|"Consumer electronics 5" - spring entertainment for those who hate.
Sektion B, Grunt, Sickness, Control, Slogun
Samstag, 15.10.2005 im K17 / Berlin
After a long and vain winter had passed and you were still desperately waiting for the spring to come freezing or wading in the mix of mud and water, the only serious occupation getting into your brain is to hate. To hate everybody and everything. And to practise this without any reason, feeling just vast luxury and being explicit about stating that this emerges from the depth of your mind and is true indeed. Though this year spring was very cold and I hated everybody and everything, the spring weather wasn't the reason. I hate naturally. And this is the only way for me to maintain the authentic self-expression. I hate any kind of prophets without taking into account the religion they are trading off. I hate fucking politicians and never-ending drama they are acting in and spreading it for the borrowed money every fucking day into every fucking place of community. I hate fucking slogers who absorb this shit, feed on it, live with it, taking pleasure in it and enact themselves as the passive spectators. I hate and the only religion I profess is contempt and nihilism.
At the moment when my mate, a foreigner, informed me about the festival taking place in Berlin - "Consumer Electronics", I remain silent. "Many festivals happen in the world, so what", - entered into my head. But when this mate started to list the default artists, my brains generated the following: "I had to be there with every piece of my hate". "Con-Dom", "Grey Wolves" - these names were the hard reasoning to spend tons of money for travelling. Besides, I was also curious to get familiar with "MK9" and "Stahlwerk9".
I reported about my intentions to some freaks. Soon there were much more travel-minded freaks than needed. We arranged accommodation booking and payment for the entrance via internet and having stuffed our car with beer and smoked ham to the top, departed to Berlin - to "Consumer Electronics", the festival of "power electronics". Even short of Marijampole, the whole crew of our car was totally drunk, except pilot. When entered the capital of Poland, the whole crew of the car was sleeping peacefully and the pilot was deadly drunk. I was tracking the dark shades drifting through the road and as it started bothering me, I stopped at random near the first gas-station and sank into the leaden and sloughy slumber.
As I woke up I hardly managed to identify this place. As I looked around I saw only the unusual smog. Someone's hand swept across the cloudy window and I discerned the gas-station. It was hard to get off the car as I didn't feel my legs. Still at the moment when blood reached my legs I remembered about the goal of my trip - extreme music, hate and nihilism. After a while we were on the way to Berlin.
This city left a weird impression on me. It overwhelmed by its extent. And you can see for yourself - overshooting your station and then having to pass through the city in order to get into the needed place. We were travelling for two hours across the cold jungle of concrete and I was nauseating the civilisation. Though, I liked this city. We entered the legendary district of Pankow, stayed at the lowly but clean hotel and then - the springing rivers of alcohol. At the beginning, we drank for the gagging Eastern kebabs to swallow, and then - simply for increasing the hate. Hate to Berlin as I experienced such a strange and scary impression of that city for the first time. This modern concrete oasis triggered no emotions at all. Or perhaps even contrarily: there were emotions absolutely unidentified. I was nearly cross-lighted when travelling through the dark subway. It seemed as I saw the future. But the one that forced me to desperately drink as much beer as I could manage.
We approached the "Pankow Garage" club before the show had started. There were a few typically dressed representatives of the "industrial" subculture, hanging around. The club by itself was somewhat like the odd wooden workshops or the paled garage. Some Germans were grilling roasted pork and sausages, but I was more interested in merchandise and inner record stores. So I put more efforts to enter the club as soon as possible. The security guy (who resembled the well-torn bullterrier-fighter - his body was all rugged with bloody scars) was thoroughly checking everyone. With my turn he asked to open the bag. Having seen a pair of spare socks and pants I always took with myself when travelling and where is pending possibility to get drunk thus at least theoretical possibility to get shitty, he started to laugh and then pissed off. I was asked at the entrance whether I was enrolled in a guest list and upon finding my name there, I had to pay 20 euros. Lately I found out that this gig wasn't the festival at all, but the private party accepting only those prearranged with the organizers. Then I realized the reasons. Nihilism and hate are exclusive phenomena in the Western Europe either. Furthermore, they also have the same attributes as ours: politicians, religions, community continually attacking and striving to enslave or to destroy the authenticity. Perhaps even fiercer.
