All of them in one lump
Another example of music that really doesn't work live. One bloke bopping along behind a laptop and some controls and by the looks of it, not really doing much (unlike, say, Architect). I really wanted to like it because I like the direction he's taking his powernoise (a bit like IDM, a bit like Breakcore) but it just left me cold. It might well have been better if the sound had been mixed better but he was the first one on so they probably didn't care much. I liked the ambient section but that wasn't quite enough to save the performance.
I listened to the first track from the front stairs but soon got bored of the synthpop, so I left for a curry. Reaper had at least a nice punch and beat to it.
The surprise for me at the festival. Admittedly, I didn't know much of their material and only own one EP (from a while ago) and that didn't exactly take me off my seat but that live performance did. The band consisted of a frontman/singer, a guitarist/keyboarder/backing vocalist and a bloke on synth/knob twiddling duty. Everybody on stage was really up for it and as sogoth said, it was very clear they had fun and they appreciate the audience's reaction (very positive), too. The guitarist even took a couple of photos. ;o)
The unusually staccato, almost hip-hop vocal style really worked with the more industrial/rock backbeat. Just when I thought the style was getting a little tiring/samey, they changed and played a quieter number and a few more EBMish numbers after that.
The energy of the stage performers swept over to the audience and everyone around me was bouncing around merrily to the tunes. This might not have been perfect or anything intricate musically but it was a hell of a lot of fun. Absolutely ace in my book.
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Wai Pi Wai
From the stage energy of Stromkern back to a table with electronic gear and a laptop and two blokes behind them pushing buttons and twiddling knobs.
Another side project of Ah Cama Sotz' Herman Klapholz, this is again Powernoise but with a twist. Yes, it's full of harsh beats, screeches, modulations and samples but the structure varies a lot and there are melodic synth lines and ambient sections interwoven into the tracks. Unlike S.K.E.T.'s the night before, WPW's set never got boring or samey as they came up with something new in every track. The sound was the best of the knob twiddlers of the weekend but that could have been because the guy from Hands was actually controlling the mixing board rather than the hired sound engineer. Brilliant.
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Probably the act most of the attendees were waiting for. After a ten year absence, industrial pioneer Bill Leeb came back to the UK, with a new album (which most fans seem to consider the best in ten years, too) and a new band in tow.
This band was what really made the performance for me, especially the superb drummer (an actual, analogue drumkit with metal cymbals and everything) who produced some of the tightest (break) beats I've ever heard live.
I have to admit that I know very little of their material for one reason or another (getting into Industrial really late in my life is probably one of them) so raggedy_man, dmh or sogoth will be more qualified to talk about how the songs came across so I'll simply concentrate on the experience.
I simply stayed back a bit (and even further when the shoving started), bounced along and enjoyed the ride. The performances were spot on, the sound was good and there was one hell of an atmosphere in the crowd. The highlight for me was when they broke out the drums and had a real tribal thing going. Excellent.
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