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Stahlwerk, Düsseldorf, Germany
27th December 2008
neuWerk Festival 2008: Destroid, Kloq, Soman, Rotersand, Diary of Dreams, Nitzer Ebb

After the incredible start of the neuWerk Festival in December 2007, this year even two festivals were announced. On 26th December, Berlin’s first neuWerk Festival was take place at the Postbahnhof. The second date was again held at Düsseldorf’s Stahlwerk on 27th December. More than 1,000 people found their way on this winter day to the event to celebrate with well-known bands such as NITZER EBB and DIARY OF DREAMS. Again, this event was a big success.


Daniel Myer (production, arrangements, vocals), to most surely known as the master head behind HAUJOBB, has a huge back catalogue with quite a number of musical projects, from HAUJOBB to DOTS + DASHES to S'APEX to ARCHITECT and still a few more. Since 2004, he creates intelligent dark electronic music with band mate Seb Rydell aka SEBI (production, arrangements) under the moniker DESTROID supported usually live by Lil’Demon aka RIBI (live noises). /

Music & Performance
DESTROID opened the night at the neuWerk Festival in Düsseldorf, and all those who turned up on time were rewarded with a top-quality performance and brilliant dark electro. And thankfully many people turned up early enough. Seb and Myer, backed up not by live keyboarder Ribi this time but by Oliver from TOY, performed a short set with an astonishing variety. From hard-hitting electro beats to poppier tunes to ballads they have quite a lot up their sleeves, though the focus is clearly on classic EBM with edge and with modern influences.

The setup of DESTROID's show at the Stahlwerk was also quite classic in a way - two guys behind piles of gear and front man Myer in the middle (who had a laptop and some effect tools behind him for the occasional twiddling and twirling-fun). Unfortunately the acoustics at the Stahlwerk is infamously awful, and as DESTROID were the first act to perform at the neuWerk festival night the technicians still had a lot of work ahead to adjust the sound to the sonically rather tricky venue. But such circumstances couldn't hide the fact that DESTROID offer top quality live - just like on record.

01. Soul asylum
02. Bird of prey
03. Into the deepest dark
04. Broken and abused
05. Bonewhite light
06. Friend or foe
07. Let me leave (silent)

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 8.3 / 10


Oz Morsley, the man behind KLOQ, is not an unknown person in the world of electronic (dance) music. Producing music since the early 1990s, Morsley had quite some success with his first band EMPIRION - many will remember their magnificent remix of PRODIGY's ‘Firestarter’ - as well as DJ and producer. KLOQ is his latest project with collaborators Greg Cumbers, Lucia Holm, Paulo Morena (The Morenas) and Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb) delivering vocals on KLOQ's debut album ‘Move Forward’. On stage, the duo Oz Morsley (keyboards) and Greg Cumbers (vocals) was extended by Tim Jackson (bass) and Steve Wilson (drums). /

Music & Performance
The Stahlwerk was already well filled when KLOQ entered the stage. They started with their remake of ‘Ibiza’, a classic of the House scene, and with vocals delivered by Greg Cumbers. Those who hoped that Douglas McCarthy would join KLOQ on stage (well, he was at the venue at least!) were disappointed, as Cumbers also took over the vocal duties for the McCarthy songs from ‘Move Forward’. ‘We're Just Physical’ was the second track of the set, and although everyone would have loved to see the NITZER EBB front man perform it is only fair to say that Cumbers did a fantastic job too. And KLOQ's music made people move; their mix of thrilling dance beats, catchy pop tunes and well dosed noise is simply too compelling. Again the bad acoustics at the Stahlwerk was the only downside of an otherwise great gig.

