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Author Topic: UNITED FORCES OF INDUSTRIAL II  (Read 14627 times)
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2015, 03:22:12 PM »

Report will follow soon.
Here is few audio/slideshow type of things.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbOPKeRBvK6v-_hCsc9143g
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2015, 05:19:10 PM »

UNITED FORCES OF INDUSTRIAL II : LONDON 1-2.5.2015

Preparations for the festival were pretty minimal. Whatever reasons keeps one buse, has resulted that Grunt has not had rehearsals for the new sets at all. Clinic Of Torture made video back drop and short equipment test on wednesday and Pain Nail rehearsed the set wednesday evening.
Thursday morning still little work to be done, before heading to airport with rest of finnish delegation. Focusing on finishing leftovers of couple whisky bottles before reaching airport set the tone of upcoming festival, hehe...

Minor nuisances of london public transportation was easy to deal with and arrived to hostel where Concrete Mascara and Kevlar was already present. Kevlar guys took some rest while rest of us headed to town for drinks and food. Good times catching up and drinking. Later in evening hard men of Alfarmania arrived to hostel and drinking continued till late with sharing stories.

My friday started early morning with finishing the beer that was open since previous night sudden sleep. Guys had found me sleep with half bottle in hand. Some kebab for breakfast and picking up drinks from off-license. In traditions of lazy tourist, it was cheap drinks at hostel until it was time to head to venue. It was excellent to be part of festival, where soundman is industrial music maker. Meaning that technical matters of fest was handled by AM NOT. With such guy behind table, proved to be among easiest and best what I've seen in this country. No explanations was needed beyond the basics. Things were quick and there was no fear of playing it loud enough. Video footage was large and set up properly so it covered entire back wall.

ARKHE started festival. Sound was surprisingly low compared to loudness of soundchecks. It was ok. But things like too short backdrop ending before gig (with "dvd menus" appearing on back for a while), drinking on stage, low levels of volume, were things what made sure that set was much less than it could have been. I'm sure it works better when listened from tape. With small adjustments it would become much more intense. Of course he stepped in with very short notice after Taeter cancelled.

Not sure if Vinciguerra spirit was still lurking at the venue, as you'd find turds in toilets, what wouldn't flush down. Just reminding of bowel documents time after another on this fest, haha!

KEVLAR did long soundcheck earlier at the day, and it proved to be correct choice, as set went with firm and tight style. I had never heard their works, but what we had, was solid set of 90's heavy electronics. Think of Ex.Order, Genocide Organ, Operation Cleansweep, Survival Unit and such. Two military thugs on stage, heavy walls of electronic sounds and commanding voice. Throbbing sequences and combat training videos.

AM NOT continued this atmosphere. His sound has very little of "noise". Perhaps even less than Kevlar. It's very precise, very technological. Loud volume and live vocals add much more aggression than in his studio works. Less of talked narrations, more aggressive shouting. Just like in his studio works, his live relies much on possibilities of modern technology. Video footage and audio is in sync. Throbbing beats, slogans appearing on screen and such things happen simultaneously. Even some spoken word samples you see and hear at the same time. Kind of reminds me of how Sektion-B has done things. What bugs myself, is the mundane feel of "daily politics". As little as I wanted to see Sektion-B doing songs with George Bush face on videos, equally little I need to see Obama. Just personal preference. Luckily there was much more than contemporary USA politics. I recognized some tracks of the new album. People were satisfied.

PAIN NAIL set consisted songs that are alternative versions of recent album and older 7" material as well as completely new tracks which do not appear in any releases. Things went roughly as planned and it was good PA system to work with. One could control easily live gear without any obstacles of (unwanted) feedback or such. Less than half an hour later, set was done.

ALFARMANIA delivered better set than in Finland. Perhaps Swedish trademark of on stage drinking. Colorful collage video, two vocalist shouting over rugged slowly moving sound layers of industrial waste. To me this worked best when was not watching, just listening without seeing anything. Balances where handled better than on recent gig in Lahti. Due lo-fi nature of their sound, Alfarmania doesn't often compete with sound pressure of more high fidelity bands like Kevlar or Am Not, but provides complexity of textures and slowly shifting organic movements what rarely is achieved with synths.

Good ending for first night, what proceeded into drinking at bars and eventually in hostel. Alfarmania and Pain Nail went to bar late night, myself and mr. Vanhala staying at hostel.

