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
Here is a new techno/EBM DJ set from Bogota’s Delectro. This mix is called Dark Dense Electronic Waves. There’s no tracklisting yet. After 500 plays they will be posted on Soundcloud. I do hear my track with Radical G “Here Comes the Storm”! It’s Wednesday so stomp your feet while your at work to this.
“Diego Diaz influenced by the sounds of Electro Techno , EBM and Industrial began his artistic career in 2007 as Delectro experiencing in his sound creations with strong bass lines accompanied by loud drums and atmospheric pads. In 2010 he began his career as a DJ playing alongside the greatest national exponents positioning itself as one of the few most representative artists of Electro Techno EBM in Bogota and Colombia. Delectro has shared the stage with important international artists such as Alec Empire, The Horrorist , Al Ferox, Equitant and Stamba among others. Delectro currently directs the promoter group “Complejo Industrial” promoting national and international artists in the city of Bogota and Colombia.” – Tracklistings 2.0
For more info: facebook.com/Delectrodj
I mentioned through social media a very exciting music project that is going to be released in November. It is a 500 copy tribute CD Digipack containing cover versions of songs from the iconic band Suicide. Artists doing covers include Gabi Delgado (DAF), Radical G, Absolute Body Control, members of Front 242, Alan Vega himself and many others including myself (The Horrorist). You can hear my full cover version of Rocket USA now! It took me about a full week to redo the track.
I used a lot of hardware on this. The drums are from a vintage Kawai R-100. The main bassline is a Noise Engineering Basimiuls Iteritas Eurorack module through a Synthesis Technology E440 Filter. Both the filter and bassline are sequenced using a Make Noise Pressure Points quantized by a Flame Tame Machine. There is a high pitched resonant sort of high hat and that is a Korg Monotron which is also clocked with the Eurorack. Some of the more moody effects were created using a Make Noise Echophon. The pads and second bassline are from a Roland JV-2080. The vocals were recorded using a Shure SM58 into a TC Helicon Voicelive Play. A few of the vocals in the breakdown were manipulated using Fabfilter’s Timeless. Some reverb was used from a ValhallaVintageVerb and Audio Damage ADVerb. Everything was recording using Ableton Live.
“These days music has become a disposable consumer product or a functional and virtual background to dancing masses on ecstasy. The strength and durability of SUICIDE was to take them beyond the punk movement they had initiated playing their legendary concerts at CBGB’s in the 70?s. The sound of SUICIDE has never been as relevant as today, it’s a primal scream ! We tried to perpetuate it and keep the flame alive.” – Unknown Pleasures Records
To pre-order and see the full tracklist: bandcamp.com/suicide-tribute
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
Last month I did a DJ set at Bossa Nova in Bushwick for Synthicide. The night ended up being really packed and went on in full until 4AM. If your driving, at work or just drunk in your house give it a listen and let me know if you liked it! It starts off with DJ Andi, then my set (The Horrorist) then Frankie Teardrop.
“For this special (birthday) edition of SYNTHICIDE, I’m bringing back some of my favorite DJs for an encore!” – Synthicide
For more info: facebook.com/events/482059555257808/
If you listen to the last clip in the above Soundcloud embed you can hear my latest remix. It’s for Al Ferox’s latest huge release. He has 15 producers to remix his classics including Workerpoor, Johnathan Cast, Anthony Lynn, Phantazma, Roman Carrot, Ethan Fawkes, Lado, Dave Tarrida and many more!. I chose “Effet Hypnotique”. I used a Kawai R100, QU-Bit Nebulae, Waldorf Rocket, Arturia Beatstep, Ableton Live and some Vallaha Vintage-Verb on it. I also recently completed remixes for German based Florian Punzel and the Rotterdam club’s Herr Zimmerman (Fraulein Z). Next I have a cover I am completing for a huge Sucide project and more, more, more for my next album!
“Al Ferox, also named Alessandro F., is an italian musician and producer, founder of the labels Kobayashi Recordings, Dancefloor Killers and Scream Recordings. He ran away from Italy to France at the age of 17, all that kept him going was his love for music. He got his first inspiration from his brothers vast record collection from 70’s listening bands as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Zappa, early Genesis stuff, then being profoundly inspired by the 80’s punk industrial metal, and new wave scene.” – discogs.com
For more info: facebook.com/alferox
I am working on my next album. I have equipment lying all over the place in several totally different locations. In one corner of my apartment I have “little” Eurorack set up and for the sample of the track above Im using a Korg SuperDrums DDM110 for beats and sync. Your also hearing a Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas through a Synthesis Technology E440 which has it’s filter controlled by a Make Noise Pressure Points and transpose controlled by a Flame Tame Machine. Now to do some vocals…
“Where does all this leave the DDM110? Not realistic enough to satisfy people who want a drum machine to act as a convenient substitute for a real drummer, not considered ‘classic’ enough to command the extortionate prices paid by retro enthusiasts for just about anything 15 years old with a Roland badge and no MIDI port. This ‘half-way’ status, coupled with its more eccentric qualities, is enough to place the DDM110 in the ‘love it or hate it’ oddity category. I personally gravitate towards the former opinion.” – Sound on Sound
For more info: soundonsound.com/sos/jan01/articles/korgddm110
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 recently became online friends with a guy named Nivek Tek. He’s from LA and has a music promotion company. He also does a radio show on WKFU called Dark Sanctuary Radio. On his latest episode he played my song Modern and my collaboration project (with DJ Andi) Schadenfreude’s Blood.
“This weekly exclusive podcast will feature the best in DARK music from EBM, Industrial, Gothic, New Wave, Synthpop and Alternative.. We will also feature the TOP 10 Best Global DARK Singles & Albums, Plus exclusives, rare tracks, awesome classics, special guests and MUCH more! 3 hours of darkness! From 80’s new wave, dark wave, cold wave, alternative, synthpop, goth, industrial, EBM.” – Nivek
For more info: facebook.com/DarkSanctuaryPromo
My remix for 77tm’s song She Likes to Watch You from the Spam EP as been released on Limited Edition Vinyl and Digitally. I met Aga and Christian Gjelstrup at one of my live shows in Berlin and we have remained friends. For this remix I used mostly my Eurorack modular. Your hearing Tiptop Audio drums, Ataraxic Translatron, Toppobrillo Multifilter and a Make Noise Phonogene. Available now!
“The exclusive track “She Likes To Watch You” remixed by The Horrorist, taken from the B-Side of their forthcoming release “SPAM” – out on Mecanica Records” – 77tm
For more info: bigcartel.com/77tm-12-ep and bandcamp.com/spam