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legowelt, orgue electronique, tlr, schmerzlabor - cleveland (sep. 2002)
posted on 25-Sep-2002 by anton

ever since I missed the "first coming" of legowelt, I have been anxiously awaiting their second tour in the states. all this time electro in general has been slowly growing on me. it turns out that this genre has so much to offer in terms of re-appreciation of all those music styles and moods I have gone through during all these years. considering the fact that participants of den haag disco elite assimilated such varied influences as punk, jungle, early gabber wave, 80s electro, disco, hip hop, funk and detroit techno, it is almost inevitable for one to find something to relate to in their music. I cannot deny the retro nature of this obsession (although bunker records has been exploring this complex and intriguing combination of styles since 1992); one can hardly resist the glamorous slutty kitsch of legowelt fused with 80s pop electronica with a healthy sarcastic touch; its almost fatalistic intensity conveys the feeling of someone trapped in industrial surroundings and determined to have fun at all costs.

nothing is more fitting the "dirty brown and miserable" title than the flats of cleveland with its huge oil drums and towering industrial structures, constant dust where car beams dissolve in the haze after a hundred feet. appropriately enough, the show was set outside, taking full advantage of these superb surroundings. an hour and a half spent driving around the flats looking for the venue put us in the anticipating-yet-miserable-enough mood required to fully appreciate this music. finally we have arrived determined to fully indulge in the hedonistic decadence of holland's finest creators of electro-boogie nightmares.

upon our arrival orgue electronique (aka brian chinetti) started out with the minimal energetic electro where roughness and coldness of the music was offset by tiny funky touches. bordering on the verge of detroit electro it created a hypnotizing and unsettling atmosphere. his set was a proper introduction to the music environment of the tour, at first cold and alien, but gradually hypnotizing the listeners, placing them in decaying discotheques where music of bunker records originated from.

somehow I have missed first few minutes of danny's set (must have been the records hauled to the show by ever-present wrecked); when I walked outside, the evening air appeared to be noticeably warmer, pulsing with italo disco and thumping with thick bass that was undeniably legowelt. after that it was a complete blur - dancing to constantly progressing and advancing layers of electronica where steady beats would carry the weight of deranged synthlines; grinning at the sheer funkiness of those swirling, bouncing sounds, and yet feeling its steady minimal grip, especially during last few tracks that quickly progressed from stripped-down bass-heavy detroit electro to explosive power-funk-meets-rhythmic-noise sound. it was so impressive to witness live his continuous layering of melodies, keys and patches, in this very subtle minimal way, always carrying the music forward and creating that twisted irresistible dance appeal. unfortunately there were no "total pussy control" samples (unless I missed them somehow, because they were obviously present during NY show), nor there was any rifle-shooting or cruising around in pimpshifter; perhaps this will be the entourage for the next world tour. I do wish the crowd was more energetic, somehow everyone was too damn serious to fully enjoy the spirit of his set.

after a much needed break tlr (aka mr. clavio and also the person behind bunker records and crème organization) closed the night with a long set of finest electro that gave tireless hipsters the chance to exercise the goofiest of their dances.

I am glad that I was able to catch this show, enjoy it on so many levels, especially since I had a chance to look a bit deeper into the roots of this style. somewhat unusual outside setting worked out perfectly, and I can only praise the sound person for such an excellent set up. if you have a chance, do not miss this opportunity to cast a sarcastic glance at gritty, grainy urban world.

picture gallery
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photographs © 2002 by alan mcclelland

related links
legowelt vs orgue electronique "derrick in nord korea" review
legowelt "pimpshifter" review
legowelt "wirtschaftswunder" review
legowelt disco chip 101
orgue electronique website
bunker records website
tlr website
legowelt website

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