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MUSIC 2018: top EP, live recordings, reissue

It's end-of-the-year list season. The "big one" with my favorite albums and concerts of 2018 is already done, so here comes the appendix with the best of other musical stuff.

While compiling it I realized that it really was an album-centric year for me. I obtained so few 7" or 10" records, split releases or download-only stuff, that it would be silly to make lists of any of those categories. So the whole thing is a rather short one this time.

To compensate I've thought about reviving the cheerful disappointments section, but despite being the longest text here that actually didn't generate too much solid content either.

The final part of this post is just a look back on what little my own experimental duo was doing this year.





Droning. Mystical. Colossal. Judging from the playing time this work may count as an EP, but the sonic reality is that Dark Buddha Rising rolls over your senses like a cosmic giant.

TOP 3 live recordings:


  1. BELL WITCH - Live At Roadburn 2015

    Watching Bell Witch open Roadburn 2015 with their genius duet take on funeral doom still counts as one my most imprinting concert experiences in recent years. So to finally get this show as a crushing record is the best addition to the two special 2018 Roadburn shows I could ever imagine - and another worthy tribute to the late Adrian Guerra. Worship the shit out of this!

  2. Yes, the music is as insane as the title. This Turkish / Japanese free jazz / noise rock cooperation is definitely among this year's most borderline crazy advantgarde shit releases. Also - to make things even weirder -, don't confuse this with previous year's studio album of the same name, which is comprised of totally different compositions!

    Even though I already own the studio album and have witnessed the very last of those rare shows for it at Roadburn, I still got my fingers on this live album, which once again features the stellar collaboration of Swedish post metal force Cult Of Luna and Julie Christmas. Some vocal arrangements may remain unperformable, but the live setting adds so much energy and so many layers at other places, that it has become my most listened-to version of "Mariner".

TOP reissue:

While the first-time vinyl release of Swans' "Die Tür Ist Zu" may be of more exclusive content, I have to go with this 10 year anniversary reissue of Earth's already timeless and legendary masterpiece here. I had this on CD, but not only for the bonus track the vinyl is an upgrade. So much fuller and richer... It's almost like discovering a whole new record for me.

When has western psychedelic desert doom ever sounded cooler?




Disappointments 2018?


I don't know about any huge disappointments... Has any band or artist fucked it up big time? Nothing severe comes to mind.

Of course bands are disbanding. Norway's advantgarde metal specialists Virus are a huge loss that comes to mind immediately.

And then there's the never-ending "Laibach Revisited" story. The release has grown into a big, extremely promising box set, which I already have pre-ordered and payed for, but it has been postponed from September to spring 2019. While it is a bit annoying, the reason is that they are still adding additional stuff like a whole extra album. So that's fine with me.
I'm significantly more pissed that my vinyl copy of "The Sound Of Music" still hasn't found its way to me. Fucking Christmas.

Bruce Dickinsson outing himself as a Brexiteer, that was a shame. Well, he's rich. But yeah, that's not really music-related. And if we're going in that direction, the world has become way too absurd to do it justice here.

I guess my major general complaint is that the year goes by so fast, with so many albums which I still haven't bought or listened to yet. I mean, you still need some time to process all of it, right?

Of course I cannot blame Dead Can Dance, Florence + The Machine, Obscura, Sons Of Kemet etc. for me not having purchased their albums yet.

On the other hand just a little pinch of scepticism about the musical direction can hold me back for a long time - as seen with Khemmis, who after two great works are now maybe too traditional metal / hard rock for me? Don't know, I should really take a listen.
Same goes for Janelle Monae, who has finally delivered a successor to 2015's "The Electric Lady", but ditched her Cindi Mayweather persona. "Dirty Computer" has at least some good tracks on it, I know, but I'm having a hard time adjusting to the aesthetics of those modern pop royalty productions... The same thing made me avoid previous year's Kendrick Lamar album.






DRUTURUM activities:

And finally a brief look back on my personal activities with Druturum.

Due to the concept of exclusive shows itself and occasional difficulties to find rehearsal time, our tour schedule will always be easy to oversee, that's for sure. At the moment we're patiently working on "Druturum V: Wayfarer", but it will still take a while until we can confirm a date and location.