01. Ibiza
02. We`re Just Physical
03. You Never Know
04. Connecting
05. Move Forward
06. I Never Said
07. Push It

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 7.9 / 10


SOMAN is a power noise act from Germany. Starting off as sound engineer with ABSURD MINDS, HOCICO and TERMINAL CHOICE and remixing songs by VNV NATION, ROTER SAND and TOM WAX, Kolja Trelle entered the scene as SOMAN with the album ‘Sound Pressure’ in 2003. This placed him within the power noise genre with artists such as COMBICHRIST. He has made numerous live appearances, supporting VNV NATION on their “Matter and Form” tour, as well as playing at WGT, M'era Luna Festival, Infest Festival and so on. His latest release is a re-release of his debut album now called ‘Sound Pressure 2.0’. SOMAN is Kolja Trelle. /

Music & Performance
SOMAN entered the stage clothed in black with his usual sun glasses and took his place behind his notebook. The show was more like a DJ-set than a concert because the music of SOMAN is an electro-noise-industrial mixture created with computer and sound machines and on stage he didn't played any instruments but performed his set with his notebook. SOMAN had a lot of fun during the show, animated the crowd and was dancing and waving the whole time. This time, he was supported by two female dancers with kinky outfits who entered the stage at the second track for the rest of the show. The crowd enjoyed the infecting powerful performance and was dancing along. Quickly the time went over and after about 35 minutes SOMAN left the stage.

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.7 / 10


ROTERSAND released their first EP 'Merging Oceans' in 2003. The EP immediately entered the German alternative charts and also became a big club hit. The debut album 'Truth is fanatic' was released in the same year and expanded the bands position even more. In October 2004, they switched over to Dependent Records and the new album 'Welcome to Goodbye' was released in June 2005 preceded by the single 'Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy' and followed by the Remix EP 'Dare to Live: Perspectives on Welcome to Goodbye' in 2006. 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. Both, the album and the preceding DJ-Single 'Lost', climbed up to the top positions of the German Alternative Charts. The current EP called ‘I cry’ and was released in September 2008. ROTERSAND are Rasc (vocals, guitar), Gun (keyboard, guitar) and Krischan (turntables). /

Music & Performance
ROTERSAND entered the stage with their usual line-up; Gun switched between guitar and keyboard, Krischan operated the computer and the turntables and Rasc rocked the crowd with his charismatic performance. Right from the start it was quite obvious that the band was a bit nervous because they were playing in their home region. But very soon they performed as experienced as ever and showed a lot of fun being on stage. The show started with ‘Almost Violent’, followed by ‘I Cry’, the current single/EP. During the third song, Rasc left the stage for "dance control"; he joined the crowd on the dance floor, went through the crowd and animated the people to dance. Promptly, the crowd accepted this invitation and was singing and dancing along. Altogether this was a very pleasing show which was finished by ‘Undone’ after about 40 minutes.

01. Almost Violent
02. I Cry
03. Dare to live
04. Lost
05. Rushing
06. Exterminate Annihilate Destroy
07. Undone

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

Diary of Dreams

DIARY OF DREAMS is a German electronic Goth and Darkwave music group. The lead singer and founding member Adrian Hates has produced most of the albums by himself or with minimal help from others. He rarely uses a full band, except when he is on tour. The early works 'Cholymelan' and 'End of Flowers' are both Darkwave albums. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, the music integrated more electronic and Future-Pop influences. The current album is called 'Nekrolog 43' and was released in October 2007; a new album is announced for release in March 2009. DIARY OF DREAMS are at the moment Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:A (guitar), D.N.S. (drums), Taste (keyboard) and Thorben Wendt (keyboard). /

Music & Performance
The set started very powerful with ‘MenschFeind’ and right from the start the crowd was enthralled by the charismatic performance of the band. You had the very rare chance to see a five-piece on stage with Torben and Taste playing the keys. Extended by the second keyboard and Torben’s additional vocals, this show became a special Christmas gift for all attendees. All musicians did their job virtuosic and passionately. Infected by the rousing show the crowd was singing and dancing along. As usual, Gaun:A used the whole stage and played sometimes right and sometimes left on stage, Adrian sang the songs very soulful and passionate as ever but with much more power than I remember from the latest tour. During the songs ‘Chemicals’ and ‘The Plague’, he played an additional guitar which gave even more power and energy to the songs.

Mentionable too were the both wonderful duets of Torben and Adrian: during ‘The Curse’ and ‘Butterfly:Dance’, Torben left his keyboard and sang the songs together with Adrian. Wonderful combination I could get used to! Altogether a great show which was finished much too early with ‘Kindrom’.

