A Playlist [and a good one at that!]

So, it has been written within these communications that I have seen Combichrist a few times. , here, here and here. In fact it would be easier just to search Fooyah.net here.

So, out of those four gigs I reckon that the best set was the Old School Set they performed at Electrowerkz. I have now created a playlist on my iPhone and Sonos system that reflects what I think this concert was. I don’t have an exact list but this is close enough and a bloody good list of songs it is too!

OldSchool

Combichrist – O2 Academy Islington

Early one Monday morning I returned from Germany and a music festival there. Some details are contained within this communication. After getting home and sleeping for a short while I had to get ready to see Combichrist at the O2 Academy in Islington.

The above set list is for a gig in Bristol although it looks pretty similar to the gig I saw.

Stereo Juggernaut and Controlled Collapse were the support bands. I seem to remember that both bands were pretty good and enjoyable.

Combichrist were pretty darn good. They were impressive and the crowd was very active. Having just come from a weekend at a festival where the crowd all stood where they were and didn’t rush the stage this was a very different experience. There were some quite violent people in the mosh pit and, maybe I’m too old, but this was a bit of a turn off.

Now that Combichrist have guitarists the older songs have been adjusted to keep the musicians busy. They have created guitar parts to the mostly synth music and I think this detracts entirely from the quality of the original songs.

Even with all that this was still a bloody fantastic gig. Not quite as good as being at Electrowerkz but close.

Combichrist
Combichrist

Everybody Hates You – Darkside – Combichrist

This album is an accompaniment to Everybody Hates You. I first listened to this while having a jog and I can warn you it’s not music to run to. It’s quite quiet and probably almost trance, if I had to guess at what trance is.

It is my current belief that Andy LaPlegua messes around with composing all the time and when he has enough material he adds it to an accompanying album. There’s another darkside album out there which is a bit more upbeat.

Now, dating music this is not but it is pretty good anyway.

Everybody Hates You – Combichrist

Right people, this is a biggy. As you may have seen here and here I love Combichrist. I’ve also had identity crises because precisely of this band. This is the first Combichrist album I have come to review and this is a good one [hint: there aren’t any bad ones]. This album was released in 2005 and is part of a series of projects by Andy LaPlegua. This album can only be described as nasty and heavy, but without guitars. The genre is either Aggrotech or Hellektro depending on your language predisposition.

Sometimes musicians go all out to offend and to move the boundaries of acceptable. This is one of those albums. You can see that this is meant to annoy the establishment. It seeks out the angry youth and goes extreme. Most metal does that and the really successful stuff is nasty and angry, that’s how you make it big. Speak to people as though you understand their pain, make it a club where only your music feels on the outside of society. Sit back and watch the money roll in. You can sing about love and shit like that but I would say that’s a harder market to break.

So, this album is up there with the greats. It’s brilliant. It’s offensive with a good beat. I would recommend everyone tries this, if only to video your reaction to it. Oh, don’t look up some of the details, it’ll make you feel unwell [such as the song God Bless]. Now, here’s the thing. When I list the song titles, you need to understand that this is not an endorsement of those things. It is a list of song titles. Just as I watch war films and yet I do not endorse war or people go to church but don’t endorse all the child sex abuse by priests I listen to music and do not endorse the messages contained within. That may be a subtle argument but you just have to get over it. I like listening to stuff that moves me.

So, after all that, here’s a list of the best songs:

  • This S*it Will Fcuk You Up
  • Feed Your Anger
  • Enjoy The Abuse
  • Today I Woke To The Rain Of Blood
  • God Bless
  • This Is My Rifle
  • Like To Thank My Buddies
  • Lying Sack Of S*it

Combichrist – Koko

Yesterday I travelled into town to see Combichrst at Koko in Camden. I took my niece and, of course, I met Andy there. We had a lovely low key dinner at Prezzo in Kings Cross station and then some cake from Patisserie Valerie. As much as dinner at a railway station sounds dull it was in the new-ish atrium and very pleasant. We walked to Camden and had a quick drink in the Lyttelton Arms before heading in to Koko. This pub and venue is just outside Mornington Crescent tube station. I suggest you look up the game “Mornington Crescent“.

First band on were DKAG. I didn’t watch them. I could hear them. They sounded quite upbeat and ok.

Second band on the bill were Naked Lunch. I wasn’t that keen. They all looked old, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but they weren’t interesting. The music was ok but the “show” was terrible.

