By Diamond Bodine-Fischer
Das Bunker is no stranger to hosting “it” acts but they may have jumped the shark in their annual Rev.John and Franck H-Bomb birthday celebration this past Friday night. They flew in Houston industrial duo //TENSE// for a one-off show as part of their Retro Room Showcase series. Meanwhile DJ Bractune of Whiteqube did a guest set in the main room… in front of a brand new LED wall. If the big acts and big visuals did see the club leaping over the proverbial sea beast, at least its bite was killer.
The analogue synth wielding duo with a sound somewhat similar to Front 242, //TENSE// have become a favorite amongst industrial fans. They have a kind of throw-back style without coming off like they are trying to recreate what’s already been done. Their songs are minimalist without leaving the track wanting for something more. We first discovered them on tour with Nitzer Ebb. It was hard not to be impressed, as they were obviously influenced by the tour’s headliner, but they retained an exciting and refreshing originality in their songs.
By the time they took the stage downstairs, the crowd was packed in and the anticipation in the room was palpable. Leather-clad lead vocalist and programming master Robert and percussionist Mariana stoically took the stage and proceeded to blow everyone’s minds without ever giving up their restrained stage presence. The programming was slow and steady, like impending doom, leaving viewers with an enjoyable kind of anxiousness. The percussion consisted of electronic drums and the dirty clanking of beaten metal, adding immense intensity.
In the crowd we spotted pillars of industrial, both old and new. William of LA’s Tearist, who performed the last Retro Room Showcase, Dan of Continues who will be playing the next showcase, Douglas of Nitzer Ebb, Dave of Cervello Elettronico, Roger of HexRx, both members of LA’s Gentleman Junkie, Shane of W.A.S.T.E., Jeff of Eleven Pond, Comrade Stallen of Stallengrad, both members of Soft Metals, and Tom of Aesthetic Perfection who also has an upcoming show at Das Bunker. Compared to the scene at most live shows, hardly a camera or phone was raised from what we could see. It seemed as if everyone in the densely packed room was completely enthralled.
Resident DJ’s Franck H-Bomb and Amanda Jones held down the Retro Room before and after the //TENSE// set. The Operative and Etheraum kept the Noise Room going, meanwhile Trauma and guest DJ Bractune kept the main room – and its stripper poles – moving and well occupied.
All above photos by Sunshine Killz Photography.
Check out Das Bunker’s upcoming live schedule here.
Follow Diamond on Twitter at @riptinpieces