:Concert Review: Florida Underground Industrial Music Festival

Florida Underground Industrial Music Festival
February 12, 2011
Orlando, FL, U.S. @ The Cameo Theater

Review By: Luzviminda Dela Paz

Follow the rivethead! It was through trailing a man dressed in cyber punk inspired fashion in broad daylight that my traveling companion and I were able to find the Cameo Theater in downtown Orlando.  I also spotted one of the industrial acts, Battle Day, and their so-called “Battle Van” in the parking lot so I knew we were in the vicinity of the site for the full-day event of the Florida Underground Industrial Music Festival (FUIMF) 2011.

Prior to our trek out of the comforts of our city, friends were confused as to why I was going to see industrial music projects perform so early in the day, just right after having seen the Genxx Go-Go Burlesque show the night before.  It is a bit out of the norm, and what I came to witness was definitely not much of a typical gathering.

FUIMF was a highly unique experience and it definitely felt like I had gone underground and into a world with a diverse crowd of individuals with a specific aesthetic of steampunk, cyber punk, or Goth clubwear.  The atmosphere is fitting for the music a number of talented DJs (DJ Kinetik, KLoV, Draculas Daughter, DJ Agent 17 and DJ Electronic Commando) were spinning in between sets.  There I saw Ben Ve, one of the creators of this event along with Ken Collins, so busy with the rest of the crew providing a fluid transition to one quality performance after another. It was an amazing time.

Upon our arrival, One Lucid Dream was on stage and the music contrasted well and was beautifully paired with a dancing vixen stomping about in her boots that are to die for.  I later met her in the ladies restroom as the girlies were primping. She was so very nice in answering my random questions. David Livid was truly emotive when performing “Seduction Line.” It was unsuspected with a title like that for anger and frustration to seep through, but this was further emphasized with some guitar smashing antics.  Quite an aggressive feel to this set and he had a strong stage presence.

Ferrum Dei’s set lent some raw, youthful energy. Their sound is a blend of harsh industrial, hard rock, and black metal. They rocked out and thrashed about the stage making full use of the space. It was rather upbeat and kickass.

This event was right in the middle of my naptime so I was rather grateful that even with all the industrial noise, I found rest, serenity, gentleness, and contemplation chillen on the comfy couch watching all around. The relaxed environment even allowed my friend to take a quick nap.  That did not last for long however.

When SML8 took to the stage, it was impossible not to take notice.  At first it felt like the music catapulted you to darkness. It is a bit demonic and if hell had a soundtrack, it was definitely these vicious electronic/industrial tunes. Then, an ethereal voice permeated the air and sang how I imagine an angel would. Her alluring, saccharine sound lent a softer, feminine touch to what was otherwise masculine energy.  My immediate reaction was that this was music reaching from beyond the realms of the imagination, sending a message. I would say I fall under the category to which they cater, operating under the same wavelength, conscious of different modes of reality, so I was fully engaged. Thanks for the mind-trip brought on by your own beautiful creation!

The next deliverance was a digital assault by Despondent Mass Atrophy (DMA). They kept the momentum of brilliance going.  The sound is terrifying and militaristic, and it does not help me any to jot down in my little pink Moleskine notebook as simply indescribable. Pure organized chaos and packed full of synth play, the cacophony of experimental sound is gritty and there was no choice but to surrender to the influx of powerfully strong and determined beats. Total badassery indeed with a dose of anarchy.

The last act I was able to witness was Preacher and no thanks to bringing me back as it was reminiscent of my catholic school girl life. Maus dressed in a priest outfit, with the stage set like a church altar, the music transported me to my religious upbringing that served its purpose but from which I was traumatized and crippled from believing and having any semblance of faith. But I digress and on multiple levels..

Preacher struck a chord within me and there is a sense of resonance with the music. I can feel the highest degree of music appreciation when it helps speaks for you underlying thoughts and emotions. The intelligence behind acts such as this, makes me smile big given the fact mainstream music is more for the feeble mind and keeps you weak.  All these industrial acts are the mother effin underground, not solely in it to get to your hard-earned dough. They share pieces of their soul through their art, chase after and live their dreams.

I will take the blame and responsibility for having missed out on the rest of the fest having found other venues for distraction.  I had to divvy up my time to attend my alma mater New College’s 50th Anniversary.  But technology never fails to amaze me as I can watch YouTube vids and see beautiful photography (like Nina Sutherland’s) that came from this event.  I wish I could have been there and given more love to The Ludovico Technique, Retractor, 9th Evolution, Finite Automata, and Professor Grim.  I was especially curious to see how LT has evolved over the years as I have enjoyed their set in the distant past back when The Metro was my old stomping grounds. Recalling back to the mind, it was an innovative performance and I am kicking myself over for having missed the experience.

I look forward to the industrial scene getting stronger out of this chance and unique opportunity to network, show solidarity and support the artists. FUIMF 2012 looks to be promising from what I have tasted thus far. Overall, the passion that translates from those involved in this event was astounding. It was good to witness the creative energy and be surrounded with positive vibes.  The experience is hard to describe and it has been tricky to capture the essence of all those that bared their souls in creating inspiring art. This is not to justify the lateness of this review (finished a month after!) but I just could not wrap my mind around it.   I also have not slowed down since I continued with my own journey indulging in various musical tastes and interests, choosing this illusion over other realities. The need for some serious soul searching has not eased its grip, but I embrace the future that waits for me.  FUIMF and all its’ beautiful people, see you in 2012!

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