Nordic Audio Modern 5/27/06:

"Vilnius Vilification 2006-05-27

Last weekend the third installment of the Nordic Audio Modern festival took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. After a long day of travelling we finally arrived in Vilnius on Friday night. Organizer Lashisha of
AUTARKEIA picked us up and immediately started mixing Caipirinha (which happens to be Survival Unit's drink of choice). Drinking in the company of old and new comrades is never wrong... It didn't take many drinks until Lash convinced me and Tairy (Ait!) to go out for some more alcohol. Drinking to better days? Hardly. Lithuanians are impossible to beat when it comes to this... don't know what they put in the liquor but I had total blackout. Woke up in the wrong place as a walking corpse. Today I'm dead... After some vomiting I slowly regained strength to soundcheck...

When we arrived at "The Vault" it striked me that it was the ideal venue for a power electronics festival... fucking grim and cold military bunker...

Event started with BURN WARD from UA. A short and brutal fuck. Outbursts of LOUD feedback / pedal noise with tortured screams. This was beyond my expectations... Not more than 10 min. The way it should be.

ALFARMANIA line-up for this evening was myself and Benny from Burn Ward. A large sheet of scrap metal with contact microphones attached to them... various steel objects, pedals, analogue synths and tapes. Physical performance with very destructive approach. After a while my fists started bleeding from the concrete action. Became temporarily blinded by all the metal dust and ashes that got into my eyes... No idea how long it lasted. Background visuals consisted of excerpts from the 'Consume Red' video, Andy Warhols 'Trash', 'Story of a Junky' and 'Ett anständigt liv'. First Alfarmania performance outside Sweden... Pundarmisär...

Third act out was FIRE IN THE HEAD. Another surprise... Mike handled the vokills and Burn Ward dealt with the electronics. It was just as if pressing a button and he began his agitation. It didn't take long until he got the audience going insane and my blood pumping... like a moshpit. No fucking mercy. Managed to do some guest vocals... Effective ending of the set with some acrobatic moves. Fantastic live act... something that's rarely seen in the European movement. Footage from the first days of the Iraq war was screened to intensify the experience even more.

After FITH we took a break to try out some local food... necessary to keep up the warmth. In the meanwhile they screened footage from past NAM events. When we got back I managed to catch some glimpses of Institut's live intensity during the first festival two years ago...

SEKTION B started around 23.00 and presented some familiar tracks... live aktion was similar to the one in Paris some weeks ago. German perfection and power. Incredible light-show that induced hallucinations in combination with the background video footage. It peaked when Peter took up a huge knife and slashed a poster with the declaration of human rights... Without any doubt the best performance I've seen from the B-boys. Intense!

AIT! wasn't in good shape after our little drinking session, but still he
managed to deliver some decadent apocalyptic chill-out sound. It was a very psychedelic experience to witness live for the first time... Tairy looked like Alan Vega from outer space... A great selection of footage from sleazy italian films and vienna actionism helped build an amazing emotional setting.

SURVIVAL UNIT was next. In my consideration it was the best performance ever... even if sound was a bit messy at times. We forgot a whole bag with equipment at home, but things sorted out anyway... First half of the set contained some tracks like After the Fact & No Surrender... we got amazing response from the audience. Vocal contributions from Peter (Sektion B), Mike (FITH), Sebastian (Halthan) etc. helped to build up the pressure. After about 20 minutes all electricity went out and it went totally black. When we got everything started again the real ferocious intensity begun! Don't remember much but it ended with two broken ribs, bruises and
cuts.... It was great to see such an enthusiastic and energetic audience.

LITHIVM was supposed to close the festival. They did a great set with many innovative ideas and haunting sounds... I was maybe a bit too spaced out to remember everything clearly, but I would say they were like the Kenta & Stoffe of swedish death industrial....

Most people had left after Lithivm, but those who stayed got marked for life! It was time for us to pay tribute to Lashisha & the rest of the crew for organizing such a remarkable event... so a collaboration between Survival Unit, Fire in the Head, Sektion B & Burn Ward took place. All I can remember is fierce fucking power electronics with vocals from all the involved acts... scrap metal noises... eightballs.... bolts and sharp knives.... A pure manifestation of force. Perfect way to kill off NAM 2006!"



