Here are the Dates for Electronic Beats’ Spring 2015 Festivals

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.

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Electronic Beats Festival Warsaw 2014: Last tickets available now!

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IMPORTANT UPDATE #4: Here’s the running order for tonight:

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IMPORTANT UPDATE #3: Due to overwhelming demand, we’re giving away 10 more tickets to the Club Basen party! Once more, see our Facebook page for details.

IMPORTANT UPDATE #2: We have 10 tickets to give away for the sold-out Palladium Theater event, and 10 for the Club Basen party (tickets still available for sale as well). Please see our Facebook page for details.

IMPORTANT UPDATE #1: Julio Bashmore has had to cancel his DJ set at Electronic Beats Festival next weekend due to personal reasons. We are happy to announce John Talabot will DJ instead.

You all know Glaswegian producer Hudson Mohawke as LuckyMe‘s maximalist rave trailblazer, his multicolored and hybridized strain of bass music always staying firmly on a psychedelic and hip-hop tip. His debut album Butter and, later, the Satin Panthers EP noisily redefined electronic music in the oughts and landed the young talent spots manning the desks for global stars Kanye West, Chris Brown and Azealia Banks. He also has form with EB festivals, having stepped up in Vienna 2012 (watch the video here).

Maurycy Zimmermann, aka Mooryc, will be making his EB festival debut. The Poznan musician creates melodic electro pop that is driven by mood and texture. It’s a natural fit for the forward thinking Freude Am Tanzen label. With debut Roofs released recently, we’re looking forward to seeing how that translates to the live setting.

Our Warsaw festival will be split in to two event locations: the Palladium Theater, and Club Basen. As well as Hudson Mohawke and Mooryc, the previously announced Julio Bashmore will be in charge of bringing the party. (Bashmore has since had to pull out, see above).

Over at the Palladium we’ve got three more acts to get your blood boiling. Swedish singer-songwriter José González may have cut his musical chops in the world of hardcore punk, but these days he’s more known for his distinctively minimalistic indie-folk songs, comprised primarily of his beautiful singing voice and guitar work. Ólafur Arnalds also started his musical career in hardcore groups—this time as a drummer— but the young Icelander has certainly proven he can balance pounding fury with throbbing beauty. His music feels immediate and rich, balancing a number of aesthetics—from soundtrack-esque orchestral ambience to post-rock pop—perfectly, and his recent album For Now I Am Winter is as morose as it is infectious.

Rounding out the theater night is KRÓL, who will be performing fresh off the release of his debut album Nielot. One listen to lead single “Szczenię” will prove why Błażej Król’s work has consistently been considered some of the most important electronics to come out of Poland in recent memory. Be sure not to miss this intense blend of pop-fueled electronics! Warming up both locations is radio host, blogger and DJ Mike Polarny, who—as you might remember from his EB mixtape—knows just the right blend of new and classic electronics to keep dance floors jumping.

Separate tickets for each venue as well as combi-tickets for both are available to purchase via presales. Discounted tickets for T-Mobile clients are available to purchase here, and a very limited amount of discounted combi-tickets is available for Slovakian Telekom clients via Telekom Benefit. Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook. See you there! ⁓

John Talabot live in Budapest (2013) von electronicbeatstv

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Eastern Haze: February

Last week, a 36-year-old man set fire to himself in the seaside resort of Varna, which we visited in September; a slightly languid sun-soaked city with a disturbing number of starving dogs, ominous Soviet monuments and plenty of holidaymakers. This act of self-destruction-as-political-protest, which echoed the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in 2011—one of the catalysts of the Arab Spring—and the Czech student Jan Palach in the 1960s, happened amid a wave of discontent that has recently spread across Bulgaria. In Hungary, a recent poll has revealed that 33 percent of university students would vote for the far right party Jobbik. Around the same time it has been disclosed that a leading Budapest university’s student body has allegedly kept xenophobic lists of fellow students. Whether this is a symptom of a more global ideological, economic and political radicalization, or just a regional malaise, remains to be seen.

Or are we perhaps just the Victims of Truth? Joyous children’s chants serving as propaganda recontextualised into a haunting elegy, an uncanny dream that is ethereal and menacing at the same time.

MANASyT, originally from Bulgaria but now based in Asia, is one of the most acclaimed electronic producers to come out of the East. A retrospective digital recollection of his oeuvre is available now via his bandcamp. His clinically sculptured beats and cold retro-futuristic atmospheres instantly transfer the listener into a world that is eerie and hopeless, perhaps an apt sonic metaphor for current moods.