This year in May we've played two very different shows. For more background information follow the links to the respective bandcamp pages (english) or posts in this blog (german)!

(stream/download/liner notes on bandcamp /blog post HERE!)

(stream/download/liner notes on bandcamp / blog post HERE!)


MUSIC 2018: top albums and concerts

And here's the annually impossible task again... You know the drill: These are my personal favorites of 2018, chosen only among albums I own in some form.

So there's absolutely zero sense in complaining about Beyoncé missing, because I didn't fucking buy the new Beyoncé album (and also that new Beyoncé album doesn't even exist, but you get my point).

Who knows how I will read this ranking in a couple of years? Especially since I seldom included so many album I bought so shortly before I finished this. And also there's so much good stuff out there, if I had bought only half of the releases which are still on several of my digital and cerebral wish lists, all this would possibly look significantly different.

In the end this is all about celebrating and recommending good stuff that came out or happened this year. So please don't care too much about the numbers on the left! Everything featured here is great in my book.

Below the albums are two concert rankings, one for club/solo shows, the other for festival appearances.

My favorite EPs and other stuff will follow shortly in another post!


  1. VOIVOD - The Wake

    After the "Post Society" EP it was a safe given that the new Voivod album would be great. But how incredible great it actually turned out to be was "way beyond, way beyond, way beyond all speculations" (to quote from the track "Event Horizon"). "The Wake" embraces almost all the strengths of Voivod's diverse, now thirty-five years old history, but it doesn't rely on nostalgia. Instead it still expands the band's innovative sound to create something really fresh and exciting.
    Voivod have already created some of the greatest metal (and beyond) albums of all time ages ago. "The Wake" looks strong beside any of them. A phenomenal addictive prog thrash fusion concept masterpiece.

    For half of the year this album was unrivaled contender for the top spot of this list. And even now it's as close as you can possibly imagine. If magic is really dead like its title suggests, then it went out with a cataclysmic bang. The drone of Anna von Hausswolff's pipe organ and the emotional pull of her mystical voice are both unfathomably vast. "Ugly And Vengeful" alone is like the whole living and dying, buildup and collapse of a civilization. Mighty and beautiful beyond words.

    [If you like this one, you should also check out DNMF's organ-heavy drone monolith "Smelter"!]
  3. YOB - Our Raw Heart

    Not enough enormous pure feelings yet? Yob has them all. From crushing devastation to uplifting hope the essential doom record of 2018 offers insight into all of the brutality and preciousness of the human condition. Reflecting upon Mike Scheidt's very own fight against death and literally (he had to learn to sing again) finding him with a new, at times unbelievably gut-wrenching voice, "Our Raw Heart" more than fulfils the promise of its title.

  4. MYTHIC SUNSHIP - Another Shape Of Psychedelic Music

    Talking about promising album titles (and cover artworks): Conjuring Ornette Coleman's 1959 game changer "The Shape Of Jazz To Come"  like Mythic Sunship are doing it here is a pretty damn bold statement. But the former trio which largened itself to a saxophone and guitar fronted quintet has all the right reasons to be bold. Only after a few minutes in you know that this instrumental double album is not only an overwhelming ecstatic ride, but indeed an instant jazz fusion / stoner / psychedelic rock classic.

  5. Take a legendary female choir with unique vocal techniques, pair it with Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, back them up with first class folk musicians and a beatboxer, let them interpret new arrangements of traditional Bulgarian tunes... and then just feast on your own amazement. What a different, vivid, magical piece of world music!