Nordic Audio Modern 2006, from Radium Webzine:

Organized in the rainy Vilnius, Autarkeia's Nordic Audio Modern 2006 was an unmissable event due to it's impressively large roster, and made even so because the other headliner of the show was Fire in the Head, whose new material has been extremely impressive. Before this weekend, FitH did two other shows in Europe, and according to my knowledge he was originally supposed to be accompanied by Navicon Torture Technologies, but after a change of plans the second headliner turned out to be Burn Ward, an artist unfamiliar to me until I saw his performance.

The NAM2006 roster wasn't limited to the american guests, however. The following artists had also tagged along: Survival Unit from Sweden along with its spin-off project Alfarmania, the German orators Sektion B, AIT! who was hastily described to me as "neo-cabaret" before the show, and Lithivm, an ambient artist on Cold Meat Industry. Obviously, the evening was packed full and I have to admit that a first peek at the list of performers made me smile.

My traveling experience enriched by flu delirium and an eye infection
took me through the chilly and wet Vilnius downtown to a rundown suburb, where I realized that The Vault is - just as the name implies - an actual bunker carved into the rock wall opposite some decaying houses. There was no interior warming, but while it was only slightly cold in the main chamber, I was told the backstage resembled more a fridge. The bleak main chamber is adorned with a large video screen and two respectable PA towers. The moldy, damp smell finishes the ambience. One must congratulate the local organizers for finding such a great spot for their evenets. As a side note, during one of a few "what the hell?" moments I noticed the main organizer wearing a black "Finland" hoodie that had a few heraldic lions printed on it. The origin turned out to be not much of a surprise: "I got this from Turku. I told the guys I wanted something nationalistic so I got this."

The evening was kicked off by Burn Ward, whose short - approx. five minutes long - set would best be described as a combination of harsh noise and stand-up comedy, because Benny in his trendy glasses raging into the microphone, slapping the gear and walking around the stage at a quick pace was a truly entertaining sight to behold. Some in the crowd didn't seem to appreciate the set but I loved it. FitH's Mike capped the show with a fitting remark: "well, that was his longest set on this tour."

After Burn Ward, Alfarmania took the stage with a combination of heavy, static noise and various bangs, clanks and scratches made with the help of a bucket and a metal plate. Their rather boring background video didn't really seem to say much anything, and I honestly have no idea if it was connected to the performance in some way or not. The addition of scrap metal was a good idea, because watching the guys give the equipment a beating was much better than just watching them tweak their gear would've been. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any pictures of the action because I was kind of slow on getting that the show started.

Alfarmania was followed by Fire in the Head. The startup was slow with Burn Ward's Benny just standing next to the equipment table, tweaking the gear until a steady flow of noise started blasting out of the PA. Suddenly, somewhere from the side of the stage Mike came rushing towards the crowd with a microphone in hand. From there on we were treated to slamming, standing on the gear table, screaming and twitching on the floor. I didn't even manage to pay attention to the background music at all, because I was too busy trying to follow Mike's obviously somewhat GG Allin-inspired antics. Despite the shortness of the set it left me with such a good feeling I wouldnt've minded if this would've been the only show of the night.

After FitH there followed a break that lasted well over an hour. Then it was time for Sektion B to perform. Out of the trio of men, one occupied himself with a laptop, another with polemic and the last one with yelling. The combination worked well, although a few times I did get the feeling I was listening to a Sektion B cd through a gigantic sound system. Every track had its own backing video, and they unsurprisingly contained a whole lot of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and 9/11. During the final minutes the band graced the audience with a slam pit and a strobe flood. Thanks a lot to the fuckers I call "friends" who used me as a digicam- and bagrack so they could go join the fun themselves. One night, while you sleep...

Sektion B gave way to AIT!, who apparently had conquered the creeping drunken stupor. "Neo cabaret", yeah. Organ grinder melodies, low rhythms and low-key, even singing. I couldn't really get into the mood of it, and when the set just kept going on and on, my flu started to overcome me and I had to ship myself back into my hotel. Too bad, because along with Survival Unit (assisted by Sebastian of Halthan) and Lithivm I also missed a final performance that was a collaboration between FitH, Burn Ward, Survival Unit and Sektion B. Puts me down of course, but I don't think I would've survived if I'd stayed.

I have to give a big hand to the Lithuanians for very professional
organising. The experience was definitely worth all the bother invested into it, and if anything of this level will happen in Vilnius again, I'll be sure to go if my bank doesn't object.



