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Janosch Troehler


«Panic overwhelmed me and I thought I would die»

Swiss synth-pop artist THYMIAN opens up about the traumatic experience processed in his new EP «White Knuckled».

Dramatic—that is the meaning of «white knuckled». The interpretation is still fitting, but for THYMIAN, it was the literal description of the knuckles turning white when grabbing something really tight. In his case, grabbing on to life.

Josip Tijan aka THYMIAN
Josip Tijan, aka THYMIAN. Photo: Nicola Troehler

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Edition #116

Today, we recommend the new songs by Evelinn Trouble, Arthur Hnatek, A Certain Someone, Tuys, and Sensu.

Evelinn Trouble released a haunting anti-war anthem.
Evelinn Trouble released a haunting anti-war anthem. Photo: Noëlle Guidon

Evelinn Trouble – Dark Times (To Those Born After)

Referencing the same-titled poem by German writer Bertolt Brecht, Dark Times (To Those Born After) is a haunting anti-war anthem by Swiss-Swedish artist Evelinn Trouble without answers to the despairs and cruelty humanity continues to bring upon itself again and again.

Arthur Hnatek – Chando

Arthur Hnatek is synonymous with exhilarating, constantly evolving electronic compositions. Chando, the Swiss artist's latest urging experiment, brings together filigree synthesizer work, expanding waves, and subtle percussion to create a sonic hallucinogen.

A Certain Someone – Time Is On My Side

With his 2023 debut single, Pathetic Fallacy, René Arbeithuber has already convinced us with his 80s-flavoured, sombre sound. Time Is On My Side again pays hommage to the darker tones of the decade, leaning more into the synth-pop of Depeche Mode and New Order. A song for sad dancers.

Sensu – Freeze

After her stunning EP, AM___PM, Swiss electronica posterchild Sensu returns. Her new single, Freeze, follows an undeniable flow, pushed by the contrasting staccato beats and stuttering vocals to the brink of escalation. A must-listen for fans of garage and post-D&B.

Tuys – The Dream You Never Had

The Dream You Never Had does not rush its build-up. The Luxemburg-born band Tuys explore each facet of the song, its art-rock attitude and its subtle psychedelic twists, with patience. The song draws one in slowly, but ultimately, you will be submerged in its lush, velvet dress.

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Finding Nemo: Switzerland’s Ignorance of Non-binary People

Nemo’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest with «The Code» highlights Switzerland’s lagging progress in acknowledging non-binary people.

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On May 12, shortly after midnight, Swiss musician Nemo won the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö, Sweden. The winning performance, achieved with the song The Code, was Switzerland’s third win after a long drought since 1988.

Photo: Screenshot YouTube/ESC

Nemo Mettler (24) gained mainstream success in 2017 as a rapper with Swiss-German lyrics. The song Du gained platinum status—there was no way around the up-and-coming artist.

One can question Eurovision’s artistic value. It is mainly an entertaining spectacle, but Nemo’s The Code was one of the few truly interesting songs performed.

But Nemo’s triumph—thanks to overwhelming success with the juries and the public vote—is not the centre of this story. Nemo also represents a premiere for Eurovision: It is the first time a non-binary person has won. And it puts Switzerland politically in an awkward position.

Switzerland’s Federal Council Against A Third Gender

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Negative White shifts its approach significantly today—a detailed look at the changes and their reasons.

Photo: Janosch Troehler
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Today marks a significant change in the way Negative White operates. In this post, I will provide details of the changes and how they might affect you. Moreover, I explain the reasons behind the changes.

Here are the two most important things you have to know right now:

  1. Negative White moves to a newsletter approach. Every post we publish will also be sent as a newsletter, as we already do with «Weekly5».
  2. Our current newsletters, «Weekly5» and «Rewind,» will be merged into the «Negative White Newsletter», which will have a dedicated publishing schedule.

The Publishing Schedule

Nobody likes too much uncertainty or being bombarded by emails. Therefore, I have put a strict publishing schedule for the newsletter in place so you always know when to expect something from us in your inbox.

