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All the news that’s fit.

We run a radio station. Traditionally, couldn’t care less about video releases. Sorry, but it’s true. But then… one of our favorite bands polishes up one of their recent classics, and makes a video for it. And the whole studio starts to buzz. This is certainly the case with Melbourne’s Arbes, who released one of the sparkling EPs of last year, and the song that cracked #15 on our Top Tracks of 2016 chart. “Sun On My Back” is one of those perennial summer songs that’s difficult not to adore.

In a world full of DIIV knockoffs (and outright parodies), this awkward anthem is everything you could want guitar-based dream pop to evolve into. Sam Pannifex lays down the angular, even mathy guitar riffs, while Jess Zanoni overlays all with a vocal line with warmth and precision. That they’ve configured a hook-laden follow-up to 2015’s “45” should be no surprise. This summer groove didn’t just evolve in L.A., or even Brooklyn. Melbourne doesn’t need schooling on how to bring the sparkly summer vibe. Arbes has been doing it for years now.

Find and follow Arbes via Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter. If you’ve missed, you’ve been missing out.

Edited photo above courtesy Thomas Helbig (teliko82), Creative Commons license.

Tickets were made available today for the midwest’s premiere festival for shoegaze and dream pop, Kalamashoegazer. Now in its eleventh installment, this DIY festival has become the gold standard for festivals of its kind, and the venue change to Bell’s Brewery is an upgrade everyone is genuinely enthusiastic about.

Tonight, we air a special program celebrating Kalamashoegazer XI, and the announced bill.

4:30 pm Houseplants (Grand Rapids, MI)

5:30 pm Crash City Saints (Kalamazoo, MI)
Brand new album, ‘Are You Free,’ out now on St. Marie Records. https://www.facebook.com/SaintMarieRecords/

6:30 pm Orations (Buffalo, NY)

7:30 pm Tambourina (Kalamazoo, MI)
(Feat. members of glowfriends)

8:30 pm Dead Leaf Echo (Brooklyn, NY)

9:30 pm Brief Candles (Milwaukee, WI)

10:30 pm Whimsical (Chicago, IL)
First show since 2003, with their original line-up. Sleep to Dream available on St. Marie.

11:30 pm Airiel (Chicago, IL)
New album, Molten Young Lovers, due imminently.

Tonight’s Kalamashoegazer XI special will run midnight Eastern, 9 pm Pacific, with a repeat twelve hours later. We’ll post a recorded snapshot on Mixcloud by this weekend, for the permanent record. Tickets available now, via this link. Don’t sleep!

Update: we’ve posted the aired program to Mixcloud, now available on demand. Listen in here.

Early 2015. DEAFCULT release their self-titled first EP. Opens up with the obvious single “BEEMOMUG“. Perhaps the best opening statement of a band this decade. The sound, the structure, the propulsion… it’s like being sweetly slapped upside the head. At our studios, we got the early release, and DEAFCULT won a permanent place in rotation, and in our hearts. Anyone and everyone we shared with had the same immediate reaction: this is special.

Fast forward to June of 2017, and DEAFCULT have capitalized on their early promise. Even with lineup changes and schedule challenges, they completed their first long-player, Auras, for Hobbledehoy. They’ve toured Australia extensively with the support of national media outlets, and garnered much critical praise (including our own Top Five lists) only two months later. We sat down with Innez and Stevie, who were gracious enough to answer our far-reaching questions, and expertly deal with our awkward sense of humor. Press ‘play’ on the album and follow along, won’t you?

Four guitars. Surely makes for an immense, epic sound. Do you ever wake up and think, “What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?” Like the old joke says, “Rush did it with only three people…” And do you ever run into each other on stage? 

