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Rockfabrik, Augsburg, Germany
29th December 2008
Dark X-Mas Festival 2008: Kloq, Rotersand, Diary of Dreams, Nitzer Ebb

Our fifth and last Christmas festival took place in the South of Germany, at Augsburg’s Rockfabrik. Like the other evening in Ludwigsburg, the line-up consisted of KLOQ, ROTERSAND, DIARY OF DREAMS and NITZER EBB. Despite being Monday, already several people waited in front of the closed doors to get in. An uncommon arrangement of seats (right, left, and two metres parallel to the stage) awaited us in the venue. That gave a cosy impression and so we nailed down a good spot pretty much at the front.


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 Ors 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
Last year’s shooting stars KLOQ opened the evening with an explosive compound of electronic sounds. The song ‘Ibiza’ (Cover version of the Dance act AMNESIA) started the set just like on the other shows. Mastermind Oz Morsley played the instrumental piece together with his live drummer and bassist Tim. The song got the crowd into action right away. Singer Greg Cumbers came on stage to ‘We’re just Physical’, dressed in a lumberjack shirt with a blue and black check and with his shouts came near Douglas McCarthy, having delivered the original vocals to the album track. Besides EBM-Electro smashers like ‘You never know’ or ‘Push it’ the number ‘Connecting’ got presented on this evening as well. Greg knew how to increase the mood very well and commanded the stage. The audience didn’t hold back with applause and seemed in the perfect mood for next band ROTERSAND.

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

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 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
The Ruhr area trio ROTERSAND started with ‘Almost Violent’. The music already sounded yet there’s no singer in sight. No wonder, as this giant came through the audience from behind and enjoyed the astonished faces around him, when starting to sing and making his way through the crowd to the front. The aforementioned seats proved to be a damper for him; however with his long legs he just climbed over them and jumped on stage where he had to be cautious not to bump his head, because of the low height. After this action, the new single ‘I Cry’ gained some plus points and a cheering crowd. Between the songs, Rasc chatted with the fans making us laugh over and over again.

Besides melodic yet danceable songs like ‘Lost’, they integrated real club smashers such as ‘Lifelight’ or ‘Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy’ which is traditionally started with raised fists. Krischan and Gun joined Rasc at the stage rim for this. The crowd let Rasc call the shots and he checked it thoroughly during his “Tanzkontrolle” (Dance Control). A more emphatic song followed with ‘Undone’ which was simultaneously the last song. The audience seemed very enthusiastic and hailed the trio for one last time, before they left the stage.

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

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 8 / 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
Many fans made their way right to the front row especially for the show of co-headliner DIARY OF DREAMS. For us it was the fifth show on the bounce, still we pleasured in the sight of the second keyboard, which again would be used by Torben Wendt (DIORAMA). The drum kit stood centrically upstage, the keyboards on the right and left side of it and Gaun:A and Adrian Hates as always took their positions at the front and started with the dark and aggressive song ‘MenschFeind’. ‘Chemicals’ dated a few years back in the band’s history was next. The mood to the danceable and energetic performance was just perfect. People danced and sang along and at the end of the song let loose deafening applause. Following the guitar-driven ‘The Plague’ was ‘AmoK’ taken from the 2002 release ‘Freak Perfume’ re-arranged for the live-gigs to make it faster and more danceable. All in all the titles seemed magically altered with the additional keys and Torben’s voice. We sang ‘Traumtänzer’ unmistakably all together.

Also on this evening it was all about taking in the dreamy duet by Torben and Adrian to ‘Butterfly: Dance’. Both performed the track with such emotionality and verve and carried us off so much, we hailed and wildly acclaimed them after the song. Powerful songs followed with ‘Soulstripper’ and ‘Panik?’, both radiating with the passion of all musicians on stage. The classic ‘The Curse’ again was presented with a duet by Adrian and Torben. Every line lived on mimics, gestures and chant. Consistent fascination made us cheer to every following song with all we got. Like on the past evenings, ‘Kindrom’ ended the performance of the band and all the pleading for an encore was in vain. But the first live dates for 2009 are confirmed already and the release of the new album is announced for 13th March 2009. So let’s look forward another great DIARY OF DREAMS year!

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: 7
Total: 9 / 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
Now, the English EBM legend NITZER EBB was supposed to deliver one of their scarce performances and lots of fans gathered in front of the stage, mostly male and in their late 30s. Jason Payne and Bon Harris took their positions behind their E-Drums to be followed by Douglas McCarthy shortly after, who was all dressed in black and wearing pilot specs. The set started with new material, before classics like ‘Let your Body learn’ or ‘Lightning Man’ took over. The “older” generation cracked up completely and celebrated its heroes being considered gods of their genre from 1982 to the split in 1995. Since 2006, the EBM department can dance to the old songs again, while anxiously awaiting a new album. They made the waiting time an even tougher endeavour with two more appetizers, namely ‘Payroll’ and ‘Once you Say’. All tracks worked out live pretty well, though evidently and naturally the classics the classics created a better mood, no matter if it was McCarthy or Harris, stomping over the stage from left to right and making the floors burn with their impressive aura and presence.

Aggressive shouts and hot electronic beats caused wild pogo in front of the stage. The setlist comprised gems like ‘Godhead’, ‘Murderous’ or ‘Join in the Chant’ with a Mr. McCarthy who doesn’t seem to get older. Still, the crowd didn’t get to see him topless just like on the other shows in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsburg. The trio had two encores up their sleeves for the craving crowd, stretching everybody to the limit: ‘Getting closer’ and ‘Give to you’ powerfully presented and sang along by the audience, while the sweat was already pouring down from the ceiling. A crowning finish of the festival, a cheer for the good old times and still lots of curiosity for the new album! The party continued on the dance floors of the Rockfabrik for a long time and we were celebrating the end of a great little festival and the end of a very special Christmas Tour.

01. Walk on
02. Promises
03. Let your body learn
04. Hearts & Minds
05. Lightning Man
06. Godhead
07. For Fun
08. Never known
09. Once you say
10. Blood Money
11. Shame
12. Payroll
13. Murderous
14. Control
15. Join in the Chant
16. Getting closer
17. Give to you

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

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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


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