Nordic Audio Modern: War? It’s Fantastic!
Paraðë: Crazy Midnight Dancer, 2006 Birþelio 04, 19:18

Triukðmas. Cypimas. Ir nesustabdomas ûþesys. Tai ir dar daug visokio panaðaus ðias pastaràsias dienas buvo mano galvoje, mintyse ir niekaip nedingo ið klausos organø (kà jau bekalbët apie visus kitus likusius). Ðiaip ar taip atëjus antradieniui kai viskas daugiau maþiau aprimo ir susigulëjo, pagaliau galima atsisësti á fotelá, uþsileisti kokio nors reliatyviai ramaus garso, atsipalaiduoti ir sukurpti daugiau maþiau ne tik sau, bet ir Tau, Mielas ir Brangus Skaitytojau, suprantamà CMD atsiliepimà apie Nordic Audio Modern @ Vault, Vilnius.

Ir kaip dabar suvokiu, lengvai leisdamas ðokoladiná kaljano dûmà pro kairájá lupø kamputá, neapsilankyti ðiame renginyje bûtø buvæ kone daugiau nei neatleistina ar nedovanotina. Neatleistina, nes tokios muzikos, tokios koncepcijos ir tokio lygio renginiø ar tiksliau renginio Lietuvoje laukti reikia tarsi kokios didelës ðventës, kuri ávyksta vos kartà metuose. Nedovanotina, nes CMD bûdamas brandaus amþiaus jaunuolis ir nuo vaikystës klausantis be ELO, net, ir "Merzbow", dar nebuvo apsilankæs nei viename, pogrindinës organizacijos "Autarkeia" organizuotame renginyje ir netgi
legendiniame klube "Vault"! Tad kaip matote apsilankyti TEN prieþasèiø buvo daugiau nei viena. Jos sugriovë bet kokias abejones ir spjovë anàdien dangui tiesiai á lietø.

O lietus drëbë smagiai. Ne tik hometown‘e, bet ir amþinojoje sostinëje. Vos atvykæs, susitinku su bendraminèiu ir nutaræ, kad oras ne tas þodis koks "paliotnas", o netgi ir visai "smagiai darkambientinis", patraukiame artimiausio bankomato/parduotuvës/taxi link. Taxistas matydamas mus
permirkusius, uþ keletà kilometrø ið mûsø be didesniø kompromisø nugræþia deðimtinæ ir duobëmis tiesiai per aplinkui pristato á legendiná bunkerá pavadinimu "Vault".

Pirmas áspûdis pamaèius raudonai ðvieèiantá uþraðà – EINA SAU! Ir þmones su "kamufliaþkëm" – eina sau! Ir kitoj kelio pusëj parduotuvëlæ su pilnu ðaldytuvu ir ðaðlykais – eina sau! Bet paþiûrëjæs á laikrodá su skaièiais 7.30, ilgiau nesidairius, jau netrukus uþ kampo á skrandá stumiam pagal ciferblatà "Kalnapiliná". Tradicinë „Èepkelinë“ bazuojasi tradiciðkai, tad
þinant / girdëjus apie "Vault" apsaugà, kolegos praðau neskubëti einant pro áëjimà, "kad pamatyt kà jie su rankomis daro". Man sutikus ir uþsikalbëjus su paþystama, tas praslenka nemirktelëjus, tad man belieka eit " aklai ir na ðaram". O apsauginio rankø bûta mikliø. Ypaè tai pasijautë kai jos pradëjo slysti þemyn... ir þemyn... ir VIS ÞEMYN... CMD akimirkai pasijautë snieguole – tokia betirpstanèia ir tokia balta balta. Taèiau viskas pasibaigia GERAI ir PRASIDEDA... Taip, NORDIC AUDIO MODERN. "Vault’e”, look who’s here!

Áëjus, apsidairius, apðilus, apsiuosèius - stojame per vidurá kol kas ne gausaus "dalyviø" rato ir jau netrukus prie pulto palinksta atlikëjas ið Amerikos Burn Ward. Jëzau gi... Paprastas, ðvelniø veido bruoþø berniokas savo apsirengimu bei ðukuosena tikrai neprimenantis pikto ir nuoþmaus harsh-noiser‘io. Savo pasirodymà jis pradëjo cypianèias, pulsuojanèiais, aukðtø daþniø garsais, kurie, po to iððaudavo á èaiþius ir aðtrius triukðmo proverþius "pagardintus" paèio atlikëjo destrukciniais klyksmais. Staiga nutraukdavæs, bet koká garsà, tyloje jis iðeidavo pasivaikðèioti
tarp publikos ir po akimirkos gráþæs tæsdavo savo "pragariðkà darbà". "Death metal!" – kaþkas ðûktelëjo pasibaigus jo trumpam, bet super efektingam ir kaip reikiant ákaitinusiam pasirodymui.

