imageSuper Besse
MENT Festival : Ljubljana
Feb 2016
Live Review

LTW boss and Membranes (Membranes Facebook page) frontman John Robb is enthralled again by Belarus Dark Wave meets joy Div meets DAF genius of youthful trio.

You can buy the Super Besse album here

It’s packed in here.

And it’s a sweaty and intense celebration of the bass driven, dark wave trio from Belarus – Super Besse who are the highlight of the evening. The young band, with their bass driven songs that toy with that off kilter electronic stomp of DAF and the Peter Hook bass dives of Joy Division are now at the top of their game. This is now a very different proposition from the already great band we saw a couple of years ago – a gig that was so thrilling we rushed up to them afterwards and signed them on the spot to Louder Than War Records.

Belarus may seem like some kind of mystery nation etched on the edge of Europe to a British observer but there is a thriving music scene there – a scene that is enthralled by the dark possibilities of the aforementioned Joy Division and the attractive darkness of dark wave. It’s easy to draw parallels between living in a strictly run country and the darkness of this kind of music but Super Besse are also here to celebrate the form and their gigs are cool intersection between the melancholy and the euphoria of the form. They may be three skinny, fresh faced, youthful young men but they already have that command of the dark that made the Joy Division I saw decades ago so captivating.

Not only can they utilise their off kilter drum machine and bass and scratchy guitar line up perfectly – creating a thrilling death disco, they can also write precise and perfect songs – short snatches of icy cool and yet fervent skeletal dance pieces that turn the dance floor into a youthful mosh pit.

Their frontman is a sharp and angular presence with they staring eyes of the dark burning soul and the charismatic mannerisms and moves of someone who is the perfect conductor of the dance macabre.

He intones the Belorussian lyrics that sound like a perfect instrument break up the sound with their barking intensity and yelping melody that match the songs far better than the old and thankfully dead notion that you have to sing in English, The bass player holds down the melody with exquisite and churning repetitive lead bass runs that hypnotise with their thrilling cycles that lock with the drum machine to create that electro throb that made bands like DAF such an effective glimpse into another future all those decades ago.

Picking up a good following in East Europe Super Besse are primed and ready to come to the UK. Their perfect stripped down songs and atmosphere thrive on the twitching atmospheres that will be huge when everyone gets to hear them. They manage the rare trick off making an intense, emotional, dark wave pop into a powerful and effective whole and yet create a perfect 21st century noise and sound and look for the now just like Joy Division did all those decades ago when I saw them on the cusp of their legendary status.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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