6th to 8th September 2019
NCN 2019 Day 3 with Plastic Autumn, Zweite Jugend, Tommi Stumpff, Heaven 17, Covenant, Any Leave, Traitrs, Black Nail Cabaret, Die Selektion, The KVB, Monolith, In Gowan Ring, Atomic Neon, Adam Is A Girl, Stoneman, Haujobb, De/Vision
The last festival day came as usual totally unexpected and way too early. At least the rain stopped and though the sun was not showing much on Sunday, the breakfast & coffee at the breakfast truck at the camping area were lifesavers once more. The impressions from Saturday’s performances - be it the epic show by LAIBACH, the party with FADERHEAD, legendary WOLFGANG FLUER as midnight special or the morning fun with RROYCE - also needed to get sorted and so the first coffee helped to realise how much has already happened and get ready for the last day that was about to hit with its own highlights.
Plastic Autumn (Marko)
PLASTIC AUTUMN is a Synth Pop / Future Pop project of the artist Falk Pitschk based in Magdeburg. Pitschk is an artist not only because he owns a creative hair studio, but he is also front man, lead singer, and founder of PLASTIC AUTUMN. Furthermore he plays keyboard in KIRLIAN CAMERA and he is a guitar player. During the live performances, the bird-of-paradise and driving force behind one-man project, Falk Pitschk, always comes up with something special happening on stage. Black wings of an angel, different face masks, and cool hair styles are presented. There is a lot of fine sense for the New Wave Romantic of the 80s, and it fits perfectly to the live performance style and the electronic framework of the band - an absolute must for fans of Wave, Synth Pop, and electronic sounds. The distinctive, poppy sound and the high-quality sound framework are filled with Techno and Trance elements. The meaningful voice of Falk comes along pure or adjusted by a vocoder, it all depends on the song.
Repeatedly, the band falls back to a nice combination of profound, intensive sounds and critical lyrics, which are influenced by the classic, English romanticists Lord Byron and Edgar Allan Poe. The current album ‘Mortality’ was released in 2019. This performance in Deutzen was the penultimate of their current tour. However, PLASTIC AUTUMN did not find it easy to shorten the setlist down to 30 minutes. At a regular concert on the tour, of course, they usually play a lot longer than at a festival. The band was surprised by how many people were already at the Amphibühne - usually it’s a bit different at lunchtime on the third day of a festival. And then when the people from Parkbühne and Weidenbogenbühne appeared it was really well filled. The announcer introduced PLASTIC AUTUM as an electro band, but most of the songs were dominated by guitar sounds.
Singer Falk, who appeared at the NCN Festival with surprisingly short hair, then announced a special guest vocalist and friend of the band: “Here is someone who can express this better than me”, he said as Oswald Henke of the band GOETHES ERBEN joined them on stage and sang ‘Ich fang dich auf’ and Falk played acoustic guitar. The song ‘No more lies’ was more electronic than the rest; it’s a great song with hit potential and guaranteed dance tune, but the audience was apparently not quite awake yet. Falk said in the middle of the song “you can dance, if you want”- and finally they started in the first rows. The atmosphere was now really good for this opening Amphibühne act. A wonderful start to the last festival day. // https://plasticautumn1.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/plasticautumn // Setlist: 01. Mortality / 02. Black Sand / 03. No Peace In Me / 04. Ich fang dich auf (feat. Henke) / 05. No more Lies / 06. Distance / 07. Every Wish
Zweite Jugend (Nastja)
ZWEITE JUGEND is a band of two: Marcel Lüke (drums) and Eli van Vegas (vocals, sequences). Marcel and Eli met as friends in 2009, and over the years, their friendship became so special, that Marcel took over the tour management for Eli’s band COMBAT COMPANY and toured with him from 2011. After a musical crisis in the year 2012, Eli decided to establish Marcel as second drummer to give new impulses and create new incentives. What started as a live drummer, soon changed to a fixed band member of COMBAT COMPANY. In summer 2013, Marcel and Eli already had the idea to start a side project with the name ZWEITE JUGEND. After the separation of Homer and Eli at COMBAT COMPANY in spring 2015 (Eli and Marcel continued with COMBAT COMPANY), Marcel and Eli decided to turn the ZWEITE JUGEND project into a real band. Shortly after, they rehearsed a cover show already played WITH COMBAT COMPANY, and that was a replacement gig for COMBAT COMPANY within the frame of a private concert in July 2015.
Almost all songs are based on old Punk music, but it’s just an attitude, not the basic guide for songwriting and sound. From September 2015, they wrote their own songs. There is one vision, both musicians share: the music of ZWEITE JUGEND should be minimalistic, pure analogue, but provocative and aggressive, and this is the common thread of all songs. Bands like DAF, NITZER EBB, or DIE KRUPPS leave their indispensable marks. In October 2015, ZWEITE JUGEND released two “demo videos” (‘Hoch die Tassen!’ and ‘Liebe ist Luxus’) on social media to give a foretaste of the upcoming album. In October and November, they performed first concerts, and because of the enormous feedback to the videos, Marcel and Eli decided spontaneously, to release a demo EP called ‘Kleines Vorspiel’ right before the release of the album. Produced in a hurry, things have moved quickly. Extremely limited to 100 copies, the EP was sold out within a few weeks. After a concert tour in March and April 2016, the first album, ‘Liebe ist Luxus’ was finally released, containing twelve songs, among others the scene hit ‘Hoch die Tassen!’
