Sat. April 30
(Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing)

Sun. May 1
(The Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 5
Awesome Tapes From Africa dj set
(Treehou5e Open Air, Ghent)

Fri. May 6
Invisible Hands / Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex / DSR Lines
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)

Tue. May 10
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 12
(DOK, Ghent)

Fri. May 13
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
(Kubox, Kuurne)

Thu. May 26
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)

Fri. May 27
(Trix, Antwerp)

Wed. June 1
(Botanique, Brussels)

Wed. June 8
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of TIM MAIA (Luaka Bop CD/2LP)

According to the liner notes, Tim Maia was the personification of rock star excess, having lived through five marriages and at least six children, multiple prison sentences, voluminous drug habits and a stint in an UFO obsessed religious cult. After a 3 year stay in America at the end of the 1960s, he was deported back to Brazil where he started to blend North American black music to Brazilian music. The fine result can be heard on this great Luaka Bop compilation that includes many highlights by this Brazilian Funk Soul Godfather. Some songs are in English, others in Portuguese – all are very exciting. Another winner from Luaka Bop!

THEPPABUTR PRODUCTIONS: The Man Behind The Molam Sound 1972-75 (Zudrangma Records CD)

Theppabutr Satirodchompu was one of the key producers of modern Molam music from Northeast Thailand. Next to 17 scintillating tracks, this digipack release offers a fat booklet with interesting liner notes and great photos of record sleeves from long gone. Sound is really excellent. Highly recommended for exotic music aficionados who are eager for more Thai country groove after hearing both Molam compilations on Sublime Frequencies from a couple of years ago.

POP YEH YEH: Psychedelic Rock from Singaore and Malaysia-1964-1970 (Sublime Frequencies CD)

Sublime Frequencies releases keep getting better and better. Upon first sight, I thought this was a 2CD compilation but in fact this single CD release includes 2 fat booklets full of background history and pictures. It’s amazing to hear how fresh & vital these rock/pop songs still sound almost half a century later. The ideal summer soundtrack for nostalgic escapists!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


NEUROTIC DEATHFEST - Europe’s biggest indoor extreme metal festival - celebrated its 10th anniversary last weekend. The line-up was impressive; an exciting mix between well-known bands (CARCASS, EXHUMED, MAGRUDERGRIND, PIG DESTROYER) and rather obscure bands (MALIGNANT TUMOUR, VALLENFYRE, WORMED). By writing this, I am aware that I probably make a complete idiot of myself in front of metalheads. But then again, I am no metalbeast but have always been a sporadic metal listener. My wife used to be a (speed)metalchick so when we first met some 25 years ago, we both went to a lot of metal shows (OBITUARY, MORBID ANGEL, AGNOSTIC FRONT, BRUTAL TRUTH and NAPALM DEATH spring to mind). A little later, however, I found the whole punkrockscene much more fun and only occasionally went to metalshows.

When I heard about the NEUROTIC DEATHFEST in Tilburg, Holland a couple of years ago, I became curious and bought a ticket. The great thing about this kind of festivals is that you can rely on the expertice of a bunch of devotees who know the bands that matter and try to book the cream of the crop. I paid a visit to the 2010 and 2011 edition of the festival and was amazed at the diversity of the bands at the festival: deathmetal, blackmetal, grindcore, deathgrind, deathcore… all very LOUD & BRUTAL! Especially the shows at the second stage impressed by their sheer power and intensity. As a result, bands like ROTTEN SOUND and BEHEADED surpassed themselves through a flawless monster sound.

The 10th anniversary had some real surprises: the legendary band POSSESSED who coined the term "Death Metal" in 1983 on the band's 1984 demo of the same name, put on one hell of a show. Singer Jeff Becerra has been in a wheelchair for over 18 years as a result from a street robbery where he was shot and subsequently paralyzed. The band sounded like a ruthless metalversion of Poison Idea and blasted through its repertoire with hardly any stops. POSSESSED were not the only legendary band on the festival. Also REPULSION – whose Horrified album from 1987 is a genre-pioneering masterpiece - made its appearance on the festival. Not as impressive as POSSESSED but still very good.

Also CRYPTOPSY from Montreal put on an amazing show: tight, mean & totaly in your face! Frontman Mike Disalvo turned out to be a supernice dude who ran across the stage and agitated the audience in style. Next to bands with an established reputation like UK legends CARCASS and IMMOLATION from New York, there were a few discoveries to be made. MALIGNANT TUMOUR from the Czech Republic played an amazing mix of metal, crust & rock & roll. Their fast-paced tunes reminiscent of Motörhead turned the small club into a total slamfest. Paradise Lost's chief songwriter and lead guitarist Gregor Mackintosh created the band VALLENFYRE which also includes the bass player from UK crust legends DOOM. Slow pounding metal with a raw, sepulchral voice: awesome! A MAGRUDERGRIND show has to be witnessed to be believed. Insane grindcore with only drums, a guitar and vocals but what an impact this New York trio makes: a primal scream that leaves you  gasping for adjectives! I could go on for a while but let me finish this post with CATTLE DECAPITATION who sounded like The Jesus Lizard playing extreme metal! No kidding. Their show was manic, brutal and totally wacko.

Quite some bands that I have enjoyed on this unique festival might not leave the same impression on record. Some bands like the ridiculously named German trio COCK AND BALL TORTURE get on my nerves after 40 minutes. But NEUROTIC DEATHFEST proofs that the most extreme metal genre offers a full range of exciting sub-genres that are best to be experienced in a live setting. Why don't you go knocking at death's door?

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Almost a year has passed since my latest post so I guess it’s about time to breathe some life into this blog of mine. From now on, I promise to post more frequently. After all, these are interesting times and the amount of fantastic music, amazing books and wonderful movies keeps increasing constantly. On the left hand I hope to update my concert list so friends can see what’s going on as far as live shows go. Today, I would like to recommend three inspiring documentaries of late about contemporary artists.

PINA is a feature-length dance film with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, featuring the unique and inspiring art of the great German choreographer PINA BAUSCH, who died in the summer of 2009. The documentary exists of many bewildering dance scenes and is beautifully shot by Wim Wenders. Even if you haven’t seen many dance ensembles in real life (I only saw a couple – Meg Stuart, Wim Vandekeybus, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) the magic of Pina Bausch’s choreography even works on film. I saw this documentary in 3D but the annoying glasses spoiled some fun and I don’t think the result was worth the effort. Just watch it on DVD or online and be amazed! Here’s the trailer that should wet your appetite:

Another fabulous documentary is Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present. Abramovíc was born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and pioneered the use of performances as a visual art form. She lives and works in New York where she was the subject of a major retrospective at the MoMA – The Artist is Present – from March 14 through May 31, 2010. This documentary follows the artist as she prepares for this major retrospective of her work. The centerpiece of this film and the MoMA retrospective is a stupefying performance by Marina herself: all day, every day, from early March until the end of May, 2010, she sits at a table in the museum's atrium, in what she describes as a "square of light." Members of the audience are invited to join her, one at a time, at the opposite end of the table. There is no talking, no touching, no overt communication of any kind. Her objective is to achieve a luminous state of being and then transmit it ­ to engage in what she calls "an energy dialogue" with the audience. Sounds boring? Watch this film, it’s one the most gripping ones you are likely to see! Believe me, even just watching it is a riveting experience!


The third and final documentary of this post that I highly recommend is called Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry. Ai WeiWei is China’s leading contemporary artist who is known for his activism against China’s opressive laws as much as his art. Alison Klayman's film gives a fascinating insight into this man’s life and work. Ai Weiwei is an agent provocateur who twitters things like “There are no outdoor sports as graceful as throwing stones at a dictatorship.” At the same time however, his art can be very subtle and touching for example when he bypasses the silent government and formed a team to gather 5,212 names and birthdates of children who had died in shoddily constructed schools during the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

According to Ai Weiwei, life is much more interesting when you make a little bit of effort. I can only agree and bow deep to these 3 amazing artists!