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Merchants of Air


exploring the edges of the musical universe

Incubate 2014 Friday


Satan Is Here

The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day. We decided to take it easy and parked our asses on the terrace of Lokaal Zeven, a lovely restaurant in front of the Consouling Store. After a few coffees it seemed like a good idea to sort out the pictures from the previous days and start working on the reviews. A look at the menu made us promise to come back to Lokaal Zeven and order the Tilburger, a huge delicious hamburger that would turn out to be an excellent start for the rest of the day.


At the Consouling Store Nordmann was about to begin. So for the third time we wathced a Belgian band kick off an Incubate day. Their mix of jazz, rock and post-rock was actually very refreshing. Armed with drums, bass, guitar and saxophone these youngsters proved that our country has a lot of talent. Go see them, whether it is in a jazz club or at a rock festival. They will definately surprise you.


After that it was time to watch one of the bands from the Incubate Zero program. Zero as in 'free for all'. We decided that Ode to the Quiet (interview) would be the most interesting, a young band that describes their own music as 'stargaze'. And we were right. Ode to the Quiet was one of the best acts we watched at this festival. Their mix of art rock, shoegaze, classical music and maybe post-rock was very warm and welcoming. Marianne's beautiful voice and Otto's guitar play were supported by electronics, bass and drums in a very enjoyable way.


After the interview we went to see Tuxedomoon for about fifteen minutes or so. This band has been around since 1977 and scored a huge new wave hit with the song 'No Tears'. We decided not to wait for that one and moved on, mainly because we were not impressed. I know they are one the godfathers of avant garde music but the genre has moved on since and we feel that Tuxedomoon didn't evolve with it.


I had never seen This Will Destroy You before so I was really looking forward to this concert. These guys are one of the best post-rock bands today and they played a very good concert, at least in the first thirty minutes. We didn't watch the entire concert because there's so much to see at this festival and because after a while the sound was a little too overwhelming. Apart from that I was very curious about the 'cinematic post rock' that Alice in the Cities was about to play at the Paradox.


Alice in the Cities (interview) is a Belgian-Italian-French trio, founded in Berlin. In stead of playing loud, overpowering post rock these guys took the genre back to a minimal and intimate level and we absolutely loved it. The result of this minimal approach was a beautiful musical landscape, perfectly fit for a venue like the Paradox. We noticed that they were a little nervous but they still managed to entertain the audience. Alice in the Cities was a very welcome quiet haven on a bombastic Incubate day.


In the mean time Satan and his demons had occupied the Extase. True Black Dawn, Azaghal, Baptism and Sargeist spewed their respective black metal all over the venue in an extremely ill-natured way. True, most black metal is not evolving either but in some wicked way these bands are almost always entertaining and interesting to watch. Besides, Incubate would not be Incubate without black metal.



In between the black metal bands we gave The Ocean a chance. Like Lento (see review IncuSunday) The Ocean has never managed to persuade me. They played in a packed Midi and the audience went crazy for their mix of post, sludge and black metal. This time they actually did convince me to stay for a while.


The final band for this day was 65daysofstatic, one of the pioneers of the post-rock genre. Like in Leuven a few months earlier they played a solid, well-balanced set an proved why they one of the top players in this genre. This band still knows how to write awesome music and perform it live. Once again the Midi was packed to capacity.