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Trix XL, Antwerp, Belgium
18th December 2010
BIM Fest 2010: DAF, Laibach, The Kids, The Bollock Brothers, Twice A Man, Autodafeh, De Brassers, Sturm Café, Din[A]Tod, Emotional Violence

This time we were more lucky than last year and just as planned and hoped we were travelling to Belgium for the 2010 edition of BIM Fest after the weather upset our plans in 2009. Without any marked events we reached the place where the festival was going to happen a bit early but found a good solution for passing the time until the doors were to open.


Emotional Violence

EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE formed sometime back in the 80s and in the course of their career have played various live shows with acts like THE NEON JUDGEMENT, THE WEATHERMEN or A SPLIT SECOND. Following a period of strict dormancy, focusing on other endeavours the project re-surfaced and is reworking old tracks as well as creating new material.



Music & Performance
The Belgian duo was chosen to open the day, entering the stage to a sparsely filled venue. No wonder after the “Pre-Fest” party the other day I think. The style the two guys presented was mostly electronically driven and, what a surprise, dark. While the first track already was rather fast, the second one ‘Feeling The Cold’ upped a little more. The performance was less interesting than one would expect from the musical presentation. Mostly it’s been far too tense to attract any attention or bind an audience to stay. One interesting and quite abrupt shift towards rock, maybe even punk, occurred close to the end of the stage! Might be something to expand! The bottom line was me not being overly excited by the start-up but there was more to come that surely would manage to.

Rating

Music: 6
Performance: 5
Sound: 6
Light: 6
Total: 5.7 / 10




Din[A]Tod

Sven Clausen (vocals, guitar, construction) and Claudia Fasold (synths, vocals, construction), who had played in several other bands before, decided to work as a duo because they were tired of smelly rehearsal rooms and people interfering with their musical preferences. The first release of the project DIN[A]TOD was the ‘Living Dead EP’ in 2005 which was released on a 10” Picture Vinyl Disc. The title track became a scene-wide hit in the clubs. Over two years and lots of hard work later, they could finally present their first full time album ‘The Sound of Crash’ and all the hard work paid off as both fans and press loved their uncommon music style. On the Out of Line Festival Tour, taking place in November 2007, they also performed their material live in several German cities. In the meantime, that is in2009, they’ve already released their second album ‘Westwerk’. http://www.dinatod.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/dinatod



Music & Performance
There’s a PORCUPINE TREE song called ‘Four Chords That Made A Million’ and it’s not too unlikely Sven Clausen of DIN[A]TOD didn’t use much more than that within their set at BIM Fest. But what would become a disadvantage for others fits the minimalist concept of the project perfectly. Last time I’ve seen them performing they still were a trio. Here only Sven and Claudia were present. The lack of one member, however, remained quite unnoticed and hadn’t any effect on the performance as such that started with an instrumental sound collage that led us to the current album’s title track ‘Westwerk’, defined by cool minimalism and playfulness. A club hit for the dance people followed right up with ‘Creation Crucifixion’, you instinctively started nodding that little head of yours to. Once in a while Claudia joined in with doing vocals and lend a different shade to the respective songs. It was, literally, a cool performance and nice seeing them again.

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




Sturm Café

Swedish STURM CAFÉ are around since 2001 and with their uncommonly German-tongued electronic compound turned more than just some heads. So far the project’s only full-length release is the album ‘So Seelisch So Schön’ from 2005, but they’re aiming to finally release the successor some time in 2011. For the time being, fans will have to stick with the single ‘Koka Kola Freiheit’. STURM CAFÉ is Jonatan Löfstedt and Gustav Jansson. http://www.myspace.com/sturmcafe



Music & Performance
The Swedish duo was standing out here like a paradise bird, sitting on top of a grey concrete building somewhere in the city and that analogy isn’t remotely musically motivated; it’s all about the lyrics being presented in German. And so STURM CAFÉ are calling for the sun with their first song while proclaiming ‘Koka Kola Freiheit’ on the next one and new single, stating it’s a song against capitalism. But also old material was presented with ‘Stiefelfabrik’ which had audible war-related influences. The thing, even if happening in a more sophisticated way refines DAF’s material, which is natural drumming, applies for STURM CAFÉ with the use of at least a snare drum to the electronic pads. It added to giving the band a more natural appearance even if 80 percent of the sounds still were electronic. The lively performance got the important spark across and dancing wasn’t a minority thing anymore.

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




De Brassers

The early 80s were the era when a band called DE BRASSERS saw the light of day. The first thing released was a self-produced, low-budget single called ‘En toen was er niets meer’ (And then there was nothing), followed by just a few rare releases on tape and a self-titled EP in 1981. They however do perform live occasionally, and this year’s BIM Fest will see one of those rare performances on a very special occasion. DE BRASSERS are Mark Poukens, Erik Poukens, Willy Dirkx, Ben Deckers and Marc Haesendonckx. http://www.myspace.com/debrassers

Music & Performance
Sometimes I would wish for a certificate for madness in music-related matters. So you’re not getting this wrong; madness in these regions is not a particularly bad thing. Why am I telling you this? Because this little text is about Belgian DE BRASSERS who were up live next at BIM Fest. The slow build of the opening cut ‘Kontrole’ didn’t give away much of what was to come just split seconds later. A performance as extroverted as the one here is rare to be seen in a live environment. In terms of artistic expression it excelled everything that we had come to see at the festival this far.



Bordering on the extreme, it released a brooding storm of emotional violence and strength onto listeners. The musical background itself often remained a mere backdrop to what Mark Poukens did up there. That is not to say it didn’t have the quality to be more; it just didn’t stand any chance in my opinion. Most of the material getting presented, which also included ‘En toen was er niets meer’, kept a slower pace; when it didn’t it really was something to keep dancing to. I’m not sure if I would call it the best performance this evening, but definitely one having a big impact. Despite calls from the crowd to play on, no encore was granted.

Setlist
01. Kontrole
02. Sick In Your Mind
03. They Wanted Us Away
04. Frightened
05. En toen was er niets meer
06. Rise and Fall
07. Wouldn’t It Be Nice
08. If There’s Something
09. Nasty Little Lonely

Rating

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10




Autodafeh

AUTODAFEH was founded in 2007. In 2009, the project released its first album `Hunt for Glory´ that came as a real bomb shell. According to that, AUTODAFEH fans (and those who still want to become ones) may have had high expectations for what was to come next. But with the following ‘re:lectro’ release in August 2009, all those supposed fears were dispersed and not only did AUTODAFEH satisfy old fans, they acquired new ones. The next strike wouldn’t be long in coming with the next instalment ‘Identity Unknown’, getting released in this year’s April. AUTODAFEH is Mika (vocals), Jeppe (drums) and Anders (synths). http://www.myspace.com/autodafehmusic



Music & Performance

Earlier this article I already talked about the benefits of acoustic drumming on stage. In the course of the AUTODAFEH show I wished for one because, no offence, I found the e-drummer actually being there obsolete. Didn’t add anything of significance to the sonic picture for me! Now that we got that wrapped up we can switch over to the music. ‘Divided We Fall’ started it all and there could be no mistaking about the influence FRONT 242 had on this sound. In the meantime Mika kept scouring the stage and made the audience equally follow him with sweat-driving movements. Following a new track in order to get attuned for a future release, ‘No Names’ filled the air with molecules of noise interwoven with its structure. Songs such as ‘Crash & Burn’ or ‘7 Sins’ only heated up the atmosphere more and contributed to a rather enjoyable celebration of the music amongst the audience. With the last one ‘Fuel The Fire’, the band finally fulfilled a wish, expressed several times throughout the performance and not only satisfied the shouter.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.6 / 10




Twice A Man

TWICE A MAN grew out of the ashes of precursor band COSMIC OVERDOSE in 1981. What in the beginning didn’t seem more than a mere synth pop group grew to be more and one of the most important protagonists in their genre, having released such albums as ‘Music For Girls’ and ‘Driftwood’. Somewhere around the eighties, they began to work with artists from other artistic fields whilst broadening their sonic scopes and creating a multifarious experience. In 2010, that band has released their latest album ‘Icicles’. TWICE A MAN is Dan Söderqvist and Karl Gasleben. http://www.twiceaman.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/twiceaman



Music & Performance

The Swedish duo originally was scheduled to play at the Pre Fest the other day but through unfortunate circumstances couldn’t make it there. The organizers didn’t want to let them go completely, so they were rescheduled for the main event with a shortened set. From second one of their performance they spread pure atmosphere in the room, carefully realized with a hint of reverberating guitar on a laid-out carpet of melancholy textures with vocals on top that could easily take you away. The song ‘A Letter’ from their newest album ‘Icicles’ opened the gate to a world of dark wonder, where lost hopes and dreams gathered in woods of ice. The calm tenor established here would be maintained for the entirety of the unfortunately short performance. Never would they be playing loud, instead delivering a restrained and pervasive performance, contrasting everything seen before but not being out of place.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10




The Bollock Brothers

THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS formed in 1979 around main vocalist Jock McDonald. But first musical pieces were still released under the moniker 4" BE 2". The band made their studio debut with the album ‘The Last Supper’ in 1983. Upon touring in support of that album, the band received popularity in Belgium or Germany while remaining rather unknown in their native. THE BOLLOCKS’ third studio album ‘The 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse’ came out including the popular ‘Faith Healer’, lifted as single. The band’s line-up changed several times throughout their career in which they’ve released 7 albums in total with ‘Last Will And Testament’ as latest one. http://www.bollock-brothers.com/