Stevie: I think the four guitars is essential to the way DEAFCULT sounds. There’s four, very simple, almost mundane fractions that equate to a more complex whole. It’s worth the tight squeeze to get that result. It’s a sound that I’ve never personally heard before and enjoy the otherworldly nature of it. 
Innez: Earlier this year when Sean left the band, and I thought ‘ok maybe we can just go back to having three guitarists’ but then when we tried it out it just sounded wrong, like that extra element was missing. I think if we were to all go in, plug in and play, the outcome would sound awful! With this in mind we spend a lot of time on the different melodies and sounds and experiment quite a lot to get it to sound like it does. But yes, there’s still a bit of a shuffle around at each different venue to make sure we’re not whacking each other in the head. (laughs)

DKFM: This band seemed to form from the ashes of other quality acts, both in genre and “genre-adjacent”. Some names may not be familiar to our readers / listeners, but Roku Music springs to the top of the list. Do you see DEAFCULT as a sort of “shoegaze supergroup”? 

Stevie: Not really, Innez and Kelly are the only people in the band that previously played in Shoegazer bands. To me it’s like my own personal supergroup as I asked the people that I most wanted to play music with to be in the band! I feel very fortunate every time we play that they all agreed cause it’s super inspiring playing with my favourite musicians in Brisbane. 
Innez: I only knew Matt and Stevie (and now Kelly) before the band started so wasn’t really sure what type of music we would be creating together. Initially I thought Stevie was just asking me to work on a recording of his, so when we had our first rehearsal it was like, oh this is a thing, we’re  a band! Haha. That being said, I think Stevie has a natural talent in writing beautiful shoegaze/dream pop songs with heavier elements and for some reason all the songwriters in the band add different qualities from the genre that work well together. So to wrap up, we are an unexpected supergroup. (laughs)

DKFM: The debut EP certainly caught OUR attention immediately. No surprise, really, as that’s sort of our job. But it didn’t take long for even the “local luminaries” like Triple J to climb fully on board. Are you at all surprised with the love you seem to have earned right out of the starting gate, coming from around the world? 

Stevie: Oh without a doubt. Initially it was just a recording project. We never even thought people would actually hear it! It became this other thing though. When we actually heard the first record it was a surprise. “Oh right! That’s what we are?!” It seemed too unusual not to explore what it was further. 
Innez: It’s been really surprising and exciting! Shoegaze fans are so passionate about the genre and the music being released. There are so many amazing bands in the scene; I kind of can’t believe the attention we’ve received so far. Thank you for all the love and support! 

DKFM: While others focus on guitars, pedals, reverb, building a textural foundation for musical exploration, you start your process on acoustic guitar, writing accessible “pop” songs, only adding layers later in the process. What are the advantages of this approach? I can only imagine sitting around on an Ovation acoustic, thinking, “This’ll be a stomping anthem!” 

Stevie: I think the roots of the band is still Pop music. You can stray away from that when you rely too heavily on effects. It’s nice to strip everything textural away and still have a good pop song there! Take away all the feedback and distortion from a Husker Du song and you have perfect pop songs, or add a layer of feedback and fuzz to a Ronettes song and you aren’t far away from the Mary Chain. 
Innez: I guess it just comes down to getting the foundations right for a band like DEAFCULT. There’s a fine line between good noise and bad noise you know?  At least for a band like us. We need that initial guitar rhythm to write the rest of the song around. Adding in a solid bass line and drums, then we can add the textural guitars, the cream on top. This just seems to work for us and if it ain’t broke, why fix it right?!?

DKFM: DEAFCULT is properly labeled as “noisy pop” or simply “noise pop”, yet many would lump you into both the shoegaze and dream pop categories.  Are you comfortable with those tags, with ANY tags, applied to your sound? 

Stevie: I don’t really think it’s that important how people categorise music. It’s easier for some people to put things into groups, which is fine! Other people just don’t worry about it. However you want to do it is cool I reckon. 
Innez: I think we’re pretty easy going when it comes to tags and being categorised. AURAS is a pretty varied record so could be labelled under a few different genres. Ultimately, if you like it and want to call it shoegaze, dream pop, whatever you like, go for it! 

