Live Report: Electronic Beats Festival Graz 2013

We report from Springfestival’s opening night, featuring performances from Chilly Gonzales, Rangleklods, BCK2BCK (Ronson & Riton), and COMA. Photos: Oreste Schaller.


After Prague, Bratislava, Poznań, and Cologne, the Electronic Beats Festival heads to southern Austria—this time not as a solo venture, but in collaboration with the Springfestival, Graz’s annual sonic fun feast. Undertaking Springfestival’s opening night, Electronic Beats presented an eclectic line-up encompassing a seated rap-waltz, gentle indie-electronics, and bass-heavy thump. Surrounded by the bucolic environs of flawless Austrian countryside, which revealed itself in its full glory en (train) route from Vienna to Graz, the airy Helmut List Halle, situated in an aptly unassuming area of the city, became carte blanche for the later musical ventures.


Jason Charles Beck is a “man of our time”, an entertainer and an avid music evangelist. On stage, there is only a single piano and minimal lights. He emerges from the darkness, clad in a black nightgown: the look of a—facetiously—self-proclaimed, nonchalant musical genius, Chilly Gonzales. Before his concert, Chilly told me about his objective to entertain people, to incorporate audiences into his one-man show and deliver something they will find enjoy. And this he certainly provides as the concert unfolds, delivering a kind of meta-musical narrative, bearing the stamp of an avid educator explaining his craft to the uninitiated, talking about chords, harmonies, and electronic beats. Beethoven’s 5th on a bongo? Rap with waltz? Live remixing with his iPad? You get it all.


Next up is Rangleklods, armed with an upcoming EP, the photogenic Danish duo took the baton from Chilly, and in a way, continued where he left off. Pleasing the audience, but slightly different way, with their buoyant beats and bold vocals—Esben Andersen’s baritone and Pernille Smith-Sivertsen’s ethereal delivery—against the backdrop of their sophisticated electro/dance pop. As is evident from the mixtape they did for Electronic Beats in April, they sport an affinity for club music, and live, they oscillate somewhere between the dreamy, dancey, and catchy.


The newly-formed “DJ super-group” BCK2BCK, a project of Grammy-winning producer Mark Ronson and Henry Smithson, aka Riton, hijack the bass. The soundsystem suddenly becomes a physical organism, emitting basslines as if it were breathing. Starting off with Soul II Soul’s “Back to Life”, with a dash of Aaliyah and Young Jeezy and culminating with Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman”, their heavy DJ set coupled with the trusty old 909 drum machine was just as eclectic a ride as the whole night itself. “I mainly come from playing hip hop and it probably is still the bulk of my set. Whereas I guess Henry comes from the opposite,” Mark told us in an interview.


COMA fill in for SBTRKT and follow up somewhere where Rangleklods left off, though in a lighter guise. COMA, from Cologne, release on their home city’s Kompakt Records, and their mixture of electronics, pop, and indie flavors fits well into the imprint. I don’t envy their job following up on BCK2BCK’s dancefloor-centric club tunes, but they seem unfazed and ready.~



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Electronic Beats Spring Festival Opening Night

On Wednesday, May 29th, Electronic Beats teams up again with Austria’s Spring Festival in Graz, for our 2013 festival series and their opening night.

This two-part event at Helmut List Halle begins with Chilly Gonzales‘ Solo Piano II concert—which will see release as an album this August, eight years after his iconic Solo Piano album. This is followed by a party featuring a collaboration between the in-demand producer/DJ/solo artist/band leader Mark Ronson and producer/DJ Riton; a DJ set from the masked SBTRKT, Danish electronic duo Rangleklods, and Hercules & Love Affair-collaborators Wolfram. You can view the entire line-up for Spring Festival and buy special electronic beats spring festival Tickets here.

The Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ (Hash)tag is #EBF13, and the Facebook event page is here. RSVP and let us know you’re coming!


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EB Festivals 2012: The highlights in video

EB Festivals 2012: The highlights in video Whether you were at the Electronic Beats Festival in Cologne, Bratislava, Prague, Gda?sk, or our appearance at Springfestival in Graz, we hope you had a wonderful time with our audio/visual live selections! Take a look back now with us at a few video memories from the last weeks, featuring James Blake, The Whitest Boy Alive, Digitalism, Jazzanova Live feat. Paul Randolph, and Squarepusher! Enjoy!

Here’s James Blake, playing his take on Feist‘s ‘Limit to Your Love’ and ‘I Never Learnt to Share’. Also, there’s a video of his retouch of ‘Klavierwerke’ on our YouTube channel, and here’s our short interview with Blake.


Another highlight from the Gda?sk festival was Digitalism‘s live set. Here’s them performing ‘Idealistic’, ‘Falling’, and ‘Magnets’ live at Centrum Stocznia Gda?ska.

Our pals from Jazzanova always know how to move a crowd, which is why we’ve been extra-thrilled to have Jazzanova Live feat. Paul Randolph perform ‘Believer’, ‘I Human’, and ‘Boom Klikki’ on stage in Gda?sk.


His new live show is as stunning as the UFABULUM album itself, and Squarepusher‘s set at Electronic Beats Festival Gda?sk will stay in our minds for quite a long time – see for yourself with the 20 minute recap above.


The Whitest Boy Alive were another real highlight – and it seems that we haven’t been the only ones to think so of the Prague night (although it could’ve been anywhere in the world, according to Erlend Øye).


One week later the EB entourage travelled to Bratislava to see Woodkid, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Friendly Fires, and UNKLE Sound – check out our highlight video from one memorable night at Refinery Gallery.


Just a few days ago we finally had Amon Tobin premier his ISAM live show at Electronic Beats Springfestival Opening Night 2012, and here’s 30 full minutes of audio-visual madness!

Expect more videos from last week’s Cologne festival to pop up, soon – here’s a short recap of Miike Snow‘s set plus a brief interview for now as well as Austra playing Young And Gay”, “Lose It” and “Choke” live and in HD video.


But there’s even more: find more full live videos by Woodkid and James Blake in our EB video section as well as on our YouTube channel.

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Gossip’s new album hitting shelves May 11th

Gossip’s new album hitting shelves May 11th In 2009, Beth Ditto and her two band members Brace Paine and Hannah Blilie blew us away with two very intense live shows. One took place at the Electronic Beats Festival in Cologne, and the other featured Gossip headlining opening night in our own backyard – at Spingnine, Austria’s premiere electronic music festival. Later that year, Music for Men was released and following that, Gossip was all over.

Now, three years later, they’re back again in full form and are finally about to drop their third studio album. What was speculated to be called Vanilla is now set to be released as A Joyful Noise and will be heavily influenced by Abba, according to singer Beth Ditto. And as it happens, Electronic Beats will once again host the opening night of Springfestival – only this year’s main event will be the marvelous ISAM show by Amon Tobin.

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