do It Better are an ideal fit, with your love of ‘Twin Peaks’ and the colour red, how did the connection come about?

We’ve always been big fans of IDIB so when ‘Dazed’ was coming together, we thought it was time for us to get in touch with them and see if we could work together. They loved the demos and offered us a deal an hour after we sent out that email. Pure luck.

Releasing ‘Dazed’ on Italians Do It Better was a step in boosting DLINA VOLNY’s profile internationally but have you experienced any cultural boycotts or travel restrictions as a result of the world situation?

Thankfully, it only happened once. We got cancelled by a promoter in Europe right after the war in Ukraine started.

As a sign of the wider international recognition of DLINA VOLNY, you collaborated with VANDAL MOON on the song ‘Easy To Dream’, how was the experience to work outside of your norm?

It was very interesting and pleasant. Blake Voss of VANDAL MOON is a wonderful human being, with whom we met when I tagged him in a Tik-Tok to ‘Hurt’, which I made with my dog Cherry. Blake offered to collaborate and we agreed straight away. ‘Easy to Dream’ is such a great song! When we received the first mix, it helped me let go and cry for the first time since the war started. It was such a powerful and liberating moment. We’re still in very good contact and are hoping to meet offline sometime soon.

DLINA VOLNY covered Madonna’s ‘Hollywood’ and interpreted it as a much harsher warning to those seeking fame and stardom. With this in mind, what are your hopes and fears for the future?

We hope to continue making music and touring, reach new audiences and immerse more and more people into this safe, ethereal and infinitely versatile space that we like to create.

How do you feel you have changed as a trio since you released the ‘Neizmerima’ EP in 2016?

We have definitely all grown as musicians and as people. We understand how things work and what we want to achieve a little better now, which, I hope, helps us reach new heights with the new album.

What is next for DLINA VOLNY? You are touring Europe in 2024?

Yes! We are touring Europe and the UK in January and February 2024. We are super excited since it’s going to be our first ever show in most of the cities we’re playing. And also it’s gonna be our first time touring the UK. Since we’re from Belarus, we need UK visas so it makes it a little more difficult to come to the UK. But we are very happy that we’re finally doing it!

We’re also looking forward to sharing new music with the world.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to DLINA VOLNY

Special thanks to Alex at Radio Plato

‘Dazed’ is released by Italians Do It Better as a CD, purple vinyl LP, cassette and download, available from https://dlinavolny.bandcamp.com/

DLINA VOLNY 2024 UK + European live dates include:

Groningen ESNS Festival (19 January), Brussels Cafe Central (20 January), London The Black Heart (21 January)*, Newcastle The Lubber Fiend (22 January)*, Manchester YES Basement (23 January)*, Liverpool Kazimierz Stockroom (24 January)*, Paris Super Sonic (26 January)*, Bordeaux Iboat (27 January)*, Laval La Fosse (28 January)*, Toulouse Le Ravelin (29 January)*, Lyon Sonic (30 January)*, Dudingen Bad Bonn (31 January)*, Mannheim Juz Mannheim (1 February)*, Bochum Die Trompete (2 February)*, Copenhagen Råhuset (4 February)*, Oslo Dunk (5 February)*, Gothenburg Hängmattan (6 February)*, Stockholm Kollektivet Livet Bar & Scen (7 February)*, Malmö Plan B (8 February), Amsterdam Cinetol (10 February), The Hague Grauzone Festival (11 February)

*special guest Jennifer Touch




Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
11 December 2023

VANDAL MOON Queen Of The Night

Already veterans of five albums, California-based duo VANDAL MOON opened their account with the self-released ‘Dreamless’ in 2013.

Purveyors of a modern form of electronic goth rock fusing THE SISTERS OF MERCY with DEPECHE MODE, Blake Voss and Jeremy Einsiedler presented their most synth-based long player ‘Black Kiss’ in 2020.

From it, ‘Robot Lover’ reimagined ‘Enjoy The Silence’ covered by THE MISSION while ‘Suicidal City Girl’ took its lead from THE DANSE SOCIETY in its enthralling electronic post-punk disco.

For their new album ‘Queen Of The Night’, VANDAL MOON don’t tamper too much with the template of ‘Black Kiss’, but they add ambition in a concept record about a young woman navigating a world that is falling apart. Written during the worldwide lockdown, Blake Voss attempts to articulate the claustrophobia and insanity of those coming of age limited to communicating with the outside world via social media only, unable to mature in real life situations. All this while facing an uncertain future like being trapped inside a JG Ballard novel.

Each song focusses on the ‘Queen Of The Night’ character, “singing for the youth of our world”. Both featuring additional synthesizers from FM ATTACK’s Shawn Ward, ‘Young. Deadly. Beautiful.’ is an opener that signals business as usual using pitched up voice samples for its main hook in a sister song to ‘Robot Lover’ from ‘Black Kiss’, while the ‘Queen Of The Night’ title track delivers as it suggests in its brooding gothwave.

With crashing drums borrowed from THE SISTERS OF MERCY’s ‘Dominion’, ‘Sweet Disaster’ is an entertaining vampiric set piece with menacing keyboard motifs. But ‘Chemical Love’ moves towards more classic gothic moods straight out of the ‘Disintegration’ songbook with only Blake Voss’ baritone indicating this is not THE CURE. Meanwhile, ‘Sunlight’ heads straight into Motorik goth rock with live bass guitar from Kate Hummel.

Clowns can polarise and are often seen as sinister so ‘Laughing Like A Clown’ provides an eerie anthem to suit. However ‘Easy To Dream’, a duet with Masha Zinevitch from Belarusian band DLINA VOLNY doesn’t quite hit the spot although much better is ‘Too High To Cry’ with Johnny Dynamite which has more of a hook.

‘War’ is a moodier ballad structured around an offbeat with some great keyboard work by Jeremy Einsiedler, while with gated synths and a funkier bassline moving off a straight four structure, ‘Kiss Me Goodbye’ provides the first real musical development on the album; but it fades after just over two minutes thus sounding incomplete. That’s a shame because it has greater potential as the highlight of the album.

Back to a more traditional approach and not a cover of the Prince song, ‘Diamonds & Pearls’ featuring Vangie Lee adds sax and tinkled ivories to good effect before the album closes with ‘The Way You Cry’, a mighty alternative rock anthem that wouldn’t have gone amiss on an earlier album by THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS with a thematic string machine helping to rouse the chorus along as the guitars stridently power up.

VANDAL MOON have not gone rockabilly or anything and ‘Queen Of The Night’ will keep fans satisfied with its stronger storyline variation on the ‘Black Kiss’ theme. Despite the poetic angst, there is hope and there are any number of tracks here that can be playlisted for a good darkwave disco party. So rise, reverberate and keep the body electric…

‘Queen Of The Night’ is released by Starfield Music on 19th August 2022, available as a crimson vinyl LP, cassette or download from https://vandalmoon.bandcamp.com/





Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Nicole Fraser-Herron
18th August 2022


Despite the general appetite for nostalgia with boxed sets and coloured vinyl of classic albums hogging the pressing plants, there was a lot of excellent new music released in 2021.

The quality of individual tracks released in 2021 was extremely high but at the end of the day, only 30 songs can be selected as a snapshot of the calendar year. As Monica Geller in ‘Friends’ once said, “Rules are good, rules help control the fun” – rules, routine and structure = creativity and fun ?

So the highly commended group who did not quite make ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 songs of 2021 includes Tobias Bernstrup, David Cicero, Alice Hubble, Michael Oakley, Jason Priest, Nina, Eric Random and Kat Von D’s duet with Peter Murphy, along with SIN COS TAN, FIAT LUX, LONELADY, GLITBITER, KNIGHT$, PEAKES, DESIRE, SOFTWAVE, XENO & OAKLANDER, BUNNY X, PISTON DAMP, FRAGRANCE. and HANTE.

So here are ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 songs of 2021, presented as usual alphabetically by act with a restriction of one song per artist moniker.

ACTORS Love U More

With the recruitment of new bassist Kendall Wooding, the male-to-female ratio of ACTORS has equalled up and altered their dynamic. The vocal duality between Jason Corbett and keyboardist Shannon Hemmett takes an increased role. With the brooding baritone counterpointed by girly soprano and male falsetto to provide an uneasy uplift to the gloomy domino dance, ‘Love U More’ was like a goth DURAN DURAN with metronomic rhythms and eerie synths.

Available on the album ‘Acts Of Worship’ via Artoffact Records



Midge Ure launched his BAND ELECTRONICA as a recording entity with ‘Das Beat’, a glorious slice of Teutonic robopop in collaboration with Wolfgang Flür. With “Beats through wires, beats through walls”, the icy motorik bossa nova was complimented by a blisteringly catchy synth hook in the classic Kling Klang tradition and harked back the Glaswegian’s days hearing KRAFTWERK at The Blitz Club and making music with VISAGE and ULTRAVOX. Dancing is a given to the synthesizer rhythm.

Available on the single ‘Das Beat’ via BMG Rights Management



Although a seasoned musician as the sax and keyboard player for Bryan Ferry, Australian Jorja Chalmers did not release her first album until 2019. The superb take on SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES ‘Rhapsody’, an orchestrated gothic epic off their ninth album ‘Peepshow’, featured an intriguing electronic warble within its stripped down arrangement. From its claustrophobic cocoon, Chalmers sounded trapped inside an unsettling icy soundscape of synthetic strings and choirs.

Available on the album ‘Midnight Train’ via Italians Do it Better



CLASS ACTRESS is the nom de théâtre of one-time Giorgio Moroder protégée Elizabeth Harper. Releasing a new EP ‘Sense Memory’ which initially featured three cover including THE SMITHS’ ‘Ask’ but steadily expanded with new material, the percussive ‘Saint Patrick’ featured an array of infectious synth hooks while Harper’s richly passionate vocal over some strident keyboard work combined like Nerina Pallot fronting BOY HARSHER for a brilliant slice of modern electronic pop.