DKFM: How long did Auras take to record and produce, and what was it like jumping from a well-regarded Bandcamp EP to a label-signed full album? 

Stevie: AURAS took a long time. We recorded it and then wanted to change it a year later. Hobbledehoy were very good about it, most labels would have freaked out at us. They waited a year for us to turn around and say we aren’t feeling this yet we are doing it again. The album’s complete, out now on Hobbledehoy, burning up the charts. 
Innez: Hobbledehoy are an incredible label with heaps of experience (and patience!) releasing records and working with bands so we’ve been really lucky to develop great friendships and working relationships through this release. I think we definitely did the right thing with re-recording the album, the songs are more realised with better performances, and everyone is happy with the outcome. We learnt a lot from the experience, so hopefully the next record won’t take quite so long. (laughs)

DKFM: Your headlining shows are booked (some already played) in Australia… any plans for an international tour, ala Flyying Colours? Probably made more difficult in your case, with six musicians… 

Stevie: We talk about it all the time. Sometimes it’s hard to see how we would translate overseas. It feels like we belong to Australia in some ways. We owe a lot to the people who come to shows here, the labels that have released our records and the community radio stations that have supported us since the day we started. But then we also owe a great deal to people like yourself who have helped push us further afield. It’s a beautiful network the alternative music world it’s nice to see that it’s still thriving on its own terms. 
Innez: We’d love to tour overseas! It is mostly the logistics and cost for a band of our size. But that being said we’ve had a lot of support from the US and Europe. It would be so awesome to make it over and meet the people supporting and emailing us! 

DKFM: Finally, do you have a “band philosophy”, something that unifies the band as a team, gets you through the good times and bad? 

Stevie: Communication is important. Telling each other how we feel. Bands are like family in some respects. We are there for each other during shitty times and we make each other laugh the rest of the time.
Innez: Yeah definitely communication, respect for each other and friendship keeps this band going. We’re all best mates at the end of the day!

Follow the Deafcult squad via their Bandcamp, label, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, and we’ll keep spinning their tunes!

With a new single for 2017, Flying Cape Experience practice their unique brand of enchantment once again. Out now on El Vals del Conejo, “Fire Between Us” again sports an acoustic foundation, leaving the dream pop accents to the production and vocals, and a Moody Blues-like orchestration for the song’s climax. The art direction is classic, returning to simpler, gentler times.

“Fire Between Us” released 28 July, but the video accompaniment became available late yesterday. Follow Flying Cape Experience on Twitter and Facebook, and catch up with their back catalogue through the label page at El Vals del Conejo.

Before DKFM became a known name, we were familiar with Kalamazoo’s Crash City Saints. 2010’s epic LP, Glow In The Dark Music, presented a band in full throttle: sweeping, powerful, but always tuneful. Classic singles “A Life Worth Living” and “Cough Syrup” exemplified a band at the top of their game, and poised to take over the world. Bits of Astrobrite, with a sprinkling of Jesus and Mary Chain, Crash City Saints sparked with electric energy, and a stamp on the sound that was both deafening and undeniable.

So what happened to the lads? Other than a 2011 EP, they seemed to have fallen off the radar, much to the dismay of fans everywhere. So there was much rejoicing at the news that they’d signed to Saint Marie Records for their long-awaited followup, due 11 August. But Are You Free? is described as a far more ambitious project than might have been expected. Are You Free? was initially conceived as the shoegaze Quadrophenia. I wanted to tell the story of a teenager growing up in a small town in the early 90s set to songs meant to function as various homages to the bands I loved (the bands that “saved my life” as The Smiths once put it) from that period). However, as with every musical endeavor of mine to date, it soon became clear that my ambitions were bigger than my recording budget, and many song ideas had to be scrapped. Ultimately, this was probably for the best.”

