Good weather on Sunday encouraged quite a number of people to gather by the main stage at a relatively early hour. In spite of the dancing in Hangar last night the people seemed to be in good shape or at least sufficient to stand the first concert who was played by...
Big Boy is an artist, who by no means can go unnoticed: extravagant outfit (latex? leather? leggings, shorts, chains, studs...) and garish (pink) make-up were perhaps not shocking, but definitely attracted attention... Just like the energetic scenic manner - Big Boy was running all over the stage, jumped on the equipment, posed like a model, run mad with his guitarists: Chris Harms (The Pleasures, UnterArt) and A.K (it looked a bit like 'family scenes', but apparently nobody cared :) mimicked madly and generally speaking organized the scene perfectly. There were times it was as if he was in several places the same time. Well, whatever he might lack it's definitely not vigour.
What gents played was e.g. “Gestasi Baby”, “Get Over It”, “Fake It”, “Tricky” ,”One Good Reason” and as a final the flag piece: “Hail The Big Boy”. Musically it represented a mixture of guitar frenzy strengthened by drums and neurotic, capricious, blatant, changeable, rather boyish voice that gave an unexpected effect. A bit punk-ish, highly contrastive (gentle, emotional voice in a one heck with pounding git6ars was good idea) and extremely expressive sonic matter sounds good; we're waiting for what comes next...
The next band was German gothic/rock project called Krypteria – as usual they presented vivid, energetic and beautiful show. Ji-In and the musicians managed to create a vibrating sonic blast that got me off my feet with its overpowering sound quality. Fantastic guitars, strong drums and a vocal like a diamond stood for a perfect combination. As to Ji-In's charm I've already described it elsewhere, so I won't develop on this now. :) Enough to say the concerts of Krypteria are magnificent both for their musical and visual quality. We heard e.g.: „Sweet Revange”, „Get the hell out of my way„, „Time to bring the pain”, „The Promise” and „I Can't Breathe”.
The bugbear of first rows Skinny Puppy spared the audience (and their outfit) this time, but served an extravagant and highly artistic concert anyway. Nivek Ogre appeared wearing clothes that made me think of a shogun, with white face, some pipes or cables sticking out of his pants (got the associations with SUKA OFF on the spot...) holding a gigantic, wooden rosary with which he was playing for some time, then he threw it away and started painting an abstract picture with some sort of red substance getting dirty while he was doing it, tearing his clothes and ruining his white-face make-up. When he finished his shirt was in tatters and he was red from head to toes. Definitely, the show did not lack expression. Lots of theatricality, expressive mimicry, improvisations and brutality – well, say, the Skinny Puppy name card in black and white (or I should rather say in red and white).
Skinny Puppy as a band is a phenomenon as interesting as admirable; playing since 1982 they remain uncompromising and they invariably attract attention both by means of their music and performances. „Mythmaker”, their thirteen album seems to prove that. During the concert at M'era Luna which was a part of "Mythrus Tour" we could listen to some songs of the said album (these were as I gather “Ugli„ and „Haze" and „Pedafly”) and some other older pieces too: „Tormentor„, “Politikil”, „Worlock”, „Amnesia” and „Hardset Head”.
To write about Deine Lakaien is always a challenge difficult to raise to; to seize all the aspects, nuances, sonic jests, references and the depth of their music is really hard, especially if one has to deal with an open air concert where, of course, all sort of distractions are the usual thing (this time, for example, we experienced cacophony attack, when the music of Deine Lakaien clashed with the one of IAMX, and then of Anne Clark's coming from Hangar).
This time Ernst Horn and Alexander Veljanov were accompanied by Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt and I must admit that the result of their co-operation took me aback and left me flabbergasted: Deine Lakaien, whom I had always associated with stylish, deep, electronic music of extreme poignancy, now presented far more subtle, improvisational facet (if we were talking about, say, jazz, I'd say the concert resembled a jam session, a dialogue of the vocalist with the orchestra, musical banter, a voice/melody plaiting). One has to get used to the new version and above all to make a good use of sense of hearing: it's not that kind of music that is easy and catchy now: Deine Lakaien might have lost a bit of what is referred to as 'power', but gained something else instead: subtlety, different scale of depth, fragility and charm that only living classic instruments may create.
