|photography was really not my thing this weekend|
if you're into ebm/ electro-industrial music, kinetik is a big deal. europeans have been all over this sort of thing for years, but unlike their predecessors, they'd never been able to conquer the gargantuan north american land mass. one of the artists declared that kinetik has put north america on the map for this sort of music, which leads me to two conclusions:
1. the organisers have accomplished a lot in five years.
2. fans of this sort of music must have really shitty maps.
|no one knew what the hell i was wearing|
[of course, i never went to summer camp, so maybe they are all like that.]
|it sort of felt like the mothership arriving a lot|
|dom went dressed as a sparkly vampire|
phase i :: projekt f/ adversary/ nachtmar/ orphx/ combichrist/ e-craft
winterkalte, who had to cancel last minute, were originally to perform in the slot occupied by orphx, who were scheduled to follow adversary. the necessary changes did mean that the carefully planned flow was a little thrown for the first night.
musical high point :: orphx. no surprise for me there, but i love how they manage to shift their sound to suit any event they play while still always sounding like themselves.
|me and the boss man|
musical low point :: the easy answer would be e-craft, who sounded generic in a field not known for its breadth, but for me, i'd have to say combichrist. although he put on a good show, i couldn't get over the jock-rock-on-synthesizers vibe of most of his songs. i don't understand.
READ ABOUT ALL THE REST AFTER THE BREAK...
phase ii :: cenotype/ shiv-r/ klangstabil/ hypr/ haujobb/ grendel/ panzer ag/ heimataerde
with the shortened schedule and political upheaval of the night before, i think that a lot of people were wondering what the heck was going to happen next. it felt like this was the night when everything kind of got smoothed over and the "normal" vibe got going again.
|noisex living up to their name|
performance high point :: although i have some of the same misgivings about grendel as i did about combichrist, they did have great energy. and it's really hard not to like a band doing a song called "stop sampling full metal jacket". [honourable mention: although less frenetic, haujobb scored high on this front too.]
musical low point :: i kind of hate to do this, but heimataerde. i hate to do it, because their set had me riveted. heavy set german men in medieval armour and monks' habits, electronic oboe, metal guitars... it had us all wondering what the staff had slipped in our drinks. just ridiculous. i hope they come back next year.
|film cru represent|
for both my ears and eyes, this was clearly the best night of the fest.
musical high point :: i liked noisex when they were an ant-zen band about a hundred years ago, although even then, i had trouble distinguishing them from a lot of other bands on the label. then they got a bit more pop. then they got flat-out cheesy. i ended up taking off about halfway through their set the last time they played kinetik. so i was jolted almost off the balcony when this year's performance was a raging, thrashing, hammering, white-knuckled beast. i guess he changed prescriptions or something. best set of the festival.
|who is this again?|
musical low point :: c-lekktor. they filled the floor after the much more interesting end.user departed and i'm still trying to figure out why. total meh.
phase iv :: nitronoise/ the gothsicles/ miss construction/ sitd/ beborn beton/ blutengel/ s.p.o.c.k.
the tone of this night was more "eletro-pop" than "industrial", so the overall sound was softer-edged and more melodic than the others. i understand the logic of having this come at the end, but after the night before, the decrease in energy seemed that much more pronounced.
|my men at the door|
performance high point :: blutengel. that's probably the least controversial thing i'll ever say, but seriously, nothing was going to compete with the over-the-top camp that is the blutengel stage performance. every single element of the show was perfectly choreographed and lit. it would have been criminal not to film it.
musical low point :: it's bad enough that they covered eco's underwhelming 90s ebm club hit "hass und liebe" and that the lead singer must have said at least four bloody times that this was their last song, but miss construction were apparently the only electronic music fans on the planet who hadn't heard about the adversary performance on thursday and proudly called out that one of their songs was called "fuck you bitch" [it's exactly what you think it is]. ugh.
|need some hot stuff?|
but i really did enjoy having the opportunity to talk to friends i only get to see once a year. and i personally think it's worth a trip to kinetik just to buy the delicious hot condiments from the iamhot.ca folks. and loved meeting and talking to bob, the faithful guardian of the metropolis backdoor, overlooking the smoking staircase [i don't smoke, but dom does].
|who needs to sleep?|
personally, the writer part of me [who hasn't been out much lately] sort of likes the irony in the fact that a festival of music that is all about precision and programming, a festival that itself relies on an incredible level of organisation, was marked by a completely unexpected, un-programmed and very emotional moment. some people were annoyed. some were impressed. some teared up. a remarkably raw, non-synthetic moment.