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It's Alive!

It’s Alive!

by Thomas Okes / 09.12.2009

I’ve always wondered about Oorlog Frankenstein; when I first heard the name I somehow imagined a tribe of bloodied zombies attacking each other in a retro, stop-motion, drum ’n bass arrangement of generic uncoolness. I might have finally ‘got it’ on Saturday night, or might not; I may also have lost my mind.

Peach van Pletzen is a far more powerful animal on stage than Errors of Enthusiasm might suggest; where his album is all interesting soundscapes, ambient murmurings and runaway atmospheres, here he’s a more thumping kind of thunder, capable of jerking your body around within a pounding web of sparkling, synthesised strings. When a girl in front of me started spring-stepping in jagged circles, her elbows and knees at odds in a Bjorkian stick-figure, retarded-swan effect, I realised that it works: it seems as though her body is being pulled into positions of oddly perfect imbalance by the lightning forks of sound around it. My own limbs were under similar attack, my arms marionetting, my eyes rolling blind and my chest convulsing like I’m being shocked to life. When Peach is in control, we are all Frankensteins, our bodies charged by an electric sky and our minds stupefied into afterthinking attachments.

le en kots?

le en kots?

In that moment, a deranged devil in a filthy panda suit enters the room, and all of these transported bodies go straight to war. The video for Dans Dans Dans gives a clue as to what exactly is going on here, as does Francois van Coke’s corresponding dramatic rendition: while a soaked mongrel shake itself repeatedly in a manipulated back-and-forth movement of distaste, desperation and distress, Francois wraps the microphone cord around his neck, squats on all fours and shudders violently until his saliva begins to pool on the floor. Then he jumps up, rears back and unfurls a fitful series of distorted, disjointed howls – many of the lyrics may be lost, made unclear in the maze of Peach’s swirling static, but their anxiety is plain, on-point and perfect. Of the whole four-song set, the heightened trauma of one moment is particularly palpable, as the tormented panda/dog screeches in mid-seizure, “te wees of nie te wees, dit is die vraag”.

There’s more to this puzzle of a collaboration than meets the lazy eye; more, certainly, than “ek wil fokken dans” and a penis walking around on two legs. The Oorlog EP itself looks to be wrapped in the cunning cottonwool of cleverness, and although it’ll take some careful dissection to uncover its rewards, after a show like this one, I have incentive in spades. And until this little USB needle properly redirects my synapses and my body starts to shake itself like a dirty wet dog, I’m happy just to feel my heart jolted alive, over and over, in the ratcheting rhythm of rewind and repeat.

Images © and courtesy Thomas Okes.

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RESPONSES (17)
  1. louise CLARK says:

    FIRST!!!

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  2. Andy says:

    Louise, let’s not start that kak here. These comment boards are about debate and discussion.

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 0

  3. love at first sight... says:

    i think Thomas should ask Peach (or Francois or both) on a date.
    he’s definitely too in love to write a decent objective article.

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  4. sonya says:

    they are amazing! they have come to put an end to this “let’s write pop and get rich and on the radio” mentality that so many artists have adopted. That is the Oorlog!

    this is real, raw and emotional music packaged unlike anything i have ever heard before. Itt is more than just another money maker project, and if that was what you wanted or expected then Oorlog Frankenstein just told you to fuck off!

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  5. TSO says:

    LAFSS

    They’s been dating for months. Keep up, dammit.

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  6. dylan says:

    6TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 1

  7. Mary Shelley says:

    “When Peach is in control, we are all Frankensteins, our bodies charged by an electric sky and our minds stupefied into afterthinking attachments.”

    Frankenstein was a scientist and not the monster. Maybe you should read the book

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  8.   says:

    @Mary Shelley
    I must assume it hard to read when you have a phallus in your mouth.

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  9. louise clark says:

    jeez im only trying to be peaceful . all the wars goin on in these comments
    sorry daddy

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  10. louise clark says:

    i mean daddio. the article was lovely ! very moving

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  11. Andy says:

    Nameless hater… thanks for sharing

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  12. Andy says:

    thanks… at least that’s a comment. I read this rugby site where people comment like possessed motherfuckers and the first one always writes “Dragons!”… and it’s like competitive and lame at the same time. It’s such an inane jock jol and it just kinda makes me feel weird. That’s all. Go all “first!” if you want. Sorry for being a knob

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  13. Brian Green says:

    Fuck all you haters. I think Frank von Cokaine is the shit. He’s managed to tap into the lucrative Afrikaans consumer market, who’ll happily gobble up any mediocre shit he flicks in their faces, and no one is any wiser for it. You go Frank. You got the wool pulled so fucking tightly over everone’s eyes. String it along as long as you can! It’ll be years before anyone at all realises that your music is just overhyped, overated bullshit that’s desparately clinging to some ‘controversial’ shit you did like 10 years ago. I love you.

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  14. Carol Reed says:

    [Comment defending articles subject
    [Comment attacking previous comment]
    [Writer steps in and sarcastically thanks commenter]
    [Comment attacking writers smugness for thanking commenter]
    [Comment asking which commenter writer was thanking]
    [Comment professing knowledge of previous commenter’s sexual preference]
    [Comment attacking articles subject]

    and so on

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  15.   says:

    @Carol Reed

    The quality of the articles leads to:

    [Comment defending articles subject
    [Comment attacking previous comment]
    [Writer steps in and sarcastically thanks commenter]
    [Comment attacking writers smugness for thanking commenter]
    [Comment asking which commenter writer was thanking]
    [Comment professing knowledge of previous commenter’s sexual preference]
    [Comment attacking articles subject]

    and so on

    fix’d.

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  16. Carol Reed says:

    Sorry I forgot that one

    [Comment from someone constantly on the site who pretends that they don’t like to be here]

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  17. ralph says:

    I agree with Carol and “says” and i agree with Sonya, SO ONCE AGAIN sing these sweet lyrics:

    sonya says:
    December 9, 2009 at 11:48 am

    they are amazing! they have come to put an end to this “let’s write pop and get rich and on the radio” mentality that so many artists have adopted. That is the Oorlog!

    this is real, raw and emotional music packaged unlike anything i have ever heard before. Itt is more than just another money maker project, and if that was what you wanted or expected then Oorlog Frankenstein just told you to fuck off!

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

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