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Heathen Harvest - Concert Reports (page 2)
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Concert Reports
Merzbow / Sutcliffe Jügend / Satori, 19-04-2008, London UK [TAKE ONE]

The not inconsiderable crowd of attentive listeners were here to pay homage to the master, the craftsman of noise, Masami Akita, otherwise known as Merzbow; the anticipation was palpable which noticeably increased as the appointed hour for his immanence approached. The man himself, tall with flowing dark locks, prepared his ritual paraphernalia: two laptops, a mixer, effects pedals and what looked like a homemade electronic device that reminded me of nothing so much as a demented oversized version of the stylophone, slung over the shoulder and played guitar style. The performance started off innocuously enough, a simple machine industrial rhythm providing a backdrop to the steadily building blankets of suffocating noise which finally veritably explodes into sheer aural rape and assault.

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Merzbow / Sutcliffe Jügend / Satori, 19-04-2008, London UK [TAKE TWO]

After the brooding darkness of Satori, Sutcliffe Jugend are considerably more extroverted. The veteran power electronics duo, consisting of Kevin Tomkins and Paul Taylor, turn in an absolutely blinding performance...

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Baby Dee / Skitliv / Hush Arbors / Current 93 / Æthenor, 20-04-2008, Tilburg, Netherlands

This was probably the most exciting event that has happened in the Netherlands the past few months. For the very first time in two decades, David Tibet's musical outlet Current 93 was finally again going to perform in the low lands. The yearly Roadburn festival somehow arranged it that David was going to curate a whole day at this doom/stoner oriented festival. The original line-up David came up with was incredibly worthwhile; Baby Dee, Ricky Lee Jones, OM and Æthenor. Over the course of weeks, there were two cancellations, sadly.

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Diamanda Galás, 18-03-2008, London, UK

Partway through the set, Diamanda pauses to engage in what has become something of a tradition of her live performances, a scathing summary of her recent coverage in the music press. The auditorium falls silent, save for a curious rubbery, twanging sound. This is the sound of the anuses of every music journalist presently in the auditorium clenching – including that of the present writer, who recently interviewed La Galás for the British magazine Zero Tolerance. Mercifully, she dishes out qualified praise for Time Out, before the caustic lash of her tongue descends on The Wire, who described her as a ‘goth Shirley Bassey’. Her withering riposte to this calumny is a delightful slice of Schadenfreude, but by the time she’s done, I’m heartily glad it wasn’t me who made this injudicious comment.

Avant Garde

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Coph Nia / Job Karma / Down In June / Les Jumeaux Discordants, 23-03-2008, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

The alliance of Sonorités Obscures with the club/bar Les Citrons Masqués is always synonym of quality events. Let's just hope this will go on. Switzerland, although not a poor country, neither has made one of his goal to promote decent concert places, nor anticonformist artists, especially not for popular music, even less for underground. Thus, some people have to work hard to organize events and often see their invesments – as well personal as financial – overcome the final income... Maybe this is the price to pay in order to contribute to artistic diversity which helps aesthetic and thought's evolution into new territories, far from fossilized conformism... Keeping the undergound alive without dissolving its essence in mainstream is not a delicate affair.

Ambient / Neofolk / Industrial

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Nebelwerfer / Electron, 08-02-2008, Breda, Netherlands

Quite disappointed because of the cancellation of Hou en Trou, I couldn't deny myself that I was a bit exited about the fact that I was to be part of a very small group of people who where about to see a duo to perform their unknown arts in a dark factory-like hall on various instruments, consisting out of many wired mixers and samplers but also a guitar with a cymbal stuck behind the strings and a violin.

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Earth / Sir Richard Bishop / Lash Frenzy, 11-02-2008, Birmingham, UK

Whilst the band has evolved away from its heavy metal roots, Earth’s sound is still slow, introspective, instrumental and quite unique. I hear that the band is going to be back in Birmingham this summer for the Supersonic experimental music festival. They’ll have their work cut out to produce a performance as memorable as that provided by Sunn 0))), those other archdukes of drone, last year – but if anyone’s equal to the task, Earth are.

Drone Doom

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Kammarheit / Northaunt / Svartsinn, 20/23/25/26-01-2008, Russian Tour Report

When I reached DOM in Moscow the first thing Kirill from Indiestate told me was that Kammarheit was not performing that night. He wasn’t even in Russia. He had fallen ill and cancelled the flight. Nevertheless, the tour was going well, Northaunt and Svartsinn had had good support in Perm and Yekaterinburg. They looked slightly tired (and slightly drunk, ha ha), but fresh and inspired. The artists usually perform in cafes, bars and art-galleries in Europe, so it felt a bit different in Russia. But as appeared later white Spartan walls of DOM are great for dark ambience.

Dark Ambient

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Attrition, Purple Fog Side, 11-01-2008, Kazan, Russia

After some time Purple Fog Side made way for Attrition, a band with almost 30-years history. Their live vocalist  during the event was Annie from Purple Fog Side and I should say that I liked the way the tracks sounded. The performance (and it can be called a performance indeed) started with the deep sounds piercing the dark of the small concert hall filled with not so many people – part of the audience kept staying on the “balconies”, enjoying the show from that place.

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Laibach, 12-12-2007, Amsterdam, Netherlands

America” followed, which is always a joy to hear and see live. As the first half of the concert consisted out of the entire “Volk” release, you probably know which songs were played. Songs which really stood out where “Yisra’el” and “Slovania”. The crowd even took over the lyrics of “Yisra’el” by singing “My country, my country” along. The sound of the concert was great, the drums really stood out this time. I was happy to hear the drums so well, striking and loud to get the crowd marching as fast as possible. The bass sounds where so low that everything within reach of the Melkweg must have shook like hell. I was in front of the stage and at one point wasn’t able to hold my glass properly. (which is very positive for me, but my eardrums didn’t like it)

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