Further concerts brought the band to the “WGT EBM Warm-up 2017” at the Felsenkeller in Leipzig. Music videos for ‘Hoch die Tassen!’ and ‘Euroträume’ were produced and released. After sell-off of the album and far-reaching resonance coming from the scene, Marcel and Eli decided to produce a second album in 2018. It took one year to create eleven new songs, and a few of them were tested on stage in the meantime. In October 2018, the album was recorded at their own studio. ‘Elektronische Körpermusik’ is more mature and grown-up than the debut album, but the content and sound concept is what you expect from ZWEITE JUGEND. In December 2018, the band released the single ‘Leah und Alissa’ and produced a music video. ‘Elektronische Körpermusik’ was released on March 1, 2019 and stayed several weeks on top positions in the German Alternative Charts. In the months thereafter, the band performed several concerts, among them at Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig.
Eli and Marcel conquered the crowd in no time. While some needed a tiny little moment to get activated at that still quite early hour, it didn’t took long for ZWEITE JUGEND to make the people dance and sing along with Eli who took over the entire stage, paying regular visits to Marcel who gave the performance the right beat and was smiling all the way. The longer the set, the more people joined the party and the first (or second) beer of the day tasted even better with the dedicated creators of “Elektronische Körpermusik” with straight forward German lyrics - spreading love, some system critics as well as fun songs. Thoughtful, also very entertaining act and performance very close to the fans. Pretty sure that the guys won one or another new fan’s heart on that early Sunday afternoon! // https://www.zweitejugend.de / https://www.facebook.com/ZweiteJugend // Setlist: 01. Intro MS-20 / 02. Flucht von der Erde / 03. Kriegergen / 04. Euroträume / 05. Liebe ist Luxus / 06. Die ganze Nacht / 07. Alte Schule / 08. Falsche Freunde / 09. Weißes Rauschen / 10. Stiefelliebe / 11. Leah & Alissa / 12. Elektronische Körpermusik / 13. Hoch die Tassen
Tommi Stumpff (Marcel)
Even harder, louder, more brutal. The most merciless German band is back. TOMMI STUMPFF (former KFC) is one of the most influential musicians of the 80s and 90s on the field of Electronic music, and he is a phenomenon. On the one side, the broad masses do not know him; on the other side, he belongs to internationally leading and most influential German musician of the late 70s and the 80s. Born under the name Thomas Peters, he spent most of his youth in Brussels and Paris. In 1993, after the release of the very aesthetic album ‘Alle sind tot’, STUMPFF ends his career immediately. He breaks with every musical activity and started to work in the IT sector. TOMMY STUMPFF was one of the first to produce hard, electronic music in 1982 far away from the trendy Punk.
With his album ‘Terror 2’ (1988), he set new standards regarding big band and massive productions. With ‘Ultra’ (1989), he created an EBM album comparable only with ‘Front By Front’ from FRONT 242 (produced almost at the same time). Don’t forget about the classics ‘Massaker’, which is a 13 minutes Bolero track of the EBM scene, and still today it’s a must play at every EBM party. Contrary to many other companions, TOMMI STUMPFF kept his old fans and gained many, many new fans over the years. During his active career, TOMMI STUMPFF has done it all, and he was one of the most innovative and radical electronic musicians. He then replaced this claim by another one: being the hardest, most brutal and uncompromising performer. His classics, and also new material were put through a makeover, and they will be performed with an expanded line-up: besides Tommi Stumpff (guitar, vocals), there are Rüdiger Schuster (electronics) and a merciless guitar player VanValia on stage, to create the maximum out of music. The time is right!
The following lines are likely to cause a variety of discontent, but I’m disappointed. Please don’t let this message spoil the day or the of TOMMI STUMPFF’s music. TOMMI STUMPFF has always had this “I don't give a shit” attitude which somehow seemed charming and meant that he could do his own thing. Now he is back to the stage and after 20 years of making music he probably would like to do something different, what is completely understandable. Everyone is evolving and may want to give a makeover to the own songs. Unfortunately, this “do something different” did not work for me. The pieces I knew from him were not different but spoiled beyond recognition. The pep and what made the song handy was gone.