I purchased some vinyls which were quite ok and still waiting for the festival to begin I started to empty the resources of the bar relentlessly. The "Berliner" beer was perfect. The gig started with "Stahlwerk9". They are the Austrian military "power electronics" commando with the deep "martial" accent. These guys put on the black and white video. Shots from the First World War were pretty much corrupted. I felt I was stressed not by the war itself but mainly by the pictures of the past. At that moment, I fully realized that those persons captured in the film are definitely neither simpler nor weaker than we are. Still they all had gone. They couldn't manage to maintain their authenticity even in the time of war. They are just ghosts remained in the charred films. I was fully submersed by the oppressive atmospheric music of "Stahlwerk9" into the deep reflections about the artefacts and reality of the First World War. I was looking at those soldiers with gas-masks, surrounded by gas clouds, and I hated the whole history of the mankind. I clearly perceived that I felt regret for I was born. But once I was born, there is nothing to do - just to drink, drink and drink.
After the set had finished, my bottle of beer (the number of which I couldn't remember) was also empty. So I hustled to the bar. The barman was surprised for I was still hungry for beer as this bottle was neither the first nor the second one. Buzzing around, I was judging the taste of designers who worked out the interior of the hall. The whole room was surrounded in a strange mystery for the torchères were standing by the wall.
Two guys appeared on the stage. One of them was switching through several effects, another one - screaming into the microphone. I knew that the "Grey Wolves" were from Great Britain, but even one unaware could easily guess that. The vocal Dave had his own collection of attributes, specific only to the punks of Albegon. Even black "Doc Martens" seemed very British. Throwing dirt, jeering and fucking on everything in the world "Grey Wolves", one of the pioneers of "power electronics", manifested their nihilistic truth. Though the vocal, I supposed, wasn't distorted by any effect, music triggered some cheeky atmosphere and anger. Dave was running around the hall as a true punk (by the way, he is probably one of the few retained the true British punk spirit), disorderly and swearing. The impression of the real freakish atmosphere was strengthened by the freakish video background showing the black and white horror film of the "TETSUO" style old Japanese "cyber-punk". I was standoff, swigging the beer. I didn't dare to leave the hall as it was perfect. Maybe therefore I happened to see live performance of the "Grey Wolves" provocation against the audience. Mixed with the audience Dave was distributing candies. I catch the thought at once: "If he'll give me a candy, I won't take it - as my authenticity can't be brought for a candy". The culmination proved I was right. Dave climbed on the stage and threw angrily the rest of candies to the audience. I wasn't hurt by these fragments and decided to commemorate this at the bar. This time the barman was just smiling and I saw twinkles in his eyes, curious and provoking. I knew he was thinking: "What's then.?"
I went down to the hall. There was total darkness. Suddenly a few spotlights flashed on and somebody threw the whole pack of flyers from the stage. I lifted one and realized - that was no flyers, but political proclamations. "This is occupation" - stated one of them. "MK9" started their performance. I was deeply involved in the shots of video background. They were related to the victims of Iraq, war documentary, anti-war demonstrations in San Francisko and injured demonstrators. Michael ran in the middle of the attendees and pushing them screamed what a fucking America is in real. The strongest effect was of the video background. Perhaps for there was darkness in the hall and "MK9" video was the only colour that night. In fact, the huge quantity of beer made the enormous contrast between the colour and white-black video backgrounds which made the strongest impression that night of all the performance of this American.
The last "Con-Dom" set aroused the highest level of curiosity for me. Before that I gobbled some roasted pork and one sausage. So I could stream into my throat as much beer as it could hold. The barman threw a freaky glance at me and it seemed that he had something misunderstood. I went to the hall, carrying the full bottle of beer. One guy climbed on the stage, the same who previously did the sound for the "Grey Wolves". I remember what I was thinking then: "And where are the other three or four guys and what the "Grey Wolves" are doing there? I don't know why but I was always thinking that "Con-Dom" is featured by a few members. One German guy standing nearby ascertained that "Con-Dom" consist of only one member and sound for the "Grey Wolves" was generated by this guy from "Con-Dom" for another member of the "wolves" never leaves England. I was totally stoked by the "Con-Dom" line-up. I heard about "Con-Dom" far enough, but this fact was disregarded somehow. More over, it was rather weird for this small guy I happened to communicate with and who seemed to me as a humble, quiet and reasonable person is the mover of this legendary "power electronics" group suppressed by the Government in England for quasi spreading the racism and execration. The "Con-Dom" show began. Mike (that was the name of this guy) put the music on and switched on the video background. The latter beguiled us at once. There were exclusive shots of Ku-Klux-Klan, black panthers (the black man terrorists organization), arming. Once I've got wind from Lina Baby Doll of that "Con-Dom" video material is the most thrilling. The shot of three nigers fucking the white women and finishing with the "cum-shot" on her face, forced me to believe in that. Mike coloured his one cheek in white, the other - in black, then he spotted his half-naked body. Then with the sounds of lo-fi "power electronics" which made an extreme effect on the hall, he daubed the faces of the attendees. I was gratified that Reples ("Bender", the nickname of my friend) was touched with the white colour. Thus I thought I didn't miss in choosing my friends. Such "visage-making" should be considered equal with candies - this is the third measure for impacting the audience after the sound and view. The unexpected usually unarms the listener. Music was gradually becoming harder and Mike started to yell into the microphone. That was the beginning of the total chaos. The whole audience was bawling together and pushing each other, but Mike's vocal distorted by the specific "flanger" effect was overwhelming. Mike was going crazy. He was hustling the audience and swearing at it. The strongest and most spiteful euphoria overtook me. I drank beer and repeated continually in my thoughts: "Let everything be fucked up, whatever". "Con-Dom" was definitely the culmination of the performance. When the last track silenced, Mike left the hall all wet.
I was overwhelmed again by this nauseous feeling at the end of every high quality performance. Oppressive depression diffused as if from the smashed bottle when I swallowed the last drink of beer. Two conceptions emerged in my head: "more" and "keep going". I ran to the bar headlong. On my way I found out that there should be a surprise at the end of the gig. John Balistreri aka "Slogun" was intended to perform his set. My senses were reborn and uplifted, but the staring barman was nervous for some reason. The beer was refreshing and after a few minutes John started. The secret of his especially strong vocal could be noticed when communicating with him before the gig. Highly resonant, clear and strong voice is probably inborn. Balistreri was driving savagely. The following words grove into my brains especially: "You so fucking perfect". Super! Suddenly, the picture of the fucking clean "house" fans pusses glimpsed in my mind, so I would destroy them with pleasure. "Power electronics" was burning in the hall and the serious hustle among the audience. During this noise, my bottle of beer was broken. Someone took the microphone from "Slogun" and shouted all around: "Fuck you!" Situation was totally uncontrolled, still the noise suddenly stopped and the performance ended. Arrangers switched off the sound system. That was the real hot party. I wasn't keen on stopping. As I came to the bar, someone asked the barman not to sell the beer for me. But when he caught my look he stayed confused. Then it was another bottle of beer, then another one, then etc. and very interesting conversation with one person from "L White Records", I could hardly recover. Finally, I went out from the club to search for "Pankow" hotel. I succeeded after an hour or two.
I couldn't remember the moment I came to the hotel, seeing just one picture from possible three. The door of the hotel was locked from the inside and I haven't got the key. Though my travel partners were just few meters away, I had to phone them through the several cosmic satellites. Reples answered the phone and kindly agreed to open the door for me even if he would have to break it. Climbing up the stairs I saw the circles and puzzles and there was actually four Reples going in front of me. Or perhaps one Reples, but with four hands and legs. I didn't know why, but before I entered the room I decided to review my new rare vinyl which got out of my hands and rolled down the stairs. At that moment I was in a peak of shame, trying to convince myself that this was just a dream I have to wake from. Still the reality was that the vinyl was rolling down the stairs, terribly afflicting the heart of collector. Finally, as I put the vinyl into its case, I reached my bed and sank into the dark oblivion. I drank almost all orange juice at the hotel restaurant in the morning, which, I suppose, I should have share with some Chinese-looking neighbours, but I didn't feel regret.
We left Berlin around the midday and turned the road back, barricaded the car with bottles and cans, like a trench. Sipping the beer I hated everybody more than ever. My thoughts were overfilled with feelings from the performance. So I couldn't say much about the travelling back - just that all crew of the car was totally drunk, except pilot. With approaching to the capital of Poland, all were sleeping and the pilot was drunk to death.
Written by Lashisha, translated by Ruta Muller, 2005-08-06