I love the festival season. First of all, because festivals mean… holidays, at least for me. Second, where can you find so many cool bands in such small amount of time? Especially when the line up is crazy, like at the Dunk!Festival, the experience is something you can easily be addicted to.
First of all, a little bit of background: the Dunk!Festival is placed in Zottegem, 40 km far from Brussels. The gathering lasts 3 days, and presents the best selection of progressive, post, drone and experimental music. This year in the lineup where names as Caspian, Rosetta, The Ocean and Russian Circles, but also a lot of interesting proposals as Cranial, Jo Quail, Zhaoze and so on.
The festival itself is located next to a small “forest” (that is more fair to call a bunch of trees surrounded by fields) and is very small compared to the normal summer festivals (at least the most famous), however is very well organized and the fact that is so small keeps everything tidy and relaxed.
This is actually one of the thing I really liked: except the time spent for the music, I enjoyed mornings in which the only sound was the singing of the birds and evenings in which people were not so drunk to bother you.
Another thing very particular is the forest stage, something I bet the Dunk!Festival is one of a kind: a small stage between the trees, that was making the evening concerts a magic experience.
Shifting on the music, here is the list of the bands I enjoyed the most during this year. If a band is not mentioned, doesn’t mean it was not great. As always, this is just my personal comment:
The thing I liked the most about this band is how they can mix sludge song structure with post atmosphere with some details that recall black metal. Founded by three polish brothers in 2011, this band is slowly becoming famous, and they are actually on tour until August.
I believe I am interested about this band because I still trying to understand it. I mean, which is their bounding rope, what is their genre, which kind of image do they want to show, which message (except the fact we have to love each other, as the singer said) they want to share?
I am still trying to figure out, in the meantime I would like to describe the music of the these Belgium guys as a mix of drone, indie and disco pop. And I am not even close to give the correct idea.
First nice German band, with a sludge core sound. I found them a little bit too early in the timetable of the second day, since they were playing such dark music with a beautiful sun outside the stage tent, but they did a good job to collect a nice group of people under them. Powerful and obscure, they interrupt the dreamy flow characterizing the overall festival mood.
7. ( B O L T )
Second nice German band, completely different from the first. They performed at the “forest” stage, with the sunlight that slowly was disappearing between the vegetation. I really appreciate the composition of the songs, especially how they grow and phase out easily and naturally.
I fell in love with this song, played as closure of Caspian’s set, as headliner the first day of the Dunk. The last album has almost two years, however is still able to shake hearts, as the band did on stage. With the amazing light scheme, they gave an excellent show.
Nice progressive band from India, guested in the forest stage. Extremely enthusiastic and grateful to finally reach Europe, these four guys played with the heart, with some songs completely instrumental and other sung in their local language.
Another ethereal progressive rock band. The Norwegian SOUP is not too much pretentious, but they show their love for guitars and keyboard effects. I really appreciate the use of the voice to enrich the songs.
3. Jo Quail
Interesting project made with an electrical cello connected to two pedal boards. The composition of the songs is amazing, as the idea itself. Jo Quail really capture the interest of the public.
Another big name in the line up, Rosetta’s show is one of the best show of the Dunk!Festival 2018. I love their show, and I do believe was the best headliner this year. Respect the last time I have seen them, Michael Armine seems having a better control of the stage and his voice. He was not afraid to openly interact with the public, something that I believe people appreciated, and he finished to go directly above the barriers to have contact with them.
Electronic duo that seems don’t really fit with the concept of the festival, however was my favorite for this year. The atmosphere was magic around their performance, and at the end they woke up the people creating a sort of cool club event in the forest, with the only light of the stage to illuminate the night.
There is of course a lot to say around this festival and these bands, a real fine selection of new sounds of progressive and post, but I leave you with the curiosity, so you can try this particular festival by your own.