Matrix, Bochum, Germany
25th February 2011
Klangstabil, Mono No Aware
Every once in a while there is a live edition of the renowned EoD party series with a few selected acts playing for the audience. This time the choice fell on MONO NO AWARE & KLANGSTABIL and particularly the latter was a reason to be there no matter what.
Mono No Aware
MONO NO AWARE , apart from that being Japanese and translating something like “an empathy toward things” it’s the label for a German act that for eleven years now spreads its electronic mayhem amongst audiences in various locations.
Music & Performance
So there’s this thing called power noise; basically a sequence of beats geared up at high speed and thrown into a blender with cascades of distortion and maybe a hint of melody now or then. I had checked what’s been available of MONO NO AWARE as preview tracks on Myspace and I’ll be honest with you, I couldn’t get excited about it, really. I’m sorry if I’m being insulting now, but live it sounded even worse to my ears. At the end of the first few minutes my ears begged for mercy already. The tracks, with an assumed length of 10 minutes each, got increasingly more chaotic while progressing and the guy onstage got into an ecstatic rush the longer they were lasting. I’m known for having quite an odd taste in music sometimes, but even I wouldn’t go as far as to say this was something like actual music. It was more like a utilization of noise to get people moving and it succeeded very well in that regard I have to say. Maybe that’s all there is to it, but that’s too little for me.
Total: 3.7 / 10
KLANGSTABIL formed in 1994; the same year the two protagonists Maurizio Blanco and Boris May met as they soon realised they’re communicating on the same level. Soon they started producing without ever having the intention of getting anything of the material released. Over the years, KLANGSTABIL carved out a very own niche in alternative electronic music by taking elements of its very beginning adding to it a contemporary, sometimes experimental edge. October 2008 saw the release of the duo’s newest album, a conceptual work called ‘Math & Emotion, followed up by the ‘Vertruat’ EP. http://www.klangstabil.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/klangstabil
Music & Performance
Here was what was making the whole thing bearable for me: The prospects of finally getting to see KLANGSTABIL live. The rebuild of the stage took hardly more than a blink and soon there was ‘Fighting Colours’ fading in to get the show started with Maurizio doing the synth work in the back and Boris doing final preparations on stage while the spherical track unfolded. Then it was time for ‘Math & Emotion’, the combination of algorithms generating music and direct talking lyrics to add the sheer emotions in shape of Boris May, who restlessly roamed with the intensity rising within seconds from left to right on bare feed screaming out the candid words through a wall of distortion. For the second run, it was up to Maurizio to deliver the vocals for ‘Perdere Per Vincere’ A little less lively in movement but all the more passionate he threw out word by word compelling the audience. There’s an inherent sense of unrest in the music of KLANGSTABIL, and yet the music rests in itself. In the eye of a hurricane the music is representing there’s deep serenity and melancholy.
Those feelings reflect the contradictory approach to music. On one hand there are these wonderful melodies as on ‘Push Yourself’, and then again there’s chaos, mutilation of sound, rage as on ‘Gloomy Day’, or desperation that is evident in ‘You May Start’ with Boris revealing the raging sea that is brooding on the inside visually and vocally. Afterwards, the sonic playground is being opened again for ‘Beziehungsohr’ before one of the last album’s highlights ‘Love Has Too Much Audience’. The track is touching on the subject of solitude and how love could heal everything if we would just let it in again. Easier said than done in personal and civilization related regards, but a state to aspire to! Anyway, I could hear that song three times in a row, but there was still some angry firing of word-weapon salvoes on the schedule with ‘Twisted Words’. After the remix of ‘Math & Emotion’ had faded, there actually wasn’t enough time left for the guys to play another song, but someone had mercy and we were getting a worthy closing encore with ‘Lauf, Lauf’.
Well, that was really more like it. A performance beyond the intention of mere entertainment; it was to captivate, to stir up and made to see music as artful expression. There was lots of applause at the end before people turned to leave or to join the already dancing masses on some of the floors.
01. Fighting Colours
02. Math & Emotion - The Square Root Of One
03. Perdere Per Vincere (The Italian Opening)
04. Push Yourself
05. Gloomy Day
06. You May Start
08. Love Has Too Much Audience
09. Twisted Words
10. Math & Emotion - The Square Root Of Three
11. Lauf, Lauf
Total: 8.6 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography / www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)