7:04pm on Saturday night – we were late. Door’s open for Electronic Beats Festival Bratislava 2012 is scheduled just 56 minutes later as we arrive at Slovnaftská. Although our taxi driver promised us to know the way to the Refinery Gallery, we felt a little bit lost amidst the industrial area of Ružinov, the eastern Bratislava borough. Of course, the exact coordinates of the concert and arts space are yet to be spread across town, since this year’s EB festival marks the very first concert to take place there.
Located inbetween the Slovak capital’s Slovnaft crude oil refinery, Refinery Gallery is built inside a former motoroil factory – high ceilings, large concrete columns, steel walkways galore. And although the place was just refurbished a short time ago, it kept its industrial past: motoroil ads are on display at the toilets, circular stairs lead from the ground to the first floor, and old factory windows can still be found near the ceiling. A truly post-industrial / neo-futuristic setting for our fifth festival in Bratislava. And truly fitting for our festival artists.
After the night opened up with locals Zlokot and their high-energetic rock music, fellow Parisien Yoann Lemoine aka Woodkid took over the stage at 10pm. Just a week ago, Woodkid overwhelmed us with his appearance at Electronic Beats Festival Prague; and now, still, him and his band performed an even tighter, more intense, and darker show. His trademark song ‘Iron’ saw a metamorphosis into a new, remodeled version, and of course Lemoine gave an outlook on his upcoming EP ‘Run Boy Run’. A full album was just announced to be finished, the ‘Run Boy Run’ EP and new music video will hit the internet later today.
While DJ Filo was spinning records during the live changeovers, Mette ‘The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’ Lindberg got ready for showtime with a short skip rope workout. Afterwards, she and the rest of the ‘roids made their way to the stage, taking everyone by heart. I guess Mette & band could’ve played for three hours straight and still have great fun; it’s always refreshing to see a blaxploitation inspired band that’s just as passionate as their own music is.
At quarter past twelve, during peak time, our Facebook-enabled photo booth reached full capacity, but more importantly it was also about time for Friendly Fires to bring their most recent record ‘Pala’ to stage. Little did we know what to expect, but I guess that’s what every rock and club show should look and feel like: sweaty, fast and uber-euphoric! And how long did they play? 50 minutes? 60 minutes? 180 minutes? Honestly, time was flying while curly-haired singer Ed Macfarlane burned himself out throughout the set and his final ten-minute-long version of ‘Kiss of Life’ – Refinery Gallery was a boiler room at that point.
The last artist billed was Mo’ Wax Records founder James Lavelle with his new UNKLE Sounds project. With a very church-window-like visual projection behind him, Lavelle quickly knew how to make this crowd swing: the carrot-and-stick policy during his dj set came in form of songs such as Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster Stronger’, and of course UNKLE‘s ‘Heaven’ received the playback treatment too!
What else is there to say? Certainly not how great this night was (it was spectacular), how many people came out (1.100, as in: sold out), or how beautiful and energetic the people from Bratislava were (see for yourself) – it’s more about a common state of mind, a very similar taste in music and fashion, and a laid back attitude that makes us come back to Bratislava year by year again. See you again, soon – and now get ready for Electronic Beats presents Spring12 Festival next Wednesday!
Check out moooore images and lots of photo booth shots on our Facebook page, dig through festival related tweets, and have a look at plenty of Instagrams (of course, follow @electronicbeats while you’re at it).
Photos: © Corinna Koch / Martina Mlcuchova | Electronic Beats
Published May 13, 2012.