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Two reviews of Musique Ultimes II, Nevers, 1-2 june 1996

10 bands performed, here is my impression of these bands. Each band will be rated with 1-5 earplugs for the audial and goggles for the visual impression respectively. 1 for a bad performance, 5 for an excellent performance.

Saturday.

The Revolutionary Amry of the Infant Jesus. I had never before heard of this Liverpool band, and as they opened the gig, I found myself in the middle of a performance with a mixture of films, slides cool ligths where several layers were used and the band was located somewhere inbetween these layers. Her voice was magnificant and she was one of these artists who both sing well and handles multiple instruments. The music was - as I recall it - a mixture of ethical, folk and ambience, but I do not recall details. They appeared to have nerves and the breaking down of the scene at end seemed a bit more chaotic than it should have been. I have the impression that they are excellent on a studio version and something I will check out in the future. (Earplugs: 3, Goggles: 4)

Soldnergeist. 'Total Media Control' was written on three man tall crosses on the stage, and behind was a table with electronic equipment. A screen had some japanese cartoon running. The noise from the two ppl was absolutely well made and worth the listening, but neit her thier stage performance nor the movie in the background was interesting, and in parts seemed a bit embarresing aka 'Lets find a way to perform.' - whereafter the stage performance made the show worse than it would without anything. (Earplugs: 3, Gogg les: 1)

Daniel Menche. Silence... Daniel Menche, an odd looking american, only missing his cowboy hat walks in... silence.. The red light... I see the bowl of sand... Silence... He falls over the sand... NOISE... It is itching..... noise in layers... Just Noise... Daniel - You just did it. I am impressed. (Earplugs: 5, Goggles: 5)

Raison D'etre. I was pretty worried about this performance, since everyone was looking forward for it - maybe except me, as I had my doubts about RD performing live. Anyway, I found my seat. After 20 minutes I left the show. To many things reminded me of when I had Mor thound playing live: To much DAT, a video which was uninteresting and for me it looked like RD was sitting on the stage reading a boring book with a flashlight. I am sorry.. I left because I like RD and will look forward to play his music just as often as I usually do. RD's music is for the CD player, not for a live performance, unless as ambience in a church, planetarium or something else. (Earplugs 3+, Goggles 1)

Telepherique. German ambient at its best. I came a bit late for this gig as I went out for a shave and a 'francaise cuisine'. I was able to see the last three songs. I felt myself in a nature with lots of ambience and still some noise. The Video manifested the ambience and they made a good wholeness. I was told the beginning was noisy, but a must have missed that part. The three ppl worked concentrated. I positive experience. (Earplugs: 3, Goggles: 3)

Schloss Tegal. Satuday ended with a strange band. I found myself in noise and ambience. I think I fell asleep but cannot remember fully as I was comfortably numb. Parts reminded me of a Hafler Trio / DarkAmbience cross over. The video was a well made video collage I w ould like to see again. (Earplugs: 4, Goggles 4?)

Sunday:

O-Yoki Conjugate + Sons of Silence = S.P.O.K.E. I was really looking forward to see YOC, and they turned out to so a really good show. 3 mountain bikes on the stage with contact microphones, and a well made ambient music made from these bikes. Daniel of YOC added the ambiences well programmed dub and d rums, and the additional sax and primitive blowing instruments was the sprice to this performance. Even a 'rock' song appeared. (earplugs: 4, goggles: 4)

Batchas & friends. I have never heard of Batchas, but thier performance made me purchase one of thier releases from noise Museum (a package in beachsand). They started thier gig with water dripping into two buckets, and they had one of the most relaxing (dark) ambient appea rances at the festival. Yes, I fell asleep and I woke up happy as ever. (earplugs: 4, goggles: 3)

Co-Caspar. Imagine a 50 years old guy working as an invertor. that was how I felt this art performance. The repeating 'On the next beep it is...', followed by a man cutting off his mask but a machete. Odd instruments hanging from the roof, vacuum cleaners with rubbe r gloves and his absoulety excellent performance, though he once in a while appeared a bit absent minded. Musically, I did not really understand what was going on, but his performance was brilliant. (earplugs:?, goggles: 5). The music is far to different for me to give it earplugs...

