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introKulturpark, Deutzen, Germany
1st to 4th September 2016
NCN 2016 Day 1 and 2: Warm-up with Winterhart and KLEQQ Dejay Edition, Discodeath, Dark Empire, Vortex, Laura Carbone, Aeon Sable, Tying Tiffany, 7JK, Sonar, Torul, Garden of Delight, Death in Rome, Agent Side Grinder, Solitary Experiments, Klangstabil and Kite

It is always at the farthest end of the festival season in autumn when a little festival takes place that over the years has gained considerable recognition amongst dark music lovers: The Nocturnal Culture Night (NCN) festival was celebrating its 11th year anniversary this year. Once again there are several news, the most important one is the new Weidenbogen stage. The Weidenbogen stage is relocated and situated now on the former area of the Medieval market. But no worries, also this year the festival was offering a Medieval market, located this time in front of the festival gates.


As every year, the festival was taking place inside the boundaries of the picturesque landscape of the culture park in a little place called Deutzen (about half an hour away from Leipzig). It’s not only the familiarity of the atmosphere that has shaped its reputation, moreover it is the vast assortment of bands the organizers come up with every year anew that differs quite a bit from the usual. The line-up was special as always and many great bands - well-known and rather unknown ones - were playing to celebrate 11 years of NCN!  Apart from the music there was, as always, a social program as well, including the traditional medieval market, readings and more that was making the festival a complete experience for all senses. Furthermore, this festival has a special family feeling, it is quite small even though there are now all in all four stages, the big one being a little Amphi theatre where you have a great view onto stage no matter where you stand.


Thursday, 1st September16 - Warm up party at the Kulturbühne

Welcome back to Deutzen, welcome back to warm up the ground of the Kulturpark for the Nocturnal Culture Night! The first DJ set represented a cross section through the festival's program. Literally the warming up for the upcoming days full of alternative music and art. The area at the Kulturbühne was well filled with party people willing to dance. The tracks were attended by big letters on the back screen - introducing the artists and their stage time. A great appetizer for people who do not know the stuff played!


Winterhart - Kulturbühne (Janine)

A newcomer with both well-known members and well known songs owned the stage for the next hour. WINTERHART is a band around the two DANCE OR DIE members Falgalas and Wagner, supported live by Chris L. of AGONOIZE among others. WINTERHART published their first album ‘Time Doesn't Wait’ in November 2015 and their new album ‘Ryk Of Glory’ recently. Inspired by Neofolk and Martial Industrial they presented a catching set of own songs like ‘Warriors Of the World’ and ‘Follow The Sun’ and cover versions of hits like ‘Fade To Grey’ and ‘Nights In White Satin’. The set ended with the encore ‘Preußisch Blau’ announced with the words “We have only one song not played, because we are just one year old!” // / // Rating: 6 / 10


KLEQQ Dejay Edition - Kulturbühne (Janine)

Chris Dupont (best known as MRD of MRDTC) has worked on the KLEQQ concept for over five years now. Unfortunately his partner Nick Jonath's car broke down on the trip to the show so Chris had to manage the live set all alone. But the audience did not mention that there went something unplanned or not as perfect as it would have been with two sound engineers on stage. KLEQQ is a journey through musical worlds from Electro over Industrial up to Techno, decorated live with some surprising delicious cherries on the cake mainly of the 80ies and 90ies, for instance by DURAN DURAN, THE PRODIGY and OLIVER HUNTEMANN. The dancefloor was packed with happy dancers, cheering on every new track. Good job, Mr. Dupont! After KLEQQ the party went on through the night as it had started earlier this evening with an anticipating set of the bands and artists to be seen the next days. // 


Friday, 2nd September 16

The first festival day started with perfect weather. First thing you recognized when arriving at the area was the new entrance. It was relocated and I think more accessible than the old one. When entering the festival ground, you saw at first the new Weidenbogebühne, beautifully located under the trees. I liked it a lot. News to the stage in the woods, there were lots on benches and tables to sit and have some food or drinks. Speaking about food and drinks: the offered variety was great and the prices very decent. A bid advantage of this cosy festival not far from Leipzig. After a short walk around my way was leading me to the Parkbühne where the first band was going to start the festival day.


Discodeath - Parkbühne (Dani)

DISCODEATH is a duo from Porto Torres, Sardinia consisting of Marco Pittalis and Roberto Nocco who started the project in 2012. Both played together in the punk band TV DRUGS before. There is not much information about the band, the label themselves as electro-dance. In fact for me it sounded like good old Neue Deutsche Welle and was a funny start of the day. Not too bad! // // Rating: 7 / 10


Dark Empire - Amphibühne (Janine)

Opener of the Amphibühne were the local heroes of Synth Pop: DARK EMPIRE. Front man Rüdi did his best to motivate the cascadingly arriving audience. I had the feeling that people were hard to catch in a concert mood yet. But tracks like ‘Tanz auf deinem Heiligenschein’, ‘Angel’ or ‘My Body Burns Like Fire’ were warm welcomed. With ‘Things Must Change’, Rüdi, Janosch and Tschief wished a great festival weekend to everyone attending. // / // Rating: 6 / 10


