Sushi, Millhouse, The Dold Sistaz. I’ve been repeating those three things over and over in my head every since I left Dortmund a week ago. I performed there for Sascha Blank. People call him Sushi for some reason. He’s the type of guy everyone likes. I’ve mentioned to him if he was a politician he could be president. But he uses his skill to throw wicked techno events and since he invites me to perform I’m fine with that. If you’re American and have never been to a small underground techno event in Europe you really don’t know what your missing. Usually everyone knows each other at these things and forget 12:00-4:00AM nonsense. By the time I arrive on my flight everyone has been already awake 24 hours and they are just getting started. This creates a seriously mental atmosphere at the club. Everyone is covered in sweat and the music is almost always completely psycho. So yeah I like these events but this event in Dortmund was for Sushi’s birthday so I knew it would be special. When I got off the flight a guy named Millhouse picked me up from the airport. He did look like Millhouse from the Simsons. Keep in mind the night before I performed in Newcastle. That show and trip from NYC was already too much for most people. I was operating on about 3 hours sleep. Millhouse is driving a nice Audi and doesn’t own a smart phone. I should have known right there I was in trouble. Sometimes the obvious goes right past a person. The event which had Rod Boltz, Marc Acardipane and others performing during the daylight hours was full. Now lets go back about 5 years ok? I was living in Berlin and at one of my shows I met two sisters name Heikie and Sandra. They wanted to come to Berlin to record in my studio and I agreed. However when it came time for them to come and visit I got cold on the idea. In Berlin I was living a pretty structured life and honestly I didn’t think we liked the same type of music. They got pretty pissed off at me and probably rightly so. They really wanted to make music. About a month before the Dortmund/Sushi birthday event Hekie sent me a message on Facebook. Something like “Hey I’m coming to the event.”. I’m a peacemaker and thought hell I should be nice so we chatted a bit and said Ill see you there. It’s show time and the room I’m playing in fills up with people ready to seriously do this with me. The more energy the crowd has the louder I scream and so it went. I love playing live. I also love hanging out after the show. Hey there’s that guy Millhouse again. So this is the part of the blog post where I can’t actually tell you much. I know that sucks right? I would like to keep my day job and I suppose my family reads this thing from time to time. I’m at Millhouse’s house. The Dold Sistaz are there. I discover that to my amazement they are into 80s Electronic Body Music. Next thing you know I agree to fix my broken promise and we are in my hotel room recording. The room is all orange colored wood and the sun is baking the room. I’ve been sweating non stop since Thursday so whatever. If death comes it will be quick. Air conditioning would have been a good idea. Note to self: put the hotel has to have AC in my rider. Recording vocals in front of someone is difficult. I sit in my studio saying the craziest, lame stuff for hours before I get anything good. The Dold’s just sat down and one after another came up with good stuff. I guess it’s been building up in them for a few years. In the end there’s six completely crazy EBM like tracks with German female vocals on my laptop. I’ll take those into my studio and give them the full proper analog treatment in the coming months and release this to you. Sushi, Millhouse, The Dold Sistaz. To see the full set of photos: click here
“Die HEADLINER an diesem Tage und in der Nacht sind 2 Mannschaften die es in sich haben, 2 Gruppen voller Gegensätze und doch zig Gemeinsamkeiten. 2 Mannschaften die es wert sind befeiert zu werden und mit wunderbarer Musik beschallt zu werden.” – Boltsplatz
For more info: thehorrorist.com
This entry was written by live performance and tagged Dold Sistaz, Dortmund, Germany, live performance, Sascha Blank, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I’m finally back from my weekend in Aachen, Germany. A weekend which consisted of 6 trains, 4 flights, 7 hours of layovers and NYC traffic. It was the evening in between it all that made it worth it. Let’s jump back about 6 months. I was performing in Berlin at a very cool event and somewhere towards the end of my set I feel something in my ear. When I play live I’m actually not consciously thinking so much. I am on some sort of automatic haze with lyrics flying out of me and my arms and legs just doing what they do. When I felt something in my ear I noticed it but just kept on going. I mean it was only for a few seconds and after the violation stopped I could still hear so I kept on playing. After the show near the bar a giant punk rock type of guy comes up to me and starts up a conversation. I had a lot of trouble understanding what he was staying and he was aggressively holding me close to him. Soon I realized it wasn’t that he wasn’t speaking english he just wasn’t making too much sense. Then I picked out a few words… “acid” “sorry” “finger” “during” “show” “ear” “sorry”. I stopped him at that point and said loudly it’s ok let’s have a drink. While kind of disgusting the situation was pretty funny because I mean who the hell does something like that and then tells you he did it? Later that night or I guess morning he comes over again. He’s far more coherent now and tells me his name is Michael and he wants to book me in Aachen. I brush it aside thinking he’s not serious. Fast forward a few months and he finds me on Facebook and shows me some of the other bands he wants to book along side of me. They were all so interesting I was in. I love to play live. I really love to play live along other interesting band like acts. The other bands were all synthpunkish and weird so right up my alley. It’s all set up for October. Hurricane Sandy hits NYC all flights are cancelled and I miss the show. My day job had me very busy the end of last year so I set a new date for January 19 knowing it would be cool to spend my Birthday (the 20th) and the release of my next album in Germany.
The club was packed. It’s always important but I really didn’t want to play and half full space on my 43rd birthday right? When I walked in Sid (Knothole) was performing. His live show is amazing. Check out the video I took of him above. He’s got Eurorack modules, fluorescent light tubes, does vocals and sets up in the middle of the dance floor. To top it off the music is good. I got to spend some time with him after the show and well let’s just say he’s pretty out there. I felt in good company. So I take the stage, play new songs and absolutely enjoy myself. I did a few encore tracks and as I’m ending they take my mic the club gets quiet and Michael says some stuff in German and then I hear an acapella… “Happy Birthday to you… Happy birthday to you…” the club chimes in. So yeah the music stops and the club, mostly everyone in there sings me happy birthday. What can a guy say to that? Michael you can stick your finger in my ear anytime you want. Thanks for a night I will never forget and thanks for singing to me! To see the full set of photos: click here
“ERWISCHT! Zu Gast aus New York war nämlich Oliver Chesler, der Mann, der auch unter dem Pseudonym The Horrorist bekannt ist. Da er aus der Hardcore-Techno-Nische kommt, erinnern seine Tracks zwar immer noch stark an Produktionen dieser Art, doch sind sie Songs alltagstauglicher geworden. One Night in NYC ist eines seiner bekanntesten Stücke und führte im Jahr 1996 die deutschen Dance Charts an. Mit dabei war der Kollege David Heyer.” – klenkes.de
photos credit: David Heyer
This entry was written by live performance and tagged Aachen, Germany, Knothole, live performance, Michael Hilgers, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I will be performing live tomorrow night (Saturday, January 19) in Aachen, Germany at Autonomes Zentrum on Vereinsstr. 25. I will be celebrating the release of Fire Funmania, my 43rd birthday and checking out some of the other bands. Those bands include Knothole, Walls & Birds, Cyklop 2019, Vomit Heat (Dj Set) and Big Dada P. I met the promoter Michael Hilgers when I performed in Berlin last summer. He’s an interesting person and most importantly has a good eclectic music taste. I will try and make some posts while I am gone!
“This Is Going To Be Legendary! Ohhh Yeah! It S A Birthday Party!” – Michael Hilgers
For more info: facebook.com/events/320977971348751
This entry was written by live performance and tagged Aachen, Germany, Knothole, live performance, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records, Walls & Birds. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Dave Gahan and the song People are People star in Volkswagen’s new advertisement. The Golf is VW’s most important car. It shows how freakin huge DM are in Germany. Really huge. My only question is: Why didn’t they use the song Behind the Wheel?
“You have to know people to build the one car — Der Golf. Das Auto. Enjoy the new tv commercial and discover different cover versions of the famous Depeche Mode Song “People are People”. If you look closely, you might spot a celebrity.” – volkswagen.de
For more info: depechemode.com
This entry was written by music, video and tagged advertisement, Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode, Germany, Golf, People Are People, Volkswagen, VW. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
One of the most friendly people you can meet in this world is Andreas Schneider. If you go to his synth store in Berlin he will enthusiastically show you all his toys and then set you free to play with everything. When I lived in Berlin I bought a few things when the store was at Alexanderplatz. Now they have moved to Kruezberg and lucky us Musotalk has uploaded a video showing us the new place.
“Our showroom in Berlin .. is called Schneidersladen now at the Kottbusser Tor above ‘Kaisers’ with quite limited opening hours: On Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 2pm til 6pm you are very welcome, wednesdays the showroom is closed (!).”
For more info: schneidersbuero.de
This entry was written by modular, synthesizer and tagged Andreas Schneider, Berlin, Germany, Musotalk, SchneidersBuero, Schneidersladen, store, synthesizer. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Here’s a nice video of some “Wave Punks” in Münich, Germany sometime in the 80s. So my German friends what are they saying?
“80er wave punks popper münchen”
For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_rock
Put this song Angels in Jar on your cassette deck and drive somewhere fun tonight. Wolfsheim’s Markus Reinhardt and Peter Heppner were from Hamburg, Germany. This cassette was recorded in 1988.
“In January 2009 Heppner and Reinhardt splitted up due to personal differences caused by the solo activities of Heppner. Currently Reinhardt is fighting in court to get the right to continue the project Wolfsheim with a different singer.” – discogs
For more info: discogs.com/Wolfsheim-Ken-Manage…
This entry was written by music and tagged 1988, Germany, Hamburg, Ken Manage, synthpop, Wolfsheim. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Two awesome things! A custom built spring reverb and a Vermona DRM-1. I own a DRM-1 and I recommend it highly to everyone. Just listen to how great these sound together.
“Finally, my custom built spring reverb is ready. (thanks much to Csaba Füle, the best)
Basically it is an RFT spring tank driven by a Doepfer A-199 module. Much bigger space, much wider spectrum, much better than Accutronics imho. Audio: It’s a basic sequence with the Vermona DRM-1 put on multi channels sent to the Spring Reverb. Changing Emphasis and Feedback here and there on the Doepfer A-199 module, changing the filter on the snare at the solo, and finally, slapping the rack hard in the end. :) It’s just wonderful. Everyone should forget vst reverbs – for a while at least. This thing sounds so unpredictable, so different every time, so alive… I have done some phased and hi-lowpassed feedback and send-return business too, really shouldn’t waste words trying to describe those sounds…” – Hargitai András
For more info: wiretotheear.com/vermona-drm1-mkiii-audio-video-review
This entry was written by drum machine, effects, hardware and tagged Germany, reverb, spring reverb, Vermona DRM1. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I finally had time to start going through the large amounts of photos and videos I took during my recent week in Berlin (and 4 shows). Here is the first set of photos from the live show in Berlin. The show was at Raum 20 in the Neukölln section of the city. The party was the 2 Year Anniversary of an event called Sabbat thrown by Petra Flurr. This event turned out to be one of my most favorite shows I ever played! I met a lot of very interesting people. A near perfect evening.
See the entire photo set here: flickr.com/thingstocomerecords/7215…
“INVASION OF ELEKTRO, TEKKNO, APOCALYPTIC, RAVE, CRIMINAL WAVE, OLDSKOOL, NOIZE ….” – Sabbat
This entry was written by live performance and tagged Berlin, Germany, Karina Qanir, Petra Flurr, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
The Merkel government has proposed a plan called “Rewarding Life’s Work” which is essentially a 350 Euro per month social security contribution that would be required by all the self employed. Add the new tax to required health insurance, rising energy and food costs and Berlin may loose some of it’s appeal for musicians. My personal opinion is my generation is now seeing it’s first real economic challenge. There are bridge tolls in the NY area that are $15. $10 is more like $1 used to be. We can complain but the world’s resources are being fought for and there are smart people on the other side of the world working all day for pennies. I would like a Utopia where artists could just concentrate on art but I don’t forsee that happening. My advice is work hard and use technology to your advantage. Use it to create pockets of time to paint and sing your masterpieces world be dammed.
“The German government’s plan to force freelancers to pay a compulsory retirement ‘contribution’ will kill off entrepreneurship and destroy millions of independent careers. That’s the opinion of Tim Wessels, an IT specialist from Hamburg who has launched a petition against the so-called “Rewarding Life’s Work” law. Freelancers will be forced to pay €350+ a month to support the broken pension system, on top of the €300-€600 they must already pay for health insurance (plus other taxes). Demanding that entrepreneurs fork out at least €650 a month in contributions before they earn a single cent will end innovation in Germany.” – deskmag.com
photo credit: lampenlee