It’s almost that time of year again. That special, special time when young folks with a yen for electronic beats cast their eye to Canada’s belle ville of museums, architecture, and relaxed attitudes towards public intoxication. That time when poutine and fortified beer take on a mysterious allure that is absent in other months. That time when curse words related to Catholicism gain a certain cachet and vague childhood memories of that one time MuchMusic played Mitsou’s “Dis-Moi, Dis-Moi” video come bubbling to the surface. In short, time for Kinetik.

We’ve written about our favourite performances from previous years, but with 2012’s installment of the festival fast approaching, it’s time to focus on the future. Here’s a list of band’s were especially excited about catching this time round.
Alex: Haujobb
NEWSFLASH: ALEX AND BRUCE ARE EXCITED TO SEE HAUJOBB. Shocking, we know. We talk about Dejan and Daniel so much on ID:UD that it’s gotten to be a cliche for us to mention how often we talk about Haujobb. That said, boy are we psyched on seeing these cats play Kinetik. Daniel has played previously as Architect and Destroid, both sets yielding any number of great moments, so it stands to reason that we won’t be disappointed when they take the stage during Phase 2. If you think we’re fanboys, fine, just be thankful that this article isn’t just us arguing over stuff like our dream setlists and which version of “Penetration” would theoretically make for the best closer. Because we do that stuff all the time, not that anyone needs to be subjected to it. Suffice to say if you’re up front and you see two guys just losing their shit, say hi.
Bruce: Winterkälte
The German duo haven’t released any new material since John Kerry got swiftboated, let alone since they played at the second Kinetik, but that appearance immediately cemented Eric de Vries and Udo Wiessmann as two of the coolest dudes working in rhythmic noise in our eyes. They found a way to present their material live which wasn’t just entertaining for the audience, but obviously fun and rewarding for them. They play off of each other like a pair of jazzbos, and watching folks get so caught up in the creative joy of playing is super infectious.

Alex: Heimataerde
There are two kinds of people in the world: those that think that a bunch of peeps all done up like the Knights Templar getting on stage to play EBM mixed with medieval instruments is pretty cool, and those that think it’s silly. I will have no truck with the latter crowd, unless they can also be counted amongst the former. Seriously, aggrotech is full-up with black latex bodypaint, cheap-looking “body armour” and gasmasks, and cats have the nerve to call a band with the balls to hit the stage in baller-ass suits of chainmail silly? We’re a scene of D&D nerds who like to play dress-up, what the hell is there for anyone not to like about this? Also, in our experience when bands make their first trek across the Atlantic (as Feindflug and Suicide Commando have done in previous years at the fest) they tend to bring some serious energy to the stage, which means if we’re right we’re gonna get to see a bunch of guys going buck while dressed like they’re on the road to Jerusalem. Sounds pretty dope to me.
Bruce: Grendel
I’ve made no secret of my dislike for Grendel in the past. The production was weak on the first record I heard, Prescription: Medicide [edit: I had a bit about what a weak name “Prescription: Medicine” was, but as was pointed out in the comments, I’ve been reading the title incorrectly all these years. Mea culpa.], “Soilbleed” irritates me to no end, and when your cover of a song mostly noted for its use at football stadiums becomes a signature tune, well… All of that is a lengthy preamble to just how impressed I was by the Chemicals And Circuitry EP. While not deviating from the “135 BPM floor fodder” approach, its tracks had memorable, substantive choruses and ace production. The preview for Timewave Zero, which’ll have been out for a month come Kinetik, suggests deeper production than ever before, and nice orchestral passages merging with 8-bit bleeps. Colour me stoked.
Alex: The Gothsicles
At Kinetik 3.0 I missed getting to see the Gothsicles because I was DJing out in the atrium. NEVER AGAIN. I like the band, I hear they put on an energetic and fun live show and more than anything else I’m keen to sing along to some favourites like “Konami Code”, “Save Dat Mermaid” and “Nine Dudes Freaking Out”. If you’ve ever heard any of the songs they’ve written specifically for festivals they play at, you’ll know that they take this shit serious. Dare we hope for a 2012 remix of “Holy Shit We’re Playing Kinetik”?

