Motel Mozaïque 2007 - A festival in Rotterdam
I love weird music and I love weird music festivals even more. Besides the ZXZW festival in Tilburg and the Today’s Art festival in The Hague later this year there also appeared to be Motel Mozaïque in Rotterdam. The cool thing about these festivals is that they’re held on different locations throughout the city itself, so you find yourself travelling the streets a lot. Motel Mozaïque also combines music with other art disciplines like theatre and cinema, so there’s more than enough to entertain yourself with. The fact that these art festivals are two day events (this one actually has four, with a pre- and after-party day, but I didn’t visit those) enhances the fun factor as well, so off I went to explore the music of tomorrow.
This band might sound Japanese to you, but they’re actually a British kraut-rock band with a little more swing to it. And it’s exactly that swing that makes it an attractive band to listen to. A sort of electro vibe flows throughout the music, without making it seem too much like an electronic act. A great warm up for what was yet to come in this venue I found out.
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter (Lantaren 1)
I know about Jesse Sykes because her unique melancholic voice is also on the Sunn 0))) & Boris album Altar on the track ‘The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)’. I find this song to be very worthy to be played at my funeral, so I was really happy to find out that she and her band were gonna play here. This country-Americana formation managed to make a devastating impression in me, might it be a with a very gentile and calm show, with a few more rocking parts. Her amazing voice sounded great and so did the rest of the band. I can’t really say that it’s music that makes you happy, but it certainly touches you in an interesting way. Fans of singer/songwriter acts should check this out.
Up next was the surprise of the festival for me. The Belgium electro-rock band Goose is also going to play at the Dour festival, so I thought it would be nice to check them out before I saw them there. Lucky me! I was completely blown away! At a crazy loud volume the band threw out some kind of electro-indie rock that had an unstoppable groove. Their synth equipment really grabbed me by the balls and their sick beats made sure nobody was standing still during their performance. Their hit song ‘British Mode’ was the last track I saw, but that kicks so much ass, I urge everybody to listen to it, at a very high volume of course! Can’t wait to see them at Dour!
Deerhoof (Lantaren 1)
So I rushed towards the other venue, skipping the last part of Goose to see Deerhoof. Description of this band were like the Teletubbies on acid, and Mike Patton-like songs, so this was definitely something I wanted to see. Well, I honestly was flabbergasted by this shit. Next level music indeed. They went from being an avant-garde trio to this weird pop-combo, mixing noise with rock and melodies in a highly experimental way. There was a insane drummer who seemed to be out of rhythm constantly but always ended up being right, just like the guitarist by the way so you can imagine what that sounds like when two people sound like they’re out of rhythm all the time, but still end up right. The guitarist also handled the samples and the drummer made some funny announcements between the songs. The third member of the band is a tiny Japanese girl that plays bass and sings in English, a bit of Japanese and some made up vocal tones. A bit like rhythmical baby-language or something. Combined these three performed some of the weirdest songs I’ve ever heard, and they did it with superior excellence. If you’re looking for some real original rock, try this one for size. It’ll scare the shit out of ya!
After this I briefly went to check out Digitalism which is a DJ act also scheduled to perform at the Dour festival, but I wasn’t really impressed by their mix of indie, punk and electro, especially not after seeing Goose before them. So it was time to pass out and get ready for another day of weird music.
The first thing I saw this day was something I absolutely didn’t like. The Belgium band Fixkes play some melancholic singer/songwriter folk-pop which I could stand for a couple of tracks, but then made me run for something completely different. Something with tits…
Ann Liv Young: Snow White (Lantaren 1)
Now it was time for a little theatre, the program flyer for Motel Mozaïque showed a picture of two naked chicks for this act and it described the performance as Snow White gone berserk into the mode of horny bitch. Oh yeah I’m ready for this one. Well, first of all the performance was off stage, in the middle of the audience that was seated on the ground. The show basically existed of two girls (of which one looked very pregnant) dancing and singing along to famous hits, while changing outfits from time to time. And they weren’t wearing any underwear, and they hadn’t shaved. Something every metalhead can appreciate in some sort of morbid obscure way I guess. Very extravagant, I didn’t understand a thing of the play itself, but when the two girls started to have sex with a strap-on I could care less. Best performance of the day. At the end the pregnant girl called us all idiots for checking out their awful piece of garbage and then they left, leaving behind a smiling crowd with one central question; WHAT THE FUCK?!?!
I have no idea actually how I ended up with this band, but I didn’t really like it. The description according themselves goes as follows: ‘if there’s a line that joins Eddie Cochran to Prince and The White Stripes, we’re next in that line. Well this description is quite accurate I’d say. But besides the frontman’s weird looks I have nothing really interesting to say about this band. Definitely not my kind of music and I wouldn’t have cared if that line had stopped after The White Stripes.
Bunny Rabbit (Lantaren 2)
Bunny Rabbit has toured with the infamous CocoRosie as a human beatboxer and she now has released her first solo album. I heard a lot of good about this girl, so I decided to check it out. The music consisted of dark, heavy, psychedelic beats accompanied by some unusual rapping and singing. The DJ was constantly blowing up balloons which she threw in the audience, I don’t really understand why. The crowd’s reaction to the music was quite good, what started as a seated concert quickly turned a modest party. Too bad the PA-guy didn’t allow a higher volume for Bunny Rabbit, so for me it wasn’t really that interesting. And considering that in this venue disturbingly high temperatures were reached (it was quite warm these days), we decided to leave.
Since we had to kill time to wait for Amon Tobin to play us some beats we decided to visit The Bees. This is an English band that according to the description plays music that sounds like the end of the sixties/start of the seventies. But most of the names they are compared to are not among my favourites in that time area, and neither was The Bees' music. Boring riffs that are too old for me, think shit like The Rolling Stones (yes I think they suck). So we left.
Amon Tobin (Lantaren 1)
I really wanted to see this guy because on record I really like his spacey beats. Also he contributed to the Peeping Tom record, so then you get kind of a head start on the odds for me to listen to your music of course. This Brazilian DJ is one of the best acts on the famous Ninja Tune label, and in 2005 he was asked to make a soundtrack for the game Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. This lead to a new way of making beats, and his new record is inspired by foley artists, the so-called creative minds that add sound-effects to music. Sounds interesting doesn’t it?
I must say, when the set started I was right near the speaker, with my earplugs of course. On this spot the bass trembled though my entire body, which was amazing. Now I was really experiencing the music. But as I later moved away from the stage I completely lost the feeling, and tiredness began to take over. So we took a little break in the nearby hall and ran into some people I knew. This meant no more Amon Tobin and another couple of beers. I’ll give him another try at the Dour festival I guess.