Immersed in his modular synthetisers and the physics of sound, Paweł Kulczyński, a sonic artist and musician from southern Poland, sculpts analogue beats and subtle glitches and bleeps. The listener is invited into his analogue microcosm, guided by the steady rhythm, sometimes straying from the path, only to come back disoriented but convinced. His new album Wordless Songs By The Electric Fire under his nom de plume Wilhelm Bras, is out now on Mik Musik.

Velvet Daze. A soothing culmination, a synth-driven apotheosis. Our friends Fuka Lata from Warsaw have developed their sound via cosmic delineations aided by Lee’s dreamy vocals. The track below is lifted from a single, which precedes their full-length album, expected in spring this year.

Interested in more obscure and exciting music from Eastern Europe? Head to Easterndaze.

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Hercules and Love Affair Soundsystem live in Warsaw

It was a long, cold, December night in Warsaw, Poland. Well, actually, it was not cold at all. At least nowhere near the Basen venue where this Electronic Beats Presents party took place. The show was sold out and no surprise at all—it was the grand finale of the wonderful season. Exactly year ago Electronic Beats’ program finally reached Poland, starting with a blast: The Electronic Beats Festival in Warsaw, starring Groove Armada and Wiley. Then we had another festival, in April, in the beautiful city of Gdańsk, with James Blake, Squarepusher and Digitalism headlining, and afterwards Electronic Beats reached Katowice, with the memorable OFF Festival before party, including Chew Lips. There’s no doubt EB already belongs in Poland and both the artists and the audience proved it once again last night.
 
The doors opened at 9.30 p.m. and half an hour later the party really started. First up were Polish duo Last Robots—a poetic name for a first act. A huge picture of moon was displayed behind the backs of Igor and Bert, too focused on their job to even notice, and we sensed it was going to be long and adventurous trip. However, it had to begin somehow (props go to the guy with red baseball cap who entered the dancefloor immediately) and Last Robots set a pitch perfect mood; massaging mild electro waves into irresistible house. Once they achieved momentum, it wasn’t easy for dancing crowd to stop.
 

 
But hey, it was midnight already, Moonlight Matters time! And he certainly wouldn’t want to prevent anyone from having a good time. Sebastian Vandevoorde brought his a-game with an eye to making it be bigger and better than everything else that night. He served more catchy choruses than everyone else, more vocal hooks, more of, well, everything actually. Did the walls tremble because of the bass tornado coming out of the speakers or was it because of hundreds of dancers shaking their bums to the sexy, fat funk tunes? The answer will never be known with certainty. Moonlight Matters is known for his own productions released under the Kitsune label as well as remixes for pop giants like Adele or Moby and certainly knows how to grab your attention, drawing you irresistably from the bar to the middle of the ‘floor. And it’s really impossible to resist when you hear hits like New Order’s “Blue Monday” or even ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” included in the frenetic house and disco set.
 
By the time that Hercules And Love Affair Soundsystem got onstage, straight off a plane from Moscow, the crowd was sweating. They looked a little tired when we met them at the backstage a couple of minutes before, but once they started the show we understood why… They were coming to the end of exhausting European tour that encapsulates barely controlled big room madness. During the soundcheck Andy Butler said that a venue like Basen, with its huge walls of concrete and steel, demands some really massive sound and he kept his promise! Hercules and Love Affair Soundsystem sounded like the disco/house golden era was right here, right now—and we believed Warsaw actually was the capital of dance music last night, indeed, we dare everyone to say it wasn’t! Winter? Forget it. At this stage it was so hot in a fully packed Basen that Andy got rid of his shirt after fifteen minutes and Gustaph, one of the vocalists, was running around in his short pants. Speaking of vocalists—they were not there just for singing, they also vogued like crazy, proving Amsterdam wasn’t a one off. If anyone came packing the party vibes, they did, alongside with a distinct whiff of chaos: football onstage, anyone? Well, it gives a new spin to the whole “DJ Kicks” series, doesn’t it? ~
 
 
Find more event photos on Facebook and Google+.
Text: Jarek Szubrycht | Photos: Adam Burakowski / T-Mobile Music

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Hercules and Love Affair’s Andy Butler on the new album, Vienna and his latest collaborations

For most artists it doesn’t matter where they come from, but where they want to go… And that’s almost always either the Big Apple or Big Ben. For Andy Butler, nevertheless, it has been the other way round. Originally from NY, where he recorded his first self-titled album Hercules and Love Affair, he moved to Vienna a few years ago. To the surprise of all, he decided to stay.

 

David Bogner caught up with Andy Butler in Vienna ahead of his Hercules and Love Affair Soundsystem gig in Warsaw this Saturday to talk about the new album, the latest members of the extended Hercules and Love Affair family and how he finds Vienna, the city he currently calls home. Tickets are still available for Warsaw and Zagreb by clicking here. Those who can’t make the Zagreb leg of the tour.

