Dear reader


You are visiting the 'old'version of Merchants Of Air. We are currently moving to

For new reviews and articles, please visit


thank you

Merchants of Air


exploring the edges of the musical universe

Incubate 2014 Saturday


Full Capacity

Noon, the Consouling Store just opened and the Nadja live at Paradox LP was already on display. While buying it we had a nice little chat with the label-owner who mentioned that this project took ten years off his live. For those who don't know yet, this LP was recorded live on monday, sent off to be printed and be delivered five days later, something that usually takes weeks or months. So our compliments to Consouling Sounds for this project.


But we came for the music and what better way to start things off than with a band that was recommended by our good friend Yvo Broekhoven (Mental Plastic Body Filler). That band was Meadowlake (interview) from Groningen (NL) (interview). They played at cafe Joris as part of the Incubate Zero project. Just like Ode to the Quiet from the day before Meadowlake is a very promising band. Their music can best be described as post-rock with soothing vocals. Too bad there was very little audience in this venue because this was a very good concert, especially considering the fact that their drummer had broke his collarbone and could not go all the way. I would love to see them at full force soon.


Speaking about going full force, Hadewych++ quickly catapulted themselves into this years top-5 with their powerful and intense ritual performance. With deep drones, Dutch spoken or yelled poetry and thundering percussion they kept the Paradox in their grip for almost an hour.


Soon after this we went back to the Consouling Store where Innerwoud was about to start his set. While most drone musicians use a guitar for their sound Innerwoud brought a double bass to the set. Along with a very balanced use of loops and effects this gave the music a warm and pleasant sound. Later he would be on stage with a great sounding Charnia which we could hear very well while eating another one of those great Tilburgers.


Then is was time for one of the most anticipated acts of this edition, Skullflower. This English noise act is probably one of the most popular within the genre but live performances seem to be pretty rare. What we heard was very harsh and hypnotic noise, played with guitars and violin. Love it or hate it but this stuff is intense. For some reason Skullflower ended their set a lot sooner than expected.


Ekoplekz/Emmplekz sounded very promising from the get go. Dark ambient soundscapes brought a nice athmospere in the NWE Vorst. However, when the spoken word found its way into the performance the magic was gone and so were we.


In the Midi Wovenhand has already started his concert. The venue quickly filled to capacity, something that we would read on twitter a lot more. Standing way in the back we realized that we had actually underestimated Wovenhand. This set was solid. The songs were great and the athmosphere was just perfect. I hope to see them again soon in a bigger venue.


Le Seul Element is a French project that combines classical piano with ambient electronics, playing behind a white screen where all kinds of images are being projected. At some point it reminded me of Olafur Arnalds or Nils Frahm.


When the Incubate guide says 'doom, drone' we know we need to go see it. So when we arrived at the V39 we noticed a half full venue getting wild over what Bismuth (interview) was doing. Bismuth is a two piece doomband, roaring over its audience with bass, drums and grunts (and we think we also heard some clean vocals). Man, this was awesome. We wanted to ask them for an interview after the show but we were actually afraid, can you imagine.


The 'venue is at capacity' messages were coming from everywhere. Current 93 was full, there was a huge line in front of the Midi where Goat played, so we went to Extase where Agrimonia was ready to go old school on our asses. Their doom slugde, mixed with traditional metal and a hint of black metal was pretty entertaining.


Finally, before our feet would start complaining, we went to Paradox for a night cap. We watched Innercity Ensemble soundchecking and discussing with the sound crew for way too long. Then the guitar played blatantly asked 'will you all be quiet now' and we thought 'this better be worth it'. It wasn't so we went to sleep, but not before we watched a South Park and a Family Guy episode on Comedy Central.