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Postbahnhof, Berlin, Germany
26th December 2008
neuWerk Festival 2008: Kloq, Solitary Experiments, Rotersand, Diary of Dreams, VNV Nation

After a much too short night we drove - after the Darkstorm Festival the other night - from Chemnitz to Berlin to attend the neuWerk Festival there. Just when the doors opened, we arrived at the Postbahnhof near Berlin’s East train station. The nice location filled quickly, last tickets were sold at the box office and then the show was sold-out. Several people had to leave because there was no chance anymore to get a ticket. All in all, about 1,000 people were ready to party with VNV NATION, who headlined last year’s neuWerk festival in Düsseldorf, DIARY OF DREAMS and three more bands.


KLOQ is the musical outlet of Oz Morsley, who should be familiar to many people as part of EMPIRION with whom he released several singles such as ‘Narcotic Influence’ and remixed well-known acts like THE PRODIGY, FRONT 242 or MOBY. After EMPIRION, the first KLOQ tracks were released through Atomic Records which Oz describes as “…the transition from EMPIRION to what the KLOQ sound is now.” After producing some other artists he thought about developing the sound, incorporating vocals and stuff like that and the voice for the tracks on the single ‘We’re just Physical’ released in 20007 via Out of Line was no one less than Douglas McCarthy from NITZER EBB, delivering his trademark shouts to the energetic sounds to make the dance floors quake. The subsequent release of the very first album ‘Move Forward’ was an overall success for the project and sneaked into the top lists of many music fans all over the world. KLOQ is Oz Morsley (producer / writer) with vocal performances by Douglas McCarthy and Greg Cumbers. Live on stage, KLOQ is Oz Morsley (keyboards), Greg Cumbers (vocals), Tim Jackson (bass) and Steve Wilson (drums). /

Music & Performance
Lots of people were already waiting in front of the stage for the absolute newcomers and shooting stars of 2008: KLOQ - who’ve pulled with their debut ‘Move Forward’ an electronic firework- mainly consists of mastermind Oz Morsley, writing and producing the songs and additionally to live drummer Steve and bass player Tim, he took his position behind his synthesizer. They started the set with the sensational club hit ‘Ibiza’, a cover version of the dance act AMNESIA. For some minutes, this instrumental song filled the hall, before singer Greg Cumbers entered the stage and the next song ‘We’re just physical’ started. On the album version, no one less then Douglas McCarthy (NITZER EBB) delivered the vocals for this track, but also Greg’s shouts suited the song quite well. The explosive sound left you no choice but to dance and the audience in Berlin seemed to know the single from 2007 very well.

Also the next EBM masher ‘You never know’ didn’t miss its target. Members of various bands could be spotted dancing in the crowd. Eventually we also followed the order to “make some fucking noise”. More melodic and poppy followed ‘Move Forward’. Greg’s chant here was much calmer and more emphatic and he was dancing all over the foggy blue-lit stage. In-between, the drummer delivered a great solo and Greg rocked to the bass sound afterwards. Harder electronic and danceable songs closed the set with ‘I Never Said’ and ‘Push it’. Well done!!!

01. Ibiza
02. We’re just physical
03. You never know
04. Move forward
05. I never said
06. Push it

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

Solitary Experiments

The group which would eventually re-name themselves to SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS later, made its first musical steps under the name PLAGUE, subsequently emerging in the aforementioned project in 1994, at that time with the support of a female background singer. The first mentioned release was a tape, namely ‘Risque De Choc Electrique’ coming hand in hand with the first live gigs with the likes of BLIND PASSENGERS or TERMINAL CHOICE. Constant good reception by the press promoted the development of new material. Following their first festival gig in 1999 was the signing to Maschinenwelt Records and the eventual release of the first full-length ‘Final Approach’.

Ever since, the career god meant very well for them. All of the following albums became unquestionable successes in the electro scene. Their last album ‘Mind over Matter’ already dates back to 2005, but word has it a new one is about to be unleashed in the not too distant future. SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS are Michael Thielemann (sampling, programming, engineering, recording), Dennis Schober (lyrics, vocals, effects, performance) and Steve Graeber (programming, sampling). /

Music & Performance
We stayed in the electronic corner with SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS who were having a home play in Berlin and were welcomed with a warm applause. Singer Dennis Schober, Michael Thielemann and Steve Graeber were supported by an additional live drummer who’s giving the tracks some more drive. All four were dressed in red shorts with black ties. Singer Dennis acted at the front and fairly boosted the audience with a compound of driving EBM and atmospheric, melodic electro sounds. Vocal-wise he covered the whole area between soft and hard. With the words “We’re playing dance music” and powerful sounds, the audience was edged on even more and celebrated to songs like ‘Delight’ or the German closing track ‘Seele bricht’.

