What a wonderful pearl I discovered – by chance – in the middle of Europe. The Meakusma festival is a place where the sound itself is the main character, without any border or preconditions, celebrated for what it is, the basic pillar of many forms of art.
I don’t know if it was the beautiful weather that welcomed me, or the vibes of the Meakusma community, or the shock to see such impressive underground artists, but this festival will stay in my heart for a long time. It is amazing how the organization made everything so cozy and exiting at the same time. In this weekend I can say that I was never bored, listening to so many different projects in different stages.
Meakusma is a festival at its 3rd edition, and takes place in Eupen, one of the few Belgium-German-spoken cities at the border of these two countries. The main venue of this gathering is the Alter Schlachthof culture center, placed not so far from the center of the town, the first weekend of September.
Personally, I cannot say if there were big names on the line up, I am not really into this world, but I will give some impressions about the musicians I had the chance to see and hear:
- Brötzmann | Leigh: this duo brought on the scene a magnificent exhibition of free jazz using a variety of sax/clarinets and a pedal guitar (that I have never seen in my life on a live stage). The density of the performance was palpable and people were genuinely fascinated by the intensity of Peter Brötzmann combined with the loveliness of Healther Leigh‘s sound.
- Bruce: how can I define Bruce‘s work as not as collage dance music? I really cannot find a standard definition for what he plays. It doesn’t mean that it cannot be sensational thou: the atmosphere inside the Halle (the main room of the Alter Schlachthof) was intimate and concentrate, but was still shacking people to dance.
- Am Vision | Lambert Duchesne: these AM Berliners performed in Kesselraum a mix of digital and electronic music, telling a prophetic story towards the images of a video screen. The show was very peculiar and sometimes extremely powerful in the message it was bringing.
- Ben Ufo: one of the curator of the Festival, Ben Ufo had his moment at 23:00 in Halle, with a huge crowd ready for his original contemporary dance music. Unpredictable and dynamic, Ben‘s idea of rhythm is quite fluid, but it never let us down.
- Hinosch: when Osaka meets Düsseldorf, Japan meets Germany, Asia meets Europe, then a synthetic-unsyncronized sound decorates the air thanks to the experienced engineering hands of Hinosch and their performance in Kesselraum.
- Radian: amazing experience with the Austrian trio and their music, a sort of minimal rock drone, extremely dense and theatrical. In the Kühlraum those guys made the public silent and few people dared to leave the room:
Other interesting facts about the festival:
- the Alter Schlachthof was in principle a slaughterhouse; however it doesn’t really look like a place of death, since the building are beautifully realized at the beginning of the XX Century;
- the festival hosted one of the work of the Belgian artist David Helbich, a transcendent and meditative audio guide to listen while walking around the culture center;
- a beautiful installation from Floris Vanhoof is made hanging geometrical metal structures with gongs that vibrate when the wind passes. It is amazing to walk in the street and listen to this unexpected music.
A festival created for the music, but not just made of music. A really nice small event that it should be followed, since it hosts such fascinating avant-garde and experimentation. The exact opposite of what the uncritical mass of our modern society likes: and also because of this, a reason more to visit it next year.
Photos are kindly shared by Meakusma Festival
In painting, Dadaism is defined as a movement who rejects the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest. Masterpieces of the ’20 show bizarre situations, dreams and nightmares brought on canvas, and no direct meanings can be extrapolated from the observation of a painting (however they are full of deep statements hidden inside). It is possible so to describe them as a immense charming mess, and I believe that the music I am describing now is fitting this definition.
In 2017 Igorrr release his second full-length, Savage Sinusoid, and it captivated not just experimental music fanbase but also a big group of metalheads, touring Europe and participating to quite a lot of important festivals. But Igorrr is not the only project of Gautier Serre: in his production you will find also past experiences under the name Corpo-Mente (with the partnership of his female vocalist Laure Le Prunenec – that also has a solo project called Ele Ypsis) and Whourkr (in which is possible to recognize Laurent Lunoir‘s voice, also in Igorrr and black metal/male counterpart voice). Gautier also featured with RubyMyDear for the release of Maigret (and if this title doesn’t ring you a bell…) and I must say that all the projects listed here have in common the characteristics of a crazy composition of their songs, that looks like more a collage of different type of songs organize randomly, but even in this configuration they are able to move feelings and bring strong messages. Not for nothing, Gautier is described as Dadaist from the critics.
Today we would like to share with you these bands that share this approach. Except Gautier’s projects, Pryapisme, öOoOoOoOoOo and Daexic are added to the list as other members of this music community. Some of them have more influences on hardcore and death metal, others on classic music and rock, however they share common traits of unpredictability and madness. No one said music should be equal to order: a such important form of art should be completely free to develop itself as it needs.
After months I worked on this project, I am finally able to release the first official compilation of Pandemia. This time we focus on new proposals in Post Rock.
Post Rock is defined as a genre in which the band structure is similar to the one shown in classical rock (bass, guitars, drums) but it uses them in a different way, mixing with traditional sounds other genres like ambient, noise, pop and punk.
In this compilation 10 artists are presented. They are from different countries, with different influences and at a different stages of their music career, however each of them bring something really peculiar to the compilation. Something that make me decide to have them on this blog.
In the page linked you can download your copy of the compilation (in mp3) and read more about each song.
New year, new Euroblast. I talked about it last year, when I had the possibilities to see Twelve Foot Ninja for the first time on stage, and I am glad to say that I want to repeat the experience for another year consecutively, since I like this gathering so much. First reason of all, I like festivals in Germany: I have been recently in the East for the experimental electronic kermesse Berlin Atonal and I can tell you that is difficult to beat German to organize such things, no matter the music genre is.
Let’s deep dive into the line up of this year then. The Essigfabrik in Cologne will guest for the 8th time the British Monuments (probably the most invited band at the festival so far) as headliner, together with Long Distance Calling and Vildhjarta.
The list will continue – above all – with the chaotic and experimental style of Rolo Tomassi, the eclectic Caligula’s Horse, the sludge/black power of Cabal and the amazingly creative VOLA.
One of the best gathering for progressive music in Europe, together with the Spanish Be Prog! My Friend and the Dutch Complexity Fest, the Euroblast will offer 3 days of captivating music, in the two stages of the most important hub for metal music in Cologne. An indoor and quite cozy festival, the best way to embrace winter after the open airs of the summer.
In the meantime, here is a playlist of the bands will play this year.