I (The Horrorist) will be DJing tonight in Manhattan. The event is called “Sunglasses at Night” and it will be at Leftfield (87 Ludlow St, New York, New York 10002). The dress code is “sunglasses” although you can certainly join us if you want to come with your naked eyes. Tonight will be more on the fun side meaning I will not be playing the normal dark EBM or Industrial. Tonight is everything else 80s like some lighter New Wave, AOR, Breakdance, Freestyle, etc… The event takes place in the basement room. So please join me and have some fun!
“Dresscode: Sunglasses Music: 80s (Breakdance, New Wave, AOR, Freestyle, anything that sounds good snorted off a glass table!)” – Sunglasses at Night
I was looking through some old photos last night and I came across a photo of myself in my studio in 1995. It was in this room I wrote the first Things to Come Releases including One Night in NYC and many of the early Industrial Strength Records I recorded. This studio was in my mother’s basement. Her bedroom was just above it. Looking back I realize how funny it is that I was screaming my head off down there. I do remember I was going to a wedding and thought, “OK I look cool lets take a photo in the studio.”. So hah please look past my uncool look and let’s see what gear I had!
– Atari 1040ST & SM124 High Resolution Monochrome Monitor running Cubase and Dr. T’s KCS.
– Yamaha NS10M Studio Monitor Speakers driven by a Crown Microtech 500 AMP.
– Roland TR-909 Drum Machine
– Roland TR-707 (not pictured… sat to the right of the 909)
– Roland TB-303 Bassline Synthesizer
– Roland SH-101 Synthesizer
– Roland Juno-106 Synthesizer
– Roland SH3 Synthesizer
– Electrocomp-101 Synthesizer
– Roland S-50 Sampler with external monochrome CRT
– Akai S950 Sampler
– Korg SDD-2000 Digital Delay
– Mackie 1604 Mixer
– Another large old mixer (in the photo with the record, CD and DATs on it)
– Tascam 1/4″ Patch Bay
– Tascam Dual Cassette Deck
– Tascam DA-30 DAT Machine
– Turntable for Sampling Records
– Ultimate Support Systems Desk with extra “wings”
– Ultimate Support Systems A-Frame Keyboard Stand with extra “wings”
– Ultimate Support Systems 3 Tier Keyboard Stand
– 2 SKB Rackmount Cases
– Slanted 19″ Rackmount Stand with Wheels
Today kids own a ton of gear. Back then my studio was considered “a lot of stuff”. In making this list you can see how Roland owned the techno world or at least you can see how much I love their stuff. This photo was right before Apple Macs became powerful enough to run Cubase VST with audio recording. So all the vocals I did back then had to be recorded live in one pass to DAT (digital audio tape). One night in NYC, Dark Germany, Mission Ecstacy, etc… all recorded live to DAT in one pass. Of course I would make mistakes and had to start the tape again. So what things in this photo do I still own today? I moved to Brooklyn and the TB-303 and Juno-106 were stolen. I sold the Akai S950, Dat Machines, Mackie Mixer, SH-101 and TR-909. I never regretted selling the 909 actually and until I saw this photo I forgot I even once owned a SH-101! I sold the Korg SDD-2000 digital delay and I do regret that. I will buy one again on eBay someday. I still own the Electrocomp-101. You can’t really see it in this photo (it sat above the SH-101). My father gave it to me and I’ll never part from it. It’s number 521 of 2000 ever created. I still own, love and use the Roland SH3. This is a SH3 not SH3a. The 3 has the original filter in it which was a clone of a Moog design. Moog threatened to sue Roland to they created the weaker 3A revision. While it’s fun to fetishize gear it’s very important to remember it’s not the equipment it’s the artist. Just make music, have fun and tell YOUR story.
A few weeks ago I did a special DJ set in Stockholm, Sweden. It was a private event called Dungeonwave #2 for the Swedish synthpop label Flexiwave. Flexiwave is owned and run by Jon and Ella Moe. They release some very pretty vinyl records including one of my own releases “The Man Master/Drink with Me”.
The event took place in a large recording studio space where Jon has some equipment along with the modular artist Dungeon Acid. I assume this is where the same of the event came from. The event instantly felt like an afterparty (except this one started around 10PM!). It was invite only so everyone knew each other, danced like crazy and took turns spinning the low hung disco balls in the room. Jon and Ella tag teamed a set. It was great to hear a lot of music I didn’t know. I found myself running up to the booth asking for track IDs all night. Matthias Anger did a great set too. I didn’t realize that night but he runs the CCP label and owns the Kollaps Record store in Stockholm. There were two live shows. Dungeon Acid had a really nice Eurorack Modular set up driven by some Elektron gear. He did an excellent full force NY style techno set. Jocke Boberg (Acid Vals) were two guys doing some acid house “waltz” music with vocals. They were crowd pleasers no doubt. DJ Andi did the absolute best two hour New Beat set I ever heard in my life. It was very early in the morning and everyone there was moving like freaks. It didn’t get past me that a lot of people also knew all the far underground tracks being she played. This was a true EBM/New Beat lovers event! Eskil Simonsson from the band Covenant came and hung out. I also got to catch up with an old friend and music producer Johan Afterglow and his girlfriend Anja. I have a great respect for people like Jon and Ella who work hard and don’t mind spending a little to make great art happen. It was a joy to be there.