The criticism has disappeared from the songs and everything has gone into meaningless porridge. Of course the lyrics are still there, but that’s not just what makes a song. On the past, everything used to fit together, you were pissed in the face and you thought it was cool. Now it’s more of an attempt to pull a spit thread but only get a lukewarm drop that hits on the floor. Luckily, the band and the fans are above those sentences and so I guess I will not have snubbed anyone. Anyway, a review of the concert had to be written even though I don’t feel like writing some flattering lies. On the pro side I have to state that the people of this band seem to be very likable, but that did not change my musical impression. // http://www.stumpff.net / https://www.facebook.com/Stumpff-867379723292588
Heaven 17 (Lina)
With HEAVEN 17, one of the big Synth Pop legends joined the NCN. Originally linked with HUMAN LEAGUE, in 1980 Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh decided to strike out on their own by founding a new band, and Glenn Gregory became the new front man. Already since 1981, the project from Sheffield set milestones in Synth Pop history. The band combines completely new sounds with Funk elements and Dance rhythms. The result is amply furor in the aspiring Electronic music scene. The partially progressive lyrics crown the package. In 1981, HEAVEN 17 were England’s coolest band. The trio was highly political and ironized the time of Margaret Thatcher by using outfit and artwork of the yuppie style. Two years later, their dancefloor hit ‘Temptation’ paved the way for the commercial break-through in Europe. In England, HEAVEN 17 supported Erasure during their tour in 1997, and it was their first live appearance! The subsequent tour caused brimming English clubs.
In 1998, the band collaborated with acts like Roni Size, Adrian Sherwood, Giorgio Moroder, and Freddy Fresh. With CULTURE CLUB and ABC, HEAVEN 17 came to Germany as part of the 80s revival wave. In 2007, Marsh left the band, because “all fun out of work was gone”. In autumn 2009, HEAVEN 17 was back on tour to play some concerts for the Nokia Night of the Proms. In March 2010, the band played some concerts regarding the 30th band anniversary, and for the first time, the debut album ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ was performed in full. The program was repeated in2012 with the ‘The Luxury Gap’ album. In January 2017, Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory came together at Ware’s studio, “The House of Illustrious”, to record a new album. Parts of it were released as “Work in Progress” under the name ‘Not For Public Broadcast”.
Seeing HEAVEN 17 live feels more like a musical than like a concert. With fancy black stage outfits and a great stage presence and show HEAVEN 17 enchanted the audience. All their dance moves were choreographed and in synchronism. With their positive energy and their professionalism HEAVEN 17 delivered us a great show. The show came to its climax when the band played their song ‘Geisha Boys And Temple Girls’ and later on such hits as ‘Temptation’ or the DAVID BOWIE cover ‘Let’s Dance’. The whole audience clapped, danced and sang it with the band. 80s vibes flooded the Amphibühne. And every time I looked around in the audience I saw a lot of happy faces. The cult classic ‘Being Boiled’ finally ended an amazing performance. // https://www.heaven17.com / https://www.facebook.com/heaven17official // Setlist: 01. Circus Of Death / 02. FGT / 03. Crushed / 04. Play To Win / 05. Geisha Boys And Temple Girls / 06. The Black Hit Of Space / 07. Loving Feeling / 08. We Live So Fast / 09. That’s No Lie / 10. Crow & A Baby / 11. Let Me Go / 12. Let’s Dance /13. Temptation / 14. Being Boiled
COVENANT were founded in Helsingborg, Sweden on April 26, 1986. They started with electronic music, but with their latest album, the band took a turn to Future Pop with elements of Trip Hop, Ambient, Dance and Drum and Bass. The three founding members, Joakim Montelius, Clas Nachmanson, and Eskil Simonsson have chosen the band name from the Bible, and it means “solemn alliance”, which stands for their deep attachment and friendship. The name further stands for extraordinary commitment, class, and a brotherhood, that is stronger than blood. There is the vision to get directly to the heart of grandeur and brotherhood. Like most of the bands, COVENANT started to experiment with their instruments in the basement of their parents’ houses. In the beginning, there were six band members, but in the course of time, the classic trio was formed: singer and songwriter Eskil Simonsson, keyboarder and lyricist Joakim Montelius, and keyboarder Clas Nachmanson.
At that time, COVENANT made a name for themselves with their live shows. The close connection to the audience created a new and influential fan base. Soon after release of the sixth studio album ‘Skyshaper’, Nachmanson left the band and was replaced by Daniel Myer from HAUJOBB. For the start, Myer appeared only during live shows, but was then asked to be a permanent band member. The music of Covenant is atmospheric and hymnal, lost in reverie, but very personal. Their music is art, and it is like a vortex of beats and emotions. Currently, Joakim Montelius is only a studio member. During live shows, COVENANT is currently Eskil Simonsson in vocals plus two live keyboarders, Daniel Myer, Daniel Jonasson (Dupont) and/or Andreas Catjar. During the NCN show, Eskil shared the stage with Daniel Myer, who played with HAUJOBB earlier, and Daniel Jonasson.