Bruce: S.P.O.C.K
For me, the big “they’re still together?” revelation of this year’s line-up, apart from Beborn Beton, was everyone’s favourite TOS-minded Swedes, Star Pilot On Channel K, AKA S.P.O.C.K. In addition to Trek-minded tracks like “Dr. McCoy” and, duh, “Never Trust A Klingon”, the band (who have now been active for twenty-four years) have a plethora of non-franchise specific sci-fi synthpop gems in their catalog: “Alien Attack”, “Where Rockets Fly”, “Out There”. While I’ve no idea what they’re like live these days, if this video’s even remotely accurate, there’s no way seeing them at the tail end of the festival won’t be glorious, stupid fun. First tranya’s on us, boys!

Alex: End.User
The relationship between industrial and breakcore has generally been one built on a slight overlap in audience rather than one born out of mutual origins, and thus the radical offshoot of d n’ b hasn’t ever really been present at Canada’s biggest industrial festival. If you wanted to pick a producer who was going to rep hard for the genre you couldn’t do much better than Lynn Standafer, a fella who’s been pushing serious weight as a producer for a decade. His album from last year was a favourite of ours and highlighted Standafer’s skill in thoughtful and emotive composition in contrast to his ability to bring the chaos. Slotted in on the same day as Iszoloscope and Aliceffekt, we’re hoping to see a good turnout for a solid turnout for one of this year’s more left of center festival additions, who by all accounts brings the noise in the live PA tradition.
Bruce: [:SITD:]
The last time we caught [:SITD:] they were mid-carding between headliners Imperative Reaction and the then relatively unknown project that that guy from Necessary Response was doing. We had a blast watching them, even though Alex lost the camera which Carsten dashed into the audience to pose with. Since then, [:SITD:] have released two solid albums (Rot and Icon:Koru), plus some retrospective extra discs, and we’ve been keen to see how their show’ll translate over to the larger stage and crowd that Kinetik heralds. (Our deeply-researched, top-secret guess? Well!)
Alex: Blutengel
I expect to get grief for this, but I’ll be damned if I’m not totally fascinated by the idea of seeing what the deal is with Blutengel’s love-it-or-hate-it Dracula EBM routine. I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a fan (okay, I have “Angels of the Dark” on my phone, and it gets some play, I ain’t ashamed), but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a fan of cheesy stage schtick. And dudes, from what I understand from my perusal of Youtube, Chris Pohl is like the Eddie Van Halen of cheesy stage schtick. This cat is like the lovechild of Vampira and Chester Cheetah, son. He drives the DRAG-U-LA from the Munsters with a vanity license plate that reads “CHEDDAR”. The dude’s blood type is Camembert, you feel me? Monks with torches, Pohl singing from a throne, candelabras all lit up – it’s like hokey vampire mardi gras, only instead of fratboys with beads it’ll be girls in velvet corsets pitching their lacy unmentionables on stage like gothic Justin Verlanders. I can’t wait.

Bruce: HYPR
Russia’s HYPR clearly need no introduction, having been perhaps the most singular driving force in the past thirty years of industrial music. From their earliest records, in which they pioneered the skiffle-EBM sound which earned them multiple platinum records (and rave reviews from everyone from Madonna to Michael Gira), to their collaboration-happy era in the 90s (who could forget their work with KRS-One or the haunting “from the beyond” duet they produced between Klaus Nomi and Sam Cooke?), HYPR have taken the lateral freedom of industrial music into evocative, irreverent places, and given us perhaps the quintessentially postmodern record, industrial or otherwise, in Quo Vadis, Motherfuckers?. After a fifteen year sojourn, which has been marked by rumours of lengthy stays in Trappist monasteries and attempts at uploading and merging their consciousnesses within a single, massive mainframe, HYPR are set to reclaim the throne they abdicated. While it is believed that their reemergence into the public eye at Kinetik will consist of a complete performance of their new album, The Gavin Gunhold Blues (which will be officially “released” as a free torrent at the conclusion of their Kinetik set), it’s impossible to guess what these Russian geniuses have in store.