Music & Performance
A while earlier, before the doors to the club opened and we were still waiting, one nearly committed a sacrilege in admitting not to know THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS and ‘Faith Healer’. Of course it was pinned on the age, but the fabulous thing about being young is you have so much more time to discover and it is never too late to get to know a good band right? When the moment had come then and the ‘Bollocks’ came on stage you first had to get used to the appearance of one wearing a kilt or singer Jock McDonald something like a too large schools uniform. But you should never judge a book by its cover and so you soon forgot about any appearance-related things. Already with the first song, which was ‘Faith Healer’ by the way, the guys showed attitude and it became just as crystal clear you were watching a band right now embodying the music they were performing here. They were jumping and rotating like propellers and when not performing Jock talked to the audience, put things right when somebody told wrong. In those moments you became aware of how intelligent this man was.



‘Harley David (Son Of A Bitch)’ had Chris doing some guitar acrobatics while on other songs like ‘Henry VIII’ your attention was consumed by how the audience’s reaction to what they heard was. More than euphoric is the right description, and on ‘Horror Movies’ it was time for them to participate in singing a little. I think this review made pretty clear how I felt about the performance and I can spare myself any further conclusive words except one thing: A highlight!

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.6 / 10




The Kids

THE KIDS have been founded in 1976. Just two years later, their eponymous debut album was released and another member joined their ranks. The second album ‘Naughty Kids’ came out in 1979, followed by them playing concerts in their native, as well as in Germany or France. The next album ‘Black-Out’ saw its release in 1981. In 1986, and after a few more releases the band decided to quit, but eventually came back together again in 1996 and celebrated it with a reunion tour. Ever since they got back, they are stronger than ever and by now are counting over 30 years of existence. http://www.myspace.com/thekidspunkbelgium



Music & Performance
THE KIDS we had seen already a few weeks earlier for the first time and as for me I had only good memories of their show back then. They came, saw and made a kick start. Within the very first moments of the opener ‘No Work’, the guys exploded up on stage while firing their energetic punk rock into the crowd who embraced it gladly. Next up they were sending a rocking postcard to ‘Bloody Belgium’ and at that pace simple nodding would’ve only caused severe headaches, so the decision to just try it with dancing was probably for the best. ‘Do You Wanna Know’ hooked up beats and beats, adding a pinch of fun and the result was a little party. Belgium’s first punk band had all the sympathies on their side this evening and it was no wonder people would sing along loudly to their songs. One of the tracks that happened to the most was ‘There’ll Be No Next Time’ and if you’ve heard that song just once you know why: It’s one hell of a catchy anthem to go crazy to. Right afterwards, ‘Freedom Liberty Democracy’ was celebrated. Everyone was enjoying themselves and so was I, and I was quite surprised when the show ended already. It all happened so fast.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10




Laibach

From the very beginning of the Slovenian collective LAIBACH in June 1980, there was controversy; controversy revolving around their use of uniforms and totalitarian-style aesthetics and they were also accused of being members of the neo-nationalism movement. Confronted with those they just said "We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter". The first album release was named ‘ŠKUC Ropot’ came out in April 1985 on a native label in Ljubljana followed by ‘Rekapitulacija 1980-1984’ on a Hamburg-based label. LAIBACH’s musical work, however, isn’t exclusively limited to writing and producing normal. For instance in 1987, they’ve been invited by Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg to contribute the score to Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, released on CD in 1990 or a re-interpretations of Bach’s ‘Kunst der Fuge’ many years later in 2006, which was also the year of ‘Volk’, an album seeing LAIBACH interpreting various national anthems. For the album, the band collaborates with SILENCE from Ljubljana. Their latest release came out with ‘Laibachkunstderfuge’ in 2008. http://www.laibach.nsk.si/ / http://www.myspace.com/laibach



Music & Performance
Art can be expressed in various forms and can take on different shapes, may they be musical or by means of visualisation by whatever means possible. With LAIBACH everything just mentioned applies and they’ve created a unique, distinctive form of art over decades. That form of art doesn’t seem to work in broad daylight, proved by the reactions to a past festival appearance. Here the setting was a different one and actually perfect for it to unfold, and it worked. As the lights went down, the mood changed; the air filled up with tension. Pictures started flickering on a screen in the back and Milan Fras’ droning vocals to announce ‘Boji’ sounded! When the full set of instruments kicked in it revealed the experimental nature of that classic LAIBACH track with irregular timings on the drums with atonalities and noise played over it. Coupled with the visuals, the mood became oppressing to say the least. The fact the songs, just like couple of the following songs, were performed in their hard-sounding mother tongue only contributed to that.