Another festival day, another headliner gig at Amphibühne in the rain. COVENANT didn’t care, even less did the fans. Though it was raining through the gig, the area in front of the Amphibühne was packed with umbrellas dancing in the rain to the most beautiful music from another Swedish band this weekend. It felt just right since the Swedes dominated 14th festival edition of NCN, the festival was closed by no one less than COVENANT. And it seems that the best frontmen know that you don’t leave your audience dance alone in the rain. You just join them! With endless emotions, pure sound and an exciting song mix COVENANT celebrated life, music and closed ceremoniously the 14th NCN. // http://www.covenant.se / https://www.facebook.com/Covenant-OFFICIAL-156626197713557 // Setlist: 01. Pantheon Field Recording (Intro) / 02. Feedback (ext Intro) / 03. Bullet / 04. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air / 05. Figurehead / 06. Atomheart / 07. Brave New World / 08. 20 Hz / 09. False Gods (Daniel Myer on vocals) / 10. We Stand Alone / 11. Intermission: Das Nibelungenlied / 12. Flux / 13. Ritual Noise / 14. Like Tears In Rain / 15. Lightbringer (Daniel Myer on vocals) / 16. Call The Ships To Port
Any Leave (Nastja)
During the NCN festival, the Berlin based project ANY LEAVE was supported by three befriended musicians, and together they turned the stage into a world full of dark and colourful sounds. Between synthesizers, bass and guitar, there is speech song to keep everything together. Familiar emotions, sometimes of complex nature, are expressed in interaction with complex sounds, surfaces, and pushing drums. Inspired by the sounds of the 80s, the vocals reflect timeless emotions. Their debut album ‘Moving in Certain Pattern’ was released in spring 2019. My first concert on Sunday invited to dream away and dance. Karin, the mastermind behind ANY LEAVE, covered the audience in front of the Parkbühne in pleasantly warm, spherical melodies, synthesizer, guitar and bass completed the female characteristic voice from another world and told together stories form far, far away.
Though for most of the visitors ANY LEAVE might have been a discovery, they conquered the hearts of the audience and the applause became more and more welcoming and enthusiastic from song to song. At the and we got to know that this was actually the very first live performance that ANY LEAVE ever did, so with that knowledge the gig was even more impressive. Of course some tension was noticeable. Knowing that this was the very first concert that made ANY LEAVE even more likeable and much appreciation for the great performance. // https://www.facebook.com/AnyLeave // Setlist: 01. Changing This / 02. At Other Times / 03. You Are Good To Go / 04. We Do Recall / 05. Complex To Connect / 06. Another Scene
TRAITRS were founded in 2015 and is a Post Punk duo from Toronto, Canada. This is how the long-time friends Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker describe their music project. Their songs reflect their preference for dark Post Punk of the late 70s and the early 80s. One year later, the EP ‘Rites And Rituals’, and in 2017, the single ‘Speak I Tongues’ were released. In winter 2017/18, their debut album ‘Butcher’s Coin’ was recorded. It was then released in May 2018. The music of TRAITRS is oriented towards Gothic band pioneers. The duo transports influences of present times and mixes it with genres like Shoegaze and Dark Wave. Another trademark is the emotional and memorable vocals that dominate the compositions.
TRAITRS were announced as the duo that did not get any sleep the night before due to the long journey from Hamburg. So unfortunately they played in my city while I was of course at NCN. I heard the band’s name before and some very positive critics about them. So I was really curious to catch them live. Oh well. For a band that did not get any sleep, even for one that did - they put an extremely high amount of energy and emotion live on stage. I needed a maximum of one song to be totally flashed. What an incredibly deep and exciting charisma and hell of energy. Along with known songs, TRAITRS also presented two new songs that will be released in 2020. As the band announced there is a lot coming next year, so here is definitely a band to watch out for! // http://www.pleasencerecords.com / https://www.facebook.com/traitrs // Setlist: 01. New track (release in 2020) / 02. Still From her Sores / 03. Witch Trials / 04. The Suffering Of Spiders / 05. New track (release in 2020) / 06. The Lovely Wounded / 07. Thin Flesh
Black Nail Cabaret (Nastja)
Black Nail Cabaret is a currently Tatabanya-based (formerly London-based) dark pop duo. Formed in 2008, the group consists of Emese Arvai-Illes (vocals) and Krisztian Arvai (keyboards). The band originally started with Sophie Tarr (keyboards) who left the band in 2016 to pursue her own music project. BNC is representing a fine balance between vintage and modern, building a bridge from New Wave to contemporary Pop. The band has been playing shows across Europe since their stage debut in 2010. Their 3rd album ‘Dichromat’ had been released by German label Basic Unit Productions. BLACK NAIL CABARET has since established their own record label Dichronaut Records with fellow Hungarian synth noir band ULTRANOIRE. The 4th studio album, ‘Pseudopop’, was released on 20 November 2018 via Dichronaut Records.
Oh dear. If you like MADONNA’s ‘Frozen’ or ‘Erotic’ era, you will adore this band and especially the woman giving it the voice - Emese Arvai-Illes. In a blink of an eye she hauntingly beautiful enchanted the whole audience with her voice together with the tunes from Krisztian Arvai. The first two songs Emese (or Emke) was wearing a black, tight piece of “cloth” covering also almost her whole head and face, beside of the lips with shiny dark red lipstick on them. There was something secret in the air, something that is difficult to describe. When Emke took off that black piece, some red shiny glitter fell out of the part covering her head, so until the end of the gig there were some red blinking pieces in her long, black braids. The voice literally reminds of MADONNA in some moments (also I heard her covering a MADONNA song during the Allstars Electro Karaoke event during the Wave-Gotik-Treffen earlier this year, so that probably also strengthens my association).
