If you are wondering, if my camera is broken – no, it’s not. With this picture I just want to give you a taste of what I am going to face the next four days: it’s darkness!
Yeap. I am leaving my daily routine to join the world’s most bizarre festival, the Wave Gotik Treffen.
No, I am not a goth. I am also not a cyber goth, not a fetish girl, not a Victorian princess, not a bat cave lover, not a dark punk, not a moshpit person, not a rockabilly one, not a EBM listener or army-clothing-style fan.
I am a GNMie. GNM means Global Noise Movement, and I am INYAN, one of about 20 artists like djs, musicians, visual and multimedia artists from all over the world, that love this scene, that brings so many different subcultures and artistic styles all together since 1992!
First have a short look back. I was at the first WGT, where four bands did play and probably a few hundred people showed up.
Even it was kinda small compared to today, it was a really cool experience. My best friends and I were not allowed to dye our hair for school and work reasons, so we … sprayed it black. Then we put all together what we found in black – even a headband, can you see it (I am on the right.)?
So I attended each WGT the following years. Although I was dressed in nothing than black for many years and there are some bands I really like to listen to, I was not that devoted to the scene as you might think. That means, I didn’t spend much time on graveyards or slept in a coffin. But I was hanging out in goth clubs across the country each weekend.
So some day in the mid 1990s I got to listen to one really noisy song, I couldn’t forget: Esplendor Geometrico’s Sinaya (it’s still rockin’). Along with that song there was often played another one: Muslimgauze’s Your Arms, Our Opium. But in fact, that was all about it, what djs played with harsh sounds at this time. But I was fixed and really needed to figure out every song and band and label producing … noise, especially progressive noise, ambient noise and rhythmic noise. I couldn’t get enough of it. So I was more than happy, when they started to add noise bands to the WGT line up.
Then the WGT grew to thousands of people, and got into some … let’s say organizing trouble, that reached its maximum in 2000. (It was some kind of anarchy back then, because whether artists nor stuff got paid. I mean, imagine a festival without any security, but everything works out fine, since the crowd really appreciated and celebrated the bands, that played anyhow. Thumbs up, big time!) After that, the management changed and now it’s a huge commercial festival. Which is good and bad, I think. But that’s worth another post. ;-)
That wouldn’t be a personal blog without me talking about my very own involvement in WGT events. So here we go: Since 2001 I was involved in planning of and playing at GNM provided noise events at the WGT, as you can read here and listen to it here or watch here. It is an unforgettable experience, because it brought together the GNMies from all over the world each year to create very special audio and visual events for noise music and electronica lovers. I will always remember the Anakronism events with very eclectic music on Thursday nights to open the WGT noise floors. We booked incredible artists and outstanding bands and collaborated with other crews from LEipzig to show, what can be possible in this scene and to open up the minds for ambitious electronic music like industrial, breakcore, dub, dubstep, d’n’b, drum and noise, rhythmic noise, progressive noise and many more.
And then there were the noise finales on Monday nights. It’s so amazing and overwhelming having a stuffed crowd of about 400 people of all types of visitors combined dancing and freaking out to your noise music dj set. (Even if I look a bit concentrated, I can say, it was a lot of fun!)
But as they say, go when it’s at it’s best. So this year I am switching sides again, and I am going to attend the WGT only as a visitor after such a long time. It’s kind of strange and makes me feel a bit sad, too. But I am also very excited about that, because it will allow me to just watch the bands and djs, to listen to some good music, to dance, to take pictures, to chat and having enough time to meet long-term and long distance friends. I guess, I am really going to enjoy the upcoming four days of total darkness, that will lighten up my soul on all accounts. Starting tonight, see you! ;-)
PS: If you are a newcomer or someone who is interested in noise or electronica, here is my recommendation of the leading labels regarding this music subculture: It’s ad noiseam, ant-zen, hymen, hands. You will surely find some music, you haven’t heard before or had any idea, that could exist. Get inspired! ;-)