Live Report: Electronic Beats Festival Budapest 2013

Last night Electronic Beats set up in Budapest for its second date of the fall festival season. Daniel Jones and Louise Brailey report from the front row.


In Budapest’s massive Millenáris Teatrum, the crowd was already packed tight and waiting with bated breath by 9pm. Amongst projected visuals, photo booths and try-me-out app stations, another edition of Electronic Beats Festival Budapest had just opened its doors and the Georgia-born Washed Out was set to take the stage first.

Washed-Out-Electronic-Beats-Szabolcs-NemethWashed Out (Photo by Szabolcs Nemeth)

With his recent sophomore album Paracosm proving that he was more than just the buzzword “chillwave”, the crowd knew they were in for a treat, and Greene didn’t disappoint. Summer vibes seemed to ooze out of his equipment, soaking the floor with memories of swimming pools and stolen kisses as the extremely tight lighting rig flashed across our faces. It was especially appropriate considering that Budapest is currently experiencing an unseasonable heatwave; when our flight from chilly Berlin landed, it was around 75°F. Buzzing through such t-shirt soaking killers as “Get Up”, Greene swiftly lent new meaning to the term “warming up the crowd”.


Charli XCX (Photo by Rolf Wenzel)

By the time Charli XCX took the stage, everyone was ready for something with a bit more thrust. Charli gave it in spades, and it’s really striking how much of a rock diva she really is. Backed by a band of schoolgirl-styled musicians (which, really, was a bit naff) she laid down a set that would have made Joan Jett proud. Blending new wave bombastica with punk rawwwk showgirlship, she blitzed through crowd-pleasers like “Set Me Free” and “Grinz”, but what really slayed ’em was her version of Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care”—which she, of course, co-wrote. Her command of both stage and vocal chords shows that even though she takes much of her influence from the Internet, she shines brightest in IRL. Someone get this girl a stadium, stat, because she’s primed and ready.

talabot Kopie

John Talabot (Photo by Szabolcs Nemeth)

John Talabot may not be commanding stadiums but hell, dude has reach. His 2012 debut ƒIN won over everyone from broadsheet critics, hard-to-please hipsters to one-dance-album-a-year indie fans. In a live capacity, Talabot tweaks and twists his sound, adding organic percussion and live vocals which heighten their capacity to leave you emotionally punch-drunk. Set opener “Depak Line” is a masterclass in clubbing tantra, building slowly, element by element, into a humid climax. Likewise, “El Oeste”‘s pitch-bent synths take on an almost insinuating quality on the venue’s excellent system. This is melancholic pop music popped at the joints and nailed to a grid system, its jouissance wrung dry—and the crowd love it. Before the show Talabot tells Electronic Beats that performing his music live is a feat of multitasking, but onstage he looks cool: striking a tom here, triggering samples there (that scream in “Oro y Sangre” now sounds with startling frequency) while long-time collaborator Pional provides ample back-up.


Nôze (Photo by Jannik Schäfer)

From the sublime to the… well, almost. Nôze are certainly a strange proposition: coming up on the Paris house scene, Ezechiel Pailhès and Nicolas Sfintescu’s “we’re mad, us!” schtick and Balkan brass antics are much more likeable than they have any right to be. A surprise then, that onstage things don’t get much whackier than a glass of Champagne and  some undone top buttons. Foregoing their live band for MacBook Pros and a pair of microphones, they move through heads-down gothic minimal, accordion-powered oom-pah techno and… yes, plenty of brass swing (albeit welded to brawny, Get Physical-approved bass lines). Unsurprisingly, it’s their biggest record, the tellingly titled “You Have to Dance”, that gets the biggest reaction with one reveller, dressed in a stegosaurus onesie, particularly enamoured. And really, what hardened critic can argue with that? Until next time, Budapest. ~


Miss Budapest? There’s still a chance to grab the last remaining tickets to our remaining fall festivals, and stay tuned for live video footage from this event soon.

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EB Festival Budapest: Line-up announced!

Following announcements on our Fall festivals in Podgorica, Zagreb, Dresden and Vienna, we’re pleased to reveal the details of the following festival in Hungary’s beautiful capital city Budapest!

Taking place at Millenáris Teatrum, we’ve got some prime names for you this year. Heating up the night will be headliner Spanish DJ and producer John Talabot—one of the universally-agreed-upon leading names in house music—bringing pure electronic magic with his live set. Talabot didn’t get voted one of our readers’ top 2012 picks for nothing—if you haven’t seen him, here’s your chance to see why. French duo Nôze  have plenty of electro-bangers for storming the dancefloor. Their work as remixers for the stars is only a fraction of what they’re capable of, and their live set in Budapest will showcase their clever mix of songs and dance flavor. After a breakout year with the success of her album True Romance, British singer-songwriter Charli XCX (whose recommendation of the new Major Lazer album is featured in the latest issue of Electronic Beats Magazine—available now! – Ed.) will be performing as one of the headliners for the evening, and we’re very much looking forward to hearing the live versions of her beautifully melodramatic electro-pop. Joining her will be Washed Out, and anyone who’s heard the Macon, Georgia-born artist’s sophomore album Paracosm will know Ernest Greene is more than a buzzword like “chillwave”. Packed with beautiful sounds and summery vibes, Washed Out is just the thing for those who might be missing summer once the festival rolls around.

