6th to 8th September 2019
NCN 2019 Day 1 with Scream Silence, Still Patient?, Spark!, Atari Teenage Riot, A Projection, No More, HaPax, Lizette Lizette, Wayne Hussey, Kaelte, Motor!k, Parzival, Winterkälte, Les Berrtas, Cryo, Placebo Effect, Joachim Witt + warm-up with Deutsche Bank & The Negativity Bias
NCN is as always the last festival in the summer, then autumn begins. Every year in the beginning of September when the time for outdoor festivals is slowly coming to an end, this gem of a festival awakens in the romantic area of Kulturpark Deutzen (Cultural Park in Deutzen, close to Leipzig in Eastern Germany). Hidden from the outside by all the trees it is calling the visitors for a long weekend of music discoveries and celebrating old and new music projects.
Even though NCN is one of the smaller festivals, the program is more than diverse. There are all in all four stages. You’ll follow the paths from the park to find them, passing by old tiny houses, beautiful weeping willow trees, the dark lifestyle market or chill-out areas with a wide gastronomic offer from Langos, to coffee and alcoholic beverages, French fries, Mexican and traditional German food, sweets, vegetarian and vegan options and many more, even though we were missing a few of the stalls that were present the years before.
Very special about NCN is that the organizers don’t care much about trends, but invite bands and artists of all the different kinds to the festival. From 80ies legends to almost unknown or forgotten artists to newcomer bands and many of the popular names are also showing up, of course. The genres are as diversified as the decades that they come from. From Post Punk, to Dark Wave, 80ies Pop, Synth Pop, Goth Rock, Metal to Indie and Electro - you will find all the shades of dark and colourful music here. Beside of music, there are readings, the mentioned markets and parties that are making the weekend perfect. Once again, this year there were great artists and those who would like to be, surprises and longed for, definitely there was something for everyone and you could enjoy a weekend with friends and good music. Like the music itself, the weather was diverse, too. We’ve got sun, grey skies, some really cold temperatures especially on Friday evening and Saturday night and just on point for the evenings the rain visited us. But when it’s cold just get a cup of the delicious coffee that we got a little bit attached to and when it’s raining while one of your favourite bands is playing - just dance! That the Kulturpark in Deutzen is perfect for this was proved once again.
The first NCN festival took place back in the year 2005 with 11 bands, two days and several DJs. With the time the amount of performing bands grew. In 2006, NCN took a break to be back in 2007 for three days and 22 bands. NCN nowadays includes the most known bands from the Dark and Indie scene. Different bands from all over the world are coming to Deutzen to be part of the festival. The Kulturpark Deutzen in the town Deutzen is 40 minutes by train from Leipzig. The Kulturpark Deutzen, was a substitute for the devastated castle park of Alt-Deutzen. In 1930s it was the cultural centre of the Deutzen municipality. After the war the reconstruction was needed so a large open-air stage was build. In 60s the park turned to pass another reconstruction project and became the sport centre of the region. In 1967 the Kulturpark Deutzen was handed over to its population as a leisure and recreation facility. In the 80s folk festivals and holidays took place here. Now Kulturpark Deutzen is used as recreation and leisure centre and a place for festivals, one of them is NCN.
As already mentioned, the NCN festival map is divided into four stages. The main one is called Amphibühne (Amphi stage) and is actually the first stage built after the war. The second stage near is called Parkbühne (park stage) mostly with Indie music artists. Another stage is called Kulturbühne (culture stage) and is located in the grill place with comfortable summer houses and small stage. Dark and neo-folk bands usually perform here. And the last stage Weidenbogenbühne (willow-bow stage) was the kind of new one used for the fourth time now. The audience was mostly from Germany, but visitors from other countries were present also from time to time. The fashion was not so colourful and various as on WGT, but interesting images and amazing costumes were detected also. What counts more than fashionable Gothic dresses is the music on NCN.
Like in the years before, there was a warm-up party the day before the festival with two bands performing on stage and DJs spinning records afterwards. The first band was DEUTSCHE BANK. Even though the name might hint, this is not a German, but a Swedish Electro Pop duo founded by Mats From, but the musical concept refers to Germany. Every song has a German title and builds the bridge from Visby/ Gotland, the home of Mats From, to Düsseldorf in Germany. DEUTSCHE BANK put forward with an immense intensity, radiance and are an homage to the founder of electronic music in Düsseldorf. Subtle beeps, ambient synths, deep basses, melodies and unavoidable robot voice vocals remind of the legendary pioneers of Electro Pop music. Thematically, the early works of KRAFTWERK and their futuristic prospects of humanity inspire DEUTSCHE BANK. The Swedish project is a magnificent music trick that is the right thing for lovers of modern sounds with a cool, but powerful touch.
The second band was THE NEGATIVITY BIAS, a solo project of Chris Dupont (NORDARR, MRDTC), that unites Industrial, Techno, and visual art. It is a psychedelic trip that completes the night with a 80s special. In that kind of form, it is a one-off matter just for this year’s NCN Warm-up. After the two bands, there was time to celebrate and dance to the sounds of DJ SChubi (originally Vasi Vallis was planned but he could not make it to the festival) & DJ La Blonde. After a (short) night, the first festival day started at the Kulturbühne with KÄLTE. The following festival review will be divided by stage. So let’s get our reports started with the main stage though, the Amphibühne.
