Organizer and label Autarkea doesn’t try to spoil their dedicated minions with small events. If they make something, they make it big, with high quality performers and familiar names. The last of their events, Icetodiron’11, occupied audience minds with Con-dom, Alfalmania and others. I haven’t had the pleasure to visit any of the earliest versions of NAM or Icetodiron, but it has a long history and really great reviews.
If you are at least a bit familiar with industrial music in general and all its little helpers, such as dark ambient, martial or noise, you’ll definitely know Loki foundation and Cold Meat Industry, or at least heard something from the flagmen of these labels. And, apparently, if you was lucky enough to be in Lithuania in the second weekend of May, you’ve have had an opportunity to see all of them playing live.
The first time I heard about resurrected Nordic Audio Modern festival in Vilnius, I was all like “see you never, 30 years of Broken Flag fest in London, now Lithuania is the hotspot for cold-blooded sound”. Even only the second evening of the festival seemed as a handful: Deutsch Nepal, In Slaughter Natives, Survival Unit on one stage, plus support from Lithuanian trio Maldur Atai. The day before, German day, was all dedicated to Loki foundation authors like Herbst9.
I always have some trouble when trying to explain to “non-industrial” people the point of it.
What is the point of listening to noise? It purges the fuck out of you so you could stand with clean head and regroup your thoughts.
Is destruction on stage is necessary? (It’s so Vienna in 70s?…) Don’t question the authority of the performer, he knows what’s he’s doing and actually most of the time he doesn’t do it for you, dickhead, it’s for himself.
Dark ambient seems as if somebody just recorded the sounds of their night in a fishing trip… Um.. well, don’t have anything to answer to this one, it kinda does.
The best part of coming to industrial concerts is that the people there are knowing and appreciating. Industrial in it’s nature is a music for listening – not necessarily easy one. But when you catch the vibe, about what it is and why it is, you start understanding the beauty of dissonance, the power of being disturbed and the lightness of ambience which enlightens you after truly powerful performance. And if by chance you have an opportunity to listen to such line-up which was waiting in NAM, you would wet your pants as I did couple of weeks before the festival.
And imagine my disappointment after everything ended. Not because it was just too good to be true, not because I loved every piece of the evening and didn’t want the sound to stop. So it happens that the rule that you SHOULD NOT, on any occasion, go to a gig of your youth idols (except maybe for Di6, which was awesome), was true here, too. I had my hopes up so high that it actually hurt to be crushed like this.
The funny part was a performance of MALDUR ATAI, with a leader of Autarkea himself at the mic. At first I loled because of the projects image on stage – “we are so cool that we even need to wear aviators glasses” kind of way. Sound contained all the best motifs of classical industrial, so in a way it was a nice industrial discoteque with a tribute to Whitehouse and other bigger names. I became familiar and was fascinated by the idea of industrial DJing after one gig in which Lithuanian guy ATRAC (?) did his performance – and it was superb. But he didn’t pretend that he is doing a live show. Just sayin’.
The only performance which saved the day for me was DEUTSCH NEPAL. No words needed – perfect sound, perfect vocals, interesting choices of songs. All you need from a great gig. And after the performance I gave him a cigarette, so my life is complete now.
Other acts were just sad. Maybe SURVIVAL UNIT gave a bit of “YES” here and there, but it was not it. At some smoking break one fellow concert-goer said that probably we are too spoiled with truly inovative/harsh/crazy stuff which is presented now and then in Agharta concerts, so NAM line-up seems promising, but kinda mainstream. Which in a way makes us industrial hipsters:))
Maybe that’s a problem with nowadays scene – all of us grew personally with that stuff and become very bitchy and picky about what we listen. So it seems the same thing which was relevant when I just started to dive into dark electronics – be proud of the music you were listening back when you just started to explore the alternatives (for me it was punk), but look at it with a right amount of irony. The same applies now, with industrial electronics – have a decent amount of worshiping for the Big names, but keep it kinda real and look at it without “can you please father me 5 sons” craziness. There are so many great performers, which will never be as successful as let’s say, mainstream industrial:), yet still they keep the quality and unique approach, which is essential if you want to be respected after some time.
The title of the post was was supposed to start with “Fuck me, that’s huge!” and be all about worshiping how great the festival was. It turned out to be less about the music and more about the personal disappointments and frustrations. So here is another track of DN to make the atmosphere lighter: