NOCTURNAL CULTURE NIGHT – Kulturpark Deutzen, Sachsen, 02-04.09.2011

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In 2011 it was the 6th time Nocturnal Culture Night invited everybody to share some Deutzen hospitality, as well as to say goodbye to another festival season. Every year this festival has the effect of a sedative pill on me – after all the season’s vanity, I come to NCN to feel some peace before the winter comes. It’s like the final frontier – no outdoor festival comes after it, so it’s a kind of the last chance to get into the scene and enjoy the groove. During the span of 3 days, about forty bands play on the two NCN stages and what’s even better – almost all of them are different, and goth-rock fans, EBM fans, future-pop fans, noise fans, and even metal fans have usually something to come for. This year there was just one epic fail for me: there were no more night trains after 23:00. I couldn’t stay in Deutzen for the night and I had to return to Leipzig every evening and come back every morning. That wasn’t really a problem – it only took about 30 minutes to get there – but every evening I had to leave before the night headliners hit the stage because I wasn’t ready to sleep on the grass if the last train left without me. In 2010 there was one more train at 0:10, but probably my worst enemies took it away, so I had to miss some of the bands. However, I still saw all the acts I really wanted to see. What made this festival even more special is a great weather that hasn’t been seen at NCN since probably 2008! The pouring rain had already become a kind of NCN tradition, but this time it was sunny and even hot for the whole 3 days. Thanks for that!

Nocturnal Culture Night extras 1Click on the links throughout the report to see the full band galleries, or have a look at the festival extras HERE!

den.c.t.bug
Den.T.C.Bug

Day 1
Den.C.T.Bug was the first project to appear on the small stage. I understand that the first band doesn’t have to be too memorable, but it seemed like the singer, Kim Hoffmann, and the keyboard player, Markus Pawlikowski, didn’t want to be memorable at all. Musically I would compare them with the early VNV Nation, but visually the band wasn’t too impressive. Maybe there was simply no real boost for Mr. Hoffmann to rock before the approximately fifty people gathered to see him, but to me it was kind of boring to watch this performance; all I could remember later was their club-hit “Nachtzug” that they performed. Nice, quality music, but unfortunately nothing more than this.

Golden Apes
Golden Apes

Golden Apes produced some sort of thoughtful and soft Gothic rock, which sounded very appropriate that evening. There were already notably more people in the audience and it looked like everybody had a great time. I remember seeing the band at NCN back in 2008, but that time they huddled on a small stage. In 2011, they got all the attention the main acts on the big stage usually have. Concerning the music, I would call it rather music for listening, because there’s nothing going on on stage, the musicians just did their stuff and the singer, Peer Lebrecht, smoked a lot and 90% of time stood with his eyes closed. Still the sound was great and crystal-clear and I enjoyed the gig, though it wasn’t really my kind of music.

No More
No More

The German group No More is not so simple to describe. It was born – scary to say – in 1979 and was powerful enough to shake the whole world with the underground hit-single, “Suicide Commando.” If you know the band Suicide Commando, then yes, it was named after this song. In 1986, No More broke up, only to rise again from the ashes in 2008. The band’s line-up went shrank to just a duo, which consisted of Andy Schwarz (guitar/vocals) and Tina Sanudakura (keyboards). Since then, No More has released one full-length album called Midnight People & Lo-Life Stars (2010). When the band took the stage, it became clear that we were going to see and hear something unusual. Andy got the front spot with his guitar and Tina took her place behind a strange-looking keyboard with the glowing, round, out-of-this-world installation and (oh yeah) theremin. The music was minimalistic post-punk influenced with dark wave and also with a lot of digital effects and emotional, anguished vocals. Very, very interesting and highly recommended.

