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Merchants of Air


exploring the edges of the musical universe

Incubate 2014 Thursday


Mixing the Ladies

We woke up, got ourselves some breakfast and went for a walk through the city, reminiscing about the night before and the reviews we we were going to be writing. During our stroll we noticed that Tilburg has shitloads of hairdressers. These people would be outraged if they saw the long haired and heavily bearded people at the festival. Beards are so hip that I think that even hipsters give up and shave themselves every four minutes. I forgot my razor so by sunday I would probably look like a sludge fan, or like Kadavar. But we're deflecting from the the real reason we were here, the Incubate festival in all its glory. So after a good stroll we went back to the Consouling Store to look at records I wanted to buy but never bought (yet).


That same Consouling Store had the privilige to kick off day four of the festival, again with a Belgian band, named Kiss The Anus of A Black Cat. This band has seriously grown over the past years. Today they were a duo with a lot of stuff with 'Korg' printed on it. They took us way back to the 80's with their synth-based electro, reminding us of acts like Cabaret Voltaire or Suicide. So yes, we were off to a perfect start for our second day in Tilburg.


Then it got confusing. When we walked to 013 we noticed that one of the female electronics acts had cancelled and that the schedule was slighty altered. The first act was Olivia Block. Immediatly we noticed that 'electronic' was a term taken widely by the organisation. Mrs Block's music had nothing to do with electronic dance music. In stead is was a loud mixture of ambient, soundscapes and noise. In fact, is was pretty awesome. I need to find me a record.


After her gig we went to Extase where Geryon was playing already. Geryon is the bass playing vocalist and drummer of Krallice actually playing like Krallice without guitars. The result was incredibally technical black metal, not bad but I think it would have been better if it were programmed before Krallice's performance, not after. So yes, we ran off to see some drones and ambient at the Paradox venue. Chicaloyoh is a young woman in a black leather dress playing stuff with Korg printed on it, deep percussion, looping her own voice and singing. This resulted in something pretty interesting that was a bit similar to Olivia Block but didn't have the 'cachet' of the latter. I'm pretty curious about what would happen when you put both ladies on stage together.


Off to the Midi then, where King Buzzo was about to start. King Buzzo, mostly known from the Melvins, is a stage animal armed with an acoustic guitar and about two million different voices. The music is best described as 'acousting stoner rock driven by the upper snares of his guitar'. I haven't seen a man entertaining a crowd with only an acoustic guitar since Luka Bloom at Werchter years ago. We didn't watch him for a long time I have to admit, mainly because we wanted to see so much at this festival.


At the 013 venue things were getting even more confusing. The electronic ladies were coming from all over the venue and not really respecting their time-slots, or so it appeared. At the foyer Puce Mary was exorcising her demons with a very nice mix of dark ambient and noise. In the 'Kleine Zaal' Stellar Om Source threw in the house beats and samples and in the Jupiler Zaal Holly Herndon bewitched the crowd with glitch and electronics, combined with an angelic voice. All threee ladies were actually great but the real amazing thing was the mix you heard when you stood somewhere in the middle of it all. Beats, noise, glitch, voices, samples. It was really amazing that way.


Well, off to Kadavar then. The three bearded musketeers of the seventies rock sound played an amazing set at the Midi theatre. What else can I say about it. Fuzzy guitars, extensive solo's, a beast on drums and a bass player that looked as stoned as Cheech & Chong combined. From the get go Kadavar threw themselves in the top 10 of this festival already. Can't wait to see them again at Desert Fest in Antwerp next month.


What is it with Aidan Baker when he's not Aidan Baker or Nadja? He played with Caudal at the Paradox venue but, just like the day before, the music couldn't convince me. Maybe it was too up tempo, maybe it were the very basic sounding drums and bass or maybe I was just getting tired or just maybe we were already spoiled at this festival.


Now it was time for the headliner of the day, Carter Tutti Void. It obviously reminded my of Chris & Cosey that we saw last year but with bowed guitars. These people really are the pioneers of techno and industrial music but our bodies started screaming for sleep so after a few minutes we had no choice but to leave and try to get some sleep. Now, our hotel room was right in front of the hotel and right above the busy nightlife street so we didn't get a lot of sleep and we feared that this night wouldn't be any different.