  • Tuesday – Slot for premium-exclusive content
  • Thursday – Slot for member-exclusive content
  • Sunday – Weekly5

As you can see, there are two content slots aside from Weekly5. These slots are optional, as we won’t use them every week.

The Posts You Can Expect

Weekly5 remains unchanged: You will receive a handcrafted selection of five newly released songs that we think are worth your attention. Weekly5 remains free and for everyone.

As a member, you now also receive our member-exclusive stories on Thursdays. These stories dive deeper into a specific topic: an artist, a new release, or provide perspective on developments around music. Sometimes, they also might include a stunning gallery from our talented photographers.

As a premium member supporting Negative White financially, you will receive our most exclusive posts, such as interviews, portraits, and deep analysis pieces. You will receive at least one of these monthly posts on a Tuesday. Additionally, you will get a monthly update on our premium playlists.

Why Are These Changes Coming?

Running Negative White requires much effort, as I have previously made transparent here. It was one of the primary considerations when I relaunched the platform a year ago. It also means that the effort should be focused on the things that matter.

However, since the relaunch, Negative White has crept back to its roots: a very traditional approach to music journalism. As the music industry is changing rapidly, so too has the reporting.

While there might be room for a classical magazine approach, it is not the right fit for a largely one-person operation. As a result, the current state of Negative White is a bit of everything and nothing properly.

The new approach forces me to focus on less but with higher quality, on stories you won’t read elsewhere, on unique perspectives.

The fusion of the two newsletters further simplifies the production process, lifting a bit of the burden and giving me more time for research and writing.

Alongside what you could describe as the new content concept comes a change to the website—a new design that reflects these changes and directs the attention to single posts rather than a traditional overview.

As with any significant change, I might have overlooked something. However, I see change as not being a single moment but a constant process. With today’s announcement, this process starts more than it is finished, so there might be things that still need polishing.

But for now, I leave you with a heartfelt thank you for your curiosity and support so far in Negative White’s journey. And I hope you will stick around a bit longer for the ride.

Edition #115

Today, we recommend the new songs by Duschpalatset, Backwards Charm, KOKOKO!, Andrea Bignasca, and Binary Sunset.

Duschpalatset – Öronbarn

Sweden's indie-rock up-and-comers Duschpalatset return with Öronbarn, the first single after their sophomore record, Baby, in 2021. This addictive track, propelled by its relentless beat, executes the contrast between smooth rock vibes and Alva Nylander's angelic voice to perfection. Exceptionally good.

Backwards Charm – Stain

Taken from their new EP, A Dream About Being A Person, Austrian band Backwards Charm's Stain is a collaboration with two metal bands, Karg and Harakiri for the Sky. However, the track remains deeply in melancholic post-punk and post-rock territory with beautiful guitar melodies. A dark dream.

Andrea Bignasca – Undo Me

One of Switzerland's most captivating voices, Andrea Bignasca, returns with Undo Me. The organs underline the song's pleading notion—it's a prayer for renewal, a longing for finding oneself and motivation. In its best form, Bignasca's song brings together classic rock, gospel, blues, and soul in an emotional crescendo.

KOKOKO! – Bazo Banga

«They are scared» is the translation of «bazo banga». KOKOKO!, pioneers of Kinishasa's electronic sound explosion, share Bazo Banga as another teaser for their anticipated second album, BUTU. Bringing native rhythms together with a vast range of electronic experimentation, Bazo Banga demands attention.

Binary Sunset – Maillot de bain

The sassy attitude is undeniable in Maillot de bain by Switzerland's Binary Sunset. Fast-paced, drawing from surf rock aesthetic and DIY attitude, the track propels itself to a frantic rush, shooting out rays of excitement and sunny vibes alike. A summer hit for the indie-rock aficionado.

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Edition #114

Today, we recommend the new tracks by Overmono, Blaudzun, Lucy Gaffney, NEØV, and Vil.

An updated classic followed by retro vibes. Whispered rawness chased by vastness. In today's Weekly5, we celebrate the refined works from promising singer-songwriters alongside endorphin-inducing beats and hooks.