Available on the EP ‘Sense Memory’ via Terrible Records



Perhaps more intentionally pop than Hattie Cooke has ever been before on her previous two long playing outings, an intimate gravitas comes with the expanded electronic texturing on her third album ‘Bliss Land’ and this is undoubtedly stamped on its opening song. The hypnotic ‘I Get By’ was superb with ringing hooks, sweeping soundscapes and airy understated vocals that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an Italians Do It Better ‘After Dark’ compilation.

Available on the album ‘Bliss Land’ via Castles In Space


DANZ CM Human Existence

‘The Absurdity of Human Existence’ is the debut album by DANZ CM, the artist formally known as COMPUTER MAGIC. New York based Danz Johnson is the synth girl behind both vehicles with a passion for the development of the electronic music. Reflecting the album’s title, the total melancholic brilliance of ‘Human Existence’ sees our heroine make a sombre declaration that “you can’t save me, I can’t save you” reminiscent of CHROMATICS meeting OMD.

Available on the album ‘The Absurdity Of Human Existence’ via Channel 9 Records



Danceable dreampop trio DAWN TO DAWN feature in its line-up Tess Roby who released her debut album ‘Beacon’ on Italians Do It Better. Also featuring Adam Ohr and Patrick Lee with their Minimoog, Roland System 100, Roland Juno 60 and Korg 700s armoury, ’Care’ was written on a cold winter’s night and unsurprisingly captures that mood. Nocturnal yet rhythmic, Roby’s alluring folk-tinged vocal offsets the various synthetic overtures for a mysterious weightless quality.

Available on the single ‘Care’ via https://dawntodawn.bandcamp.com/track/care



Leeds based duo DEVOIR are Imogen Holmes, best known as IMI and Jacob Marston. Although ‘Mercer’ is entirely electronic, it differs from IMI in its four-to-the-floor construction. So imagine GOLDFRAPP at an Alpine rave in the Hornlihutte basecamp next to The Matterhorn. As the cinematic techno builds, the magnificent voice that graced IMI soars and shines, expressing itself at the extremes of alluring spoken word and piercing high soprano.

Available on the single ‘Mercer’



DIAMOND FIELD is the musical vehicle of Andy Diamond, the New York based Kiwi who, looks to studio icons such as Hugh Padgham, Rupert Hine and Peter Wolf as his heroes. With a backing track like NEW ORDER’s ‘Your Silent Face’ reworked by OMD, ‘A Kiss Apart’ is superb and sees a velvet performance by Belinda Bradley; akin to the other Belinda, Ms Carlisle crossed with Marcella Detroit there is a gorgeous chorus and some great synth interventions recalling lost Mute trio PEACH.

Available on the album ‘Diamond Field’ via Sofa King



Inspired by the spectre of the former Soviet Union, Minsk trio DLINA VOLNY explore post-punk with a dance beat not unlike NEW ORDER. Having already had two albums already under their belt and singing in English with an inherent Eastern Bloc gloom in Masha Zinevitch’s vocals throughout their Italians Do It Better period, their fifth single for the label ‘Bipolar’ was dark disco with plenty of synth and mystery that asked “But what is it like being on the border?”.

Available on the album ‘Dazed’ via Italians Do It Better


LAURA DRE All Day, All Night

With her mix of modern synthpop and synthwave coupled to her deep nonchalant vocals, Laura Dre captures the rainy dystopian air of ‘Blade Runner’, but with a sexy enigmatic allure and a mischievously wired groove that wouldn’t go amiss in a West Berlin nightclub. The glorious uptempo disco number ‘All Day, All Night’ offers great crossover potential; drenched in sparkle and a delicious percussive base, it was for fans of early PET SHOP BOYS.

Available on the album ‘Moving Spaces’ via Outland Recordings


DURAN DURAN Featuring CHAI More Joy!

DURAN DURAN released their 15th studio album ‘Future Past’ in a “live for the moment” reference of how something today can become a cherished memory in times to come. The chiptune inspired ‘More Joy!’ was reminiscent of past glories, its syncopated disco poise capturing DURAN DURAN at what they do best and with hypnotic electronics offset by a wonderful bass guitar run and chants by Japanese rock band CHAI, its exuberant manner presented the right dose of escapism.

Available on the album ‘Future Past’ via Tape Modern / BMG



Like a tattooed Marilyn Monroe dropped into Twin Peaks, GLÜME is a shimmering new starlet. From her debut album ‘The Internet’, ‘Get Low’ was an intriguing slice of accessible avant pop about the high of falling for someone where brain chemistry and nervous systems are affected. Applying some rumbling electronic bass, stabbing vintage synths and simple but prominent digital drum beats, ‘Get Low’ sounded not unlike an experimental hybrid of OMD and LADYTRON!

Available on the album ‘The Internet’ via Italians Do It Better



Made using the T.O.N.T.O. synth complex created Malcom Cecil and Robert Margouleff which was made famous by Stevie Wonder, the same titled album is the fifth solo body of work by the Toronto-based neoclassical composer Robin Hatch. The sinister ‘Airplane’ took shape around an avant garde soundscape. Utilising the talents of doom metal violinist Laura Bates of VOLUR alongside the synthetic strings and hypnotic generative blips, this encapsulated an unsettling gothic grandeur.

Available on the album ‘T.O.N.T.O.’ via Robin Records



For Italo veterans Fred Ventura and Paolo Gozzetti, the ethos of ITALOCONNECTION is “to sound vintage in a modern way”. The superb ‘Virus X’ featuring French veteran Etienne Daho sprung a surprise as a suave slice of Gallic synthwave. With its downbeat verse and an emotive chorus, this was as a fitting musical document of the past year and half’s tensions while using toxic personal relationships as a poignant lyrical analogy.

Available on the album ‘Midnight Confessions Vol1’ via Bordello A Parigi


JAKUZI Hiç Işık Yok

Hailing from Turkey, JAKUZI’s Italo flavoured song ‘Hiç Işık Yok’ saw the usual cowbells substituted by processed pots and pans, while the mix of classic brassy tones and chilling synth pads blended to create something rather unusual and extraordinary. Working with Maurizio Baggio who mixed the most recent albums by BOY HARSHER and THE SOFT MOON, the Italian producer turned what had been a gothic futureless mood piece with a sombre vocal intonation into a dark but catchy electronic disco number.

Available on the EP ‘Açık Bir Yara’ via City Slang


JOON Good Times

2021 was a year craving for more ‘Good Times’ and JOON, the electronic solo project from Maltese producer Yasmin Kuymizakis did her best to remember them. Signing to Italians Do It Better, she reflected on “The way you sing your songs and make me dance, the way you take a chance on a little romance” before affirming “You remind me of the good times”. It all captured a charming innocence in a dreamy Mediterranean take on Japanese City Pop.

Available on the album ‘Dream Again’ via Italians Do It Better


КЛЕТ Eternity

КЛЕТ is a music project of Bohemian-born Michal Trávníček. Primarily celebrating the Soviet space programme with its impressive series of firsts, while the ‘Alconaut’ album’s pivotal track ‘Gagarin’s Start’ honoured the handsome hero who was the first man in space as he prepared for lift-off, the spacey Sovietwave mood over 13 tracks made for an enticing listen. The sparkling sparseness of ‘Eternity’ with its stuttering vintage drum machine provided another highlight.

Available on the album ‘Alconaut’ via https://claat.bandcamp.com/album/



LEATHERS is the more synth focussed solo project from ACTORS keyboardist Shannon Hemmett. The undoubted highlight of her debut ‘Reckless’ EP was the title song. Resigned and accepting, she was still alluring in her voicing despite the heartbreak of her love being so cruel and dangerous. A rather lovely slice of synthpop in that classic melancholic vein with an infectious steadfast motorik beat, it again showed that Canada again was leading the way in the modern version of the form.

Available on the EP ‘Reckless’ via Artoffact Records



Following her charming cover of the Alan Wilder penned DEPECHE MODE B-side ‘Fools’, Philadelphian songstress Catherine Moan launched her debut album with the self-composed ‘Drop It!’, a song craving the joy of nightlife. Dreamily floating over a classic four chord progression with an eerily sombre apocalyptic understatement, ‘Drop It!’ channelled her innocent sound in the manner of ELECTRIC YOUTH meeting STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE and MARSHEAUX.

Available on the album ‘Chain Reaction’ via https://catherinemoan.bandcamp.com/album/chain-reaction-2



While Karin My has been working with TWICE A MAN and MACHINISTA, it was only in 2019 that she stepped out to front her own traditionally derived electronic songs. A steadfast drum machine propels ‘Loop’ over its sweeping symphonic melodies resignation. The closing female computer speech declaring “identification – procedure – quote – hyphen – perform – display – go to – loop – full stop – execute” added to the  unsettlement.

Available on the album ‘Silence Amygdala’ via Ad Inexplorata


NATION OF LANGUAGE This Fractured Mind

Using a rigid motorik backbone and capturing a danceable ethereal shudder, ‘This Fractured Mind’ breathed new life via its sprightly synth tones referencing the past. The machines that had only been friends previously became family in the NATION OF LANGUAGE sound. Dealing with the spectre of unrealised dreams and jealousy towards more successful others, any inferiority complex was countered with hopeful acceptance.

Available on the album ‘A Way Forward’ via Play It Again Sam


NORTHERN LITE Ich Fürchte Nein

The project of Andreas Kubat and Sebastian Bohn, the 2001 NORTHERN LITE single ‘Treat Me Better’ was a cult favourite on the electroclash scene. Translating as “I don‘t think so…”, Kubat reflected on enforced isolation and staying sane. In a chorus that could be roughly interpreted: “You can‘t be happy and by liked by everyone at the same time”, ‘Ich Fürchte Nein’ was a delightfully catchy synthpop tune with a bright and jolly melodic section contrasted by a vocal of a more anxious disposition.

