REVIEW album Various EurNoVision 2016

EurNoVision 2016 - Make Europe Weird Again

EurNoVision 2016


EurNoVision 2016 is THE album you need to hear this Christmas, a compilation celebrating original and unusual music from underground scenes across Europe. This is the second incarnation of the project, with last years release featuring oddball impresarios such as Felix Kubin, Cleaners From Venus and Mary Ocher.

This years offering feels more lo-fi and less electronic than EurNoVision 2015 but as a result ends up providing a more coherent collection. Around one half of EurNoVision 2016 could be broadly placed under the offbeat/experimental pop umbrella - and what a nice time these artists are having under that umbrella! The final pre-Brexit offering by the United Kingdom comes from The Gathering Doubt who opens the release with an ominous festive tale called "Christmas Is Broken" whilst Rita Braga of Portugal provides the shimmering "Erosão" which echoes the work of Os Mutantes. Another highlight from underneath the aforementioned alt-pop umbrella comes in the form of Italy's Il Culo Di Mario who supplied the VHS warped but melodic earworm known as "Stratega".

EPP of Serbia and Asian Women On The Telephone of Russia offer up a pair of tremendously weird and wonderful tracks which would not be out of place on an album by The Residents or The Plastic People Of The Universe. Ireland's French Radio Constellation who explains what would happen "If The Internet Got Wet" and Belgium's Bonzo Dog inflected Mr Diagonal's Midlife Crisis provide a more light hearted but nevertheless intriguing facet to EurNoVision 2016.

Another batch of tracks on the album could be described as instrumental odysseys ranging from the manic Eastern tinged chiptune of Logosamphia's "Eurivium Spectra Nonsim" to the dark, evolving sense of doom present in R.A.N.'s "The Old One" (representing the Netherlands and Turkey respectively). Hailing from Sweden, Ett Nyt Liv delivers what is perhaps the compilation's prettiest piece in the form of "Glöm Inte Din Medecin" which floats down like a candy-floss cloud from the sky to carry the listener away.

The darkest corners of EurNoVision 2016 are inhabited by the likes of Finland's Can Can Heads who give us the powerful punk instrumental "Efekto Black Ice" and the Basque sound artist Sarah Rasines, whose "Tommy Hilfiger" is perhaps the most challenging piece on the album. The closing track on the compilation is the chaotic and sprawling "You, Azure Bird" by Poland's Dancing Deadlips which is an immense and complex icing on the very beguiling cake which is EurNoVision 2016.

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