Check out our photo revue of last nights Electronic Beats Festival starring Warpaint, Ibeyi, Von Spar, and ADI.
After our first two spring festivals of the year in Warsaw and Bratislava, we brought drums, driving guitars, and cosmic vibes to Prague’s Divadlo Archa with young French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, four-piece indie rock group Warpaint, krauthousers Von Spar, and future-pop dame ADI.
ADI kicked off the night with a set that shed light onto the extensive musical repertoire she controls at a young age. She combined self-made futuristic beat productions with a soft yet powerful voice and R&B and trap-infused structures. In addition to her brand-new track “Chinatown” which was premiered on our homepage yesterday, she succeeded in building up an intense arc of suspense to a remarkably packed crowd.
In between changeovers, DJ Efha, who also happens to be musical director of Prague’s lauded MeetFactory nightclub, played a range of deep, uplifting tracks.
20-year-old Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz of Parisian twin-duo Ibeyi impressed Prague with a blend of world music, pulsating strands of electronic patterns, and woody, intimate cuban rhythms, banged out on traditional Cuban cajóns by Naomi. Naturally, most observers try to explain Ibeyi’s musical approach by referencing their late father, Anga Diaz of Buena Vista Social Club, but on stage the young, vibrant duo is far from walking in anyone else’s footsteps.
Von Spar initiated a journey into the last decades of electronic krautrock-territories. Their tough setup was dominated by their current release “Streetlife,” which merges formidable ambient pop with house infrastructures and smart piano-pop tunes. Backstage during our interview, the Cologne-based band emphasized that they enjoy their newfound unrestricted liberty, for the first time working in their own studio which they share with the likes of Roosevelt.
There was a special surprise in store for the audience last night as longterm collaborator and famed house vocalist and DJ Ada (Pampa Records) performed onstage together with the band.
Warpaint’s hypnotizing performance oscillated between precise guitar pricks and a pulsating undercurrent of sacral intensity, pushing the audience into euphoric states. The band presented a confident set-up, placing instant classics like “Love is to Die” in the midst of a playlist that ranged from grunge to shoegaze, never shying away from long stretches of quiet or very loud intermissions. Showered with applause by a satisfied Prague crowd, the humble group of four took a bow and ended this year’s EB Festival Prague in true style.
Before the concert, Warpaint showed themselves satisfied with their latest release. “It’s quite nice to hear that the sound comes across as more clear, because we recorded it by ourselves,” bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg said. “Those two songs are the first kind of self-produced and self-made official releases that we did,” drummer Stella Mozgawa added. “It captures the live thing.”
Recapture some of last night’s music in our mini-playlist:
The final EB Spring Festival in Cologne takes place on Friday, May 29th at E-Werk with Róisín Murphy, Django Django, Howling, and a very special guest.
Before we arrive in Prague for the EB Festival, we asked a local to recommend 10 restaurants, bars, clubs, galleries, and more. Win tickets below.
The next destination for Electronic Beats’ spring festival season has many names: the Magic City; “the city with 100 spires” (not to mention trillions of tourists); a Gothic Disneyland; Prague. The capital of Bohemia is a mysterious historical metropolis where the present is still coming to terms with the past. It boasts charming little nooks, Art Nouveau architecture, and an idiosyncratic mixture of alchemic legacies, post-Communism, dissent culture, and the inherent dichotomy and inner conflict that rises from existing on the mental and geographical borders of East and West. We’ve asked a local who knows the city’s ins and outs to compile an insider’s guide to Prague’s must-see destinations.
This club is located at the unassuming corner of an office block built in the 1930s. Its neighbourhood, Letná, is the sort of up-and-coming area that’s frequented by artists, students, yuppies, yummy mummies, organic food lovers, dog walkers, and those lucky enough to snag one of the district’s roomy flats. Neone has become a nocturnal staple among those looking to lose themselves on a dance floor and chainsmoke outside before a backdrop of the neon-lit Magistrála, the insanely traffic-congested road that cuts through Prague. The venue specialises in urban-beat oriented electronics and hosts the likes of Egyptrixx, Nguzunguzu or Samuel Kerridge on any given Friday night.
