We had been waiting for this gig ever since the debut album of Whispering Sons was released in October 2018. The initial line up for this gig included Ice Baths, the debut album of which we also loved and were looking forward to listen to it live. Ice Baths were not included in the line up after all but this meant that we got to know the music of Ilia Gorovitz instead. Humble and without engaging too much with the people that had already arrived early at The Lexington, Ilia took his place at the Ilia Gorovitz livefront of the stage behind the drums and for the next 30’or so, created an improvised industrial sound which became more dynamic through the live drums that he had incorporated. The set did not have any vocals and Ilia often had to reprogram the pitch of the drums in between songs which became a bit distracting. His debut album entitled ‘The Noble Rot‘ was self released a few days after the gig and it is the first recording of an improvisational set. His EP entitled ‘A Dose of Uncertainty’ also contained recordings of improvisational sets and we had the unique chance to enjoy glimpses from both during this gig. Despite the fact that the sound in this debut album is very ‘dry’, during Ilia’s live set, his sound had much more depth, giving a captivating power to the beats. This is a promising musician and we will definitely have more chances to enjoy his music in the future.

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Let me go to hell, that’s all I ask and go on cursing them there and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their blissSamuel Beckett

Chaos Theory collage visualsThis gig took place on an ordinary Tuesday when this gig took place and it wasn’t just a great one but one that left its mark on this year’s performances. because it was perfectly organised, it could transcend its expected aims. The story that was narrated through sound in 3 ½ hours was one that was rooted in personal experiences. For the sake of this text, let’s compare this gig to the walk of a character on a path with different surfaces.

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Re-Textured Festival

Year 1, Day 1

retextured_festivalIt was about time for a new festival to present itself in London. Re-textured is an ambitious endeavour that has been inspired by the underground electronic parties of Berlin and festivals such as Berlin Atonal and Unsound Festival in Krakow. An important part of this festival’s aim is to draw attention to architecture, therefore it is not an one venue festival. It is scattered all around the city in carefully selected buildings. This first Re-textured festival has been the brainchild of the team behind Krankbrother who wanted to draw attention to lesser known or less represented electronic music styles. Blaue Rosen attended the first day of this festival because its highlight was the return of Cabaret Voltaire to London after 20 years!

A gig that was the equivalent of reading at least three art books, watching at least two social documentaries and listening to at least 10 different albums

Trevor Jackson, a multidisciplinary artist who has done design, audio and visual work and has also been inspired by the work of Keith Breeden for Scritti Politti and that of Neville Brody for Cabaret Voltaire, started his set respecting fully the announced stage times. The piece he created for the next 90′ not only ‘warmed us’ up in the best way for what Cabaret Voltaire had prepared, but also managed to alter our perception of time. Suddenly, after 40′ I had the feeling that it was dawn, I had spent all night dancing and I had listened to enough of music for one day. 90′ later, a installation_retexturedset without vocals which only had a minimalist light installation to accompany it, had managed to make almost everyone dance. Trevor himself, was in front of us, manipulating sounds and pre-recorded vocals. Apart from the overall mood created by the rhythms, what I really loved was that his set had a lot of different elements. Within these captivating rhythms, there were sonic snippets that appeared and faded away so seamlessly that the overall effect was similar to the creation of waves in the sea. All one had to do was to close their eyes and listen to the way a few synth melodies that nodded to Jean Michel Jarre, gave their place to harsh industrial beats that brought to mind the early releases of Front 242, just before the theme of ‘Warm Leatherette‘, gave way to machine-like sounds that brought to mind the industrial sounds of SPK and Kraftwerk. The energy of this set was unique and the transitions that were made from psych trance to industrial, to IDM without allowing any of these styles to fully develop within the set, was something I haven’t experienced before. This was not a cubistic approach to sound, but one that was aesthetically closer to the osmosis attempted by artists such as ROTHKO when it came to colour. Just where part of the painting almost seems to be of one or two colours, something happens at the boundaries of them and both seem to be completely different than we originally thought. This is how I experienced this set and I am already looking forward to the next time, this rather elusive musician will perform live.

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It was an ordinary Tuesday evening, the day after Scott Walker had passed away and we went to Islington Assembly Hall prepared to experience something similar to the last gig of Xiu Xiu. We were spectacularly wrong as this live performance was different in many ways and even more powerful.

The one hour of waiting time until John Bence came on stage passed really quickly as we were lucky enough to enjoy great ‘warm up’ music that JB_1 live photoincluded songs by The Cure, Nico and Bauhaus. This was, by far, the greatest and more fitting (to what would come next) set of songs that we have been able to listen to before a gig. The evening started calmly and in a rather uneventful way, which of course was hugely deceitful for the performative storm that was just about to ‘hit’ us. John Bence appeared and for the first 3-4′ was seating calmly in front of his laptop…

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A band ‘guided’ by the light of the European stars-Music that was guided by the energy of consecutive dreams

Experiencing the magic of Scratch Massive’s music live, was on my ‘to do’ list for quite some time now. Maud and Sébastien’s gigs are sold out in France but the duet had never performed live in London before so, we were incredibly happy that our wish to see this band live, came true.