Andy Butler: People always ask me, “Why are you living in Vienna?” and one answer could be because it’s beautiful and a great city to live in, but for me the answer is something different: it’s the fact that there are really creative, relevant people living here. There is Patrick Pulsinger, who was the reason why I came to Vienna in the first place, and of course Wolfram, who has a thing completely of his own going on. You go up to the top of a pretty, old building and there in the attic there is this crazy studio with tons of weird old gear, stuff that I had never seen in person before. And five minutes from here there is another old and funny building with a little apartment and a super duper recording studio. But that’s not the whole story.

I met Philipp—half of the formidable producer duo Microthol who I’m currently working with on my new album—during a photo shoot for my last record on top of Patrick Pulsinger’s studio without knowing who he was. It was only when Wolfram brought me over to the studio a few weeks later that I finally put two and two together. Wolfi had just done a track with Constantin, the other half of Microthol, which I had put out digitally on Mr. International. It was a very KLF-sounding acid song and even though it’s a great track that I still like to play, I think it was a bit too pedestrian and easy for them. They are more interested in intellectual pieces and like to let the technology speak for itself instead of getting in the way too much. I, on the other hand, work differently, being more the traditional pop structure guy. So when I started working with them I was a bit hesitant at first, even though I had fallen in love with the studio right away. The early digital samplers here especially worked to inform the sound of the record a great deal. I had worked with Mark Pistel in San Francisco before, and he had been operating with E-mu Emax., using Akai and early samplers like that for a long time—then I came to Vienna and there were these two dudes who had the same obsession, even though the two studios were almost 10,000 km apart. This is the reason for the consistency of the album, if you happen to wonder upon listening to the album later.

Electronic Beats presents Hercules And Love Affair in Warsaw

And even though the Microthol guys and I have two completely different approaches, aesthetically we are very much in tune. We just like to listen to the same dance music. It’s the thing you find out when you are sitting in front of a record collection with someone and start playing tunes for each other. Of course there was a fair amount of crossover in our collections, but far more important was the stuff they introduced me to and that I didn’t know, and the other way around. It’s a regional thing: them coming from the Austrian techno scene and therefore having been heavily influenced by Detroit techno, even more so than me, as I’m coming from a Chicago/New York background. So when I’m dropping a reference, thanks to their vast knowledge they know exactly what to do. I can even go out, fall away for a minute or have a coffee, and when I come back they have created something that essentially evokes just the sound I was looking for.

The other thing is that they are passionate and true artists who love what they are doing. They aren’t trying to sell, they aren’t showing off. The most important thing for them is the sound and the music. Exactly like it is with John Grant and Crystal Warren who I’ve been working with on this album.

Collaboration is always a fine line, it’s a good challenge. It makes you learn how to talk to people. And you have to acknowledge when you make a mistake and step back and apologize for being an asshole. But during the whole process you learn who you are and become more whole.

For this record, apart from Philipp and Constantin, I’ve been working with four vocalists thus far. One is John, who is actually here right now. He produced his last record in Iceland with the GusGus people and has been in the music industry for a long time. His lyrics are very intelligent and witty and his voice is just tremendous and full of emotion, and, let’s not forget: he is a really great pianist.

Then there is Crystal Warren, who also has a phenomenal voice on the one hand and is a gifted songwriter on the other. What is really interesting about her is her presentation of gender identity and her vocals. Her voice has an unusual range for a female and it extends almost to a baritone area but her picture presents something completely different and you ask yourself: how is that coming out of that person? She is one of the best voices on the planet right now. The thing is, she usually sings in a traditional acoustic folk and rock setting and we put her into a house music track and it worked super well.

The third guy is Rouge, who used to sing and perform in churches with gospel quires. And again, he sounds right on house tracks the same way Crystal does.

Gustaph is the fourth singer and he has already been putting out music on labels like We Play House and had releases on Eskimo. I met him at a soundsystem show that he was doing with the We Play House crew and they were doing covers of classic house songs, which I hadn’t known they were planning to do. So when I was walking out of the room to get a drink and heard a version of E.S.P.’s “It’s you” coming through, I was blown away because I didn’t know there was a version with a female and a male. I walked back in, and of course there wasn’t another version, it was live, done by him and someone else. And it was better than the recording. I stayed for about an hour and took his information afterwards and now he has part of the touring band and has recorded a couple of songs with us. One of the tracks, a song called “Be With You”, has recently been selected as the closer for the Chanel runway show, despite the fact that it hasn’t even been mastered yet. Karl walked out to this track!

The last person I hope to work with on this album is a guy who is currently on tour with Azealia Banks whose name is Zebra Katz, and I’m pretty sure you know who that is. ~

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