5th to 7th September 2008
Nocturnal Culture Night III Day 1: Illusion Of Light, Supreme Court, Santa Hates You, Fetisch: Mensch, Orange Sektor, Sara Noxx and Friends
Also this year, small Deutzen near Leipzig was calling for another edition of the Nocturnal Culture Night Festival taking place in the wonderful surrounding of the Kulturpark. Already at the Friday night, lots of people made the way to the festival area to start the weekend with SARA NOXX or FETISCH:MENSCH. And of course, we were also welcomed “officially” by the typical Deutzen weather: rain. Even though it was only a few drops late at Friday night luckily... this should change the upcoming day.
Illusion Of Light - Small Stage
The trio from Leipzig, that exists since 2003 calls its music “Dark Electronic Dance Music” nothing special so far, but after their first public appearance in 2004 at the Schillerhaus in Leipzig, they’ve been asked to put the Schiller poems ‘Licht und Wärme’ and ‘Der Spruch des Confuzius’ into music and that’s where the special element comes, because there’s hardly an electronic band which can come up with something like that in their biography. Following their debut on the internet radio and a fair 9th place at the Sonic Seducer, they composed the accompanying score for another theatre play at the Schillerhaus. In February, they’ve release third most recent album ‘3NDLO2’. ILLUSION OF LIGHT are Marco (composing, lyrics, vocals), Julia (vocals, lyrics) and Peter (synths). http://www.illusion-of-light.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/illusionoflight
Music & Performance
When the band started sharp on 18:00 we still were waiting outside for the guest list and the photo passes to arrive. Seemed there were some minor troubles at the beginning but very soon, anything was fixed and 10 minutes after the start we finally entered the area heading to the small stage - and small means really small - for the first band ILLUSION OF LIGHT. Well, what to tell about the show of the band? I cannot help telling that they sounded quite a bit like BLUTENGEL to me, even though the band probably will deny that. What I might say at least is that this you band definitely has some potential they can work with. Female and male vocals were alternating. Marco and Julia were acting in the foreground while Peter was set backwards on the stage with his keyboards. Sound- and Light-wise you did not expect too much on that stage, but anyway the organisation made the best out of it.
01. I never see you
04. Electronic History
07. Time to fight
Supreme Court - Small Stage
Markus Tischer and Kay Härtel (Ex DAVANTAGE) created SUPREME COURT in 1996. Early material was more experimental, situated in the industrial genre. When DAVANTAGE became Kay’s main project, SUPREME COURT was put on hiatus for quite some time. But in 2004, the project was re-formed after some line-up changes and in 2005, the first album ‘Yell it out’ was released. Following collaboration with FEINDFLUG, the second album ‘Hypocrites + Saints’ sees the light of day in 2007. In 2008, the band switched to the renowned German label Infacted Recordings and is currently preparing a new album release called ‘Keep Calm + Carry on’ for 2008. SUPREME COURT is Kay Härtel (music, vocals, arrangements), Enrico Kunze (lyrics) and Sebastian Nebel (live support). http://www.supreme-court.biz/ / http://www.myspace.com/supremecourtinfo
Music & Performance
The second band of the day, also performing on the small stage, saw the duo SUPREME COURT, being present without additional live support. There seemed to be some technical problems at the beginning. Singer Kay asked for more echo on his voice several times and did not look very happy. Well, in my humble opinion asking for more echo on the voice once would have been enough. Anyway, the two guys on stage presented a beat driven quite fast set making people move in front of the stage. Again, we got typical setting of an electronic band with the keyboarder placed on the back of the stage and the singer acting in front moving from one side to the other shouting his lyrics into the night. Nice performance, nothing special, but I guess in a proper club setting with a real light show instead of two steady whit spots and maybe even some background projections, this could be quite a cool performance.
Santa Hates You - Small Stage
As strange as the name sounds as strange is their appearance if one takes a look at the photos on their MySpace profile. The mastermind of this project should be fairly familiar to the creatures of the dark music scene. Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork) created this project in 2007 with a woman called Jinxy. The debut release goes by the name of ‘You’re on the Naughty List’ and was released by the end of October 2007. On the WGT the project celebrated its live debut. http://www.myspace.com/santahatesyou
Music & Performance
With SANTA HATES YOU, now some bigger name in the scene appeared on the small stage. A stage that might look quite strange for a person as Peter Spilles who is used to play much bigger stages with his main band. With 10 minutes delay finally Peter and Jinxy entered the stage to start their weird set in front of an increased crowd. The sound Peter presents with this side project is much more beat driven than the one of PITCHFORK with quite weird lyrics. The duo on stage started full of energy. While Jinxy - dressed up in tight black pants and blue corset - rocked and banged her head behind the keyboard while delivering some backing vocals Peter screamed into the mic wearing some black face paint. After the first songs, the crowd even could enjoy a very new song. Again, the light “show” consisted mainly of two white spots - supported by some strobes and smoke - what made Peter asking if there is any other colour than white... they are Goths. Again it was a pretty cool show.
Fetisch: Mensch - Main Stage
This project is the newest brainchild of Oswald Henke, mastermind of GOETHES ERBEN. The centre of the lyrical content is the human being with all its facets, its weaknesses and strengths; in its beauty and scum. The credo of FETISCH:MENSCH is to deny themselves the mechanisms of the industry as far as possible. Music should be something special; and shouldn’t just be consumed, that’s why they don’t release any albums and put their main focus on live performances. The line-up is as follows: Oswald Henke (lyrics), Tim Hoffmann (guitar, programming), Jochen Schoberth (guitar & guitar synth) and Dirk Törppe (drums). http://www.fetisch-mensch.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/fetischmensch
Music & Performance
It was this new project of Oswald Henke to open up the main stage with its very nice amphitheatre setting surrounded by trees. I must admit that I am not a fan of Oswald Henke’s voice but you must give him kudos for what he’s doing. With FETISCH:MENSCH, we were now travelling into the different emotions and actions of human being in all its kinds, no matter if it was something good or something very dark. Mr. Henke was showing us every side of mankind. Supported by a whole band delivering guitar driven hard sound, Oswald was acting like a maniac in his typical manner. Of course this was rewarded with loud applause. Some people were only come to the festival to see this band. Even if you do not like the music you must accept that Oswald Henke is an important factor in the Gothic scene.
Orange Sektor - Small Stage
ORANGE SECTOR emerged in Hannover 1992. The name is word play and describes the area you’re residing in during band activities. As they’re all big admirers of the band DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) you might guess which sound they’ve developed. Their first demo tape was only sent out to Zoth Ommog. Label head Talla2XLC liked the material and passed it on to producer Andre Schmechta and ORANGE SECTOR were just where they wanted to be. The debut ‘Faith’ came out in 1993 and had a real dance floor smasher ‘Kalt wie Stahl’ in its track list, just to be followed by the second coup ‘Flashback’ only one year later which again had some hits on it with ‘Götter’ and ‘Für immer’. Lars left the band after the ‘Flashback’ tour and continued the project more or less successful but after quite some time, he decided to retreat from the music business. 2004 then saw the revival of ORANGE SECTOR in original line-up on Infacted Recordings and they released a few albums since then and are working on new material right now. ORANGE SECTOR is Martin Bodewell (vocals, synths, programming) and Lars Felker (backing vocals, drums, lyrics). http://www.orange-sector.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/orangesector
Music & Performance
“Usual” EBM setting. One singer and one drummer. But, there was something different. Drummer Lars left his drum kit several times and delivered his backing vocals right at the stage room, shouting out loud into the audience. With ORANGE SECTOR, it was now time to move. And people did to such danceable songs like ‘Flashback’, ‘Dynamit’, ‘Für immer’ or ‘Here we are’. Martin and Lars presented a very fast and energy driven set where no one in front of the stage could stand still. And even if you might think, well, such a band setting is more than common in our scene, those both guys showed that they can serve more than just a standard meal. This show was a very nice and also fast finish of the program on the small stage. And now, it was time to move over to the main stage for headliner SARA NOXX.
Sara Noxx and Friends - Main Stage
The 1997 award winner of the Zillo band contest was often compared to the British artist ANNE CLARK due to her similar voice, but with time; and her further development as a musician, that comparison was to be buried in oblivion. Already in her debut ‘Noxxious’ she could come up with a song ‘Society’ still filling the dance floors of the alternative clubs. The sophomore album ‘Paradoxx’ followed right in its footsteps with electronic sounds and lyrics full of melancholy. After a dormant period of 3 years, she returned with ‘Exxtasy’ (2001) with the classics ‘Winter again’ and ‘Last Desire’. After an instrumental album ‘Nonvoxx’ and poetry book ‘Lyrixx’, she released a 3CD set ‘XX-ray’ including numerous new interpretations, remixes and duets but also a collection of multi lingual interpretations of her work and collaborated with Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork) on the re-interpretation of the ‘Earth Song’. For her performance at the Nocturnal Culture Nights she’s invited some very special guests. http://www.myspace.com/saranoxx
Music & Performance
When entering the main stage area and having a look at the stage setting, first things you spotted were two giant illuminated “X” placed on each side of the stage. In the background were the keyboards for two further musicians placed and behind that was a screen to show some videos during the songs. I am personally not the biggest fan of SARA NOXX. In my opinion she still sounds a bit like the “grande dame” of dark wave, ANNE CLARK, even though Sara and her fans will probably deny this. Anyway I was very curious about the show, not only because of the guests she has invited to perform together with her. The show started and with crystal clear voice, a very good voice, Sara started the set. Musically she was in best form. But performance-wise I was rather disappointed. Well, I do not need a big show to be impressed, But a singer barely moving and just being fixed behind the microphone not even showing a little sign of emotion in the face and not interacting a little was the audience is much too little. At least the supporting light show was very good and so, you got at least something to watch.
Towards the end of the set, Frank Spinath of SEABOUND entered the stage - without any introduction I might add - to perform the song ‘Colder and Colder’ with Sara. And he was really acting, transforming the lyrics into gestures and mimics.... different to Sara. Next guest on stage was Peter Spilles of PROJECT PITCHFORK for the ‘Earth Song’. No further guest followed. Felix Flaucher of 18 SUMMERS could not make it how I heard. It was a bit sad that at the end of the set not all guests were pleased onto stage again for a proper goodbye.
Written by Daniela Vorndran; all band intros by Sebastian Huhn
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography