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Kulturpark, Deutzen, Germany
07th to 09th September 2007
NCN II - Day 2: Mono Inc., Deviant UK, Amnistia, FAQ, Absurd Minds, Frozen Plasma, Solitary Experiments, Sono, Diary of Dreams

The second and for lots of people most important day was starting grey and rainy. I expected worst when I was looking out my hotel window into the falling rain. Luckily, the venue was in very good conditions and it did not rain the whole day. Just SONO were the really unlucky ones with heavy showers and strong wind. But more about this later. Saturday presented several well-known bands but also some newcomers. Highlight of the day was surely without any doubt the show of DIARY OF DREAMS who even presented the upcoming single “The Plague” - what was a surprise for most attendees.

Mono Inc.

The second festival day started with three bands on the small stage before the program went on at the big stage. Opener on Saturday were MONO INC. from Hamburg / Germany. The band rose 1998 out of the debris of several other band projects. Influenced by bands such as DEPECHE MODE, THE CURE, PLACEBO, NITZER EBB or METALLICA, the band presents its own definition of Dark Rock. The band has just released a second long player, ‘ Temple of the Torn’. MONO INC. are Martin Engler (vocals), Manuel Antoni (bass), Katha Mia (drums) and Carl Fornia (guitars). /

Music & Performance
Having just released a new album, it was not surprising that the band played several songs out off that album starting with the title track ‘Temple of the Torn’ and followed by ‘In my Heart’, ‘My sick Mind TV’ and finally finished with ‘The Condemned’. The new songs alternated with several ones taken from previous release ‘Head under Water’: ‘Burn me’, ‘Euthanasia’ and ‘Grown’. All songs are marked by fat guitar sounds, hammering basses and strong drums as well as the unique voice of singer Martin. With the recent album, MONO INC. are mixing atmospheric Goth Rock with hypnotic Electro and catchy Pop tunes. It was surely not easy to open the day in from of a manageable crowd, but the band from Hamburg did a quite good job.

01. Temple of the Torn
02. In My Heart
03. Burn Me
04. Euthanasia
05. My sick Mind TV
06. Grown
07. The Condemned

Music 7
Performance 6
Sound 7
Light - (daylight)
Total 7.7

Deviant UK

DEVIANT UK, formed in 2004, is the one man project of Jay Smith who is joined for live performances by BJ Johnson on live keys and maybe other musicians as well. The show at NCN2 was presented by the mentioned duo. The debut album ‘Barbed Wire Star’ was released in September 2006. Even though the band is quite new, they already had the chance to support VNV NATION during their latest Dublin show.

Music & Performance
What I first recognised during the DEVIAN UK show was the special voice of the singer. It was not totally my taste though, but very unique and with high recognition factor. The gig was more or less a one man show of singer Jay who acted very expressive and delivered his black electronic pop anthems, made as a soundtrack to the darker side of life, with lots of passion, so it seemed. One of the presented songs was a cover version of PROJECT PITCHFORK’s ‘Timekiller’. Seems this song is quite interesting for several bands. ;)

Music 6
Performance 7
Sound 7
Light - (daylight)
Total 6.5


With AMNISTIA (founded in 2003), another local band from Leipzig was going to enter the stage. The band name means amnesty in several languages (such as Spanish or Russian). The band acclaims their name as their program and philosophy; they want to show how dark electronic music can sound without restraints. The band states that “AMNISTIA stands for facets of dark, electronic dance music without a main focus on trends in the club scene”. AMNISTIA are Stefan (music, machines, lyrics) and Tino (vocals, lyrics, music) supported by Jan being responsible for live mix and live effects. /

Music & Performance
I have to admit that in my opinion this band was the least of the whole day. The whole performance and the songs were quite uninspired. Even though the band should have a good basis with kicking drums, hard bass lines, snare sounds, striking samples and a charismatic voice of the singer. The band compares to band such as NUMB, FLA or SKINNY PUPPY, but they are in fact miles away to reach their level. Still a long, long way to go for those guys from Leipzig who just released the album ‘Neophyte’ on Scanner Records. They say their live shows will be hot, but I did not see anything like that on stage. It was in fact just boring. Sorry guys, there are lots of things to improve.

Music 5
Performance 3
Sound 7
Light - (daylight)
Total 4.7


Swiss F.A.Q. were the first band of the whole festival to enter the main stage. And already, they had some delay what was going to draw through the whole day. The band was founded in 1994 under the moniker CARPE DIEM and became quite well-known in the electronic music scene after touring with such bands as DEINE LAKAIEN, MESH or CLAN OF XYMOX. The last time, CARPE DIEM appeared in music business was at M’era Luna festival 2002.

Afterwards there were several legal conflicts with the band name and so, the returned in 2003 under the name F.A.Q. naming their debut album ‘Carpe Diem’ as tribute to the former band name. A second album, ‘Is Pornography Art?’, was released in 2005. Currently, the band is finishing the upcoming album ‘Whitechapel’. F.A.Q. are Philip Noirjean (vox, bass), Thomas Daverio (keys, back vox) and Pille (guitars). For some songs, the band also had a live drummer present on stage. /

Music & Performance
F.A.Q. - that’s progressive electronic pop music from Switzerland. The 2005 released album ‘Is Pornography Art?’ was one of the most controversial and discussed albums of the year, not only because of collaboration with US porno queen Jenna Jameson. Of course, the band presented several songs out off that album during the Deutzen show, such as ‘How to make Love like’, ‘Learning to fly’ or ‘The World is Cold Enough’ which was also released as a one-track promo CD. But also several songs out off the upcoming album have been presented, starting right away with the intro ‘White Chapel’. All new songs are connected to Jack the Ripper which is also the main topic of the upcoming release.

As for the stage performance, singer Philip was most vivid and expressive person on stage while the other two guys were a bit reluctant. Sadly, it was still too bright (yeah, even though it was raining) for the light show to work well.

01. Intro (White Chapel)
02. Absinthe & Laudanum
03. Leather Apron
04. How to make Love like
05. Sunday Afternoon
06. We come in Pieces
07. Dear Boss
08. Learning to fly
09. Buck’s Row
10. Birth in the 20th Century
11. One Trip One Noise
12. The World is Cold Enough

Music 7
Performance 7
Sound 8
Light - (daylight)
Total 7.2

Absurd Minds

ABSURDS MINDS from Dresden / Germany was founded in 1995 by Stefan Grossmann and Tilo Ladwig musically inspired by the electro-scene of the early 90ies. In the early years, they released three self distributed CDs. After signing at the Scanner label in 1999, several CDs have been released. The latest album ‘Noumenon’ was released in November 2005 followed by the EP ‘The Cycle’ in 2006. ABSURD MINDS are Stefan Grossmann (song writing, arranging, programming, vocals), Tilo Ladwig (programming, arranging keyboards) and Timo Fischer (arranging, drums). /

Music & Performance
I must admit that ABSURD MINDS are a band I cannot really get warm with. I tried it several times with several CDs but always, the voice of singer Stefan sounds too much like Peter Spilles of PROJECT PITCHFORK. Besides that fact, the band gained a big following anyway. The setlist on the NCN2 show was presenting songs out of the latest releases of the band: ‘Cycle’ and ‘Hurt’ from the latest EP as well as ‘Gedankenreich’, ‘Stop the Fall’ and ‘Dependence’ from the latest studio album ‘Noumenon’.

But also some older songs were presented like ‘Essence’ and ‘Herzlos’ from ‘The focus’ and ‘Brainwash’, ‘I’M dying alone’ as well as ‘Deception’ form the album of the same name (both 2003). Even though it still was quite bright outside, the light show worked very well because of use of smoke which reflected the lights in million colours. Anyway, the whole performance did not kick me. Not sure if I’ll give it another try some other time.

01. Intro + Essence
02. Cycle
03. Gedankenreich
04. Dependence
05. Stop the Fall
06. Deception
07. Herzlos
08. Hurt
09. Brainwash
10. I’m dying alone

Music 6
Performance 5
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 6.3

Frozen Plasma

Next band on the big stage was FROZEN PLASMA, a performance I was looking forward a lot because I liked the show at last year’s Amphi Festival. Felix and Vasi, two musicians already well involved into other musical projects. Felix is member of DIORAMA where he plays keys and also started a solo project under his own name, while Vasi is known from his industrial project REAPER and his former band NAMNAMBULU that split up in summer 2005. Vasi and Felix met during the VNV NATION tour in 2005 when Vasi did live key for VNV NATION and Felix was supporting the band with DIORAMA. The idea of building up a new project - FROZEN PLASMA - was born. FROZEN PLASMA are Vasi Vallis (song writing, production, lyrics) and Felix Marc (vocals). /

Music & Performance
Now, the rain finally got us and it became quite wet outside. But that did not keep people away to watch the show of FROZEN PLASMA and dance to the catchy tunes. The band already has released the full-time album ‘Artificial’ as well as the EP ‘Emphasize’ and two MCDs - ‘Irony’ and ‘Hypocrite’ - and presented several songs out off all those releases, any tune pure catchy electro pop. I want to remark especially the wide synth layers and the charismatic voice of singer Felix. My favourite was the up-beat pumping ‘Warmongers’, a song you cannot stand unmoving.

Besides the pure music the show was really fun. Especially both guys on stage were in really good mood, joking and smiling a lot. Felix seemed to have fun in the rain and on the wet stage, sliding several times over the wet floor like a little child. Very charming! ;) I also liked the diversified light show, painting patterns into the smoke in many different colours. Also the fans in front of the stage did their best to forget the rain and jumped and danced to the music. The show could have been even longer for my taste.

01. Lift the Veil
02. Condense
03. Crossroads
04. Hypocrite
05. Home
06. Generations of the lost
07. Warmongers
08. Irony

Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 9
Total 8.5

Solitary Experiments

The meeting of a music freak and a computer junkie in 1992 was leading to collaboration with unforeseen results. 1993 the first musical attempts were made under the synonym PLAGUE. Finally, Dennis and Michael decided in 1994 to found the musical project SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS (SE), now signed at the Out Of Line label. The latest release ‘Mind over Matter’ dates back to 2005 and at the moment the band is just preparing new songs. SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS are Michael Thielemann (sampling, programming, engineering, recording), Dennis Schober (lyrics, vocals, effects, performance) and Steve Graeber (programming, sampling). /   

Music & Performance
SE are presenting a mix of Electro and Synth Pop combined with influenced of EBM. Most remarkable is Dennis’ voice. The band already has released several albums and has quite some success in the electro scene. For myself, I cannot really see some innovation within their music. After a few songs, anything sounds the same in my ears. Surely the band has its fans, it is just nothing for my everyday listening routines.

During the show in Deutzen, of course several of the band’s well known songs have been played including ‘Things that we forgot’ featuring a guest performance of Kay Härtel (SUPREME COURT). The festival appearance saw also the premiere of a very new song. The light show was overall nice even including some firework effects.

01. Requiem (Intro)
02. Odyssey of Mind
03. Paradox
04. Delight
05. Watching over you
06. Homesick
07. Things that we forgot (feat. Kay Härtel - SUPREME COURT)
08. Miracle
09. The Edge of Life
10. Rise and Fall
11. Still Alive
12. Fast Pain Relief
13. The Dark inside me
14. Pale Candle Light

Music 6
Performance 6
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 6.6


SONO were one of the band I was looking forward a lot. SONO had worked together as a band for some years now and still feel a bit overwhelmed by their quick success. In the beginning, the group had to shop around for a label like all other no-name bands, but in the end they were able to conclude a contract with a major label, Polydor. And not only did their first single ‘Keep Control’ became a surprise hit in Germany, but it also spent an entire six weeks on the U.S. Billboard Dance Charts, where in 2001, it was the very first German hit to be selected “title of the year”.

With the first album ‘Solid State’, SONO opened the way to new audiences which is even a surprise for them - the long player is not only well received by the dance and pop scene but also by the gothic scene as well and strengthened the band's claim to produce work that is not restricted to a certain genre and that opens the way to new territories. The second album ‘Off’ and was released in October 2005. Third album will be ‘Panoramic View’, released on 5th October 2007 which will also bring the band back onto the club stages. SONO are Lennart A. Salomon (vocals, guitars, writing, production), Florian Sikorski (keyboards, writing, production) and Martin Weiland (keyboards, writing, production, DJ). /

Music & Performance
SONO seemed to be the most unlucky band of the festival. Just short after the set had started, it was pouring down and just stopped during the last song of the set. You just saw a sea of umbrellas during SONO’s show, but still, people remained in front of the stage to dance to the catchy tunes. When it was raining really hard in the middle of the set, there was even a power out, anything around the stage, all the booths, went dark… just the stage had power. Was quite a funny view and also Lennart had to laugh so hard that he could not continue the song and just spit out “Petrus, you bastard”.

During their show, SONO presented several songs out off the upcoming album. But not only new songs were contained, also the big hits like ‘A new cage’, ‘Open the Door’, ‘Dangerous’ or the band’s first single ‘Keep control’ were presented underlined by a great light show. Sad enough that the band shortened the set by about 20 minutes because of the huge delay and just to give DIARY OF DREAMS the chance to present a set that is worth for a headliner. Very generous guys!

01. Breaking The Bridges
02. Dangerous
03. All Those City Lights
04. Keep Control
05. Too Many Madmen
06. Disappeared
07. 2000 Killers
08. Open The Door
09. Blame
10. Always Something Missing
11. A New Cage

Music 9
Performance 8
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 8.4

Diary of Dreams

DIARY OF DREAMS does not need any closer introduction anymore. Adrian Hates, mastermind and singer of the band, started his musical career as bass player in GARDEN OF DELIGHT (who were performing the following day btw.). After founding his own project DIARY OF DREAMS the first album ‘Cholymelan’ was released in 1994 followed by several other album latest ones being ‘Nigredo’ in 2004 and the ‘Menschfeind’ EP as well as the live album ‘Alive’. The band’s discography so far is completed by the DVD ‘Nine in Numbers’ released in November 2006. But that’s not the end of the story. Just within a few days, exactly on 21st September 2007, the new single ‘The Plague’ will hit the stores followed by the long awaited new studio album ‘Nekrolog 43’ end of October. DIARY OF DREAMS are Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:A (guitar), D.N.S. (drums) and Torben Wendt (keyboard, second voice). /

Music & Performance
Right in time for the DIARY OF DREAMS show, the rain had stopped and you could even spot some stars blinking up there in the sky. Slight wind was moving the trees and the night was whispering in your ears. What could create a better mood for a DOD concert? When the band appeared on stage and the first tunes of ‘Kalt’ were floating through the air, also the long waiting time and the delay because of technical problems (yes, the rain before created some chaos and the show was about 45 min behind schedule) were forgotten and the only thing that counted were the sometimes gentle and melancholic and sometimes aggressive and angry tunes sounding from the stage.

The adrenaline level in everyone’s body was constantly increasing during the first sounds of ‘Kalt’ which announced the start of the show. Already you could feel a certain tension and power on stage. Well, not only on stage. The whole audience was ready for the journey into Adrian Hates’ diary of dreams. As recently experienced at the Gothic Festival in Waregem, the show started with ‘Rumours about Angels’, a very dark and in my opinion perfect first song to start the show. The whole set was very dark for that matter; the band chose the rougher and more powerful songs like ‘Chemicals’, ‘Giftraum’, ‘PsychoLogic’ or ‘Soulstripper’ just halted by some of the more melancholic calmer pearls such as one of my all-time favourites ‘But the Wind was stronger’ or ‘Methusalem’. I also had the impression that Adrian’s voice was even more powerful and more aggressive than during the show before. Also the songs were reworked a little regarding the instrumentation. I guess it is adjusted regarding the upcoming new album.

Speaking of new album… the band also had a big surprise for their fans in stock. As Adrian stated, “some time it is time for something new”. And so, a new chapter in the diary of dreams was opened with the upcoming single ‘The Plague’ presented to the audience for the first time in Deutzen. A new song played live before the official release. That was really something no one had expected. I tried to follow the new song with closed eyes, tried to concentrate onto the instrumentation and lyrics. Latter was quite hard at a concert. ‘The Plague’ turns out as a quite hard song with more powerful use of guitars presented live by Gaun:A and Adrian. Musically, the new track reminded me a lot of ‘Fallacy’ from the ‘Giftraum’ maxi single. It seems to be a connection between the latest and the upcoming release. Right after ‘The Plague’, ‘The Witching Hour’ pointed into the same direction. For me, this track was a surprise too but fitted perfectly into the set which was, all in all, something special because not the usually played songs have been chosen. Another track I was really happy about was the pushing German tongued ‘Treibsand’.

After several powerful tracks, the set turned back to the calmer ones and was ended by the all-time fan favourite ‘Traumtänzer’ where Adrian was giving the audience a chance to sing the refrain alone. It is always a magic moment when hundreds of voices sing the lines “Wirst du mich nie verstehen? Wirst du denn nie verstehen? Hast du noch nie gesehen, wie meine Augen glitzern?” The magic of that special moment was additionally supported by wonderful lights painting the stage with different colours. When the band had left the stage, strong applause soon demanded them back. The following two songs ‘Kindrom’ and ‘The Curse’ were bringing back the power onto stage to form some kind of culmination. But yet, these powerful songs were not the end. Another encore was requested that Adrian announced as “Lullaby” - ‘AmoK’ was presented by Adrian and Torben in the well-known and beloved acoustic version, a very shivering and touching moment at the end.

When the whole band said good bye, they released a very satisfied audience, even though the set had to be shortened because of the technical problems at the beginning (i.e. additionally ‘Butter:Fly Dance!’, ‘She’ or ‘The Cage’ have been planned). After the show, the band took a lot of time to talk to the fans, give autographs and pictures. It is always nice to see a band having still so close contact to their fans. DIARY OF DREAMS, stay as you are please!

Setlist (unsorted)
Intro (Kalt)
Rumours about Angels
O’ Brother sleep
But the wind was stronger
The Plague
The Witching hour
The Curse
AmoK (acoustic)

Music 10
Performance 10
Sound 9
Light 9
Total 9.7

After the concerts on the main stage and long talks with DIARY OF DREAMS and some fans, we made our way to the camp fire where we enjoyed and acoustic set of DIE KÄLTE. A very moody final of a perfect festival day!

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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