Saturday was good to start with finishing the remains of bottle of 7% cider what was found next to bed, hah. Breakfast with guys of Kevlar provided some details of this previously unknown band. Early start at venue meant that had to go to soundcheck while most of others went to city.

Soundcheck was merely to see that everything is connected right. CLINIC OF TORTURE doesn't use backing tapes (beyond the sounds of whipping etc..) nor have prepared anything in advance, so every gig has been about creating things from scratch. This time mini synth, loop pedal, scrap metal, couple pedals and filter. Raw industrial noise made out of semi-unexpected sounds emerging from minimal gear. Apart from sloppy last "track", it felt going well. Spontaneous element was that apparently sounds went accidentally through Martin Bladh's vocal effects, providing few unexpected difference between right & left channel volumes, hah...

MARTIN BLADH did performance of vocals & backing videos & pre-recorded sound. Self mutilation, tension of vocals and experimental sounds. Only braking atmosphere by moments of man drinking beer in middle of songs. Don't really get the idea of right after moment of self mutilation and intense atmosphere to step down to moments of.... satisfying thirst for beer...? When we don't really talk about rock'n'roll live shows, but in this case basically performance art, otherwise very solid set suffers from such minor details. Clarity of sound was excellent. Very sharp distorted voice and highly echoed voice being used. Half of set I listened, eyes closed, in semi-conscious state of mind on back of room. Very professional video material was perhaps missed, but it worked also as purely sonic experience.

This early-day event was merely 2 bands, as Stark had cancelled in last minute. I guess, same morning? I was ready to head into nearest bars and gallery. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities was located less than 1km from venue. Bar with lots of oddities and even more in the basement gallery what cost 3 pounds to enter. Amputee sex. Tribal relics from exotic lands. Occult. Porn. Bizarre taxidermy. skeletons, skulls,...... all sorts of morbid curiosities filled the basement from floor to ceiling. Purchased bunch of postcards, including couple cards of Austin Osman Spare drawings what were on display at the bar. Just around the corner from venue was very nice bar. Tasty beer, several noiseheads hanging out. With finnish delegation with assistance of obscure finn noise Moozzhead, created quite neat exquisite corpse drawing on the spot. While others were destined to drink further, I wanted to see every group of fest.

Night show started with BROOD being the first. I was under impression that it would be dark ambient. Don't know why, but when it turned out to be some kind of beat-music, it was nothing I'd watch more than few minutes at the time, returning to check out if there is anything else coming than relatively clumsy beats. Some bodies were moving and full room watched, so I assume people liked. I have very hard time adjusting myself to rhythmic electronics of this type.

CONCRETE MASCARA live show in Finland was fueled with alcohol, and not so memorable. This time, strengthened with mr. Hutchinson with metaljunk, stone and hammer and Si Clark with vocals and noise. Mastermind himself delivering solid background of pre-recorded electronics, processed vocals etc. and result was very good! It has basically the elements I appreciate: Aggressive voice. Physicality of making noise. Form, but also enough of live modulation. Backing video was quite horrid, though. Just like with Am Not case, to me seeing familiar face like the pretty boy Ryan Gosling from his 2013 thriller film was quite turn off...  I'd like to connect all noise to something less of contemporary pop culture. Apart from video, show was very nice. Perhaps to be heard from live release as I believe recording was pretty good quality?

JAAKKO VANHALA had been lost on his way from bar to venue, hah. Finally finding the place, moments before he was about to go on stage. Gig had to be stopped twice before set could really start. First there was no sound on PA and things were re-connected. Then some gear turned mute. But like professional noise performer should, he had guts to simply stop in front of full room of audience and see what is wrong, and re-start when all is in order. Just recently saw atrocious set of someone who just continued the failure, even if correcting could have been just brief stop away... Vanhala knows this, and when everything was ready to go, what a set followed! Restless harsh noise to the bone. Full on physical action, utmost care of effects, filters and sound sources including tapes, little use of sampler and lots of live noise. Many times there were moments that this must be the ending climax, but no. Just throw some new elements into mix and re-build it again to sheer maximum tension. Audience reactions was most frantic to be seen during the festival and perhaps easy to say also gig was the best at the festival?! Scrap metal floating among audience and screams, spilled beers, mosh pit and general havoc in right in front of stage. Now that his CD's have been sold out from Freak Animal, I urge to grab them if you see somewhere! Certainly harsh noise name to stick out in our times!