Polygrains a gentle, electronic and experimental opening

Polygrains_1A few minutes later than the announced stage times, Polygrains, a.k.a Dimitris Moschas, a talented singer, songwriter and producer, filled the stage with electronic, synthpop and techno soundscapes. Polygrains has released his new album entitled ‘Future Endeavours‘ in January 2019 and we got a nice glimpse of it during his live set. Dub rhythms enriched with vibrant sonic samples, gave their place seamlessly to synthpop melodies which were, sometimes transformed into funky ones and other times they were dressed with an air of mystery filled with blasts and pulsating sounds. On top of these melodies, the vocals appeared intermittently only to deliver a few verses and add one more dimension to the sound, before giving their place to a new set of sounds and melodies that had a different energy and flow than before. Experimentation, improvisation and a nice rhythmic flow characterized the sound of this solo project that was a great choice as an opening act for Scratch Massive. There were no visuals this time to accompany the set but this only made us focus more on the rhythms. If the music of Polygrains was a painting, it would have been a cubist one, where the image can only be synthesized by acknowledging all the parts and shapes that form it.We noticed and we appreciated the good communication with the audience and we look forward to enjoying Polygrains live again in the future.

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Chris Connelly Interview

Posted: 4th December 2018 by blaue-rosen in Live reviews,Interviews

“…there is never a destination, destinations are boring!”

Chris Connelly, the man with a thousand (and more) musical faces, released his latest album entitled ‘Bloodhounds‘ through Armalyte Industries. As has always been the case with Chris Connelly’s work, the songs are much more than great music with great melodies and a beautiful performance. They give an attractive, Chris Connellysoul/blues/rock form, to many sources of inspiration, ranging from paintings to books and landscapes. Inspiration is a malleable concept and it can mean different things to different people. It is evident, if one takes a deep look into the details of the albums (artwork, music, song titles) that Chris has created that, what motivates him is a great personal and spiritual ‘calling’ that transforms even every day experiences into dreamy, poetic and disquieting melodies. Whether you love more his industrial/dark side as has been revealed through his work with Cocksure and Revolting Cocks or his more lyrical Sylvian/Bowie inspired side more evident in his solo work, you must admit that, since the 90s Chris has created an artistically rich sonic universe.There have always been visual artists who were inspired by music but rarely have we encountered musicians being inspired by visual art. To us, translating a static image and its emotional impact into sound, is one of the most challenging tasks an artist can undertake. And yet, here we are, with an album and a musician that does exactly that.

We were delighted to be given a glimpse into the artistic mind of Chris Connelly and talk with him about the new album, his future plans, his previous work, Cocksure,Ministry, Revolting Cocks and anything in between. We would like to shout out to promoters in London in particular, to arrange for us to enjoy him perform live next year.

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Soft Cell gig poster

Soft Cell sang a sassy, gothic, pop, rock, shambolic, inappropriate (in the politically correct term), funky, techno, occult, seductive, ceremonial and psychedelic goodbye to their devoted fans and audience with a 31 track set, beautiful sound production and visuals that were consistent with their past and present characters.

You could of course, stop reading this text right here if you are just interested in a headline but we would like to say a few things about why this was an evening we are still struggling to ‘let go’ three days later.

I hate goodbyes that are pre-arranged but above all, I hate the idea of a band’s last ever show. I hate the fact that I understand all the reasons behind this and I hate the day after this last gig, where I have to find a way to let time settle the emotions experienced during this performance.

Soft_Cell_live_photo_O2

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…or how one would embark on a journey from Gerhard Richter paintings towards Francis Bacon ones…

We don’t often have the chance to attend a nicely organized IDM/experimental/noise gig in London, so when Chaos Theory decided to put together this great line up with MetalogueRiotmiloo and Warren Schoenbright the only thing we did was to clear our schedule and attend it. The venue was perfect for this gig, the sound engineer did a great job for all bands, making sure that everyone had the right enhancements at the right areas of their sound. The merchandise was rich and generous (a rare quality these days) and the overall atmosphere of the event was nice.

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Dance is music in another form and vice versa. Music can help you visualize things but is not necessarily an image in another form. Dance is also text and ideas in another form, as is music. Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp and Maya Deren are just a few artists that have touched on these concepts through multimedia experimentation.’Animals of Distinction’ and before them ‘The Holy Body Tattoo’ that originally performed the piece presented at Barbican Centre last week, tap on these same ideas. Monumental, with live score by post rock, experimental and long time favourite band Godspeed You!Black Emperor created an immersive experience and provided intellectual and emotional triggers for a variety of topics pertaining to everything from dance to political discourse.

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Siglo XX-Interview

Posted: 24th May 2018 by blaue-rosen in Live reviews,Interviews
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We liked to provoke at the time and we still like to do so now…

Just a few hours before Siglo XX were about to perform live for the first time since 1991, exclusively for the audience of WGT, Blaue Rosen had the enormous pleasure to talk with Klaas (Hoogerwaard) and Antonio (Palermo) about what Siglo XX used to be, what inspired them then, what inspires them now, what matters and what does not. The band gave a memorable headlining show at Felsenkeller that evening, to which the audience responded warmly by dancing from the moment the first note of ‘ Until A Day‘ was heard until the last note of  ‘Dreams Of Pleasure ‘ resonated in the space.This is a band with a humble yet very powerful stage presence, a quality which is difficult to describe and replicate and which derives from the whole philosophy that traverses its existence. Siglo XX has always had an almost noble worldview, which informed the way they composed music and the way they approached art in general.It is extremely rare to meet a band with such a level of self awareness and even though they would probably not accept this, the only thing that can explain the impact their music has had, is talent. We must understand, that not every musician that experiments can produce a result of quality and not every person who is involved in art, is simultaneously concerned to that degree, with the things that happen around the world. 

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