Scream Silence (Nastja)
Almost no other band combines massive drama and catchiness so skilfully like SCREAM SILENCE do. The project is a German Dark Rock band founded in Berlin in 1998. The history of origins of SCREAM SILENCE is more of an unspectacular one: singer and keyboarder Hardy Fieting, guitarist Jörg Rennewald, drummer Heiko Wolf, and bassist René Schulz met in 1998 with the intention, to create demanding Gothic music. The sound of the band is characterized by icons of the 80s like SiSTERS OF MERCY, DEPECHE MODE, or THE MISSION, and further, by more current music like PARADISE LOST. However, there is still enough space for autonomy. Fieting convinces with his excellent and unique voice. The darkly touched, melodic sound carpet is starting point of that versatile and thrilling musical epic, which merges elements of Gothic Rock, Indie pop, Shoegaze, Progressive Rock, and subtle electronic and Metal elements and creates a harmonious synthesis of the arts.
The balance between punchy Rock orchestration and filigree synths in combination with the dark and passionate voice of Fieting creates that unique SCREAM SILENCE sound. The guys from Berlin have a skilful hand to create sustainable catchy tunes with depth. The current cast is Hardy Fieting (vocals), Robert Klausch and René Gödde (guitar), Hagen Schneevoigt (bass) and Nestor de Valley (drums). SCREAM SILENCE got the task to open the Amphi stage on Friday and did it with a passionate and energetic performance. A touch of nostalgia filled the air and the audience started dancing and dreaming to the Goth Rock hymns. The Berlin based band reached the audience immediately and for many of us it was a beautiful time journey through the last two decades.
Be it ‘My Eyes’ from the ‘Aphelia’ album, released in 2007, ‘Echoes’ from the more current ‘Heartburnt’ from 2015 or ‘Above And Within’, released 2008 on ‘Apathology’ - the songs by SCREAM SILENCE transfer all the dark and beautiful soul of Goth Rock and catch the emotions right away. SCREAM SILENCE already played at NCN ten years ago and so it was about time to come back. The sun was shining (and I believe one or another person on stage probably wished to have sunglasses), the mood relaxed and everyone just having a great time. The set ended with ‘Elegy’ from the same titled album, released in 2004. A beautiful song to finish, a congenial band and inspiring and enchanting songs. // http://www.screamsilence.de / https://www.facebook.com/ScreamSilenceMusic // Setlist: 01. Flood / 02. Harvest / 03. Weeping / 04. Conversation 16 / 05. Above And Within / 06. Echoes / 07. Days Of Yore / 08. Creed / 09. Elegy
Still Patient? (Lina)
In 2018, the band from the Rhine river, STILL PATIENT?, celebrated their 30th band anniversary with the release of the album ‘Zeitgeist Weltschmerz’. Songs full of hypnotic guitars, powerful and dark synth sounds embedded in a varied and mesh of pushing rhythms - this is what the fans of lead singer Andy Koa love so much. The band from Worms and Ludwigshafen was founded by Andy Koa (vocals) and Th. Kraniny (guitar) at the beginning of 1988. The common affinity for Gothic Rock bands like THE SISTERS OF MERCY, FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM, and THE MISSION was the basis for their first musical steps. Their music is a further development of Gothic Rock without clichés, but with independent guitar melodies, brutal soundscapes, pushing rhythms, and a very emotional voice. Emotional moments alternate with aggressive rage - STILL PATIENT? paint with the colours of life and with acoustic walks through the worlds of inner fear.
Until their split in 1999, the band belonged to the most formative, German Gothic Rock bands. In 2012, the band started over again with some new members, and so the history, that left so deep footprints in the 90s, enters the next chapter. Powerful, contemporary, atmospheric - STILL PATIENT? reinvent themselves without forgetting about their past. The mixture of traditional Gothic Rock and electronic elements and dark melodies arrived in the present and sounds more fresh and powerful than ever before, no matter if reinterpreted classics from the beginning or new material. STILL PATIENT? entered the Amphibühne as the second band on Friday. A lot of people came to see the band this day and so the auditorium was fully filled.
With sunshine on my skin and a cold drink in my hand I was waiting for the band. When they finally entered the stage they enchanted the spectators with their sympathetic kind and their good vibes from the beginning on. A concert from STILL PATIENT? kinda fells like a throwback to the good old times of Gothic Rock. They looked, acted and sounded like cool rockers. During the show they were accompanied from artsy video projections in the background that showed their song lyrics. A pretty cool show effect. // http://www.stillpatient.de / https://www.facebook.com/stillpatient // Setlist: 01. In the name / 02. Breathe / 03. Seconds of fame / 04. Drag me down / 05. My darkness divine / 06. Metropolis / 07. The ghosts of tides / 08. Anavryn / 09. Mascara Osiris / 10. The last chime
SPARK! from Sweden are two colourful guys on stage, wearing clown-masks. The EBM combo got a “new” vocalist in 2016 with Christer Hermodsson (known from other bands like S.P.O.C.K. and BIOMEKKANIK) and now, the duo - Christer Hermodsson and Mattias Ziessow - is conquering the music world. Unusual, but after a while really funny and unique. Christer once explained very early that it is not that important to understand the texts. Mostly it’s about life in general. Their music is widely EBM, but don’t make the mistake to put them in a category before you have listened to SPARK! Or even better seen them live! I promise you, you’ll be surprised. SPARK! Entered the Amphi stage as third band on Friday night. The sun already set down and it actually became quite cold already. So what is the best thing to do when you are freezing?! Dance through the night. And oh well. Right now being back home and looking back to a weekend that I can truly call very special considering that I’ve seen more than 20 bands and literally discovered so many gems I sometimes even had no idea about the existence - but the performance by SPARK!
Is leaving me most impressed and their catchy songs, though mostly in Swedish, just keep strolling around through my mind. Christer and Mattias came on stage in extravagant clownesque, but at the same time kinda dark outfits and entertained the audience right from the first song ‘Två mot en’ with the capturing rhythm and melody. The masks fell down after a few songs and while Mattias was changing his outfit, Christer just looked to him hiding backstage and commented with “now he is naked”. We just got to see another creative outfit and the show continued while the excitement in the audience was growing from song to song. Even without knowing Swedish, the energy and message of the songs absolutely came through. With songs like ‘Zombie’ or ‘Maskiner’ it is just not possible to not have fun with this super talented and cool duo. A special guest appeared to perform ‘Weit voraus’, the song with German lyrics in the setlist. André Schitteck from NORDARR took over the German vocals live and brought another special effect to the show.
Somewhere in between some fans occupied the stage, one woman “playing” the synth drums, another one dancing on the speaker in front of the stage. Christer joined her for a moment, too while Mattias took care of “his guest” on the drum kit. With the punchy and powerful ‘Stå emot’ that made me quite happy because I was able to understand a bit more of the lyrics with my little Norwegian knowledge, the perfect show with so much love to detail and a lot of fun ended. Even those around me who haven’t seen and heard anything from them before, were about to buy the new album immediately and asking for next live dates. Hopefully soon! // https://www.facebook.com/sparksomfan // Setlist: 01. Två mot en / 02. Alle på en gang / 03. Zombie / 04. Brinner som vackrast / 05. DNA / 06. Tankens mirakel / 07. Ett lejon I dig / 08. Dysfunctional / 09. Weit voraus / 10. Cause And Effect / 11. Maskiner / 12. Stå emot
Atari Teenage Riot (Nastja)
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT (ATR) is band based in Berlin. They combine aggressive left-radical, anarchistic messages with Techno and Punk. In the 90s, ATR had the potential to transport the musical message of Punk to the 21st century. Until a handful of exceptions, there were no imitators. The band was founded in 1992. Founding members were Alec Empire, Hanin Elias, and Carl Crack. Later, the classical educated soundscape artist, Nic Endo, joined the band. In 1996, the band signed a contract with Grand Royal, the label of the BEASTIE BOYS, and with the album ‘Burn, Berlin, Burn!’ they achieved Gold status in the US. The band toured with RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, BECK, JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION, WU-TANG CLAN, MINISTRY, and MOBY. In 1997 and 1999, they were headliner at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. In 1999, ATARI TEENAGE RIOT performed on a truck on the occasion of the May 1st demonstrations in Berlin that took place to call against the NATO bombardment of the Kosovo. During the concert, there were riots close to the sound truck, but they played their songs, until they were taken away by the police because of their fomenting calls to act against the police.
In the year 2000, ATARI TEENAGE RIOT split for the moment after a tour with NINE INCH NAILS, and they announced to take a break until 2003 and then to think about a coming back. One year later, Carl Crack died. At the beginning of 2010, ATR announced a Reunion Show in London and a new single called ‘Activate’. As a new band member, they hired MC CX Kidtronik. Hanin Elias left the band, so now ATARI TEENAGE RIOT is a band of three. The vocals part goes to Nic Endo. In this formation, ATR toured Germany, China, Japan, and the US in 2010. In June 2011, after twelve years, the studio album ‘Is this Hyperreal?’ was released, and the latest album, ‘Reset’ was released in 2014. Personally for me it was that I absolutely knew the name, but haven’t seen them ever live before and was really curious what the show would be like. The performance turned out beyond special. Also quite a hard break after the gig of SPARK!. Both were extremely good, but also extremely different.
ATARI TEEANGE RIOT appeared as a mix of very experimental electronic soundscapes, stark male and female vocals and screams. For the next almost one and a half hours we’ve got presented an overwhelming strobe & light show along with very powerful, and also crazy show. While we were actually freezing and tried to dance as much as possible to stay warm, the frontman Alec Empire just took off his shirt and delivered a show full of madness. The small and cosy Deutzen must have been awake at least until midnight - that is when the show ended. The gig felt quite demanding for the senses which actually made it very unique and special, but I could understand if anyone would say it felt arduous at some point. The energy and extroversion of the project members however felt just endless and the devotion was impressive. Hardly have I ever seen a performance like this - full of rebellion, eternity, madness and pinch of extravagance. // https://www.atari-teenage-riot.com / https://www.facebook.com/Atari.Teenage.Riot.ACTIVATE
A Projection (Nastja)
A PROJECTION is a very young quintet from Stockholm, and it is unmistakable that there is a preference for Post Punk and New Wave, but their sound appears more British than Scandinavian. Basically, the foundation of A PROJECTION in the year 2013 happened in an act of desperation. All band members had a secure job and a pleasant life, but there was a permanently growing, inner emptiness, a longing for music, for art, and for the exciting pulse of a big city. So they decided to quit their office careers and to follow their true vocation, to have the life of an artist and to make music. Soon after, A PROJECTION was launched, which is characterized by a dark and aggressive, pushing and danceable sound with attached importance to hook lines and refrains. Cool. Very dark. Unapproachable. Lifted. Melancholic. Depressing, or even depressive: there are many keywords that come up while try to explain the Post Punk genre. The mixture of the sonorous vocals of lead singer Isak Eriksson captivates with at times hymnal instrumentation and provides a pleasant revival of the trendy Post Punk of the 80s. All their energy, no matter if positive or negative, flows into their music.
