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Incubate 2009 - Different name, same party!
Metalrage was present at every ZXZW Festival held so far. This year they changed the name into Incubate. Luckily the ideology and program of the fest didn’t change at all, so of course we had to be there once more, with again more reviewers than the years before and visiting more days of the fest than before. Party until we drop!
Hermann Nitsch @ various locations
Guest of honour and face of this year's Incubate was Hermann Nitsch. In the sixties he was a prominent member of the Viennese Actionism movement. A movement that rebelled against the settled powers and norms by “Actions”, which were often the subject of moral outrages because of the use of naked bodies, dead animals’ guts and symbols of the establishment. Actionism combines different disciplines like painting, theatre and music and can be called the forerunner of performance art. According to Incubate Hermann Nitsch even had a strong impact on musical genres like industrial en black metal. Incubate had several exhibitions of Nitsch’s work, a masterclass, interview, organ concert, a movie and as highlight the presentation of an Action. There was a bit of controversy around this Action because it in involved a dead pig. People were saying it was ridiculous to call such a thing art, there were threats of animal organisations and the national television picked up this subject. Hooray for free publicity! The Action had to be moved to another location and police and security were present to be sure nothing got out of hand. I was in doubt whether you shouldn’t be so hypocrite to make a hassle out of one pig out of an enormous meat producing factory or that a dead pig not for consumption is in principle wrong. So I went to see some expositions and eventually the Action itself to see whether I could make a judgement. In a big hall Nitsch directed several people in white who pore blood over naked people and pigguts and people in black who made noise with rattles and such. Walking from table to table across the hall the large number of spectators were eager to get a glimpse of the Action. After the guts-emptied pig hung 5 centimetres above a woman lying on a cross and Nitsch directed the people in white to pour blood through the pig, dripping on the woman, I concluded that this Action didn’t give any answers. It was just a thing that I had to see out of curiosity, but as with many abstract not purely musical art forms I just didn’t get it and it wasn’t even really shocking. I guess only the artistic elites can really appreciate performances like those of Hermann Nitsch. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Arriving at the main venue 013 on Friday evening, we were surprised to be welcomed by a group of twenty teenage girls. Unfortunately it turned out that they weren’t our welcome comity, but groupies for the English SUPERstar group McFly. Haven’t you heard of them yet? Well, their show was on Sunday so these kids slept two nights outside to be in the front row, so this must be something big. During the entire Incubate they were a good entertainment, and we happened to be there when the doors opened. Hell broke lose! Three literally big ass securities were just nearly run over by 1500 kids, no kidding! And indeed, I couldn’t resist to go into the tomb of underaged soaking wet pussies. Because of the constantly large number of screaming kids I could barely hear a thing of the music of McFly, but I guess that doesn’t matter at all because it’s more about the looks and first-time-ever orgasms. That’s why I enjoyed opening band Destine so much more, they were way hotter! (Sledgehammer)

Wednesday, September 16

The opening act for Anaal Nathrakh was found in a Dutch powerviolence/crust/grind band, one that doesn’t perform in the Netherlands very often. FUBAR, who I hadn’t seen in years, rather not play in a country where their music isn’t really appreciated, which became apparent at this show once again. Nevertheless I must say the band made a really strong impression on me, bursting out their crusty grindcore with furious energy and hate. Highly fast and deadly they rampaged through their setlist, making me wonder why they don’t play around here more often. The average crowd response made clear why… Despite that, I’m still anxious to see them again at the upcoming Bloodshedfest at Dynamo, Eindhoven! (DemonDust)
Anaal Nathrakh @ V39
I’ve become a huge fan of Anaal Nathrakh only recently, but I did witness them play once before, which is a rare happening as you might know. The band is actually a two piece, formed by Mick Kenny and Dave Hunt, also of the brilliant band Mistress. Their black/grind efforts are reinforced on stage by another guitarist, a bassist and of course a very fast drummer. Unfortunately this drummer wasn’t as able and skilled as the one I saw play for them two years earlier, for most of his talent could be found in his ultra fast blastbeats, not the rest of his play. Still this didn’t spoil the fun for me at all, for Anaal Nathrakh busted out a great number of songs from all of their albums, creating a good crowd response and even a little moshpit. A very enjoyable performance from this cult band indeed, fit for more! (DemonDust)

