S13 - Burning The Existence

S13 - Burning The Existence

Cover photo by Laima Stasiulionytė

From elegant rebels to poetic escapists – a three hour sonic exploration of the outer fringes of goth.

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Goth has never been an easy affair to discuss. Kitschy atmosphere of massive contemporary goth festivals and stereotyping discourses usually overwhelmed the textural and emotional core of goth, which relates to so many different and diverse elements including Dada movement, surrealist aesthetics, post-modernism, French "fin-de-siecle" poetry, 19th century romanticism, punk, kraut, glam, shoegaze, ambient, folk etc. But at the very core of this cultural vortex stands the creative and artistic individual, usually trapped in Eastern or Western metropolis and exposing his introvert struggles and raising them to high aesthetic levels. Thus we have so many interesting digressions, narratives, small histories and many layers of music to dig into.

Goth has almost always been about the celebration of beauty. The beauty in its weirdest, sometime marginal and unexpected forms. It's like an aestheticized manifest of introverted youth blending punk with sharp elegance and fragility, harmony with noise and distortion, riot with escapism, meditative melancholia with frustrating anger, hazy and spacious sonic wandering with shrieking guitars. The dichotomy is one of the key elements and the contrast helps to showcase different aspects and features of sounds and moods.

This long and elaborate mixtape compiled by Secret Thirteen journal founder Justinas Mikulskis takes you for a ride across the outer fringes of goth/post punk/death rock/EBM areas. A bit further away from the overwhelming presence of the classics of Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie, The Cure or Bauhaus, this selection digs deeper in order to investigate more underground acts. It's hard to describe this mixtape in one word - the moods range from aggressive explosions of deathrock laying close to anarcho punk, the dreamy soundscapes of goth rock haziness, gasoline fueled futuristic EBM and more abstract forms of post punk. However, all this diversity is not lumped into an encyclopedic or anthological manner, but rather presented as a narrative with unexpected twists and turns showcasing a wide variety of elements, moods.

S13 - Justinas Mikulskis - Photo by Laima Stasiulionyte

S13 (Justinas Mikulskis). Photo by Laima Stasiulionytė

Starting from hauntingly inviting piece from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth the mix progresses with grungy deathrock of Mighty Sphincter. Ethereal explorations of Myrna Loy lead way to angry punk of Paralisis Permanente and Kronstadt or classy British post punk of Kommunity FK which acts as a contrast to noirish futurist laid-back elegance of Gina X Performance or even Specimen glam/bat cave superhit "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang". Further explorations dive into the waters of EBM/synth with Psyche, Janitors Animated, Click Click. Even though the mix showcases more angry and straight-forward part of the genre, it has its more meditative moments with Mass, Myrna Loy or Red Temple Spirits reminding the great 4AD legacy and its influence.

The geographical boundaries here are also vast as the mix includes artist from such diverse countries as Japan, Lithuania, Greece, Soviet Union, Spain, Italy, USA, UK etc. incorporating diverse elements of national identities with their own peculiar histories, which shape different versions of the genre.

The cold, windy, yet beautiful October, when the year is almost on the edge of the approaching Winter should resonate well with most of these sounds. And they sound better in candlelight and black coffee scented rooms.