Although the band is in existence only since 2013, A PROJECTION found their exact sound and style. Within short time, they gained underground cult status in their home region because of their atmospheric, very often unforeseeable and sometimes explosive live performances. With their raw, but dampened aesthetics, the band bridges the gap between modern Indie Rock and classic Post Punk. They manage to create exciting and accessible music. With dark textures of effect-driven guitars, loads of synthesizers and sincere, introspective lyrics, their music often is compared with bands LIKE EDITORS, THE CURE, SWANS, or DEPECHE MODE. The band spins a confusing web of 80s Post Punk, energy-driven Indie Rock, and alternative, electronic music. A PROJECTION got to be the first act playing on the Parkbühne on Friday and managed to attract a really impressive crowd that was willing to celebrate and dance at afternoon to the melodic and catchy soundscapes. With ‘Transition’ - right in between of the setlist - A PROJECTION played one of their most popular songs. Somehow spherical, dreamy, nostalgic and just absolutely beautiful.
The band showed a lot of enthusiasm and joy playing in front of the NCN audience. A PROJECTION also presented their new single ‘Dark City’ that they dedicated to Leipzig. Leipzig is truly a place where the Goth and Dark music scene is developing freely and unrestrained and since Deutzen is just a short drive away, the dedication felt right. Every then and now I had some associations with SISTERS OF MERCY, too, just more vibrant, more youthful and craving for more celebrating and partying while performing the dark hymns that they successfully combine with the influences of the 80ies to the sounds of the present. A strong and really worth seeing performance. // http://aprojection.com / https://www.facebook.com/aprojectionband // Setlist: 01. Something Whole / 02. Dark City / 03. Substitute / 04. Transition / 05. Fall / 06. Lucy Shrine / 07. Strange / 08. Hands / 09. No Ligth / 10. Exit
No More (Marko)
In autumn 2008, after 22 years, Tina Sanudakura and Andy Schwarz went back on stage to perform as NO MORE. The BIM fest in Antwerp, performances in Warsaw, Copenhagen, Athens, Stockholm, Milan, Rome, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Paris, and the M’era Luna Festival - NO MORE performed successfully all over Europe. Founded in summer 1979 in Kiel, the band became a name by their genre-breaking Indie classics ‘Suicide Commando’, a song released in 1981, which was part of loads of compilations and was remixed by DJ Hell and Echopark to put a spotlight on again and again. Still today, the song is an essential part of many DJ sets from Dark Wave to Electroclash, from EBM to Post Punk, from Electronica to Indie Rock. With the album ‘Midnight People [&] Lo-Life Stars’, the first “real” studio album since 1986 was released in 2010. Inspired by the tour across Europe, NO MORE reflected their impressions with a clearly defined Post Punk Proto Electronica Kraut Glam and Gonzo journalism.
Already the opener ‘Il Tempo Reale’ with the refrain line “Where have all the Zeitgeists gone?” not only says wistfully goodbye to the same, but throws the pathos of the 80s into the trash can. With the text line ”Je suis le vent latéral” (“I am the side wind”), right from the beginning NO MORE make clear, that it is not their intention to follow the tracks of a certain genre. NO MORE make use of genre-overarching quotes and drifts, and they are cool enough to risk the Coldwave coolness for a better play. With their post-ironic humour, NO MORE devote themselves to unknown pleasures, talk about the here and now and elsewhere and once upon a time. NO MORE arrived on stage punctually at 6.10pm and singer Andy said: “We were actually really ready for you” and then remarked “but the announcers were missing!” This show is taking place in the year of the band’s 40th anniversary of first playing live together and the audience received them with rousing applause.
Their wave-influenced electro beats dominated the concert from the beginning. Even though the band had been on a “break” for 22 years from 1986 - 2008, you could tell that Tina and Andy hadn’t forgotten how to be on stage - you do not forget something like that so easily. A good mix and variety of really fast and slower songs easily filled the half hour on the Parkbühne. Numerous fans danced in front of the small stage - and after the songs there was loud applause. The mood for the band’s top hit song, ‘Suicide Commando’, was crazy and everyone was dancing. This, the best-known song of the band from 1981 even became a cross-over hit in the 90’s Techno scene a few years later. It was a really entertaining and interesting concert to celebrate the band’s anniversary.// http://www.nomoremusic.eu / https://www.facebook.com/official.no.more // Setlist: 01. Love Is A Drug / 02. Midnight People & Lo-Life Stars / 03. Rope A Dope / 04. Istanbul / 05. This Was Die Modernistische Welt / 06. The Grey / 07. All Is Well - Senza Macchia / 08. Turnaround / 09. Suicide Commando / 10. The Great Masturbator / 11. Heroes
The Italian Electronic duo HAPAX consisting of Michele Mozzillo (vocals, bass, synths, lyrics) and Diego Cardone (guitar, synthesizer, programming, graphic design) is the changeable chameleon between Dark Pop, Wave, Synth Pop, and penetrating Wave of the 80s. HAPAX was founded in Naples in 2014. They remain faithful to their style, and that means, that carrying out a lot of experiments is not their cup of tea. They are better in perfectly launching the ear catcher. Driven by penetrating, subwoofing vocals, the Italians manage to create seductive melodies fed by Dark Wave. Another supporting structure is resound accompanied by a gallantly integrated danceability. This is the point to mention DEPECHE MODE, a band those albums are part of the record collection of the Italians, for sure, but it’s not that easy in the end. Firstly, the texts bring along a philosophic component, secondly, the entire structure acts with harmony and a consequent chase of darkness. Every Synth Pop lightning is haunted by the thunder of darkness. Flattering composed elegance varies with Dark Wave components and makes grief a danceable thing.
