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NCN 16 - Nocturnal Culture Night Festival

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The Nocturnal Culture Night festival, held in Deutzen near Leipzig for 16 years, finally beckoned me to participate this year. It did not disappoint. Five diverse stages hosted a myriad of concerts and lectures, offering a rich tapestry of musical genres and captivating visuals. With an impressive lineup, an enthusiastic audience, and outstanding music, this festival will be etched in my memory, possibly earning a spot on my event calendar.
Kicking off on August 31, the festival commenced with electrifying performances from notable acts like ner.ogris, 2ndface, Jihad, and Statiqbloom. These artists injected an ample dose of captivating dark electro, setting a stellar tone for the festival.
I made my appearance on Friday, and the initial impression was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The festival grounds sprawled across a vast park space, teeming with people. Navigating through the bustling festival area took some time.

My first encounter was with XTR HUMAN, whose concert exuded an infectious energy. The frontman's captivating stage presence and strong rapport with the audience provided an excellent kickstart to the festival.

The next concert was the one I was looking forward to the most, namely the performance of the Potochkine duo. I must say left an immense impression on me during NCN 16 - Nocturnal Culture Night Festival. If I were to articulate the sonic tempest they deliver onstage, I'd describe it as an explosive fusion of opera and theater, infused with the best elements of dance and energy, all wrapped in a poetic and seductive package. Their performance is a passionate and hard-hitting journey that alternates between screams and whispers, like a delicate blend of velvet and ice. It's the most versatile, captivating, and addictive experience one can imagine, flawlessly composed and ideally balanced.

After this amazing concert, I went to the next stage of the Kulturbühne - by this time the weather was starting to deteriorate, it was raining really hard, which made everything much more difficult. I was warned to take warm clothes - and yes, I had them with me, except that the sweatshirt was used to protect my camera, and the jacket - a backpack with equipment. To say that I looked like a wet hen at that moment would be an understatement.
Sans-Fin – the project I went to see -  was one of those concerts during which it was hard to sit still. Despite the rain, the fantastic sounds of rhytmic noise got the audience moving in no time. Hypnotic, incredibly dynamic melodies made it a unique concert, despite the fact that the visual sphere was limited to a minimum.

Next – still in pouring rain – I made a quick return to Parkbühne to see one of my long-time favorites, Then Comes Silence. They delivered an absolutely spectacular performance, despite the rather challenging weather conditions. The music of TCS is a brilliant and captivating blend of pounding guitars, enchanting vocals, and an absolutely exquisite beat.

As you probably already realized, there was a lot of running between stages at this festival, so right after the Then Comes Silence concert, I returned to my previous place to experience at least a bit of the magic of ROME. this project is already a legend in itself.
ROME (Jerome Reuter) show at NCN Festival was a captivating blend of lyrical fragility, nostalgia, and profoundly moving music that touched the hearts of the audience. This poetic and intellectually engaging performance showcased a beautiful fusion of deep, goosebump-inducing vocals and intricate instrumentation, taking the audience on an enchanting and immersive journey.

My last run on Friday was the one to see EMPATHY TEST. I  must say I truly have no luck with Empathy Test gigs. I only saw two entire concerts so far. Other than that I was ill/working or something got cancelled etc. NCN Festival was no exception either - ET gig was literally the one I gave up and ran to save my camera, the rest of myself and the last bits of health I had at that time. It was raining cats and dogs and all my stuff was 100% wet.
I could only enjoy two bits by the Guys giving their usual emotional, heart rendering performance. Seeing thick crowds of fans still enjoying the show I was truly impressed. chapeau bas!

The Empathy Test concert was the last one I saw on Friday - I was so completely and totally soaked (umbrellas are not allowed on the festival grounds and I didn't have a raincoat) that I decided to save my equipment and what was left of my health and went back to the hotel.
On Saturday, the weather was much better, the sun even shone, so with new strength I set off to conquer the festival stages. The attractions began on the largest of the festival stages - Amphibühne. A very pleasant, spacious place was definitely conducive to the musical riots that took place at the festival that day.The first project to see was To Avoid. 

The German EBM-Dark Electro project  To Avoid opened the Saturday concerts on the main stage. Their performance delivered a powerful punch with strong, raw, dynamic melodies and aggressive, harsh vocals. The music was catchy, danceable, and full of life, making To Avoid the perfect soundtrack for a high-intensity workout. 100% TerrorBanana Free or not, it certainly provided a fantastic exercise session

Next, Mighty KALT, despite their name, provided quite a hot, intensive and extremely dancy concert. The EBM French duo comprising of Arthur65 and Bodyhammer, has been deeply immersed in the music scene since early '80s. Formed in 2018 they released their most recent album "Politics Under Pressure" in 2020. During NCN Festival they delivered great beats, lively stage presence and appealing, tuneful music that altogether stood for a show that made the crowd move.

After KALT finished with us I made a quick run to Parkbühne (are you still following the route? If I had a tracking device in my butt it would mark a trace like a crazy bee flight) to witness what DJ Schubi will present with his project End of Transmission. Energetic concert, a lot of humor and a huge dose of incredible energy - well done!

Next, off to Waldbühne to see the show of Les Berrtas. An intelligent and rhythmic potion for the most resilient of warriors, Les Berrtas  music is a powerful blend of the fierce, the spicy, and the dynamic. Their omnipresent, rhythmic beats are like a match made in heaven with raw, overpowering, and expressive vocals. Combined with the smooth layers of base melodies, it creates the ultimate dancefloor anthem. It was my first experience with the band's music  and I sincerely hope it won't be my last.

A sip of water and back to the main stage for a concert of one of the projects I've known for a long time - Ashbury Heights.
I vividly recall my first Ashbury Heights' concert many years ago at WGT. Since that time, the band has undergone numerous transformations and has made remarkable progress, both musically and in terms of their stage presence. One constant throughout this journey has been my unwavering fandom for their dynamic, infectious music, clever lyrics, and unwavering professionalism.

Project-X, next on stage, both the band and the concept, took root in 1995 when Torny Gottberg, hailing from the EBM/Industrial act EFFECT, and Andreas Sandberg, known for his work in the techno/dance act JSA, joined forces. Their vision was to create a collaborative project that fused the commanding essence of the EBM scene with the infectious club vibes of techno. during NCN 16 - Nocturnal Culture Night Festival Project X delivered a full-blooded, highly energetic performance that enraptured the entire audience. Whether it was their older or newer songs, their stage presence acted as genuine fuel to ignite the enthusiasm of their fans.

My absolute number one of the festival - Bedless Bones are creators of a truly unique project that seamlessly blend profound mysticism with mesmerizing, enchanting fragility, all set to the backdrop of the most versatile, multi-layered, and complex energetic beats. Their music captivates both the intellect and the senses, making it utterly irresistible in the presence of their incredible stage presence and the profound impact their music imparts.
Thank you once again, Kadri Sammel and Anders Melts, for continually pushing the boundaries of your artistry, reaching heights that only a select few can attain.

I won't deny that I've known TRAITRS for quite some time, and the more I learn about their tour experiences and struggles, the more I appreciate them. It's truly impressive how they persist, delivering incredible performances despite the intensity of their touring life.
During NCN - the first time we met in person - I asked, "How do you manage it all?" Sean-Patrick Nolan   replied, "It makes me feel alive." I believe this is the best way to sum up what they do: pouring their hearts and souls into their performances, a rarity that's truly beautiful.
And their music? It's emotional, heartrending, enchanting, powerful, and profound.

Do you know the word Immaculata"?
Well, do you? THE DEVIL & THE UNIVERSE  may teach you - also a bit about witchcraft
 Ashley Dayour and Stefan Elsbacher  are renowned for their skillful fusion of mysticism, magic, extraordinary theatrical performances, and absolutely impressive, hard-hitting, super-vibrant, and addictive sounds. Ephemeral and delicate elements seamlessly intertwine with a powerful, ass-kicking tempo, creating a final effect that will leave you spellbound.

The last show for me to see was the one of Kirlian Camera. I have known Elena Alice Fossi for years, we had many inspiring, enlightening conversations and brilliant interviews. I consider her to be not only one of the smartest, most engaged and beautiful women in the world but also a kind, warm person who gives me the drive to exceed myself. Also Mia Wallace gave me courage many times with her strong posts and wise words. All that inner power and beauty is reflected in the art of Kirlian Camera who always take their audiences to magical, transformative journeys whenever they play live. thank you so much for your magic!

And so, the festival came to an end for me. Unfortunately, due to professional commitments, I couldn't stay through Sunday, which I deeply regret. However, these two days spent with absolutely wonderful, friendly, and talented individuals filled me with energy and brought great happiness. Festivals are indeed an incredible opportunity to immerse oneself in music, but above all, it's the people who shape the entire atmosphere. Thank you!
Translator: khocico
Add date: 2023-09-08 / Live reports

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