Dark wave paired with lively folk rhythms. The crossover between sonic melancholy and wise optimism.
The Beauty of Gemina started as one of the bands on the scene but have long since outgrown their status as an insider tip – and not just in specialist circles. After almost 10 years together, six albums have cemented the Swiss band's remarkable status. Their rise is documented in an impressively long list of concerts at home and abroad. Geographically as well as musically, the band have come a long way. They have twice been invited to play at the legendary Gothic Festival in Whitby in the UK, appeared at the Mal am M'era Luna Festival in Hildesheim in Germany three times – not to mention the tours that have taken them from Russia to Greece and from Denmark to Portugal. Other highlights include appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Greenfield Festival in Interlaken, concerts in London, Prague, Madrid and their most recent sold-out shows at the renowned jazz club Moods in Zurich. But more important than the 150-plus concerts and the 100,000 kilometres they've travelled is the musical development that The Beauty of Gemina have gone through.
In the beginning, the gothic and industrial references were still clearly identifiable. But neither these nor any other stylistic straitjackets fit today. The band demonstrated this in emphatic style with the widely praised acoustic album The Myrrh Sessions (2013), which they enhanced with cello and violin. Rather than simply reducing their music to an unplugged session, the added organic instruments revealed unexpected nuances of folk and jazz, while pianist Michael Sele dived deep into his wealth of classical and contemporary soundscapes.
"It's rare for music to be able to penetrate the innermost part of the body and release emotions that were previously unknown ... to talk here of strokes of genius in simplicity would be an understatement."
(SLAM MAGAZIN, GERMANY)
"Michael Sele is a work of art in himself. In the truest sense of the word, he is the soul of TBOG. The often-repeated comparisons may now seem trite – but the fact remains that vocally he is in the same league as Nick Cave. His songwriting, compositions and arrangements are also among the best currently heard in the genre."
(ROCK THE BOW MAGAZINE, SWITZERLAND)
Besides the consistently excellent songwriting, energetic live shows have seen the band grow into a permanent fixture on the international wave scene. With Mac Vinzens on drums, Marco Gassner on guitar and Andi Zuber on bass, the band has three absolutely top musicians in its ranks. They bring many years of live and studio experience with them, are virtuoso masters of their instruments, and always know how to use them sensitively in the way that best suits the song.
With the two albums Iscariot Blues (2012) and Ghost Prayers (2014), the group entered the official Media Control Charts in Switzerland for the first time, and the music of The Beauty of Gemina has been discovered by a constantly growing and increasingly broader audience. Ghost Prayers also stayed in the alternative charts in Germany for weeks. The band caught the attention of Rolling Stone magazine, who published a song. The packed live gig at the M'era Luna Festival in the summer of 2014 was broadcast live on the German TV station Eins Plus to an enthusiastic response from the critics.
"The Swiss band have already supported The Smashing Pumpkins – and yet they are still an insider tip. With driving songs switching between new wave and gothic rock, like "All Those Days", that could soon change."
(ROLLING STONE, GERMANY)