9th September 2023
De/Vision - “35 Years Anniversary (1988-2023)” - Special Guest: Nina
DE/VISION are presenting their 35 years anniversary shows. The German Synth Pop band started as a quartet consisting of Thomas Adam, Steffen Keth, Stefan Blender, and Markus Ganssert. They formed the band in 1988. Be prepared for the best songs from 35 years and maybe some surprises…
NINA aka Nina Boldt has released 2 LPs, various EPs, toured worldwide and collaborated with various artists such as ERASURE, KIM WILDE, RICKY WILDE, RICHARD X, OSCILLIAN, and RADIO WOLF. Her 2018 debut album ‘Sleepwalking’ was praised by critics and embraced significantly by Synth Wave and Retro Wave aficionados, earning her the affectionate nickname “The Queen Of Synth Wave”. Her single ‘My Mistake’ was used for the Mercedes Benz TV advert across Europe and was also featured by Hugo Boss and Adidas, gaining her a spot in the Shazam Charts at #6. In 2019, she was featured and interviewed in the Synth Wave documentary ‘The Rise Of The Synths’, narrated by legendary film director and composer John Carpenter. Shortly after, NINA recorded ‘I’ll Wait’. The song was created especially for the Horror film ‘There’s No Such Thing As Vampires’.
In 2020, her second album ‘Synthian’ jumped to #1 on the Electronic Album Charts on iTunes in Canada. ‘Synthian (The Remixes)’ featured Pop singer KIM WILDE as a guest vocalist for a unique rock interpretation of NINA’s song ‘The Wire’. Her follow-up album ‘Control’ featured samples from the Cliff Martinez ‘Drive’ film score (released by Lakeshore Records). In 2021, her musical and lyrical imagination led her into bold new sonic territory with her first single release as an independent artist: ‘Carnival Night’. Wonderland Magazine called the song “…masterful…”. The single was produced by Radio Wolf, who is currently in the studio with NINA, as they work on new music. In the spring of 2023, NINA teamed up with electronic artist KID MOXIE and independent record label Italians Do It Better to release a dark, electro-pop EP ‘Lust’. Her long-awaited collaboration with legendary songwriter Ricky Wilde called ‘Scala Hearts’ is set for an autumn release via Newretrowave. For more info see also www.iloveninamusic.com. Please enjoy the pictures of the show of this extraordinary artist.
The band DE/VISION was formed in 1988 in the Hessian town of Bensheim. Five musicians joined forces and released their first “Maxi-CD” and seven years later even recorded their first live concert on VHS. The band toured Europe extensively, gave concerts in Mexico City and Argentina, and their albums topped the charts. At that time nobody could imagine that the band would last so long and celebrate its 35th anniversary. However, we were lucky enough to witness it. In honour of this anniversary, three special concerts took place in Germany. For the performances, the remaining founding members Steffen and Thomas came up with the following concept: The concerts will consist of three parts:
1. The line-up known for the last 15 years: with Markus Köstner on drums and the usual high-quality show, as well as three new songs to be performed for the first time.
2. An electronic set with Markus Ganssert on keys, who left the band in 2000, with compositions from his signature times: the 80s and 90s.
3. In the final third, all four musicians come together to perform the band’s greatest hits. And all this exuberance is supported by the energetic and talented Synth Pop singer NINA.
Music & Performance
The style of this band can be characterized by one word, which fully reveals their sound – Synth Pop. These guys create music on a thin line between sweet melodies, which sound on all radio stations and seem sugary, and gothic, which is not to everyone’s liking. But it’s the soulfulness that gets you in the lyrics. And at the same time, the sound of DE/VISION is not like the usual samples used by ordinary musicians of show business. Electronic, logically thought-out sounds permeate the tracks created by these guys, the arrangements saturated with synthetic effects do not leave you indifferent even when listening for the tenth time. If in the beginning their creativity was influenced by electronic bands of that time, now they name such genres as Techno, Trance, Hip-Hop, and Crossover among their inspirations. By 1997 DE/VISION themselves began to influence the music scene, as they were one of the first Synth Pop bands to use the “vocal distortion” effect, back in early 1996, which can be heard on the single ‘I Regret’ and continued on ‘Strange Affection’.
‘I Regret’ and ‘Blue Moon’ are definitely favourites for me, it’s even hard to say how many times I’ve listened to these tracks, but as I wrote above, the Hamburg show featured songs from completely different periods of the band’s career, which couldn’t have been better. In addition, I find Steffen to be an incredibly plastic artist, perhaps even the most plastic within the Gothic scene in Germany. His dancing is the flexibility and plasticity of a cat singing serenades under a full moon. No, seriously. A feeling of white envy gripped me, as dancing has never been my forte, but Steffen seems to dissolve into the sounds and glides smoothly across the stage to Synth Pop tunes. His modest claims that he is already “very old” are completely unfounded. Although he stated this a couple of times on the stage and emphasized that many fans were not yet born in 1988 when the band first formed. Anyway, I just want to reassure Steffen that he is in great physical shape and his cat dances are definitely on my Top Performance List! And the young fans are only a plus, it shows that the band feels the musical trends that are most in demand nowadays.
These musicians know how to make music “for the ages”. Their melodies are easy to remember, their lyrics are devoid of primitiveness, and their sound is perfect. De/VISION pay a lot of attention to quality, details, and the fact that some new sounds can be heard in a song even the tenth time you listen to it. They are well known in Scandinavia, Spain, and the US as well. Their music is international, although it is quite difficult to describe the typical DE/VISION fan. All types of people can like DE/VISION, and they all find that DE/VISION are very independent in their music and at the same time, their music is pleasant to listen to. DE/VISION have evolved with each of their albums, they have worked with famous music labels and producers, they have experimented with styles, but in my opinion, it is their return to a distinctive electronic sound with a modern twist that has kept the band at the peak of their creativity and popularity for so long.
01. No One’s Land
03. Not Much Love Around (New song)
05. All I Ever Do
---Electro Set (With Markus Ganssert)---
06. Dress Me When I Bleed
08. Today’s Life
09. Moments We Shared
10. Take Me to the Time
11. Blue Moon
13. With Drums
15. A Beautiful Life (New song)
16. Time to Be Alive
17. Flavour of the Week
18. The Firing Line
19. Run For Your Life (New song)
20. I Regret
21. Dinner Without Grace
22. Deliver Me
23. Try to Forget
24. Your Hands on My Skin
Total: 9.5 / 10
All Pictures by Iryna Kalenska