The Refuge

A new experimental 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". 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 opposite (though actually venturing further in my music, to despair, anger 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.


ps "The Refuge" is a separate (but related) project from "The Anté Dote"'

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


Give Refuge

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

refugee AT

Bookers, journalists and obsessive fans may download a PDF of the "press kit" from here :

JOIN THE TRIBE - (link to Patreon)

Find Refuge

Upcoming live dates ( for bookings contact refugee AT )


Please note: THE REFUGE is intended as a safe space for the artist AND the audience, and so un-authorised recording, filming or photos (whether with smartphones or anything else) should not take place. Only documentary or promotional filming with the express and explicit permission of the artist is permitted at any concerts of THE REFUGE. Persons ignore this warning at their own risk and no apologies are made for what may happen to devices found to be disrespecting this kindly-made request. Thank you for respecting the artist and your fellow audience members.*

*this notice does not apply to "guerrilla" gigs and similar played in random street locations ;)


EPK info (for press/bookings/etc)

"The Refuge" is a fierce new confrontational project by Berlin-based British artist and musician The Anté Dote [also of hardcore alternative rock band 'Djevara' and sister acoustic act 'Djevara (Redux)'] and is the inevitable result of a metalhead in an illicit love affair with the Captial City of European hedonism and anarchic artistic freedom. He calls this new experiment "HEARTCORE music", an eclectic soundscape which is somewhat the bastard child of tribal, experimental electronica and progressive hardcore rock with a huge punk-rock heart - influenced as much by Rage Against The Machine, Refused and Tool as Aphex Twin, Massive Attack and Godspeed You Black Emperor!. Anté plays raging live electrified bass, heavily adorned with fx and noise, over deep powerful cajon beats, all accompanied by striking samples, warped noise and occasional but powerful vocals. Started as a vehicle of expression to exorcise mental demons, it is an artistic sonic exploration of "Manic Depression" (aka "Bipolar Disorder"), with the techno-like aspects representing euphoria while the hardcore rock represents the polar opposite, ranging even further into despair, anger and fury. Conceived primarily as a live act, the plan is simple: play true, strike hard and take no prisoners on an enigmatic, spiritual musical journey. As Anté says, "The Refuge is in my head", and listeners are advised that to enter is at their own risk.

The Anté Dote - live bass guitar & fx, vocals, programming/loops, recorded/sampled instruments (except cajon)
(Original source cajon beats - Joe Manger)

GENRE: "HEARTCORE" (trippy experimental electro-hardcore)




Anté has from time to time been privileged to be joined by certain marvellous artists answeing the call to perform together live to expand the scope of The Refuge. Each "collaborator" brings with them their own essential voice, colour, character, essence and being to the spectacle and exploration. Past collaborators have included:

Sandy La S Schwermer

Sandy Schwermer (promo photo)

Sandy Schwermer started her musical career at the age of two listening to her parents' choir rehearsals and first became active as a singer/songwriter in musicals. She quickly feel in love with object theater and performance, developed a passion for empty factory buildings as a performance location and shortly afterwards followed the call of "The Big Wide World": first to Berlin to study at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art and then to Montreal, Canada, where she enjoyed the club culture in a catchy manner and got involved as a live "V-Jane" for various bands as well as working for Cirque du Soleil.

Trip Hop and Psychedelic Rock are influences that have left their mark in her compositions, which she strings together with catchy sounds and rhythms to reach the ears of her eager fans to curate their vibrations. She enjoys working with various international musicians, bringing her enigmatic idiosyncrasy which has evolved together with Anté since 2018.

"Enjoy. Be open. Be surprised."

La S. (soundcloud)

KRIYA (formerly Mairimasil)

Sandy Schwermer (promo photo)

A wonderfully talented singer, drummer and songwriter, Berlin-based KRIYA (formerly Mairimasil) brings energy, passion, movement , soul and delight to every performance. Check out her EP on Soundcloud...

KRIYA (soundcloud)