We’ve revealed the details for our 2015 EB Spring Festival Season. Click here to find the lineup, venue, and ticket details for Warsaw, here for Bratislava, here for Prague, and here for Cologne..
Our fall festival season closed last weekend, and we’ve barely had time to recover from our hangovers after raging at back-to-back showcases that starred some of our favorite artists, including Caribou, James Blake, and Jessy Lanza.
But everyone knows that the best cure for a nasty hangover is a little hair of the dog, so we’re easing the pain and nausea by occupying our minds with the next batch of EB bashes. In years past, our spring festival season hit Warsaw, Bratislava, Prague, and Cologne. Guess where we’re going in 2015…
Warsaw, Bratislava, Prague, and Cologne!!!!!
We’re kicking things off in Poland on February 27 and shutting it down here in Deutschland on May 29, and in between we’re hitting Slovakia on March 6 and the Czech Republic on March 13. We’re not ready to reveal the lineups yet, so why don’t we refresh your minds about some of last year’s headliners: Moderat, Four Tet, Hudson Mohawke, and Jon Hopkins, and more. You can relive Hopkins’ performance via the recording of his performance from last year’s stop in Cologne, below.
The possibilities for our 2015 season are wide open and full of endless opportunities, and as usual, we’re determined to one-up ourselves again. Pre-order tickets below.
This year, we have partnered with Festicket to offer you exclusive packages including your ticket and accommodation to the event. Buy your ticket here.
Update: Prague, you guys are crazy. We already sold 200 earlybird tickets in under two hours, so hold on tight for the official sales, which will begin in December.
Photo taken in Budapest by Marci Kristof
In her monthly report, Lucia Udvardyova tracks the movements in and from the best of the Central and Eastern European sonic underground, distilling the best of her Easterndaze blog.
A diary is a memory device, a personal narrative of a present that has irrevocably become the past. A deeply personal expression that usually remains private, a self-reflexive reminiscence of the development of the self. An audio diary shifts the rather self-centred nature of a written account into a more communal experience, or rather, diverts the attention onto others, or the environment. Captured by the recorder (“directed” by the one who is holding it) it selects aural situations and sounds that create a sort of sonic play. “In the first few minutes we just started to record noises, we continued by capturing audio phenomena using other sound equipment. We were brainstorming about the possible follow-ups and an overall conception,” says Marci Kristof of the 12z collective about his Budapest audio mixtape. “Also, we got stuck in conversations about the past and future of music, then we went out to different places in Budapest and met a lot of people.”
Lutto Lento is one of the most active figures on the Polish underground scene, running his acclaimed Sangoplasmo label for several years now, with the likes of Ensemble Economique, Aranos or Burial Hex under its belt. His own musical output increasingly focuses on—in contrast to his label—dancefloor friendly material, though of a cerebral rather than functionalist nature. The 4/4 tempo is injected with mangled samples and enough strangeness to suggest a sound emanating from speakers placed in a bucket full of lysergic acid.
And this brings us nicely to Piotr Kurek, with whom Lubomir Grzelak—Lutto Lento—is currently on European tour. Kurek doesn’t need to prove much more with his artistic creations, his acclaimed album Heat has appeared on Foxy Digitalis and he remains one of the most noteworthy characters of contemporary Polish music scene, with his idiosyncratic sound signature which varies from odd to the apparently more “customary”. His latest sonic incarnation is called ABRADA.
Triple Sun is a relatively new addition to the sprawling Bratislava electronic music scene, whose vibrancy is confirmed in release after release. When I attended a local festival in February, which featured approximately 16 (!) local live acts, mostly inaccessible to the “untrained” ear. Triple Sun is one of the staples of this community, its members being active in various outfits and collectives. Their latest release Overture is out now on the recently established Forum Absurdum label, associated with the haven of Bratislava’s underground scene, the Fuga club, located in an old industrial complex encircled by signs of merciless urban development. ~
We’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets to some very lucky people—check our Facebook page for details! The giveaway is now closed—thanks for participating!
We’ve already given you a taster for what’s to come in EB’s Spring Festival season, and we’re happy to indulge your appetite for great music with each new announcement. So start salivating, because here’s what we’re bringing to Slovakia!
Headlining the evening is none other than Four Tet, whose seventh album Beautiful Rewind charted many a year’s best list in 2013. The UK musician’s recent collaboration with Jamie XX, a beautifully angelic and compelling house cut, has been making even more waves and his psychedelia-tinged explorations into the roots of UK bass and dance music have really been on another level lately. Expect to be moved on the dancefloor, in both body and mind.
Caribou‘s Dan Snaith will be joining us as well under his musical alias Daphni, along with the modular synth that made his album Jiaolong so ear-grabbing. We’re always excited when we see him play; it’s like watching a conductor work weird magic, and there’s always an element of surprise. “If tomorrow I gave up Caribou and started making death metal, I don’t think anybody would say, ‘Dan Snaith is going against his roots!’”, he told us in our EB Magazine interview. “I definitely don’t feel any allegiance to anything.” Here’s hoping he brings his bag of audio tricks along!
Our special guests for the evening will be Jungle, the secretive UK duo who rose to prominence last year with their pitch-perfect blend of musical influence. Evoking elements of disco, soul, and electrofunk, T and J (the only names they’ve released for public consumption) have a knack not only for infectious dance grooves, but also for showcasing unusual talent. They set eyes on fire with their videos for “The Heat”, which featured rollerblading duo High Rollaz, and blew minds by introducing us to six-year old Bgirl Terra, whose dance skills dominate “Platoon”. What will they bring to the stage at EB Fest? You’ll just have to show up and see!
Sweden is well-known for loving clean, minimal looks; it’s no wonder that even their shoegaze bands prefer electronics over guitars. Stockholm duo I Break Horses took their work to a new area of hauntological pop with their new record Chiaroscuro, which should be the perfect swoon-worthy opening note for the evening. Between bands, Slovakian musician and Gergaz label owner Jimmy Pe will be spinning all night to keep your ears vibrating.
Yoann Lemoine is a polymath. You’d think establishing a career as a top tier video director with Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Drake and Taylor Swift as clients would be enough to satisfy the highest of achievers. Not our boy Lemoine though, who, under the guise of Woodkid, finds time to make orchestral chamber pop—and, more importantly, does it well (his 2012 album The Golden Age was critically well-received and made a sizeable dent in charts across Europe). Call us early adopters, but we knew we were onto something good when we booked him to play EB Festival Prague and Bratislava in early 2012 and again in Zagreb in Autumn. We’ve included all three in this Video Flashback for your viewing pleasure—because who knows when it’ll happen again…
Electronic Beats hit the Slovakian capital of Bratislava with Hurts, James Pants, Agoria, and Youthkills for a sold-out night of diverse new sounds. The EB team reports from on site. Title image of Hurts by Martina Mlcuchova.
On the outskirts of the Bratislava, long after the baroque architecture has faded into industrial wasteland, squats the Refinery Gallery. As you’d expect from an ex-oil refinery, the post-industrial heft of the venue demands performers to upscale their sound lest they get lost amidst the space. London band Youthkills are more than happy to oblige with a set of reference-heavy radio rock. If you can detect some ’80s DNA in their sound, well, that isn’t just metaphorical—they’re the respected progeny of Duran Duran’s two Taylors. They look like Jesus and Mary Chain with undercuts—you can practically hear the creak of leather jacket as James Taylor lopes towards a guitar pedal, well, if there wasn’t a seismic updraft of ringing U2 guitars and keening choruses.
Youthkills, by Martina Mlcuchova
While the crowd seemed slightly skeptical of James Pants’ one-man percussion/vocals/production/DJ band set up at first, it didn’t take him long to win them over. What started as a half-full room looking to the stage questioningly ended with a full floor and hands in the air. His combination of an amazing selection, full of groovy obscurities, plus his own productions topped by a fervent, but endearing stage presence meant that his set travelled from boogie to bhangra beats, through all the best twists in between, but always brought the party.
James Pants, by Stanislava Karellova
There was always a sense of fake it until you make it with Hurts, who Youthkills have no doubt studied as a textbook case of narrative pop music the right (wrong?) side of epic.Theo’s theatrical flourishes of the mike stand, the odd well-timed hair sweep, you get a sense it was practiced the bathroom mirror long before they ever had a paying audience. Now, by God, they’ve made it. Stalking the lip of the stage, dressed in his uniform black jacket and jackboots, Theo picks out female audience members to grace with a wink, a smile, a hand outstretched, before falling to his knees in time with the scree of a particularly toothy synth. Indeed the rougher grain of tracks like “Exile” and “The Road” offer timely reprieve from the brazen emoting: Now Adam Anderson looking as comfortable behind a guitar as the Modernist black veneered piano, whereas “Sandman”’s verses break with the fulsome, organic sound altogether to experiment with Timbaland style production. If this unchecked rawk posturing feels anachronistic—particularly coming from a band whose slickly produced pop has as much in common with Take That as Depeche Mode—that’s kind of the point. The crowd are wildly enthusiastic, holding up banners of thinly disguised innuendo (“dessert?”) leading one to surmise that we still need to elect rock star avatars to express our primitive, uncouth desires, can’t be repressed or sublimated, and we’re gifted a tableau of an excellently dressed man, his pomaded hair stylishly mussed, making a pantomime of smashing a mic stand.
Agoria, by Stanislava Karellova
Or perhaps we’d all be a little less uptight if life was one long Agoria set. For tonight’s show he presents Forms, a driving house and techno set accompanied by visuals triggered on the fly. The visual vernacular is familiar, time-lapse footage of crowds, CAD-abstraction, the odd visual pun (a guy working in a office cubicle while dropping “Work” by Masters at Work). Of course, this being Agoria, it’s the kind of set that should be peak-time, and even at 3am the remaining people on the dancefloor look unwilling to relinquish their position. Don’t worry Bratislava, we’ll be back.~
photo by by Stanislava Karellova