From the opening “folky” bars of “Ice Cream Headache”, you may think you’ve landed in some parallel universe. Once the tuneful haze sets in, you’ve found yourself in familiar territory. Part Arcade Fire, part Beatles, but undeniably Crash City Saints, you’ve started on a journey that’s uniquely their own. Filled with a midwestern cool, and a consistent propulsion throughout, this is a joyous return. If you’re late to the party, this is a great time to catch up. Crash City Saints’ Are You Free? LP releases on 11 August (vinyl, CD, digital), but preorders are live now via Saint Marie Records.

Follow Crash City Saints via their Facebook page, and on Twitter. Go. Now. Do it.

Celldweller may not be the first name that comes to mind when you’re thinking of shoegaze or dream pop. A long career with highlights and chart successes in industrial metal and electronic rock, multi-instrumentalist and sonic visionary Klayton (Celldweller) has been universally known for signature driving beats and crunchy guitar riffs. So when he announced his forthcoming LP, Offworld would draw from a variety of shoegaze influences he’s loved, some of his fans may have come away puzzled. More Daysleepers than Deftones, previews of Offworld featured watery reverb, and perhaps a greater emotional depth than previous releases.

For us, the crown jewel of this new effort is “Echoes”. At once powerful and deeply personal, “Echoes” seems a perfect fusion of Celldweller’s epic aspirations and classic shoegaze flourishes. “This song really captured the shoegaze sound I have loved for years,” Klayton said. “Where I had sprinkled elements of shoegaze throughout the album, this song was 100% unapologetically shoegaze.” We’ll take unapologetic shoegaze any day of the week.

We asked about the new sound, the sonic new approach, and the gear it took to make this album a reality.
“This album is like no other Celldweller album I’ve ever made which was completely intentional. While exploring the idea of Offworld and contemplating what I wanted it to say musically, I found myself wanting the music to be a more organic, breathing & evolving thing. This made me approach songwriting by first picking up a guitar instead of a synthesizer and processing them through a vast world of guitar pedals. Further mangling organic sources and Infusing the tracks with my traditional electronic sound design resulted in an album I’m really proud of. 
I bought a bevy of guitar pedals that I felt would inspire new ideas and help navigate uncharted musical directions for me and then went to work. I used pedals from Strymon, Red Panda, Earthquaker Devices, Boss, Dwarfcraft, Electro-Harmonix, Frantone & Eventide and found huge amounts of inspiration there. 
I’ve been a longtime fan of ’90s Shoegaze artists but never really had a place to produce in that style on my own tracks. This was the perfect place to infuse those vibes across some of the tracks. I approached other songs with more of an Acoustic Guitar backbone and even delved into some Blackgaze inspired stuff to bring in the heavier side of things. I used some great software on the release. The Eventide suite of plugins (Blackhole!!) Valhalla reverbs, Soundtoys effects and Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 and Pro-MB everywhere. I used an assortment of guitars through Various amps – Vox, Mesa Boogie & Saldono as well as the occasional Native Instruments Guitar Rig for in-the-box stuff. 

There were no production rules per-se. My only goal was to create an album that had a consistent feel – one I would have wanted as a teen, driving around on cold winter nights while lost in thought. To me there was an escape in that music and I wanted to create that same environment for someone else. You and I will go Offworld tonight…” Klayton (Celldweller)

New noisy toys, new textures, and a fully sonically immersive experience. Offworld is released 28 July on the FiXT label. Follow Celldweller via his website and social channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

From well-received early singles, to sparkling remixes, to their debut LP, Northern Automatic Music on Saint Marie Records, Chicago’s Panda Riot have continued to evolve from beachy cuteness to a dream pop band demanding to be taken seriously. And they are to be taken seriously. With all the hard work evident on their most recent album Infinity Maps, seems like the critics are finally catching up as well. We sat down with the chief architect and sonic sculptor Brian Cook, to talk about composition, pedals, sampling, as well as future plans. Press play and follow along, won’t you?

