Amphi Festival 2012: Viva Music Review, Jul-21&22, Cologne

July 27, 2012 in Amphi Festival,International Events (Reviews)

Amphi Festival took over Cologne’s Tanzbrunnen for the 8th time! With a very clever choice of acts, and overall perfect organization, Amphi stated once more its position as one of the central events for the electro and industrial scenes. As it often happens, a sold-out event weeks before its start, Amphi Festival provided quality entertainment, very good facilities and considerable fuel for a crowd of almost two score of thousands. With early starts on both festival days, both on Saturday Jul-21 and Sunday Jul-22, the festival comforted the audience with a solid palette of both on the outdoor main stage and in the nearby Staatenhaus, as well as alternative entertainment in the Theater building. If you add to the set of concerts the wide array of stands, facilities, areas (including the famed beach zone), you could have practically spent a whole festival day just digging through bargains and taking your time in front of quite varied meals and still call it a full day. Or day and night! Because after countless concerts in the various venues of the area, DJ sets went on until the early hours of morn. But as a yearly convention of already sufficient stance, Amphi Festival meant, of course, a probe of temperature and color in today’s scene, and if audience reactions stand for anything, we’re all good, the entertainment is still varied, the ethos of the scene is still valid and vivid, people still feel the urge to dress up and make a stand, and the music sounds as good as ever.

 

Viva Music would like to take a minute to thank for the opportunity to be there and enjoy Amphi Festival 2012 to: the flawless clockwork organizing team, to the numberless artists and tech personnel who made concerts happen, and to the beating heart of the audience, which keeps our scene alive and kicking. And if you missed Amphi Festival this year, put these two things down on your to-do list: (1) read our act-by-act review and browse the individual photo galleries; (2) book in time your Amphi Festival 2013 experience: with tickets already on sale this coming week on Aug-01, and the first acts to be confirmed on Aug-13. Amphi Festival 2013 will take place on Jul-20 and Jul-21 in Tanzbrunnen Cologne.

 Day One: Saturday Jul-21 Mainstage | Staatenhaus | Day Two: Sunday Jul-22 | Mainstage | Staatenhaus

 Day One – Mainstage: The Wars | A Life Divided | Spetsnaz | mind.in.a.box | Corvus Corax | Camouflage | Eisbrecher|

Day One

 

Click here to see how Day One – Saturday, Jul-21 was @Amphi Festival!

The Wars

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY THE WARS @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: The Wars is a New Wave band from Berlin formed in 2008 featuring Chris Kowski on vocals/guitar, Gernot Pohle on bass and Andy Wilde on drums. The three-piece is considered a 2nd generation Post-Punk Revival project that took its cues from bands like The Chameleons, NEU!, Joy Division and Bauhaus but is also influenced by groups like U2 or My Bloody Valentine.

Review: The show performed by The Wars opened just in time the festival with already a moderately large crowd in front of the stage; proving within minutes that they were a very safe choice for opening the festival. With a very pertinent beat, at times flavored of the 1980’s, at others simply dwelling on the psychedelic, The Wars were able to set within their short set an overall good feeling and you could feel that people were having a great time. “Succubus” was one song we particularly liked; and a good find for future parties and/or compilations. back to top

A Life Divided

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY A LIFE DIVIDED @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: Maybe the best description of A Life Divided is rendered in the words of Flux from Oomph!: “A Life Divided is for me one of the few German bands who know how to blend together melancholy melodies, electronic instruments and aggressive rock guitars. The emotional depth of their songs reminds me often of one of my favorite bands, Stabbing Westward“. With songs such as “Heart on Fire” and “Anyone” from their 2011 debut album “Passenger“, A Life Divided surely know how to be a musical heartthrob.

Review: A Life Divided were magnificent on stage, and by the time their show started, the audience was properly readjusted to the coming and going from stage to hall without losing their way. So they were entitled to their dedicated crowd, which appreciated the retro rock gleam and the beautiful feel of their music. Being among the few, but no less important acts who put their money on three guitars, and on a charismatic singer, A Life Divided truly managed to raise the spirits with their natural, well-wrought sound and their communicative way of performing their show. back to top

Spetsnaz

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY SPETSNAZ @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Spetsnaz @Industrial Booom, Budapest 2012

About: Spetsnaz (named for the Russian word for “Special Forces”) is a Swedish EBM duo. Inspired by pioneering artists such as Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Die Krupps and DAF, Spetsnaz was formed as a reaction against Futurepop and to revive what Nilsson and Stålberg saw as “old school” EBM music.

