Named for Dostoyevsky’s protagonist Rodion Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment, French-Swiss shoegaze/coldwave outfit Raskolnikov conjures a “polyphony of unordered consciousness, leading to the division of the self.”
Not for the faint of heart or feeble of wit, this band’s music cuts deep, both intellectually and emotionally. Raskolnikov’s music is as melancholic as it is hypnotic and energetic. Their overall sound is accompanied by existentialist texts of futile redemption and the bitterness of Being. They mix the dark and floating universe of coldwave with the energy of post-punk and the melodic density of shoegaze. A penetrating voice accompanies the music, communicating open-ended questions from a first-person point of view about destruction, anger, obsession, oblivion, regression, fear, failure, pain, regret, fall, and loss of self…but not without references to hope.
The band was formed by Mathieu Pawełski-Szpiechowycz (bass/vocals) at the end of 2015, traveling between Geneva, Paris, and Constance. Pablo Garrido (guitar) and Jérôme Blum (drums) joined the project at the beginning of 2017. Mathieu, Jérôme, and Pablo performed together between 2013 and 2016 in a project-based in Geneva. Quentin Allamand joined Raskolnikov on guitar and keyboards in the autumn of 2019. Today, the group is mainly based in Konstanz/Kreuzlingen and Biel.
The first album Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall was released in 2017 on Manic Depression Records. The second album Lazy people will destroy you was released in 2020 on Icy Cold Records and Manic Depression Records. Between releases, the band played over a hundred gigs across Europe. They’ve shared the stage with Dear Deer and Tisiphone.
The pandemic threw a wrench in their plans by March of 2020 and they needed to switch their agenda, focusing instead on creating another album.
“We had neither the desire nor the technical means to send a set streaming from our show,” explains the band. “We decided to play in a room, certainly empty, but in the company of sound, light and photo technicians, to give a glimpse of what the public could have seen last spring. We hope of course to play this set again next year, with new features.”
This set was recorded live at La Mine-MottattoM in Geneva on 3 September 2020. After recording this live session, the band is cooking up a new album for 2021. Keep your ears peeled.
Check out more of their music at their Bandcamp here and their Spotify here.
More info at www.raskolnikov-band.com
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