CREMATION LILY was another name what step up to fill slot that Puce Mary left with last minute cancellation. It's probably challenge to suddenly set yourself ready to perform in like... one day notice?! CL for me has been always sort of hit & miss. Overall, I like what he does, but it seems to be so close to certain period of Prurient and also pretty close of what LR from Denmark does too. Simple ethereal keyboard melodies and emotional screamy vocals, rattling noises. Not bad. Not bad at all, but this type of melody patterns with smooth sound, below noise is something I don't care much. I like it as rare and occasional element, but seeing it develop almost as subgenre of noise, isn't too interesting. Of course one can't blame band, as combined with just experienced utter rush of utmost noise set and necessity to set up gear for Grunt gig put me into position of not being able to check out entire show. Certainly not with full attention. But people liked it a lot, that I can tell.

Due long distances and shortage of time, we haven't had time to rehearse GRUNT sets this year at all, so things are thrown together with pretty casual style. Previous Turku show belongs to one of best gigs we did recently. Working in different set up provided little challenges, but nothing what couldn't be overcome. Playing set in different track order than was originally agreed was perhaps little surprice, and necessity of correcting minor details on spot takes away some stage energy. It's hard to be ever fully satisfied with my own sets, but after listening recordings, it seemed to work out just fine. I could trust Vanhala to keep up with any spontaneous changes in set that was never discussed.

In my experience, most gigs in UK that end late, have people leaving before last band. Now firm schedule and dedicated international audience probably secured that it was packed till last minute.

Unrest team did great job in setting things up. Venue was much much better than I expected. Stage would be nice, but it was good already as it is. Relaxed atmosphere, good location, sound guys knowing what they do and schedules being firm. Which is almost miracle in UK gigs as far as I have experienced! I was told crowd was bigger than last year, and now it was very close to maximum capacity. Room couldn't take much more. Maybe dozen or couple dozen if it would be totally packed. Room for live gigs was separate from bar and merch area. I believe artists did very well with merch.

Concrete Mascara & Finnish crew was in need to leave early in morning to airport, like 6 o'clock. Alfarmania were still prowling on the streets at night, and times when we were waking up, them and Kevlar guys were barely ready to go to sleep.

I seriously hope they will have energy to put together United Forces of Industrial III for next year! Big thanks for Martin and rest of Unrest crew + all the artists of the fest.
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2015, 12:11:35 AM »

Excellent festival but one artist was in a completely different transcendosphere, Vanhala fucking destroyed. At least my fist that is still throbbing from all that sheet metal. Really a mind altering experience. Due to the problems mentioned above by Mikko I was afraid (I was probably not the only one) that the set was never going to start again but when it did it was like a two-gallon adrenaline shot to the third eye. I was literally left speechless after the set.
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2015, 10:09:50 AM »

A great weekend, socially and musically. Powerful performances from all involved, despite some unfortunate cancellations it all came together very well. Most outstanding was Vanhala's set, not the least for the change from rather controlled power electronics to an all-out harsh noise blast, which was very welcome. Saw all sets except Brood, unfortunately, but none disappointed; I think Pain Nail and Concrete Mascara will remain the longest in memory. The Unrest HQ runs a tight ship and I hope we will see more festivals of this caliber; as Mikko said having sound techs who are more than familiar with the genre and its needs is very welcome. Very nice venue as well, with merch/bar in separate room, isolating the concerts in another.

Satisfied with my rather rushed together set, despite some technical issues (the backdrop was supposed to outlast the set by 5-6 minutes but, ah well you can't have everything - the lack of volume I cannot explain though). And a thirst for beer; a Swedish thing perhaps, hah. Grateful for the opportunity to perform, even though getting through UK airport security with a bag filled to the brim of cables, pedals and synths was... cumbersome.

And yes, the Viktor Wynd museum at Last Tuesday Society can only be recommended for anyone visiting London.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 10:12:27 AM by ARKHE » Logged

Ashmonger
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2015, 09:30:17 PM »

Just wondering: how many people were there more or less on this event?
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2015, 10:26:55 AM »

I would assume 100+ was saturday at least? For capacity of venue, it was very close to maximum. At least concerning how many can fit to room of live music.

In this video you can see view from little further from room:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p7_Iolexv0
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