Ever watched Eurovision and found it unrepresentative of the diversity of music from across the continent? Well, EurNoVision aims to delve deeper into the underground scenes of Europe with a yearly compilation of outsider music. Artists representing individual countries around Europe record a song specifically for the compilation or provide a previously unreleased track. The project began back in 2015 when it was thought up by Irish musician Paul Mangan, from the band Clockwork Orchestra and has in previous years featured artists such as Felix Kubin, DAT Politics, Cleaners From Venus and Mary Ocher. This year’s third edition of the series is released this week, Paul Mangan the man behind EurNoVision explains the inspiration behind the idea:
‘EurNoVision sprang to mind when I was touring around Europe with my own (now disbanded) group Clockwork Orchestra playing all manner of dive bars, art venues and so on. I came into contact with a variety of oddball musicians, many of whom were making some very interesting and often difficult to categorize music. I found that in a lot of the countries that I visited there was a vibrant “outsider music” scene but that there was very little linking this all together from country to country.
Bands are selected in a number of ways. I would guess that about 50% of the acts on this years compilation are people that I have met either in person or online whose music me or my friends appreciate. Four of the acts contacted us directly via email and the rest came from internet research and obsessive googling phrases such as “weird music Serbia” or “strange band Belgium”! Several acts on last years compilation were sourced from theEastern Daze blog for instance and on this year’s release, we have J.G.G representing Catalonia who I only recently discovered on an Indie Guides article about the underground scene in Barcelona.
I thought it would be an interesting idea to try and bring all these little niche scenes together as a yearly compilation album (sort of like an alternative version of the Eurovision song contest, hence the name). We’re now on the third release of the series and we’ll be launching a EurNoVision podcast in the near future.’
Paul picked out some of his compilation highlights in an interview with Indieguides about this year’s sixteen track compilation:
‘There’s a real mixture, some of it could be described as lo-fi pop (Il Culo Di Mario of Italy or The Gathering Doubt from the UK for example) whilst songs by other acts such as R.A.N (Turkey) or Dancing Deadlips (Poland) are more abstract or challenging to fans of more traditional structures. Mr Diagonal’s Midlife Crisis of Belgium channels the eccentricity of The Bonzo Dog band on his track “Glad To Be A Freak @40” whilst Serbia’s EPP supplied a track called “Hologram” which wouldn’t be too far out of place on a Residents album.’
EurNoVision 2017 coughs up a cavalcade of outsiders, oddities and odysseys featuring genres which could broadly be broken down into:
ODDBALL / LOFI POP: Elizabete Balčus (Latvia), Tirikilatops (United Kingdom), Señor Sandwich (Israel), Poetrip (Romania), WHALESHARKATTACKS (Norway)
POST PUNK & OUTSIDER FUNK: KOLFSKOP (Belgium), Mosquito Ego (Germany), Tongue Bundle (Ireland)
EXPERIMENTAL / AVANT GARDE: Raptor Koch (Slovakia), Arma Agharta (Lithuania), the bRAIN mASTURBATION (Cyprus), Kanttoripoika (Finland)
INSTRUMENTAL / SOUNDTRACK: Økapi (Italy), Bismuth (Netherlands)
ELECTRO WEIRDOS: COCOBOY (France), BOY project (Hungary)