Text: Hagen Verkhaner

Roughly half a year after the last volume, Harsh Frequencies made a return presenting its third installment so far. The organisers have created a pleasant habit of holding Noise and (Post-) Industrial events at the very fitting Oefenbunker venue, situated in Holland but only a few minutes away from Germany. This time, the roster was almost solely dedicated to Harsh Noise acts. All parties are somewhat known and have their fanbase, but the emphasis was placed on newer and less hyped artists rather than tried and tested giants.

Attendance was similar to the previous concert. 40ish people, mostly familiar faces, very few audience members who were new to the concerts hosted and run by the handful of individuals responsible. Still, the atmosphere was as amiable and social as ever- artists and dedicated noiseheads mingling and discussing the tricks of the trade while eagerly picking up merch and records.

Dreamcatcher, the only act relying on Power Electronics virtues such as song structure and dominant vocal delivery were first to go. I remember seeing this as a peculiar choice, since such a contrast may have worked better inbetween similar sets, but in hindsight it seems like a good way to arrange things. The set mostly consisted of Death Industrial type synthesizer work with harsh Feedback and constant Vocals orchestrated by anonymous men in jumpsuits and accompanied by footage of local red light district sceneries. Menacing and dark atmosphere and a nice nudge towards well-established Euro PE tropes – definitely enjoyable.

Next up, Vincent Dallas. This is a name I had heard a lot about before, but have never checked out, although a steady flow of releases on respected labels suggested quality. The bearded eponymous Artist delivered short and hard live Noise without any bullshit. Athletic and skilled handling of a locker door made for the primary sound source, as the audience was treated to an avalanche of Feedback screeching.

As opposed to the very direct and old school spirit of the previous act, Spanish newcomer Soma‘s set relied way more on modulated sounds akin to fondly remembered moments of Japanese Noise craft. Lots of variation and skillful gear handling resulted in a very interesting set which seemed almost perfectly timed. Interestingly, there was a shared agreement among attendees that the last minutes of the set were the absolute highlight , presenting the crudest elements in a fashion that was truly immersive.

JSH, a prolific Swedish artist who operates in very individualistic ways staying clear from subgenre conventions, was to follow and. to make it snappy, that set was my favourite. I would dare claim that the setup may have been stripped down and freed from any kind of unnecessary clutter, but that was the beauty of it. Low rumbles, crushing distortion and confrontational textures went straight through you, while JSH gave a full body performance maltreating and inserting contact mics and pedals. Pretty close to flawless!

Of course, following up on such a set was the somewhat unthankful task I had to face. The set as Citalopram Shunyata was basically a mixture of carefully crafted synthlines, oftentimes highly modulated, and live Feedback that settled somewhere between murky and ripping, aiming to find that coveted sweet spot. All worked out as intended, and people seemed to have enjoyed the sounds, despite them being the least full-frontal approach of the evening. First 10 – 15 minutes consisted of some of my favourite material I have done under the moniker. Some said the set got a tad more messy and less focussed around the end.

So, what remains to be said about this third installment of Harsh Frequencies over Limburg? First of all, the Harsh Noise bill worked extremely well, despite the fact that many would claim people may be more willing to travel to see more brutish and unsophisticated Power Electronics or Industrial acts with a sexual or occult undertone. I would say that every act performed very well and there was a high level of skill portrayed in every set without there being too much fluctuation. In times where  taking risks such as this seems more and more unattractive to even the established lads, concerts such as these really are a rare treat and a welcome addition to the history of Noise and Industrial culture. 

Upcoming Concerts
11 & 12 -OCT-2024 | Harsh Frequencies Over Limburg IV (Am Not, Savage Gospel, Antichildleague,…)
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15/16-NOV-2024 | Rituals Over Limburg II (Emme Ya, Vortex, Nam-Khar, Schloss Tegal, … more)
Facebook Event: Click Here