EBM Blitzlicht Berlin A Full Review

The Horrorist DJ Set in Berlin 2014!

Denard Henry aka Sonic Architect at Blitzlicht!

Adam X & Denard Henry aka Sonic Architect

Petra Flurr DJ Set at Blitzlicht, Berlin!

EBM Blitzlicht!

DJ Death B at Blitzlicht, Berlin!

Aga Wilk & Christian Gjelstrup

About a month ago I threw an event in Berlin called EBM Blitzlicht. I was spending a week in Europe on tour and instead of meeting a bunch of friends at a bar I thought, “let’s all DJ!”. I booked a small basement club near the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) called 1820 Bar. The dance floor sits low in a pit with a cat walk surrounding it. There is a large video screen. During the event I played some videos of 80s goth dance nights. I (The Horrorist) did a DJ set and I booked Petra Flurr, Denard Henry aka Sonic Architect, DJ Death Bat and DJ Andi. Everyone played EBM, New Beat and Industrial. While it’s a small genre everyone had a very different style and played different tracks. Good friends Miro Pajic, Adam X, Aga Wilk & Christian Gjelstrup (77TM), Sid Lamar (Schwefelgelb), Alison Lewis and Pieter Van Der Veg all came out and “getanzt”!. It was great to make some new friends too and as always I can’t wait to visit Berlin again soon.

“The club felt full despite it being mid-week at a niche show: about 150 people came and went, clustering around the sidelines in nefarious conference, eyeing the dancers doing aerobics through smoke machine fog at the center of the room.” – unsceneberlin

For more info: facebook.com/events/764871263569278

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

Wednesday Night Blitzlicht Berlin

EBM BLITZLICHT

If you’re in Berlin tomorrow night (Wednesday, Sept 17) be absolutely sure to come to the 1820 Club! I am throwing an event called EBM BLITZLICHT you don’t want to miss. Petra Flurr, Denard Henry (Sonic Architecht), DJ Death B, DJ Andi and myself (The Horrorist) will all be doing DJ Sets. Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 39-41 Berlin (U2 Rosa-Luxemburg Platz). Join us!!

“A NIGHT OF OLD SCHOOL EBM, NEW BEAT, INDUSTRIAL & SYNTHPUNK!!”

For more info: facebook.com/events/764871263569278

PRESS: Partysan EBM BLITZLICHT

PARTYSAN-BLITZLICHT

EBM_BLITZLICHT-PARTYSAN

German magazine Partysan has mentioned the upcoming EBM DJ night I am throwing in Berlin, Germany with Petra Flurr, Denard Henry Aka Sonic Architect, Dj Death B. And Dj Andi called EBM BLITZLICHT! If you’re in Berlin that Wednesday you must come and hang out!

“A NIGHT OF OLD SCHOOL EBM, NEW BEAT, INDUSTRIAL & SYNTHPUNK!!”

For more info: facebook.com/events/764871263569278

EBM BLITZLICHT

EBM BLITZLICHT

So as I mentioned in a previous post I have a tour coming up in Europe next month. Since I will be stationed in Berlin I decide to throw my own event on Wednesday, September 17th. It will take place at 1820 Club (Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 39-41). The event is called EBM BLITZLICHT and it will be five EBM, New Beat, Industrial, Synthpunk DJ Sets. If you’re in Berlin you must come and hang out! Booked to spin: Petra Flurr, Denard Henry aka Sonic Architect, DJ Death B, DJ Andi and yours truly (The Horrorist).

“A Night Of Old School Ebm, New Beat, Industrial & Synthpunk!!”

For more info: facebook.com/events/764871263569278

Take One

Front 242 Take One

You can bet I am going to try and buy one of these new red 7-inch Front 242 records when they play live in NYC this September. What I want even more is for the band to go back to their old sound. They know people love the older material. They can pick up where they left off after Tyranny for you. Ok guys? Please?

“Pressed on red vinyl and limited to 500 copies, the 7-inch is the second release from the relaunched Wax Trax! and the first Front 242 release on the label in 25 years. It will be sold only at Front 242?s three U.S. dates — in Tampa, New York and Chicago — this September, according to the label. The single will include a remastered recording of “Take One” performed on Sept. 28, 1984, at Medusas’s in Chicago — the group’s debut American performance — and a version of “Im Rhythmus Bleiben” recorded at the Wax Trax! Retrospectacle concert in 2011.” – slicingupeyeballs.com

For more info: waxtraxchicago.bigcartel.com

Ward 6

I don’t remember how I originally met Father Jeff. He’s a Industrial/EBM/goth DJ in the New York area. It must have been in the late 80s. I’m going to guess he was DJing at the IVY (The Haven) in Connecticut/Westchester or maybe one of the Long Island clubs like Paris NY. It was only a few words and then the 90s happened and I was off in techno land. During that time Jeff started his own night Ward 6. I ran into Jeff recently at the Mad World book release and realized it’s time to check out Ward 6 again. Tonight DJ Stalagmike is playing alongside Jeff. I DJed Mike’s event Defcon at the Pyramid a few months ago. I really like what Mike plays so tonight I’m going for sure. Come and join me for a drink. The Gallery at LPR. 158 Bleecker Street. New York, NY 10012

“WARD 6–Friday, May 16th..!! DJ FATHER JEFF and Guest DJ JET (Cybertron) and Guest DJ STALAGMIKE (Defcon). NEW WAVE-POST PUNK-GOTH-SYNTH-INDUSTRIAL Ticket Giveaways for DE/VISION–NYC Show–5/30!!! WARD 6 first opened on September 8th, 1990. Music to stop your mind from rotting.” – Ward 6

For more info: facebook.com/events/1412148079060691

The Horrorist EBM DJ Set – Freitag Unlimited

I received clearance to repost the DJ Set I did for DI.FM Digitally Imported and Freitag Unlimited on Mixcloud (link) with my other sets. If you don’t already know Freitag is a great label London based record label. I recently remixed a track by Dead Sound for them and it was released on Vinyl. If you don’t know DI.FM just go there now and you can listen to a large selection of electronic music streaming 24/7. It’s very popular in the USA. Since this set wasn’t played live specifically for a crowd I was able to play some more obscure and unique items. Enjoy!

“Standing in the dark watching you glow. Lifting a receiver nobody I know.” – John Foxx

For more info: thehorrorist.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