Sunday, March 3, 2024

Perturbator and Health mesmerize Manchester

In Manchester, in November of 2022 RAMzine and 900 fans witnessed a sold-out show from two bands tearing up the synthwave genre creating music which some see as noise and others see as art.

Despite a year delay we are here tonight to witness history as  American noise rock/industrial band Health from LA play with French synthwave musician Perturbator from Paris – a legendary combination. Lets get synthical!


Both of these acts have broken boundaries in the electronic world, though they are both electronic that’s where the similarities end as both have a very distinctive sound. Perturbator strides with the retro sounds and great gothic vibes whereas Health play hard-hitting guitar and drums while maintaining soft vocals which is a perfect combination for them, heavy screams are not needed as their instruments do that for you.


Health open the show in style with the fans chanting along to an anime intro, showing some of their nature and style. It must be noted straight away that Health have possibly one of the greatest accounts on social media for shit-posting dank memes on their Instagram story – Follow them @_health_.


For the next 50 minutes, we experience magic, you just end up standing there getting mesmerized and then bam some soothing vocals to tie you over – it’s pure genius. For those who don’t know Health have been working with some huge bands over the past couple of years, not too sure if it’s due to lockdowns, luck or fate but they’ve working with the likes of Lamb Of God, Nine Inch Nails, Poppy and of course Perturbator. These collaborations can be found on Disco4: Part II which came out back in April. And lets not forget these guys have had tracks in GTA V, Cypberpunk 2077, and Max Payne! The question is, who the heck will they collaborate with next?


Having a spicy setlist with bangers like ‘Identify’, ‘PSYCHONAUT’ and of course ‘Stonefist’ and still one of my favourite synth tracks ‘Feel Nothing’, which is the perfect track to get you into this wonderful band. While ending the set with ‘Excess’ the one and only James Kent the man from perturbator himself brings the hype to another level!

Perturbator is up next and the lighting set-up this time around was surreal. There was a giant steel structure with loads of lights in sync with each song to really add that extra kick and to pretty much get you into a trance as all that synth goodness gets absorbed into you like a warm kitten.

Perturbator | Photos by Chris James Ryan

Opening up with the original ‘Excess’ track which just shows you Health’s take on it as their cover is completely different. It’s not a bad thing as both tracks are superb. During the night despite Perturbator having a brand new album Final Light out in June none of these tracks were played. This could be for good reason, perhaps for the fans, as some might not have heard the tracks or he just wanted to keep playing all the bangers we know from Lustful Sacraments along with multiple singles from the back-catalogue. Fan favourites such as ‘Future Club’  and ‘Humans Are Such Easy Prey’ – Two very well-known tracks which made the crowd go wild!


What we can really appreciate about tonight is the huge variation, not just very fast-paced tracks like ‘Neo Tokyo’ and ‘Diablout Ex Machina’ which Kent managed to mix perfectly with the outro of ‘Weapons For Children’, There’s also the slower but more dramatic like ‘Listful Sacraments’.

There are pretty much no vocals from Kent or drummer (Dylan Hyard) unless it’s mixed in with the tracks so it’s a let the music do the talking type situation.


Once you listen to the electronic goodness from the dark synthwave and heavy industrial genres enough it’s clear that Perturbator has distinctive music that can be heard straight away – that’s how bold and creative Kent really is.

Coming off stage and then returning back with an encore bringing Health’s Jake Duzsik for ‘Body/Prison’ is a great ending for the night, it’s an iconic track that bonds both bands to create musical perfection! For the past couple of hours, we endured electronic heaven and now I question the existence of life as we know it.

Christopher James Ryan
Christopher James Ryan
Hello, My name is Chris Ryan I'm 30 and i am a photographer/Reviewer. I love going to gigs, beer, motorbikes and gaming ^^

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