Neurosis Orchestra and Lfo Demon are back from a mad, mad weekend in Holland. What can I say – it has been a really good time in Tilburg on the ZXZW festival. The concept behind the festival is pretty awesome: all alternative venues in town join forces to organize a massive event that lasts one week. I guess it is pretty nice for the local community as everbody collaborates on this project one time a year: representing independent culture.
Getting out of the car on friday night we were glad to get some cold beer in the backstage area to forget about the horrors of the motorway. The whole breakcore line up worked as The shape of Breakcore to Cum. Good work, Mr. Bart Hart. Of course we missed most of the acts like Doormouse, Otto von Schirach and Rioteer in the Main Hall playing over a special 8 speaker sound system. And also the sets of Assassin and FFF. Damn, all this could have been fun. So we just saw a bit of the set of Electric Kettle and Floorclearer, who played his excellent mashed up core beats. We went meanwhile on the other side of the street to the V39 venue to see a bit of Pisstank. Andi rocked the crowd with his unique Ravecore straight outta London. Back to the Kleine Zaal Ladyscraper was about to turn up the hardness factor and stood headbanging on stage. Then it was already time for me to perform as Lfo Demon. What can I say? I shouldn´t drink before going on stage. I freaked out so much and acted so stupid I couldn´t move my head for 2 days due to a massive muscle ache. Ouch! I managed to crawl off stage while Judith Priest started playing. Getting trashed, off to bed.
The next day we checked the Peter Beste exhibition. The pictures mainly originated from his book on Norwegian Black Metal which I discovered already a few weeks ago. On the other side of the gallery the Antenne/ Sam Sam store was located. I never saw the mash up of an second hand clothes store and a vinyl store before. Here it is in the Noordstraat of Tilburg: second hand clothes and all the records you ever dreamed of. I even found a copy of the “Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits, 1972-2006”. On the way to the next venue we saw the artist Knitta at work: Street art with Yarn. We went on to an exhibition of graphic artists who sold their posters, mainly on bands. The vegan cuisine there was the most delicious food I had in a while with grilled beetroot and pumpkin.
Further on to the European Noise Contest in the NS16 venue. We first saw Kaiserschnee who made a performance that could have been influenced straight from the writings of Theodor W. Adorno: The caged subject in the administered world. The scientist – Kaiserschnee dressed like a surgeon – as the protagonist of the blind reason raging like a madman. Subjectivity as a mimesis to the productive forces that are out of control and humans struggling with alienated labor represented by an electric oven and some bread rolls. Beyond the expectations that the proletariat was about to bake the bread Kaiserschnee put over the oven on this head. Instead of the leftwinged claim of taking over the whole bakery (as a hegelian-marxian “Aneignung” of the means of production) the fatalistic story ended with world downfall which was symbolised by the gesture of throwing the oven into the audience. It crashed on the floor and caused a short circuit, all sounds went off. Bravissimo!
Kakawaka´s performance started as a caricature of a rock musician on a midi keyboard. After some stunts he undressed and under his clothes his yellow stage outfit appeared. The rest of the show reminded at some looney tunes character on acid. He played with a gigantic fork with some attached microphone. Later on the microphone was detatched to a metal joist in the room. Running on it with a sinister grin on the face and falling to the floor after a frontal collision made some more harsh noises. It was pretty interesting to see how Kakawaka played with the expectations of “being funny”, experimenting with the tipping point where the atmosphere of grotesque nonsense was about to collapse.
Oh – and there was a jury! Between a few performances a jury equiped with various characters that could be casted straight for a movie judged the performances. You remember Bob of Twin Peaks? He was one of he jurors, alongside with a woman in a leopard dress. Sitting there with a glass of red wine the jurors gave the whole event the real Eurovision Grand Prix atmosphere. Actually this was one of the most impressing events I saw in the while. I like it when the relationships between artists, audience, performance, entertainment and artwork gets fluid.
Later that day we were about to perform as Neurosis Orchestra. Playing our dark Dubstep tunes in a concert atmosphere was a new experience for us and we enjoyed it. Our songs worked well, the sound was loud and awesome and we decided after the show to work more on a hybrid between Doom Metal and Dubstep. Afterwards we talked a bit with the sound engineer about the difference between Paul Elstak and the Darkraver. We stayed in the V39 venue and watched the Japanese invasion with DJ Shabushabu and Maho Thaidisco and their pop inferno. Afterwards the sound got wilder with distorted mashcore by the USA Kings. Dj Pinchado finshed the evening with broken beats somewhere between the Agriculture and Word Sound: No 4/4 rhythms but uneven loops. We left at some point to see the rest of the DJ set of Chris Moss Acid in the “Studio”: Acid in all varieties from Luke Vibert orientated stuff to extremly broken amens at the end. Excellent set in a totally crowded venue. Off to bed.
The next morning we figured out that there wasn´t a single café or bakery open so we were lucky to get some…. well…. let´s say “breakfast” at Mc Donalds. And let´s also pretend the french fries were vegan as they might not even be vegetarian. No problem for the omnivoric part of Neurosis Orchestra.
We were sad to leave town as we were going to miss so many bands on the last day of the festival: Sun Ra Arkestra, Pelican, Torche, Cadence Weapon, Seein Red and so many more that we would have liked to see. But it´s quite a distance back to Berlin so we were glad to arrive back home in the late evening after a long car ride. Synopsis: An amazing festival with the most friendly organisers you can imagine.