Friday, September 18

Celan @ Kleine Zaal, 013
The very first band to perform at the Kleine Zaal of 013 was also one of the Incubate acts I was looking forward to the most. Celan is an act formed around Unsane vocalist/guitarist Christ Spencer and Ari Benjamin Meyers from the legendary German industrial act Einstürzenden Neubauten. They’ve combined the strengths of both bands, added Oxbow guitarist Nikko Wenner and both the drummer and bassist of flu.ID and this day they came to play their very first show outside of Berlin. Let me tell you, it rocked our socks off! Splendid atmospheric and multi-layered stoner rock with still a harsh feel and attitude, a bit like Unsane taking a trip into outer space. From start to finish Celan played a highly enjoyable show which I would like to see more often for sure! Interested? Make sure you catch them next month on their Worship The Riff tour! (DemonDust)
Costes @ NWE Vorst
An equal case of incomprehensible art was Jean Louis Costes from France who is influenced by the Actionism of Herman Nitsch. He is a theatre performer who, just like GG Allin, likes to involve his poo in his performance. As a lover of goregrind I just had to see this of course. It turned out to be the most disturbing theatre play I ever saw. With the use of many ridiculous props he solo played a kid who was looking for his parents in a disturbing world. Constantly screaming he ends up fucking and killing his mother (a doll) and I believed his father too. Highlight was when he put a Barbie up his ass where-after he put it in his mouth. Bravo! But I guess I have seen enough incomprehensible multi-disciplined art forms and will stick to just music for a while now. (Sledgehammer)
Marhaug @ NS 16
Just in between Celan and Manatees I managed to catch a bit of Lasse Marhaug in the NS 16. Marhaug is a wellknown Norwegian noise artist who performed on over 200 releases. Exclusively for Incubate, he played a special live set inspired by the works of Incubate’s headliner Hermann Nitsch in company of Manheim (from Mayhem) and Jon Wesseltoft (from Thorns). Guitar, drums and Marhaug with a set of analogue machines that made a hell lot of noise. The sound was absolutely beyond “too loud” but the music was a quality piece of noise, where the drums (including a gong!) made it even more exciting. The only thing I couldn’t really hear through the noise was the Hermann influence. Shame we only caught a few minutes as we had to rush to Manatees in the Little Devil, but I would definitely like to see this again. (Brent_)
Manatees @ Little Devil
Following this performance we had to make haste and walk towards The Little Devil café in order to see U.K.’s Manatees perform their postcore/sludge/doom. I was prepared for a very loud show, which we got for sure. These guys were so fucking loud, it was almost insane, especially when you look at the small size of the venue. Especially the bass amp was cranked up so loud, it made my pants and my intestines tremble. Nice! The trio busted out just a few songs, since they’re pretty lengthy, yet the sheer force coming from the stage took many in the audience by surprise and made it one of the most talked about shows of the first day. The only bad thing I can mention is that you couldn’t hear the guitarist’s vocals because of the loudness of the rest of the instruments. Next to that, extra props to the drummer for being a huge ass animal smashing and beating the shit out of that humongous kit. Hope to see them again real soon! (DemonDust)
Pulled Apart By Horses @ Batcave, 013
Something completely different now! PABH can best be described as ADHD-indie rock with a good dose of humor. The band released their EP Meat Balloon late 2008 and is working on a full-length now, with a lot of touring with the likes of Biffy Clyro and Manchester Orchestra in between. The set in a not-too-packed 013 Batcave was a good laugh; hyperactive half-naked bearded men jumping on the bar and screaming right in the face of the innocent people who thought they were just watching “some band”. Musically a bit of a mess, but an energetic live performance made up for that. (Brent_)
Altar of Plagues @ Extase
From hyperactive indie rock to black metal, well what else can you expect from a festival like this? Altar of Plagues is a relatively new band from Iceland who play atmospheric black metal in the veins of Wolves in The Throne Room. They also supported Mayhem on their European tour in 2008 so my expectations were pretty high. I actually thought they gave away a pretty decent set, but according to Demondust, after witnessing Wolves In The Throne Room live (who I've unfortunately never seen live), it sucked. Nevertheless, the lack of lights and the smell of wood in the Extase made it a pretty intense set where only the sound could spoil the fun, and unfortunately, it did. But the band has been announced for next year’s Roadburn festival already, so luckily we get to give them another chance with decent sound. I still see potential in this band! (Brent_)
Speedcore @ V39
Although in a reduced amount, there was still some digital hardcore/speedcore/breakcore/noise programmed on this years Incubate. Unfortunately not as final slot on Friday, but before the dubstep night at the 013 venue. At V39 we could enjoy four in Switzerland living DJs with various nationalities; playing gabba for more than two hours all together. We witnessed two of these guys; Corrosive and Indee. If I put them in correct order; Corrosive kicked ass the most with his terror/breakcore set full of distortion and fucked up beats. The last act, Indee, spinned more old school speedcore, which became a little boring after a while although beats at an average BPM of 250-300 with a pounding live volume are always fun for fans of extreme music. (Mindsaver)
Generation Bass @ Kleine Zaal, 013
After the breakcore, there was not much left but dubstep DJs in the small room of the 013. Definitely not a punishment (for me) because we had Reso, Joker and Planet Mu’s new masterpiece Raffertie on the bill. There was a completely different crowd from what I’ve witnessed over the day, so probably a lot of people just bought tickets to check this Generation Bass night out! I wanted to check out a bit of A1 Bassline as well but he just played his last two tunes when I walked in so Reso was actually the first dubstep DJ I’ve seen at the Incubate festival. The guy still had his backpack and jacket on and looked like he was about to leave, but played a quality set nonetheless. Even though I’m pretty much of a dubstep fan, the only track I did recognize was ‘If Ya Can’t Beat Em’ by Reso himself. The rest of the set contained CD-R dubplates that I’d absolutely never heard of before. Reso showed with this set the future of dubstep; the stuff you will play on your stereo next year!
Next up was Joker, from the UK as well. I danced my ass off at his set at the Dour Festival this year, but his set at Incubate was a bit of a let down compared to what I had in mind. He started building up way too slow, whereas Reso absolutely tore down the place with his short 45 minutes of playing time. Joker did manage to get a pit started and the last 15 minutes of his set were quite enjoyable. It might have been a better plan to put Reso after Joker!
Last DJ of the night was a brand new signing to the Planet Mu camp; Raffertie. His debut release Whobble Horror on this label is beyond anything I’ve heard in dubstep (dubstep vs rave!), so my expectations for his set were pretty high as well. He started with The Prodigy and managed to play a varied set of drum ‘n bass, bassline and dubstep as well as some rave elements. The crowd got a little tired (and drunk) and slowly started to head towards to the exit during his set so the party vibe was actually over for tonight. Quality set anyway and I hope to see him again at one of the big dubstep parties (Subway, Dub Infusions…) in the Netherlands again soon! (Brent_)

