Maschinenfest 2002 Oct 04-06
Once again it was time for me (and my friends) to venture down to Aachen, Germany for another weekend of harsh beats, weird sounds and ambient chartings. This was the fourth edition of the festival, which started in 99 at the same location.
This year we didn't have time for the pre party on Thursday so we got there kind of light on Friday night, just in time to see S.I.N.A enter the stage. The old bunker which the festival was held in consists of one room for the bar, one room for the record stands, one "chill out"-room with food servings and one big room with the stage. Since there is no air conditioning worth mentioning the place was already reaching sauna temperature when S.I.N.A started playing. Anyway, they did a really good and energetic show playing some of their biggest "hits" and making the whole room dance.
After this show some friends and me took a well-deserved beer and record-break. Since the festival is arranged by people running the performing artists' labels there are no problems getting an album by someone you just been blown away by on stage! The next artist I wanted to see was Hypnoskull. Unfortunately the arrangers were over one hour behind the schedule so he didn't start playing until 03:30 in the morning. Being Hypnoskull the performance was of course extremely loud and aggressive. He mostly played stuff from the latest official release "Operation Tough Guy" but also some tracks from the self released EP "The Silver Album". A strong performance, so none of us had any energy left after this so we all missed Winterkälte who started playing at 04:45.
The second day started out with us missing Tarmvred and Roger Rotor because of more schedule delays. I saw a bit of Deutsch Nepal performing but didn't think it was worth the time and got back to buying more beer/records. Also, I had a quick chat with Mr. Dirk Ivens regarding strobes and his upcoming performance at the Tinitus Festival. Really nice guy!
A bit later that night I saw Panacea vs Needle Sharing do a quite good gig. From what I heard it was mostly Panacea material being played and in the end of the show they started doing some gabber stuff that sounded very much as new Kate Mosh-songs. I would have liked more Needle Sharing-songs but I enjoyed it anyway!
The third and final day was probably the best for me music-wise. The first band I saw was This Morn' Omina and they totally blew me away! I'd never heard such a good combination of tribal trance and industrial beats. A bit like Dulce Liquido on ecstasy :). After the performance I went straight to the record stand and bought one of their albums. I also saw a bit of the Mental Destruction gig but found it really boring.
A couple of hours later Venetian Snares vs. Fanny vs. Hecate entered the stage and played some of the most twisted Drum And Bass-beats I'd ever heard. Good but a bit too much after half an hour, even for the trained ear.
After that it was time for Imminent to play. They played a lot of new stuff, which was really nice to hear since Oliver Moreau hasn't released anything as Imminent for at least three years now. Anyway, the new material was a bit more D'n'B-influenced than previous releases but still really good. He also played very loudly and after a while I found it easier to get a grip of music if I stood out in the bar instead of in the room where he was playing. Vromb finished this year's Maschinenfest with some excellent stuff. Their bass drones were so powerful that I again found it more satisfying to listen from the bar room.
After this we had some time for an after party with the bartenders which, just as last year, got a bit too much to handle. The train ride home the next day was painful but it was all worth it! During the festival I heard a rumour from different people that they will change the location next year to somewhere you can fit in at least 1000 people. Sounds like a good idea to me since the tickets were sold out both this year and last. Let's hope that the scene will continue to grow and more people will get into the music, then perhaps Maschinenfest will be one of the big festivals some day!