Today is the official first day of the Roadburn 2017 experience – so, the hurt is starting to feel damned real by now.

Last year I visited Roadburn for the first time ever – it was the best damn musical experience ever (and probably among the 5-10 best experiences at all throughout my life). I’ve known all along that finances would not allow me to attend this year. So, that should be all shut, tied and over, right? Not quite so.

In a fit of masochistic mental self-harm, I’ve seen to it that I’ve kept myself informed (damned well-informed too) about what would be going down this year. After all, simply keeping up with the line-up announcments from Roadburn will inevitably enlighten the musical afficionado about bands (new as well as old) that somehow slipped under or over the radar, on top of the WTFs, Damns and AHAs… and so much more.

So, I can only encourage everyone with a more than average interest in music outside of the mainstream to keep a keen eye on whatever Walter Hoeijmakers and company are doing – as well as both ears pointed firmly in the direction of Tillburg. (The fact that they seem to make creating the festival with arguably the most impressive line-up year after year seem like childs play should also be taken into consideration – a magnificent achievement)

Every year seems to have it’s share of “wow – I didn’t quite expect that” moments.

Anyway – here’s a list of the 5 greatest AHA-moments yours truly have had perusing this year’s setup. Some of them of a more personal nature, some of them not quite pertaining to the festival as such – but Roadburn seems to infect a lot of people’s lives, so it seems relevant anyway:

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Coven‘s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls was a mainstay for me for some time around 30 years ago. Since then we’ve gotten separated, and I have to be completely honest here: when Roadburn announced that Coven would be one of the headliners this year, my first thought was “how the hell could I have forgotten this band?”.

I know, I know, it’s damned embarrassing. But the truth is often so. And what really matters is – Witchcraft has entered my life again, and it’s all down to Roadburn.

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COVEN – WITCHCRAFT DESTROYS MINDS & REAPS SOULS 1969 (FULL ALBUM)

Coven is an American rock band formed in the late 1960s, composed of vocalist Jinx Dawson, bassist Oz Osborne (not to be confused with Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath), Chris Neilsen on guitar, Rick Durrett and later John Hobbs on keyboards, and drummer Steve Ross.

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With the announcement of acts like Perturbator, Dälek, Carpenter Brut and Author & Punisher, there seems to be quite a nice amount of electronically and synth-tinged artists.

And this again points to something important about the way Roadburn handles their biz. Apart from getting more and more eclectic over the years, they seem to also always be on the forefront of what is happening in the world of underground music. And the amazing thing to me seems to be that while other festivals catches loads of flak when venturing beyond what is their perceived field of operations, Roadburn‘s audience seems to enthusiastically embrace every new venture into the unknown.

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Carpenter Brut – Escape from Midwich Valley (LIVE @ ATLAS, Kiev, 02.09.2016)

Uploaded by 16Nemezis on 2016-09-03.

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Roadburn has of course made it part of the whole experience over the years to also have a side programme, consisting of interviews, panels, listening sessions, hard rock disco etc.

But, never seeming to rest on their laurels, the art-exhibition they have planned this year steps things up quite a bit in my eyes. At least from the presentation I’ve caught online, this seems like an amazing initiative. Of course, they’re only making things more dificult for themselves – they’re the ones who have to constantly top what they’ve done before – so there :-D

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Well, not intrinsically Roadburn-stuff, but then again, all part of the experience. Magma is of course on the Roadburn lineup this year. It was a band with which I had no previous experience, so I set out to do just that – experience. Part of that experience led to a few controversies evolving around the band, all of them grounded in accusations against band leader Christian Vander for embracing nazi-ideology and being an outright racist.

Well, I’m no stranger to how such things snowball, very often on account of very little substance and a lot of dubitable image analysis etc. Now, my take on accusations like these are pretty much in the vein of “do the band or members publically try to advocate fascist thought and action?” – well, if it’s a yes, the case is pretty much cut and dried – if it’s a no, well the case is equally cut and dried, so let’s move on. Life is generally too short and problems facing the human species and the planet we inhabit are generally of a much more serious nature than for us to be wasting time on possible fascist trojan-horsing and slow, silent co-opting.

But, the huge positive thing I have taken away from looking into this particular allegation comes from an online debate on the Khontarkosz fan blog. Following a blog post from November 2009 about these matters is a rather long range of comments and debate, which is all more or less kept at a very civil and respectful level. I think (at least as far as I can remember – and never really trust the memory of someone who can forget about Coven…) this is the first time I have ever encountered an online debate on the subject of possible nazi-leanings that has not gone south almost immediately from the get-go… Incredible and life-giving.

If you’re interested – you can checkout that post and discussion here

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MAGMA – Hhaï / Zombies Live Triton 2005

Extrait du DVD Mythes et légendes Epok III. Enregistré en 2005 en public au Triton à Paris par Francis Linon. Paru en 2007 sur le label Seventh Records

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This might be a hell of a pretentious jump – but it needs to be said, especially by me (to me). Roadburn 2017 is a product of… all the Roadburns before them. Which might seem like a both superficial and nonsensical statement. Because, of course. But looking at a lot of other festivals, there’s still a depth to this statement, hinting at something that’s damn near unprecedented.

Where most other festivals build on their organisational experiences from past versions (and some, even big ones, never even seem to learn the important lessons before it’s too late), Roadburn seems to take it one step further. Digging into Roadburn history, it’s of course easy to see that organisational and infrastructural lessons are being used to ever finetune what seems to be a fantastically well-oiled engine. Roadburn however, seems to want to take it one step further. In conceptualizing and broadening the line-up *without* weakening the overall spirit of artistical integrity and joyful experimentation, what they seem to do falls very much in line with some patterns I’ve seen from some of the best artists I know of (small hint – Neurosis and the people who make up this incredible band are among those artists).

Standing very much on the outside looking in, at least to me it seems like over the years a particular vision has arisen among the people responsible for creating Roadburn. And as with most visions it only manifests itself a bit at a time, condensing over time, becoming more and more tangible and consistent.

So, what seems to be huge jumps and strange side-journeys when seen over a short time-period, actually can be understood instead as simply moving closer and closer to fulfilling the true intent of a very original, all-encompassing vision, when seen over a somewhat longer timespan.

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AMENRA live at Roadburn 2016 (FULL SET)

Pit Full of Shit is now Max Volume Silence Live! Support Max Volume Silence Live on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/mvslive Max Volume Silence Live: http://www.MaxVolumeSilenceLive.blogspot.com Contact: MaxVolumeSilenceLive@gmail.com

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So, with that – I wish everyone at Roadburn Festival, all participating bands and everyone attending a fantastic festival. See you in the future :-)

We’ll Meet Again – “Dr. Strangelove”

From “Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964). The song is “We’ll Meet Again,” introduced in World War II by Vera Lynn. It’s terminally mawkish but undeniably affecting, widely sung in England by soldiers who knew that “meet again” had a good chance of happening, umm, only in heaven.