Review: If it were to describe the show of Spetsnaz in one word, that word would be either spectacular or a synonym thereof. As it often happens with early festival bands, Spetsnaz proved to be, not just sheer good entertainment, but also a good find for festival goers who did not know the band. Their high vented EBM is interesting to witness on stage, and this is something we knew because it has been just weeks since we have seen them perform in Budapest, but also, we have found out, it is truly relevant for people’s musical interests, because connoisseurs and novices alike blended in the perfect audience for Spetsnaz. Our favorite, “Mangod” was performed, too, and while the brevity of their set did not allow for a satisfying tour of their work of ten years and more, it felt awesome just to be there. back to top

mind.in.a.box

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY MIND.IN.A.BOX @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: mind.in.a.box. “Revelations” – Viva Music Album Review | mind.in.a.box @Amphi Festival 2011: Viva Music Review | mind.in.a.box @E-tropolis 2010: Viva Music Review

About: “In a world where minds live in boxes, every one of them has to make a decision.” (band tagline). mind.in.a.box‘s sound is a very catchy and melodious cross between Futurepop, Progressive Trance and cyberpunk. The name of the band is a metaphor for everything that prevents our minds from being entirely free. Their songs speak about stories from this world, building on the metaphor of imprisoned minds and our fundamental solitude in this world. A very groovy act, mind.in.a.box are a recent addition to the scene, if compared to other big names, but their music induces the sensation they have been around for a longer while. Very emotional beats, a creed in not repeating sequences until saturation, and instead surprising with each musical detour, as well as a very sound mind frame for their philosophy are the defining traits of mind.in.a.box.

Review: Despite some minor technical problems, the show of mind.in.a.box was a fantastic experience which, surprisingly enough, did not sound the same as the disc experience of the band, and luckily, it presented a wide spectrum of mind.in.a.box sounds, all to the taste of the audience. mind.in.a.box are latent entertainers, in that they do not exhibit too much except their music, and when they do, it is modestly and respectful of their audience, and this is one of the reasons everyone stops and listens when their music is playing. What they could not provide in playfulness and stage awareness they surely did in terms of music, adding to their set of famous songs entries such as “Control” and “8 Bits“. back to top

Corvus Corax

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY CORVUS CORAX @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: Corvus Corax is a German band known for playing Neo-Medieval music using an abundance of authentic instruments. Their name is the Latin name for the Common Raven. The band was formed in 1989. Because medieval music theory was dominated by ecclesiastics, it is often difficult to determine from the existing manuscripts just how the secular medieval music sounded. Corvus Corax draws on a number of sources to try to make their music as authentic as possible: they have used documents that “condemn profane music” as an indicator of what the music might have sounded like, and drawn on nineteenth century scholarly treatises for information.

Review: As the show of Corvus Corax commenced, you could feel their long-lasting experience on stage is going to have a word on the deployment of their forces. High on instrumental vibes, and with a very plausible show, Corvus Corax dwelled on Viking music and of various medieval lore sources, and in order to do so, they presented the audience with their artful use of instruments and alternated between harsh and moving pieces. Their neo-medieval penchant was, indeed, appreciated greatly by a far larger audience than that of stage predecessors, and was constantly cheered and clapped to in merriment of a medieval fashion. back to top

Camouflage

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY CAMOUFLAGE @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: Probably the best known German New Wave trio, long-living Camouflage is the kind of musical presence that exhales creativity and a feel-good atmosphere wherever they are present on stage. Their activity of almost 3 decades is astonishing in the constancy of quality, and in the very pervasive emotions they provoke in their audiences. Songs such as “The Great Commandment” and “Love Is a Shield” are classics everyone knows and adores.

Review: Camouflage were one of the most tacitly awaited acts of the evening, and somehow, despite the absence of relevant clues, everyone was expecting the best of Camouflage and this is in fact what happened on stage. Almost three decades of music only brushed past Camouflage, they seem lively and young, full of zest, and what they bring on stage is a sense of spectacular. With a live guitar which made a whole difference from what you knew of Camouflage of studio years, let’s call it an update to current requirements of plenitude of sound, and with the same charismatic band members, who did not have enough of dancing wildly and of emoting the audience with their hits, present and past, Camouflage made sure the conclusion was commonly agreed on by the audience: they belong on stage, and their understanding of entertainment is nothing short of what you expect. With “Suspicious Love” and “Misery“, and then with “We Are Lovers” and “Me and You“, they managed to enflame their audience. Of course, the timeless “Love Is a Shield” and “The Great Commandment” were also a strong presence in their show. back to top

Eisbrecher

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY EISBRECHER @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Eisbrecher – “Die Hoelle muss warten”: Viva Music Album Review

About: The music of Eisbrecher is progressive electronic trip-rock. The electronics form the base, onto which Alex and Noel build harder or softer tones in order to create perfect melodies. The programming is the heart of their vision: their songs get attention; they are danceable, while the original positioning of hard guitar riffs and driving bass lines show Eisbrecher‘s understanding of electronic rock. Since 1997, the energies exchanged between the band members have meant a progressive understanding of each other’s creative qualities and a better aim at blending them in lush musical products.