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


The initial line-up of ROTERSAND consisted of producer Gun and singer Rascal who gave birth to the project in 2002. Both have been involved in other musical projects prior to the project’s inception, most notable is their work in the famous band THE FAIR SEX. As third member the dance music producer Krischan J.E. Wesenberg joined the line-up shortly after. Their debut release was the ‘Merging Oceans’ EP in 2003. The title track became a club hit in almost no time and soon the first album ‘Truth is Fanatic’ appeared on the market to please the ears of a quickly growing crowd of fans. In 2005, they let loose the Dalek-sampling single ‘Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy’, the precursor to the forthcoming album ‘Welcome to Goodbye’. Both of which reached the top position of the German alternative chart.

Beginning of 2006, they toured the German clubs together with COVENANT. Following in February was a Remix EP called ‘Dare to Live - Perspectives on Welcome to Goodbye’ and in summer they’re touring quite a few festivals like the Infest in England or the German M’era Luna for instance. The most recent album is called '1023'. It is named after the hotel room in which the guys lived during their last year's USA tour in Detroit. After the discontinuation of Dependent Records in 2008 the band signed to Trisol Records in 2008 and released the single ‘I cry’, which was taken from the '1023' album. ROTERSAND are Rasc (vocals, guitar), Gun (keyboard, guitar) and Krischan (turntables). /

Music & Performance
Meanwhile, the Postbahnhof really got packed, so it almost was a fight to get to the stage in the hall. The first rows obviously were already occupied by the VNV NATION fans, defending their places. But first it was time for the Ruhr-area trio ROTERSAND. Since their 2003 debut album, singer Rasc, DJ Krischan Wesenberg and Gun constantly deliver new dance floor fillers. They started with ‘Almost Violent’ and the impressingly tall Rasc swirled over the stage to the technoid beats. The song that became a club hit and made the trio popular ‘Merging Oceans’ was next. Between the songs, Rasc was fooling around a lot with the audience and attracted all the attention with his charm. From the current album followed ‘Lost’, a song initially sounding very hard and aggressive, but migrating into a catchy and very melodic chorus later. It has become almost a tradition during ROTERSAND shows that Rasc at some point jumps of the stage to mix with the audience to heavily dance with them and this evening was no exception to not climb back on stage before the next song started.

The hymnal single ‘I Cry’, with dreamy synth sound and vocals gained lots of applause. Again, Rasc took his time to chat with the audience and introduced his accomplices, before the set went on with the hard club stomper ‘Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy’. Krischan left his console grabbed a mic and all three took their positions at the stage rim, raised their right fists in the air to move them to the beat. The audience followed and you could feel the mood increasing. Together, the trio walked over the stage and sang “Destroy”, while pointing their fingers towards us in the audience. The dancing mass mobilized its last power reserves for the last song ‘Undone’ and raised their arms, while singing “Everybody needs somebody” altogether. That was the end of a moody performance from a sympathetic band.

01. Almost Violent
02. Merging Oceans
03. Lost
04. Dare to Live
05. I cry
06. Exterminate Annihilate Destroy
07. Undone

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.2 / 10

Diary of Dreams

Since its foundation in 1989 by Adrian Hates, this project or better band (project doesn’t do it justice) enchants a still growing fan base all over the world with beautiful and at times fragile tunes, whose central element was and still is the deep melancholy. It’s hard to describe what makes this music so intriguing, you just have to experience it yourself on one of their intense live shows or on one of the various album the band has released over the time with ‘Nekrolog 43’ being the latest one, released in October 2007. 2009 is going to mark the beginning of a all new chapter for this extraordinary band with the release of the highly anticipated ninth studio album very early this year - to be exact in March - what’ll most likely send them all around the globe again and we can all be curious just yet what they’ll come up with this time. DIARY OF DREAMS are Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:A (guitar), D.N.S. (drums), Taste (keyboard) and Torben Wendt (keyboard). /

Music & Performance
One exception in the electronic line-up was the band DIRY OF DREAMS. Not all of their fans could get a place in the front rows, because - as mentioned before - they were occupied by some die-hard VNV fans, defending their places there. For me it was no surprise anymore after the show one day before in Chemnitz, but some others were flabbergasted when former keyboard player and DIORAMA mastermind Torben Wendt - additionally to keyboard player Taste - entered the stage. Side by side with drummer D.N.S, guitarist Gaun:A and Adrian Hates they were standing on stage and started with ‘Nekrolog 43’ from the same-titled current album. At least Adrian had already dropped off the tour outfit and appeared with open hairs, modest pants, shirt and coat. Initial technical problems could be solved quickly, so Torben’s additional keys and vocals on ‘Chemicals’ could unfold their full beauty. The overall mood seemed better than yesterday in Chemnitz, maybe because of the smaller location, who knows. Warm applause and screams sounded, before the set got more rocking with ‘The Plague’ and ‘MenschFeind’ where especially Taste was rocking a lot behind his keyboard.

After the enchanting and captivating ‘AmoK’ followed the cult song ‘Traumtänzer’, where the audience sang “Wirst du mich nie verstehen, wirst du denn nie verstehen, hast du noch nie gesehen, wie meine Augen glitzern?” I’m still getting goose bumps, when that happens. When the first sounds of ‘Butterfly: Dance’ sounded, Torben grabbed the mic like yesterday to sing the song together with Adrian. Both put on a poignant and sweeping performance. Expressive in every aspect, regarding vocals and gestures, they were fascinating the audience. The crowd reached out with heir hands for the mutual “Hello”. Fitting to the line-up they’d chosen faster songs for the set, so ‘Soulstripper’ couldn’t be missed either. Bursting with energy and ordering you to dance. Meanwhile a small tradition is the great drum solo D.N.S builds into the song and which is rewarded by the audience with a deserved extra applause.

The second duet between Torben and Adrian followed with ‘The Curse’. Again we beard witness to a compelling performance of this song with two perfectly harmonizing voices. Like yesterday, ‘Kindrom’ ended the much too short performance, but an encore could not be granted due to the tight schedule, even though it was loudly demanded by the audience.

01. Nekrolog 43
02. Chemicals
03. The Plague
04. MenschFeind
05. AmoK
06. Traumtänzer
07. Butterfly:Dance
08. Soulstripper
09. The Curse
10. Kindrom

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 9.3 / 10

VNV Nation

An Irish guy called Ronan Harris created VNV NATION in 1990, releasing two Vinyl albums ‘Body Pulse’ and ‘Strength of Youth’. Initially, the music was a mixture of orchestral and electronic influences. Suffice to say, that it’s become much more than just a compound of these two elements over time. But first things first! The first album ‘Advance & Follow’, a real and usually expensive rarity nowadays, emerged after signing a record deal with German label Discordia in July 1995, but it was 1999’s ‘Empires’ - the third full-length - that became their breakthrough album gaining them widespread commercial success (topping the German DAC charts for seven weeks) which did even increase with the following ‘Future Perfect’ while scaring away some fans who liked the older sound much more.

This one and the next year saw VNV NATION embarking on some extremely successful world tours, before ‘Matter +Form’ was released in 2005, presenting a much harder-edged sound of the project. With 2007 came the year of ‘Judgement’, the most recent disc of the two lads, moving away from the edgy sounds of the previous album again. Just recently it has been revealed that the title of the upcoming album would be ‘Of Faith, Power & Glory’ to be released in 2009. VNV NATION is Ronan Harris and Marc Jackson supported by different live musicians on stage – this time by Tom of [:SITD:] and Vasi of REAPER and FROZEN PLASMA. /

Music & Performance
Due to the aforementioned tight schedule (End: 10:45 PM), the headliner VNV NATION already started earlier than planned. The Postbahnhof was bursting at the seams hadn’t nagged to get a place in the front rows so far could forget about it now. Drummer Mark Jackson took his position on a pedestal, while on the left and right side, Vasi Vallis and Tom were doing the synth like many times before. Singer Ronan Harris was accompanied by cheers, when he entered the stage to the intro. After a little warm-up with ‘Chrome’, Ronan used the break for a little Smalltalk. He revealed that he had a cold and wished everyone a Merry Christmas, before the set went on with ‘Epicentre’. About three times a song we heard “Berlin, where are you?” or “Come on” edging on the audience even more. Ronan swept over the stage to bickering flashes and enjoyed all the arms reaching out to him. Everybody in the venue was dancing and even though the mutual singing needed some more practice initially, it turned out quite impressive during ‘Nemesis’. A huge video screen behind Mark displayed pictures, writings and videos during the entire set, providing some nice effects, additionally to the light show.

Even though the mood already was great, some songs managed to increase it even more like ‘Standing’ for instance. When all sang the chorus together and had their arms risen I got heavy goose bumps. Now and then Ronan laughed himself silly about the lyric goofs in the first rows and shook many hands. Also the classic ‘Darkangel’ was celebrated by the audience. With the introduction of ‘Illusion’ and the call to be different it became more emphatic and grand piano sounds flooded the venue. The audience sang the chorus over and over again, while Ronan held his microphone into the crowd. After the motto “Ronan leads and everyone follows” funny “Oh eh ohhhh” choirs followed to the beginning of ‘Perpetual’ and the musicians on stage were introduced.

Some days prior to the festival there was a survey at the German VIP-Nation fan forum about which song was supposed to be played on this evening and the winner was ‘Arena’, which is also one of Ronan’s favourite according to one of his statements and which was played as first encore to continue loudly with ‘Fearless’, but Berlin still wanted more and swiftly got the four back on stage with lots of applause. Ronan was sorry for only having time for one more song, but promised to catch up with everybody later at the after show party at the K17. With the words “I love you people” started ‘Beloved’ under ferocious cheers and screams. Mutual jumping and clapping ended the performance and the neuWerk festival, which was an overall success. See you in 2009!

01. Intro
02. Chrome
03. Epicentre
04. Nemesis
05. Further
06. Standing
07. Darkangel
08. Illusion
09. The farthest star
10. Perpetual
11. Arena
12. Fearless (incl. Cowgirl)
13. Beloved

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.7 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

Written by Cathie Niemann & Daniela Vorndran, all Band Intros and Translations by Sebastian Huhn


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