FREAKSHOW 2014 – Zapping Live Report from David Basso on Vimeo.
When I get booked to perform at an event I’ve never played before I obviously don’t know what to expect. After accepting a booking in Gigors, France called the Freakshow Festival I was initially confused. You see the event which takes place basically in the woods about two hours away from Lyon is essentially a “rock concert”. What I mean is all the bands that performed this year used well drums and/or guitars. I was wondering if they meant to book the “Horrors” instead. But after a trip to their website I noticed they posted some of my videos so they clearly knew what they were doing.
The journey from NY to the venue is a long one. There are no direct flights and no airport that lands that deep in the woods. So to remind you that playing a show while an honor is not all fun listen to this. One hour traffic to JFK Airport from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is a 15 mile drive by the way but traffic is insane. At JFK even with Sky Priority Gold status the wait through check-in and security is another hour. Wait another hour before the flight to Paris takes off. Seven hours in the air. I have missed so many connections and have had luggage not make it on time at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport that you have to take a minimum two hour layover. In fact it costs more to take a long layover so that proves everyone knows that airport has issues. So two hour layover there. The flight from Paris to Lyon is an hour and a half. Add thirty more minutes to get my luggage and then a two hour drive to the venue at Gigors. That’s fourteen and a half hours traveling and I have to do the same thing back. Keep in mind I left Friday and returned Sunday. I’m not complaining but it does amaze me. In fact, it is always worth the trip!
The area around the festival is beautiful. Mountains, valleys, farms and a few stone homes are all in view. There are no hotels so I was staying at of the promoters house. While the house looked like it had been there for a century it was perfectly kept. Inside the old walls held modern appliances, and stone and wood flooring. There was a gorgeous deck you could sit out and look down at the valley. I could have spent a month just there. At the venue there was a team setting up two large tents, making food and having a good time already. I got some rest and returned at darkness and the place was alive. The way it worked was a band would play in one tent then when done another band would start in the other. There was also a large middle area with a strange tall light sculpture. DJs and one man bands played there when neither of the large tents were making noise. There was a backstage area on a hill with a private bar. The parking lot was filled with campers. There were tents around the hills too.
While I like all music including stuff using guitars, bass and drums when I do listen to that stuff is usually Leonard Cohen, Willie Nelson and it’s usually slow sad songs. So to see a ton of bands really “rocking out” I guess you could say when interesting for me. Let me say I enjoyed every band a lot. In fact I was really surprised how great every act was. I think the people who chose the bands are real music lovers and chose carefully because I definitely got the idea I was among some of the best modern day bands. There was one band who stood out to me called Black Bug. They really blew me away. It was a drummer and synth. They reminded me of the first time I saw Nitzer Ebb at the Ritz in Manhattan. Pure loud loud synth arpeggiating to a military drummer and very strong lead vocals. I was not expecting to see something so great so yes I was blown away. While I was watching I was very pleased to know that after the show I would have a chance to meet them and I did exactly that. They are based in Bordeaux and the lead singer is from Sweden. In talking with them they didn’t seem to think they fit in the EBM/Industrial world at all and listening to their recorded music I do agree somewhat. However, live… oh boy they are so “it”. I encouraged them to try and get that sound as their recorded sound. Nevertheless I was thrilled to find myself a fan of something new to me.
I performed last on the first night. I played a few new songs and the show went about an hour. After my show I had a nice evening and full day to just relax and meet people. All the organizers were stellar. The Freakshow crew are a friendly and very fun group who put on an amazing event. I don’t have a lot of photos from my show but the video above has a short clip and it’s worth watching the entire thing to get a feel of the weekend. There are multiple photos sets you can take a look it. My own personal set: click here. The official Freakshow blog set: click here and photographer RA²’s set: click here.
“Please leave your dogs and hippies at home.” – freakshow-festival.com
For more info: freakshow-festival.com
photo credit: François Guyon
I have a lot of live shows and DJ gigs coming up. Here’s a few that are happening this and next month:
August 29, 2014 – Gigors (Near Lyon), France – The Freakshow Festival
September 12, 2014 – London, UK – One Night in London City
September 13, 2014 – Stockholm, Sweden – Special event with Flexiwave!