Naked Lunch
Naked Lunch

William Control took to the stage as the third band and were very good. The songs were well crafted with some good chorus lyrics that William got everyone to join in. They were a good support band. William’s thing seemed to be twirling the microphone around like a cheerleading baton which was quite interesting to watch. After the gig, my niece spotted William at the stage door and she went over to shake his hand and inform him that she really enjoyed his set.

William Control
William Control
William Control
William Control

Now we come to the best bit.

Combichrist

Overall, Combichrist were stunning. I love their music. I Loved them live. There isn’t a great deal else to say other than: It was just awesome.

Combichrist
Combichrist

This band started with “We Were Made To Love You”. Played lots of other stuff.

Combichrist
Combichrist

Then they played more stuff including “Blut Royale”, “This Is My Rifle”, “Body Beat” and “Never Surrender”.

More songs I remember [added as and when]:
Denial
Shut Up And Swallow
Trail Of Blood (possibly)
Electrohead

Combichrist
Combichrist

At the end of the evening I was tired. I had danced and jumped and spent all my time in the pit. My niece had managed to grab a Combichrist drum stick and was the happiest girl alive. I settled for having an ace time at a gig that is officially rated as outstanding.

Some other things have come back to me whilst I was driving in to work. My niece lost a shoe at some point. Apparently a strap broke. She did find the shoe again and so this was a non point. We all chatted at some point to a girl who was at Download two years ago but was high on MDMA and cocaine at the time.

Koko itself is a very good venue. It looks great, has a balcony bar outside and two balconies inside for excellent viewing opportunities. I was very impressed with the sound quality, more than I was at Briton two weeks ago.

I should also mention that I saw Combichrist at Elektrowerkz a year ago and they were stunning then too. The previous gig a gave them a score of 9.9 < r < 10. I said at the time that I wasn’t sure why. I can now confirm that I was slightly too drunk at that gig. This time though I was just right. It scores a 10.

More post editing! I have found a website with the set list from a slightly previous gig.

combichrist set list

Combichrist – Electrowerkz

Saturday 21 December. A date that will live in my memory and on this communication. Andy and I travelled to The Angel to see Combichrist at Electrowerkz venue.

This is the running order, taken after I went to the “rest rooms”.

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The whole venue was a bit weird. Pretty much a dark room in a strange building with a bar and unisex toilets. The black painted walls were painted with phrases and sayings and my favourite was the one that said “Hadley’s Hope” – the terraforming city on LV426 in the film Aliens. The mixing desk was hanging from the ceiling and the bottom edge of this construction was just at head height.

The first band on were shit. I reckon my staff band at work were better than them. They said they were from Coventry. Not sure if that’s a causation thing or not.

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One of the things about listening to the type of music I like now is that the whole musician thing is constantly questioned. The eighteen year old me would hate me. I like electronic music which can be played using a laptop. Das Kapital (below) had three laptops and bopped around behind them. My issue with this is that although I might enjoy the music I don’t understand the creation process. Surely if your music is samples and drum tracks why don’t you just press play? Perhaps I need to see more of this type of music created. If only there was a festival dedicated to alternative music, somewhere like in Kettering next year.

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Combichrist consisted of two people. Singer and mixer-dude. They were very good. It was brilliant to hear the old songs played – the gig was billed as the Old School Electro Set. I didn’t take any photos as I was about two rows back from the very front. As much as it ashames me I held my hand up and got to hold hands with the singer twice. I am such a teenager.

Songs I remember them playing:

  • Body Beat
  • Blut Royale
  • This S*it Will Fcuk You Up
  • Like To Thank My Buddies
  • Electrohead

There were others and I am sure I could find them if I searched the internet thingy but I can’t be bothered.

Andy gave this gig a 10. I am bordering on 10 but at the moment more than likely it is: 9.9 < r < 10. Don’t know why, there was just a little something missing and I’m not sure what that was.

Access and Amplify – Icon Of Coil

Strictly speaking this is an EP and so does not qualify for my “Album information” section but I am going to write about it anyway.

Icon of Coil are one of the projects of the main protagonist of Combichrist,  Andy LaPlegua. I am still in a phase of really enjoying the “hellectro” and “aggrotech” sound and Icon of Coil were listed on Wikipedia as an influence on Combichrist. So I downloaded this EP. What struck me firstly about it was it has much more of a clean dance feel to it that the Combichrist material. The EP consists of two songs and three re-mixes of Accerss and Amplify. I don’t often listen to the EP as a stand-alone source of music but I do hear the songs now and then while I’m listening to an aggrotech shuffle when I’m on a run. Ultimately it’s well constructed music but just not quite my type. It’s not so bad that I’ll skip the songs when they come on though!