The next day I woke up at the Hotel Clarion Stockholm. It’s a super swank hotel with a bar hung over the highway with a giant sports dome in the distance. After breakfast I hit the amazing spa with an infinity pool that is part indoors and part outdoors. To swim from inside to out you push a button and a glass wall rises. Once outside you realize you are swimming a few stories above the sidewalk. I had fun looking at people walking under me and at one point Jon, Ella and Dungeon Acid walked by! Sometimes I really think I’m living in a computer program with glitches.
After feeling rockstar and clean enough I met up with the Flexi’s as I call them. They took me to Kollaps Records. I walked in and “whaah!!”. Wall to wall Electronic Body Music. To get an idea of what the store is like check out the photos I posted here. I bought a Scapa Flow 12″ and a Haus Arafna sticker. If your in Sweden and you like this kind of music this is the place. I enjoying looking through the book at the cash register of “famous” signatures. After the store the Flexi’s took me to a proper Swedish lunch and I was off to Berlin. Stockholm is a very nice place. Be sure to view the entire set of photos on flickr: click here
“We are very proud to annunce the second installment of DungeonWave. This time FlexiWave & Dungeon Acid also join forces with the excellent Kollaps Records. For this special night we have a special appearance by no less then the legend Oliver Chesler aka The Horrorist who is on tour in Europe. Also the fabulous Dj Andi who runs Synthicide in Brooklyn NYC.” – Dungeonwave
I am happy to let you know I (The Horrorist) will be doing a 1.5 hour DJ Set this Friday night in Bushwick Brooklyn for Jack Dept. Please come out and let’s have a drink and dance together ok? It’s FREE to get it and we gather at the now famous Bossa Nova Civic Club (1271 Myrtle Ave, New York, NY 11221). Also that night will be Heidy Pinet (from Montreal), John Barera and Volvox!
“The Horrorist is a veteran of New York City’s early 90’s rave scene, an innovator who helped push rave along towards more hardcore interpretations. Influenced by the rhythmic industrial disco of Nitzer Ebb, DAF and Front 242, his releases over the years broke the mold of Techno’s blank impersonality with unforgettable lyrics describing the club scene’s darkest excesses.”
I recently performed a live show in London. It was the first show of a tour in Europe which would take me to Stockholm, a week in Berlin and end in Stuttgart. The event took place at Electrowerkz which also hosts Slimelight. I performed at Slimelight before so I knew the venue would be perfect. I should mention I also one performed at one of the Drop the Bomb events in London too. At that show I notoriously hooked the wrong piece of equipment to a transformer and almost burned the place down.
After a few hours sleep and soundcheck I took a taxi to another event for a book release. The book “Some Wear Leather Some Wear Lace” is an essay and photo book on Post Punk and Goth. It has a photo of me in it (page 46) so I spent a few hours listening to UK goth DJs, drinking wine and well showing everyone who would bare me blabbing on page 46! I made it back to Electrowerkz an hour before my show and paced backstage for a bit. I think you can ask anyone who performs that the hour before getting on stage is the worst. Everything almost always goes perfectly but until you get in front of people and scream the first lyric your mind imagines everything going wrong.
With a good amount of smoke and proper lighting I did my thing. I performed some new songs I am testing for my next album. One song in particular is really working. It’s a track I am collaborating on with a guy named Daniel Olarte. He’s from Bogota but is living in NYC. He’s worked David Carretta and is a name to watch. The other DJs of the night (Jerome Hill, Chris Redmond, Tom E C, etc…) were playing some hard acid and some nice old Disintegrator tracks (thanks for that guys!). After the show I was kindly handed two ecstacy pills. I knew I had to leave for Sweden early the next morning and I would never do such things anyway ;)… so I handed them off to a friend and got the hell out of there in one piece. Chris (DJ Manga) and Tom Chamberlain were great hosts so a big thank you to them for being patient while I put the tour together and making this happen. Thanks to 303 PHOTO for most of these great shots. To see the full photo set: click here
“44 City and Elektrofied are proud to present The Horrorist! 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.” – Elektrofied
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!!”
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!!”
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.
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
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