Link and more info soon! (DJ SET)
September 17, 2014 – Berlin, Germany – Special EBM event!
More info soon! (DJ SET)
September 20, 2014 – Stuttgart, Germany – One Night at InTEKKnatioN
“Making a very rare, exclusive appearance in the UK, Oliver Chesler will fly over from New York to headline a night of Techno and Electro spread over two rooms in Electrowerkz, London.” – Electrowerkz
For more info: thehorrorist.com
LEGO, Robots and a Depeche Mode song. Obviously I love this. It amazes me all the work that went into recreating Everything Counts in such a way. I hope someone in NYC books the Toa Mata Band band because I would love to see it in person.
“Toa Mata Band is known as the World’s first LEGO robotic band controlled by Arduino Uno which is hooked up to a MIDI sequencer. In this video, the third episode, the robots are playing some unconventional drum-percussions made by some food packaging are captured by a contact microphone (piezo) and processed in real time in the D.A.W. Ableton Live. A brand new device appears for the first time, it’s a moving platform on x-axis, made of Lego bricks, gears and servo motors that permits to move with semitones-steps the tiny synth. The song is a cover of the famous synth-pop band Depeche Mode, it’s a personal tribute to the band who made my days in the 80′s. The performance was recorded live in July 2014.” – Opificio Sonico
For more info: facebook.com/ToaMataBand
The greatest acid house track of all time is Acid Tracks by Phuture. They have never played in NYC. That changes tonight as they will take the stage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Verboten.
“Yes there may have been Acid recordings before Phuture – Acid Tracks but this is the one that really propelled the Acid style in chicago clubs, this was originally created and played at the music box by Ron Hardy in 1985 2 years before its release… and they don’t come better than this” – Leroy Skibone
For more info: brooklynvegan.com/archives/2014/08/acid_house_pion
I’m a lucky man. For more than 10 years I’ve been booked to perform in Malta. It’s three small islands below Italy and above Africa. It’s paradise. It has ancient cities with Roman ruins and a blue lagoon you can’t believe. The hotel I stayed in (Le Meridien) had a pool on the roof, an indoor pool with water that changed colors and the view from my balcony looked out onto the Mediterranean Sea. I performed at the Dome which itself had three swimming pools. It gets it’s name from the main concert area which is well in a dome. I enjoyed performing! After 10 years coming back to a country you build up fans and friends. I performed some new songs I am testing out and also played the song I recently did with Haujobb. For those who were there and know what I am talking about a special thanks to “Super Mario”! I did plenty of sight seeing including visiting the ancient city of Mdina and the capital city (which is also dam old) Valletta. I took a wonderful boat ride to Camino to it’s blue lagoon and caves. I snorkeled, ate some nice Maltese food and hiked. I owe a great debt to Andrew Grech and his crew for continuing to bring me to their island. It’s always a terrific time. New York is a fast paced stressful place. To go to a place like Malta brings me a well needed alternate reality!
“Oliver Chesler better known as The Horrorist will return to our shores on the 21st of June at The Dome, Limits of San Gwann. Get ready for one Mental night!” – Shift
For more info: facebook.com/events/1393560704199821
I am in Berlin this weekend. Friday and Sunday I will be in Berlin hanging with some good friends including Miro Pajic and Petra Flurr. On Saturday I take the train to Magdeburg which is about an hour away. I will be performing at the huge Junimond Festival! It’s a club convention where venue owners from around Europe come to talk about taxes, lighting, sound systems and more. Most importantly they throw a huge event. This year there are 19 areas and 61 DJs/Live Acts! I will be performing some new tracks including my recent collaboration with Haujobb The Dancer (link).
