Volkova Sisters are a self-described “electronic shoegaze goth-tron” trio from Hungary’s DIY scene. The band consists of singer and visual artist Dalma Berger, sound designer Dániel Sándor and guitarist Gergely Kovács. Borrowing their name from the science fiction novel Pattern Recognition by the legendary cyberpunk writer William Gibson, the band embraces a dark, melancholic vibe combined with gothic aesthetics in their sonic experiments. Infused with the dark side of cold wave, the infinite deepness of their music touches the intuitive and sensual part of human soul. Their first EP Venus Robot has been released after their US-trip, including SXSW, in 2011, followed by the sophomore record released yesterday. Hope is their conceptual enclosure of personal stories with a wide range of sonic diversity. Stream it in full below, exclusively on Electronic Beats.
All of you used to play in several other bands before. How did you get together?
Dániel Sándor: We started working on this project in early 2008. In fact, we didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but as we were just randomly talking to Gergely Kovács about our new tracks, he got involved quite quickly and thus the third and fourth tracks were made together. Our team slowly evolved into a band.
According to your self-description you’re doing a kind of electronic shoegaze and goth-tron, but your sonic landscape is quite diverse. What were your influences?
Gergely Kovács: When I got involved with this project, Daniel defined it as some kind of flowing minimal electronics, combined with noise music. Thus it was not one of the then-hyped sounds, more of an evocation of the darker side of the 80s and 90s that we all like. We have common influences, from Joy Division to Siouxsie and The Banshees, but I could mention Aphex Twin as well. Our style can be recognized at some stage… What I noted is that we all like stuff which is rooted in the past, but we look for such a sonic experience that we´ve never heard before.
DS: When we met and began working on songs, there was this DJ Hell track, ‘Die Angst’, that all of us were listening to several times, so we can say: Berlin’s electronic music was our first kick-off.
Dalma, you’re a schooled visual artist, so visualization and image might be an important part of your creative process. Is your music also related to cyberpunk aesthetics in some way?
Dalma Berger: The visuals are as important for us as the music itself, the two things don’t exist without each other. Therefore we’re blending these two sides of our personality in an organic way. For example, for ‘Das Maedel Und Die Dunkelheit’, a song off the new EP, we directed a video by ourselves, based on our own idea.
DS: Also, in terms of the commonly used huge spaces and structures in the soundscapes of the songs, there is some similarity with cyberpunk space worlds and utopias.
How would you describe your creative process?
DS: Mostly our main goal is to have all the right people in the right time, at the right place and it automatically results in something. Instead of planning it’s more important for me to establish the required conditions. I appreciate a spontaneous situation in which our songs were born much more than structural issues. The last two songs on our new EP were the first ones we could record right in the making, capturing a very intuitive moment.
What can you tell us about Hope?
DB: The Hope EP is completely different from what we have done before. This time it was not necessary to make compromises at all, I mean, we could work together as much as we wanted and how we wanted. Our focus was on our current life situation and mood, even though we wanted to match a certain standard. That’s why I consider it as a conceptual record. The title comes from the recent period of our lives, which was hard for all of us in a different way, but working on this EP got us through our problems.
Hope is out now and can be downloaded here in a special package. Stream it below, and watch a new video interview with the band!
Published May 29, 2012. Words by Andras G. Varga.