Wave Gotik Treffen Festival 2023 – Review by Malice F * Part 2

WAVE – GOTIK – TREFFEN 26-29/05/2023

REVIEW by Malice F. & George P. for Electrowelt.com / Part 2:

♦ Electrowelt WGT 2023 Photo Gallery HERE.

Sunday 28/05/2023

Loell Duin (HR), Vision Video (USA), Lebanon Hanover (D), Diary of Dreams (D), Deine Lakaien (D)

by Malice F and George P

We started off early, to get to Kirchenruine Wachau, wonderful sunny weather, many people on the bus for the same destination to see live LOELL DUINN from Croatia.

I was so excited to see them live and especially at such an incredible location, that only WGT could offer. Loell Duinn conveys their messages and stories using various “living” and “extinct” languages, transferring in their melodies the mythical history of the Balkans, Europe, the World and beyond. The mystical musical journey of Loell Duinn started in the spring of 2003 from Croatian region called Istra, as they informed us, first as a duo then trio, quartet, quintet until it becomes a “rich” sextet and, as such, with no discernible genre and trendy influences, but with free creativity and timeless spirit, Loell Duinn invents their own esoteric (musical) world; they connect world ethnic/folk elements with the laws of classical music through a historical vision of medieval, renaissance and baroque music as an individual mixture of contemporary and traditional.

Through the sounds of forgotten instruments and ancient melodies Loell Duinn takes you on a journey into the mythical history of the Balkans, Europe, the World and beyond. They performed songs from their albums ‘Karpatia’ and ‘Metanoia’ I particularly liked their track ‘Neverending’.

After a glass of wine, we left for Agra, as we wanted to see VISION VIDEO. It was a pleasant surprise for us, we didn’t know this American new era post punk band. They come from Athens (not Greece!), but Georgia, USA and they describe their music as goth pop. The front man and the band as a whole interacted very well with the audience, their style was also catchy with goth outfits and black lip stick and impressive make up. The front man also shared stories with us, as he served in Afghanistan, with political and anti-war messages, it was moving and a nice moment. You should check them out if there is gig in your area.

We liked ‘Comfort in the Grave’, ‘Static Drone’ and ‘Kandahar’. Awesome moment and highlight, their cover of ‘Transmission’ by Joy Division. Overall great energy, dance goth music, what else would we want to have a great time!

Just before 19:00, Agra was getting busier and it was time for the next band, the British – German duo LEBANON HANOVER. Minimal on-stage presence as always, the band is amongst the most well-known and favorites in the minimal wave genre. Deep Bass, synthesizers and guitar played by the two members, melancholic sounds and lyrics, rhythm synths and many 80s influences.

They started with ‘Midnight Creature’, we listened to ‘Die World II’, ‘Saddest Smile’, ‘Kiss Me Until My Lips Fall Off’, ‘Totally Tot’ and ‘Babes of the 80s’ – just to name a few songs being played. Highlights were their hits ‘Gallowdance’ and ‘Du Scrollst’ that followed.

After a short break at the Agra, some much deserved Absinth shots, we returned to the stage for one of George’s favorites, Mr. Adrian Hates and DIARY OF DREAMS, who entered the stage around 20:40 receiving love, much applause and cheers by the audience. Full of energy, Adrian Hates interacted so powerful with the fans, as always, it’s a very characteristic trait of his performance.

The venue was full, we listened to songs from the new album ‘Melancholin’ which we already had heard live and it is very good. Poetic lyrics, dark wave tracks from the early period of the band, then some tracks from the more intense electronic rhythmic albums that followed, the show was awesome. We were excited and moved at the same time to listen to ‘She and her Darkness’, ‘Butterfly:Dance!’ and ‘The Curse’. ‘Menschfeind’, ‘King of Nowhere’ and ‘Traumtaenzer’, with which they ended their show, were also fantastic.

Last, but not least as headliners for the Agra stage performances on Sunday were DEINE LAKAIEN. Mr Alexander Veljanov with his mesmerizing melodic vocals and Mr. Ernst Horn providing support with instruments and arrangements presented us a special set announced as “Dark Star Spezial” with songs from 1991.