“Das Line up wird wieder super bunt und interessant, die Clubs und Showcases auch mal ausgefallen und in jedem Fall hör- und tanzbar. Nach jetzigem Stand werden sich die Clubs auf 15 Floors vorstellen.” – Junimond Festival
For more info: junimond.net and facebook.com/junimond.festival
One of the greatest record labels of all time Wax Trax! is about to relaunch. Before the official store opens they will be doing a one day pop-up store in Chicago on June 15th. This is happening the morning after the band Cocksure performs. Cocksure will be the first release on the reborn label. The pop-up store will be selling the new single, classic pressings and merchandise. The first 40 people on line get a special goodie bag. One of those bags will contain a golden ticket. That golden ticket will get you into a special upcoming concert and other “special” things to be announced. I may head to Chicago for this.
“We will be hiding one special “Golden Ticket” in one of the random shopping bags throughout the day. This ticket will allow the ticket holder into a special Wax Trax! event later in the year. We can’t give everything away, but trust us, this golden ticket would be a very, very good thing to have.” – Wax Trax!
For more info: waxtraxchicago.com
This weekend I performed at the infamous Rockerill Festival in Charleroi, Belgium. Charleroi is about 40 minutes from Brussels. People from Belgium call it their version of Detroit. It is a very industrial looking city with huge factories and crumbling buildings. I was lucky to be picked up from the airport by two of the artists that were performing: Elzo Durt & Singularity (Raul Borges). To my great joy Front 242 was playing on the car ride. Being in Belgium that was exactly the right start to what would be an incredible weekend.
Rockerfill takes place in massive abandoned factory complex. It’s several super sized rooms with very high ceilings made of concrete and steel. When I arrived DjPute-Acier was playing. He did an incredible EBM/Techno set. The link to that set is below. Be sure to take a listen to it and I noticed that Download is enabled to grab it while you can. The sound system was sharp and clear and was slightly echoing off the massive room’s walls. I had some good friends show up including Ethan Fawkes and Lady Lupa. Downstairs metal bands performed in a packed room with balconies surrounding it. I could barely squeeze over the edge to see down at the madness. I was pretty shocked when I was told that was the stage I would be playing on!
I took the stage and soon after mind stopped thinking about my day job, love life, Tiffy, NYC, the spring flowers. Those images disappeared and off I went screaming in the night. At one point I stepped into the crowd and a was lifted into the air. For about five minutes I was tossed around dropped, picked up again and somehow ended up back on stage mic and light in hand wholly unbruised. The night went long into the next day. At 44 years old I crowd surfed for the first time and yet that probably wasn’t even the close to the most interesting thing I did that weekend. Until next time Belgium!
“The Horrorist & Minimum Syndicat ont tout déchiré, c’est comme si j’y étais encore!” – Frédéric Dem
For more info: rockerill.com
This weekend I will perform in Charleroi, Belgium at the famous Rockerill Festival! On Saturday night I will take the stage with not only electronic musician but those also holding guitars and banging on real drums. I have interviews set up for Reflections of Darkness and MusicZine. I am very excited to play at this one and have a lot of friends meeting me there. If you can make it you won’t be disappointed!
“Hello the Kids! The Rockerill Festival will open soon 18 h exposure serigraphs in Forges: 9 artists who made the most pockets pockets vyniles recent months … Then two scenes, 5 rock bands Garage-punk-psyche from the two labels organizers Rockerill Records and Teenage Menopause (Brussels-Paris); After the concert, we go to electro, techno, acid and all night long!” – rockerill.com
For more info: rockerill.com and facebook.com/events/480932
It’s really important to go out and hear live music. Last night I went to Silent Barn in Brooklyn to see die Reihe, Roe Enney, Debbie DJs Dallas and Trogpite. I’m personal friends with Jack (die Reihe) and Rachelle Rahme (Roe Enney) yet I never saw either of them perform. It was good to see the bands bring a lot of vintage equipment out including some tape machines. Jack even brought a ladder with him. Take a listen and enjoy some photos and be sure to search and follow these bands. For the full photo set: click here
“A night of bright lights & shining stars!” – Bánh Mì Verlag
For more info: facebook.com/events/833249596690400