DKFM: It can’t be JUST us… this album seemed to take an absurdly long time to finally be released into the world. Tell us about the journey to release?

Brian: It takes a while for the vibe of an album to wear off. We could have made an album right after Northern Automatic Music and it probably would have sounded similar, but thats not what we were after. I  spent about a year teaching myself to build guitar pedals and then actually building them. I ended up building about 50 different pedals for this album. I built them based on what the song needed–even it was just one little moment in a song, I’d build a pedal just for that. It took awhile too because we have our own studio. We were experimenting more with the recording and the composition.  When we record something into the computer it isn’t just about taking what’s there and making it sound better. We’d try to push things beyond that. For instance, we may record a drum part, then chop it up in the computer, listen back and then try to recreate that version live; record it and then merge the 2 versions. So you end up having a mixture of organic and inorganic elements.

DKFM: It seems that there are more layers, more competing textures, that there’s just more going on in Infinity Maps than you’ve attempted before. If anything, seems like an incredible attention to detail. Talk a little about the recording and mixing process.

Brian: From a technical/gear perspective, I built out a computer that could handle and process large numbers of tracks smoothly. We also bought a pair of Mackie Controls, which is a digital control surface that talks to Logic Pro. Having 16 faders and not having to mix with a trackpad or mouse is super freeing. It really bridges the analog console approach to the digital realm. Moving faders, twisting dials feels much more natural. And once you have the ability to manipulate recorded elements fluidly with a computer it can become an instrument in its own right. All this equipment–the Mackie Control and the Mac Pro are from 2010 or earlier. The pre-touch screen stuff is brilliant and cheap nowadays.

DKFM: Tell us a little about the unique guitar textures you’re getting on this album. What goes into making the Panda Riot sound?

Brian: I had a pretty specific approach to recording and mixing the guitars from the start. I would do a take and then send that signal back through a different amp, pedal, mic combination a bunch of times.  The cool thing about that is that it doesn’t end up sounding like 100 overdubs since all the tracks are derived from the same performance. When it came to mixing I’d have about 8 different textures of the same part (x2 takes) to play around with, so for rhythm guitars I could then blend all those together.  It’s similar to working with a drawbar organ in a strange way where it’s one big sound but you can play around with the harmonics and texture.

The chaining of pedals and understanding what the best order is to exploit a certain sound also takes a long time. But it’s that very precarious chain of events that’s special. You twist one knob and the whole thing could fall apart. Twist another and it’s magic.

DKFM: Infinity Maps is notable for solid songs, bookended by luscious short song snippets in between. Was that a fortuitous use of existing material on the cutting room floor, or a conscious decision to give the LP even greater depth and colour?

Brian: Overall the idea was to treat everything as a moment. Some moments or feelings are more fleeting than others, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Everything was composed based on what the album called for.

One of the things we were focused on was thinking of songs or parts visually like a film. You have moments, scenes, establishing shots, lighting etc. With that in mind, it was pretty clear what each song needed to be.

Chimera, Infinity Maps and Parachute use elements or were directly sampled from elements of Aphelion for example. Parallels samples Arrows. Glass Cathedrals samples Night Animation. I’ve always been a fan of early hip hop and sample spotting. It’s cool to hear a piece of music show up in a different context and take on a new feeling or meaning.

DKFM: How do you think the album’s been received thus far?

Brian: We’ve gotten a really great response so far. It feels good to have it done and out there. And people seem to be picking up on the aspects that we spent a long time trying to bring out.

DKFM: You headed out on tour, bringing the Panda Riot roadshow to the West Coast last year. Now that the album is getting traction everywhere, making any fresh tour plans to amplify the signal?

Brian: We did a small tour on the East Coast in June which went over really well. We are planning on playing out a lot more. The songs off this album translate really well in a live context which is a relief. Because when we were writing the album we never considered how hard/easy it would be to play live.

