5. Stage Null, Ohm, Tresor
I couldn’t think of any act that didn’t leave a strong impression, and this goes for the late night performances at Stage Null
as well. Stage Null was located on the first floor of Kraftwerk, and it prolonged in a very logical, conceptual way, the sonic vibrations set by the main stage performances.
The way Stage Null functioned in the first nights was retrospective of the most relevant underground labels of the moment. There was a Subtext Recordings
showcase, featuring Ellen Arkbro, Yair Elazar Glotman, John Bence
and obviously Roly Porter
. The smoke-drenched, dimly lit performances were immersive, poignant, elevating and reflective. Stage Null felt like a colder and more obscure relative of the main, and the people who stayed for the rest of the night there were fewer, darker, quiet and less diverse than the crowd you would meet at the main-stage meeting point.
On Thursday, Stage Null brought Diagonal Records
and related acts such as Blood Music, Not Waving, AN-I, Russell Haswell
, and ended it up gloriously with Powell
spinning all sorts of gems. It couldn’t get anytime soon out of my head the banger track “Insomniac”
which I’m blasting right now on repeat or the Koto – “Jabdah” theme that Powell played then, as well as at the festival after party on Sunday, which happened at stage Ohm
. Until the closing party, stage Ohm was known already as the chilling point in the whole complex, presenting dreamier acts, bass bits, not very known producers, but also exceptions like Sleeparchive
, during whose over-packed performance at Ohm set the pace to exhausting perpetual movement. But let us not digress.
Back to Stage Null, Friday was an outright highlight. I’m talking about the Northern Electronics / Posh Isolation
showcase, which kicked in with Acronym
’s rugged and dynamic yet cinematic performance and continued with Vit Fana
’s declarative industrial noise performance, which Ossian Ohlsson
carried with a well-dosed, suspenseful stage presence and attitude. The line up was very balanced, from a gender perspective, thanks to the fact that Puce Mary’s performance - who was the only girl in this six act selection - was heavy enough to counter-weight everything else with a very intense and abrasive, no-nonsense and convulsive noise moment.
as Lundin Oil
(read our review HERE
) induced a bone-chilling hex as he presented his side project, showing a darker and multi-layered noise side of his acknowledged work as a visionary techno producer. As Varg
performed in the closing of the showcase night along with the Damien Dubrovnik
team, those crazy stories heard about early days industrial performances and harsh noise gigs were all going on right on the spot. Loke Rahbek
was being this messianic industrial figure about to break the microphone stand in two and smash it, the stage was trashed, the noise was loud, some people were covering their ears, Jonas Rönnberg
broke his arm crashing DIY instruments against walls and nothing in this world seemed real.
At the same time with the Stage Null mayhem there was mindless techno going on at loud volumes at the Tresor
stage, and this was an occasion to view some of the cutting-edge, mavericks of the moment. It was great to see such producers reference each other while spinning tracks that you would recognize, of someone else in the line up. Regis
, Abdulla Rashim
’s soon-to-be-released catwalk techno project The Empire Line
(yes, that is techno music at the perfect tempo to stage a fashion presentation to), and many more which my auditory memory could track down but not quite identify. Sigha
were so successful in making Tresor feel like it was about to crash and Peder Mannerfelt
(who had one of the most touching sets at the main stage that very night, with visuals to which you could see your aura colors spinning) presented a very complex knowledge in clean-cut techno music.