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« March 22, 2013

Camera

Final SXSW Live Shots
Review by Greg Beets

Camera

Holy Mountain, March 16

No one in this firebrand Berlin Krautrock cadre uttered a word during their 40-minute set. Given how much headspace Camera had to alter, niceties would've just gotten in the way. As the instrumental trio swelled to life, drummer Michael Drummer (yep, that's what they call him) summoned the half-full house closer to the stage by dangling a microphone over a cymbal like a hypnotic pendulum. With psychedelic projections pulsating on the walls and ceiling, Camera lit into a thunderous, semi-improvised tribal groove driven by Franz Bargmann's effects-sodden guitar atmospherics up top and Timm Brockmann's industrial-strength synthesizers on the bottom. Drummer traveled light by dispensing with the bass drum in favor of an expedient stand-up kit with a snare, floor tom, cymbal, and a pedal-operated headless tambourine. Posture borrowed from the "before" photo in a chiropractor's office, he hunched awkwardly over the drums, never revealing his face as he played. The crowd grew as the set slowly built toward a glorious rock frenzy that compelled Bargmann to throw his lanky frame around the stage. A mellower, more esoteric passage brought the show in for a smooth landing. Then the soundman blasted Genesis' "Land of Confusion," and it hit like an alarm clock on Monday morning.

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