ZXZW Festival - Experi-mental
As I returned from the TodaysArt Festival in Den Haag in a condition I’d rather leave aside, I went off to visit yet another festival in this style. In Tilburg there was the Zuid bij Zuidwest festival, which, like the TodaysArt festival, featured all kinds of weird bands and artists showing their view on music and art today, in venues throughout the city.
Well, I arrived too late to see my friends from Skullhog which I deeply regret, but there was a whole lot more that made me very very happy. Interested in weird stuff and metal? Read on then!
After I met up with some people I prepared for the first act, called Japanter. I thought it was a cool name, but the band was not that cool. There were two guys, one playing guitar and singing and the other was drumming and singing, with his back to the crowd. Well, the stuff they performed was far from tight, and the vocals were just ridiculous, and even though they had a bright yellow and a bright pink microphone, we left.
So we headed towards another venue to see Engine Of Doom, which was alright, despite the fact that I have seen stuff like this too much, and way tighter than this band. Metal, metalcore, a bit of mathcore, sounds like fun but it can be delivered way better.
And that was exactly what the guys from Officer Jones And His Patrol Car Problems did. Unfortunately I missed the noiserock band Volt, but the schedule was pretty fucked anyway, at least that was how it seemed to me. Well, OJAHPCP, what a great name by the way, are a mathcore band from Belgium, whom I saw at Pukkelpop because it started to rain and they played inside. That show was very convincing, but not nearly as great as the one they did here. A perfect sound, brutal extreme metal music, tight as hell. That about sums it up. The only problem was that the vocalist's microphone volume was a bit too soft, contrary to the one used by the effects guy. This band will go places, and pretty soon I think. They might do exactly what a band like The Dillinger Escape Plan does, but OJAHPCP does it so damn tight that it’s still fucking awesome.
Well, there was this act called Shitmat in the venue across 013 (where something very funny was going on as well, I’ll get back to it later), and it was recommended to me by Haklust’s vocalist, which he sincerely regretted later. What Shitmat did was a mystery, even to me. I’ll try and describe it anyway. Picture two DJ’s playing megahits from diverse genres, while two women (one dressed a bit slutty, the other wearing a penguin mask) and a guy (in a soccer outfit, with an idiotic mask and an inflatable letter E) are dancing like idiots while “singing “ with the tracks. I didn’t know what to think of this, but it sure was funny. Halfway in the set, the two DJ’s and the guy left, and the women were left alone to do an even more stupid track. Yeah right…
We walked outside, only to run into something just as weird. Across the street from 013, there are these huge windows. Behind these windows were these extremely weird dressed people, completely in black, making some kind of death industrial music. I had noticed them as I arrived at 013, when they were just talking to people that were passing by. But the stuff they were doing now was very weird. The outfits combined with the most horrible arty farty music on the planet made even my jaw drop.
I was recommended to go see Bloodbastard, who are like a tribute act to Bile (now Skullhog). This was in the Little Devil, so we had to walk for a while. We arrived just in time to get a drink, have a chat, and then the mayhem began. The threesome wears masks, and uses a whole bunch of fake blood. The shirtless grind butchers have a bass player with a very large belly that, when covered in blood, looks very interesting moving along with their music. Sorry I just had to mention that. Well as I said, they play music in the vein of Bile, so that means ultra dirty grind. But the thing that distinguishes them from Bile, is the fact that Bloodbastard has no blastbeats. Which makes it even more Neanderthal farmer-like. I liked it, it grooved like an idiot, and you could even dance to it!
After that, we rushed to the Extase again to see Prostitute Disfigurement, but they were nearly finished when we entered the venue. Which meant that I was about to miss the first part of the real reason I was at this festival.
Otto von Schirach, my hero, my saviour. I reviewed his latest effort recently too, and I just might review the Den Haag show as well, but there he played at a breakcore evening where his set transferred to that of Venetian Snares, and that guy totally obliterated what Otto was doing. He mainly did breakcore stuff there, and that was very different in Tilburg. You see, Otto combines a lot of my favourite musical genres that I didn’t think could be combined, namely breakcore, hip hop and goregrind. And he does this masterfully. As I said I was too late to see the start, but when I entered he was just doing ‘Tea-bagging The Dead’, which was his opening track the day before. I banged my head of to it. You have to imagine that he doesn’t really operate a lot of the electronics live, but he does most of the vocals. Like in the aforementioned song he sings ‘shake your motherfucking ass ho’. Brilliant.
Well he asked who were there the day before, so me and one other guy yell. He acknowledges me and notices my Locust shirt, while he denies that the other guy was there and gives him a cuss word. Shit like this happened throughout the show. People were complaining about his cussing and his dirty music, but he just told them he would have sex with them later. Fan-tas-tic! Give it to ‘em!
Most of the tracks he did here were the very brutal ones of his later albums, or 1992 techno. But he also raped Right Said Fred’s ‘Relax’ and some other gay disco track. And he also mentioned the fact that the Dutch had invented gabber (in Rotterdam), so he felt like there should be more dancing. I was in for that. I bounced, moshed and headbanged like my life depended on it. In a more quiet ambient track he disappeared behind his table, to return with glasses on his head, stockings on his head, and a shower-cap which he entitled his rave-hat. Again he had a guest-vocalist that got to do some pitchshifted grunts in one track, which was pretty cool to see. Well at the end of the show I started to scream some tracks as well, and he actually played them. I got the infamous ‘Goat Sperm’, to which he asked if I drank it. I assured him that I drank it, swallowed it, and shat it out. That convinced him to do this ultra brutal track. But I also was yelling ‘Submarine Mammal Milk’ which is one of the dirtiest and nastiest tracks I’ve ever heard. Little did I know that that was the first track he did, and I had missed it. But he was so kind to do it again, which finished off the greatest DJ-set I’ve ever seen. All hail to Otto von Schirach. Can’t wait to go again!