April 2015 News
Athens Death Disco
Thank you to Death Disco event organizers
George Papanikolaou,Leo, Fotini and the audience for such a wonderful week-end.
Photos: Malice F
End of the year News 2014
26 December 2014
Photo : Elena Mayakina
Thank you very much to all of you who have attended shows, bought our music , sent messages & words of encouragement during 2014.
2014 was a fine year for 6comm and we managed to achieve what we set out to do.
Now that we have presented the old state of 6comm to a live audience it is time to move on and progress to a new state.
I shall be working on new material during 2015 but I do not expect to be able to release the new album until 2016.
I will release a new album during the second half of 2015.
Title Drumfire- continuing the theme of WW2 Battles & the human machination of mind & body unto the Flesh machine.
Thanks to the photographers who sent us images , I am sorry that we can't post them all.
Here are some photo's from the shows in November.
If you are the photographer but are not credited here please let us know
Please go to the gallery for more images
I wish you all the best for 2015
Best Regards 6comm
This last month saw us attend the Villa festival in Italy where we spent a very beautiful weekend in the sun in a very dreamy part of Italy. Thank you very much to the organisers and I wish youa good 2015 for the next event.This coming November sees 6comm playing 5 events ! Wroclaw festival in Poland and then onto Oberhausen , Leipzig, Furth & Frankfurt. This closes the year for 6comm. I will also be on stage backing Gaya's Antichildleague in Oberhausen & Leipzig.The first Schrage musik release has received a very good response from the folks that bought the CD.
I do not send out work for review any more but there is one good, thoughtful & intelligent review on Heathen Harvest, posted here below.
I shall be doing further recordings for Schrage Musik and the title of the next work is DRUMFIRE .Apart from playing in Athens Greece early next year Sixcomm will be resting for most of 2015.
There may be a couple of further Schrage Musik events which will include new unreleased material ,more news to come soon.
Recording news. Forthcoming end of 2015 a major new work by Sixcomm which will be released via Trisol records. All other works are ongoing.
best wishes to all and have a fine & bright Autumn.
Photos by Henrik Stolt
The Villa Fest review on santa sangre magazine by Damiano Lenzi
And now it’s time for the festival headliner: Sixth Comm. Patrick Leagas nervously walks around the hall during all the other performances, together with his companion Drummer Donadio, featured also in the recent work “Schräge Musik”. One of the most curious aspects of The Villa Festival is indeed its dimension that allows you to have a close contact with such fathers of the neofolk genre like Leagas or Tony Wakeford. You consider them as your heroes, but they’re just a few steps away, enjoying the concert as you do and you can even talk to them. As Andrew King, also Mr. Leagas is very affable and friendly after the show, but during the performance it’s the complete opposite: he’s an imposing, ancestral presence, his priestly moves are menacing and terrifying. Patrick knows how to play this role perfectly, he’s able to catalyze anger and insecurity in an aggressive, exasperatedly percussive style, that has a magnetic effect on the audience. He’s a charismatic and expert musician and his voice has remained intact in all its power and peculiarity after years. Even three songs from the “Nada” era find their place in the tracklist, in the original Death in June versions (not the ones re-recorded afterwards as Sixth Comm): “Foretold”, “The Calling” and “The Torture Garden” an appreciated gift for many fans in the venue. As mentioned above, there has been some delay in the schedule of the gigs and it’s already 3 in the morning when the Sixth Comm set has to be interrupted at half of its length. There are some protests, but it was probably not possible to continue the festival after that time, due to arrangements with the municipal authorities.
Photo by Henrik Stolt
While the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War is almost overshadowing other historical landmarks connected with WW2 now in 2014, the co-founder of controversial post-punk (and later, after its split, neofolk) outfit Death In June, Patrick Leagas, once again focuses on the events between 1939 and 1945 with the recent release from his side-project Schräge Musik: the CD album Fleischmaschine (German for meat machine). Credited as the creator of Death In June’s stage appearance and military musical feel, using 1940s haircuts, German camouflage patterns and martial drumming to create an uneasy spectacle of the seductive power of an aestheticised ideology, Patrick Leagas’ obsession with WW2 and military history can be traced back to his father’s involvement in that war. His interests are also influenced by his very own experiences as a soldier of the British Army reserve during the 1980s, and then as a civilian witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of armed conflict during his travels to Afghanistan (Soviet Invasion era) and the Horn of Africa where he experienced a little more than he had hoped for.
Informed by this highly individual prism of personal exploration, experience, and despair about the human condition, Patrick’s post-Death-In-June project 6comm (or Six Comm/Sixth Comm) has supplied listeners with deeply emotional music since 1986, spanning an amazingly wide stylistic range from epic synth-pop (Content with Blood) via ritualistic experimental works (Fruits of Yggdrasil featuring runic sorceress Freya Aswynn) to evocative shamanic crooning (Headless), prefiguring a number of what would subsequently become musical subgenres in their own rights (like martial pop and goa/trance). While Six Comm has always been his main musical output, Schräge Musik (colloquial German for the flatted, „skewed“ notes in jazz music, but also used in WW2 as a term for aircraft’s aft machine guns which were able to fire at enemy planes from below) is his outlet for music dealing with WW2-related topics which don’t exactly offer themselves for the catchy tunes, dancey rhythms and magickal experimentation of his 6comm moniker. So beware the Fleischmaschine: if you expect seductively melancholic tunes and groovy dancefloor tracks, this record is not for you (however, your desires might find satisfaction with the recently released Ontogeny I + II, which both feature reworks and original versions of memorable Six Comm anthems). Instead, it is more of an audio drama reviving the horrifying and oppressive moods experienced by both the civilian and uniformed cannon fodder churned by the meat grinder that raged in Europe and the world from 1939 to 1945.