Saturday, September 19
Alabaster Suns @ Batcave, 013
This band consist out of old Capricorns members and as Capricorns was one of my favorite instrumental sludge bands ever, I was curious as hell to check out what these fellows are up to these days! First of all, the biggest difference between Alabaster Suns and Capricorns is the fact that AS do have vocals. The show was set in the cozy, but very sweaty batcave of the 013 venue. It was a pretty decent show, with loads of variation and energy, but somehow I can’t help thinking that I’d rather see Capricorns reform. Musically Alabaster Suns is more in the postrock corner than the instrumental sludge of Capricorns. It reminded me of a more (sometimes) indie sounding Isis. A bit like how it would sound like, when Sonic Youth would jam together with Isis. Very interesting, but I missed some really heavy riffing. I’m curious though, how they will sound like on record. (RoyBalowski)
Kayo Dot @ Kleine Zaal, 013
My expectations for this next act from America were actually really high. I checked out their latest album Blue Lambancy Downward a few times and it definitely got me in the mood for this show. For those who don’t know, Kayo Dot play a weird mix of experimental avant-garde mixed with some post-rock and metal elements. The tracks were extremely long (I think the band only played 3 or 4 tracks during the whole set) with constantly exciting build-ups and build-downs and uncommon instruments such as violins that did the atmosphere nothing but well. Definitely a memorable set at the Incubate festival this year for me! (Brent_)
K-Branding @ Cul de Sac
After hearing K-Branding’s track ‘Nubian Heat’ on the Incubate mixtape, I was eager to see this band live. Saturday noon they performed at Cul de Sac, where they attracted enough people for an intimate show. The three musicians from Belgium (a guitarist, drummer and saxophonist) created tripping experimental music that is known as no wave, a not clearly definable musical genre with aspects from disparate styles as funk, jazz, blues, punk rock, avant-garde and experimental but with consistent elements such as abrasive atonal sounds, repetitive driving rhythms, and a tendency to emphasize musical texture over melody (source: Wikipedia). A pretty unique sound to me, and brought with great conviction. Again we saw a talented drummer, but also the guitar play was sometimes hard to follow, not to mention the saxophonist and his crazy effects. Ending their set doing percussion all together, they left me with great impression. (Mindsaver)
Altaar @ Little Devil
To us Altaar was a pleasant surprise, we just followed the description of a noise/drone act from Norway and decided to check them out. Smart choice, for we were treated to a very loud and extremely noisy concert. One drummer and three guitarists with a shitload of space and drone effects unleashed a landslide of subsonic frequencies upon the audience, which took us directly into a different dimension. Added to this sonic assault was the vocal attack of two of the guitarists, which took about fifteen minutes for them to set in. A nice and devastating performance to drift away by. (DemonDust)
The Hummingbirds @ Weemoed
After seeing the Israeli duo Tv-Buddas trashing up the small, brown pub Weemoed on the year's edition, I was curious how a punkbluesthrash trio out of Eindhoven would thrash shit up in this very small, cozy pub. And a great surprise it was! It was a real treat to see three friends having loads of fun and actually play some great filthy, punkbluesthrash in the best vein of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on speed or a slower New Bomb Turks, but I can assure you it rocked. Even though this wasn’t the tightest band and having a pretty sloppy drummer, the sheer enthusiasm and energy made up for all of that. The ideal band for a sleazy rock ‘n roll party in such a small pub. With a few pints down your throat, this music is adrenaline to a rock ‘n roll freak, like heroin to a junkie! As a bonus you get a drummer, which is making faces like Animal of the Muppets is on a bad mushroom trip and even making silly dances behind his kit. This made it a very enjoyable band to watch. Certainly one of my highlights of this year's edition. Can’t wait to see what the programmers will book for this pub next year! (RoyBalowski)
Khuda @ Little Devil
Playing with a crazy amount of effect pedals sometimes brings technical difficulties with them, and that’s what happened with Khuda today. The guitar player of this duo from Leeds, England couldn’t adjust his bass sound and so we just had to imagine it. Not that that was really necessary with a multiple layered guitar sound still sounding properly - and a steady drummer behind the kit. So unless the breakdown I still found their mix of post-rock, metal and psychedelica a fine experience, leaving me curious for a Khuda show without troubles. (Mindsaver)
Dubstep @ Batcave, 013
Where there was a chance to switch between breakcore and dubstep yesterday, there was only dubstep left to go to (or house, but who cares about that nowadays anyway?). First act of the night we’ve seen here was Komonazmuk all the way from the UK. I had pretty high expectations for his set but it turned out to be a little duller than I thought. It went a bit up and down all the time, few party tracks, few home-listen tracks… It didn’t get too exciting. But what the hell, Broken Note was up after that! That’s what we thought anyway…Seeing Broken Note at Rebeltronics in Tivoli earlier this year was an absolute treatment. A hell of a crazy set switching between dubstep, drum ‘n bass, breakcore and even gabber. And after Komonazmuk’s slightly boring set we thought they would go absolutely bananas, but Broken Note chose to keep it on the low a bit as well. Sadly there was just a little bit of drum ‘n bass this time, no breakcore and definitely no gabber kicks, something we really hoped for. The set itself was all right but we were really hoping for something harder and maybe our expectations were too high for this. (Brent_)