    You want it darker? JR Robinson and Esther Shaw aka Wrekmeister Harmonies will surely help you with this bleak, existentially nightmarish work. Flowing from haunting Nick Cave / Michael Gira style singer/songwriter sensibilities to apocalyptic no wave (or free jazz?) noises "The Alone Rush" smothers almost all traces of light. "Forgive Yourself And Let Go" - but don't expect this droning chunk of depression to help you!
  7. ZEAL AND ARDOR - Stranger Fruit

    On his first full-length with Zeal & Ardor Manuel Gagneux gets serious and matures all the elements of his unique genre cocktail of black metal, gospel, blues, industrial, indie, soul, thrash metal and whatnot into a stunning collection of catchy rebellious tunes. "Stranger Fruit" connects his alternative history of satanic slave upheaval with the ongoing racial and social struggles of our time.
  8. KAMASI WASHINGTON - Heaven And Earth

    Tenor saxophonist / composer / Coltrane worshipper / personified jazz hype Kamasi Washington has done it again and proven himself to be the reigning maximalism colossus: His second full length album comes on a whopping five (5!) LPs including the "secret" bonus album "The Choice". Yet again Kamasi and his fabulous crew - all having grown as individual instrumentalists -, accompanied by strings and choir, embark on an extraordinary epic, action-packed spiritual journey.

  9. INSECT ARK - Marrow Hymns

    Minimalistic experimental instrumental doom with a strong Earth influence, mainly performed on bass / lap steel guitar and drums. From ambient and drone soundscapes to snarling parts reminiscent of Godflesh - it's amazing how the seemingly sparse arrangements of this duo open endless spaces of imagination.

    [Naturally I also have to highly recommend Dylan Carlson's even more stripped down solo work "Conquistador" here!]    

  10. WANG WEN - Invisible City

    China's finest never cease to impress. Once again packed in a spectacularly designed sleeve, yet even improving upon the already more than convincing production of the predecessor, (mostly) instrumental post rockers Wang Wen maintain the familiar elements of their sound - especially the signature majestic trumpet and horn parts -, but still put many new exciting twists and turns on it.
  11. MOURNFUL CONGREGATION - The Incubus Of Karma 
    I've said it in my review and I'll say it again: An album which has a song titled "A Picture Of The Devouring Gloom Devouring The Spheres Of Being" on it, has already won in my book. But also beyond this indisputable fact "The Incubus Of Karma" offers one of the most majestic takes on what ultra-slow funeral doom can be. Those ever-increasing lead guitar harmonies alone would make it worthwhile to bathe in the sadness of this masterpiece.

    [A somehow similar feeling, yet not in a funeral doom but death metal context can be found on "Ossuarium Silhoettes Unhallowed" by Hooded Menace.]
  12.  ESBEN AND THE WITCH - Nowhere  

    Gothic post punk trio Esben And The Witch, fronted by bassist and captivaing, beautifully desperate vocalist Rachel Davies, seems to pick up right where it left on last year's "Live At Roadburn" record. There is "Nowhere" to hide from the bleak emotional truth nor to escape the dark melancholic undertow of this wonderfully raw album.
  13. THE THING WITH FIVE EYES - Noirabesque

    Meandering ambient landscapes and chirring electronic noises. Rhythmic experimentations. Orchestral film score and intimate chamber music arrangements. World music. Oriental flutes and percussions. The mystical voice of Laila Bounous. A yearning trumpet. Doomjazz. Jason Köhnen taps into countless primal, universally touching wells to form a gigantic musical narration. Mythic escapism masterclass.
  14. VODUN - Ascend

    Vodun are genre-bending fighters for equality, peace and ass-kicking explosive rock. Merging influences from stoner, sludge, psych, tribal, soul, prog, indie and thrash metal this tribe of powerhouse singer Oya, guitar wizard Marassa and never-enough-cowbell drummer Ogoun takes no prisoners. "Ascend" is a highly charismatic record with an urgent message and a strong afrofuturistic spirit. Just put this right next to Zeal & Ardor!   
  15. KIKAGAKU MOYO - Masana Temples  

    Many albums on this list have seriously great cover artworks, but this one in its bold original vividness is special even among the best of the bunch. Musically the newest work of the Japanese psychedelic kraut masters Kikagaku Moyo is a delicate colourful gem of the genre mixed with Far Eastern, Indian and jazzy elements. The musicianship, arrangements and production of "Masana Temples" are blissful perfection.