Available on the album ‘Ja’ via UnaMusic



While ‘Savage’ depicted a deserted post-apocalyptic world, clad in darkness, the Ade Fenton produced ‘Intruder’ saw Planet Earth react to human kind’s misdemeanours by unleashing a virus! “It feels betrayed, hurt and ravaged. Disillusioned and heartbroken it is now fighting back” said Gary Numan poignantly.  ‘The Chosen’ was fast paced synth rock filled with pleading messages embroiled in frustration, asking “Do you need one more sign?” and “Can you see, or are you so blind?”

Available on the album ‘Intruder’ via BMG



Mark Reeder first met Fifi Rong who at the Berlin Kraftwerk in 2016 when she was singing in concert with Swiss trailblazers YELLO. From his album ‘Subversiv-Dekadent’ , the opening track ‘Figure of 8’ was a magical new collaboration between the two with a cinematic backdrop of sparse piano and glistening sequences over which the exquisite Chinese songstress added her distinctive air of mystery to a more metronomic rhythm construction than on her own work.

Available on the album ‘Subversiv-Dekadent’ via MFS



R. MISSING Crimeless

New York City-based darklings R. MISSING are fronted by Sharon Shy, a vocalist with an elegant Jane Birkin-like presence while the studious Toppy Frost does the music. In their increasingly synthy sound, but the wonderful ‘Crimeless’ was R. MISSING’s most pop noir statement yet. It was like CHROMATICS carefully reconfigured for the dancefloor with Sharon Shy presenting a whispery singing style that could easily be mistaken for Ruth Radelet.

Available on the single ‘Crimeless’ via Sugarcane Recordings


SCHÖNHEIT Danse Du Robot

Subtitled ‘Hommage à Florian’, ‘Danse Du Robot’ was a magical tribute to the late KRAFTWERK co-founder with hints of ‘Trans Europe Express’ from Swedish producer Martin Lillberg, the man behind SCHÖNHEIT. Not exactly a prolific project with singles in 2014 and 2019, Lillberg however records under various monikers including as DEOLETUS and WML as well as holding down a day job as a classical percussionist.

Available on the single ‘Danse du Robot (Hommage à Florian)’



SEA FEVER are the new eclectic Manchester combo featuring second generation members of SECTION 25 and NEW ORDER, Beth Cassidy, Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham. ‘De Facto’ was a delightful electro-disco feast with a rhythm rush that screamed strobelights and likely to fill indie club dancefloors while crossing over to lovers of synth. With echoes of NEW ORDER and THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS, it captured a vibrant energy worthy of Manchester and its musical heritage.

Available on the album ‘Folding Lines’ via Kartel Records



As the prospect of interacting with others again set off anxieties after 18 months of social distancing, for Scottish Swedish duo UNIFY SEPARATE, it was time to ‘Embrace The Fear’. While the theme was relatable to lockdown, the lyrical gist touched on the more general existential crises that afflict many as they navigate a life crossroads. But despite the air of unease and the grittier disposition, as with most of UNIFY SEPARATE’s output, there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Available on the single ‘Embrace The Fear’ via https://unifyseparate.bandcamp.com/track/embrace-the-fear


WAVESHAPER Lost In The Cloud

Gorgeously melodic within a claustrophobic drama, ‘Lost In The Cloud’ did as the title suggested like Vangelis meeting Giorgio Moroder at the Necropolis on a dreamy dance trip. A lovely uplifting synth instrumental, the man behind WAVESHAPER Tom Andersson suggested something darker, saying “Imagine Red Riding Hood trapped in the Digital Cloud, behind the Mainframe. How would she feel? What would she see? There is probably more to fear than a wolf in the forest…”

Available on the album ‘Mainframe’ via Waveshaper Music Production


A selection of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s favourite music in 2021 is on its ‘Missing U’ playlist

Text by Chi Ming Lai
11th December 2021


The political tensions in the former Soviet republic of Belarus have created a climate where artistic expression exudes a more prominent dystopian austere than in many other places.

Leading this are Minsk post-punk trio MOLCHAT DOMA but following not far behind are DLINA VOLNY; comprising of singer Masha Zinevitch, bass guitarist Vad Mikutski and Ales Shishlo on keyboards, unlike their bilingual debut ‘Mechty’ from 2018, their second album ‘Dazed’ is entirely in English. Released by their second album ‘Dazed’ and Italians Do It Better, it is a cinematic Autumnal statement that sounds as if The Cold War never ended.

The songs deal with the fragile reality of life and ‘Dazed’ opens with the title track, its icy cascading mood, served with the resigned contralto delivery of Zinevitch, possessing a sparkling textural quality worthy of the Italians Do It Better house sound. ‘I’m Not Allowed’ sounds bouncy in comparison, the bright synth arpeggio sounding odd but effective within a musical backdrop resembling WHITE LIES, while ‘Do It’ features an infectious swirl of electronics as well as a simple chanty chorus.

DLINA VOLNY’s reinterpretation of Madonna’s ‘Hollywood’, which appeared on their label’s recently issued tribute collection, alternates a detached deepness with an unexpected pop register that presents the song as a harsher warning to those seeking stardom.

Closer to home, the chilling darkwave of ‘Whatever Happens Next’ acts as protest song calling for solidarity and freedom. Exploring that haunting Eastern Bloc resilience further with a dance beat, ‘Bipolar’ is outstanding and asks “what is it like being on the border?”.

Despite its sinister overtones, the partly spoken ‘Redrum’ embraces a deviant sexiness like a song for the soundtrack of ‘Atomic Blonde’ where “the end is just another beginning… goodbye!”. The call for ‘Freedom’ sees stark bass guitar lines marked by harsh strums to shape a cavernous gothic grandeur.

Not a cover of their labelmate’s CHROMATICS best known song, ‘Shadow’ embraces THE CURE like a funereal paced ‘Fascination Street’ and certainly there is that air of disintegration. ‘Slowly’ is cut from a similar black cloth while the grim perspective presented on ‘Matte’ is only offset by shiny synths. Recalling ACTORS, ‘Tomorrow’ ends with the Minsk threesome’s own take on dysfunctional post-post-punk disco.

Mixed by David Lynch associate Dean Hurley, ‘Dazed’ is bleak and tense but most of the tracks have a cool appealing air of mystery. The murky atmosphere does not forsake melody or hooks and the second language expression provides a seductive allure as the anxious suffocation of the system is countered by a profound breath of hope.

Despite the collected feelings and situations, DLINA VOLNY are less jarring than MOLCHAT DOMA so may have a broader crossover potential… yes, maybe these Belarusians do it better.

‘Dazed’ is released by Italians Do It Better on 5th November 2021, available from https://dlinavolny.bandcamp.com/ or pre-save at https://idib.ffm.to/dazed





Text by Chi Ming Lai
3rd November 2021


Founded in 2006 by Johnny Jewel and Mike Simonetti, Italians Do It Better is an independent record label based in West Hollywood making music and art with a strong visual identity, emphasising the cinematic thread running through its ethos.

GLASS CANDY, the duo featuring Johnny Jewel and Ida No had released their first album ‘Love Love Love’ through Simonetti’s Troubleman Unlimited in 2002, but the pair saw potential for a platform that offered more electronically tinged night music, free of interference and scheduling.

Italians Do It Better built itself initially around Johnny Jewel’s musical projects GLASS CANDY, CHROMATICS and then DESIRE whose 2009 self-titled album was to become an acclaimed favourite; the combo’s front woman Megan Louise would later become Jewel’s partner and the label’s president.

Before then CHROMATICS’ singer Ruth Radelet was romantically involved with Jewel and their evolving dynamic from the debut album ‘Night Drive’ right up to the long delayed ‘Dear Tommy’ has kept followers of both the band and label waiting… but one relationship that was unable to be maintained was with Mike Simonetti who parted ways with the label in 2014.

The profile of Italians Do It better has been boosted a number of key soundtrack inclusions; the tracks ‘Tick Of The Clock’ by CHROMATICS and ‘Under Your Spell’ by DESIRE were both used in the 2011 Ryan Gosling film ‘Drive’, while the actor’s 2014 directorial debut ‘Lost River’ featured a score composed by Johnny Jewel.

But for ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ in 2017, David Lynch handpicked CHROMATICS to perform their ethereal 2014 single ‘Shadow’ at the Roadhouse for a scene in Episode 2. Meanwhile material from Johnny Jewel’s ‘Windswept’ was included alongside new music from the original series composer Angelo Badalamenti, its sound of “time wasted” fitting in perfectly with the surrealist drama.

Over the past few years, Italians Do It Better has expanded beyond its core roster and signed a number of new acts from all around the globe. Acting like a creative director, Johnny Jewel carefully considers the label’s aesthetic, writing and producing for many of the artists, ensuring a considered continuity of ambience throughout its output.

As part of their diversification, Italians Do It Better have also released demo recordings of now well-known tracks by Fred Ventura and Julee Cruise. The surprise signing of Swedish cult favourite Sally Shapiro following a 2016 retirement signalled wider ambitions but this news this was countered by CHROMATICS announcing they were disbanding.

The past 18 months has seen Italians Do It Better enter one of its most prolific periods yet, while maintaining its high quality. Known for their ‘After Dark’ series of compilations, the label recently paid a 63rd birthday tribute to Madonna (who inspired the label’s name via a T-shirt slogan “Italians Do It Better” in the ‘Papa Do Preach’ video) with a collection of in-house covers.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK presents by way of a Beginner’s Guide, a selection from the Italian Do It Better catalogue, placed in yearly, then alphabetical order subject to a restriction of one track per artist moniker.

GLASS CANDY Etheric Device (2007)

Formed in Portland by Ida No and Johnny Jewel, the second GLASS CANDY album ‘B/E/A/T/B/O/X’ was among the first long players released on Italians Do It Better. Its compendium of dysfunctional electro-disco featured highlights such as ‘Beatific’. But the sharp mantric cascade of ‘Etheric Device’ saw Ida No channel a startled cross of Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich and Cyndi Lauper over bursts of rumbling synthbass. A third album ‘Body Work’ was announced in 2012 but remains unreleased.