Sunday, September 20
Caspian @ Kleine Zaal, 013
Boy did I look forward to see this show. Caspian, a post-rock act from the United States, toured Europe last year as well but I sadly didn’t know about them at that point and felt stupid for not knowing them. With the release of their brand new album Tertia, they had a good reason to get back on European ground for another tour. Due to the fact they arrived too late (the band said they drove from Denmark at 3 AM and even arrived too late for the show around 16:00 the day after!), they only had time to play three tunes, what a bummer! The band really had to plug in and play, without even a proper soundcheck, and somehow, they managed to put on a very decent but short show and the sound was absolutely crystal clear. Like I said, only three tunes, but it definitely gave me the hunger for more! (Brent_)
Noise/Speedcore @ V39
On Sunday we could enjoy another dose of digital chaos. Normally that might be a little weird on a Sunday afternoon, but at Incubate everything is possible. Hosted by DJ/organizer Bart Hard, the V39 was again décor of destruction, but when we entered the venue we got to hear the opposite: low volume ambient noise. We decided to sit down for a while to relax on these frequencies, while mister Gregg Kowalsky walked through the hall with cassette players with various noisy tapes, which he set up at the different corners of the room. A bit weird but chill nonetheless!
A couple hours later we returned to the V39 and this time we did hear the promised sounds. Bart Hard took over the turntables and unleashed his mix of breakcore with goregrind and anything noisy in between. Final act Saxony Speedcore Force from Germany gave away a special three-hour set full of fast beats and breaks - if your ears weren’t already raped at this point, they would be now. Too bad that there was hardly anybody in the venue and most people got scared away by just hearing the beats when walking down the stairs to the hall. They really should’ve programmed this music at night! (Mindsaver)

