Mishmashmagazine.com will be back online in JULY 2008 with an entirely new look and tons of new features. This is our temporary home until then. We'll continue to post 'Best Of Mishmash Magazine' features, new coverage and updates about our new site, so keep checking in...

MishmashMagazine.com has relaunched!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

KMFDM & Combichrist : Show Review

by Aaron Pompey
photos by M'Lou Elkins
10.27.06 - Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

The line that divides the satanic from the godly is more grossly misrepresented in some contexts than in others. When I was a teenager, I was forced to watch an extremist right-wing video about how demonic artists like Cheap Trick and Meatloaf were enabling the corruption and dissolution of morality among worldwide youth. The film, Hell's Bells: The Dangers of Rock and Roll, demonized everything but the most impotent songwriters of the 1980s, with its message that anything that wasn't written for the flock was written for the Devil himself.

I'm certain that both Combichrist and KMFDM would have made it into that pseudo-documentary, had their brand of hard-edged tribalism been around a couple of decades ago. But what parents and youth leaders alike might be missing is that what might seem like Satanism, even marketed as something spiritually deviant, might simply be its own brand of modern primordialism. After all, the rhythms, melodies, and performance art of these artists perhaps trace back more directly to alternative forms of communication than to devil worship.

Combichrist's earsplitting "This Shit Will Fuck You Up" incited a crowd who seemed to be waiting as anxiously for the aggrotech Norweigan expats as they were for KMFDM. "Intruder Alert," "Feed Your Anger," and "Without Emotions" seemed to flood their signature aggressive melodies right on out to Hollywood Boulevard. And the iconoclasm of their white banners, emblazoned with angry fists, framed the white-faced Andy LaPlegua, whose performance alongside Mr Petersen, Joe L, Jon H, Shaun F, Syn M swelled with the energy of the music. Combichrist closed out their set with "Get Your Body Beat" and "Blut Royale" before exiting the stage, whetting the crowd for the taste of KMFDM, whose own brand of heaving musicianship could perhaps co-anchor a Hell's Bells 2.

In fact, KMFDM's set was on par with the energy that Combichrist had raised. Sascha Konietzko's Parisian industrial collective stormed the stage. Like Combichrist, KMFDM is an ensemble cast of characters whose talent lies in the overlapping of their unique performances and musicianship. KMFDM grew out of artistic collaborations that were comprehensively musical and multimedia and continues to be a revolving door of artistic contributions. Bringing their "ultra-heavy beat" sounds to the Fonda, KMFDM's shows seem to be an extension of their offstage, online connections to fans. Their hour-and-a-half-long set featured songs from both the pre-breakup years and since the 2002 reformation, including songs off the recent 2005 album Hau Ruck and their EP Ruck Zuck.

During those years of purgation, KMFDM secured some unwanted publicity when Columbine gunman Eric Harris posted several of Konietzko's lyrics on his website days before the national tragedy. In the immediate wake of that, and in the years since, KMFDM has demonstrated that its commitment has been to creating unique and powerful art through music, bringing together a subculture of fans with its featured members and consistent output.

Combichrist and KMFDM wrapped their recent tour on Halloween night in Seattle. Get Your Body Beat, Combichrist's latest EP, is available on Metropolis Records, as is their full-length 2005 album Everybody Hates You and the rest of their catalog. And check out their Myspace page www.myspace.com/combichrist and their official website at www.combichrist.com. KMFDM is online at www.kmfdm.com and www.myspace.com/kmfdm. Pick up their latest EPs and stayed tuned for more concert dates. The Music Box Theater at the Henry Fonda is located at 6126 Hollywood Blvd and at www.thefondatheater.com. Hell's Bells 2 and 3 are bound to hit theaters some time within the next few years of the Bush presidency.

Digg this