Fundbureau, Hamburg, Germany
30th March 2019
Das Ich & Retrojunkies
The team of the Schwarzlicht party invited to celebrate its 15th birthday with a live special - DAS ICH and their support RETROJUNKIES were invited to celebrate. Though the birthday celebration was an awesome reason to come together, it was also a sad one. As the organizers announced it was going to be the last Schwarzlicht party at Fundbureau, at least for the time being. Nevertheless it was going to be a very special, great night.
RETROJUNKIES won the Sonic Seducer “Battle Of The Bands 2018” with their music declaration of love to the 80ies. Leni, Jenny and 8Bitjunkie play a mix of Dark Wave, Pop, Dark Romantic with a touch of vintage when adding retro sounds that are so well-known from the old computer games. Their debut album, ‘Neuland 1.0’, was released in 2018. https://www.retrojunkies.de/
Music & Performance
The stage at Fundbureau is quite a typical stage of a smaller club, so the space on stage was filled quite well when RETROJUNKIES started their show. I haven’t listened to their music before, so I just got to surprise myself. RETROJUNKIES is a trio and they describe their music as “New Dark Retro”. This description seems to fit quite well, I’d say. Their songs are imbued with the feeling of the 80ies and the old school computer games. Even a mini version of E.T. managed to get on stage, sitting there on the keyboard as a lucky charm, I guess.
Though it is noticeable that they are newcomer and a slightly feeling of nervousness is noticeable, the band acts very likeable on stage and with the audience. It is not as filled as it will be later for the main act, but the audience gets warmed up and some of the songs earn pretty honest cheers and applause. Some of the songs are way more melancholic like ‘Das Leben will Dich nicht’, while others are more of Synth Pop dance songs like ‘Tanz den Atari’ or ‘The Cutting Edge’ that I liked a bit more and also could notice people dancing and enjoying them. The set included all in eleven songs and ended with ‘We Are Free’. The band was obviously having fun on stage and so this attitude for sure was transferred to the people in front of the stage.
01. Alternate Reality
02. The Cutting Edge (CLAP)
03. Das Leben will Dich nicht
04. Herz aus Chrom
05. We Are The Retronauts 1-2-3
06. Mein Herz ist Gift für Dich
07. Dein Schmerz macht mich frei
08. Tanz den Atari
09. Folge Deinem Herzen
10. Major Tom (Immer Schweben)
11. We Are Free
Total: 7.3 / 10
This band does not have to be introduced, but anyway: DAS ICH just turned 30 years old and for me they have been an inherent part of the Gothic and Dark Wave scene since I got into it in my early teen years. They are counted as (co-)founders of the music style called “Neue Deutsche Todeskunst” (English: “New German Death Art”) and play gigs all over the world. Songs like ‘Das Destillat’ or ‘Gott ist tot’ are “still” killing the dance floors at the Goth & Wave parties and didn’t get old in all the years at all. https://www.facebook.com/DasIch.fans
Music & Performance
I’ve seen DAS ICH on big stages mostly before, so even before their entered the stage of Fundbureau, I was concerned that it might be a bit too small for them. Not worrying that they wouldn’t manage it, but anyway it seemed to be a kind of a challenge. When DAS ICH came on stage, the audience welcomed them very enthusiastic and warmly. The trio - Stefan, Bruno and Sven - took their positions to dip the venue into deep dark red and make us feel and hear the crackling of the hell. The set-up with the two “mobile” keyboards and a microphone was back to the roots, still enough to make a great show with the band’s presence.
With songs through the 30 years of band’s history DAS ICH won the audience in no time, ‘Kain und Abel’ was for sure one of the highlights, but many more followed. Stefan Akcermann interacted so much with the audience, making faces, requesting to sing along while putting the mic just in front of someone’s mouth - which also led to some great surprised moments and performing just as he is known for - eccentric, expressive and always somewhere between adorable (yes, he is!) and totally mad. Bruno Kramm, the other founding member of DAS ICH, in his signature outfit and this striking hair - devil’s horns styled perfectly - ensured a great atmosphere as well; some stories were told, announcing for many shows this year all over the world or for example at the Gothic Cruise (but also at major festivals in Germany like the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig or Autumn Moon in Hameln) and then there was this moment when they talked about the dark times when it was clearly not sure whether Stefan would survive, not even to mention being able to perform.
I remember being at the WGT - it must have been their very first show after Stefan “being back”, though it was clearly noticeable that it was a hard one - the band needed some breaks in between. And I was standing there at the AGRA with literally tears in my eyes - grateful, but also very clear about how much luck he must have been. Then Bruno just jokingly told that “up there [meaning the “heaven”], they didn’t want him and down there [meaning “the hell” here} they were too scared of him”. Laughing while feeling the burden of that time. And so much gratitude to being able to be back here.
Sven is the newest member of DAS ICH, I am not sure when he joined the band, but he was also introduced as quite new at M’era Luna last year. It was actually his birthday that night and he just turned 33. Warm congratulations and strong hugs from his band colleagues followed along with a “Happy birthday” from the audience. It was also made clear that he was just 2 - almost 3 when Bruno and Stefan wrote their first song - ‘Gott ist tot’. Time flies. The intense, very dark gig full of human emotional ups and downs meaning all the memories of the last 30 years ended with the two legendary songs, previously mentioned ‘Das Destillat’ and the one and only ‘Gott ist tot’. I will forever associate ‘Das Destillat’ with my very first Gothic party: 15 years ago, when I was 15 as well and obviously too young to be there and there are just two things I remember clearly about it, one of them was this song being played.
Therefore it got even more special when Stefan stood just in front of me during one of the choruses and while he was singing and me just as well for myself, I could watch directly in his eyes and he did so, too. Still getting shivers everywhere when thinking about it. An intense, underground, dark night with a whole lot of warmth and sincerity. It continued with the Schwarzlicht party, lots of people, beers and many hours of dancing. Thanks a lot to the DJs with their awesome song choices and the whole crew and bands for a really lovely night-out.
Total: 9 / 10
All Pictures by Nastja Iz