Available on the GLASS CANDY album ‘B/E/A/T/B/O/X’


SYMMETRY Thicker Than Blood (2011)

Johnny Jewel was originally commissioned with CHROMATICS drummer and synthesist Nat Walker to provide an electronic soundtrack for ‘Drive’. But his work was not used and replaced by Cliff Martinez. So Jewel reworked the music and other abstract archive material as ‘Themes For An Imaginary Film’. Using the moniker SYMMETRY, the instrumental ‘Thicker Than Blood’ was one of the standouts Meanwhile, one track turned into a song was ‘Streets Of Fire’ which featured the vocals of Ruth Radlett.

Available on the SYMMETRY album ‘Themes For An Imaginary Film’


CHROMATICS Looking For Love (2013)

While their fourth album ‘Kill For Love’ showcased CHROMATICS cross of NEW ORDER styled indie guitar pop and synthesized grandeur, ‘Looking For Love’ was a dark slice of John Carpenter-inspired electronic disco lento at 103 BPM, with Ruth Radlett offering more of a tone of resignation rather than her trademark her wispiness. Originally, it was one of three new songs by CHROMATICS on the ‘After Dark 2’ collection featuring a selection of the Italians Do It Better roster.

Available on the CHROMATICS single bundle ‘Looking For Love’


JOHNNY JEWEL featuring SAOIRSE RONAN Tell Me (2014)

Undeterred by his frustrating experience working on ‘Drive’, Johnny Jewel agreed to provide the score for ‘Lost River’, the directorial debut of Ryan Gosling. A sparse ballad of innocence, ‘Tell Me’ was its undoubted highlight and sung in the film by Saoirse Ronan as her character Rat. The actress had never sung before and her contribution was recorded in two takes with a single microphone and no headphones. This nervous tension presented a wonderful ‘Twin Peaks’ vibe and a chilling if emotive ambience.

Available on the JOHNNY JEWEL album ‘Lost River (Original Motion Picture Score)’


TESS ROBY Catalyst (2018)

The contralto folktronica of Tess Roby was something of a departure for the Italians Do It Better stable. Born to musician parents, Roby dedicated the ‘Beacon’ album to her father and built her songs around the understated tones of a Roland Juno 106, allowing room for her vocals to take centre stage. ‘Catalyst’ was the album’s key reflective ode and provided an expansive earthy quality in its minimalism. She is also a photographer and a member of the danceable dreampop trio DAWN TO DAWN.

Available on the TESS ROBY album ‘Beacon’


DOUBLE MIXTE Romance Noire (2019)

Originally a duo comprising Thomas Maan and Clara Apolit, brooding Parisians DOUBLE MIXTE projected themselves as a modern day Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin but with a lively techno backbone that was especially evident on their debut Italians Do It Better single ‘Romance Noire’. The Gauloises flavoured film noir synergy came over in a combination of feminine Gallic prose over fat bursts of synths for a dark disco soundtrack that had decadent cool written all over it.

Available on the DOUBLE MIXTE EP ‘Romance Noire’


HEAVEN Truth Or Dare (2019)

The mysterious HEAVEN first came to wider attention with the ‘Lonesome Town’ EP featuring the hauntingly breathy ‘It’s Not Enough’ and a funereal paced cover of the Ricky Nelson title ballad that captured the fragility of the broken heart. Fronted by the enigmatic allure of singer and keyboardist Aja, the brilliant ‘Truth Or Dare’ sounded like CHROMATICS but with more synths and drum machine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, closer scrutiny revealed that HEAVEN was another project helmed by the ubiquitous Johnny Jewel.

Available on the HEAVEN single bundle ‘Truth Or Dare’


ORION I Want You So Bad (2020)

Inspired by Cyberpunk and Giallo cinema, ORION are the enigmatic Rhode Island duo of Orion Dommisse and John-Paul Sullivan. Their second single ‘I Want You So Bad’ was a wonderful Italo-inspired slice of “Cybernetic Noir” produced by Johnny Jewel where the breathy inter-galactic desire was so hot that “I flew from space to love you”. The follow-up single ‘Higher’ was another noteworthy Eurocentric offering with an airy and alluring feminine disposition.

Available on the ORION single bundle ‘I Want You So Bad’


CAUSEWAY We Were Never Lost (2020)

Also produced by Johnny Jewel, West Coast synthwave duo CAUSEWAY are Allison Rae and Marshall Watson. With a deep vocal resignation augmented by the tick of the clock and a foggy electronic disposition, ‘We Were Never Lost’ premiered on the ‘After Dark 3’ compilation. The duo kept up the standard with its more dreampop-laden follow-up ‘Hide & Seek’ while their most recent singular offering was a cover of NEW ORDER’s ‘Your Silent Face’.

Available on the compilation ‘After Dark 3’ (V/A)


DESIRE Escape (2020)

The brazen and provocative sass of DESIRE fronted by Megan Louise presents the more playful side of Italians Do It Better compared with the ice maiden persona of Ruth Radlett. This was more than demonstrated on a saucy if faithful cover of NEW ORDER’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. But crossing the Italo-influenced electronic pop of Manchester’s finest with BANANARAMA, the charming follow-up single ‘Escape’ did as its title suggested, offering delightful escapism for the dancefloor.

