Home Live Nuclear War Now/Hospital Fest Osaka 2024 (Day 2)

    Nuclear War Now/Hospital Fest Osaka 2024 (Day 2)

    Day 2 of Nuclear War Now/Hospital Fest Osaka 2024 in all its glory.

    NWN Hospital Fest Osaka 2024 Poster
    NWN/Hospital Fest Vol. 1 Osaka 2024 Poster

    Day 2 of NWN! & HOSPITAL’s joint festival was a spiritual experience. Demons were exercised or more accurately EVIL was placed on a pedestal for our critical reception.

    Many people go day-to-day living in the moment while some struggle to push away bad thoughts. Well not today! This was a day to roominate on suffering. A day to embrace those apocalyptic musings you’ve been trying to suppress. Opposingly, today was a day of reverence and remembrance of most things (some unspeakable) that society DOES NOT want to talk about – that the powers that be hope we ignore and eventually becomes erased. That is why it is important to remember this festival and this day, so that the discourse will continue and actual free thinking and expression can continue to exist (for the moment).

    We were meant to meditate on destruction. And we physically endured it, loving every second, feeling the void. Annihilation in the new millennia. Maybe this is how we survive the future that’s coming.

    Evil is an ambigious term giving ample room for each artist to express their own individual dissection of the ominous overarching theme of the day.

    The roster of international artists hailing from Germany, America, The U.K., Japan, and Finland employed differing yet equally razor sharp scalpels to cut through the melange of this chaotic abyss. Synths turned to spears of destiny – The days’ exacted cacophony highlighted the dark undercurrents spanning global societies interlinked through modern technology.

    The themes of slavery, torture, the military industrial complex, consumerism, materialism, sexism, serial murder, trafficking, imprisonment, theocratic mass brainwashing, fundamentalism, hegemony, propaganda, and globalization — all geared toward an eventual endgame for society — were showcased through a kaleidoscopic and bloody lense. Hospital‘s Day was a day to celebrate the “Decline of the West” and all its nastiest trappings. “Doom Electronics” — more like an aural personification of torture (both exacted and blind) left me feeling ironically blissful. The tears of eros truly rained down on this festival’s endearing crowd of underground weirdos and intellectuals that could all be models for Vetements on a rainy day.

    Hospital’s Day brought awareness to a multitude of world crises and gave the loudest possible voice to muted populations and ideologies.

    Although tucked away in Osaka, Japan (a nation built on imperialism) this show was far from elitist. Rather it was welcoming and community based. The head honcho himself – DOMINICK FERNOW – happily sold Hospital’s merchandise (day one) greeting me with a friendly smile and ending with a warm handshake and a genuine desire to know my name and where I came from. “Thank you for coming all this way!”

    All words + reviews by David Lowell Nepsky (DLN) unless indicated by Daniel de Jongh (DD).

    NWN Hospital Fest Osaka 2024 Set Times
    Set times

    Lussuria

    Red lights and sepia toned video art adorned the haunting and glacial churning audiomix from Hospital mainstay artist and creator. – DLN

    Cult of Youth

    I arrived early to see Cult of Youth as I’ve been a fan of their energetic brand of neofolk for a while now. Compared to the noise and unhinged freak outs, and given they were the closest thing to a conventional band format, I did wonder how Cult of Youth would translate into this environment. 

    Under a thick cloud of ominous smoke sat Sean Ragon and his acoustic guitar, a two-piece cymbal-less drum kit headed by Brett Wagg of Total Black records, and a cello beside Paige Flash. What ensued was a long occult-like drone introduction (very long for a 25 minute set!); Death in June esque neofolk ballads – with chimes ‘n’ all!; and screamed vocals with a punk energy. It was clear they are adherents of the dark arts, and their set provided a necessary dose of energy in the early stages of the day. – DD

    Skin Crime

    I have a bad habit of going to high profile noise events feeling vulnerable from my over indulgence of the previous evening, and as I walked into the middle of Skin Crime’s set, that familiar feeling set in and I knew I’d done it again. The hairs on my arms sprung up as washy atonal dread turned my stomach and challenged my central nervous system. 

