February 22, 2014
by Tjeerd van Erve
It was almost nine years ago when Incubate started. Forty-something bands played over the course of a long weekend, on a handful of stages. The festival has long since grown and branched out. Not only during that one week in September: throughout the year Incubate has found conventional and unconventional stages to fill. To build and feed a scene, because a festival like Incubate is nothing without a scene. There is a need for people to support this temporarily autonomous zone of art, music, cinema, dance, and other forms of performance. That one week in September volunteers, hosts and in all kinds of other functions chip in. Incubate needs “the people” of this town to create the feel of T.A.Z. and claim back Tilburg’s public space during the course of seven days. Not your ordinary festival, Incubate befits that art and poetic terrorism of Bey, especially by means of the Flexpo during the summer weeks.
With the notion that festivals struggle to survive without a proper scene, Incubate has created its own trademark events under the banner Incubated. These are monthly events hosted on different stages across the city, always pursuing the best underground music at hand. Bands perform in appropriate locations and settings, with venues such as 013, Paradox and Hall Of Fame participating (the later being the location for the previous edition).
To emphasize the feel of a temporarily autonomous zone, Alabaster, Neige Morte and Pop. 1280 didn’t play on the main stage of the skatepark, but in the bar at Ladybird Skatepark. This meant drinking lukewarm beer from tin cans surrounded by skateboards, graffiti and old industrial piping.
The perfect scenery for the smash-mouth metalcore, disruptive black metal and noisy New York post-hardcore. Scenes that originated twenty, thirty years back in similarly decorated places, far from the mainstream. These bands actually seem to grow within these particular settings. Alabaster opening the night with their black metalcore weren’t as convincing as it could have been. Perhaps the band’s impact is somewhat diminished on a crowd whose age and experience already seen them undergo the arrival of the metalcore genre. While not bad by any means, this French group isn’t convincing enough to spark movement in a crowd who continue to sip their lukewarm beer.
Neige Morte finally gets things going. Since I’m no expert in black metal, I instead imagine watching an extreme noise rock metal band. It’s dirty, it’s loud, it’s got angst and it’s got drive. Above all it seems to deal with some form of soul-tormenting. And most of all, it is good. As my brother Sietse would put it; the band manages to put me to dance with their noise. I caught myself tapping my foot and banging my head. The scenery here does help a bit as this dystrophic metal fits the unearthly atmosphere of the old industrial zone.
As does the last band this evening, Pop. 1280. Big city music: dirty, industrial noise. Pop. 1280 simply has no latitude for subtlety…nor for peace and happiness. This band spits in your face with a combination of the post-hardcore, new wave and industrial of the mid-eighties and early nineties. Only to create something new altogether out of it. It’s like the Brooklyn quartet has combined Swans with The Jesus Lizard and early Sonic Youth to make music befitting to disruptive B-horror movies. Music that is pushing, pulling and biting all at the same time. Scary and lovely, truly making me dance. Best fucking noise rock/no wave shit I’ve seen live this year.
Brought to me by Incubate, the trademark. “In cooperation with 013 and Hall Of Fame.”, it says on the backdrop-projection. Branching out. Creating a scene. And hopefully, taking back the city for the people by cooperating with one another.