The festival Energy of Sound organized by Industrial Art took place for the second time. The line-up of previous edition included such artists as Matt Howden, In Gowan Ring, Blurt and Romowe Rikoito. This time the location of the event changed from the garden of BWA to the Gothic Hall – a venue already known to the audience for Wroclaw Industrial Festival was also organized there.
It was very atmospheric, changeable in style and – one could say – private – event, as the festival is, as I see it, aimed at introducing the audience with new projects which are less known to wider audience rather than at mass entertainment.
So we were taking our lessons on the paths the music may follow, all in an exceptional atmosphere of the said Gothic Hall hidden in dim lights and interesting visualizations.
The Austrian Alleerseelen - the band known to Polish audience of the memorable concert at WIF 05' (yes, some people that came to the gig ere hugely disappointed that the certain bass player was absent:) opened the Fest. The concert was developing on two lines: on the one hand there was a great, warming, 'scanning' vocal of Gerhard Hallstatt, whose charisma attracted attention from the very start and on the other hand the music, highly characteristic, marching, basing on background, rhythmical beat. The pace of the gig was increasing with every single song; it started with edgy, rather harsh sounds that weren't particularly melodious, but then they changed and gained more dynamic and energetic quality. The vocalist's voice at times was accruing to achieve the level of a scream to change to the monologue directed to the audience the next moment. The scenic part was somewhat frugal which highlighted the uncommon quality of Alleerseelen music that is described as industrial folk. All in all it was a very interesting, ravishing concert.
Santa Sangre, Wir träumen voneinander, Nicht nur eine Sonne, Als wär's das letzte Mal, Tropfen schöner Zeit, Feuersalamander, Hörst du die Toten singen, Löwin, Wir tragen ein Licht, Kamerad, I Vino Veritas, Mit fester Hand, Der Sehnsucht Adlertrotz, Mit der Sonne, Wir rufen Deine Wölfe, Lied in der Häftlinge.
Due to the next band the atmosphere changed quite considerably and the gentleness and calming took the place over. Backworld, whose music is described as neo folk, was established in 1993 by Joseph Budenholzer. There were four musicians that played in Wroclaw which fact, as it appeared, added to the instrumental richness of the concert; the instruments used included a.o: synthesizers, guitar and a violin. While listening to their concert I had an impression that it was a story, perhaps a legend or a fairytale told to the audience with accompaniment of gentle, smooth melodies. The associations with bards appeared immediately. The whole concert was a bit theatrical, nostalgic play led by the artists enfolding their music story in dim lights, face to face with the listeners. The warm color of the vocalist's voice strengthened the effect of a bit hypnotic stream.
Holy Fire, Damaged Angel, Leaves of Autumn, Isles Of The Blest, Lullaby lord, Heaven's Gate, Divine Love, Sunday Morn, Tide, Season of Sacrifice, Bed of Stone, Come With Joy, Devil's Plaything.
The show stuck to the stylistics that evoke the reaction 'oh la la!' The band has recently released ab album "Paris Spleen" that reflects an atmosphere of Parisian macabre cabarets of the 20s, but even not knowing this it would be hard to escape the associations...The musicians emerged wearing bowler hats and fantastic costumes; the vocalist was often wearing masks and using props (can't figure out why the musicians didn't accept the heart she was offering them...had she tried amongst the audience the effect would've been different, I'm sure, as the people were entirely enchanted:) which stood for a highly amazing spectacle itself. The whole made impression as if of an "Invisible Circus", unreal, fabulous, mad, circus imagery. .. it was hard to realize where we actually were: in a cabaret, among street actors, in a den or among gamins or maybe conservatory students playing truant?
It's hard not to mention an exceptional scenic manner of the vocalist – appealing, astute voice, highly emotional, balancing between irony and tragedy, it represented an emotional depth, mood richness and it was really heart rendering. I must admit that I was standing by the stage completely enchanted...or perhaps bewitched...surely, Ataraxia is a band of magicians who perfectly organize the scene, smoothly passing from jesting to bitter notes. It was a great show which is hard to describe in words for its colorful theatricals, and a great dose of prepossessing music which was simply overpowering.
Ou vont les chiens, Le Saltimbanque Decreipt, Mon cher Toutou, Rue Bleue, Tony/diamanda, Tango, ninnananna, Toujours Ivre, Moon of Alabama, Migratio animae, Wings
The second day of the Fest was quite different from the first and honestly speaking worked a bit more slowly.
The first project to present their music on Saturday was Ben Zeen from Lodz. It was established by Maciej Ożoga (SPEAR) and Paweł Cieślak in 2005. The result of the co-operation is irregular, harsh, neurotic, violent, unpolished structure made by means of modular synthesizer and laptops plus a great amount of samples of various origin. I must admit that as far as this kind of music is concerned there's still much for me to learn, because the extremes that Ben Zeen reached that evening didn't evoke many associations, aside from, say, the idea of 'after-war-landscape' (not necessarily nuclear or military, but also emotional and psychical). Moreover, it stimulated the impression of total estrangement, the strangeness of the sounds and their quality of unusual, aggressive, strengthened concentration. It was some sort of highly transformed wave creating a vision of totally unfamiliar soundscape. The vocal appeared rather rarely so the whole remained an electronic brainwash. If you are fond of such avant-garde kinds of industrial, then Ben Zeen is something to suit your taste.
As to the music – it was a rather gentle soundscape, pulsating, repeating sequences and moody elements encouraging to silencing and concentration. The pacifying concert demanded concentration and careful listening from the audience.
The last concert, namely the one of Red Sparowes, was probably the clue of the evening for most of the people (and no, I'm not thinking of the hair length of the gathered:).
RD was formed in 2003 in LA as a kinda playground for the musicians who were also members of such bands as Isis, Neurosis, Halifax Pier, Samsara and Pleasure Forever. Started as an entertainment tool, the band soon changed into a regular rock making. We had a chance to see the effects of their activity in Wroclaw and the audience seemed satisfied: hard sounds of guitars and drums supported in creating an atmosphere by dim red light of little lamps set at the sides of the scene and visualization in sepia colour had a magical effect upon the listeners. It was a purely instrumental concert of a great energetic load, totally different from the atmosphere created by the previous bands. As for the end – it was a very strong accent highlighting the eclecticism that has characterized Energy of Sound so far.
And so the Festival came to an end and it has to be said that it went smoothly; no technical problems appeared, there were no stops and the atmosphere was really fine. The next edition, as we hope, will take place next year, and one thing is sure – the organizers will definitely surprise us with something.
The text published under permission of yesternight.pl
- CoCArt Music Festival 2009 - 2009-08-23 (Live reports)
- Ataraxia - Kremasta Nera - 2008-03-04 (Music reviews)
- Wroclaw Industrial Festival IV - 2005-12-12 (Live reports)