At the beginning of July, the fifth Balaton Sound, Hungary’s premiere electronic music festival, was held as before at the largest lake in Central Europe. The line-up was old fashioned in a way, with less upfront music, but this once again Balaton Sound had a record number of visitors.
Before the sunset, the extreme hot weather weakened people too much to dance or even move closer to the stages. There were far too many stages, so lazing around in the water wasn’t the best way to concentrate on certain stages, only for listening to a flow of noises. The crowd sometimes melted together at the main stage for a huge rave with Tiesto or Underworld, but we preferred to visit our favourites like Magnetic Man, Azari & III, Simian Mobile Disco, Rusko, Portishead, who had their first ever gig in Hungary, local trip-hop talents Sadant, or Irie Maffia. The most anticipated hidden treasure of the festival was Eskmo from the Ninja Tune family. The San Francisco-based producer normally plays at prestigious venues, but here the organizer’s focus was on more well-established productions. For us, however, Eskmo was the main attraction on the festival. His enthusiasm on stage is exemplary, as he uses random found extra instruments, even including dry shrubbery and plastic garbage. He delivered his unique post-dubstep wrapped in a pleasant but broken chilled atmosphere, crackling voices layered on a beautiful and extremely deep laid back mood.
Before the gig the EB team surprised him with a Rubik’s Cube, a Hungarian symbol. Now instead of the mechanism of the puzzle, it’s creaking sound as it was twisted became Eskmo’s new weapon. His intense and passionate moves and sweeping gestures eventually caused the cube to suddenly break in his hands. Pieces exploded all over the stage, causing the audience to explode themselves….with applause.