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SENYAWA and BLACK TO COMM live at Kampnagel, Hamburg (May 31st 2022)


Ok, before I talk about anything else...  Isn't it amazing when you walk into a venue and there's already a roof of stage smoke hanging still in the air, immediately giving you the impression of walking into another world? Tuesday night it looked like this:

Senyawa's Roadburn show had easily been among my favourite performances of this year's festival edition, probably in the top 5, if not top 3. Now the Indonesian duo was  playing in Hamburg and I couldn't resist to see them again.

The KMH hall of the Kampnagel venue was rather spacious for the Tuesday night audience, but it didn't feel empty and there where boxes spread over the room to sit on, so everyone had a good comfortable view of what was going on.

Black To Comm

During the support act Black To Comm however there wasn't much to watch on stage, just one guy standing on his table filled with electronic stuff. The sound emitted by Marc Richter however was all the mightier: a layered mixture of drone, ambient and avant-garde industrial with an extremely satisfying, rattling and farting low-end. The whole performance was one single flow, perfectly suited to close your eyes to and float along with. Remarkable!
Also the way the artist just drily walked off  the front of the stage as soon as he was finished, was quite an understated boss move.


Am I going through the whole ordeal of explaining their music again? Let me keep it very brief: self-built instruments, very out there and surprising, droning, noisy, heavy. South East Asion tradition meets Sunn O))) and Neubauten. A vocalist capable of seemingly everything: guttural throat singing, belted chants, insane scats, sweet ethereal falsettos, all used for an incredible mix of intensive story-telling (without the need to understand the language) and just amazing experimental entertainment.

It's hard to pin down, what exactly makes Senyawa work so fantastic that they are suddenly among my favorite live bands. It probably is the sum of many elements, which would already be intriguing out of context on their own, which Senyawa combine to this visceral, primal and spiritual, yet also very fucking rock'n'roll thing which is original from every possible angle - and they are incredibly good at it.

The sound in the KMH was better than inside the Koepelhal at Roadburn, so I could spot a lot more nuance and dynamic in the performance. The show was also longer and included a section of completely new songs created on this tour during soundchecks. It was all awesome and I'm glad that I was there to witness it.

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