Akimirka atgaivos, kol derinama / jungiama aparatûra ir po keleto minuèiø visø akys ðá kart nukrypsta á du kaukëtuosius sveèius ið Ðvedijos pasivadinusius - "Alfarmania". Ðie vaikinai unikalûs tuo, jog sukuria savo "purvinà sound‘à" tokiomis paèiomis purvinomis / primityviomis priemonëmis, nenaudodami kompiuteriø ar panaðiai. Tai gali bûti ðnypðèianèios analoginës kasetës arba tokie "instrumentai" kaip skarda ir kibiras su prikrautais varþtais ir kitokiais gelþgaliais, kas buvo naudojama per pasirodymà. Tamsus, sunkus ir depresyvus post-mortem pagardintas noise‘o, keliamo dauþant kibirà (su pajungtu mikrofonu) á skardà, sukûrë unikalià atmosferà ir patyrimà. Ypaè kai nuo beprotiðkai ðëlstanèiø atlikëjø bazuojiesi per rankos atstumà.

Treèias ir paskutinis iki didþiosios pertraukos pasirodæs atlikëjas, buvo amerikietis pasivadinæs dviprasmiðku pavadinimu "Fire In The Head". Ið pradþiø ðá pavadinimà kaþkodël verèiau - "ðûvis á galvà", taèiau, vëliau, kai nugvelbiau ið McKaro, pardavinëjanèio atributikà, nemokamus "FITH" þenkliukus, kur pavaizduota liepsna, supratau, kad èia turbût derëtø versti "liepsna galvoje" ar panaðiai. Ðiaip ar taip, kaip iðversi, taip nepagadinsi, tiktø ðiuo atveju, manau. Nes tai kas dëjosi per "FITH" pasirodymà, buvo galima lyginti ir su karðta liepsna ir su þudanèiais ðûviais. Michael Page ðëliojimas ir klasikinës pogo grumtynës kartu su juo bei visais kitais "aktyvistais", leido CMD prisiminti geriausius lankytus metalo koncertus ir patirti neiðdildomà katarsá grojant death industrial, power elektronics ir etc miðiniui.

PAGALIAU PERTRAUKA. Po tokio ðturmo ir breinstormo jos, na, jei ne mirtinai, tai bent jau tikrai reikëjo ne tik man, bet ir daugeliui kitø, kà, ko gero, labai tiksliai ir sumaniai apgalvojo renginio organizatoriai. Pasirinkimas kaip praleisti jà buvo netgi ganëtinai platus; likti "Vault‘e" ir per video projekcijà stebëti pirmojo "NAM‘o" vaizdo áraðà, eiti tuðtinti kitoje kelio pusëje esanèià parduotuvæ arba traukti link centro, taip kaþkiek pakeièiant aplinkà. Kompanija, kurià sudarë 6 asmenys, po ilgø dvejoniø galiausiai nutarë pasirinkti paskutiná variantà ir pëstute traukti link centro. Reikia gi prasbezdët.

Geras pusvalandis ir mes jau Pilies gatvëje. Kadangi beveik visi buvo daugiau maþiau iðalkæ, taèiau neturëjome laiko normaliai akarienei, lendame á "Èeburëkinæ". Ten kiekvienas uþsisakæs po skirtingà èeburekà dalinasi áspûdþiais ir kitais vakaro mentaliniais iðtekliais. Netikëtai á "kabokà" uþeina grupelë simpatingø, kaþkur matytø N-16 mergaièiø ir CMD, atsiminæs "chek in: may 12," kukliai nuleidþia galvà.

Gráþtame prie "Vault‘o" kaþkiek po vienuoliktos ir Tauro "Tradicinio"
pagalba ðiek tiek atstatæ alkoholio pusiausvyrà organizme lendame klausyti Section B. Kà gi, pirmà kart tà vakarà iðvydau kiek neáprastà viso festivalio kontekste þvelgiant, taèiau áprastà kitur reiðkiná – grojimà ið laptop‘o. Prieð tai ir po to visi kiti grojæ atlikëjai kompiuterio nenaudojo, kas vizualiai buvo tikrai kontrastinga. Na, bet kalbant muzikaliai, techniðkasis vokieèiø power‘is su dviem vokalistais, pakaitomis skanduojanèiais apie karà, karà ir dar kartà karà, suëjo neblogai. "Taika yra tik iliuzija, mes pasmerkti kariauti ir gimæ tam, kad vergauti..." – atakavo publikà jie.

AIT! - buvo linksniuojama internetinëse diskusijose. AIT! – vienas kità anà vakarà dauguma sveikino. AIT! – ëjo ið lûpø á lûpas. Man kaip per daug apie Industrial subkultûrà neþinanèiam, atrodë, jog èia koks a la Aphex Twin’as atvaþiavo. Tad tai buvo pirmas "NAM’o" atlikëjas, kurio pasirodymà pradëjau klausyt su ðiokiu tokiu iðankstiniu áspûdþiu. Ir kà gi, kaip tas Neo-cabaret atrodo? O viskas daug ramiau, daug atmosferiðkiau, maþiau ekspresijos, kaþkokiø proverþiø. Sodrus garsas, prislopintas ramus vokalas… ir ypatingas vaizdas, kalbant tiek apie video projekcijas, tiek apie paèio atlikëjo iðvaizdà / apsirengimà (nu gi nebûtø Italas :)). "Kitoniðka.” – kontekstuliai tada ávertinau AIT! pasirodymà.

Na ir galiausiai paskutiniai, kuriuos að paklausiau iki nulûþau ant
foteliø – "Survival Unit". Pirmas vaizdas vizualiai; scenoje ðeimyninis
duetas - tëvas ir sûnus. Tëvas uþ aparatûros, o sûnus uþ mikrofono. Taip atrodë dël plika akimi aiðkiai matomo amþiaus skirtumo. Na, bet "SU" ið tikro yra vieno þmogaus - Kristian Olsson (to jaunojo) projektas arba netgi kaip buvo iðsireikðta - vieno þmogaus armija prieð visà vakarø civilizacijà, jos "iðkrypusià" kultûrà ir "supuvusias" vertybes. "Gerai, kad mes Lietuviai esame truputá labiau rytuose" – tada galvojau að. Ir tai uþvirë... Pyktis, tamsi energija, jëga, ekspresyvumas, chaosas ir harmonija – visa tai galima buvo pajusti tiek ausimis, tiek akimis, tiek savo kailiu. Natûralus atlikimas ir nuoðirdus bendravimas ið atlikëjo, nesutramdomas pogo ir siautulys ið publikos. Velniðka atmosfera, kurià dar labiau ákaitino po pusvalandþio dingusi elektra, palikusi visus kuriam laikui klausyti tamsiausius garsus tamsioje erdvëje. Ásijautæs atlikëjas ðaukë, klykë, siautë kartu su publika ir netgi CMD davë mikrofonà,
iðstaugti kartu su juo ðûká panaðø á: "RRRHHAAAAAHHH!" Kolosalus

Pasibaigus toreodoriðkam "SU" atlikimui, CMD pamaitinæs sielà, nutarë atiduoti maþà duoklæ ir kûnui, t.y. truputá prisësti. Na prisëdau, tai prie to paèio reik ir truputá prigulti, logiðkai masèiau. Tik truputá. "Ë, þmogau, kelkis – viskas baigësi, rytas." – paþadino mane kaþkas aie 5 valandà kaip èviekà. Iðëjus ið tamsaus bunkerio pasitiko skaisti ðviesa ir að su ûþianèia galva, padedant inercijos ir tvermës dësniui, atkulniavau iki centro, kur sukimðau picà, o po to iki stoties, kur sulaukæs pirmo autobuso parsikraèiau namo. Gerai, kad vairuotojas paþadino.

Tad bepuèiant ðokoladiná kaljano dûmà, galima apibendrintai teigti, kad tai buvo ko ne vienas geriausiø meto renginiø ir apskritai kalbant, vienas ádomiausiø patyrimø ever. Ko gero pirmà kartà muzika, ar kaip, kaþkas vaizdþiai iðsireiðkë - "garsø simfonija”, buvo klausoma viskuo. Pradedant klasikiniu deriniu; ausys/rankos/kojos, baigiant "industriniu"; akys/blakstienos/ ir visi kiti piestu stovintys plaukai. O kur dar abu galvos pusrutuliai bei skrandis su visu jo turiniu :) … Ðiaip ar taip laimei viskas liko savo vietoje ir viskas baigësi graþiai, ir laimingai :) Bûtinai dalyvausiu ir kitàmet.