BLACK NAIL CABARET’s music is the darkest Dark Synth Pop you can imagine, still playing around with 80ies vibes and creating their very own music. Also I cannot help myself, but the combination of the dark Synth Pop music and the mystic charisma that is spreading all over when BLACK NAIL CABARET perform on stage, are forming a hauntingly beautiful alliance. BLACK NAIL CABARET are totally on their way from an insider’s tip to an act that will be dominating our live venues and events in the near future. There is no way around it. At least that’s what I wish for. Strong charisma and often provoking addressed topics along with enchanting Synth melodies and an unbelievably beautiful and fascinating voice - that’s what BLACK NAIL CABARET are creating their art with and I just fell in love with another band as it seems. // www.blacknailcabaret.com / www.facebook.com/bncband // Setlist: 01. Verge On The Creepy / 02. Sister Sister / 03. La Petite Mort / 04. Dora / 05. Unrequited Love / 06. Bête Noire / 07. Rhythm X / 08. Satisfaction / 09. Resonance / 10. Veronica
Die Selektion (Lina)
DIE SELEKTION is a German Cold Wave band from Stuttgart. Their special stylistic feature is the genre-untypical use of a trumpet. The band was founded at the end of 2010 from the experimental Post Punk project L U C ▲. After changing the band line-up, the musical direction became so different, that the decision was made, to stop the project and found a completely new band. Besides Gillian, who is rooted in Wave and Neofolk, the band consisted of the classical educated trumpeter Hannes Rief, who also was part of an orchestra, and Max Rieger, who was Techno influenced. All these directions and influences of EBM and Synth Pop of the 80s ended up in a danceable, melancholic style, which stands out because of the used trumpet. There was a conscious decision for German lyrics, because German language is best for their music, felt the band. Despite the German lyrics, there was international success. In 2012, Max Rieger left the band to get more concentrated on his other band, DIE NERVEN. In 2013, Rieger was replaced by Samuel Savenberg.
The music is danceable, melancholic, dark, but also very cool. They mix traditional things like New Wave and 80s, know the original versions, but create their own style. The favourite Noir look is brought to the here and now. DIE SELEKTION act out their music authentically. The cryptic, black-romantic, German lyrics paired with the trademark trumpet of Hannes Rief, make the band stand out from the masses. Their music creates a lonely atmosphere lost in a reverie, but never become bleak. Electronic music and a trumpet - to me this sounded like a really weird combination. And to be honest, it totally is. But it also worked out. And not just for me. A lot of people came to see the band this evening and everybody enjoyed the experimental music a lot. Surrounded by strobe light DIE SELEKTION presented us their songs. All in all a really special and exceptional live performance that was definitely interesting to watch. // https://www.facebook.com/selektionselektion
The KVB (Marko)
Behind the three letters, there is guitarist and singer Nicholas Wood, and keyboarder Kat Day. Their band is a story of success: started as a project to try out new sounds, meanwhile, the band is signed on Invada, the label of Geoff Barrow. The London duo mixes elements of Electro, Psychedelic, Post Punk, and Shoegaze to a very own sound, and the pushing beats remind of bands like JOY DIVISION, THE HOUSE OF LOVE, or JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. In October 2018, the album ‘Only Now Forever’ was released. It’s not a parallel world KVB is taken us to, it’s the deep-rooted world-weariness of the Wave. The last band on the Parkbühne was THE KVB from England. The weather in Deutzen was a nice little welcome for the British: typical English drizzle. Before the concert started the announcer thanked the entire NCN crew who made this great festival possible. The two musicians from THE KVB took over the stage at 7pm, with keyboarder Kat Day in shorts!
At the beginning it all sounded a bit groovy, until the first song really started - the theme song of the current album ‘Only now forever’. Then music became faster and faster and it built up very dramatically and hypnotically. Blue and white light shone all over the stage on this, the very last concert on the Parkbühne. The great depth of Nicolas’s voice was then occasionally accompanied by the lovely sound of Kat Day - they harmonized perfectly with each other. The numerous fans danced throughout the concert. THE KVB said goodbye to the audience with ‘Dayzed’ from the album ‘Immaterial Visions’. It was a really great ending on the park stage for this year. THE KVB are a promising band that will perform their first North American tour in October and November of this year. // https://www.thekvb.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/thekvbmusic // Setlist: 01. Only Now Forever / 02. Always Then / 03. In Deep / 04. Afterglow / 05. Awake / 06. On My Skin / 07. Violet Noon / 08. White Walls / 09. Night Games / 10. Never Enough / 11. From Afar / 12. Above Us / 13. Here It Comes / 14. Dayzed
Belgium is not only known for EBM legend FRONT 242, but also for several other bands and projects, which permanently inspire the electronic genre with innovative ideas. First in row is Eric Wonterghem, once member of KLINIK, and today active member of the Industrial/ Electro band INSEKT and SONAR. With his solo project MONOLITH, the sound of these bands is continued and modified. Cold, monotone Electronic music combined with exotic sounds is what you are listening to. The music is almost completely instrumental; vocals are only a rarely used element. In May 2018, album no. 10, ‘Falling Dreams’, was released. Hilde Ivens, sister of Dirk Ivens, is married with Eric van Wonterghem and works as singer and writer for MONOLITH. In case you like state-of-the-art, experimental Dark Techno, you definitely will like MONOLITH. Since NEUN WELTEN, who were to play the Kulturbühne as first band on the day, had to cancel their show on short notice, it was on MONOLITH to open the stage’s program.