Vortex - Kulturbühne (Dani)

The German Ritual Ambient project was founded in 2009 by Marcus Stiglegger and belongs to the few national bands in this genre who do not back away from concept albums and concept art. The crowd in front of the Kulturbühne was quite small yet, but the attendees enjoyed symbiosis of drowning Ambient, stomping percussions and loud guitar riffs resulting in an apocalyptic soundtrack of a dying culture. This year, the project already released its fifth album, ‘Moloch’. // // Rating: 7 / 10


Laura Carbone - Parkbühne (Janine)

It is such a pleasure to see Laura and her bandmates on stage: fine handmade music presented by beautiful and likeable artists. Especially front woman Laura catches one's attention with her look, warm voice and presence. The set started with ‘Heavy Heavy’ which immediately let the audience move. They performed their songs with pure instrumentation of guitars and drums decorated by a tambourine once in a while. “This is the first festival day, so you can still drink a lot!” proclaimed the singer before she stroke her guitar again for songs like ‘Stigmatized’ and ‘Drive By Shooting’. The people took the chance to sing along “Hey! Nananaana” at the track ‘Exes’ and cheered when imho the most popular song of LAURA CARBONE ‘Swans’ was performed. Irresistible and gloomy - friends of wavy guitars with Goth and Punk elements should take the chance to attend a show. // / // Setlist: 01. Heavy Heavy / 02. Innocent / 03. Drive by Shooting / 04. Exes / 05. Stigmatized / 06. Swans / 07. Silky Road // Rating: 8 / 10


Aeon Sable - Weidenbogenbühne (Dani)

AEON SABLE from Essen were introducing the new Weidenbogenbühne. The band was founded in 2010 by Din-Tah-Aeon and Nino Sable. Their love for the Goth Rock of early 80s and bands like FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM or SISTERS OF MERCY is clearly audible and visible in their music and performance. Still, the band is much more modern, more progressive and harder than the mentioned heroes of Goth Rock. In March 2016, the band already released it fifth album, ‘Hypaerion’. It was a bit unusual to see the band in bright daylight since their music is dark and gloomy. But still they managed to put a mystic atmosphere onto stage. // / // Setlist: 01. …Aequinoctium / 02. Elysion / 03. Dancefloor Satellite / 04. Quaalude Tango / 05. Garden of Light / 06. Agnosia / 07. Visions // Rating: 8 / 10


Tying Tiffany - Amphibühne (Janine)

The upcoming act also was one with a charismatic and powerful front woman. TYING TIFFANY from Italy presented her extraordinary electronic Post-Punk work. The performance of songs like ‘Miracle’ and ‘Borderline’ was full of energy and passion. TYING TIFFANY is a delicacy for dark souls from the underground loving intensive and experimental electronic music with catching melodies and hook lines. ‘Lost Way’, ‘A Lone Boy’ and the author's most loved ‘One Second’ followed. Hardly no one could sit or stand still at the track ‘Drownin'’ and when the looking precious but acting wild singer screamed “Show Me What You Got”, the audience freaked out in the shadows at the Amphibühne. // / // Rating: 9 / 10


7JK - Kulturbühne (Dani)

Back to the Kulturbühne for 7JK, the project of Polish Post-Industrial group JOB KARMA and Matt Howden’s main project SIEBEN, combining the advantages of both bands. I always loved Howden’s violin play and his use of the loop station. And also in 7JK, he mastered it in perfection. Along with the rhythm and sound layers of JOB KARMA, 7JK offers something special. This concert was surely a great listening experience. // / // Setlist: 01. Liftoff for 7JK / 02. The Centre of the Universe / 03. Barry the Astonishing / 04. Dark Energy / 05. Guidance is Internal / 06. Slow Flow Snowflake / 07. Black Hole Entropy / 08. The next great Page Turn / 09. Undergrowth / 10. Starseed // Rating: 8 / 10


Sonar - Parkbühne (Janine)

Dirk Ivens, Electro pioneer and mastermind of numerous electronic music projects entered the Parkbühne with his partner-in-noise Eric van Wonterghem. The two men stood face-to-face on stage, mixing their sound and throwing it to their audience which welcomed the wafting beats by stamping the ground and shaking their bodies although the sun was still shining. Industrial music at its best! // // Rating: 7 / 10

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Torul - Weidenbogenbühne (Oleg)

Friday is a not very overcrowded festival day, but people were waiting for Slovenian Synth Pop band TORUL eagerly. I’m not a big fan of this style of music I should say, but this mix of Electro Pop and synth-pop combined with the voice of Maj sounds great. The music of TORUL is sounds like space or underwater atmosphere , and nearly perfect vocals invents with music very well. It’s a little bit of 80s sound, but the voice is really catchy. After some songs everyone was dancing and singing along. It was a kind of really good Friday’s entertainment! If you are not already familiar with the work of this group, it's time to get acquainted! // / // Setlist: 01. You Test My Heart / 02. Saviour of Love / 03. Lonely Night / 04. We Grow / 05. If It's Dark Enough / 06. Try / 07. An Answer / 08. The Sun / 09. Monday // Rating: 9 / 10