Gothminister
Gothminister

Now for the band I was waiting for! I saw Gothminister at the previous Wave Gotik Treffen, but they used so many fire effects on stage that none of the photographers could work, so I was really looking forward to the chance to see and shoot them at the NCN. Who is Gothminister? It’s a great Goth-metal band from Norway with a lot of really catchy and good tunes and a lot of show effects. The singer, Bjørn Alexander Brem, is ton of fun to watch; he’s all about show – KISS-inspired make-up, bombs, smoke, fire, scary dolls, and a stylized speaker’s desk to sing from. The band released some very nice albums and the most recent album, Anima Inferna, broke the records once more. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t use any real effects this time, maybe because they played in the daylight, so pyrotechnics would obvious make no sense. It was really funny to watch when Bruno Kramm of Das Ich ran around the stage, firing and throwing some little smoking things here and there. Nevertheless Brem and co. kicked some serious ass trying to make the best rock show possible. The new songs “Liar,” “Anima Inferna,” and “Stonehenge” were accompanied by old hits like “Monsters” and “Happiness in Darkness”. I would rate this gig 10/10, one of the best performances of this year.

Whispers in the Shadow
Whispers in the Shadow

I’ve heard about Whispers in the Shadow before, because once upon a time I was a huge L’Ame Immortelle fan and Whispers was a side project of Ashley Dayour, LI’s guitar player. I’ve tried to catch them many times, but this was the first time I was lucky enough to finally catch them live. The band was formed long ago in 1996 and since then, they were very active, touring and releasing no less than six albums, many compilations, and several live albums. The smoking fresh EP, The Lightbringer, was released in 2011 and today, Whispers in the Shadow is a fully functional five-piece band. When Ashley and co. appeared on the small stage, it became clear that it would be quite the shadow theater, because there was almost no light at all. Ashley wore a big hat completely covering his face, so you could hear his voice but couldn’t see his mouth or eyes. All the emotions were shown via voicals and gestures only, and I heard somebody made a joke about it, that they could name the band Screams from the Shadow as well, because you could hear the band, but the only visible person there was a guitar player, Lazy Schulz. The band’s music is hard to describe. It’s very conceptual dark wave and at the same time, I could hear some decent influence from old Gothic rock. To me, it wasn’t so easy to comprehend because I’ve expected something more melodic, but still it was very powerful and emotional. At some point I felt Whispers really suffered from the lack of space – they all move a lot and they would surely look great on a big stage. All-in-all, it was a good show with interesting music and was certainly time well spent.

Tyske Ludder
Tyske Ludder

Tyske Ludder is an old electronic band from Germany who started spreading its waves of sonic destruction in the very beginning of the 90s. After several years taken to reconsider the style and also to change the label, they hit the European stages again in 2004. The latest release, Diaspora, was born in 2011 and the NCN performance was a kind of part of the Diaspora Tour. Tyske Ludder plays what I would call hard electronic music, though maybe somebody else would call it EBM. What makes them different from other bands is probably the most emotional approach to the composition I’ve ever heard from an EBM band, and I say that even though I’m absolutely not a fan of this music style. The most of the songs I heard had unusually complex arrangements and I would simply say that it’s not that boring “boom-boom-boom” sound some other EBM bands do. The show was also quite strong – the stage was decorated with Diaspora-themed banners and two big inflatable aerostat-balloons were set on both sides (I saw one of them was taken by some little kid – what a nice gift from the band! …at least I hope it was a gift). The show started with an intro going straight to the “Tempelberg”. The singer, Claus Albers, ran to the stage waving with a big Israeli flag. “Eugenix” and “Wie der Stahl gehärtet wurde” followed and the audience was completely unleashed!

Unfortunately, at this point I had to run to catch the last train home right after the third song and I missed the night performances of [:SITD:] and – the worst loss of the whole festival – Kirlian Camera. I was really sorry to miss out on that, so this concludes the first day of NCN for me.

Nocturnal Culture Night extras 3Day 2
The second of NCN day is always the longest one. It started early and when I arrived from Leipzig, it was already hot as hell, there were about a hundred people in the audience, and a band called Oberer Totpunkt was getting ready to hit the stage.