This summer HAPAX released their third album within five years. After the intro, which consisted of cool guitar tunes, the band also started with a new song ‘Elegy’ which was marked by a deep bass. The concert was really fun from the first note. Singer Michele greeted the fans with a simple “Hello”. Slowly it became dark in Deutzen and blue light and fog now surrounded the musicians on the stage. The sound was clear, with great guitar riffs and dominant bass keeping the audience jumping and moving. ‘When the Marble Falls’ was a bit different then the first few songs - Michele put the bass to the side and instead the song had a pulsating electronic beat. During ‘Untitled Heart’ the proven guitar sound returned. ‘Hands’ was a very lively song, to which many fans danced and enjoyed. Now the stage was illuminated by red and white spotlights.
The drummer filmed his bandmates briefly from behind with his smartphone - such a well-attended and atmospheric concert is also for the band a great experience and a nice memory. In the meantime it had become dark and relatively cool, and the boys were playing short-sleeved and the drummer even with a clothes-free upper body. Of course, it’s not that easy to freeze with such passion on stage. Again bathed in red-white light, the singer announced the last song, ‘Monade’, the title song of the current album. Michele put the bass back on to the side and sang the song on the edge of the stage, very close to the numerous fans. It was a great performance with varied songs and certainly many new fans. The audience response to HAPAX's performance was phenomenal. // http://listenhapax.com / https://www.facebook.com/hapaxband // Setlist: 01. Intro / 02. Elegy / 03. Parallel Words / 04. Truth or lie / 05. When the marble falls / 06. Untitled heart / 07. Hands / 08. Vitriol / 09. Scared Pt. II / 10. Cave / 11. Monade
Lizette Lizette (Lina)
LIZETTE LIZETTE is Lizette Nordahl. The Swedish-Peruvian producer and performance artist came a long way until her today’s top form. Born as a child of conservative parents, she soon started to rebel against her environment and to try out different things during different phases of her life. Among other things, a performance at the TV show “Swedish Idol” in 2008 made her to renounce music. Her career picked up speed again when Lizette had a keyboard appearance at MELODY CLUB. Together with Aili Markelius and the keyboarder Lisa Pyk, Lizette released several singles, and in January 2017, the debut album ‘Queerbody’ entered the market. The sound of LIZETTE LIZETTE is strongly influenced by the 80s. There are influences of Pop and Rock. As you can hear, the young Lizette was also influenced by bands like NO DOUBT or even MARIAH CAREY. All in all you could look forward to diversified synthesizer Pop with a light melancholic undertone.
LIZETTE LIZETTE already played at Nocturnal Culture Night in 2018. But because the audience liked her so much they wanted her to come back in 2019 and so she did. With an extravagant outfit and flashy accessories she entered the stage on Friday. With her powerful nature and her graceful dance style she influenced the audience to dance and sing with her. Her voice is something really special and her appearance kinda magical. During the show she was accompanied by a drum pad, artsy video projections in the background and a light show. I enjoyed watching her stage performance a lot. // http://lizettelizette.com / https://www.facebook.com/lizettelizettemusic
Wayne Hussey (Nastja)
WAYNE HUSSEY, born on May 26, 1958 in Bristol, is a British musician of the Dark Wave scene. His real name is Jerry Wayne Lovelock, and he is a key player and pioneer of the original, authentic Gothic Rock. He gained worldwide fame as lead singer of the band THE MISSION that was founded by him. Hussey was strongly influenced by the band T. REX. During an interview he explained that Marc Bolan inspired him to play guitar. At the end of the 70s, Hussey moved to Liverpool and started to play guitar in local, unknown bands, before he was hired by Pauline Murray as live guitarist of her band THE INVISIBLE GIRLS in 1980. After a few months he left the band. At the end of 1980, he was contacted by Pete Burns, who wanted to have him as guitarist for his band DEAD OR ALIVE. Hussey accepted and then moved to London. First appearances took place at the famous Batcave. After release of the ‘From Nowhere to Nowhere’ EP, Hussey began to compose songs, and so he wrote the single ‘Misty Circles’. After the first chart success, Hussey and Burns split at the beginning of 1984. Short time later, Hussey became part of THE SISTERS OF MERCY. Besides being a guitar player, he also acted as songwriter. Hussey formed the music of the band and he wrote about half of the songs of the debut album ‘First and Last and Always’. Later, together with Craig Adams, Hussey founded THE MISSION, which is a cult status band until today.