This flea market has a hilarious Wall of Shame that displays faded photos of pickpockets. If you’re looking for a broken record player, an old washing machine, some vintage shoes, or fatty sausages and cheap beer, head to Kolbenova. The yard sale has achieved cult status among Prague bohemians and the occasional foreigner, but despite its tenuous fame, it still manages to retain its authentic genius loci thanks to the locals who hustle various ephemera surrounded by decaying remnants of Prague 9’s industrial wasteland.
These two clubs/bars are owned by a slightly controversial cultural entrepreneur who turned Krymská, the street where the latter venue is located, into “the little Berlin of Prague,” according to local media eager to stir some lukewarm hype. V Lese, formerly a bookshop called Shakespeare and Sons, is now a bar with a basement club located underneath. Neustadt is located in the city center and mostly caters to creatives tapping on their laptops and sipping cappuccinos.
Žižkov is Prague’s penultimate bar area. If you crave a late-night drinking den to discuss various existential topics, the 3rd district has a lot to offer to wandering souls in search of some bonhomie. Vlkova 26 is a newly opened watering hole in the heart of the neighbourhood that also hosts music nights.
The Solution is one of two relatively new spaces devoted to showcasing contemporary art in various forms. It was run by an effervescent Swiss transplant named Mark Divo, whose previous art initiate was situated in Prague’s Red Light District.
Berlinskej Model is the second of the two new art-related venues. It’s tiny, and its Wednesday openings/culinary feasts are usually pretty packed.
HANOI RESTAURANT & PHO VIETNAM
The Vietnamese are one of the largest ethnic communities in the Czech Republic. The wave of migration started during the Communist era, when the Czechoslovak government invited Vietnamese “guest workers“ to the country. Czech people have developed a fondness for the Vietnamese’s amazing cuisine, and you will find plenty of very affordable restaurants that serve delectable pho soups all over Prague. Two options are the popular Hanoi in Slezská 57 and Pho Vietnam in Anglická 15 (pictured above).
Art house cinemas have become quite popular in Prague, which defies a general decrease in the number of cinema-goers around the world. Prague’s small theatres are anathema to the impersonal popcorn-feuled blockbuster multiplexes. Oko in Letná (pictured above) and Aero (pictured below) screen indie films as well as host various themed festivals and showcases, like Aero’s B-movie blowout the Shockproof Festival. As for Oko, thanks to its location within a stone’s throw of both the Bubenská art studios and the art academy, is a popular hang out for cinephiles and beyond.
Update: The Prague festival is sold out! There are 48 tickets available at the door.
We’re deep in preparation mode for our fast-approaching spring 2015 festival season, as it kicks off next month with indie electronics in Warsaw and continues with an alt-rap celebration in Bratislava. Today we’re rolling out the the rock/pop-inclined program for the upcoming Prague edition, which commences at the venue Divadlo Archa on March 13 at 20:00 sharp.
We’re stoked to report that Los Angeles indie rock quartet Warpaint will open the proceedings. The band was originally billed to play our Leipzig festival in 2014 but, due to unfortunate circumstances, they had to pull out, so we’re doubly excited to make good on our promise happen this time around.
They’ll be joined by Ibeyi, a project run by French/Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. The girls debuted on UK megalabel XL last year with the Oye EP, which combines ancestral Yoruba chants and French, English, and Spanish vocals with hip hop, jazz, and electronic influences.
Next up is Von Spar, a four-piece band based in Cologne whose combination of cosmic synth melodies, trippy pop, electro, and rock has inspired some to herald them as the new-generation krautrock ambassadors.
As with our forthcoming festivals in Warsaw and Bratislava, TMTS golden girl Adi Ulmansky is booked to close out the festivities in Prague. The singer/songwriter/producer’s style is a versatile, multi-genre take on pop, rap, and electronic music.
You can purchase tickets to the festival via Ticketpro.cz, T-music.cz, Archa Theater, or by using the Ntry form below.