Oberer Totpunkt
Oberer Totpunkt

I saw this project for the very first time in my life at NCN and I was already terribly sorry that I missed them at WGT XX because the band was 101% fantastic and original. Oberer Totpunkt was formed probably in 2006-2007, because the first album 10 Grad vor OT was recorded in 2008 and by 2011, two more albums have been released. The persons who stand behind it are Bettina Bormann (vocals/…reading?), Michael Krüger (drums), and David Nesselhauf (contrabass). Puppenformat-C and Angelus are also the band’s part as the dancers and show-performers. Honestly, I love these bands that have their own vision; they don’t call themselves EBM or rock or dark wave, they just do something so original that you can’t put them into any of those categories. Oberer Totpunkt plays a very original and at the same time quite minimalistic kind of electronic music with the live contrabass and some very eye-catching show. Bettina Bormann, as I mentioned, is not quite a singer; it sounds like she doesn’t sing but tells her lyrics to the audience. It’s like listening an audio-book, a very interesting, emotional, soul-eating one, with a marvelous soundtrack. Later I heard that the band performed at WGT the same year and it was a much bigger concert there; they even used a small choir and had some more show elements. This time, the show was limited to just eight tracks, but it was still outstanding. All of their best and most well-known tracks were there – “Schlacht,” “Paul ist tot,” (a Fehlfarben cover) “Gevatter Tod,” “Teufels Lehrerin,” and even the rap-like Hamburg anthem, “Hamburg.” All-in-all, it was probably my best new discovery of the year and I’m already looking forward for their new album Desiderat that they are working on right now.

F.O.D.
F.O.D.

It had been announced that someone in Obscenity Trial was ill and the band cancelled their gig on the small stage, so the next band became F.O.D. This popular future-pop/EBM formation was born in 2000 and already has three albums under their belt. All I knew about them beforehand was that a former Blutengel member, Eva Pölzing, was there. I had also heard their songs like “Maschinentanz” and “Jung und stolz.” They were nice, but I didn’t knew what to expect from F.O.D. live. Even before they appeared on the stage, I understood it would be something good – the keyboard stands were stylized as white cars and I love bands who use their imagination a little bit visually. The show was very energetic and soft at the same time. Both singers, eXcess D and Eva, were in a good mood and sang very well. The atmosphere was opposite to the one some other EBM bands have – there was no anger or brutality on the stage, just simple and not-too-original relaxing music.

X-Divide
X-Divide

I didn’t know X-Divide beforehand and honestly – you can take it as my humble opinion – I could have lived happily without knowing about them. I would love to say that it was my problem and the synth-pop -oriented audience knew and loved these guys, but I don’t want to lie, there were not so many people at the small stage when X-Divide came out. The internet told me that the band had existed already for 6 years, released one album, and it’s probably worth the time spent listening to it, but X-Divide were quite boring and lacked confidence live. Both members looked like they’ve never been on stage before, like they were really scared of the people who watched them. They sounded good though, but I didn’t think it worked for them performing live at all… sorry, that’s just my opinion.

Shiv-R
Shiv-R

The next big stage act was Shiv-R from Australia. A goth-band from Australia, can you believe it? It sounded interesting to say at least. In all senses, these guys are very young. The band has existed just for about 3 years, but already has an album released worldwide and that’s something some European bands would kill for. They already toured with Combichrist and have plans for a full tour in Europe, so I think it’s safe to say they really drew some attention at NCN. I bet someone loved them, but I do have some remarks. Shiv-R’s music is fast and pushing electronic stuff and I think the band did the right thing trying to break through in Europe, where the electronic/EBM scene is so huge. But at the same time, that means that it’s extremely hard to find your own sound and your own thing in general – in 99.9% of cases, you would look and sound similar to someone who is already popular. That’s what I saw in Shiv-R. All the songs were Combichrist meets Marilyn Manson for some reason, because the singer tried to replicate all his trademark moves, poses, and gestures. I saw a good band with potential, but unfortunately, I didn’t see anything original. They all played well, looked good, paid a lot of attention to their visual presence, but this band should really find a thing of their own.