Eric van Wonterghem’s one-man show started bang on time at the Kulturbühne and was very well attended. Hammering beats and atmospheric sounds from the song ‘Sleeping Sun’ from the current album echoed over the grounds. Many in the crowd danced exuberantly from the beginning - their movements whirled even some of the dry dust from the ground into the air. Eric was behind a large table with a synthesizer on it. MONOLITH’s performance should have been a treat for all techno and noise fans - it is certainly not for everyone’s ears - but that’s the case with any kind of music. Eric found the festival grounds very nice, unfortunately he was only there a relatively short time and could not stay longer. Maybe he will soon return to Deutzen, possibly with his band SONAR. // https://www.facebook.com/monolithrecords // Setlist: 01. Sleeping Sun / 02. Reconstructed / 03. Bridges / 04. Unreleased Loops/ Beats 1 / 05. Unreleased Loops/ Beats 2 / 06. Rotate / 07. Radio Interference / 08. Disco Buddha
In Gowan Ring (Marcel)
IN GOWAN RING is an American Folk band founded by singer and multi-tasking instrumentalist Bobin Eirth (B‘eirth) at the beginning of the 90s. B’eirth spent the biggest part of his youth in Salt Lake City. His maternal ancestors are Mormons. As head of the band, he likes to stage himself as a modern version of a Troubadour, who has no permanent residence, and moves from place to place to make music. Today, the band lives in Portland, Oregon. The music of IN GOWAN RING is characterized by a fragile, melancholic ballad style, but also by a cross-fade of acoustic and electronic sounds. Besides the often used acoustic guitar, B’eirth also plays zither, harp, and flute. Different guest musicians (e.g. Annabel Lee and Michael Moynihan) support him with a violin and various percussion instruments from time to time.
The acoustic level of the album ‘The Glinting Spade’ is completed by discreet keyboarding, but also by extensive drone sounds. The traditional side of the band, which comes visible the most at the ‘Hazel Steps Through A Weathered Home’ album, is more oriented at the English Folk tradition, and single compositions even remind of medieval music. B’eirth, who is familiar with most of the instruments as a result of autodidactic learning, also builds self-designed instruments, e.g. a guitar with two necks called the “Stringed Spade”. Most of the lyrics are characterized by a hermetic imagery and private symbolism. Often, images of fauna and flora are used. Since 2005, B’eirth has a solo project called BIRCH BOOK, which is more connected to American traditions, and which is different to IN GOWAN RING because of the conventional lyrics.
Baroque and dramatic influences as well as gentle moments can be heard in the performance of IN GOWAN RING. Unfortunately, the performance is missing tension from beginning to end and the songs are sometimes artificially drawn up in length to the point of nausea. Nevertheless, medieval sparks of skilful orchestration often come to light which the band keeps afloat. Chamber music with melancholy and subdued voice supported by woodwind instruments but finds some affirmative. At times beautiful and graceful, then poking again in the thicket of musical possibilities. A very mixed appearance. // https://www.ingowanring.com / https://www.facebook.com/InGowanRing // Setlist: 01. Sial At Play / 02. Walker In The Wood / 03. Morning’s Waking Dream / 04. Boat Of The Moon / 05. Secret Garden / 06. Fauna Of The Dances / 07. What The Crows Know / 08. Faun Figurine / 09. Field Of Dream / 10. Candle In The Night / 11. Dandelion Wine/ Rumi’s Dance / 12. The Seer And The Seen / 13. White Angel
Atomic Neon (Lina)
More than ten years, ATOMIC NEON perform on the stages of the scene all over Europe. Their music ranges from Post Punk to Wave and Gothic Rock. ATOMIC NEON stands for thrilling live gigs and the distinctive THE CURE sound with melancholic vocals of Rio Black. His singing is sometimes sad and lamenting, then again threatening and dark, and is supported by the versatile, guitar-dominated sound of the band. Bittersweet, daring, deep black and full of pain - that is the music of ATOMIC NEON. Like no other, the band manages to connect the melancholy of the Wave of the 80s with the forsakenness of modern times and the millennium. Their latest album ‘Remember Me’ was released in May 2018.