Garden of Delight - Amphibühne (Oleg)

Atmospheric and genre bending gothic rock masters GARDEN OF DELIGHT started as usual with lots of smoke and light beams. The band entered the stage and a mystic atmosphere was evoked! It was kind of unusual to see Jawa sitting on a bar chair while playing. She was injured at her knee and this was the only way she could perform. So we were happy to see her on stage with the band. Songs with gorgeous vocals, understated melody and a chunky chorus, that’s the words the band could be described. If you are a music lover, you have to check out this band who was not performing live wor quite a while. // / // Rating: 9 / 10


Death in Rome - Kulturbühne (Janine)

Turtleneck masked musicians on stage covering famous Pop songs in Neofolk style… sounds weird? It is, but surprisingly fun as well! Deep, touching sound walls build the ground for well-known melodies like George Michael’s ‘Careless whisper’, ‘Take On Me’ by AHA or even RIHANNA's ‘Diamonds’. A must-see for open minded indie people. // / // Setlist: 01. Every generation got its own disease (Fury in the Slaughterhouse cover) / 02. Careless whisper (George Michael cover) / 03. Take on Me (a-ha cover) / 04. Diamonds (in the sky) (Rihanna cover) / 05. Love me forever (Motörhead cover) / 06. Summertime sadness (Lana Del Rey cover) / 07. Destroy she said {feat. PIGLESS D. aka Matt Howden} (CIRC cover) / 08. Lambada (Kaoma cover) // Rating: 7 / 10

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Agent Side Grinder - Parkbühne (Janine)

The ground in front of the Parkbühne was packed with people awaiting ASG - the Electro / Post Punk / Industrial monster from Stockholm, Sweden as announced in the programme brochure. The band is formed by front man Kristoffer Gripp, who is an enthusiastic dancer as well, Johan Lange, Henrik Sunbring, Peter Fristedt and Thobias Eidevald. Friends of melodic melancholy and charming Electro Pop are pleased by ASG's songs full of impressing lyrics and composing finesse. ‘I Look Within’ was a fine beginning before ‘Mag 7’ with its hypnotic beat let the people bounce. With the following ‘This is us’, the dancing of the crowd went on, escalating to ‘Wolf Hour’ and reaching high on ‘Into The Wild’. Do not miss to attend AGENT SIDE GRINDER by chance if you’re are a friend of Post Punk in actual garment. // / // Rating: 9 / 10


Solitary Experiments - Weidenbogenbühne (Oleg)

That was my first SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS show and this band was really good headliner on the Weidenbogenbühne who would play a full-time show on the first day of the festival. It was already dark outside and surprisingly there was a quite cool and colourful light show! The audience fully went along from the first song, everyone was dancing, singing and having good time with the band. The performance was a mixture of well-known songs and new stuff , but all songs were welcomed with great applause. It was really an incendiary performance and a perfect end of the day. // / // Rating: 10 / 10

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Klangstabil - Amphibühne (Janine)

The headliner of the Amphibühne this day was KLANGSTABIL formed by the Experimental / Industrial heroes Boris May and Maurizio Blanco. As they look back on a 22 years band history with a lot alternative chart hits they could present a wide range of “Klangpop”. After a smooth intro track they performed about nearly 75 minutes smashing tracks like ‘You May Start’, ‘I Pay With Friendship’, ‘Math and emotion’ and ‘Vertraut’. Boris was in a chatty mood. He was looking for the guy with the peppermint liquor… “Where is the Pfeffimann?” he asked - because the three times playing NCN yet they were given this liquor by a fan. But the Pfeffimann kept lost and the band sober. They continued their set with ‘Lauf, lauf!!!’ and of course ‘Shadowboy’ - a must for every KLANGSTABIL gig. The Amphibühne was illuminated by the most impressive light show of the evening underlining perfectly the atmosphere of the songs. // / // Rating: 10 / 10


Kite - Parkbühne (Janine)

Midnight Special time at the Parkbühne! Nicklas Stenemo and Christian Berg aka KITE entered their stage full of synths and enchanted everyone in the crowd. The intro was followed by ‘I Can't Stand’ which immediately let the people dance. KITE convinces with experimental synth sounds, catching melodies and a very special singer's voice. The two bandmates worked enthusiastically on their castle of electronic devices while colourful lights illuminated the night. They caught the crowd with intense songs like ‘Up For Life’ and ‘Johnny Boy’. Eyes were glistening and faces shining. KITE made their audience 100 % happy. Of course the wonderful track ‘Dance Again’ was not missed and with ‘Castle Of Sand’ they led the people in the night, finally. Have a nice sleep, everyone. What a great opening day - two more to come. // // Rating: 10 / 10


With a fantastic KITE show, the concerts of the first festival day ended. If you were not tired yet, you still could dance at the after-show party.

Written by Janine Rumrich, Oleg Khazron & Daniela Vorndran
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / except Sonar, Death in Rome and Solitary Experiments by Kateryna Gubanova

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