Tuesday, August 4, 2015

KMFDM at Irving Plaza

Lucia Cifarelli & Sascha Konietzko
German vocalist/programmer/keyboardist Sascha Konietzko founded the industrial band KMFDM as a performance art project in 1984 for an exhibition of young European artists in Paris, France. KMFDM is an anagram for the nonsensical and grammatically incorrect German phrase Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, which literally translates as "no majority for the pity", but is typically given the loose translation of "no pity for the majority." KMFDM experienced many line-up changes before splitting in 1999. Konietzko resurrected KMFDM in 2002, and by 2005 he had assembled a consistent line-up that included American singer Lucia Cifarelli, British guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White, and British drummer Andy Selway. KMFDM has released 19 studio albums, with sales of more than two million records worldwide. Our Time Will Come, the band's 19th and most recent studio album, was released on October 14, 2014. After brief residences in Chicago, Illinois, and Seattle, Washington, Konietzko presently is based in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany.

KMFDM was one of the first bands to bring industrial music to mainstream audiences, pioneering the crossover between techno/dance and heavy metal with a signature techno-industrial sound. At Irving Plaza tonight, KMFDM backed the male and female vocals with a fusion of crunching heavy metal guitar riffs, electronic music, industrial beats, pre-programmed samples and dance floor sensibilities. Only a super-fan would have recognized the majority of the music; the band performed 20 songs from 13 albums. The Mohawked, sunglassed Konietzko growled the first song, "Money," alone; Long Island native Cifarelli received applause when she came out to howl with him on the second song, "Light." Koneitzko and Cifarelli each stood before a small synthesizer/programmer/sequencer, but often stepped away to sing at the edge of the stage, Cifarelli often dancing and slithering like a vertical cobra. Throughout the set, flashing lights and fog played with the dark and dense dance grooves (and with the auto focus on our cameras). If there are raves in hell, they might sound like this.

Visit KMFDM at www.kmfdm.net.