Popkomm is a big music fair held every year in Berlin, Germany. There are many showcases of musicians, record labels, representatives of the industry and of course lots of concerts. I’ve never been there, but there’s always news coverage on lots of German music sites. This year’s Popkomm will be held from September 20th to 22nd.
I came across a compilation while reading an article about this year’s Popkomm. The Netherlands have made an attempt to boost their music scene with a showcase of their finest artists of the moment. Not only do they stage several concerts at Popkomm, but they’re also giving away free samplers loaded with some fresh music. Unfortunately, you’d have to be in Berlin to get one…
But fear not, the good lads from the Dutch music export office have thought about that, too! They have set up a website with all the artists from the sampler, and you can get free downloads as well. The site’s in German though, but I’m sure you’ll find that “Download Track“-button even if you’re not familiar with German language.
I’ve already picked some of the bands here, and I guess there’s something for everyone on the page. The Netherlands have stood a bit in the shadow of that great music scene from Scandinavia recently, but here are some great examples that there’s enourmous potential slumbering in that country…
Johan – She’s Got A Way With Men (MP3)
I’ve only came across Johan recently via molotov’s article. After hearing some songs, I’ve ordered their latest CD, and I’m glad I did. This is indie-pop at its best! This is a track from that new album, THX JHN, and is highly recommended. Four more songs are still available at molotov‘s place, so you better go and get them! (don’t miss Walking Away, the best track on THX JHN!)
Racoon – Love You More (MP3)
After being dropped by a major label when their two releases didn’t bring in enough cash, Racoon decided that this can’t be the end of the world. So off they went, wrote new songs and landed a major comeback in their home-country, crowned by a live slot at Netherlands biggest concert event, Pinkpop. Here’s a wonderful new song that probably was a big help with that comeback. There are more MP3-snippets on their homepage, and it really does sound great.
Gem – The Subterranean Parade (MP3)
I was never much into dirty-retro-rock from bands like the Strokes and all the others. So I was a bit sceptical when I listened to this Gem song. But I must admit that this offering is quite catchy. It’s a straight-forward rock-song without glitz and glamour, but it doesn’t need that anyway. It rocks, it rolls, and it’s over before you notice. But I know many of you will push that repeat button afterwards… I did! 🙂
The Gathering – Alone (MP3)
We’re changing the genre now and move on to the progressive-rock corner. The Gathering have already been around for over 10 years now, and have probably been a big influence for bands like Evanescence or Within Temptation. But The Gathering has moved on now to a more spheric sound, and it’s the voice of singer Anneke van Giersbergen that really carries this song here. Even for non-genre-fans, this one could be a treat.
After Forever – Two Sides (MP3)
We’ll stay with the goth-rock-genre and present After Forever. If The Gathering was too laid-back for you, you should be pleased with this band. Singer Floor Jansen has a very classical voice (think Nightwish) and blends in perfectly with the nicely instrumented songs. The band adds classic and folk elements to their songs which gives them a very distinctive sound. Two Sides is a nice semi-ballad that should not only appeal to those Goths amongst you.
This is only a small selection from the website. There’s much more to discover, and I suggest that you visit the site. Let me know if you find something interesting!