Using live instruments and some adapted special gear (35mm film synchronizer, toy keyboards…), the Canadian band Holy Fuck gets as close to an electronic-sounding set as possible without the use of laptops or programmed backing tracks. Thus the refined sound-layering appears still very organic, abrasive and improvised. To experience the complexity of sound arrangements of Holy Fuck’s ad lib performance in their van became mind-blowing for us. So far we were not aware that the two songs the band was coming up with in their tourbus did not exist in this form, as they doubtlessly worked out perfectly elaborate. But once we started combing through their tracks in search of the missing titles, we became aware that there was no real match. A correspondence with Graham Walsh clarified: “We didn’t play any proper Holy Fuck songs for that. We just improvised two random un-named pieces on the spot.” Impromptu hardly ever sounded so compelling.
Wuk is short for Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus (Workshop and Culture House) – is not only a venue for concerts. The brick building with its charmingly sleazy cobbled courtyard hosts 130 groups and initiatives, which produce all kinds of non-mainstream-art. The cultural center is subsidised by the City of Vienna, but the groups work autonomously and self-governed. Apart from the concert hall, studios and workshops there is also a café with a nice outdoor area in the WUK courtyard and a self-help bicycle repair shop. The 19th century building was originally used as a factory for train engines. In 1884, the Technologisches Gewerbemuseum (Technologic Trade Museum) moved into today’s WUK and turned it into a place of science, education and exhibitions with the purpose to keep the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy up-to-date in questions of technological development. The monarchy was more than half a century gone when there were still engineers trained in Währinger Straße 59. In 1981, the building was handed over to an association of alternative Viennese artist, teachers, students and other activists.