The Refuge

A live project by The Anté Dote (Berlin, DE)

The Refuge... is in your head.

refuge | ˈrɛfjuːdʒ |
- noun [mass noun] : "the state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or difficulty"
- [count noun] : "a place or situation providing safety or shelter"

Chris Cornell. Kurt Cobain. Jimi Hendrix. Layne Stayley. Jim Morrison. Many people are confused and surprised that so many musicians (and especially front-men) kill themselves prematurely (and yes, of course overdosing oneself counts). When the latest in that list, Chris Cornell, acclaimed and highly successful singer of legendary band "Soundgarden", many people were in complete shock. He would seem to have had everything: success (multiple times over), critical acclaim, incredible wealth, amazing good looks even into his 50s, overwhelming talent... I wasn't surprised. I've also stood at the top of buildings myself, and - briefly - wondered about the quickest way down (not proud of this - it's profoundly ungrateful).

The clues are always in the music. I guess I could feel a connection of some sort with these artists in the sense that there's an obvious pain, an obvious love, an obvious need to express - and the difficulty and frustration of trying to do this in a world that values the material over the spiritual can often feel overwhelming. You write down and sing all your words with all your heart and put everything on a record or in a show, and people still inanely and incessantly continue to ask you "How do you feel?" and "What does it mean?", and offer their opinions as to whether those expressions are of value or not, like you give a fuck or it matters one iota what anybody else thinks. Clue: it doesn't, and there is no need for interpretation - it feels and it means just exactly as it says and plays.

"Manic Depression" (now called "Bipolar Disorder"), and it's cousin "Depression", are serious conditions, but widely misunderstood, under-appreciated and rarely talked about. The former is defined as a mood disorder characterized by "manic or hypomanic episodes (changes from one's normal mood accompanied by high energy states)", and "sleeplessness, sometimes for days, along with hallucinations, psychosis, grandiose delusions, or paranoid rage". It is difficult to understand oneself, let alone control or understand. Love and hate, euphoria and miserable desperation flipping like switches; people find it difficult to understand how people so incredibly happy can also be so incredibly sad. But both are real, and the reasons for both are the same ; the afflicted really can simultaneously be the most joyous and most despairing people you have ever met. It is likely to provide some of the explanation for the incredibly high rate of suicide in the UK, well into the thousands despite it being (nominally) “the 6th-richest economy in the world” , and it disproportionately affects men ("Male rates remain consistently higher than female suicide rates across the UK and Republic of Ireland – most notably 5 times higher in Republic of Ireland and around 3 times in the UK”). It is not always easy to diagnose and certainly not easy to treat, there are different intensities and related conditions, and sufferers find it difficult to talk about their condition due to social taboos and lack of acceptance of the condition.

Many attempt to manage it by trying to find an effective creative outlet. This new project is my latest attempt to keep the demons at bay by throwing out the oft suppressed background noise in my head; "techno" to represent the euphoria, "hardcore" to represent the despair and fury. It won't always be pretty, but it may just be cathartic. I don’t expect or need anybody else to either like or “get” it, any more than anybody else either has to like or “get” me. But I need to do it. I’m no longer fighting to be understood, or even listened to. Just to be allowed to express. This is my Refuge. And it’s in my head. Enter at your own risk.


Samaritans -


The Anté Dote : live bass guitar and vox, programming, compositions, love, anger (but never hate) and just enough mental (in)stability to make this (sort of) work...

With special thanks, full credits and massive appreciation to Joe Manger for the jams providing the incredibly awesome original source cajon drumbeats. Sorry I've fecked with them so much... x

Find Refuge

The Refuge is now available for bookings. Contacts as below.