Berlin Gig Forecast : September 5 – 18

Who: VVhile

When: September 9

Where: ACUD, Berlin

I can’t be alone in saying that I haven’t heard much—scratch that, ANY—Serbian music. That is, until I discovered Belgrade’s diamond-in-the-rough, VVhile (and no, that’s not a typo). It’s obvious that the duo has no intention of shying away from its punk roots, as they pummel listeners with raucously overblown guitars played over propulsive drum lines, and an industrial distortion that’s reminiscent of clanging pipes in abandoned bunkers. Truthfully, though, VVhile’s music is hardly as one-dimensional as all that. Paired with the brute intensity of this harsher side are dazzling melodies and the relatively hushed yet piercing falsetto of singer, Andrija Spičanović. Their 2014 debut LP More exhibits this contrasting coupling perfectly: the individual songs act as a vignettes interconnected within the scheme of the aural odyssey they’ve concocted, the closing of which is a nearly 9 minute-long epic cut that abruptly ends, leaving you gasping for more.

Who: Blank Realm

When: September 17

Where: Monarch, Berlin

Brisbane-based noise rockers Blank Realm have acquired a cult following over the course of the last few years by virtue of their highly energized live shows and their plucky DIY spirit (e.g. up until their most recent release, they’d never recorded in a proper studio before). But to classify the three-siblings-plus-one-friend quartet as merely any one genre would be doing them a great disservice: their music knows no boundaries, refusing to be pigeon-holed. From raunchy noise rock to jangly 80s-era synthpop to the swirling guitars and haziness of shoegaze, Blank Realm pulls from every corner of the music sphere to create a sound that’s all their own. Just released on September 4th, their latest album Illegals in Heaven sees them fine-tuning their brand of irresistibly messy brilliance: it’s as gritty and as busy as ever, yet it never fails to hook you with its prickly pop catchiness.


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