  16.  IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT - Vile Luxury
    Searching for the sickest, most advantgarde shit on this list? Look no further, because New York's Imperial Triumphant has got you covered. Extreme experimental jazz in a black metal disguise, completed with bar piano, a brass sextet and hellish descents into utter chaos. "Vile Luxury" is a disturbing and devastating maelstrom into glorious cacophony.
  17. SINISTRO - Sangue Cássia
    Heavy as the last night before the end of days and mesmerizing like the angelic image of your loved one in a dream, Sinistro swing the doom hammer right into the feels. The dramatically levitating, Fado-inspired Portuguese vocals of Patricia Andrade are still a wonderful singularity within the realm of metal, bringing this cinematic double album to perfection.

    [If you dig "Sangue Cássia" and death metal vocals, you should more than definitely also take a listen to "Támsins Likam" (that's Faroese) by


    2017 saw King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard famously releasing five ambitious new albums. But since the physical version of the last one came out months after the digital release on December 31st, it really belongs on this year's list. Psychedelic, jazzy, funky, heavy, quirky, earwormy. "Gumboot Soup" is probably the most diverse work of the bunch - and my personal favorite alongside "Sketches From Brunswick East". Highly joyous entertainment.

  19. OCEANS OF SLUMBER - The Banished Heart  
    They did it again - and they doubled down on almost every aspect: more influences, but also more consistence. More epic melodies, more blasts, More death, doom and darkness. More emotion. Thanks to Cammie Gilberts stellar vocal performance "The Banished Heart" drills right into the heart. The title song is possible one of the most monumental love songs of all time - and pulls it off to make a calm piano solo passage the highlight of what ultimately still is a mostly brutal metal album. 

  20. BONG - Thought And Existence

    The meditative drone doom wizards from the home island of Stonehenge are finally back with a massive, ever increasing album. Or as I put it in my review: "It's a journey from the electric spark in your cortex to the edge of the redshift at the outer verges of the cosmos."

    [Extremely close to this in its monumentally elevating scope is the vinyl-only re-recording of Father Sky Mother Earth's self-titled debut.]
  21. RIVERS OF NIHIL - Where Owls Know My Name

    Progressive death metal with influences from all over the place and lovingly embraced guest intruments like trumpet, cello and most prominently saxophone. Rivers Of Nihil kick major ass - and they do it with style, originality and determination. "Where Owls Know My Name" offers a fresh take on the genre and is a flawless killer of an album.

    [If you you want the same amount of sheer death metal fun, but without all the fancy sax and prog and whatnot gimmicks, you can of course - as always - count on good old sick Autopsy with "Puncturing The Grotesque"]
  22. MALIA - Ripples (Echoes Of Dreams)
    One piano, a couple of strings - and a voice that is so smooth and soothing, so intimate and expressive. R'n'B / jazz pop singer Malia reimagines her whole album "Echoes Of Dreams" in a pure filterless form. Her take on the concept of stripping it down to the maximum is as obvious as it can be - but it's also that damn good.

    [Another incredible soulful voice which deserves to be honoured here and only barely didn't make the list is one which sadly became silent. Charles Bradley's posthumous "Black Velvet" thankfully is not a Christmas cash grab.]
  23. LUCIFER - Lucifer II
    So, appearantly there's a new queen of hard rock in town. And yes, I actually do give at least a little shit. Who would have thought that a couple of years ago? With a completely new crew (including Nicke Andersson, who played almost all instruments in the studio) Johanna Sadonis steered Lucifer into a less Black Sabbath, more Blue Öyster Cult direction on their sophomore album. I didn't ask for this, because I'm usually in favour of more doom, but hell, they really pulled it off.

  24. RMFTM & 10.000 RUSSOS - RMFTM & 10.000 Russos
    RMFTM aka Radar Men From The Moon are obviously a good partner when it comes to collaborative albums. Last year's joined work of the Dutch psych group with Gnod under the moniker Temple Ov BBV ended up being one of my favorite records of 2017. And now they have teamed up with their Portuguese labelmates 10.000 Russos to deliver yet another lesson in here pummeling, there hypnotic noise and drone.

But wait! No Laibach?

