Avant! Records boss Andrea Napoli compiles an intense and energetic mix showcasing the contemporary underground of (post) punk, EBM, minimal synth and darkwave.
Andrea Napoli is an Italian musician and label-owner, best known for founding and running the Avant! record label (here’s an extensive Spotlight feature). Andrea is a musician in his own right and has been part of such projects as the upbeat garage rock trio Bad News and His Electro Blue Voice. With releases on Sub Pop and Maple Death Records, this latter project stands at the crossroads between rough-edged punk, mellow no wave and kraut. Avant! was established in Bologna in 2007, and has been one of the pioneering labels behind the whole darkwave revival - on their roster we can find early releases from such mainstay names as Lust For Youth, Phase Fatale or Cult Of Youth. Despite this unofficial status, the output of Napoli’s label is rather varied and includes sounds ranging from the abrasive lo-fi synthpunk of Holiday Inn to the ‘80s-pop-indebted darkwave of noir diva Sally Dige, the Italian experimental weird folk outfit How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood? or the shoegaze flavoured goth melancholia of White Hex. Andrea’s work as a musician is certainly also an influence on his curation - the label has quite a number of (post)punk outfits with more emphasis on the punk part.
Secret Thirteen Mix 253 is a banging goth/punk mix - something we have missed a lot! Andrea presents the contemporary scene of post punk, EBM, minimal synth, including acts from the Avant! roster. Among these we have such names as SDH with a punchy electrified darkwave cut with dreamy vocals, the gritty lo-fi EBM outfit Holiday Inn and others. Having started with the more synth-based sounds, the mix soon shifts into abrasive punk chaos with the hardcorish guitar shrieks of Glue or the synthesized harshness of M Ax Noi Mach. In the second part things get a bit brighter with such pieces as Favorite Toy by hazy post punkers Ritual Veil, the nostalgic coldwave of Hørd’s Speak or the classy synth romanticism of Dancer by Momentform. The brilliant junglist deconstruction Walking Distances by Blackest Ever Black’s тпсб is also here. This is an exciting and varied listen, revealing a wide array of darker underground areas and including bands that don’t always get enough attention in the alternative press. With so many fresh sounds in our most beloved styles - this one's for all who come from punk and goth!