Knalpot @ Paradox
Perhaps the best thing I saw at Incubate, or at least the most innovative and musically engaged act of the festival, the Dutch duo Knalpot made my jaw drop to the floor. One takes a drummer and a guitarist, gives them a shitload of weird effects, synths and other electronic noise material and let’s them compose the weirdest yet compelling music of this age. I can honestly not try to explain what these guys were doing, I can only tell you that it was fucking insanely good. If you like rock, jazz, metal, punk, electronics, dubstep and whatever else, just go and see them without expectations and be blown away like I was. You will be amazed. Period. (DemonDust)
Nox @ Extase
Dutch act Nox were representing death metal on Incubate, but they weren’t as spectacular as I hoped for. They might be tremendously fast, there is hardy any variation between the songs and especially the monotonous use of the cymbals becomes boring after a while. After the count of 3000 blastbeats (read: 15 minutes) we decided to check out something else. (Mindsaver)

Soap & Skin @ Kleine Zaal, 013
The very last act to play the Kleine Zaal of 013 was marked as one of the acts everybody would talk about for a long time after this date. What we got was a singer/songwriter act in the shape of a girl behind a piano with a laptop. Musically the songs were very dark and eerie, it made me think of horror movie music with a lot of suspense. An extremely delicate voice topped the music, singing about depressive and painful emotions. I actually witnessed a woman crying next to me because of the music, so one might say that Soap & Skin reaches the same depths as music like Portishead and such do. Impressive to see her carry the show all by herself, yet in the end it wasn’t entirely our cup of tea. Still, I can give nothing but respect to her for the quality was quite outstanding if you like this sort of music. (DemonDust)
Details Written on Wednesday Oct 14th, 2009
Writer @DemonDust

Tags: #Incubate 2009