Yesterday I've received my CD copy of "The Sound Of Music" which is included in the Supreme Leader Edition Blu Ray of the documentary "Liberation Day" about Laibach's historical show in North Korea. And I'm still waiting for the vinyl which needs a seriously torturous time to ship here. Should have ordered that from Slovenia, too...

But well, what I was going to say is, that I have to draw a deadline at some point. I am absolutely positive, that "The Sound Of Music" would deserve a spot somewhere in the ranking, but beyond that I really cannot make up my mind yet.

The same goes for Toby Driver's incredible solo work "They Are the Shield", which I have only bought a couple of days ago. Supreme stuff, which probably belongs somewhere above, but it's just too late in the game now.

[Reviews for both albums still to come!]

And of course there also a couple of further artists like Sherpa who missed the list by a hair and (in their case) would at least have been featured in a similar-bands-footnote under Toby Driver.


  1. SUN RA ARKESTRA - Kampnagel, Hamburg

    Lead by 94-year young Marshall Allan and including several members who are already in the band since the 1950s the twelve-headed Arkestra embarked on a two-hour free jazz extravaganza that was just astonishing. An almost Magma-level live experience!
  2. LAIBACH - Kampnagel, Hamburg

    Presenting the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" album Laibach were in a significantly more primal, droning, theatrical and sinister mode than on previous tours. Laibach haben das Glück erfunden.
  3. ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF - Kampnagel, Hamburg

    Colossal and all-encompassing like the movement of continental plates and as beautiful as a deadly volcano eruption caused by it. Am I being too dramatic? No, not for the mighty Anna von Hausswolff.
  4. VOIVOD - Logo, Hamburg
    I came to see Voivod and I ended up in a world of pain. Boy, that escalated brutally! Wildest metal concert of the year and one of my all-time favorite bands on top of their game. 

  5. Speaking of wild. Those Aussies are freaking insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, oh boy, insane. Fuck yeah! I think I just gizzed all over myself again.

    And now for something completely... wonderful. Just as otherworldy as on this year's album (see above) the Bulgarian choir and Lisa Gerrard were something really unique and precious to behold.
  7. KIKAGAKU MOYO - Hafenklang, Hamburg
    Half a year after discovering them at their Roadburn shows (see list below), now with their new album "Masana Temples" (see list above) on heavy rotation, seeing Kikagaku Moyo on a small club stage was an even greater treat.
  8. YOB + WIEGEDOOD - Molotow, Hamburg

    Yob is love. And words cannot describe how much Mike Scheidt rules. The fabulous black metal inferno of Wiegedood did a great yob of completing the concert night.
  9. MOURNFUL CONGREGATION - Bambi Galore, Hamburg  
    This slow and grievous heaviness. And the grandeur of up to three lead guitars almost emulating a classical string terzet. Mournful Congregation are officially my favorite funeral doom live band besides Bell Witch now.  
  10. CARPENTER BRUT - Uebel & Gefährlich, Hamburg

    The boys were back in town and they brought the three big A's: aerobic, asses, axe murders. A synthwave party with all the glorious 80s clichés including glam metal and the dangers of hard rock and Satanism. Carpenter Brut fucking slayed.
  11. E-FORCE - Bambi Galore, Hamburg

    Parallel to the European tour of Voivod Eric Forrest, former bassist/vocalist on their 1990s albums "Negatron" and "Phobos", also played shows revisiting his Voivod stint. Heavy shit - and what an amazing sick voice!
  12. TOBY DRIVER - MS Stubnitz, Hamburg
    Despite it being a very exclusive show for a select crowd, Kayo Dot mastermind Toby Driver delivered the most mesmerizing advantgarde dream goth ambient chamber music imaginable.