01. MenschFeind
02. Chemicals
03. The Plague
04. Amok
05. Traumtänzer
06. Butterfly:Dance
07. Soulstripper
08. Panik?
09. The Curse
10. Kindrom

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 9.6 / 10

Nitzer Ebb

If you haven't heard about NITZER EBB so far - welcome to this planet, its name is Earth and NITZER EBB are Bon Harris (production) and Douglas McCarthy (vocals and hogging the spotlights). From their earliest singles like ‘Warsaw Ghetto’ to their energy bursting debut album ‘That Total Age’ (1987) to their later albums as ‘Showtime’ (1990) or ‘Ebbhead’ (1990), NITZER EBB made musical rollercoaster journey up to their last fulltime studio release ‘Big Hit’ (1995). From minimal Electro to EBM to a crossover of Synth, Rock, Blues and Electronica they never lost this special NITZER EBB feel. There are only so few bands who have a go at two dozen of styles and still they never lose their trademarks. NITZER EBB is one of them. /

Music & Performance
NITZER EBB was put on a halt for ten years, and the year 2006 saw something most fans even didn't dare to hope for - the reunion of Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris. Since then NITZER EBB has become a frequent name in tour announcements and festival line ups. Looking at the crowd at the Stahlwerk Düsseldorf made clear that NITZER EBB deserved the headline spot of the night. A huge crowd was waiting for their heroes, from teens who just discovered the compelling energy of this band to long-time fans in their thirties (occasionally squeezed in Showtime- or Ebbhead-tour shirts - a long time since size M fitted, eh?). The crowd had to wait a little longer - there was already a little delay in the running order anyway, and due to technical problems the start of the show was deferred even more.

Eventually the band took the stage, and gave their audience a surprise by starting the show with a brand new track. Over the last two and a half years ‘Getting Closer’ (from 1990s ‘Showtime’ album) has become the traditional opener of a NE show, but although the new song doesn't have the same energy it was surely a very pleasant surprise. The following ‘Shame’ and ‘Hearts & Minds’ (both from 1989s ‘Belief’ album) were much more familiar tunes and got the crowd into action. Regrettably the technical problems were not fully resolved, quite evidently much to the displeasure of the band. They tried to deliver their best but their faces revealed that they were not too happy about the situation. Live drummer Jason Payne even looked as he really did not want to be on stage at all. Payne, who already toured with NITZER EBB in 1995 during the ‘Big Hit’ tour, teamed up again with Harris and McCarthy after Kourtney Klein quitted her job at the drum kit in early 2008.

The band continued with a number of crowd pleasers like ‘Let Your Body Learn’ to ‘Control I'm Here’, mixed with mid-tempo tracks like ‘Blood Money’ (during which the sound seemed to break down nearly) and not less than four further new and yet unreleased tracks - which were the highlights of the show for me. McCarthy commanded the stage as usual but somehow it wasn't the same contagious excitement as usual - maybe due to all the technical problems. For those who saw NITZER EBB the first time, and who managed it to the front, it was probably a thrilling show but a number of long-time fans left the venue slightly frustrated. This particular gig simply didn't have the same energy as previous shows, and the disastrous sound in the back of the Stahlwerk surely didn't help to improve the impression. It was simply a bad day for NITZER EBB, and their gigs in Ludwigsburg and Augsburg only one and two days later were a thousand times better by all accounts. Let's keep fingers crossed that NITZER EBB will come back soon in 2009 to prove their true live quality again - and with a new album up their sleeves they surely will!

01. Walk On
02. Promises
03. Shame
04. Hearts & Minds
05. Lightning Man
06. Godhead
07. For Fun
08. Never Known
09. Once You Say
10. Blood Money
11. Let Your Body Learn
12. Payroll
13. Murderous
14. Control I'm Here
15. Join In The Chant
16. Getting Closer

Music: 9
Performance: 6
Sound: 6
Light: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

Written by Carsten Leopold (Soman, Rotersand, Diary of Dreams), J. “Niggels” Uhlenbruch (Destroid, Kloq, Nitzer Ebb) and Daniela Vorndran (intro, editor)


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