DKFM: What’s next for the Panda Riot Express? New video productions for the existing songs? New songs in the works?

Brian: We are planning on releasing Infinity Maps on Vinyl in the Fall which we are pretty excited about. We’ll have some new music videos between now and then too.

DKFM: Finally, what one thing should everyone know about Panda Riot?

Brian: We are all descended from outer space aliens.

Follow Panda Riot via their website, and social channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Catch the fever.


Releasing into the wild on 21 July, the first issue from Dut Dut Dut Dut LLC, the Summer of Shimmer 17 mixtape. A project months in the making, Mike Contreras and Co. wanted to simultaneously celebrate the scene that celebrates itself, promote new and emerging artists, and plant a flag to represent their new imprint. Half of these tracks are brand new, never before heard, and exclusive to this compilation. Twelve unique artists, twelve divergent sonic approaches, one limited edition tinted blue cassette tape with digital download code, We’ll run a special program tonight, 10 pm Eastern, 7 Pacific, premiering select tracks from the compilation.

Full Tracklist:

1. Soda Lilies – “Not Like Honey”
2. Red Rosie – “Close My Eyes”
3. The Love Agenda – “Peace In This World”
4. Never Come Downs – “All Alone”
5. You’re Jovian – “Just Say When”
6. Lesvosurf – “Carrefour”
7. Daysee – “The South”
8. Coloresantos – “Rigel”
9. There Are Ghosts – “Yellow and Grey”
10. Coloring Electric Like – “Standing On The Moon”
11. Black Juvenal – “The Sound and the Fury”
12. Vyva Melinkolya – “Snow”

We’ll also be dropping in a choice cut or two from tomorrow’s A Thousand Hours release: Sleep is their second long-player, and it’s a next-level effort. It’s been an honor to work on both projects, mastering both albums with an eye (er, ear) toward broadcast. And we’re happy to trot out fresh premieres from both projects in one happy hour of sonic freshness!


We first took notice of Saint Petersburg, Russia’s Blankenberge in March of 2016, as some of the smartest folks we knew were praising their debut self-titled EP. For a debut to feature such an epic, cavernous sound right from the start, well, that’s some confidence right there. While still formative, the seeds were planted for something pretty big.

Since then, Blankenberge got to work. Polishing, amplifying their singular sonic vision, writing and recording their newly-released debut LP, Radiogaze. And it’s a wonder. The sonic caverns are deeper, the vocals more assured, the space they inhabit is fully their own. Already critically lauded as one of the best albums in the genre thus far in 2017, Blankenberge have carved out their own space in a scene that sometimes seems okay with “good enough”. We sat down with these dreamers, to find out more about their sound, approach, and future plans. Noting the language barriers in translation from Russian to English (and vice versa), we’re thrilled to present this first English-language interview with Blankenberge. Press play below, and follow along.

How did Blankenberge come together?

Daniil [guitar, synth]: All of us, except Sergey (our drummer), knew each other before moving to St. Petersburg, even though we were living in different cities in Russia. We were obsessed with guitar effects and mailed them to each other. I bought a pedal «Shoegazer» from Dayan and started playing shoegaze.
Yana [vocals]: Our band originally started in a small city in the south of Siberia, Barnaul, in early 2015. It included Daniil and I and our friends from Barnaul that are not in the band now. Before that, we traveled throughout Europe and visited some cities and towns in Belgium. Blankenberge was one of them. We were so impressed by that trip, especially by the North Sea coast that we called our group Blankenberge in honor of that city. After returning we composed several songs, some of which were included in our first EP. Then that same year, Daniil and I moved to St. Petersburg, because we thought that we would have more opportunities to develop our music. We also think that this is the most beautiful city in Russia and it gives a lot of inspiration to artists. Soon after the move, we found the rest of the current members (Dmitriy – bass, Dayan – guitar, Sergey – drums). We often performed in St. Petersburg and finally in March 2016 we released the self-titled EP.

DKFM: Saint Petersburg, Russia. We know that Pinkshinyultrablast was formed there, but most of the other Russian-origin dream pop and shoegaze bands seem to have come from Moscow. Is there much of an alternative music scene in Saint Petersburg, and what is it like?
Dmitriy [bass]: For me the music scene of St. Petersburg has always seemed more underground than in Moscow. In my opinion, there is a huge number of great bands, which haven’t become popular for some reasons. For example, I like the band «Elektrorebyata», that has unfortunately split up now, I think they are the Russian “Guided by Voices” or “Dinosaur Jr”.
Yana [vocals]: We know a few good bands that are playing shoegaze and dream pop music, and they are all from different cities of Russia, not only Moscow and St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg I would like to mention some very good post-rock bands, for example «TRNA», «Show me a dinosaur» and «Antethic».

DKFM: Who would you say are your influences? Who has helped shape your sound, your sonic approach?
Daniil [guitar, synth]: In the sound of Blankenberge, I’m guided by «This will destroy you» and «Sigur Rós». Now I also really like the new band of Stuart from «Mogwai» – «Minor Victories». I saw a lot of reviews about our music and some of them are saying that it is similar to «Slowdive», but honestly, I’ve never been a fan of their music.
Dmitriy [bass]: It’s hard to say who are the influences of our current sound because our music tastes are very different, but I really like «Slowdive», «Adorable» and «Swervedriver», they are my own influences.
Yana [vocals]: I think we all listen to different music and it reflects on our music in a good way.

DKFM: Tell us about this group of talents, and what they bring to the songwriting process?
Yana [vocals]: Daniil composes almost all the music. Before that, he composed music in his bands «Every Second of Inertia» and «Век Ноль»(«Vek Nol’»), and he already had a great experience in composing music. Each participant certainly invests something in the process of composing while rehearsing. I write lyrics and compose the vocal melodies. Dayan and Dmitry are well versed in the choice of guitar effects, which greatly affects our sound. Sergey is our drummer and I couldn’t imagine our sound without him.
Daniil [guitar, synth]: Some songs appear spontaneously, for example when I’m on the subway. You know the noise of a subway car is quite melodic. If you put drums there, you will get excellent shoegaze. «We» and «Falling Stars» were definitely composed that way.
Usually we try to compose songs at rehearsals all together shrouded in a shimmering and loud sound. We record all that and then I listen to it at home in silence and under the influence of sound hallucinations, a new track appears.
When I compose music, I just make those sounds that I would like to listen to later.

DKFM: Though they are different bands, with different sonic foundations, some have compared Blankenberge to Pinkshinyultrablast, perhaps because of the angelic vocal layer that rests atop the guitar’s haze. Do YOU see any similarities, or do you find the comparison short-sighted?
Daniil [guitar, synth]: In fact, comparison with «Pinkshinyultrablast» is a compliment for me. When I first heard them, I was really amazed and I told myself – this is what I wanted to hear for a long time, and this is ideal. It was for me something like satori.
It seems to me that we have quite a different structure to the tracks from «Pinkshinyultrablast» and therefore there are more differences than similarities – that’s all that I can say.
Dmitriy [bass]: The first time I heard «Pinkshinyultrablast» was in 2011. It was their EP
«Happy Songs for Happy Zombies». Back then I didn’t even believe that it was a band from Russia, because in those days, popular rock music in Russia was very different. I think that we are influenced by «Pinkshinyultrablast» one way or another, but we never thought about copying their sound.
Yana [vocals]: I think that of course the fact that «Pinkshinyultrablast» comes from St. Petersburg creates a kind of connection between us for everyone who is listening to us. We really like what they do and it is definitely reflected in our music, but there are a lot of bands that have influenced us. For example, I’m very grateful to «Pinkshinyultrablast» for having discovered the «Astrobrite» band for me by naming their band after one of the albums of «Astrobrite». Apart from «Astrobrite», I am inspired by many bands, such as «Mogwai» and «Sigur Rós». Their music is magical.