Veljanov's voice which had to pit against the whole mass of sounds did not lose any of its beauty, intensity and profundity, on the contrary: its dark tone and a bit ironic, nonchalant manner added new dimension to the overall sound.
The scene was organized in a way its size allowed: the orchestra in the back, Veljanov wearing dark red frock-coat, stood in the front, Ernst Horn in command of the whole group sat in the center and the musicians accompanying the vocalist with violins, guitar and contrabass were located on the sides. Let me just say the concert played in the rays of setting sun with the crows of people standing as far as I could see and overwhelming music made incredible impression.
They played e.g. „Vivre” (in French), „Reincarnation”, „Darkstar”, „Overpaid”, „Over and done” and „Into My Arms”, and as an encore „Follow Me” and „Love Me to the End”. The applause was deafening.
This time there was no disinformation whatsoever, everything went smoothly and according to the schedule.
The concerts were opened by the German Proceed which, as usual, presented a fair dose of energetic, pounding pieces and invigorating dynamics seasoned very nicely with strong, aggressive vocal. Extremely rhythmical and vivid songs were apparently made to encourage the people to ruin dance-floors with their dancing.
Proceed was formed in 1999 by Andre S. and Daniel P. After releasing their debut album „fehlgesteuert” in 2004 their career advanced and now their position of fine electro/EBM artists seem to be strong. Their gigs – including the one at M'era Luna – are great to move and dance a bit – by means of such pieces as „Laut”, „Schuldig”, „Waving”, „Dein Gesicht”, „Spiegelschönheit” and „Autark”. Proceed look after the right speed.
Afterwards the gents of Implant installed themselves on the stage. Implant is a Belgian industrial project formed by Jan D'Hooghe (ex- drummer of LA FETE) and Len Lemaire.
Blue lights, and highly dynamic music combined together were enough to move the audience. The characteristic, a bit gloomy vocal and fantastically catchy, a bit trance melodies added to the energy of the atmosphere.
They played: „You push me”, „Drugs vs Violence”, „Fading Away”, „Flash”, ”Tune up your chips and circuits”.
The next concert - the one of Diorama did not disappoint the audience. Gentlemen seem to be getting strong with every subsequent concert and their shows are becoming more and more expressive... to their fans great joy of course.
Even before the concert started, Felix Marc gave the first sample of his talent: while he was doing the sound check he started singing 'm'era luna' in various keys, so the audience got the right mood and the gig started in a fantastic atmosphere.
It was outstanding: energetically, emotionally, vividly and powerfully... the audience was delighted so great a power seem to be emanating from Diorama music. The expressive voice and face of Torben, extreme vitality and humour of Sash Fiddler, charm of Felix - all those features intertwine with the music and make an exceptional combination ...just Marquess keeps hiding in the back , invisible for those who don't stand in the right place.
As to the songs, they played: “Synthesize Me”, “The Girls”, “Why”, “Belle”, “Kein Mord” and “Advance”, so the usual set this summer.
Rabia Sorda , a new project of Erk Arcraig, frontman of Hocico, was founded in 2003. His artistic vision is gathered on “Métodos del Caos”, the album released in November 2006. Erk seems to renounce the music he created in Hocico, as Rabia Sorda sounds far more gentler (though they nohow make lullabies).
„Save Me from my Curse”, „What you Get is What you See” are harsh, scrubbing electro pieces featuring dancy, rhythmical elements combined with a rather strong vocal (in a more or less ordinary form, without the 'devilish' distortions). It is still aggressive music, but like I said: in comparison to Hocico it gained more subtlety. The particular songs follow the same music line ... I think I'd have to listen to more of them, as it was, it didn't 'click' at all.
