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Matrix, Bochum, Germany
24th March 2006

This evening should become something special – the band [:SITD:] was celebrating its 10th birthday in their home area. Theme of the whole event was “[:SITD:] and friends” – so they were not celebrating alone – lots of fans came to see the show and dance later to the DJ set of ‘VNV Nation’ members Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson. As support the band invited Kolja Trelle aka ‘Soman’ for a short show who we just know from the latest ‘VNV Nation’ tour.

‘Soman’ is one of the hippest German club acts at the moment in the wide field of Industrial/Electro/Dark-Techno. He calls his sound “Industrial 4 clubs”. His debut release ‘Sound Pressure’ became a “must have” for lots of Electro freaks in a short time. So it was a good decision for [:SITD:] to chose him to warm up the audience. His show was more a DJ act than the live performance of a band. He stood behind his Apple notebook placed on a desk dancing, jumping, waving his arm and firing up the audience with his yells which were answered from several people. The audience started to dance right from the start and there were lots of people appreciating his performance. Kolja seemed to like it too smiling a lot and floating away in his own sweat.


Even though the band is existing much longer their story of success started in 2002 when Carsten Jacek (vocals) and Thomas ‘Tom’ Lesczenski (music) released their ‘Snuff EP’. The EP hit German Alternative Charts immediately – a success the band never believed of. Today the song ‘Snuff Machinery’ is a real classic in the wide electronic music landscape. The band line-up is completed by Francesco ‘Frank’ D’Angelo on Keyboard who joined the band as a steady member during their work on the recent album ‘Coded Message: 12’.

Bone-crunching beats and apocalyptical electro hymns are the trademark of the band coming from Germany’s real industrial heartland, the former coal and steel centre of the Ruhr area. [:SITD:] (short for ‘Shadows in the Dark’) can be counted amongst the most acclaimed electronic projects of the present international club scene. When Carsten started in 1996 he and former member Thorsten self-released ‘Trauerland’ and later in 1999 ‘Atomic’. Tom joined the band in 1999. They recorded the song ‘Snuff Machinery’ and handed it out to several DJs who started to play that song in the clubs and made it a floor-filler. Later on the song appeared on the ‘Septic II’ compilation and made the name [:SITD:] more known. Soon the band was signed by Accession Records and became well-known as a high-quality electro act as well as remixers for several other artists. Besides the obligatory atmospheric and enormous compact dance-floor hits the band also presents epic and orchestral influenced ballads. Pumping beats and catchy chants combined with synth layers are typical for the band’s music. For their birthday show they presented a wild mix of very old and new songs supported by a surprisingly good sound.

From the very start it was clear that this evening will be something special. I had never expected that so many people would come to see the show – but I was advised something better: a bursting venue with a very euphoric audience clapping, dancing and singing from the very start. And it seemed the band was equally surprised about the audience reactions mentioning several times how great it is to be on that stage. The show started with the ‘Intro’ which was underlined by only blue scanners from the back. The band entered the stage in the dark – how fitting – and Frank and Tom took their places behind their keyboard desks which were decorated with black flags showing the red band logo. Then the show started with a bang when Carsten performed ‘Richtfest’. The next song ‘Lebensborn’ was as usually announced as a song against fascism. The following two songs made the audience dance even harder and Carsten pushed them forward additionally. After that it was time to hand over the microphone to Tom for the songs ‘Relief’ and ‘Wake up’ which was a remix work. Afterwards the new song ‘Firmament’ followed for which Ronan Harris catered the band with fresh beer. With ‘Area 51’ a very old song came next and a die-hard fan was pulled to stage where he danced sunk in himself. The whole show was underlined by a well-composed quite dark light show which was somehow typical for an electro band. Not too much smoke was used so that you were still able to breathe in the packed venue.

After ‘Area 51’ it was time to show what the topic “[:SITD:] and friends” really meant: ‘VNV Nation’ were announced as two loving friends which accompanied the band from the very beginning. And so Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson performed their hit single ‘Chrome’ together with [:SITD:] – and the audience went totally mad. ‘Wegweiser’ finally marked the end of the main set. But of course it would not have been a real jubilee show if the band wouldn’t have to come back; and of course they have more friends than only VNV Nation. Rascal and Krishan from ‘Rotersand’ – who are just back from a successful tour with ‘Covenant’ – performed one of their own songs too: ‘Electronic World Transmission’. The old song ‘Atomic’ and one of the band’s biggest hits ‘Laughing Stock’ were the other songs of the first encore. The second encore started with the ballad ‘Suffering in Solitude’ where Tom took over the microphone again. It was a very intense moment. Last but not least the audience demanded THE hit ‘Snuff Machinery’ which was announced by the band with a big thank you to ‘Matrix’ DJ Mike who dared as the first DJ to play that song on a club night and had his fair share in creating [:SITD:]s success. For the great final all bands of the evening came back on stage and Ronan did a little speech demanding one more song for the band: ‘Happy Birthday’. And this was really the well deserved finish of a fantastic show.

01. Intro
02. Richtfest
03. Lebensborn
04. Rose Coloured Skies
05. Brand of Cain
06. Relief
07. Wake up
08. Firmament
09. Area 51
10. Chrome (VNV Nation)
11. Wegweiser
12. Electronic World Transmission (Rotersand)
13. Atomic
14. Laughing Stock
15. Suffering in Solitude
16. Snuff Machinery

Music 8
Performance 10
Sound 8
Light 7
Total 8 (8.45)

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