Sightings: Nightsatan, “Karelian Starmaster (Evil Lucifer)”

While editing my recent interview with Gatekeeper, up today on Altered Zones, I stumbled upon a Finnish trio called Nightsatan, who seem like they would be equally adept at dressing up John Carpenter for a dark wave costume ball à la Liquid Sky. During said interview, Aaron David Ross provided an intriguing explanation for the band’s live set-up, which features a bombastic display of smoke, strobes, and neon lights (courtesy artist collective Thunder Horse), but very little actual playing — mostly because, the band’s members claim, their arpeggiated compositions are simply too complex to execute live. “There is something really romantic about having all the gear up on stage, having it playing itself,” he said, evoking the richly macabre image of a pipe organ spontaneously executing the first few lines of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. If electronic music is always a creative negotiation between man and machine, these Euro alter egos fall on the other side of the continuum, favoring live drum-pad percussion and hand-licked synth melodies over pre-recorded studio work. Not sure if I can hear the difference, or whether the distinction matters at all, but in both cases, a good part of the thrill resides in imagining where the automated ends and the human begins.

Nightsatan, “Karelian Starmaster (Evil Lucifer)”

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Words: Emilie Friedlander

MIDNIGHT LASER WARRIOR is out now via Finnish label Solina Records

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