Current 93. I guess most people came to Nevers because of Tibets appearance. - And I must say, he gave what people expected. I was delighted by his stage appearance and his humor. His songs were mainly from TMP, Of Ruine and all the pretty horses. He ended the show with an excellent version of lucifer over london, with Julie Woods and son backing hi, up with bells. Michael Cashmore proved to be an excellent guitar player, whereas Karl Blake (?) tended to lag a bit with the bas. I hope I will see C93 once again, it was worth hitch-hiking 2000 km for this. (earplugs: 4, goggles: 3)

That was all. I will thank all the people I met at the place and noise Museum for this initiative. I hope I will be able to be there next year...

Darkblue And Camilla (with the green hair)


We thought we should give our view of the festival at Nevers since they differ somewhat from Darkblue's. Our rating system is similar (1=bad, 5=excellent). First a few words about the festival in general. It was held in a baroque theatre (as advertised). This was wonderful and the acoustics were great. As a matter of fact the soundquality was excellent for all the performances, and this coupled with the intimacy of the theatre (which had three stories of balconies) and a great audience (quiet while the bands played and enthusiastic inbetween) made the settings for the performances as near perfect as we can think of. In the breaks between the bands it was possible to buy refreshments in the bar as well as records, and the artists were mingling with the audience. We've never seen so many interesting records assembled in one place, and if we hadn't already borrowed money for the plane-tickets from Norway to France, we probably wouldn't have been able to carry our bags back home... In short the setting was all anyone could wish for. Now for the bands:

The Revolutionary Army Of The Infant Jesus:

Extremely good performance, especially the visual side of things. They reminded us somewhat of bands like Test Dept.and The Moon Lay Hidden..., but not really like anything we had heard before. Overall a very positive surprise. We bought their CD and it turned out that they actually are much better live than on record. This is not to say that the CD is bad, but it's not very well produced and of course it lacks the excellent visuals. Definitely a band to keep an eye (or ear) on. Sound: 4, Vision: 5

Soldnergeist:

Average music and a pointless stage-performance which mainly consisted of the two members of the band taking turns to paste pages from various magazines on to three cardboard crosses. Disappointing. Sound: 3, Vision: 2

Daniel Menche:

Extremely intense and physical performance and some excellent deep droning sounds, but perhaps a bit repetetive. Sound: 3, Vision: 4

Raison D'Etre:

A very disappointing concert which didn't offer anything more than listening to the CD at home. We quite agree with Darkblue here. Sound: 2, Vision: 1

Schloss Tegal:

A really good concert from these veterans. Very relaxing soundscapes and nice background film. We actually fell asleep occationally during the concert, being very tired after a long day, but we really enjoyed this concert. Sound: 4, Vision: 4

O Yuki Conjugate + Sons Of Silence = Spoke:

This concert started well with three men playing on bicycles, but trailed off into some pointless techno in the middle part of the concert before ending quite ok. Unfortunately the techno part detracted a lot from the overall impression. Sound: 2, Vision: 3

Batchas:

Very good ambient industrial concert which turned out to be as great as his records. Sound: 4, Vision: 3

Co-Caspar:

This concert is without a shadow of doubt the strangest we've ever seen. 59 year old Caspar (acording to the Tesco catalogue) is undoubtedly a fascinating man. Sound: 2, Vision: 4

Current 93:

This has to be the best concert we've ever been to. The selection of songs were immaculate and the sound great with Karl Blake's bass lending the songs greater weight than on the records. The performance was in our opinion better than any other live performance we've heard by C93 either on bootleg or on the official releases. As far as we can remember they played the following songs (not in this order though): Horsey, The Descent of Long Satan and Babylon, In the Heart of the Wood and What I Found There, A Silence Song, When the May Rain Comes, A Sad Sadness Song, Steven and I in the Fields of Stars, The Teeth of the Winds of the Sea, All The World Makes Great Blood, The Great Bloody and Bruised Veil of the World, Dormition and Dominion, This Shining Shining World, Lucifer over London, All The Pretty Little Horsies, Calling for Vanished Faces, This Carnival is Dead and Gone, The Bloodbells Chime... There could of course be some slight mistakes here, but at least we think we heard these songs. Sound: 5, Vision: 5

Overall we thought it was an excellent festival, and if it's in any way possible we'll be there next year as well.

Hugo & Linn


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