Radical G on Roland AIRA Gear

Radical G and Roland AIRA1

Radical G and Roland AIRA2

Radical G is one of the absolute best EBM meets techno producers. He’s also a good friend of mine. I was excited to see Roland visited his studio to see how he liked the AIRA line. He agrees with me that Roland has produced some right hardware. Take a quick look at Glenn at work!

“Dark electronic madness by Glenn Keteleer with pounding Rave sounds and techno hooks. No excuses regarding styles, Gloomy atmosphere’s ,Wave & Elektro infuences by legendary bands as TNJ and Front 242 are part of the game” – radicalg.com

For more info: radicalg.com

Front 242 at Irving Plaza

Front 242 Irving Plaza

Front 242 Irving Plaza 2

Front 242 Irving Plaza 3

Front 242 Irving Plaza 4

Last night I went to see Front 242 at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. The last time I saw them live was May 6, 1989 at the Palladium. Considering that they are one of my favorite bands of all time it’s strange to me that I have only seen them twice… 25 years apart. When I saw them two and a half decades years ago they were young, skinny, all in black and extremely aggressive. They used Emulator Samplers, analog delay pedals and electronic drums. At that point every single song that they had released I adored with a passion. After Tyranny for You their sound changed and techno took over the landscape. I still worshiped what they had done but wasn’t very interested in their “newer” material. Even though I shunned the new stuff I in fact have probably listened to Front 242’s early music every week of my life since I first heard them.

The love affair started in 1987. At that point in my life I was the worlds biggest Depeche Mode fan. Black Celebration was on heavy rotation. I was in a car with my then girlfriend and she put in a cassette. It was Official Version. As she drove something happened to me. I couldn’t really process what I was hearing but I was being overtaken. I clenched my teeth and squeezed my fists. I never heard anything so dark, mysterious and complicated. I knew what I was hearing was important. Right away I went to record stores trying to finding a 242 release here or there. I remember walking on St. Mark’s Place and seeing a guy wearing the now iconic helicopter 242 shirt. I was fairly shy as a teenager but I went right up to the guy and stopped him. I said, “Oh my god you know about this too!”. Front by Front was released soon after. Reviewing all their work I saw their music vision grow from Geography into this military music machine. I started making my own music and in doing so realized the incredible amount of work that went into each 242 song. I was obsessed with Jean Luc’s mannerisms. They were pure electronic power. They were also my very own. My parents and “normal” friends couldn’t even come close to understanding Front 242 and that was exactly perfect.

I saw a few video clips of late 90s and early 2000s 242 live shows. I saw them gain a few pounds and wearing dayglow yellow. Richard 23 lost the mohawk, sunglasses and even ran for political office in Belgium. I craved an new “old style” 242 track badly. I probably had a dream or two where I even heard one. This concert at Irving Plaza wasn’t put together by a concert promoter in the traditional sense. A small group of DJs who have been keeping the EBM candle alive through the dark years got together to make this happen. They paid for this themselves. That fact and because the band has giving me a large part of the soundtrack for my life made me buy a ticket. So off to Irving Plaza I went. I honestly was expecting to be very disappointed.

I got a lump in my throat when I saw the sign over the Plaza’s entrance. “Front 242 Live”. I did the math. 25 years since I have seen them. You could almost see the Palladium (now a Trader Joe’s) from Irving Plaza. The line was around the block. I joked to my friends that they were asking for ID if people wanted to drink because clearly there was no one under the age of 30 on the line.

Cocksure was the opening band. I went to the Wax Trax popup store in Chicago this summer. Cocksure performed and really blew me away. They had that classic 80s Wax Trax sound. I told people leading up to this that they were going to possibly blow 242 away. They didn’t. Being an opening band is painful. On one hand who would say no to a trip to NYC and open for 242? On the other hand you get less than half the sound of the main act and no one is really there to see you. I still think they are a band to watch but just not last night.

The DJs who brought 242 to NYC played some music. I couldn’t see the DJ booth so I’m not sure who was on but it was a good mix of new and old stuff and a low enough volume that the audience could talk and make some predictions about what they were a few minutes away from seeing. Then a few seconds of quiet, cheers and Patrick Codenys took the stage. He played a minute of beatless music and then Jean Luc DeMeyer and Richard23 ran on stage. What happened next thrilled me. It was Front 242. Electronic Body Music. The two men moved in action just like they did 25 years ago. Massive strobes flashed shadows behind them making them look like giants. It was very clear they were excited to be there and we were in for something really good. Every classic they played blew me away. Surprisingly the newer songs I didn’t know were also great live. The highlight was No Shuffle. As the song played I felt like I was dreaming about how they would do the song far in the future. They crossed each other back and forth on stage without looking at each other. They each took turns as front man. Richard23 traded his small belt held analog delay pedal for some almost psychedelic sounding rack of lush delays. Funk Gaddafi was an experience like watching the “Sprach Zarathustra” time warp scene in Kubrick’s 2001. A funny moment happened during the song Welcome to Paradise when a young person said, “They are singing the samples how cool!”.

I had a great time. Was it as good as seeing them the first time? Of course not. In 89 they were pure, angry and the technology was raw. It was also something completely new. Even the New York Times covered them back then. But one thing is clear in both shows. In 1989 they had something to prove and they did so. In 2014 they had something to prove again and they did it again. They are still Front 242 and I am still in love.

“FRONT 242 < > !!First NYC concert in almost 10 YEARS!!” – Krieg Koncerts/MediaDent/Defcon/Qxts/Nobody?/Dr. Avi/EMP

For more info: front242.com

Reflections of Darkness

The extended interview I (The Horrorist) did at the Rockerill Festival in Belgium is now online (link) at Reflections of Darkness. I talk candidly about pretty much everything including EBM, New Beat, the 80s, performing live, love, drugs, New York and much more.

“she said: “Let me hear your music” and she did an amazing thing. When she heard my early music, which was all about “I hate this” and “I’m gonna kill you”, she said: “Oliver, this is all about yourself! You were singing about yourself. You hate yourself and you’re singing about it!”

Read the full interview: reflectionsofdarkness.com/horrorist-the-may-2014

Rockerill Belgium Show Report

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

The Horrorist Live Rockerill Belgium

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

Ugly Mood – Consulted Book

Ugly Mood is Gery Francois, Tony Baron, Lee Kane. As most proper New Beat this is from Belgium. Recorded in 1989. I slow the slow tempo and clear synths on this.

“New beat is an electronic dance music term that was used in the 1980s with two different meanings, one a collective term used in the U.S. for various electronic music styles, and the other a reference to the new beat sound: a particular electronic music genre that flourished in Western Europe during the mid-1980s. New beat is also used as a reference to the wider Belgian underground music scene and subculture during the 1980s” – Wikipedia

For more info: discogs.com/Ugly-Mood-Consulted-Book/release/295145

Klinik – Nautilus

Running through a fierce sandstorm in the middle of some futuristic war. Lighting flashes and laser beams blast around you. That’s what I see when I hear The Klinik’s Nautilus. Total masterpiece!

“Pioneer Belgian EBM/Industrial band. Consisted of Marc Verhaegen and Dirk Ivens, original line-up also included Erik Van Wonterghem.” – Discogs

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Klinik

Pas De Deux – Wavin

Belgians Walter Verdin, Hilde van Roy and Dett Peyskens released this song Wavin in 1983. Search Pas De Deux as they have some other interesting songs.

“Pas De Deux represented Belgium for the 1983 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The mainstream audience did not understand this unconventional song (a simple tune and just one line of text: ‘Rendez-vous. Maar de maat is vol, en mijn kop is toe’). The band ended third from last. Nonetheless ‘Rendez-Vous’ became a big summer hit in Belgium that year. Pas De Deux released one mini-album and a couple of singles.” – discogs.com

For more info: discogs.com/artist/Pas+De+Deux