John Talabot




Charli XCX



Washed Out


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EB Festival Zagreb: Line-up announced!

This year’s Electronic Beats’ Fall Festival season is looking pretty sweet already, with our dates in Dresden, Vienna and Podgorica. Now we’re taking it up another notch. When we touch down at Zagrebački Velesajam in the Croatian capital of Zagreb on November 8th, we’re bringing you four names who will turn your evening into audio dynamite.

Denmark’s Efterklang headline the night, filling the venue with their orchestral pop and making boys and girls alike swoon. The sweeping, theatrical beauty of last year’s LP Piramada  should be a good primer for those who want to get a sneak preview of their live set. Berlin’s Fritz Kalkbrenner (brother of Paul) will also join in the fun with his sophisticated combination of soul, hip-hop and techno grooves. Up-and-comer Dena comes recommended as a don’t-miss pick by us as well. Bringing the flavor of ’90s R&B into the modern age with a flashy (but hardly trashy) vibe, her performance is sure to be one of the most singular (and, perhaps, most talked-about) of our festival series. MS MR round out the evening, and while the NYC-based duo have drawn comparisons to Florence & The Machine, we find their glammy pop decidedly more intimate and appealing. Come see for yourself!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, all regular tickets have now sold out. However, there’s still a chance to get hold of the last remaining tickets via our voucher giveaway—go here for details.

Fritz Kalkbrenner






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EB Festival Vienna: Line-up announced!

The line-ups for 2013’s EB Festival season are pretty sweet, if we do say so ourselves. The showcases in Podgorica and Dresden (which have already been announced) feature some of our favorite contemporary artists including Disclosure, Mount Kimbie and Woodkid. With our Vienna edition, however, we wanted to bring you something a bit different in the form of a headliner… something a touch more legendary for the suitably glamorous location of Museumsquartier.

Electronic Beats is proud to announce that production legend and daddy of EuroDisco Giorgio Moroder will be performing with us for the very first time. Aside from his work as a soundtrack composer for various films such as Scarface, American Gigolo and The Neverending Story, Moroder is also responsible for a number of hits on his own and in collaboration with other musicians including disco legend Donna Summer (including this unforgettable number) and The Human League’s Phil Oakey. Expect the dancefloor to get a bit cinematic. Next in the lineup is Danish synth-poppers When Saints Go Machine, who earlier this year released their newest and darkest album Infinity Pool. We always love seeing artists shake up their formulas, so we’re definitely looking forward to seeing how that has changed their live show from the last time we saw them.

Joining us will also be avant-garde musician Laurel Halo, whose 2012 album Quarantine is still on rotation in our editorial offices. Her new album Chance of Rain will just have come out, juxtaposing her slow-burning, subtle beauty with analog techno for the perfect balance to Metro Area. The duo of electronic music veteran Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani are bringing their love of brightly-shining, hip-shaking nu-disco and house all the way from Brooklyn, making for diverse dancefloor action all night long. Opening the party will be local DJ and promoter Wolfram, whose exploits with Lady Gaga are still talked about around these parts. If you still feel like dancing, be sure to hit up the official EB afterparty celebrating 20 years of Kompakt Records at Pratersauna featuring live sets from Kölsch and Saschienne and DJ sets from Sascha Funke and Terranova. EB Festival wristbands not only get the discounted price of €7 (everyone else pays €15), they also get fast-tracked, guaranteed entry.


UPDATE: Unfortunately, all regular tickets have now sold out. However, there’s still a chance to get hold of the last remaining tickets via our voucher giveaway—go here for details.

Giorgio Moroder



Laurel Halo



When Saints Go Machine



Metro Area

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EB Festival Dresden: First names announced!

Everyone loves summer festivals, but personally we’ve always been a bit more hyped on Autumn. The sun has his hat on a bit lower, there’s a delicious crispness to the air, and of course there’s the return of EB’s Fall Festival season! We’ve already disclosed the full info for our Podgorica date; now we’re going to give you a bit of a tease. We’ve got a rather nice lineup for our Dresden festival edition, and we can reveal the first two tantalizing selections from the November 10th event taking place at Alter Schlachthof.

Returning to EB Fest for the first time since his 2012 appearance in Zagreb is Yoann Lemoine, better know by his stage name Woodkid. Lemoine’s well known for his beautifully-directed videos; for those who haven’t experienced it yet, we can tell you that his live shows are equally lovely and powerful. If you don’t believe us, check out this selection of Woodkid’s video highlights and see for yourself. Supporting the ‘kid will be the German-based band Sizarr, whose skillful blend of post-punk and deep techno electronics have led to support the likes of These New Puritans and Bloc Party‘s Kele. As for the third act… you’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime we’ve put together a playlist at the end of this article featuring the best tracks from the acts. Buy tickets below!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, all tickets have now sold out.

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