ElaneI thought Elane was a young and smoking fresh band, but Internet the Great and Wise told me it was actually born in 2001, which is a respectable age for a folk-rock band like this. Their first album, The Fire of Glenvore was released in 2004 and they already have two more CDs and quite a few fans in the subculture. At least I saw several people in the crowd with the Elane patches on their jackets and bags. And I must say I was very sorry for them when the band played two songs and the power went suddenly off! All the guys were kind of sad about it and it’s totally understandable. Everybody hoped it was just a minor power problem, but after 5 minutes it was announced that the whole festival lost the power and we must wait for an hour or two… And you should have been there to see how Elane still performed another song acoustically! That’s what I call the spirit! That’s what I love! The singer, Joran Elane, (Elane was originally her solo-project) sounded very clear and all-in-all it could have been a very good performance if there had been no power supply problems. Let’s hope for the next time.

Black Jewels Clothing fashion show
Black Jewels Clothing fashion show

Here goes another compliment to NCN – at this festival, you still have something to do even without power. Some people could go and listen to Oberer Totpunkt’s singer, Bettina Bormann, reading one of her books (she’s also a writer), some of us preferred to have some food and relax, and as I heard, somebody went to see a local soccer game, because a little soccer place was just about a hundred metres from the festival ground.

Bettina Bormann
Bettina Bormann

I went for Bettina Bormann‘s reading hour and didn’t regret that, because it was amazing. The reading was theatrically staged and the whole of Oberer Totpunkt helped her find the atmosphere she needed. Thanks to the drums and contrabass, they needed no electricity. Puppenformat-C and Angelus were also there on a small stage and did some performance. An hour or so after that, I caught a fashion show by Black Jewels Clothing that was held on the same small stage. There was still no power, but Michael Krüger and David Nesselhauf were there again to give a helping hand. As for the show I’m not an expert, but I liked what I saw.

Psyche
Psyche

The time for a legend had come – Psyche was the first band on the big stage after NCN found its power again. The band started up in Canada in 1982 and now it’s an internationally acclaimed Germany-based synthpop act that everybody knows. Psyche has released many albums and many hit singles and is very popular in Europe and even in the USA. Due to the above-mentioned technical problems, they came on a little later than expected and the whole schedule was changed. Fortunately no band was skipped, but of course there was less time for the individual sets. Only the headliner, Absolute Body Control, 32 Crash, Atrocity, and In My Rosasy could play for long; all other bands had to skip two or three tracks from their gigs. Well, it was ok, this could happen to any festival and no one could foresee that. The most important thing was that the power was back, the music was alive again, and all the people really missed it! That’s why everybody was so happy to see somebody making sounds on the stage at last! Psyche did their set, the mood was there, and it was all about hits like “15 Minutes,” “Misery,” and “Gods And Monsters.” Good performance, well done!

Sensory Gate
Sensory Gate

Sensory Gate was a band that many people were waiting for – everywhere I spotted fans in their T-shirts and merch, but to my deepest regret, that was also the only NCN act I wasn’t able to feel deeply enough to say if I liked it or not. Rather not, I should say. They played at previous the NCN and I read a lot of good reviews, so maybe I expected too much this time. Or may be I’m not into electro-pop enough to find something special in this duo. The crowd was massive and I saw many happy faces in the audience, but to me it was quite simple music that many other bands record and perform exactly the same way and I found the band’s visual presence too ordinary, so I think I was simply not the right person to judge it.