ATOMIC NEON presented us a rocking start in the last festival day. And even though they played relatively early that day, especially for a festival, a lot of people danced in front of the stage and enjoyed the music a lot. Everybody in the audience was in a really good mood and I guess the band enjoyed their performance pretty much. ATOMIC NEON’s songs are beautiful and emotional, but still danceable. It’s not easy to transport your emotions to the audience but still make them dance. But this is exactly what this band does. And it was a pleasure to see them live on stage. // http://www.atomicneon.de / https://www.facebook.com/theatomicneon // Setlist: 01. The Walking Dead / 02. Blue Angel / 03. Remember Me / 04. Mein Kleid / 05. I Want To Believe / 06. Romy’s Death / 07. Cold Room / 08. Keine Lügen
Adam Is A Girl (Lina)
Especially regarding culture, the German capital Berlin is different to other (German) big cities. No wonder that again and again this melting pot creates new formations that stand out from the mass. One of those new discoveries could be Anja Adam and Alex Pierschel of ADAM IS A GIRL. Positioned between catchy dancyness and touching melancholy, they feel the heartbeat of their city, and make them their own. Sometimes, the heart beats faster, sometimes very calm. They name DEPECHE MODE or BJÖRK when it comes to the question about influences. The music of Anja and Alex is an interesting and convincing mixture of Synth Pop and New Wave, which results in a very own style of mixed Dark Pop and Indie Electronica with a dreamy atmosphere and touching vocals. Dark Synth melodies, distorted guitars, and pushing beats are the basis of their music. Despite all the bands influenced ADAM IS A GIRL, they found their own voice, their own sound somewhere between Synth Pop and New Wave in the form of he expressive singing of Anja and the complex sounds of Alex.
ADAM IS A GIRL is the shimmering, pulsing, shining, and versatile sky over Berlin - Berlin has a new voice, and so has the Synth Pop world. Pay close attention to the music, because it’s the nuances in their musical stories, that warm the hearts of the listeners, or even set the rhythm. In a time and in a world, where only movement means progress, ADAM IS A GIRL provide fresh, new, and much needed impulses for the wide Synth Pop genre. The duo also knows how to thrill the audience live on stage. No matter if on stage of an electrifying club or as street musicians with loads of charm and authenticity - ADAM IS A GIRL grab the audience. They are, what they are - the new Synth Pop heartbeat of Berlin. ADAM IS A GIRL entered the stage on Sunday noon. And with their calm and soft songs they melted my heart. Anja, the singer, danced on her own to the music. Surrounded by blue lights and mist their performance got an almost magical touch. Anja got such a positive charisma and a cheerful style that she influences the audience with it. The spectators danced, clapped and had a really good time. // http://www.adamisagirl.com / https://www.facebook.com/adamisagirl
Even in Switzerland it is known that an extravagant outfit and the relevant appearance are half the rent, especially with an international image and a sound somewhere between Industrial, Metal, and a bit Wave and Gothic of the 80s. The project stands out with bittersweet melodies, paired with tough guitars and deep vocals. STONEMAN were founded in spring 2004, band members are Rico H (drums) and Mikki Chixx (singer). When being live on stage, they get support by Dee, Ypsilon, and Z. Very quickly, the guys made a name for themselves in the Swiss underground scene, and they got the support slot for different bands like WITHIN TEMPTATION, SOILWORK, or SAMAEL. With the release of their fourth album in 2014, the band underwent a stylistic change from English speaking Dark Rock to Neue Deutsche Härte. STONEMAN focus on danceable Gothic Rock like DEATHSTARS or THE 69 EYES. Their latest album, ‘Geil und elektrisch’, was released in September 2018.
STONEMAN was something really different to the other bands that played at the NCN Festival in 2019. Their sound is heavy and they are real man of show. They started their show with their powerful song ‘Dein General’. The audience clapped in the tact of the music. STONEMAN played all of their hits like ‘Goldmarie’, ‘Niemandsland’ und ‘Freundlich sein’, but the show came to its climax when the played their ballad ‘Der rote Vorhang’ which is pretty emotional. The concert got everything from power to emotion and was a real highlight for me and presumably for the other spectators that came copious to see the Swiss band. // http://stonemanmusic.ch / https://www.facebook.com/stonemanmusic // Setlist: 01. Dein General / 02. An Die Geräte / 03. Liebe Liebe / 04. Kofferlied / 05. Fremd / 06. Goldmarie / 07. Niemandsland / 08. Der Rote Vorhang / 09. Eiskalt / 10. Mord Ist Kunst / 11. Freundlich Sein
HAUJOBB is a German music group with a wide range of Electronic music. There is Electronic music, IDM, or Techno. HAUJOBB were founded in Bielefeld in 1993 originally by three persons: Dejan Samardzik (sound, programming), Björn Jünemann (sampling, programming, concept), and Daniel Myer (vocals, sound, programming). The band name HAUJOBB is based on a wrong translation of the word “Skinjob” of the Blade Runner movie. “Skinjob” (“Hautjob”) there is a derogatory term for a “Replicant” (artificial humans). HAUJOBB are part of the latest Electro Dance movement, those impact goes far beyond European borders. Together with bands like :WUMPSCUT: and VNV NATION, they renewed the genre. With their musical electric shocks, they pump up the adrenaline level and become part of the elite with apparent ease.