Available on the DESIRE single ‘Escape’


BARK BARK DISCO Get Up & Run (2021)

If PET SHOP BOYS had remixed THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, then it might have sounded a bit like BARK BARK DISCO. Maltese producer Ian Schranz is the man behind the glitterball canine moniker and ‘Get Up & Run’ was an optimistic rallying call to overcome lockdown fatigue where “You’ve gotta get back to the other side”. As well as recording his own material, BARK BARK DISCO is also an occasional collaborator of label mate and neighbour JOON.

Available on the BARK BARK DISCO single ‘Get Up & Run’


JORJA CHALMERS I’ll Be Waiting (2021)

If there is an artist that encapsulates the nocturnal cinematic aesthetic of Italians Do It Better, then it is Australian multi-instrumentalist Jorja Chalmers. Her debut album ‘Human Again’ captured a lonely hotel room comedown but the second long player ‘Midnight Train’ presented more refinement, structure and vocals. Driven by a drum mantra in the vein of Bill Ward from BLACK SABBATH with expressive sax straight out of ‘Neuköln’, she captured a decadent European chill on the wonderfully windswept ‘I’ll Be Waiting’.

Available on the JORJA CHALMERS album ‘Midnight Train’


DLINA VOLNY Bipolar (2021)

Inspired by the spectre of the former Soviet Union, Minsk trio DLINA VOLNY explore post-punk with a dance beat not unlike NEW ORDER. Having already had two albums already under their belt and singing in English with an inherent Eastern Bloc gloom in Masha Zinevitch’s vocals throughout their Italians Do It Better period, their fifth single for the label ‘Bipolar’ was dark disco with plenty of synth and mystery that asked “But what is it like being on the border?”.

Available on the DLINA VOLNY single ‘Bipolar’


GLÜME Get Low (2021)

If Lana Del Rey is the “Gangster Nancy Sinatra”, then Los Angeles-born GLÜME is the self-styled “Walmart Marilyn Monroe”. ‘Get Low’ was an intriguing slice of accessible avant pop about the high of falling for someone and how brain chemistry and nervous systems are affected. Applying some rumbling electronic bass, stabbing vintage synths and simple but prominent digital drum beats, ‘Get Close’ sounded not unlike an experimental hybrid of OMD and LADYTRON!

Available on the GLÜME album ‘The Internet’


JOON ET (2021)

JOON is the artist formally known as YEWS and the musical vehicle of Maltese producer Yasmin Kuymizakis. With many voices in her head, the blippy avant pop ‘ET’ comes over like an oddball variant on Berlin-based Nordic duo ULTRAFLEX; with wonderfully eerie Theremin tones that make the concoction creepy yet fun, this inviting lo-fi number was used in a digital fashion show for the Nintendo simulation game ‘Animal Crossing’, adding to its aural surrealism.

Available on the JOON album ‘Dream Again’



Angelica Ranåsen and Jacob Fagerstål are Berlin-based Swedish duo JUNO FRANCIS who had released several synthpop singles on Finland’s Solina Records. But on teaming up with Venezuelan producer Alejandro Molinari, they became much more danceable and ‘Symmetry’ offered a sensual electro-funkiness that fitted in with the international disco aspirations of Italian Do It Better. Glamorous, hypnotic and decadent, the video was filmed in the notorious KitKatClub located in the Mitte suburb of the former Mauerstadt.

Available on the JUNO FRANCIS & ALEJANDRO MOLINARI single ‘Symmetry’


MOTHERMARY Pray (2021)

Inspired by the Prayer of the Blessed Virgin, the strikingly photogenic twins Elyse and Larena are like real-life ‘Twin Peaks’ characters, the backstory being that they escaped their strict Mormon family in remote Montana and uprooted to Brooklyn. Sounding a bit like Anglo-German art pop duo KALEIDA but with an acid house squelch, ‘Pray’ was their most provocative offering to date with gritty references to a “sacrificial offering” and confirmation that “We’ll pray for you…”

Available on the MOTHERMARY single ‘Pray’


RAMXES Bibliotech Virus (2021)

Another diversion for Italians Do It Better, RAMXES is a producer based in Texas with a background in hip-hop and rap who favours using Sequential Prophet Rev2 and Prophet 12 synths. The self-proclaimed “Dystopic Cowboy” combines house and glitch from within a video game mindset, a combination that is in its fullest flow with the sinister but infectious ‘Bibliotech Virus’. The parent album ‘Deep Crimson’ contained another 11 pieces of relentless electronic drive.

Available on the RAMXES album ‘Deep Crimson’


With special thanks to Frankie Davison at Stereo Sanctity

The Madonna tribute album ‘Italians Do It Better’ featuring 20 covers by 19 artists is now available via all the usual online platforms






ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s IDIB playlist ‘GLI ITALIANI LO FANNO MEGLIO’ can be streamed at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6HPhf1yptwaN6UiHDqzFI6

Text by Chi Ming Lai
24th August 2021