Merciful Nuns
Merciful Nuns

Merciful Nuns is a relativery new project by Artaud Seth from Garden of Delight (R.I.P.) and that was the only thing I knew about the band until day 2 of NCN. The festival booklet said that it was going to to be pure Gothic rock and I agree 100%. There were two TV-sets with some conceptual videos on the stage, and then a lot of smoke came billowing out. When the yellow lights hit the stage, the band appeared engulfed in golden light – the effect was brilliant and I think Merciful Nuns should keep that effect, at least for the festivals! Regarding the music, it truly was real and pure Gothic rock at its best. The guitar player, Jón, and the bassist, Jawa, looked fantastic and played very decently, while Artaud proved himself to be a really great frontman who can easily drive the audience crazy. Too bad they played just eight tracks – I hope to see them again with the complete set, it would be totally worth seeing.

Klangstabil
Klangstabil

I saw Klangstabil in 2009 and was really looking forward to see them again, because I found them very interesting music-wise. Maurizio Blanco and Boris May created Klangstabil in 1994, so the formation can be considered to be quite old. It’s not the most standard electronic band you could imagine, because the duo always went for a lot of experiments and it’s always very interesting to watch Boris May at work. He’s like a pantomime actor who plays with the lights and shadows and his emotional level is extraordinary; sometimes it looks like he’s just ready to explode! This time the set was shortened, but the guys managed to perform twelve songs, which is already not too bad. I can’t call myself a fan, but I was impressed as always – thumbs up.

Absolute Body Control
Absolute Body Control

Look who’s back – good old Absolute Body Control! I knew a thing or two about them before, but this was the first time I saw them live. They say the band was big in the 80’s and broke up in the early 90’s. The fans’ interest in them was still huge, so they came back in 2006 for some festival appearances. As far as I know, the present band’s state is to go on until the audience no longer needs them. This evening, Absolute Body Control was one of the main headliners and there were a lot of people in front of the big stage. Unfortunately, the large stage size played a trick on the band, because the singer, Dirk Ivens, was permanently hidden in the shadows and it looked like the keyboard player, Eric van Wonterghem, was all alone on the big stage. I could hardly see Dirk Ivens dancing in the dark, but the music was easily distinguishable. It was old-fashioned minimalistic electro music and the band presented a perfect best-of gig, playing more than ten tracks.

32 Crash
32 Crash

A well-known EBM band, 32 Crash, was the next act on the small stage. The start was unfortunately spoiled by some technical problems and they could begin only after 20 minutes. That didn’t make their gig shorter though, and 32 Crash played their whole program of fifteen or more tracks. The band is not new here – they played at NCN 2 years ago and showed some decent and highly energetic EBM stuff. This time they were on the small stage again and made their positions even stronger. Initially, 32 Crash drew some attention because their singer, Jean-Luc de Meyer, was also a part of the famous Front 242, so there were a lot of people who simply wanted to hear something new from him. Today he sang in 32 Crash accompanied by his two colleagues, Len Lemeire (Implant) and Jan D’Hooghe (Implant and Vive la Fete). The band provided the crowd with songs in a wide variety of styles, starting from a softer kind of EBM and finishing some compositions with a strong synth-pop influence. There were a lot of people in the audience cheering for the band on the top of their lungs and 32 Crash were even forced to do a two-song encore.