DKFM: There are eleven-time zones in Russia. Do you get to tour the country at all, given the geographical challenges involved? And are there any plans for an international tour?
Yana [vocals]: Apart from Sergey, the members of our band come from different cities. We dream of touring inside Russia and playing in our home cities too. So far, we have only played in St. Petersburg and Moscow. We also would like to tour Europe, but so far, we cannot name exact dates.
Daniil [guitar, synth]: My big dream is to tour the world and play my music. We really want to go somewhere in the near future, to Blankenberge for example. (*laughs*)

DKFM: Talk about what it took to put together this full album: the songwriting process, the recording process. Also, where did the album’s title, ‘Radiogaze’ come from? Almost seems like it was made for us radio DJs playing shoegaze!
Daniil [guitar, synth]: The process of composing and recording was very difficult and long, but I really enjoyed doing it, even though there were a lot of issues. It took us a few fuzz and reverb pedals and a good sound engineer. The album came out and I like it. This is my first work that I’m really happy with and I can say this without modesty.
Yana [vocals]: The first songs from «Radiogaze» appeared almost immediately after the release of our first self-tittled EP at the beginning of 2016. For a year we composed songs with six months left for recording and mixing. We wanted to make a lighter and dancier album than the previous EP, but we didn’t want to step far from shoegaze, so we tried to mix shoegaze with dream pop. We tried to select the best of what we liked in the songs of our favorite bands and put it together in our songs. «Radiogaze» is a word derived from some associations. The noise of analog radio is for us associated to the noise that we hear in shoegaze music. It’s simply saying it’s something like “A radio, which plays shoegaze”.

DKFM: What comes next for Blankenberge? The album is a critical success, largely based on word-of-mouth, as well as stations and blogs like ours who have championed your sound. Any upcoming plans?
Yana [vocals]: Now we are planning to publish the album on physical media – tapes, CDs, vinyl. Then we want to tour the cities of Russia and other countries and make noise in clubs outside St. Petersburg, where we often perform. Of course, we will also compose new music and try to make it even more perfect, in our understanding of that.
Daniil [guitar, synth]: We want to take advantage of the existing experience to make something new, surprise ourselves and make something louder than what we have already made. And of course, we want to get some new guitar pedals.

Yana [vocals]: Thanks to DKFM for this interview! We often listen to your radio and there’s always very good music. A real paradise for lovers of shoegaze and dream pop music all over the world!

Get your own copy of Blankenberge Radiogaze LP via their Bandcamp site. Follow Blankenberge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and VK (from which images in this interview are sourced).

We’re honored to trot out a number of world broadcast premieres from TBTCI Records. Renato Malizia has once again outdone himself, stitching together a new and exclusive compilation of dreamy, bendy tunes entitled, Come On Feel The NoiZe, BraZil Class ’17, released on Bandcamp June 9th. If you listen to DKFM, you’ll be well familiar with most of these artists: The Sorry Shop, Kid Foguete, Céus de Abril, Justine Never Knew The Rules, Loomer, Duelectrum, The Us and so many more. These are the artists who’ve spent the last half-decade lighting up Latin America, and lighting up our airwaves. Carefully curated (as usual) by Renato Malizia, this stands as a testimonial to the “deep bench” and incredible talent of these breakthrough artists.

From 10 am to 5 pm PDT (1p-8p Eastern), DJs Heretic and Ariel will season our regular programming with multiple world premieres from this landmark compilation. Of course, you’ll hear all of it during the New Tracks Weekend extravaganza, but, on the day of its release, it seems appropriate to call attention to and celebrate this unique album, and the hard work being done by TBTCI and these top-quality artists.

The full album is available June 9th, via the TBTCI Records Bandcamp site, and it’s a jewel. Congratulations to Renato for pulling together another epic release!