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Jazkamer, Sunn O))) @ RADAR Festival
March 14, 10:00 PM, 2009

Lunario del Auditorio Nacional, México City

Review by Carlos Gómez

Jazkamer started the night focusing their energies on what seemed at first a form of improvisation, exchanging and manipulating sound as a whole wave of noise, generating drones, forging a full blast of repetitive guitar sequences and syncopated drumming. (This time Jazkamer peformed as a trio, with drummer Nils Are Drønen joining Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre, both on guitars with electronics)

Drones of distorted guitars, repeated and sustained, filled the Lunario with a unique force of noise. The drummer immersed us in his sequences and improvisation formed the continuity of this dialogue of sound.

After the first half of the concert, the drummer left quietly to move on a full drone of guitar & electronics. Lasse Marhaug, who seemed at one point to be possessed by the sound, incorporated wires and electronics to his guitar and continued to blow the minds of the others with a full wave of dark drones, the perfect introduction for the Sunn O))) concert. [Sunn O))) is pronounced "sun."- Ed.] At first, the audience seemed disconcerted but thankful for the artists' performance. At the end of Jazkamer's performance, tantric chants appeared as background music, preceding and setting the atmosphere for what we were going to hear.

It seems to me that the mystical aspect of live music is often missing in most popular concerts. Last year at RADAR, the shamanistic ritual performance of Yamanta Eye was part of a new and exiting experience in Mexico City; this time, Sunn O))) proved me wrong, making me think them the darkest priests on the planet, creating new forms of drone metal or doom noise in an old sacred temple, trying to find through sound the opening gate for a new dimension.

The next set started with the total Sunn O))) sound, a slowly vibrating drone of mantra guitars that become a great wall of sound. This fantastic vocal monk arrived as the leading figure of the night, sculpting the sound of his voice which resonated through his whole body, at times surrounding and screaming his chants, sometimes in English, sometimes in god knows what (I mean devil knows what) but never saturating the fantastic drone doom created by the group. His performance literally captivated audience interest and ended as it started, full of fantastic sounds from the darkest sides of music.

Lunario is a fine place for concerts. The musicians seem very comfortable with the place and the audience. The crowd had great expectations, waiting to be surprised by music. They weren't disappointed. This was a great start from the RADAR Festival and great prelude to the complete schedule of Nurse With Wound, Guillermo Galindo, Daniel Menche, Mike Patton and Keiji Haino.


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