  1. BELL WITCH - Roadburn Festival

    More than a thousand souls witnessed in respectful awe as Bell Witch and guest singer Erik Moggridge performed their 83-minute one-song funeral doom masterpiece "Mirror Reaper" in full. This was an experience for life, far beyond any regular concert.
    Leave it to Roadburn to not content with that alone, but also to put the icing on the cake with a second special show, where they performed those songs from their previous albums which also featured Moggridge on vocals.
  2. CULT OF LUNA & JULIE CHRISTMAS - Roadburn Festival

    "Put me down where I can see you run!" - I still get goosebumps when I think of that part. Being at one of those very rare "Mariner" was a privilege. Truly larger than life.
  3. WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA - Roadburn Festival

    The two gigantic live forces Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu together on one stage, performing a hypnotic black piece exclusively written just for this occasion. You can't even dream of epic shit like that.
  4. YAZZ AHMED - Überjazz Festival

    Trumpet / horn player Yazz Ahmed and her quartet performing their unique as complex as escapist mixture of microtonal arabic folk, traditional and modern jazz from her "La Saboteuse" album was an astonishing  trip into different worlds.
  5. ZOLA JESUS - Roadburn Festival 
    A "pop" artist at Roadburn? No worries, the dark electronic sounds and raw emotional power of Zola Jesus were far from being a danger to the integrity of the festival. On the contrary this was a show the attendees as well as the artist herself will surely remember for a long time as something very special. 
  6. BIG|BRAVE - Roadburn Festival

    Damn! My favorite canadian monolithic noise / drone rock trio just totally killed it.

  7. KIKAGAKU MOYO - Roadburn Festival

    The whole japanese psych kraut thing going on at Roadburn was amazing, but this stunning show clearly marked my most important new discovery of the festival.
    That they doubled down on the fair impression with the galactic "East Meets West Jam" with Earthless didn't hurt either.
  8. WREKMEISTER HARMONIES - Roadburn Festival

    A lot of Wrekmeister Harmonies' music may be on the calmer, sometimes even beautiful side, but especially in combination with the disturbing documentary visuals this full performance of "The Alone Rush" became an unexpectedly brutal, emotionally exhausting experience.
  9. PHAROAH SANDERS QUARTET - Überjazz Festival
    "The Creator has a masterplan: Peace and happiness for everyone." And a saxophone for Pharoah Sanders, that's for sure. I got the chance to see one of the greatest jazz legends alive and I'm glad I took it. What a melancholic experienced tone! Respect!
  10. GALLOPS - Roadburn Festival

    What the fuck did I just see there? Is this the post rock synthwave disco of a better tomorrow? I still have no clue even months later. Roadburn party show no. 1!
  11. GODFLESH - Roadburn Festival

    Finally! My first Godflesh show since the "Selfless" tour back in the 1990s. And what did they play? A special "Selfless" set of course, haha. Teenage angst nostalgia successfully fed.
  12. BURNPILOT - Heidenlärm Festival

    Ok, busted! I pushed this up a couple of positions to include at least three festivals in this list. Sorry, Phurpa and Motorpsycho! But hey, Burnpilot really delivered a formidable hypnotic psych excess that is absolutely worthy of being mentioned here.


TOBY DRIVER, DEL JUDAS + BLURRED TWIN live auf der MS Stubnitz (04.12.2018)

Toby Driver

Hamburch, Digga! Wie bekommt man es Dir mal verklickert, dass Anwesenheitspflicht zur Bewusstseinsgymnastik und Horizonterweiterung besteht, wenn Kayo Dot-Kopf Toby Driver an der Elbe zu Gast ist? Muss sich immer erst der Ohlsen seine Wollmütze über die Ohren ziehen und achtzig Kilometer aus der Provinz angekarrt kommen, damit an Bord der MS Stubnitz ein dicker Mann in der ersten Reihe steht - bzw. die erste Reihe bildet?

Und dann auch noch an einem Dienstag. War ja klar, dass das wieder ein sehr exklusiver Genuss werden würde. Die Lage des Schiffs mitten im Nirgendwo hilft natürlich nicht an so einem Abend.

Zumindest kann man bequem direkt auf der anderen Straßenseite parken. Dachte ich. Ich war halt auch schon eine Weile nicht hier gewesen und der Parkplatz wurde zwischenzeitlich durch eine Häuserblockbaustelle okkupiert. Super, die gleichförmige Hässlichisierung des Hafens schreitet voran. Und geparkt habe ich dann weit, weit entfernt. Immerhin um diese Uhrzeit gebührenfrei.
Und man kann ja zukünftig auf ein paar Straßenrandstellflächen hoffen, wenn der ganze Architekturmurks da mal fertig ist.