In 2009, Hussey put THE MISSION on the back burner, and for many years, he performs as solo artist to present THE MISSION hymns, obscure rarities and carefully chosen cover versions of FRANK SINATRA, JOHN LENNON, DAVID BOWIE, and the BEACH BOYS with an acoustic guitar and piano. Besides a charming and very audience-related tour, Hussey releases his first album under his own name. ‘Bare’ shows the experienced guitarist from his clam side as singer-songwriter. His current album, ‘Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades’, was released in 2014. WAYNE HUSSEY’s long-awaited biography with the title ‘Salad Date’ was released in May via Omnibus Press. To celebrate this release, Hussey is touring Europe currently and the NCN show was part of this tour. The show of WAYNE HUSSEY was meant to be the midnight special on Friday. And it was a really special one. WAYNE HUSSEY’s life as musician is way longer than I am even living on that planet, however even for youngsters like I am his influence on the music world is very obvious and significant. I could not believe how fast I went through so many different music genres and performances today - just to recall the last three on Friday - from Swedish party EBM, to Cyber & Electro Punk to acoustic Goth & timeless Rock hymns.
The atmosphere in front of the Parkbühne was joyfully excited and somehow the expectations seemed almost visible in the eye sparkle. WAYNE HUSSEY took place on the chair and performed so honest, entertaining and authentically, just talking to the audience in between and having a sip or two of the red wine next to him. Someone from the audience called for ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ which Wayne responded to “Not now. Maybe in a minute”. And he really played it after another song. I could literally see how 40-something-year-olds turned into 18-year-old-teenagers in a blink of an eye. People around us were dancing, smiling, singing and their eyes were sparkling like they just travelled back in time to their teenage years. Such an incredibly beautiful moment. The set was filled with well-known classics that keep touching the soul after all the years - like ‘Marian’ or ‘Wasteland’. A truly magnificent end of the first festival day with such a legendary and down-to-earth artist in an almost private atmosphere. // http://www.waynehussey.de / https://www.facebook.com/themissionuk
After six years of stage absence, Sven Martin, singer, guitarist and producer of the Dark Folk band KAELTE, is back with his current album, ‘Verbund’. KAELTE is a German-speaking musician, and his music belongs to Dark Folk. The basically dark sound is rounded by the melancholic vocals of the singer. Since 2006, Sven Martin develops his own interpretation of music. Inspired by a number of artistic influences, he created five albums that fit into the Darkwave, Dark Folk, and Neofolk scene. The melancholic, fragile sound structures are of an experimental nature intentionally, and so they are characterized by their simplicity. Bundled with German lyrics, the complete work is manifested in a uniqueness that fascinated the audience.
As first act at the Kulturbühne on Friday, KAELTE filled the hidden area behind the Parkbühne with honest, lyrical and melancholic sounds. The songs flew in each other, the guitar and the voice of the singer and songwriter Sven Martin resulted in a fascinating storytelling. The minimalistic performance with the acoustic guitar was so full of emotions, passionate and calm at the same time. A performance to dream away, to find to yourself, do some reflection or just get lost in time and space. The German lyrics are also characteristic for KAELTE. A romantic, yet authentic and experimental, at the same time simple and down-to-earth gig. // https://www.facebook.com/kaeltemusik // Setlist: 01. Tränenwasser / 02. Blicke die töten / 03. Kleid aus Dornen / 04. Im Eis / 05. In den Hallen / 06. Auf dem Schiff / 07. Wald der Rache
Dirk Ivens wrote electronic music history. Together with two companions, Belgium band MOTOR!K was founded in 2018 and with it, Ivens goes back to the routes of the so-called Krautrock. Stepping out of their comfort zone and leaving their musical habitat the members Joeri Dobbeleir (guitars / synths), Dirk Ivens (guitars, FX) and Dries D’Hollander (drums) challenge new experimental fields inspired by the Krautrock movement from the 70s with an updated touch. Step into their world and let them take you by surprise! The debut album was released on CD and vinyl on July 19, 2019.
Sometimes you have the feeling that there are Manni from BIRTH CONTROL, Roland Schaeffer from GURU GURU and Florian Fricke from POPOL VUH are on stage at the same time. You can hear and feel the journey to the stars in ‘Sliding’ which is built on synths and guitar with a smooth layer of drums. Later on with ‘Penta’ the drums build the ground for a rhythmic way to the glooming dark and you want to dance through the galaxy to the psychedelic sounds. The songs are quite long, so in total, the band only played five songs whereof there were even new and yet unnamed songs. MOTOR!K is surely s great project with fantastic musicians who know what KRAUTROCK stands for. // https://soundcloud.com/motorikbelgium / https://www.facebook.com/MOTORIKBELGIUM // Setlist: 01. Static / 02. Sliding / 03. Penta / 04. New (nameless) track / 05. New (nameless) track)
PARZIVAL is a music project coming from Copenhagen in Denmark. Their musical style reminds a bit of the Slovenian pioneer LAIBACH, but is also very different at the same time because of the less electronic sound and the additional medieval music, Gregorian vocals and epic overall structure. All lyrics of the bands are written in German and Latin language. The centre of the band is Dimitrij Bablevskij, who originates from Russia. Although the music is hard to define, it addresses especially the Gothic, Metal, Neo Folk and Industrial scenes. Within every substructure, PARZIVAL attained a humble cult status. PARZIVAL played in between of MOTOR!K and WINTERKÄLTE at the Kulturbühne. The band, wearing black capes, appeared like guests from another era or even more magical, mystical world.
