Lasting for less than an hour, Carla dal Forno’s gig in Berghain’s Kantine was a short and gentle descent from her detached world of intimate stillness.
At the end, there was no “we want more”, not because the concert was bad, but because nobody dared to disrupt the afterglow. Of course, the audience couldn’t resist bursting into applause after dal Forno’s hit song Fast Moving Cars, but apart from that songs played formed an uninterrupted continuity, a gloomy fatalistic flatness that one can easily imagine as Twin Peaks Season IV soundtrack. There was no dancing, maybe just a few wiggles.
Dal Forno presented her newest work called The Garden and we heard all four songs featured on the LP. The strongest one being the Einstürzende Neubauten-inspired title track, the overall sound is still related to the debut album You Know Whats It Like with dal Forno’s uncompromising introvertedness intensified.
pushing the intimacy to such limits that sometimes the listener has a feeling that dal Forno is only singing to herself
So it’s safe to say that her artistic braveness lies exactly in renouncing the writing of a catchy tune that would reach out to a wider audience – on the contrary, The Garden achieves even deeper detachment from the expectations of the outside world, pushing the intimacy to such limits that sometimes the listener has a feeling that dal Forno is only singing to herself.
The performance at Berghain’s Kantina confirmed that her effect-processed voice is in the center of it all. She accompanied it with her vintage bass and her only bandmate provided the electronics. At times these were a bit too loud, overriding her delicate voice. I can imagine that substituting the electronic playback for some live guitar and drums could work better, as a base that would be more responsive to the nuances of her voice.
Until next time, dal Forno’s music will still sound better on home speakers
Beside that, for dal Forno’s music to really come alive, the performance venue would have to be more than just the usual stage with a disco ball (as in Kantina). That’s why The Garden’s “edge zones of feeling” couldn’t be reached in all their depth, so the audience walked out happy, but not exactly satisfied. Until next time, dal Forno’s music will still sound better on home speakers – in the middle of the night and on the bedroom floor.
Photo by Aljaž Zupančič