For more than twenty years now, you can rely on HAUJOBB being innovative Electro act with critical and intelligent lyrics. Daniel Myer and his colleagues in HAUJOBB took over the Weidenbogenbühne and the area in front of it. As expected the performance proved the professionalism of the act and the popularity they deservingly enjoy worldwide. The cold electronic sounds, the charismatic voice of Daniel Myer and the raving melodies just tempt to start an outdoor rave party - that’s what we did. HAUJOBB is Electronic music made to dive deep in and listen to the lyrics carefully. Dancing to the music of the end time - that’s the sound. A great surprise was the guest spot for Emke who just rocked the Parkbühne moments before with her own band BLACK NAIL CABARET. The interplay of the voices of Emke and Daniel had a very unique effect, turning ‘New World March’ into an electrifying song that gives goose bumps everywhere. Cold shivers are running down the back numerous times during the special performance.
Added comment by Dani: this review was basically written and ready to publish, but I have to add something. During ‘Let’s Drop Bombs’, Daniel spontaneously included a little part of TOMMI STUMPFF’s ‘Massaker’ into the songs since he (until then) admired his work a lot and was playing his songs during DJ sets. To be exact, it was just the three words “Blut, Gehirn, Massaker”, a line out of the song. Afterwards on 18th September, after a video of the NCN was published, Tommi started a big rant on Facebook, claiming Myer was infringing his copyright. In my opinion completely overacted! If Tommi had a problem with this homage, he could just have asked directly… end of transmission… // http://haujobb-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/haujobbmusic // Setlist: 01. Letting Demons Sleep / 02. Antimatter / 03. Renegades Of Noise / 04. Crossfire / 05. Machine Drum / 06. Input Error / 07. Let’s Drop Bombs / 08. Net Culture / 09. The Noise Institute / 10. New World March (feat. Emke Árvai-Illés from BLACK NAIL CABARET) / 11. Eye Over You / 12. Information Space / 13. Dead Market
Even after thirty years of band history, DE/VISION are more awake than ever before. The release of their current album, ‘Citybeats’, happened in summer 2018. Steffen Keth (vocals) and Thomas Adam (keyboard) look back to 30 successful years of being DE/VISION. Since their foundation in July 1988 in Bensheim near Darmstadt, they belong to the high-quality acts of their genre. Although everyone knows DE/VISION, let’s introduce the band: DEPECHE MODE was one of the most influential bands of the 80s, you know that without asking Google. Lots of German musicians got inspired by the innovative Synth sounds of the Brits, and so did the guys from Bensheim. Around the same time, DE/VISION was founded in Bensheim near Darmstadt.
The debut album, ‘World Without End’ released in 1994, was mixed by the former producer of CAMOUFLAGE, Axel Henninger. The rest is Synth Pop music history, but the story still goes on. With ‘Citybeats’, 30 years after foundation, the 14th studio album was released. It’s the core competency of singer Steffen Keth and keyboarder Thomas Adam, to create catchy songs with complacent retro-romantic synthesizer sounds. And again there is a comparison with DEPECHE MODE, and it applies for the singing voice and for the arrangements. Nevertheless, DE/VISION is a band of its own. And while their sound changed a lot since their pioneer days, DE/VISION always remained loyal to themselves.
DE/VISION was the last band that played at the Weidenbogenbühne at this year’s NCN Festival. Even though it rained a lot during their concert a lot of people came to see the band and to dance in the rain. The band members were so sympathetic and acted so happy on stage that it was a real joy to watch the performance. Singer Steffen got his own special dancing style and I enjoyed watching him dancing a lot. Their danceable songs influenced the audience that danced everywhere on the festival infield and had a really god time. A worthy end for the festival on the Weidenbogenbühne. // https://www.facebook.com/DEVISION-24741337633/ // Setlist: 01. Intro / Who Am I / Synchronize / 02. Rage / 03. They Won’t Silence Us / 04. Essence / 05. mAndroids / 06. I Regret / 07. Where’s The Light? / 08. Time To Forget / 09. Foreigner / 10. Your Hands On My Skin / 11. Under Heavy Fire / 12. Flavour Of The Week / 13. A Storm Is Rising
The Nocturnal Culture Night Festival 2019 ends, but the anticipation for the next year is consoling it. The cultural park and the organizers, the entire team, the merch and beverage dealers and the musicians made this festival one of the most beautiful in Germany once again. It was more like a short vacation with good music. You could rekindle the old love to bands and get to know new bands. Established acts that have not played for years, bands that simply do not play that often in Germany, and newer formations come together in a well-balanced mix in Deutzen and the distribution on four stages is suitable to get something from each band, thanks to the short ways. It was once again a weekend full of fun & music discoveries beyond expectations, special, electrifying moments as well as unforgettable time with friends and we are happy to be back next year to celebrate and dance at one of the best scene festivals with family and friends. As first artist for next year, MIDGE URE is already confirmed.
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) and Marko Jakob
Written by Nastja Iz, Lina Neike, Marko Jakob, Marcel Lüke, Daniela Vorndran & Katja Eberhardt (translations)