Auf der Hinfahrt hatte ich mich mit dem "Arrival"-Soundtrack und Tori Amos' "Native Invader"  auf den Abend eingestimmt und wurde von der Künstlerin, die das Billing eröffnete, dann auch ganz passend abgeholt.

Blurred Twin

Eine Dame, ihre Stimme und ein Harmonium, das war alles, was es beim lokalen Support Blurred Twin zu sehen gab. Das hat vom Prinzip her schon ein bisschen was von einer sparsameren Anna von Hausswolff solo; das koffergroße Instrument ist halt doch ein bisschen handlicher als eine Pfeifenorgel. Wobei der Klang im Bauch der MS Stubnitz ja schon was klerikales hat.

Zu  Gehör kamen im bedächtig dröhnenden Takt des Blasebalgs an- und abschwellende Düsterballaden, die ihre größten Momente hatten, wenn Kristin Theresa Drechsler zu operettenhaften Bojengesang in von Kate Bush begründeter Tradition anhob.

Sehr stimmungsvoll war das. Über die gesamte Länge allerdings auch ein bisschen gleichförmig. So im letzten Drittel hätte eine Klangvariation (z.B. in Form von einem anderen Instrument, Samples oder Effekteinsatz) das Set vielleicht noch eleganter vollenden können. 

Del Judas

Auch bei Del Judas stand im Anschluss nur eine Person auf der Bühne. Der Sänger / Gitarrist benutzte allerdings noch einen Backingtrack, der Bass, Drums und weitere Instrumente lieferte.

Ein bisschen schade ist es natürlich schon immer, wenn man eine komplette Band hört, aber nicht sieht. Denn der coole Mix aus Singer/Songwriter-Americana und New Wave / Postpunk, den man irgendwo zwischen Chris Isaak und King Dude einsortieren kann, hätte an sich schon eine weniger konservenhafte Aufführung verdient.

Anderseits verstehe ich ja durchaus, dass Geld gespart werden muss. Daher ja auch der auffällige Trend, Supportacts mit auf Tour zu nehmen, die sich personell mit dem Headliner überschneiden. So auch heute, denn Del Judas aka Charlie Schmid entpuppte sich anschließend auch als Livedrummer in Toby Drivers Quartett.

Toby Driver

Der Meister selbst musste diesmal nicht multitasken wie beim letzten Kayo Dot-Auftritt, sondern konzentrierte sich voll auf seine traumhaft schlingernde Gitarre und tiefenentspannten Gesang. Nur in einer Passage übernahm er in Manier von David Bowie zu "Low"-Zeiten das Keyboard.

Jenes spielte ansonsten sein britischer Tourpartner der letzten Europarundreise 2016  Nick Hudson von The Acadamy Of The Sun. Außerdem dabei - und für die oftmals barocke Atmosphäre der Stücke vom neuen Album "They Are the Shield" unerlässlich - war Violinist Timba Harris.

Zusammen erzeugten sie eine frische Variation jenes für Driver typisch langsam mäandernden Sounds, der das Kunststück fertigbringt, einen gleichzeitig intelektuell zu stimulieren und doch in ganz ferne Nebelwelten zu entrücken. Ein dichteres akustisches Ambiente lässt sich kaum aufbauen.

Gespielt wurden ausschließlich Songs der letzten beiden Soloalben, mit deutlichem Schwerpunkt auf "They Are The Shield", welches ohne Zweifel einen Höhepunkt in seinem Schaffen darstellt und mir nun, da ich es mir vom Merchstand mitgenommen habe, natürlich Gewissensbisse bei der Erstellung meiner Best-of-2018-Liste bereitet, weil es für mich eigentlich zu spät kommt, um es dort noch einzureihen. Hrmpf.

Wie auch immer, es war wieder einmal ein fantastischer Ausflug ins Reich des außerkörperlichen Zeitstillstands. Wunderbar.

Blurred Twin:


Del Judas:


Toby Driver: