Electronic Press Kit

Minutes to Midnight

30 years after the Berlin Wall, the tale of how a young escaped Germany in 1945, while his grandson made the other way round, looking for answers that he could only find in 2017. 

Minutes to Midnight, a music producer based in the UK, has launched a new artist project specifically to tell a real-life tale of imprisonment and liberty. 

After 1989: A Trip To Freedom tells the story from his perspective as a grandson, who has only recently uncovered answers to how his grandfather managed to escape Germany in 1945.

A modern-day attempt at storytelling, the album is a glimpse into hope.

After 1989: A Trip To Freedom

“The direct and immersive narrative allows history to speak for itself without being preachy or forced. The artist gives us a unique perspective of an outsider who manages to observe a great deal of pain without being directly subjected to it. Its themes are timely and human, and effortlessly connect with a modern audience. After 1989 is an immersive and interesting experiment in storytelling that will leave listeners meditating on its heavy themes.”

INDIE BERLIN REVIEW

Album Synopsis

Summer, mid-eighties

During a family dinner, after a glass too many, my grandfather let a story slip from his past. Fascists sent him to Germany, where he spent four years in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, on the outskirts of Berlin.

The Nazis spared his life because of his craftsmanship as a shoemaker. In April 1945, a few days before the Allies stormed into the city, he escaped with a fellow Russian inmate. They crossed Europe and came back home.

I grew up during the Cold War, obsessed by a shared feeling of impending doom. My very first trip was to Prague and Berlin, a few months after the collapse of the Wall. I watched a divided city as it still was, but didn’t dare to visit the camp. Many years later, I was able to put my resolve to the test.

Barbed wire

Present day

Once again, I’m back in Berlin, this time to finally see the Konzentrationslager. I’m on the S-Bahn train to Oranienburg. At each station, my mind goes back in time, to the tumultuous decades that preceded the 9th of November 1989, when people were able to cross the Wall. I’m thinking about the connection between my grandfather’s story and the convoluted menacing world order that came out of it.

When I finally cross the steel gate of Sachsenhausen, I realise how this whole story is about being a prisoner. Whether in a concentration camp, behind a wall, caught within propaganda or fearing a nuclear holocaust.



Minutes to Midnight’s album is magical and haunting, giving the listener a way to both experience and reconcile the horrors and joys of the past; a journey of choices and consequences, a path of emotional growth. It is at once rock opera, gothic melancholy, family legend, and historical account, all blending together to create an album unlike any other.

ROSA NADINE SÁNCHEZ XOCHIMILCO REVIEW

Listen to the Album


Press Photos


Official Music Videos Playlist


Skinny Kid is a tender delicate number as Simone expresses emotional and harrowing themes through a bitter, icy piano and tense progressive soundscapes. With a steady beat pounding through weaving guitars and ominous rumble on bass, the track projects images of isolation and loneliness by means of sinister chilling twinkles and tender vocals. The haunting backing vocals and lamenting pines on guitar have a chilling element as Simone portrays this harsh experience with sublime instrumentation and vivid musicianship.”

INDIE BUDDIE REVIEW

The Reactions

Track after track, Minutes to Midnight takes us to a journey that is both personal and part of the shared history that shaped our lives and the current affairs. Each song is a unique blend of beautifully crafted sounds and samples from crucial historical events, delivered with the help of incredibly talented collaborators.

SILVIA MAGGI

It’s a greatly inspiring album, where the sounds blend perfectly with the strength of the feelings evoked, all mentioned facts being part of our collective unconscious although personal for the artist.

GIULIANA GRANITI

It’s impossible to remain indifferent. It sounds great, everything is so clear and defined. The only thing that’s missing is a jam-packed theatre.

PAOLO CLEMENTI

Really enjoying the album, so much work has gone into it clearly, a great concept and realisation.

DOMINIC HALL-SMITH

Inquiries

Management: Christopher Carvalho / Unlock Your Sound Ltd.