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Shadow Theater – Live in Kaiserslautern

Shadow Theater - Live in Kaiserslautern

DVD-R, T’an! Kaven! Ash!!!, 2008

Conceptually, this video of a live performance by a well-known power noise outfit sounds like it can’t miss: an experimental noise show, accompanied by avant-garde shadow play visuals behind white screens. In practice, however, it falls far short of the mark.
Filmed from a single static camera angle, the shadows (which, again, are hugely exciting in theory: grotesque, deformed humanoid, animal and plant chimeras executing obscure dance steps in a thoroughly ritualized format) lose what impact they potentially possess. And as for the sound… Some live performances manage to capture the essence of the music and atmosphere of the crowd in recorded form, but this does not manage to do either. The music (which most would consider the most important aspect of the disc and therefore the one most likely to be of good quality) is muted, dull and bland. The crowd (which is never even glimpsed) is a non-entity; the audience’s interaction with the band, an integral element of the synergy that makes or breaks any live show, is entirely absent. The occasional whistle or hoot seems almost incidental as part of the music itself, rather than coming from another party.
In all, a disappointing offering. Unless you were lucky enough to experience the actual event, or one similar to it and are looking for some tangible memorabilia, this is not a disc worth owning. It does not do Shadow Project, or their unique artistic vision, any justice whatsoever. It is poorly filmed, recorded and produced and unlikely to ever find its way into my media system again.


— David vander Merwe

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