Live at Das Bunker
Los Angeles, CA
March 12th, 2011
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
It has been a while since an industrial electronic act has had me as excited for a live show as New York City based FGFC820. The duo of long time scene builders, Rexx Arkana and Dracos, have turned their hard earned credit as DJ's and promoters into a class act of musical output that blends the danceable rhythms and textures of harsh electro industrial dance music with an inspired eye on global current events influencing the lyrics and imagery.
Rexx wore urban camouflage fatigues and had warpaint like marks under his eyes while Dracos went for a less assuming all black look behind the keyboards. The duo got their start as respectable DJ's in the Electro-Industrial scene many years ago and got together to form a band that features massive stomping beats with harsh distorted vocals relaying where the world lies today.
I first heard of them on a internet radio show some years ago with the awesome song, "The Heart of America" which in many ways sums up the isolationist attitude and distorted world view that some Americans can dream up while "saying Grace" in our heartland.
It's odd how their songs somehow still portray a type of patriotism for our country but not the current regime or ideals, instead what the original ideals of freedom and opportunity may have meant. They shine a light on corruption, power hunger, and the state of society, at times with a serious, ironic, or sarcastic twist letting the listener figure out for themselves where they stand on subjects.
Their motto is "Trust in us; we know what's best. Violence and Civil unrest". Whether they take that to heart in order to incite riots or are throwing that out there to make you think about the actuality of it and how to effect change... well, they aren't saying. Nor are they saying what the name of the band means so we will just deal with it.
They started off the set with what I think is a new song, as I did not recognize it but the beat was there as was the intense vocal delivery that is their trademark. They followed up with "Democracy", a definite new song titled, "Insurrection" and then "Society".
They surprised me with an awesome cover of "Ich Bin Ein Auslander" from the cool old-school band Pop Will Eat Itself that really got the crowd hopping before doing the song that got me into them, "The Heart of America".
Rexx spoke occasionally to the crowd here in Los Angeles, mostly about glad to be playing and glad that we were so excited and at one point he called out for a shot of whisky which someone quickly brought him, but he did not elaborate on the material, letting the songs speak for themselves.
They played "Killing Fields", "Martyrdom", and then "Not The World I Remember". I think it is fairly apparent from song titles alone the kind of topics that they cover in their material.
Rexx apparently was in the military at one point so has a unique outlook compared to many of us who have not served and also a very intelligent outlook on society and history so that combines into a potent lyricist.
They played several other songs which may have been new ones at the time of the show as I did not recognize them, but they finished up the set with "Hello Baghdad".
I have always loved industrial beats and harsh electro music and one of the things that always drew me to this genre is that it is not simple pop music made to make you feel good or forget your troubles, quite the opposite.... It is meant to make you think.
Potentially this will make you feel the opposite of good, maybe it will make you sad or angry. Maybe if you think enough, and let your thoughts and feelings influence you, you will do something about the issues that you are thinking about and find ways to influence more than just yourself.
FGFC820 are a great addition to the genre and are both entertaining and moving in their performance. Sometimes a little wild abandon is appropriate even for intellectual musicians such as this duo, so even if you are not into a "heavy trip" I definitely recommend checking these guys out, they'll pull you in with the music and then once they've got you, maybe you will check out what they are saying.
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