Letter to The Wire, July 2007

A pity that David Stubbs’ review of the Donaufestival (On Location, Wire 280) only covered the first half of the event, as some of the festival’s most essential moments took place over the second weekend. Most notably, there were two deeply emotive appearances by the renascent Throbbing Gristle. The first, a set of bruising, uncanny atmospheres in song, was unfortunately preceded by the distinctly underwhelming Alan Vega. Vega resembled a confused pensioner as he wandered around the stage, cantankerously bawling drivel in the audience’s direction.

The next night, the Boredoms gave a riveting percussion-driven performance, before Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker shook the walls with their juddering noise, hypnotically lit by a green laser beam. TG returned to perform their live soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s In the Shadow of the Sun, a slow and infinitely sad dream piece saturated with hypnotic imagery. TG’s soundtrack, featuring a dark and mournful choir, was a suitably plangent and sweeping accompaniment. Lastly, KTL‘s deep and pulverising drones rounded off the festival, sending us queasily into the Austrian night.

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