01. John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - Mrs. Alves [Varèse Sarabande, 1981]
02. Mighty Sphincter - Waltz In Hell [Placebo Records, 1985]
03. Skeletal Family - Far & Near [Anagram Records, 2001] originally released in 1985
04. Rehearsed Dreams - The Only One [Creep Records, 1985]
05. Myrna Loy - Sing Garden [Normal, 1989]
06. No More - Kalo [Wishbone Records, 1984]
07. Parálisis Permanente - Autosuficiencia [3 Cipreses, 2001] originally released in 1981
08. Kronstadt - Kalachnikoff [New Wave Records, 1985]
09. Abwärts - Beim Erstenmal Tut's Immer Weh [Mercury, 1982]
10. Kommunity FK - Something Inside Me Has Died [Cleopatra, 1994] originally released in 1985
11. Birthday Party - Wild World [4AD, 1992] originally released in 1983
12. Brain Damage and Death - Revive [IRA Records, 1993] originally recorded between in 1986-1992
13. Cyan Revue - The Retire [Yellow Ltd., 1986]
14. Gina X Performance ‎- Nice Mover [LTM, 2005] originally released in 1978
15. Blood & Roses - Enough Is Never Enough [Anagram Records, 2007] originally released in 1985
16. Limbo - Spiritual Night Fly [Spittle Records, 2008] originally released in 1987
17. Advanced Art - Black Roses [VUZ Records/Subtronic Records, 1995] originally released in 1988
18. Click Click - Mercy [Rorschach Testing Product, 1985]
19. Remain In Silence - Lonesome Hours [Fountainhead Records, 2001] originally released in 1985
20. Yell-O-Yell - Death Pirouettes [Creep Records, 1984]
21. Katharsis - Skeleton In Your Closet [Not On Label (Katharsis Self-released), 1988]
22. Mass - Ill [4AD, 1981]
23. Phaidia - Dead End Love [City Rocker Records, 1985]
24. Red Temple Spirits - Nile Song [Fundamental, 1988]
25. Public Image - Religion II [Virgin, 1986] originally released in 1978
26. Specimen - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang [Jungle Records, 1997] originally released in 1983
27. Da - Dark Rooms [Autumn Records, 1981]
28. René Halkett & David Jay - Nothing [WEA Records, 1982] originally released in 1981
29. Voo-Doo Church - Eyes-Second Death [Second Death Records, 1982]
30. Vex - Sanctuary [Sacred Bones Records, 2014] originally released in 1984
31. Siela - Fosforo Rate [Dangus, 2003] originally released in 1994
32. Red Wedding - All Dressed Up [Bemisbrain Records, 1982]
33. Horsemen ‎- Mr. Sunrise [Hommage Records, 2009] originally released in 1987
34. False Confession - Feline [Mystic Records, 1984]
35. Die Form - Deadline II [Metropolis, 2001] originally released in 1986
36. à;GRUMH… - Generation [Play It Again Sam Records, 1987]
37. Psyche - Black Panther [SPV Records, 1993] originally released in 1986
38. Janitors Animated - Drunkula [Mr Dusty, 1986]
39. Chrome - Anorexic Sacrifice [Cleopatra, 2008] originally released in 1982
40. The Nuns - Suicide Child [Posh Boy, 1980]
41. Unlimited Systems - My Bed Is Thorny [Schnick-Schnack-Tonträger, 1985]
42. Virgin Prunes - Deadly Sins [Baby Records, 1986]
43. Leningrad - Meatfactory [Animalized, 1986]
44. Marquee Moon - Don't Go Out Tonight [Sub Terranean, 1994] originally released in 1984
45. Twisted Nerve - When I'm Alone [Sacred Bones Records, 2014] originally released in 1982
46. Paranoia - Dead Man’s Dreams [Rot Records, 1984]
47. Sinking Ships - Strangers [Dead Good Records, 1980]
48. Sleep Chamber - The Nun (Fetish Convent) [Inner-X-Musick, 1987]
49. The Product - Almost Afraid Of It [Dark Entries, 2012] originally released in 1984

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.


  1. Pingback: 3 Hour Sonic Exploration Of Goth Mixtape Curated by Secret Thirteen | CVLT Nation

  2. Mads Rohde Pedersen on

    Why is there no download link for this? For those of us who want to listen on the go :(

    • themachineisdead on

      mixcloud doesn't support downloading files, you must play them in their dedicated app or on the www

  3. manuelthoms on

    07. Parálisis Permanente - Autosuficiencia [3 Cipreses, 2001] originally released in 1981


  4. Pingback: Explora la historia goth a través de un mixtape de 3 horas – FILTER México

  5. Pingback: secret thirteen – burning the existence mixtape | the sunday experience