The small Kulturbühne appeared even smaller since there were some more people on stage and the performance was truly majestic and spherical. PARZIVAL’s set consisted of 8 songs. ‘Grinder Of God’ is a slow track, carried with dark, deep vocals, creating an atmosphere beyond the reality which fits just perfect with the atmosphere that appears in the green and a bit hidden Kulturpark in Deutzen during the NCN weekend. The performance by PARZIVAL has more of a sacral mass, the Gregorian vocals, the capes, the instruments that are used - there is mystery and devotion in all of that. A talented, special project to dive deep in into the historical roots and find to yourself. // https://www.facebook.com/parzivalband // Setlist: 01. Tumbling Down / 02. Grinder Of God / 03. Agape / 04. Blind Shepherd / 05. Golden Bough / 06. Lord Of The See / 07. The Bond / 08. Catcher In The Sky
WINTERKÄLTE is a German Rhythm ’n’ Noise music project. It characterizes the style of the genre. From a musical point of view, the style of the project is a mixture of brutal hardness and complex rhythms that does not need voices or instruments. Content-related, the destruction of natural resources is addressed. The band itself describes its style as “Drum and Noise”. The project inspires fans and critics with the individual processing of Noise in connection with Industrial and IDM elements, which is now and then accompanied by distorted vocals. Since the beginning of the 90s, WINTERKÄLTE developed a sound called Rhythm ’n’ Noise that today is essential part of the worldwide club scene. Their albums ‘Winterkälte’, ‘Structures of Destruction’, and ‘Drum ‘n Noise’ were the basis of the Rhythm ’n’ Noise genre, that was still not in existence in the 90s, and they became influencing scene classics.
During their powerful live performance, the audience experienced the electronic drums and electronic sound generators. The exploration of what is feasible regarding hardness and danceability was always in the foreground. Like a force of nature out of control, sound waves met pushing, Industrial beats and merged to an inferno of stroboscope-like beats and shimmering distortion sounds. No acoustic instruments, no vocals - just pure, brute electronic music. WINTERKÄLTE don’t do a big show, but their performance still was a big party. Noise, beats and bass are the specialty from Udo Wiessmann and Eric de Vries. They know how to make people dance and have a good time. Their music is something between art and an ear hurting noise, but in a good, experimental way. A lot of people danced and felt the music the same way the band did it. Even through there are no singing voice and no instruments no song sound like the one before. There all are unique pieces of art. // https://www.facebook.com/winterkaelte // Setlist: 01. Planet earth first / 02. Nuclear free north / 03. America / 03. Rebound Effect vs. Sustainability / 04. NOx / 05. DDT / 06. Alpine transit / 07. Green war theme 3 / 08. Save the arctic / 09. Band depleted uranium weapons
Les Berrtas (Lina)
For sure, the LES BERRTAS duo is known to all old-school fans - Dark Wave, Electronic Music, EBM, Industrial, and Splatter House made in Würzburg, hard rhythms and beautiful melodies combined with ambiguous lyrics. The band was founded by Micha Chainsaw and Kai LF in 1989. 25 years later, in the year 2016, they celebrated their anniversary with new material live on stage and with a CD: ‘Der Knochenschäler’ was released in February 2016. Still, the preference for dark films and comics is reflected in their lyrics. Sound and compositions are more bombastic and danceable, but LES BERRTAS never neglect their own style. Right now, they write new songs and spend a lot of time in their new, creative room.
LES BERRTAS are an outlandishly voice, hard, dark rhythms and a chainsaw. They opened the Weidenbogenbühne on Friday. And even though they were the first band that played there, a lot of people came to see the Bavarian band live on stage. With best weather and good, danceable music, LES BERRTAS were a great opening act for this year’s Nocturnal Culture Night’s Weidenbogenbühne. They got their own style, which is represented in their show. // http://www.lesberrtas.com / https://www.facebook.com/les.berrtas // Setlist: 01. Die letzten Tage / 02. Stadt der Engel / 03. Gesang eines Engels / 04. Wir kriegen dich / 05. Würmer / 06. Meister / 07. Knochenschäler
CRYO were founded by Martin Rudefelt in 2002. In the meantime, Torny Gottberg became the second man. The guys from Sweden compose and produce at Martin’s Cryodome Studio in Malmö. The heart of their Industrial / Electronic music is heavy bass lines and drum rhythms, which create a recurring pattern of the entire music. Based on this, melodies and vocals create variation, warmth and softness. CRYO don’t try to create Pop music that corresponds with the current trend, or to sell as much records as possible. CRYO address their music to the relatively small group of people, who are open-minded for new electronic music. Their philosophy is, to never sell art for profit.
