The post-punk scene has a new recordlabel with Alfa Matrix launching a sublabel created to accomodate this specific genre and its varieties including coldwave or even minimal synth. Called Spleen+ you can already find 2 bands signed to it, the Belgian post-punk act The Ultimate Dreamers, who launched their label debut with the EP “Polarized”, and the Italian new wave act ImJudas who presents 2 new EPs, “People Of The Blame” and “So Untrue”.
We sat together with Seba Dolimont who is the A&R behind Spleen+ (and Alfa Matrix).
SL: Congratulations Seba with the new endeavour. Why start a side label next to Alfa Matrix?
SD: Since 2001, Alfa Matrix has been showing a quite eclectic approach of our music repertoire and label artist roster. We release EBM music from FRONT 242, POUPPEE FABRIKK, ELM or DIE ROBO SAPIENS, but also harsh dark elektro with ALIEN VAMPIRES, ACYLUM or C-LEKKTOR, minimal vintage synth with METROLAND, future pop with REICHSFEIND, NEUROACTIVE, MONDTRÄUME, BRUDERSCHAFT… Modern avantgarde electro with RECOIL, IMPLANT, KOMOR KOMMANDO, PSY’AVIAH or yet CUBIC! But also without forgetting our darker acts merging industrial with goth darkwave guitars like STAR INDUSTRY, HELALYN FLOWERS or FREAKANGEL.
We have been toying with this idea for this Spleen+ division for many months. It’s not something that comes out on the spur of the moment, you need to prepare such additional activity within our whole Alfa Matrix Label Group concept. We have been following and enjoying this continuous resurgence of the cold wave / post punk / minimal synth scene for some time. We also noticed that new sub-scene walls started emerging from the ground where the fans do not look much over the walls. Dedicated events and festivals get organised. Dedicated blogs, playlists, etc. start gathering more and more dark souls… So the idea from our side is to simply contribute to this movement offering it some structured and more targeted approach cos there are so many talented artists out there in need of support in their DIY efforts. This focused approach should allow us better supporting artists playing this kind of sound and reaching out to a boiling sub-scene, enlarging our scope of activities and bringing complementary fanbases together because eclecticism remains a core value for our work… And this without bringing us too far away from our roots cos the label team is made of 3 friends born in the early 70’s who were fed on JOY DIVISION, THE CURE, SIOUXSIE, SISTERS OF MERCY and other GHOST DANCE, X-MAL DEUTSCHLAND and SKELETAL FAMILY and not only on 80’s synth pop and the Belgian Electronic Body Music movement!
SL: What (new) signings can we expect?
SD: The very active Belgian act THE ULTIMATE DREAMERS is our first new signing in the genre (see the number of concerts they already played this year only! They are amazing! Their new album comes out in March…) while some current Alfa Matrix artists are potential candidates for a next release on Spleen+ including IMJUDAS or yet STAR INDUSTRY for example. Together with Frédéric Cotton (known for decades of activities as concert & party promotor in Brussels behind the famous “Fantastique Nights” but also as lead singer of THE ULTIMATE DREAMERS) we will also release this year a mega compilation devoted to the cold wave/post punk genre showing how prolific this scene can be anno 2023! We are working on it as we speak…
Since the announcement of this new label division, I am also quite happy and positively surprised by the number of proactive connections we got from very great bands who showed interest in working with us. That’s really exciting. Of course some of them are cool Belgian bands, some being living legends, cos it’s always easier collaborating with a local label speaking your language, but we are also in contact with artists from the UK, Italy, South America, etc. Nothing I want to reveal yet, but we will do this on due time. Keep an eye on our pages at https://www.facebook.com/spleen.plus and https://spleenplus.bandcamp.com . A website will follow soon as well.
SL: Will this also mean extra vinyl releases?
SD: The vinyl format is part of the equation on today’s music market. A portion of music fans who are collecting physical products do prefer the vinyl format but not all of them. So already with Alfa Matrix we have been issuing vinyls for some time for selected bands with own fanclubs and/or who are touring a lot. The vinyl format is also very appropriate to the cold wave/post punk genre that is uniting past, present and future. So my answer is a big YES. Absolutely!
Below are the first releases from the brand new label:
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can - and we refuse to add annoying advertising. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.
Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.
The donations are safely powered by Paypal.