An outstanding show filled with so many legendary songs of the scene like ‘Colour-ize’, ‘Reincarnation’, ‘Down, Down, Down’, ‘My Decision’ and for the end the emblematic songs ‘Dark Star’ and at the encore ‘Love Me To The End’, that totally moved all of us and reminded us of wonderful dark romantic times.

WGT Sunday was a wonderful mix of new musical gems to established bands and legends. Thank you WGT!

Monday 29/05/2023

Harsh Symmetry (USA), Ploho (Ru), Apoptose + Fanfarenzug (D), The Mission (UK)

Electrowelt.com dj set @Darkflower & Final Impressions

by Malice F

Our last festival day began with HARSH SYMMETRY at the Haus Leipzig venue, we were very excited to see their European premiere live. Due to the Ukrainian-Russian war, there was fear of demonstrations against the Russian band of the day’s roster, PLOHO, so security check at the entrance was strict and detailed.

Harsh Symmetry is the synthesizer driven solo project of the California based musician Julian Sharwarko. Blending 80s post-punk and new wave influences with more contemporary genres like dark wave and minimal wave, Harsh Symmetry paints a refreshing and danceable picture while maintaining a good sense of revivalism. The live was such a discovery! They were great, new minimal synth sounds the due delivered a great show, we listened to ‘Like an Opiate’, ‘Glass Tears’, ‘Your Eyes’, ‘Mirror Twin’ and a wonderful dance cover of Madonna’s ‘Open your Heart! of course we bought their CDs afterwards!

We stayed for some songs of Ploho, mainly because they would be part of the Greek festival Death Disco Open Air in Athens and we wanted to get a taste. Dark wave sounds, clearly influenced by The Cure, three band members on stage, quite good gig, we listened to ‘Magnitofonon’ and ‘Nulevyye’. I had to leave in a hurry for Volkspalast and George for Darkflower to start our dj set, I was so excited that I was about to see Apoptose! Before that, arriving at Volkspalast, I had the chance to see ANTLERS MULM at the Kantine for a while, dark ambient musical landscapes and projections, quite atmospheric. Time for Apoptose and Fanfarenzug, I wanted to be at the front of the stage for good pics, so I took my place center stage.

In the late 1990s Apoptose started as a one-man dark ambient project somewhere in Germany. Folk-tales and rituals of nordic origin, megacity nightmares or childhood trauma are just few of the topics that Apoptose aka. Rüdiger covers in his music. Over the years he collaborated with different singers e.g. Gary Carey of British postpunk formation Joy of Life or the classical trained Tenor Daniel Sans.

16 years after their last show at Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2007 they were invited again to play together with their friends of Fanfarenzug Leipzig. Same as last time it took place at the marvellous Kuppelhalle of Volkspalast in Leipzig. It was simply breathtaking. So intense performance, the raw power of ‘Apotropaion’ which was originally released on the album “Blutopfer”. A recording with Fanfarenzug Leipzig exists on the vinyl album “Warrior Creed”, we listened at the beginning the same-named track too. Several instruments were used, fantastic projections, 2 female vocalists alongside the band’s creator. The entrance of Fanfarenzug at the Kuppelhalle for ‘Blutopfer’ with their drums was indeed something else. Since my major choice was Apoptose and the performance at Volkspalast, I knew that I had little chance to make it for FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY at Agra, with tram connection from Volkspalast to Agra disconnected, there was a bus to catch for some stations to get to the tram for Agra. I arrived for their last tracks ‘Millenium’ and the legendary ‘Mindphaser’, they were very good, a lot of people at the Agra.

At about 23:05 it was time for THE MISSION to appear on the Agra stage. They definitely need no introduction, burning the fields since 1985. After Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left the Sisters of Mercy, they released their debut album “God’s Own Medicine” and countless hit singles later on. Amazing chemistry on stage and the front man’s vocals magnificent. It was dark and foggy and an extensive intro was heard as the band took the stage, and vocalist Wayne Hussey came to the center of the stage.

