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ZJ10Orangehouse, Munich, Germany
19th November 2011
Zola Jesus, Cutz & Mouse

On 19th of November 2011 I had the chance to experience the small however powerful-voiced singer on one of her four German shows in the Orangehouse in Munich. Let’s see if this young, gifted singer could fulfil all expectations…

Cutz & Mouse

CUTZ & MOUSE is a German break-beat duet which was founded in 2002. Their music is a mixture of Trip Hop, Electronica and a pinch of Pop and unites sombre-kicking beats with playful melodies. The lyrics of their songs deal with everyday life as well as society criticism. The publication of their debut album ‘Heartwork’ is still pending. CUTZ & MOUSE is Benjamin Hüttner (synths and vocals) plus Anika Beck (songwriting and vocals). During live shows, they are usually supported by Simon Kummer (drums) and Phillip Kummer (turntables) from the nfo-Kollektiv.


Music & Performance
This evening’s concert was scheduled to start at 9:30 PM. Indeed, the beginning was delayed by about half an hour because of technical problems and thus, the fans had to wait in the cold for a long time. Then shortly before 10:00 PM it was finally time and singer Anika Beck and Benjamin Hüttner as well as the brothers Simon and Philipp Kummer from Munich appeared on the small stage in the very well filled Orangehouse. CUTZ & MOUSE offered a very diverse programme: From quieter songs which lived alone on the clear voice of Anika, to propelling beats making people move, no listener could stand still. The mood was very good and it was once again something new. The combination of scratching and percussion was also very interesting. Unfortunately, the light was extremely bad most of the time, only the singer was visible. After about 45minutes, the band left the stage accompanied by considerable applause.

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 6
Light: 5
Total: 6 / 10


Zola Jesus

ZOLA JESUS is the pseudonym of the 22-year-old Russian-American singer and songwriter Nika Roza Danilova. Her music is a mixture of Gothic Rock, Industrial and Electro-Pop. She started to sing quite early and in 2009 she recorded during her study in her flat the first album ‘The Spoils’. Since then has happened a lot and she has developed to a very adult, internationally famed Electro-Pop artist. On the 30th of September, 2011 her third album up to now 'Conatus' appeared which was valued by the media exceedingly positively. Thus one described it in Sonic Seducer magazine even as an “atmospheric masterpiece”.


Music & Performance
After a half-hour rebuilding break, ZOLA JESUS entered the stage at 11:10 PM. Nika was accompanied during her four concerts in Germany by Alex DeGroot (electronics), Nick Turco (synthesizer), Shane Verwey (synthesizer) and Nick Johnson (drums). The small and almost fragile looking Nika appeared barefoot on stage. She also looked a little bit shy, but indeed only until she started singing: her live appearance was really as powerful-voiced as on her albums. The singer let off steam onstage but also in front of the stage. During this evening she played primarily songs of her last both albums, as for example 'Vessel'‚ 'Shivers' and 'Sea Talk‘. Indeed, in spite of all the energy which Nika emitted, the programme sounded a little bit monotonously after a certain time and also her exceedingly striking voice could not change that fact. She looked a little bit nervous during the show. And also the light was not better with JESUS ZOLA, unfortunately, than with the support. Unfortunately, on account of the delay and the long rebuilding break I could not hear the whole concert.

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 5
Total: 6.5 / 10


All in all it was an evening with really good and easy to remember voices. I'm sure, at least according to ZOLA JESUS, that we‘ll still hear about her in future and Nika will become experienced and more diverse with the time.

All pictures by Erika Knepper (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,

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