32Crash that is Jean-Luc de Meyer, Len Lemeire and Jan d'Hooghe on the stage again that day. If you wish learn something about23Crash, you'll come across a history of the year 2107 being a highly individualized vision of the Earth, the people and the imaginations in 100 years time.
When you go through the text it will become easier to understand the military characterization the musicians use on the stage (they actually looked a bit like secret service agents, or warriors or mecha-priests wearing sun glasses standing deadpan right beside their equipment) and their music – eco protest (?), musical representation of the world their described – devastated, controlled by a cartel, impoverished, sterile, inhabited by people tormented by emotional instability which is cured by one medicine only („isomodia”).
All that doesn't seem optimistic (ah, but Huxley would have probably been satisfied with someone competing his vision and finding other medicine for peoples' depression and lunacy – finally we could give up soma, huh? ;) but in accordance to most futuristic ideas that ramble in visionaries' heads at the moment – if the world doesn't stop existing because of, say, catastrophe, (or the people rambo it, which, in fact, is much more probable) then the alternative is life in a reserve. That's more or less for 32Crash the ideology... what about the music and show?
I've already mentioned the stylization; the concert itself was quite frugal: the lights were reduced to the minimum while the music was highly attractive, rhythmical and even dancy, speeding up one moment to slow down the very next and form the repetitive, regular pounding beats very much hypnotic in its atmosphere.
The vocal was quite misleading: angelic and devilish interchangeably, at some point it got the tone of threat, it sounded harsh, blatant and hard-hitting. The musical changeability and its undoubted richness are unarguable advantages of 32Crash sound; the ideology is a different story... one thing's sure: what they give is not some dumb, monotonous bla bla bla: while listening to them you may turn on your brains with full trust.
We could hear e.g. “Time to march on”, “Merlin's gun”, “Porcupine song”, “Humanity”, “Plutonium breeder”, “Beware”,
“Carbon fibers”, “Propaganda”, “Slow crash“, "Remeber”, “The creature”, “Isomodia” and “Fast crash”.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get into Hangar for welle:erdball concert which is a shame in fact, as apart from the brilliant music they play welle:erdball always prepare an interesting performance. So it was this time: the artists were wearing masks and make-ups (imitating what could be called the robots hypodermic layer) and great lights – those who saw it said it was superb! I believe them.
The last project in Hangar I was lucky enough to watch was IAMX, the band which (I'm not going to deny it) completely got my ears this season... Chris Corner - as he's the author of the 'undertaking' - used to play in the band Sneaker Pimps, and after it split up, or rather fell into lethargy, he decided to do something on his own and so he formed a creation that now gets the people of their feet by means of power of expression, charisma and charm of the served music. That's about the history of it.
When the musicians appeared on the stage the people were already on their toes to see what will come next and of course IAMX didn't fail. At the concerts Chris is accompanied by the band - Dean at guitars, Janine at keys and bass ( the lady evoked discussion among the male part of the audience on the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a bra ) and Tom on drums - which results in instrumental richness securing great effect especially if combined with exceptional voice.
We could listen to, e.g. „The Alternative”, „Kiss and Swallow”, „Nightlife”, „President”, „Song Of Imaginery Beings”, „Bring Me Back A Dog” and „Mercy” and I must say IAMX really know how to operate with voice and sound to evoke various emotions : it was hard to stop from dancing with such songs as „Nightlife”, „Bring Me Back A Dog”, and „the Alternative” while „Mercy” gave me thrills. The power of Chris's voice and it's range or changeability (the voice that is warm and soothing one moment jumps into higher a register so unexpectedly that the sense of hearing gets shock and scarcely follows).
All that is the reason why the people are taken their breath away while listen to those gigs (and occasionally why they have their mouth open waiting for what comes next...:). Beautiful music, fair dose of extravagance ans sensuality – and there you go – success guaranteed!
And so the Festival came to an end, in my opinion it was really great event and what's left now is waiting for this exceptional music feast till the next year.