They opened their show with the legendary “Beyond the Pale”, my personal favorite, I was so moved to again hear his voice and this unique song. ‘Into the Blue’, ‘Severina’, ‘Met-Amor-phosis’ and ‘Garden of Delight’ followed from their latest record “Another Fall from Grace” followed. Highlights were also ‘Wasteland’ and “Deliverance”; Agra Halle was literally on fire! Fantastic sound, Wayne Hussey at his best. A real and legendary headliner, awesome performance, I had to leave just before it ended for my dj set at Darkflower Club.

George had already left and I followed after Agra last WGT concert of Mission with a group of friends, for our dj set for WGT this year. Electrowelt.com dj set (dj George P. & djane Malice F.), once again, we had the honor and enormous pleasure to be part of the WGT festivities and parties and spin some of our music selections with the front man of Unzucht, Dr Schultz, at Darkflower Club, a well-known club in the goth scene and Leipzig! Our dj set lasted all night, beginning at 22:00, I arrived after my photo obligations and spinned my selections ranging from industrial to EBM to new minimal synth tunes.

A lot of visitors, awesome party vibes, and guests were dancing all night long. Thank you all for coming and for all the kind and heartwarming messages you sent us. We wanted to pay tribute to WGT’s line up and always try to cover all tastes with anthems of the scene and our target is for everyone who attends our parties to dance and enjoy themselves. We would like to thank all of you, as well as the people working at Darkflower and our dj collaborators for an amazing party night.

Final impressions and conclusions

Friends of the dark scene keep asking me why we visit Leipzig for WGT every year despite our hectic schedules and what is so unique with WGT: From the moment I stepped foot in Leipzig, I was engulfed in an enchanting world of darkness and creativity that without doubt keep moving my soul each and every year. The biggest dark gathering of the scene, excellent organization, fans from all over the world and of all kinds of music united, respected each other and had fun. Great sound and concerts, big event diversity for all tastes, in the unique way of WGT.

WGT is more than just a music festival; it’s a celebration of all things alternative and fans of dark culture coming together from all over the globe. The diverse events ranged from art exhibitions that pushed boundaries to thought-provoking lectures, to the Victorian Picnic in Clara Zetkin Park which always a highlight, a surreal gathering where attendees showcased elaborate costumes and embraced the festival’s atmosphere of eccentricity.

Leipzig’s historic architecture and cobblestone streets provide an enchanting backdrop for the sea of black-clad attendees. Walking through the streets, one is able to see a beautiful fusion of fashion, art, and identity. The atmosphere is always an inclusive one; no judgment, only acceptance, and strangers becoming friends united by a shared passion and celebrating music.

The lineup was a mesmerizing tapestry of musical genres, from ethereal darkwave to thundering industrial and EBM, offering an electrifying array of established bands, as well as many rising stars and hidden gems. The palpable energy and passion of the performers echoed through the venues, creating an intense connection between the artists and the audience.

Attendees from all corners of the world come together in Leipzig, sharing stories, experiences, and a deep appreciation for the gothic culture.

WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN is a celebration of individuality, creativity, and the darker aspects of culture that often go unexplored. Whether you’re a dedicated goth enthusiast or simply curious about exploring the fringes of artistic expression, WGT is an event that should be on your bucket list. Leipzig opens its arms to embrace the enigmatic in a romantic sense, and the extraordinary, making WGT an unforgettable journey.

We hope that you will find our media coverage yet again interesting and informative, we tried as always to cover the festival for you guys in the best way possible and with the means available. Your feedback and comments are always welcomed. You know where to find us!

Thank you WGT, for sticking to quality with always really unique band selections.

We are already looking forward to the 31st WGT special edition and celebration of the black gathering next year, which will take place from May 17th to May 20th 2024.

Please check out our Electrowelt.com YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/@ElectroWeltonlinemusicmagazine/videos with wonderful videos from all of our favorite bands, the festivals and concerts we visit and of course our extended photo gallery.

See you all again in dark Leipzig next year for the 31st edition of the No1 dark festival in the scene, WGT!!!

Take Care and Control!