Fleischmaschine Cover DesignFleischmaschine Cover DesignFleischmaschine begins its rage with an uncompromisingly martial and minimalist intro: “Europa Gefallen” (Europe Fallen) is both a call to battle and an epitaph to a continent. The demise and destruction are already looming over the dynamic drumming that propels us into a nightmarish world of industrialised war, great sacrifice and foolish heroics. The archaic sounding horn and brass proclaim a warlike tribe on the march, thus hinting at war as a continuous presence in humanity’s history.
Here, Leagas uses drawn-out standing notes and layers of ominous (dis-)harmonic chords, some of which are played on his ebay collection of 1940s harmonicas with plates removed, which give a deeper resonance (something he discovered when repairing an instrument). This is complemented by spots of Leagas’s voice amounting to pained arias of despair; the claustrophobic inescapability of death from above becomes palpable as a captivating yet paralysing atmosphere of looming danger evokes „Bomber“ Harris’ squadrons deploying their deadly loads over Germany in the „total war“ Goebbels had infamously asked for. “Eternity”, previously released as a 7“ single, has been substantially reworked and, with its uptempo marching rhythm and snare drums accompanied by regimental trumpet, may well be the most accessible track on the album. Tempo, brass and snare drums continue to haunt the listener in “Asylum 39-45″, a track originally released on the Sixth Comm album Asylum in 1990. Here, it is augmented by more martial drumming and a desperate organ, creating a sense of utter futility and furthermore conveying 6comm’s overall anti-war message with the unforgiving lyrics „In the hands of battle we lie / for the madness of lords / deliver us unto the sword / we rest our heads in shame / we rest our heads in blood.“
Fleischmaschine Booklet ArtworkFleischmaschine Booklet ArtworkWhile the pointless slaughter rages on in the asylum that is the world, the ballad of “Tommy Atkins Sweet 16″ provides a short break from battle with its harmonica and heartfelt lyrics. It is a melancholic song of homesickness and loss of innocence, bemoaning all „Tommys“, but in this case eluding to the many young men/boys of 16 & under who managed to fool the recruiting system and join the madness, who then lost their lives on the so-called „fields of honour“. It’s easy to imagine a lone young guard singing away the fear and anticipation of battle during a night shift in the trench with this little ditty, which is followed by a song actually sung by British soldiers in action: „We’re here because we’re here“, a line that is reassuring and simultaneously illustrative of the lack of choice faced by both the uniformed units and the civilian population exposed to the machinations of power, war, and violence. While those last two songs directly reference the (unknown) British soldiers, ground to pulp by the Fleischmaschine, Patrick Leagas stresses that neither this song nor the whole album should be perceived as anti-German: „Even though my father fought the Germans, he was never conceited about them or regarded them as a bad people per se but just part of the whole World system under the control of the Lords as we all were. I’ve never felt that this war was a war between peoples, but as we all know the same war between the power-hungry and self-righteous, whether that be in politics or religion, which only profited the industrial complexes on all sides. Thus the title Fleischmaschine: a highly technicised process devouring human flesh to keep operating and exerting its inhumane power like an enormous H.R. Giger machine constantly committing global atrocities, both devouring and renewing itself in an ecstatic fuck and Shamanic destruction and self-renewal, thus speeding development and creating our technological advances to which we all are most grateful Lord.“
The nightmare concludes with “State Laughter 39-45″, which acts as a coda or the end credits of a film, forming an acoustic bracket with “Europa Gefallen”–again using war drums and trumpet–and comes across even bleaker and more accusatory than its original version, released as Death In June’s first 7“ back in 1981, conjuring images of firing squads leaving nothing but „holes in the wall“. The minimalist rendition and the context it is presented in not only concludes an extraordinary achievement in terms of musical treatment of a difficult and sensitive subject, but also sets the record straight about the original concept behind the widely misunderstood group Leagas left for good in 1985. Even though he once let in that „at the same time, some of the nastier rumours were true“, there can be no doubt that despite the sordid attraction that WW2 and Nazi aesthetics exerted on the then young men, Leagas’s continuing examination of war as subject matter, open to misreadings as it may be (just like any outstanding work of art), carries at its core an intense sense of affliction, grief and suffering unparalleled in music. It is an ongoing treatment of a (collective) trauma that can and should never be overcome, yet necessitates dealing with, which uses art as a means to come to terms with, and produce both a reminder of the past as well as a warning to the future which should also be heard outside the ghettos of „underground“ music. Thus, Patrick Leagas’ work is a far cry from the pathetic attempts at silly glorification of war, pseudo-controversial hero-worshiping and championing of ideologies of yesteryear, which are so prevalent in some of the lesser works created by younger groups in the martial industrial and neofolk genres, which he is quick to admit he has little to no connection with, despite the fact that they emerged from the background of a body of themes and topics he pioneered, and has returned to with Fleischmaschine.