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FZW, Dortmund, Germany
24th November 2009
Mesh, Informatik, Janosch Moldau

After more than 3 long years of waiting, MESH finally released their new album ‘A Perfect Solution’ at the end of October! Being big fans of the band and of course of the new album, it was no question that we would attend at least one show on the tour…

Janosch Moldau

With ‘Redeemer’ from 2005, the German composer, producer and musician JANOSCH MOLDAU celebrated his musical debut, which was independently produced all by himself. It took 18 months until he was completely satisfied and eventually released it and received overly positive critics. The fans had to wait almost complete four years until JANOSCH MOLDAU would come up with the successor to his critically acclaimed debut, called ‘Motel Songs’. Now enough with that, he put out a remix album featuring many different versions of the well known Singles ‘Clear’ and ‘One with the sinner’ this year. /

Music & Performance
I only knew JANOSCH MOLDAU from his second album ‘Motel Songs’ which indeed was a great piece of music for me, and a surprising one at that. His little set also started with a track out of that album, called ‘I am the Kingdom’ to which Janosch danced forward and backward on stage while treating his guitar and handling a synthesizer. ‘Not with the Son’ from the same album followed right up and Janosch did his best to involve the audience a bit into the performance with trying to animate the audience to clap along which only partly worked out. The track ‘My Father’ took us back to his first output ‘Redeemer’ from 2005, just like ‘Bleed On’ whose build came with a heavy bunch of 80s inspired minimalist electronics. He received applause at the end of the set anyway. What a pity that the audience’s responses weren’t better!

01. I Am the Kingdom
02. Not with the Son
03. My Father
04. Follow Me
05. Clear
06. Bleed On
07. On My Own

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7 / 10


The first appearance on musical territory for the San Francisco based duo INFORMATIK was their album ‘Direct Memory Access’; released in 1995. The album spawned the strong club hit ‘At Your Command’. Eventually, they signed to Metropolis Records and re-issued the album as ‘Direct Memory Access V2’ with additional bonus tracks. In 1997, they released their second album ‘Syntax’, coming up with a series of new club hits still in rotation in clubs. Until today, INFORMATIK has released a considerable amount of six albums. The latest one is called ‘Arena’ and has just been released in collaboration with revived German label Dependent Records and Metropolis Records. INFORMATIK are Da5id Din and Tyler Newman. /

Music & Performance
The next band on the schedule was INFORMATIK, whom I just knew from a contribution to the current Septic compilation of Dependent Records, and that wasn’t even original material, so I was quite curious how their own sound would be like. It turned out as being a stylistic mixture of partly heavy electronics with a bit of industrial and sawing guitar riffs. If they had brought a drummer with them on stage the impression of a real band would’ve been perfect. But the 3 guys also did it very well without one. They seemed a little hesitant at the beginning, but when getting the overly good responses from the audience; they unbent quite fast and developed an awesome kind of fun with animating the audience and dancing around. That particularly goes for the singer who completed the sound with his sonorous voice. Though their performance got better in the course of the show, it didn’t strike a chord with me, really. Others were far more enthusiastic about the show.

Music: 7
Performance: 5
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 6.6 / 10


Today their musical direction is referred to as Industrial Rock, but the roots MESH can be clearly targeted in the 80s Synth Pop, influenced by bands like DEPECHE MODE and the like, Neil Taylor, Rich Silverthorn und Mark Hockings formed MESH in 1992 after meeting each other at a concert and a brief conversation afterwards. Their debut, the ‘Fragile EP’ was self-released under the moniker of their own label Tolerance Records but re-issued in Europe early in 1996 on Memento Materia with some additional tracks. From there on you could almost see the popularity of the sympathetic British guys grow. If they played in small clubs at the beginning they could now fill bigger and bigger venues. Also the sound has very much developed through the years and those almost mandatory DEPECHE MODE comparisons are relics from the past by now. Their newest album ‘A Perfect Solution’ gives way more prominence to the guitar and incorporates an overall organic and much rawer sound. MESH is Mark Hockings (vocals, guitar), Richard Silverthorn (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Sean Suleman (live drums) and Geoff Pinckney (keyboards, backing vocals). /

Music & Performance
The waiting time for the main act was short, but you had enough time to have a look at the stage setup now with 4 plasma screens mounted in kind of a semi-circle form, various LED blocks and a myriad of lights. First it got dark though and the screens showed empty, worn-out corridors to the first sounds of the new album’s opener ‘If We Stay Here’, also seeing the band members entering the stage under big applause. Backed by the live drums that song even has more punch than on CD! With ‘Trust You’ we’re heading backwards to some older material to flip forward with ‘Leave You Nothing’ again, which was celebrated by the crowd. Mark, as always, doesn’t do a great deal of acting and posing on stage. He sticks to the basics of wandering around, encouraging here and there, and focuses on a flawless performance. In that task he succeeded indeed. Never before had I heard such a vocal delivery from him live.

Rich again switched between the front and keyboards behind which he rocked just like Geoff did behind his tools. The next song was my first encounter with ‘Hold And Restrain’, the track included on the vinyl of the beautiful limited edition of ‘A Perfect Solution’. It is really a great song and now I think I will have to blow the dust off my old player eventually. More than with the older songs like ‘I Don’t Think They Know’ or ‘It Scares Me’, I was looking forward how the other new songs would do live. No matter if it were ‘How Long’, ‘Only Better’, or ‘Is it so Hard’, which is on heavy rotation currently, they all came over bigger, mightier and with the extra lot of punch from the drums. But the right mood first came with the immense lightshow of the evening, resembling a storm sometimes; other times, they’re thick veils wrapped around all and everyone on stage amplifying the experience.

For ‘Who Says’, which also on CD is a duet with her, MESH brought Julia Beyer of TECHNOIR and CHADEEN on stage. She was indeed nervous as Mark already told. If she weren’t, I’m sure her performance would’ve been outstanding. She did a good job, but she still looked a bit uncomfortable. Taken off the track list of last year’s DVD release, I was glad that ‘Not Prepared’ had made it into the setlist and it made a good preliminary closer, as of course there was an encore to come, actually two. The mood was close to go off the scale and than they came back to perform ‘In This Place Forever’ off the eponymous album. This block ended with ‘Crash’ and who knows MESH fans is perfectly aware that they’ll throw a big party to that song.

The band went and came back another time for ‘Friends like These’, dedicated to all those supporting them by coming to their show, have fun with them and still buying CDs. Upon entering the venue, pictures were taken of the crowd, which now were shown on the plasma screens during the song. Strange to see your own dumb face in large-scale (our poor photographer was really shown 3 times!). Anyway, the show ended for good with that song and left a stirred and happy audience streaming towards the exits now.

01. If We Stay Here
02. Trust You
03. Leave You Nothing
04. Hold and Restrain
05. I Don’t Think They Know
06. Hold It Together
07. Petrified
08. How Long
09. Want You
10. Can You Mend Hearts
11. Only Better
12. Is It So Hard
13. From This Height
14. It Scares Me
15. Shattered Glass
16. Who Says?
17. The Bitter End
18. Not Prepared
19. In This Place Forever
20. Crash
21. Friends like These

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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