    With calculated professionalism, wandering tones pulsed up and down my body. Propped up by a mildly harsh foundation of noise, the slow and menacing sounds were effective in their ability to incapacitate through its taunting repetition of blood-curdling sharpness. A measured display of heavy, sharp and atonal sounds – as opposed to cacophony. – DD

    Skin Crime in Osaka

    Yellow Gas Flames

    Like watching a thrill kill cult gear up for action or fetishistic domestic abuse that the couple enjoys – This “band” sonic headbangs with swirling attitude. I can still feel the whiplash from their tornado of a set.

    It was also a sight to see Sara and Mike Connelly of the Noisextra podcast get behind the figurative noise wheel for this YGF set. 

    View the headbanging in embedded video below. – DLN

    Linekraft

    Masahiko Okubo’s mind-bending and visceral performance was a highlight of the festival. I haven’t been able to get his performance out of my head. His video art depicting distorted Japanese families, faces, and skulls cloaked in barbed-wire and red light run through my mind and the sound of a holocaust of bones boiling emanating from his workstation reverberate in my skull. 

    LINEKRAFT is more than just a musical act. He is a revelation. He is a true philosopher and performance artist. To quote from his “statement” that he threw copious amounts of copies into the audience from the stage above: “Never link my action and judgment of success or failure. I kill modern pursuit of a profit principled society. I am a human forward to state of unbound primitive human mind. Emancipate INSTINCT, VIOLENCE, PRIMITIVE.” 

    He began his set shirtless in a gas mask eventually removing said mask while banging toxic waste-like barrels as drums accompanied by screams he expounded in Japanese upon his manifesto: “Slavebreeding is the modern Japanese order (or better said the modern world order). People is looking at that new order without opposing…This so called ‘modern world’ in a godless society.” His statement which circulated around the crowd resembled the Zodiac Killer’s stylized cipher and I grew dizzy and weak in the knees at site of these puzzling documents floating into the crowd. Okubo ended his set with a spoken word tirade accompanied by an epic rockstar mic-drop. An indelible memory seared into my mind’s eye like an arrow piercing my heart. – DLN

    Agonal Lust

    There was an air of danger ahead of Agonal Lust. It was circulating that the partner of the project had recently committed suicide only a month or two earlier, leaving only James Light. And it was also touted as the last ever show. Unpredictability and speculation was rife in the outside space in the lead-up to this set. 

    With the hypnotic spinning of a bright yellow sun in the backdrop, this set was angry. Stomping, pacing, and aggressive vocals ensued. Multiple middle fingers were flipped, and not arbitrarily, individuals were targeted in what almost looked like a direct challenge to a fist fight. There were rises, falls, and then uncompromising surges of masochistic power electronics intensity. And even a brief appearance from Dominic Fernow. – DD

    Agonal Lust live at NWN/Hospital Fest Osaka

    Prurient

    Dominick Fernow is a living legend. HOSPITAL PRODUCTIONS are having their moment in the sun (fittingly eclipsed) and Fernow’s curation for DAY 2 raised the bar for niche festivals across the globe. Fernow truly elevates the vanguard of sonic innovation and Prurient‘s set doesn’t disappoint. His visuals focus on satanic ritual cult killer(s) “Son of Sam” and his sonic blasts feel like microwave weapons and are the closest thing to what Havannah Syndrome must SOUND like! – DLN

    Prurient and Son of Sam description
    Prurient and Son of Sam books

    Genocide Organ
    (Feat. Prurient + The Grey Wolves)

    Genocide Organ’s set was like watching the Tower of Babylon be built. Song after song, like brick after brick, constructed their own tower of doom. Their video art displayed a polarizing blend of imagery from opposing fundamentalist groups – Zionists mixing with a swarm of Islamic devotees swirling around Mecca in a maddening dervish. The sounds of a grinding, scraping bulldozer crushing cement emanated from the speakers onstage. We are shown repeated images of an Iron Fist encased in the Star of David – a sign of the JDL – the Jewish Defense League – a staunchly anti-Arab terrorist group based in the United States and Canada. We are shown tanks, marching soldiers, blurred video footage of worldwide warzones – from China to Iraq. We’re shown children marching, smiling, next to soldiers firing machine guns and eminent coups in South America and Africa. This is the war machine in action. We are told repeatedly in ghoulish voices that recall your worst sleep paralysis demon whispering in your ear: “your mind is in our hands, our hands in your mind,” while buzzing drills teleport you to your worst root canal from hell. 

