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Haus der Offiziere, Brandenburg a.d. Havel, Germany
20th November 2009
Pleasure & Pain Festival: Jäger 90, Bakterielle Infektion and Welle:Erdball

It was a cold and rainy night in Brandenburg. We made our way to the “Haus der Offiziere” which could be recognized as such by the “dark people” standing outside of it. The “Pleasure & Pain Festival” is probably the most gothic thing that happened to Brandenburg in quite a lot of time. And so, everybody was excited to see how this evening would turn out and streamed inside as soon as the doors opened. Let's have some pleasure!

Jäger 90

JÄGER 90 is a musical duo from Rostock that has been founded in 2005 by Thoralf Dietrich (vocals & programming) and Stev A. (drums) and Vigo Stahlmann recently replaced Stev A. Their musical roots reach back into the early 80s. Especially the sound of DAF and EBM shaped the body-conscious sound of the three CDs published up until now: ‘Harte Zeiten’ (own production, 2005), ‘Total Debil’ (own production, 2006) and ‘Muskeln und Küsse’ (Electric Tremor Dessau, 2007). The protagonists don't give a shit, if this kind of music already existed or not. Thoralf Dietrich is also known for his activities in his side projects and for being the singer of the DAF.Partei (with Robert Görl). /

Music & Performance
Well, I had heard quite a lot about this band and from that my expectations were pretty high. Two same-dressed men entered the stage wearing leather jackets, white shorts and a striped shirt. And of course, those cool men had to wear sunglasses because it was so bright in the “Haus der Offiziere”. They also brought their own headlight which confused me at first but in the end, it was the band thing about this compilation. They started off with a strange sound. I saw how the “drummer” Vigo played his one drum but I couldn't really hear it (but it got better after the first couple of minutes). And, honestly, the stuff he actually did play was pretty easy. In fact, I could have done it myself. Also, the crash cymbal sounded like he bought it for 10€ at some discounter on sale. The only good thing about their performance that night was the voice of Thoralf that went right into your head. But that, didn't raise the level of the songs they sang.

I don't believe in songs that contain of only two sentences and I don't think I was the only one that night. Most of the people were standing around waiting for it to be over. And they gave free beer to the audience… well, that just made me think “Oh well, they need to get the audience drunk so that they like the music, interesting...” So, now we got the pain, let's hope to continue with the Pleasure!

Music: 3
Performance: 4
Sound: 6
Light: 5
Total: 4.1 / 10

Bakterielle Infektion

BAKTERIELLE INFEKTION is a duo from Berlin which consists of Roger Semsroth and Uwe Marx. During the last 10 years, they released 11 CDs, Split LPs and Demos.

Music & Performance
Again two people entered the stage again and I just though “I hope, they are better” and they were. Nice sounds with good programming compared with a really thrilling voice. All their songs were in English which I found to be pretty weird since the band name is German but it didn't have any influence on the good music. I was just a bit surprised by that. Not only the band became better but also the sound and the light finally made their way up. Also the audience appreciated the upgrade in music and performance. Singer Roger Semsroth put all his passion and feelings in the songs and lived up to them by dancing around and kneeling down on the stage. It was just fantastic to see how much he loved was he was doing. Also, the lyrics were much deeper than the ones we heard before. So, we now reached the pleasure!

Music: 7
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10


“Hello, this is WELLE:ERDBALL, symphony of time. From the ether it resonates and swells into eternity”. With this identification the new show 'Chaos Total' of the German radio station WELLE:ERDBALL starts. And it still exists... the German music culture. For 15 years now, the imaginary radio station sends its waves into the Ether. Analogue, minimal tones from the real future; sounds, finally establishing “Computer music” as a full-grown genre; music that picks up, where acts like KRAFTWERK, IDEAL, GRAUZONE, DER PLAN or DAF set the course a long time ago - “Neue Deutsche Welle” for the upcoming generation. Besides analogue sound synthesis, the 4 radio hosts (Honey, A.L.F., Frl. Venus und Plastique) also use the best selling home computer worldwide to put their visions into reality and consider it their fifth and full-time band member. /

Music & Performance
The show began with a curtain which covered the whole stage. The room was now crowded and I had problems to get a good place to take pictures. After I finally achieved that, the concert started and WELLE:ERDBALL started right away. Plastique and Frl. Venus looked like Oktoberfest dolls in their little colourful dresses and their great make-up (I still wonder how they manage it to look like dolls. I definitely need their make-up brand!). Honey and A.L.F. were dressed in their normal suits with the well-known blue sunglasses. A.L.F. stood in the back for almost the whole concert, the ladies stood on each side and Honey was in the middle. In the back and on the side of the stage, they had those huge sort-of game machines with the names of the band members on them. Quite interesting to see! A.L.F.'s machine also had a keyboard in it.

They played a long setlist that contained all their classics like ‘Wolf’, ‘Ich bin nicht von dieser Welt’ and ‘Wir wollen keine Menschen sein’. The sound was really good by now and so, the songs all came out really great. The audience started to move as well. If you ask me, they moved too fast. They started moving around like crazy and didn't think of the people standing around them. From time to time, I was pushed through the whole first 5 rows of the audience and I was afraid I would damage my camera. And apparently, I wasn't the only one because all of the photographers just held their cameras up trying not to get crushed by the people behind them. Especially the first row was really aggressive which ended in me being hit with several elbows. Finally, Plastique tried to bring those people down but she was interrupted by Honey who said “I don't know what your problem is. I don't think the aggressive behaviour is too strong tonight. I think they are pretty lame to be honest. Remember concerts we had where people left with broken noses and bloody shirts? And after the concert those people said how great it was. So, everybody, continue having fun!” I just stood there and didn't know what to say. How could he be so irresponsible to say something like that? Of course, the people increased their behaviour.

Well, besides that, the performance was really nice. Especially Plastique and Frl. Venus showed all kinds of varieties. They were playing drums, singing along with Honey, standing on a rotating platform and showing their well-known signs. Towards the end of the concert, they also changed into a different outfit reminding me of the old 50s. Also, they stood behind white curtains and danced to a song but unfortunately you couldn't really see them unless you were standing in the first couple of rows. During “Ich bin aus Plastik”, Plastique was the centre of attention and definitely one of the highlights of the concert. Confetti was coming down at the end of the song and covered the whole stage. All in all, they showed a great performance that contained something for everybody that night. Not only the songs were great but also the stage-performance clearly showed their long-time experience. That night, we drove home with nice memories but also some bruises.

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.6 / 10

All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß

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