Atrocity
Atrocity

Atrocity is a unique German metal band who completely deserve their cult status. I don’t know another metal band that could change their style so dramatically two to three times and get away with it. They released their first album, Hallucinations, in 1990, playing rough death metal, but after 6 years, Atrocity released Willenkraft and added a lot of industrial/Gothic elements into their music. Previously in 1995, they even released a co-operative album with the Gothic idols from Das Ich! In 1997, a very disputable cover album, Werk 80, was released, and for some strange reason, it simultaneously defined a new path for Atrocity, got very popular, and made it impossible for them to record another album with the original material because the new fans demanded the covers only. For example, the band released two albums after that, Gemini (2000) and Atlantis (2004), but unfortunately, they were so unpopular (not in my opinion; I think they were great), that 2008’s Werk 80 II appeared. When I saw Atrocity live for the very first time, they did a covers-only gig and I was rather disappointed because I love their original stuff and to me all those 80’s covers don’t give any impression of how good this band actually is. However, this evening I got everything I asked for – some covers, but also some original Atrocity songs played with all possible power! I noticed that the line-up had changed again and the great drummer, Seven, had disappeared. That made me actually sad because, about 2 years ago, he was still in the band and he played and looked like Tommy Lee meets Eric Singer, so I felt it was a great loss for Atrocity. The only original guitar player, Mathias Röderer, also left the band in 2010. The show as always started with two sexy girls doing some dancing and then the band appeared and started with a Camouflage cover: “Great Commandment.” I already thought that it was going to be a cover-songs gig all over again, but the second track was “Taste of Sin” and that was already very promising! During the set some more covers were played, like “Shout” and even “Die Deutschmaschine” that I’ve never heard live before. The original setlist consisted of “Blut,” “Seasons in Black,” “Willenkraft,” and the beautiful “Cold Black Days.” As usual, Liv Kristine was also there helping her husband Alexander Krull to rule the show. All-in-all it was a brilliant end of the day! A perfect headliner for my taste.Nocturnal Culture Night extras 2

Everybody who stayed at the festival for the night could go listen to the final act, In My Rosary, but I had to catch my train and go home. Day 2 was a long day and I needed to catch some sleep. The final day of NCN was waiting for me in just 10 hours.

Day 3
The last NCN day was even hotter than the previous one and I felt sorry for the bands who were going to perform on the big stage in such hellish heat. The atmosphere was totally relaxed and the cold drinks were probably the festival’s best-seller. The gigs started very early and I had to inevitably miss some bands. When I arrived, Blind Passenger had just started their second song.

Blind Passenger
Blind Passenger

I’m glad I could finally see this famous Nik Page band that I’ve heard so much about. The band has been around since the end of 80s and has built a strong reputation in the subculture with interesting music that unites elements of electro beats and rock, alongside awesome live shows. You want a show? You got it! First of all, when the intro started, Nik and the other band members came onto the stage right through the audience. A girl in uniform walked before them and she held a big tablet with “Next Flight to Planet Earth” written on it. Nik was dressed in some kind of a sci-fi costume with plastic armor and feathers, and the rest of the band wore one-piece suits. Almost every song was staged theatrically: giant flags, bodyguards with the baseball bats wearing the pig masks, a terrific solo on some guitar-like sci-fi electronical device, oil barrels, etc. A perfect start!

Persephone
Persephone

With L’Ame Immortelle not as active as they used to be, all you can do is check out the projects Thomas Rainer and Sonja Kraushofer make. I saw Rainer’s Nachtmahr at the previous NCN and now it was time for Persephone, a unique group that Sonja Kraushofer created in 2000. Unlike Thomas, she didn’t want to experiment with any modern style and here we had a band performing a very interesting kind of music – it’s like neo-classics meet the soundtrack of some Gothic desperate love movie. At this point, Persephone had released four albums and didn’t look like stopping anytime soon. I would really prefer to see the band in a hall or a big club because their music simply doesn’t fit with the sunlight and people in shorts. Well, if only I had a choice… The stage was beautifully decorated with lots of flowers and several poles with open fire. The piano was draped with black cloth and you could see the band still wanted to create a proper environment for themselves. During the intro, the musicians in historical suits took their spots one-by-one and started “The Last Song.” Sonja Kraushofer appeared last as always, barefoot and wearing one of her trademarked “decayed” dresses. Her voice was stronger than I’ve ever heard it and everybody could see how deep she is in her character’s role. You should’ve see her dancing her crazy dance during “The Day You Went Away”; to say that she’s obviously one of those singers who puts a lot of personality in every song performed is an understatement! And I must say it was a pure pleasure to be there and to watch her and Persephone playing their set. It was a very nice and pleasant surprise to find them among so many electronic bands out there.