    Genocide Organ hail from Mannheim, Germany and were soon surprisingly accompanied by Prurient and the legendary, British, Grey Wolves on stage for this powerhouse of a performance. 

    The blisteringly effusive vocals recalled a totalitarian dictatorship where all sense of freedom is lost, hope abandoned having given way to an overpowering authority: (CAPTILISM/MONEY/POWER) Grey Wolves, notorious in England for their use of confronting imagery still have no fear utilizing terrorist aesthetic visuals as a backdrop to their cultural critique. We are shown Palestinians on the brink of execution, held at gunpoint to their temples, eyes sadistically blindfolded ON REPEAT.

    The dirty war mirror is finally reflected back onto the West for a change and it is captivating to notice the Star of David (a colloquial sign of love and peace) be visually weaponized as a sign of hate like a Nazi Swastika – also once a sign of love and peace before being subverted by the Germans and still seen all across Asia in its original “realigned” form”.

    Genocide Organ’s set demonstrated the power of repeated symbology, phrases, and tones as tools of manipulation. These are the common tactics of brainwashing techniques and their hypnotizing set truly illuminated the ultimate power of THE STAGE and THE MICROPHONE. The audience was entranced. – DLN

    My fist has been permanently raised ever since. – DD

    David Padbury of The Grey Wolves on stage with Genocide Organ and Prurient

    Masonna

    DIVA ALERT. 3 minutes and 14 seconds of drama. Enough to move some Japanese girls to tears, and some Englishmen into push-ups. The noise vogue artistry showcased true maximalist bravado with a minimalistic slam dance under rainbow lights and tv snow static white noise. The screams sounded more like barks of an aged animal, free but wounded, and then nothing. The curtain closed on Masonna to a resounding applause. I thought, now this is performance art! – DLN

    Beherit (Electronic Set)

    Linekraft, Prurient, Genocide Organ and Masonna had foreshadowed this set. So it was never going to hold water.  

    I caught only a token 10 minutes where I was subjected to a deep singular drone. I was convinced nobody was on stage, but after a friend helpfully parted the people in front and positioned me into a specific angle, I could see the head of a lone man crouched down making sounds on the floor of the stage.

    I wasn’t particularly salty about the closing set. I’d had my fix from the previous acts and was beyond content. And, well, at least Beherit’s black metal set ruled. – DD 

    Beherit Electronic Set

    Many thanks to Dominick Fernow + Becka Diamond from Hospital Productions and Yosuke Konishi from Nuclear War Now! for pulling off such a monumental event. Utterly life affirming.

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    David Lowell Nepsky is a writer, editor, and multidisciplinary artist focusing on dark sound, performance, and visual art. David hosted an award winning and successful radio show "BRAVE NEW WAVE" on KOTO.FM - 91.7 - in Telluride, Colorado for 7 years. DJing and Go-Go dancing are two of David's favorite hobbies. His favorite bands are Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Hole, Severed Heads, Psychic TV, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Skinny Puppy, HTRK, PJ Harvey, and Lana del Rey. David holds a Bachelors Degree in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California and his favorite films are "The Piano Teacher", "Tokyo Decadence" and "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant." David is an avid reader and his favorite authors include Michael Houellebecq, Dennis Cooper, and William S. Burroughs. David is also a two time world champion martial artist, 3rd Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate, and former collegiate cheerleader. He specializes in self-defense and precognition as a DISCIPLINE.