zaterdag 19 maart 2016

Coalescaremonium: Expect a most incredible experience, filled with high quality entertainment that you will not often see in one day!

On April 2, the next edition of Coalescaremonium will take place, the fourth in a row. It will not be hard to convince those who experienced a previous edition to attend - certainly since the musical program was expanded considerably - but we thought it would be a good idea to give Discipulus - one of the organizers of the party - the opportunity to make a list of all the arguments for the doubters.

Hi Discipulus. You organize Coalescaremonium for the fourth time this year. The theme of this edition is Art Nouveau Noise. Can you give us some more explanations?

Each year, the challenge for our organization is to develop a theme in two contradictory-looking terms that define the goth scene. Art Nouveau Noise is the latest instance in which we literally want to quote the two underlying art flows and bring a figurative interpretation of 'new noisy arts'.

On Coalescaremonium, so many elements will be presented throughout the day, ranging from historically correct Art Nouveau to what some would simply interpret as disturbing noise, and this in an extensive program full of music, art, fashion and performance in which we give ourselves and our beautiful monastery location a real revamp.

The program is much more focused on music this year. In recent years, only two bands were programmed, now there are eight. Why did you expand this aspect so much?

We started with one band, one solo project and three deejays in our first edition. Our plan was to set the bar higher every year and add an extra band each time. Now there are 4, and we are exploring the limits of our concert hall.

Last year, the theme was based around performance and film. We had three appearances (two bands with use of projections and a burlesque show) in the concert room and the chapel was renamed cinema, where 4 scene related musical short films were displayed during the day.

The approach now is to provide a stage for four one-man projects with a similar setup and use the chapel as a quiet and intimate music hall, in contrast to the bombastic concert hall. Thus, we work out our concept while offering another concert every hour.

Can you briefly go through the bands you have invited and say why you who have chosen them?

We start with two Belgians; the magisterial Hedera Helix, who fit so well in our concept as if it would be determined by divine intervention; and SEM, a chiptune project from my own Heimat Limburg, where despite the low number of events, the interest in music is wonderfully high.

After them, two unique concerts will take place: Pretentious, Moi?, the British goth rockers in peacock theme that have never played Belgium yet; and the debut concert of KnK, the project of two Antwerp scene rot which was launched last year. They bring melodious drone EBM under the title Dead Body Music.

Then we have truly two legends whose influence in the scene is difficult to refute. Sirenia, with frontman Morten Veland as the founder of the Norwegian gothic metal, which will present their latest back-to-the-roots album, and Max Lilja, Finnish cellist and founder of Apocalyptica, who recently started a minimal electro solo project.

Finally, we have two musicians, who both produce a legion of sound in their most indescribable music. The Canadian Iszoloscope produces power noise full of influences from other genres; and Luminance, the one man new wave project that beautifully draws with related synth sounds.

The eight groups represent just as many styles of music; from minimal synth to gothic rock, from industrial to gothic metal. This fits in the ambition of Coalescaremonium to bring as many different submovements from the gothic scene together. Are you happy with this diversity?

We could not have been happier. All the artists were our first choice, and the totality of  their music represent our theme better than we could ever have dreamed.

The homegrown music is well represented: Hedera Helix, KnK, Luminance and SEM. An excellent choice, as far as we are concerned. Is it your express wish to support the local scene?

It has always been the intention to bring a 50/50 story. We make it our mission to program international bands that are seldom or never invited in Belgium and, secondly, to support local artists who are highly active in the goth scene.  Ultimately, we as organizers ask the same support of the Belgian public, so it seems only natural to open our wonderful location for those who are searching for ways to play in their own country.

It is noteworthy that there are less DJs than last year, but they are very international with DJs from Japan, Australia and the US. Is there a concept behind the DJ sets?

Because we already covered so many genres with the addition of the chapel as a concert room, it seemed a good idea to limit the number of DJs  this year and go for longer sets. That way, we can involve a number of artists with whom we wanted to work together for some time and from which we also know that they fully support our concept.

Ultimately, the ballroom offers a continuous alternative to what is going on in the live venues and we provide a very strong offer in DJs with Sisen (Darkwave), Totentanz (aggrotech), Necromatx (Goth / EBM), XLII (IDM) and Dargor (Metal).

Of course music plays a prominent role in our subculture, but there is also fashion, graphic arts, photography, literature, et cetera. You have paid a lot off attention to them the past few years. What do you have in store this year?

This edition invests strongly in the theme of music, with a launch by no other than the organizers themselves, who all (including me) will bring a bit out of their artistic youth, with a real acoustic mini chamber music concert, and the typical theatrical twist that - meanwhile - is expected from us.

The fashion show this year is provided in the Art Nouveau theme by the label Somnia Romantica, with recorded music by the designer himself (classical piano) and her husband (noisy sound effects). Industrial gogo dance will also be part of the show, and dance instructor Juul Victoria - whom everyone remembers from last year - is back for two acts, included in the most various concerts you'll see.

The art exhibition is also done by two vocalists. You will be able to admire the photography of Andy Julia, singer of Soror Dolorosa (FR) and illustrations by Gina Wetzel of Rusalka (DE). Finally, there is the Photo Studio where visitors can really step into our concept and become part of the artwork.

Can you briefly summarize why we have to come?

Expect a most incredible experience, filled with high quality entertainment that you will not often see in one day!

Coalescaremonium

Interview: Xavier Kruth