The already impressive performance of the updated older songs was gentrified by the extremely good and clear sound in the club that revealed all the layers of these demanding pieces. For a while the past remained the past now and the focus turned to LAIBACH’s ‘Volk’ album. The stars and stripes right away revealed what national anthem was to follow now: ‘America’ “The land of the free and the home of the brave” As heroic as it sounds and as brilliant the vocal delivery of that part was it was bearing a bitter taste. To the east we turned with ‘Türkiye’, coming along a bit more rhythmic than the previous ones. What was making the people really go crazy though were ‘Tanz mit Laibach’ and ‘Alle gegen Alle’. Otherwise the audience was put into the role of a silent observer to something that was far from ordinary, only to add some thundering applause when a song was over. The “game” literally concluded with ‘Das Spiel Ist Aus’ and all that was left were sheer excitement and only utmost respect

Setlist
01. Boji
02. Krvava Gruda - Plodna Zemlja
03. Ti, ki izzivaš
04. Država
05. America
06. Türkiye
07. Tanz mit Laibach
08. Alle gegen alle
09. Du bist Unser
10. Hell: Symmetry
11. Das Spiel ist aus

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.9 / 10




DAF

DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) is a band that can be counted amongst the pioneers and influences for such genres as Electro Punk, Techno or the so called “Neue Deutsche Härte”. The unpolished, raw sound they’ve developed should as well be defining for the emerging EBM genre. The album ‘Die Kleinen und die Bösen’ from 1980 can be named as prime example for this and was and is a milestone for the EBM movement, released by Daniel Miller’s Mute label. Shrank to the duo Robert Görl / Gabi Delgado-López, the band continued working on new material which found its way on the two albums ‘Alles ist gut’ (1981) and ‘Für Immer’ (1982) with which they finally made their breakthrough. Some of the songs like ‘Der Mussolini’, ‘Die Götter sind Weiß’ or ‘Ein bisschen Krieg’ cause controversies with their provoking lyrics and more than once the two were exposed to hostilities of being fascists. When ‘Für Immer’ was released in 1982, DAF had already called it quits and every member pursued solo activities.



However an album called ‘1st Step to Heaven’ was released under the DAF moniker, it was only intended for the US market and should be the only musical sign of that band until 2003 when they reunited and released ‘15 neue DAF Lieder’ as well as went on world tour after which they broke up again. http://www.myspace.com/deutschamerikanischefreundschaft / http://www.myspace.com/delgadogoerl

Music & Performance
So we’ve reached the final act of the festival who would not give any time for a respite to the audience. Filling in a bit noise with the intro ‘Gewalt’, the thing really got started with ‘Verschwende Deine Jugend’ and Lopez dashing from left to right. But the audience’s blood didn’t seem to start boiling just yet and down-tempo ‘Ich und die Wirklichkeit’ surely wouldn’t change that. There’s only one song able to do that and we all know it’s ‘Der Mussolini’. Some time ago DAF already opted for putting it to a very early slot in the setlist. Here it was exactly in the right place to kick up the mood and the rather unmotivated pile of people became a surging mass of sweaty bodies. From there, the people were consistent with moving along a lot and Lopez’s habit of wasting tons of water that would have been enough to water a garden elsewhere shouldn’t be left out on this show either.



On this Best of show whose setlist only showed minor alterations to previous gigs, there was only one new song with ‘Du bist DAF’ and the rest was filled with cuts like ‘Sato Sato’, ‘Alle gegen Alle’ or ‘Der Sheriff’, this time not as a remix. It’s been clear right from the start that DAF would have to come back for an encore or two. The bleepy melody revealed ‘Der Räuber und der Prinz’ as one of them’ and ‘Kebapträume’ became the crowning finale of the show and the festival!

Setlist
01. Gewalt (Intro)
02. Verschwende deine Jugend
03. Ich und die Wirklichkeit
04. Der Mussolini
05. Ich Will
06. Muskel
07. Die Lippe
08. Mein Herz Macht Bum
09. Algorhitmus
10. Liebeszimmer (Opium Mix)
11. Du Bist DAF
12. Sato Sato
13. Alle gegen Alle
14. Nachtarbeit
15. Der Sheriff
16. Die Lüge
17. Als wär’s das letzte Mal
---
18. Der Räuber und der Prinz
19. Kebapträume

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10



An absolutely successful evening with many highlights was behind us and quite a journey ahead of us and the difficult weather conditions didn’t make things easier, really. But sooner or later, fortunately without encountering any odds, each one of us arrived in their beds and could catch some much needed sleep.

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography)
{jos_sb_discuss:17}

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