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ORANSSI PAZUZU, DEAF KIDS and STURLE DAGSLAND live at the headCRASH, Hamburg (May 23rd 2022)

It was a short-run decision. A Monday, already far into the month - and I'm still calculating whether I could sabotage other plans, if after all that time of evading covid I would finally get it now. But ultimately the line-up of this night was just too strong to resist:

One of my favorite heavy psych bands, one of my favorite black metal bands and one of my favorite polyrhythm prog bands! And all that was just the headliner. In addition Oranssi Pazuzu also brought two not exactly commonplace support acts along with them.

Luckily I decided to drive to Hamburg much earlier than usual, so I could take a couple of pictures with a new camera. With one Autobahn exit closed and the HSV successfully fighting to stay in their league (as in: losing their relegation match) city traffic was a real bitch. And of course the whole area where I wanted to park for free was completetly blocked by road works.

In the end l didn't have the time to stroll around in the extent I had hoped for, but at least I arrived at the headCRASH timely. I think I had wanted to see one or two shows there before, but those had been relocated to bigger venues. So this was my first actual visit in the cozy club near the cult pub "Zum Goldenen Handschuh" (that's where serial killer Fritz Honka once found his victims), and I cannot complain about anything. Would definitely come back.

Sturle Dagsland

The opener was Norwegian artist Sturle Dagsland, who - accompanied by his brother - played...
Well, let me start again: After all these years of being confronted or even performing crazy shit on stage, and just having been to an especially avant-garde Roadburn Festival edition last month, you might think that I should be qualified to do a quick write-up after any kind of weird stuff, but sometimes still someone comes along and makes you wonder what the fuck?
The performance saw the duo using samples, keys, loops, percussions, more or less normal wind instruments and Sturle squeaking, twanging, screaming and flying away in stratospheric falsettos with his voice. The songs, all introduced with some weird non-reproducible noises, were both fascinating, at times even captiving, but also just utterly bonkers. We live in great times of musical creativity and openness, when a billing mostly aimed at metal fans can dare to start like this. Not meant to be described, but to be experienced.

Deaf Kids

How often to I have to mention polyrhythms in this review? With the Brazilian trio Deaf Kids there's hardly a way around it, because most of the time their noisy sound was dominated by restless tribalistic beats. Combined with simplistic bass lines offering orientation, droning electronics, harsh guitar noise and vocals that were more effect than voice, Deaf Kids avoided melodies and even guitar riffs beyond brief and primitive patterns, creating a not at all traditonal, yet extremely primal sound. 
There were point where I would have liked a little more dramatic structure, because the duration and sequence of passages seemed very random, but I guess that's also part of the charme: Punkish, but still somehow sophisticated. And once again classification remains an impossible task. In doubt noise. I can't really think of a band I could compare with these boys. Banger!

Oranssi Pazuzu

The night had already been great this far, but as expected Oranssi Pazuzu made  it truly spectacular.
My first contact with the band from Finland was - as so often - at Roadburn, in 2016, and of course two years later the monolithic cooperation with Dark Buddha Rising as the Waste Of Space Orchestra.

And what else can I say other that they have only gotten better? Finally hitting the road with the material from their 2020 album "Mestarin Kynsi" their singular sound has reached a mastership that screams into your face that you're just watching one of the most relevant metal bands of today. And even though they are kind of a psychedelic and prog band too, as I have mentioned above earlier, the heavy eeriness, the extreme black and doom elements - including exceptionally good screeching vocals - undoubtly put Oranssi Pazuzu into the metal category. The sub category however is them alone.

The way the drums, keyboards and guitars were constantly worming around each other with - here it comes again! - polyrhythmic ideas was just so incredibly suspense-packed! The force of infinite movement was so irresistable and the demonic energy of the conjured atmosphere so palpable!
It's no wonder that the headCRASH crowd couldn't get enough. This show was a triumph.

And I'm so glad that I got myself one longsleeve with the tour poster artwork from the merch table. Seldom have I seen a better visualisation of what the music of a band actually sounds like.
Ok, I guess I should actually show it now. But unfortunately I'm too lazy and already late with this review. So sorry, please try them internets. 

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