Review: The electronic foundation upon which Eisbrecher perform their music is one of the elements that simply magnetizes, and magnifies the effect of their music. Energetic and masculine, with a zest that speaks freely and frankly of truly good vibes and explores the explosions of the human soul by rendering them as pounding, driving music. We enjoyed their latest single release, “Schwarze Witwe” just as much as we did their other hits, namely “Prototyp“, “Heilig“, “Amok” and “Verrueckt“. With Eisbrecher, the first festival day was over on the main stage, only to let the entertainment continue well into the night in Staatenhaus. back to top

Day One – Staatenhaus: Eisenfunk | Tyske Ludder | [X]-RX | Seabound | Assemblage23 | Haujobb | Nachtmahr | Apoptygma Berzerk | DAF |

Eisenfunk

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY EISENFUNK @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: Eisenfunk started out in 2006 as a solo project, under the creative influence of Michael Mayer; but currently exists as a trio. The project was meant to be a fusion of hard techno and noise elements; by which their music stands out in many ways and shows just how creative one can be with the musical wealth of contemporary music. Their lively sets are encouraging and few people can leave an Eisenfunk concert without having become a lifetime fan.

Review: Eisenfunk provoked a stir in the audience of the early hours of Staatenhaus with their vicious techno and noise. And that was a good thing, because if you were to map the sounds available in the festival, Eisenfunk really meant that they were in the right position to claim their own audience. And they had it, with several hundreds of people getting the best of Eisenfunk in sudden gushes of sounds. Weren’t it for how short their set was, due to the usual limitations of a festival, we bet people could have gone on listening to Eisenfunk for hours on end! “Egoshooter” was our favorite piece, because of its intricate display of creativity and because of the manner in which it simply stood out of their set.  back to top

Tyske Ludder

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY TYSKE LUDDER @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Tyske Ludder @NCN 2011: Viva Music Review

About: EBM veterans Tyske Ludder took their name from the argot of the WW2 (a Danish expression of contempt for local women who would take up romantically to German military men). Their trajectory was steady, from their debut album in 1994 and up to their 2011 “Diaspora“, and their content-ridden, platform-setting lyrics vie elegantly with their musical discourse. In their most recent album, religiously invested content (with the Hebrew ‘Har Ha-Bayt’/’Temple Mountain’ opening, as well as with androgynous heroes, Diaspora and glory) adds to the Tyske Ludder equation a message of communion to dispersed contemporary societies, who need a common denominator and a guiding light in order to thrive.

Review: Tyske Ludder are the act you can rely on if what’s on your agenda is an animated show filled with the unexpected. Vital and full of meaning, their performance at Amphi Festival was very focused on stage presence, and therefore had to cut short on communication with the audience (but surprisingly, almost no one frowned upon this). To their already patent use of the Israeli flag in their shows (of “Diaspora” fame), the audience responded with quite a few paper flags and a full-size banner, which meant that they had their own audience over! Another addition to the show was the use of a lucha libre mask, which juxtaposed fierceness and readiness, attributes that rhyme quite well with the music of Tyske Ludder. back to top

[X]-RX

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY [X]-RX @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on darkwave.ro: [X]-RX @Amphi Festival 2011: Viva Music Review

About: [X]-RX is what happens when you add dark rave sound to a hard-impact style and heavy rhythms. A very good musical performer, [X]-RX has just started his career in 2007 and presently deals with the first successes – while his music indicates that they are definitely not going to be the last. “Disco Distortion“, as well as “Stage 2” strike as very creative pieces.

Review: [X]-RX are a festival darling, and that happens for really valid reasons; they are entertaining, their music is impactful, and the rhythms of [X]-RX are sufficient to keep you dancing – in fact, the usual crowd of dancers of Amphi Festival had a first high during [X]-RX‘s set. With a good, balanced show, and a healthy response from the audience, the concert of [X]-RX managed to create the needed breathing space between shows laden with meaning with a lighter attitude that paid back. back to top

Seabound

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY SEABOUND @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: The music of Seabound is one of the most emotional experiences one can have when listening to music. Love, anger, depression, blame and remorse pull the listener through the deepest recesses of the human psyche as they begin to question the very truth they were presented. With a very personal approach to music, and a very substantial stage confidence, Seabound are able to move with signature sounds and vocals, and they seem to have an excellent time on stage along with their audience.

Review: Seabound enrolled in Amphi Festival with solid claims, and their show, with its very German feel and redolent of the experiments of the 1980’s, was a display of power and emotion. With overpowering, beautiful vocals and music without conceit, as well as with visible ease on stage, Seabound kept everyone on the verge of refined emotion and very plausible questions related to love. Not all festival bands prioritize their stage layout, but the minimal use of space and color in the set of Seabound was welcoming and truly fitting to their use of instrument and vocals. “Nothing but Love“, from their upcoming, was also a star of the show. Mention should also be made of the fact that Seabound’s Frank Spinath wore a Haujobb tee on stage! back to top

Assemblage23

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY ASSEMBLAGE23 @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: Assemblage23 is an electronic act from the United States, currently based in Seattle. It was founded in 1988 and though it took some time to gain acclaim and become one of the major voices in the field of electronic music, they are today regarded as one of the essential acts that gave shape, conveyed feeling and beat the path for other acts to thrive in a field that is at the same time experimental and a discipline of its own.

Review: Witnessing Assemblage23 on stage is one of the moments where one feels truly blessed. It’s not only because of the number of times actually one has the chance to see them in the Old World, but also because of the historical relevance of the moment. Assemblage23 delighted us with “Let the Wind Erase Me“, “Opened” and “The Noise Inside My Head“, and created a very aerial and electrifying atmosphere, which lingered minutes still after the show ended. back to top

Haujobb

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY HAUJOBB @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Haujobb @Industrial Booom 2012: Viva Music Review | Haujobb “New World March”: Viva Music Review | Haujobb “Dead Market”: Viva Music Review

About: Not the most long-living, but certainly one of the cleverest projects borne by Daniel Myer, the industrial/electro combo of Haujobb is an inspiring presence on the musical scene, and a must-have of festivals in 2012. With an almost unanimously positively reviewed new album, and a panoramic view from the front of scene, Haujobb are as young as ever in 2012, and as enticing. The music of Haujobb is not only reflexive on the heavily beaten track of sentiment, but also in the kind of philosophical outlook they provoke, simply by alluding to it. Their “New World March” speaks equally of a world torn by its ambition and of current affairs ranging from occupy movements and the unrelenting economic crisis.

Review: Haujobb are one of the acts we enjoy the most on stage, and their performance at Amphi Festival was nothing short of what we expected. There is so much refinement of dynamicity on stage when Haujobb is the codeword that you feel pushed and pulled inside a magnetic field. Haujobb deservedly earned a lot of attention and respect from the audience, and their interplay of protest and looming danger was fashioned, musically speaking, in a topnotch performance. Haujobb did not dwell an enormous lot on their past, and it being a festival thought up their set around the fantastic “New World March” album, which left a very strong and lasting impression on everyone present. back to top

Nachtmahr

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY NACHTMAHR @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Nacthmahr @Amphi Festival 2010: Viva Music Review/

About: Thomas Rainer created his new musical project Nachtmahr in 2007. Over the past 11 years, the Austrian artist achieved worldwide success with L’Ame Immortelle and Siechtum, and here he returns to his roots: the boiling dancefloors of industrial and Goth clubs alike. Inspired by numerous years of DJing, Nachtmahr is the missing link between merciless and provocative industrial and the hammering power of techno.

Review: The upcoming show of Nachtmahr was hailed by tens and tens of festival visitors in Nachtmahr-inspired attire flowing into the festival area. All things fair, Nachtmahr were, at least for the first day of the festival, the band with most insignia and fashion in the participant pool, and this was a fact we were about to see ‘in action’ during their show. Of course, on stage, there was everything, from military female aides who sprinkled water (we hope) on participants with toy guns to sonic bursts of military flair, but the devilish rhythmical commotion of the masses stole the show away. We had “War on the Dancefloor“, “Weil ich’s kann“, “Mein Name” and “Feuerfrei” on the menu, among other titles, and the show was overall all-ok. back to top

Apoptygma Berzerk

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY APOPTYGMA BERZERK @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Apoptygma Berzerk “Black EP vol.2”: Viva Music Review | Apoptygma Berzerk @Blackfield Festival 2009: Viva Music Review

About: Apoptygma Berzerk (commonly abbreviated to APB or APOP) was founded in 1989. Their music did not change dramatically through time, since from the beginning they were able, despite lineup changes and the current affairs in music, to find a winning recipe for sounds, enthusiasm, stage presence and philosophy. The world of Apoptygma Berzerk is majestic, contagious and with so many signature touches it stands out wherever it plays.

Review: Apoptygma Berzerk are a constant spinning stage carousel. We loved their performance, and we were definitely not the only ones to do so; their lengthy set did not leave room to breathe, and everyone was taken into their world of ambient and music full of sap, of elegance and charisma, and what’s more. The royal treatment the audience received from Apoptygma Berzerk included “Love Never Dies“, “In This Together“, “Shine On” (House of Love cover), “Kathy’s Song“, “Starsign“, “You Keep Me from Breaking Apart“, but also a superb rendition of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Joy Division cover) for their first encore. The game Apoptygma Berzerk played on stage can be well called ‘pleasing everyone’, and this is what they did, combining their ease on stage, their wit, and last but not least, their infallible battery of loved songs. back to top

DAF

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY DAF @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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 Previously on dakrwave.ro: DAF @NCN 2011: Viva Music Review | DAF @E-tropolis 2010: Viva Music Review

About: Any encounter with Neue Deutsche Welle/electropunk act DAF is a lesson in longevity and content-heavy messages delivered majestically in powerful musical pieces. After their 2010 reunion, DAF were very active on stage, and several concert and festival dates were added to their already long live portfolio. With a wonderful greatest hit compilation released just two years ago, the live experience of DAF calls for new material, other than their comeback “Du bist DAF” (of which 2010 copies were released in 2010), but there are still no news to this respect.

Review: DAF on stage is an honor for every attendee, and not only is it a very powerful and energetic show, but the youthfulness of the band is astounding for their long history on stage. And their resistance to the strain of a lengthy live performance bewilders as well. DAF gave us “Der Mussolini” and “Der Raeuber und der Prinz” among other DAF classics, and managed to steer their show in the right direction for everyone to have fun and feel in the right musical company. DAF closed the night of a first fine festival day, and as people exited the crowded Staatenhaus, you could see everyone beaming. back to top

Day Two

 

Click here to see how Day Two- Sunday, Jul-22 was @Amphi Festival!

Day Two – Mainstage: Lord of the Lost | Solar Fake | Aesthetic Perfection | The Cruxshadows | Mono Inc. | Blutengel | And One

Lord of the Lost

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY LORD OF THE LOST @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Lord of the Lost “Beside & Beyond”: Viva Music Review | Lord of the Lost “Antagony”: Viva Music Rewiew | Lord of the Lost “Fears”: Viva Music Album Review

About: Hamburg based musician Chris Harms is not only an extremely versatile singer that can easily manage the entire range between heartfelt clear vocals and aggressive death growls, but also an extremely charismatic character and one of Germany’s most prolific musical talents. Formed in 2007 as a solo project, Lord of the Lost is the way by which Chris quickly realized that he has taken the right path. With two albums already, plus one B-side compilation that includes live renditions, new versions, but a Lady Gaga cover as well, Lord of the Lost is one of the new and potent voices of an already very dynamic scene.

Review: The charismatic show of Lord of the Lost was a great opener for the second festival day. Although it was still kind of early for people who most likely had partied during the night, it was awesome to take a panoramic view over the sea of festival participants gathered from the minute one in front of the main stage in order to witness one of the sassiest and sexiest performance of the entire festival. Lord of the Lost regaled everyone with “Black Lolita“, the live favorite “Dry the Rain“, “Sex on Legs“, but also a cover of Amy McDonald‘s “This Is the Life“. As we were leaving the main stage area, we saw a huge banner draping Staatenhaus announcing the forthcoming August release of Lord of the Lost‘s new album (“Die Tomorrow“, Out of Line, August-31). back to top

Solar Fake

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY SOLAR FAKE @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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 Previously on dakrwave.ro: Solar Fake “Frontiers”: Viva Music Album Review

About: In the year 2007 Sven Friedrich, the singer of Zeraphine and the legendary Dreadful Shadows, brought his solo project Solar Fake into being. Here the charismatic frontman, who is mentioned in several lexica and reference books as the outrider for the combination of rock and electronics in dark music, can live his penchant for electronic music perfectly. Solar Fake is a pure electro- project and there are synthesized sounds only, except for his incomparable voice.

Review: Solar Fake was one of the acts we eagerly awaited to see on stage at Amphi Festival, since their latest, “Frontiers“, left on us a lasting impression, and due to the charisma of Sven Friedrich, we knew the show is going to have everyone in thrall within seconds, and this is indeed what happened. The show was pretty short for our thirst of Solar Fake, but included Solar Fake highlights we wanted to hear, and apparently, everyone did: “Under the Skies“, “No Apologies“, “More than This” or “The Rising Doubt“. back to top

Aesthetic Perfection

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY AESTHETIC PERFECTION @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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 Previously on dakrwave.ro: Aesthetic Perfection “All Beauty Destroyed”: Viva Music Review

About: Aesthetic Perfection is an American electronic-industrial musical project created by Daniel Graves in 2000. As of fall 2011, Aesthetic Perfection is signed directly to Metropolis Records in the USA and Out of Line Records in Europe. Jokingly, or not so much so, the band describe themselves as merely ‘two guys who like art and heavy drinking’.

Review: Aesthetic Perfection was by far the most exciting show we witnessed at Amphi Festival in 2012! And the show was a thoroughly satisfactory experience, from the very first sounds of the “All Beauty Destroyed” intro – a calm announcing the storm of sounds of the whole set. Not only does Aesthetic Perfection sound very good on stage, but also it creates a kind of harmony that’s fulminating; it’s in the movements, in the vocal experience, in the ease everyone on stage feels when performing. For an act who are truly professional with sound, Aesthetic Perfection overdid it, and in fact, you could see within the crowd a uniform reaction to their music: everyone was electrified, and the whole 40 minutes of the set passed just as a few, it was so intense and filled with all relevant emotions that everyone must have had a hard time escaping the main stage area. Their beats are incredibly fair and precise, the suite of melodies escalated and it was sufficiently varied to keep a constant acumen. With “The Devil’s in the Details“, “Inhuman“, “The Siren“, “The Ones“, as well as the majestic ending with “Spit it Out“, Aesthetic Perfection provided a very convincing show, lovable from the first to the last of its aesthetically appropriate sounds. back to top

The Cruxshadows

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY THE CRUXSHADOWS @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: The Cruxshadows “Valkyrie”: Viva Music Album Review | The Cruxshadows @Amphi Festival 2010: Viva Music Review

About: The Crüxshadows is an Dark Electro group from Florida. Their sound is made up of a combination of male vocals, electric violin, guitar, and synth. Centered around vocalist and songwriter Rogue, The Crüxshadows blend 1980s inspired synthpop and modern rock with introspective lyrics. The band has enjoyed global popularity, releasing CDs worldwide and touring extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Lyrically much of The Crüxshadows‘ music draws its influence and subject matter from mythology, religion, history, and dreams. Often referred to with the abbreviation CXS, their motto is Live Love Be Believe.

Review: The Cruxshadows went on stage while the reaction to Aesthetic Perfection had hardly started to cool off, and the enthusiasm of the entire audience was still visible, fact which was taken in by the band, who provided, in their turn, an equally impressive experience. From “Halo” to “Angelus Everlasting“, their new wave beats were crystal clear and touching, and this was not the only important thing that the Cruxshadows did; they also provided a very diverse experience. In terms of diversity, it was probably, next to the performances of Aesthetic Perfection and Combichrist, the most creatively varied show. back to top

Mono Inc.

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY MONO INC. @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Mono Inc. @Amphi Festival 2010: Viva Music Review

About: Acclaimed from their beginning as the pioneers of a new sound, originally and tentatively called monorock, Mono Inc. rose from the ashes of several band projects, the frustrations of being forced into unwelcome directions by major record labels and the fervent wish to make uncompromising music. Lyrically the focus is (as the title already implies) intensely personal, and anyone who has experienced the ups and downs (especially the downs) of love will find himself poetically echoed here.

Review: Mono Inc.‘s show was a very interesting and appealing one; with a lot of elements that combined together gave the overall impression of a gathering of immense forces and extreme talent – both of which hold true of Mono Inc.‘s music in general, and of this performance in particular. With a very clever set, and a varied stage experience, Mono Inc. dashed through the meanders of “This Is the Day“, “Viva Hades“, “Revenges” and “Voices of Doom“, interposing in the set “After the War” (Gary Moore cover) and “The Passenger” (Iggy Pop cover), as well as a drum solo from Katha Mia. back to top

Blutengel

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY BLUTENGEL @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Blutengel @Amphi Festival 2010: Viva Music Review

About: Can dark, melancholy atmosphere and a catchy pop musical appeal go hand in hand? When listening to Blutengel, the answer has to be a definitive “yes.” Elements of electronic Pop music and eurodance are delicately mingled with the symbolism, the themes and the romantic appeal of the Gothic novel and the classic horror film. Add to that a wee bit of fetish eroticism and you get a catchy and highly addictive, yet alluring mixture. That the dark side, if presented in the right fashion, can have a solid mass appeal should become clear to anyone who looks into the success story of the vampire motif in the pop culture of the 20th and 21st century. In Blutengel’s music, dark imagery and romantic horror stories about vampires, death and the quest for eternal life are set to a musical backdrop that – be it dance- oriented or basking in pompous elegies – will have you hooked instantly.

Review: The cheer Blutengel got while on stage was a well-deserved reward for a wonderful show. Counting on a very animated beginning, and providing an altogether not monotonous set, Blutengel‘s treat was welcomed and received a lot of attention from an ecstatic audience. After a very solid intro, they slalomed through “Children of the Night“, “Soul of Ice“, “Bloody Pleasures” and “Vampire Romance“, providing a constant, pleasantly tension/release game that everyone was satisfied with. back to top

And One

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY AND ONE @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: And One “Back Home”: Viva Music Album Review | And One “Tanzomat”: Viva Music Review| And One @Amphi Festival 2010

About: Depeche Mode, Camouflage, Gary Numan,Front242, De/Vision, Nitzer Ebb – these are few of the influence references And One are ready to put at stake if they were to describe who convinced them to make good music. And the fact they made and make still good music is indisputable. An And One album, or a live performances, are reason enough to question your listening habits, and to recruit you to their fanbase. Recently reformed, after having had the same lineup for more than 15 years, and with one founding member and another band member setting off to create their new project Pakt, you would think that the days of And One are numbered, but their recent releases of 2012 show the same vigor and the same emotional intensity which helped so many fans warm toward And One.

Review: And One provided the end of the evening on the main stage, and their show was incredibly dense and provocative. Proving that they are still one of the major acts of the moment, they released immediate energy into the crowd effortlessly, and granted access to a terrific experience. What is more, they did not seem to tire at all, despite the length of their show, and chose for their set a quite eclectic array of songs; from their most recent “Back Home” and spanning forth to “Zerstoerer“, “Wasted” (which included snippets from “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode), “Love to the End“, “Traumfrau“, “Deutschmaschine“, “So klingt Liebe“. They provoked with their already classic rendition of Project Pitchfork‘s “Timekiller“, actually this was, as far as we know, the only song that was heard twice, both by And One and by Project Pitchfork during the festival, as well as with a cover of The Cure‘s “The Walk“. And One are vibrating and charismatic, and with a very sound understanding of showmanship, and this makes a live performance from them a must-have of all festivals who wish to entertain at a steady pace their audiences. back to top

Day Two – Staatenhaus: Schoengeist | Whispers in the Shadow | The Other | Coppelius | 18 Summers | Conjure One | Combichrist| Project Pitchfork

Schoengeist

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY SCHOENGEIST @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Schoengeist: The Exclusive Viva Music Interview | Schoengeist @NCN 2011: Viva Music Review

About: The gothic and industrial fiber of Schoengeist honors their name (i.e. “Beautiful Spirit” in German) – it is elegant, well-wrought, and truly a masterpiece. Counting on the presence of Eisbrecher‘s Alex Wesselsky for co-writing some of the songs from their latest album, “Keine Zeit” released in 2011, the experience of Schoengeist is one to look forward to.

Review: Schoengeist are one of our favorite acts (and we will never have enough of stating that), and when we first found out that they were going to perform at Amphi Festival it was a thrill. We could have only suspected, but it was confirmed at Amphi Festival, that their show was a thrill, too, and a very quick tour of the band’s finest; from “Keine Zeit” to “Sonne der Nacht“, from “Auge um Auge” to “Ganz oder gar nicht“. We particularly enjoyed the dramatic rendition of “Mein Herz bricht“, and the splendor of the show in its entirety, with very well calibrated moments, with the power of guitars, the virtuosity of violin, and the overpowering voice of the lead singer, making it an altogether terrific experience we wished never ended, or at least started over as soon as it ended! back to top

Whispers in the Shadow

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Whispers in the Shadow @NCN 2011: Viva Music Review

About: Dark and mystic conceptual lyrics fashioned against a dark trip core – this is where the band created by L’Ame Immortelle‘s guitarist, Ashley Dayour is getting us into. The name of the band comes from a H.P. Lovecraft story, “Whisperer in the Dark“. Their psychedelic, ‘Goth-Floyd’ sound ushers in a great sense of musical prestige and fashions a special atmosphere, imbibed with dark elements.

Review: With a declamatory voice that resembled a conjuring of forces of nature, the set put up by Whispers in the Shadow quickly caught on with the audience, who, in their turn, awaited the unchaining of the trademark Goth-Floyd sound of the band. They were not to wait for too long, as even the first track from their lengthy set provided a sound share of psychedelic surges of a very profound Gothic inspiration, while the ensuing set built up a powerful, however austere, emotion, able to move even the most reluctant of their listeners. “The Rites of Passage“, “The Arrival“, “Back to the Wound“, “Damned Nation” and “Lightbringer” were some of the gems Whispers in the Shadow presented us with during their show. back to top

The Other

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY THE OTHER @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: The Other is considered to be Europe’s most famous Horrorpunk-Band, with a history of four successful albums and gigs at some of the biggest Alternative-Festivals in Europe, like Wacken Open Air, Mera Luna, Summer Breeze, Amphi Festival, Force Attack, Wave Gotik Treffen, Endless Summer, Ruhrpott Rodeo and the Weekend of Horrors. Shows with Alice Cooper, Bela B. (of Germany’s Punk-Rock superstars Die Ärzte), the 69 Eyes, The Cult and tours with Misfits, The Damned, Balzac and Wednesday 13 added to the success of the Horror-four-piece. The band played endlessly all over Europe and even set over to tour the USA and play shows in England and Ireland. The Other’s first comic-book – “Tales from the other” was also a big success and the second part of the series is already planned.

Review: The wonderful experience of The Other was a cadenced mix of costume and intensity of sound. With a very short but comprehensive set, they managed to keep everyone alert and bathed Staatenhaus in their sounds with edge. Seeming to have the time of their life on stage helped with the encouragement of the audience to join in the party, and the result was a horror style cavorting. back to top

Coppelius

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY COPPELIUS @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Coppelius “Zinnober”: Viva Music Album Review | Coppelius “Tumult”: Viva Music Album Review | Coppelius @Amphi Festival 2010: Viva Music Review

About: With their mysterious instruments, Coppelius expands the meaning of rock excess. They show that there is much more to a double bass, cello, two clarinets and drums than chamber music – they go beyond what is known! An excessive pleasure to play and their appearance are only possible with the service of their butler. These courteous gentlemen create an atmosphere known only in Berlin in the early 1920ies.

Review: Coppelius are the kind of band on whom you can rely in order to get the most of a very provocative and diverse show. Almost choreographed, and with a bounty of instruments, not to mention their classy attire, they combined elements as diverse as classical pieces, cabaret, dark gothic music and classical rock into a cavalcade of unpretentious music. With “Der Advokat” and “To My Creator” they earned well-deservedly everyone’s hearts, and the ensuing tracks just confirmed the already stated. They included two Iron Maiden covers in the show. “Running Free” and “Murders in the Rue Morgue“, before throwing down the gauntlet with … “Der Handschuch“. back to top

18 Summers

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY 18 SUMMERS @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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About: The oeuvre of Felix Flaucher and Frank Schwer hasn’t lost any piece of his charismatic radiance and uniqueness over the last two decades, and yet although they accumulate this on The Magic Circus with a branding in a sophisticated utterance never previously obtained. The name is programmatic on whole album length. 18 Summers is an absorbing storytelling collection of enthusiasm, consciousness and calling the questions about the master plan, accompanied by extraordinary music full of associations, contrasts, a sense of humor and ironic refractions.

Review: One of the most vibrant and emotional shows of the entire festival, 18 Summers at Amphi Festival was a royal treatment. Initially we were disappointed the show was not on the main stage, only to realize within minutes that Staatenhaus did indeed provide the intimacy and atmosphere that were proper for 18 Summers. We enjoyed the show also because it was totally different from the other festival bands, thus providing like a meditation room for the festival altogether.  back to top

Conjure One

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY CONJURE ONE @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Conjure One “Like Ice”: Viva Music Album Review

About: Conjure One is the main creative outlet for producer Rhys Fulber, former member of industrial flag bearers Front Line Assembly and ambient electronic crossover act Delerium. He is also known for his extremely varied production resume which includes artists ranging from Fear Factory to Josh Groban.

Review: Conjure One made a flawless impression with their show at Amphi Festival, and provided immense pleasure to their audience. With a topnotch setlist, that included among others “Silence“, “Center of the Sun“, “Demon Inside“, and of course, “Like Ice“, they were up to the challenge of leaving the room with a perfectly heated atmosphere before the Combichrist and Project Pitchfork concerts. back to top

Combichrist

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY COMBICHRIST @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Combichrist @Blackfield Festival 2012: Viva Music Review | Combichrist @Nordstern Festival 2011: Viva Music Review | Combichrist in Romania 2011: Viva Music Review | 10 Combichrist Remixes to Look out for | Combichrist @Amphi Festival 2010 | Combichrist @E-tropolis Festival 2010: Viva Music Review

About: Combichrist have visited Romania in 2011 in a Viva Music event, and their electrifying show remained for many of our visitors an epitome of great stage presence with inexhaustible vocals and relentless instruments. The choice band of Rammstein for their most recent tour, Combichrist manage very well the role of headliner wherever they go. With a very quick-paced and longlasting tour life in 2010 and 2011, and the effort they put in any performance, you could well say they are super-human. “I’m a Norwegian grease ball, and I’m never afraid to get dirty!” are frontman Andy LaPlegua’s words – and indeed, he does not refrain either himself or his band mates from “getting dirty” – that makes the musical experience of Combichrist complete and fulfilling.

 Review: Combichrist were, needless to say, one of the most awaited acts of the festival. Everywhere they go, you can count on a surprise element, and this time, we thought the surprise element was them not showing up at all (it was the only show of a clockwork festival that started 10 minutes later than scheduled). But this was not it, we knew it the minute the band burst on stage in animal costumes: we had bears, tigers and penguins for the first songs! Their animated set was perfect, and it came with a matching reaction from a fullhouse audience. With “Intruder Alert“, “What the F*** Is Wrong with You?“, “This S*** Will F*** You Up” and “Shut Up and Swallow” they convinced everyone they are not tired one bit of performing, and as unicorn balloons flew around the room, they went on with “Throat Full of Glass” and “Follow the Trail of Blood“. Their show competed timewise with the one of And One, and sharing the audience was not an issue, as most people actually relocated from one stage to another in order to get the most of both shows. They went on with “Get Your Body Beat“, “Electrohead” and “Never Surrender” in sheer excitement, and their enthusiasm met no opposition from the audience. back to top

Project Pitchfork

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY PROJECT PITCHFORK @AMPHI FESTIVAL 2012

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Previously on dakrwave.ro: Project Pitchfork @Industrial Booom, Budapest 2012: Viva Music Review | Project Pitchfork @Darkwave.ro Festival 2011: Viva Music Review | Project Pitchfork @Amphi Festival 2010: Viva Music Review

About: The notion of dark electro becomes almost synonymous to the music of Project Pitchfork: for this, you have both fans and artists to pledge their course of music is indeed the must-have of any dark electro party, compilation, or source upon which to drill in order to grasp the right vibes and right wording. Project Pitchfork is not only one of the veterans of electro and industrial scenes, but also an act of very fecund composition, which, tirelessly, have accumulated over the years into a compendium of music and emotion. Project Pitchfork needs little if any introduction. We had the immense pleasure and honor to be their hosts in 2011, during our latest Darkwave.ro fest; and their presence, both behind and on the scene was a lesson to be learned: of their professionalism, of their almost juvenile enthusiasm over making and performing music, and what is more, because of their well-rounded stage experience, will always perform DVD worthy shows, unique and memorable.

Review: Project Pitchfork provided the last show of the festival, and it was a great experience for everyone involved. As it is already patent with Project Pitchfork shows, they have the right dosage of lyrical and harsh elements, and have an unmistakable music of their own. “Run for Cover“, as well as the second “Timekiller” of the festival (the first one being rendered by And One one hour before), “Lament“, “Endless Infinity” supplied the needed atmosphere everyone was in the mood for, while with ensuing songs, such as “Freeze in Silence” or “Beholder“, the audience could hardly contain itself with so much excitement. “Steelrose” and “Fire and Ice“, which we enjoy enormously were chosen to end their set, and thus, the entire festival, in full splendor. back to top

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