Hackedpicciotto: Menetekel @ The Backlot
(for Revelation Perth International Film Festival)
Saturday, July 7, 2018
The Revelation Perth International Film Festival has upped the ante on the music front this year. Next weekend sees some ripping femme-punk blitz through town when Amyl and the Sniffers and Rackett headline a pair of shows, while the weekend just passed featured Dark Mofo side shows from Einstürzende Neubauten bassist Alexander Hacke alongside his music and life partner, fellow Berlin-based artist Danielle De Picciotto.
Billed as Hackedepicciotto together, they had already live soundtracked their acclaimed film Crossroads on Friday night and held an artist talk Saturday morning by the time Saturday evening’s show rolled around. Billed as a performance of latest album Menetekel, it didn’t quite follow the script by delving into earlier work such as Awake, however that was a bonus as much as anything.
The Backlot is a terrific venue to watch music. A boutique, special events cinema for all intents and purposes, the comfy seats were perfect for zoning out to droning sounds and artful backdrops that changed on the big screen between tracks. The night even started like a movie, with sponsor ads and REV Fest previews a strangely cinematic warm up for a concert.
Opener All Are Welcome showcased some rarely called upon harmonies between the husband and wife duo, facing one another rather than the crowd to add another layer of intimacy to the small space. De Picciotto switched between exotic instruments such as hurdy-gurdy, autoharp and violin while Hacke triggered samples while holding down drums and his throbbing bass chords.
Jericho was a highlight with dramatic horn sounds to start the song, that made way for an epic that returned to a finale of horns and autoharp accompanied by snowflake visuals.
Ending a short, one-hour set, Prophecy featured visuals of compasses spinning this way and that, which tied in with clocks whose hands had spun in a similar fashion in previous songs. Along with the dreamy music and incantations, it suggested a state where ‘time’ and ‘place’ are irrelevant constructs. It made sense in light of Hacke and De Picciotto’s life choices – the pair have given up their home in Berlin and travel the earth as nomads.
An insight into their unique world, it’s as close as we are likely to come to German royalty Einstürzende Neubauten here in Perth. Hacke has trading clattering, industrial intensity for post-everything intensity with Hackedepicciotto, and the two-piece made it a thought provoking and occasionally compelling trip to the (movie) theatre on Saturday.