Krypteria
Krypteria

The symphonic metal band, Krypteria, was born in 2005 and took its place on the German and European rock scene very quickly. So far they’ve released four albums and the one named All Beauty Must Die even landed in 24th place on the German charts. Everybody says it’s a nice band and a very good live act, so I really had a lot of hopes for them – and they all were justified double! First of all, Krypteria are really great live. They play and look fantastic and the beautiful singer, Ji-In Cho, not only has one of the strongest voices in the world of female-fronted metal bands, but also is a really great frontwoman who can raise pure hell on stage just like that! And don’t forget to take into account how hot it was on that day! I was in a sleeveless shirt and it was almost unbearably hot for me – those people in leather rocked so hard and cool like it was their last gig ever, so even if I hadn’t liked their music, I would’ve still have a ton of respect for them. The music Krypteria plays is very catchy, melodic metal with some orchestrations from the keyboards and a lot of hard riffs. Though Ji-In drew all of the audience’s attention, I couldn’t forget about the rest of line-up, because they all are masters of their business with a lot of good work ethic. I could actually imagine a lot of other bands just doing their show with half-energy or even completely without it in such circumstances, but Krypteria showed respect for their fans and worked through the full show – 2 hours! – like they had some kind of metal health. Amazing!

Staubkind
Staubkind

I’ve seen Staubkind from Berlin already several times and unfortunately I can’t say I liked it so much. It may be because Staubkind sounds too much like Zeraphine to me. I do like Zeraphine, but I don’t really get the idea behind a band sounding like some other band and that’s why I’m not a fan. Still, I can confirm that Staubkind have their place in the German dark scene and have a lot of followers, even though they’re not really a Gothic band. Now they have two full-length albums released by Fear Section, the label of Chris Pohl (Blutengel, Terminal Choice), who actually have more connections with Staubkind’s singer, Louis Manke, because Louis also plays guitar in Terminal Choice. Anyway, the band was there (not for the first time incidentally), and they presented a long and very professional-sounding set. It was too sunny and happy for a dark festival, but the day was favorable for that.

DAF, whose name means no less than “Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft,” is the living legend which made a massive impact on the dark scene and German electronic music. We hear their songs more often than we actually realize it because so many bands make covers for their songs. DAF became a cult band long ago in the 80s and after that, they broke up and reunited again and again while staying one of the most influential electro bands in Germany and Europe. In 2010, the singer, Gabi Delgado, and keyboard player/drummer, Robert Görl, got together to release their new DAF single, “Du bist DAF,” and as for today, this is their latest work. When the duo came up on the stage the roar the audience made was probably heard in Berlin! Robert Görl took care of the electronic beats as well as the live drums, while Delgado took care of the show. The first cult song, “Verschwende deine Jugend,” was like a bomb exploding above the Deutzen park. DAF still have their trademark raw minimalistic sound and didn’t try to soften it or “translate” it into the XXIst century, and Gabi is still a motorman! He constantly ran around the stage, played with the crowd, and even spilled a few bottles of water on the first rows! He didn’t forget to empty a couple of bottles on his own head though. Such old EBM hits like “Der Mussolini,” “Muskel,” or “Alle gegen alle” drove the people really crazy and so was the stage action. That’s how the big boys play! Unfortunately, I had to leave after this and the DAF gig became the grand finale for me this year.

DAF
DAF

I’ve written this many times and can only repeat myself – NCN is still one of the most relaxing and fascinating festivals in East Germany and it’s always a great pleasure to be there. Even the power breakdown on the second day showed how cool it is – everybody was professional and friendly and there’s no way you can feel bored there. Nice people, friendly staff, tasty food, and wonderful atmosphere… there’s really nothing more I could ask for for next year. Well… one more night train would be great!

Text/photos: Albert Buschatsky

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