En Esch

Live at The Complex

Glendale, CA

October 2nd, 2016

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

En Esch was first introduced to us through his work with Sascha Konietzko and Raymond Watts in the seminal Industrial Rock outfit, KMFDM. On over ten albums worth of material, En Esch contributed as multi-instrumentalist and singer and was a formative part of their sound.

Around the turn of the millennium, En Esch moved on and formed his own band with former KMFDM guitarist, Günter Schulz, called Slick Idiot. In addition to this Industrial Rock act, he has put out three solo albums and has worked with Pigface and Mona Mur, both in the studio and on the road.

En Esch has joined forces with Raymond Watts, aka <PIG> for this upcoming tour, both as direct supporting act, as well as playing guitar and singing with Raymond in <PIG> itself.

En Esch is actually a nickname being derived from the German pronunciation of N.S. his initials (his real name is Nicklaus Schandelmaier). This moniker came with controversy however in that the National Socialist party of Germany (aka the Nazis) also used this abbreviation at points. En Esch however, outwardly shares none of their personal belief system, and appears to be an extremely liberal-minded artist judging from the lyrical content of his songs.

En Esch was joined on stage by a guitarist, drummer, and a woman singing with him. They started the set with "12345" from his solo album, "Spank!" En Esch has a very distinct voice, deep and a little gravely, it has a perfect snarl to it that helped define the Industrial vocal style.

They played an old KMFDM favorite with "Friede" from 1990's "Naïve" album which was really cool to hear live after all these years as KMFDM don't really do a lot of the Esch-centric songs anymore.

Moving on to some Slick Idiot material, they did "Hallelujah" from the "SCREWtinized" release, followed by "Idiot" and the anthemic "Merci Beaucoup" both from their debut album, "DickNity".

En Esch's fascination and fixation with sex is readily apparent from the album names but songs like "Merci..." are actually very intellectual outlooks on society and humanity as a whole with this message; "Epitome Of Madness, Once Again It's Time To Change The Rules. We're Not Quite There It's Tragic, Imagine: One For All And All For You! We Need A Sweet Solution, Breaking With The Endless Chain Of Fools. Seeking A Deep Conclusion, Help Me Please To Make My Dream Come True !!"

En Esch went back to his first solo endeavor for "Rule the Mob", before finishing the set with two more KMFDM favorites, "Leid und Elend" from the "Symbols" album and "Go to Hell" off of "Naïve".

It was a great show, I really love watching En Esch as a performer. He is a weird dude, but in a good way for a rock star; bigger than life, and bizarre in a fascinating way. It would be cool to have a KMFDM reunion but with <PIG> up next with En Esch, Günter, and Raymond on stage together, that might be as good as we get.

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