Overmono x The Streets – Turn The Page

The Streets' 2002 iconic track Turn The Page received an exhillarating update by Overmono covering the exceptional Mike Skinner rap style in a blanket of breakbeat sound. The wobbling bassline, the crackling beats—it's pure perfection.

Blaudzun – Shades

Dutch Blaudzun is known for his distinct blend of indie-rock, pop, coupled with poetic songwriting. Shades features 80s-inspired bass synths, emphasizing the bittersweet nostalgia pumping through the addictive hooks.

Lucy Gaffney – Pitfalls

Belfast's Lucy Gaffney released a new EP—and its title track, Pitfalls, demonstrates the singer-songwriter's potential. Bedroom indie-rock with soft pop touches, whispered yet somehow raw, well-balanced and sophisticated.

NEØV – Feel

Finnish brothers Anssi and Samuli Neuvonen, known as NEØV, build ethereal composition, leaning towards indie-rock and indie-pop. However, as their latest single, Feel, displays, their sound has an infinite vastness to it.

Vil – Graven

Between Denmark and Germany, duo Vil creates a fragile, intimate sound. Beautifully decorated with minute details, Graven is an invitation to unwind, to reflect—a wonderful, meandering composition.

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Can A Review Kill An Artist?

There is a heated discussion about reviews in the tech gadget bubble and whether they can kill companies. Our editor looks reflects on his role as a music reviewer.

If you dip your toes into the tech and gadget bubble here and there, you probably notice a heated discussion around reviews. More specifically, the debate revolves around the question: Can a review kill a company?

At the centre of the discussion is Marques Brownlee, aka MKBHD, a YouTuber and one of the most prominent tech reviewers. Two of his reviews—one of an electric car and one of the Humane AI pin—are the main points of criticism towards the influencer. Brownlee later gave more perspective in a video but did not walk back his reviews.

I am always intrigued by these sorts of meta-discussions. For one, they are essential to build media literacy. On the other hand, they offer insight into how some of the most influential people perceive their roles as reviewers.

Highly Subjective

But first and foremost, it prompts me to reflect on my own role as music critic, reviewer, and curator.

The role of music critics has always been controversial, but it has undoubtedly lost relevance with the shifts in the industry. While previously often regarded as buying advice, a bad review could significantly impact sales.

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Edition #113

Today, we recommend to you the new songs by Zeal & Ardor, Deadletter, Past Life Romeo, Kaya Hoax, and Meimuna.

From defied expectations to refined punk, an exploration of futuristic pop sound, and a dangerous tenderness. It is a collection of five songs daring to go further than the safe space and find something exciting beyond.

Deadletter – Mere Mortal

An undeniable punk energy clashes paradoxically with a sophisticated composition—decorated by the signature saxophone. UK sextett Deadletter sounds unusual, even weird at times, but listening to Mere Mortal reveals their extraordinary sound in the most addictive way.

Zeal & Ardor – to my ilk

Announcing their fourth studio album, GREIF, innovative Swiss band Zeal & Ardor also released to my ilk, their first single. Defying expectations, it is not a thundering black metal sound but a haunting, poignant ballad. However, at its core, the song still incorporates the band's style.

Past Life Romeo – Sometimes, Most Nights (Palmistry Remix)

Speeding it up and dressing Past Life Romeo's single Sometimes, Most Times in a flickering hyperpop outfit, this Palmistry remix evocates disco lights and screen glitches. Between anticipation, excitement, and regretful hindsight, the Palmistry adds a lot of intrigue to the track.

Kaya Hoax – Hot Girls with ADD (feat. Magi Merlin)

With the help of Magi Merlin, Montreal-based Kaya Hoax draws from UK grime to create an experimental pop track. Hot Girls with ADD is like a conversation between the two artists, accompanied by an equally explosive and flamboyant sound. Exquisite.

Meimuna – sous la nef

Cyrielle Formaz, aka Meimuna, creates achingly beautiful compositions. Sous la nef, the second single of her upcoming sophomore album, demonstrates perfectly the Swiss artist's skills. All her tenderness, the soothing nature, the soft touches still have the power to pierce the heart.

🎧 The Weekly5 Playlists

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