CYRO were the second band that played at the Weidenbogenbühne on Friday. With worker clothes and futuristic hairstyles they entered the stage to perform a great, powerful show. Singer Martin used an illuminated microphone stand that changed the colour any other song. Their distorted sound and cool dance style influenced the audience that danced and clapped the whole time. CYRO are a great live band. During the show they seemed to be really happy and enthusiastic, which was really catching and gives me a good feeling. // http://www.cryodome.com / https://www.facebook.com/cryosweden
Placebo Effect (Lina)
With PLACEBO EFFECT, one of the original artists of the Dark Electronic music scene entered the NCN stage. Already in March 1989, Achim Wendel, Axel Machens, and Christoph Kunze founded the project. Every one of them brought his own ideas, influenced by different styles of music and preferences. But when you are looking for a current album of the band, you have to go back a few years in time. In 1994, their third album ‘Manipulated Mind Control’ was released, which is up to now the last bigger creative work. By their own account they are working at a new album, but the release date is still a secret. Fans of dark and analogue synth sounds are in good hands during a PLACEBO EFFECT concert. Their sounds are influenced by SKINNY PUPPY, NITZER EBB, DEPECHE Mode, and further by diverse horror movie soundtracks. On stage, there will be special programme, in case the band will tie up with old traditions.
Not only PLACEBO EFFECTs sound was influenced by horror movies. There show was something between art and fever dreams and I couldn’t believe my eyes from time to time. Guns, flags, rifles and a mannequin - those things seem to be essentials for a PLACEBO EFFECT show. Singer Axel canonized mannequins, threw white flowers into the audience and prayed while laying on an oversized cross. The show was full of madness and insanity. It was somewhere between expressive dances, magic show and black mass and as brutal as the music was. PLACEBO EFFECT left me kinda shocked but seriously impressed, but I was pretty sure my dreams that night would be pretty weird. // https://placeboeffect-offical.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/PlaceboEffect.official // Setlist: 01. Intro / 02. Devoid of Souls / 03. Mystress / 04. Galleries of Pain / 05. Nothing to Cry / 06. Psychotrauma / 07. Pinhead / 08. Slave / 09. Last Walk / 10. Slashed Open / 11. Hard Work (Raiser Mix) / 12. Agony of Mind / 13. Move / 14. Poison Tree / 15. Christal White Snow
Joachim Witt (Lina)
As an artist, JOACHIM WITT forms an inseparable connection between human, musician, actor, and philosopher. With his intensive experiencing, his passionate world of emotions, and his clear, free thinking, he as a human forms the basis for his creative work. The carefully kept freedom during the development process puts the work above success. In the course of time, milestones and unique items were created made of absolute authenticity. Artistic stubbornness, enormous creativity and diversity, and the ability to reinvent himself new again and again make JOACHIM WITT to one of the most interesting artists of the present. Never believe to know him. He was high in the sky, but then he felt down on earth. JOACHIM WITT was born in Hamburg in 1949, and like many of his music colleagues from former Neue Deutsche Welle times, he was unable to repeat the success he had with ‘Der Goldene Reiter’. A long time, he bobbed up and down in the German music landscape. Younger fans learned about him during the big NDW Trash Revival. Almost at the same time, he released his fulminant comeback album ‘Bayreuth Eins’.
From then on, he is on the increase again. With more than 700,000 sold copies of ‘Bayreuth Eins’, almost 20 years later he is one of the most successful returnees into the spotlight. The released single ‘Die Flut’ became a top ten hit. His lyrics are dark dreaming, and with his creative work, WITT polarizes like no other local musician, to reinvent the high-quality and versatile name WITT again and again. At the NCN, the “Herbergsvater” performed 80 % of the songs of his legendary ‘Bayreuth Eins’ album. JOACHIM WITT opened his concert with his song ‘Das geht tief’ and proved that he still knows how to rock from the beginning on. The audience clapped, danced and sang with him. Some of the following songs were supported by Julia McCallion, singer and model from Hamburg. While JOACHIM WITT’s voice is deep, rough and harsh, her voice is soft and angelic. Both voices created an amazing contrast.
After Julia left the stage WITT rocked it alone again and presented us all of his greatest hits like ‘Herr der Berge’, ‘Die Flut’ and ‘Goldener Reiter’. And the audience celebrated all of them this evening. Especially ‘Die Flut’ was a real big highlight. The whole crowd sang the refrain and just felt the moment. For me JOACHIM WITT was a real highlight at this year’s Nocturnal culture night. // http://joachimwitt.de / https://www.facebook.com/joachimwittmusik // Setlist: 01. Das geht tief / 02. Treibjagd / 03. Trauma / 04. Morgenstern / 05. Liebe und Zorn / 06. Das geht vorbei / 07. Träume die kein Wind verweht / 08. Dämon / 09. Herr der Berge / 10. Quo Vadis / 11. Supergestört und superversaut / 12. Die Flut / 13. Goldener Reiter / 14. Strenges Mädchen
Already the first festival day was so diverse and surprising, so there were enough impressions to proceed for weeks. The weather was good, though in the evening we really noticed that the autumn was just around the corner. But there was so much warmth from the people around us that we met - some only meet here once a year, but all those encounters were so precious - with old and new friends, the music and the artists on the four stages filled the park with so much love to their work that it was not possible to not get involved with the art they were sharing with us. A very diverse style mix along with all the exciting personalities and concepts on stage - one discovery after another. For the break there was always a food truck around the corner, a whisky or cocktail bar or the favourite coffee people. And for those who were still not ready to sleep, DANIEL MYER took care of the party at Parkbühne to let the bats dance through the night.
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) and Marko Jakob
Written by Daniela Vorndran, Nastja Iz, Lina Neike, Marko Jakob, Marcel Lüke & Katja Eberhardt (translations)