festival music pukkelpop

pukkelpop 2005

It’s been about a week ago already and I still haven’t posted anything on the subject of one of the finest Belgian music festivals, shame on me.

As usual it was a lot of fun. I went there with a bunch of friends, drank some beers, enjoyed the sunny weather the first 2 days, heard some tunes and generally had a good time.
The dnb acts where weak this year though IMO, they should really beef up on those next year, or get something else that’s cool enough to go see in the lineup (Venetians Snares, Kid 606, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Tech Itch…)
Murdock rocked, as usual, but local DJ’s ain’t what you buy an expensive festival ticket for right. Zinc was doing his usual thing, which isn’t really mine, so…

Besides that, The Prodigy was actually pretty good, hehe, never expected that. I saw them suck a few times before, and expected the same now, but for some reason it really worked… Maybe the beer had something to do with that, and the fact that the main stage soundsystem really does bring out that 808 sub in Smack My Bitch Up…. phat shizzle that tune!

T.Raumschmiere live at the Pukkelpop festival
Otherwise Korn pwned, saw some Mouse on Mars which didn’t quite impress me, tasted some nice ragga with Lady Saw but unfortunately only had a few minutes of Lady Sovereign, which made me feel like I missed out on a good gig.

The Pixies where there too, and I heard they where good. Not really my kind of thing though. I prefer dem peeps that tweak the knobs. Stuff like Shameboy, which managed to drag me to their gig as I walked by. Their oldskool electro sounds and songs are quite catchy, hit material yet with an underground touch… sweetness.
Nid and Sancy are another pair of knobtwisters which always seem to please me when they do a live show. Their raw and hard techno sounds are wicked live, but as I learned the hard way, sounds quite different when you get their tunes on a shiny plastic disc… which sucks.

So next year, I’d like a more alternative electronic music lineup on an otherwise excellent festival.

To finish off I have a nice festival tip for ya’ll which I used a lot this year.
The best and easiest way to find a clean toilet booth is to use one where you’ve just seen a girl exit from… works like a charm! :)

picture of Monitor world at pukkelpop 2005

art blog festival flickr internet media

flickr is out there

I’ve been going on about Flickr before, but lately it amazed me how quickly images related to global events show up in their directory.

The tagging system is really proving it works with those, and before you know it you can easily find pictures online from events like live 8, the glastonbury festival, Kirsten Dunst in bikini, or less entertaining, the recent London bombings.

The Flickr community is on or better in the media, and it’s cool to be watching.

woman taking a picture by Zen

art belgium festival idm media music

london sinfonietta warp project 2

I went to see the London Sinfonietta Warp project 2 in the Brugge Concertgebouw this weekend, and I have to say it’s something worth checking out.

What the hell is it all about and what does the British electronica label Warp have to do with it? Well, it’s basically a concert bringing classical pieces side by side with Warp tunes either played out as a recording, or brought in a classical arrangement.

I was eager to see how Aphex Twin tunes would sound as played by a live orchestra, but I have to say the classical pieces played there where quite interesting as well. Instead of going for the typical harmony and melody centred pieces we typically perceive as classical music, they made a selection of more rhythm based ones, and a few odd ducks… as Warp music is as well I guess.

Some things could have been out of a Squarepusher album, and I remember they did play a fitting track of his after that particular piece, “Conc 2 Symmetriac” from the “Do you know Squarepusher” album if I recall correctly (I checked of course, there’s no way I know those weird titles that well). I think that piece itself was called “1st Construction in Metal” by John Cage.

Besides the oldskool Ballet Mécanique video synchronised with live play they also played some Warp vids during the break, including Chris Cunninghams latest Rubber Johnny, which is (as usual) just plain wicked!

The whole thing ended after a live version of Aphex’ Polygon Window with a sweet Warp after party with peeps spinning phat beats off their laptops…

Check it out if they come near your town I’d say!

belgium festival music

dour 2004

Went to the dour festival a few days ago, which is definitely the best alternative music festivals in Belgium, and maybe even in the surrounding countries.
You get a taste of every kind of music there, and the prices are really democratic compared to other festivals. When it comes down to food and drinks, it’s not only reasonably priced, but also there’s plenty of good things to choose from, so not just pizza, fries, hamburgers, beer, cola & water…

One little point of critique perhaps, and something that could be improved on in the next year(s) is to make sure there are free toilet arrangements, at least for the guys. It’s even better, and more honest, if it’s free for guys and galls, but seriously, charging the guys for a piss while they only need something to whiz against is a bit lame. Besides, if it ain’t free it wont take long before they find something else to dump their excess liquids against, like a fence, a tree, etc….

I know, it doesn’t cost much, and the main motivation is that they (we?) are too lazy to walk the extra few metres to reach those toilets… but still, it’s a fact that it happens, and scattering a few of those plastic pyramid urinals can seriously reduce the problem. And yeah, after a few sunny days, it really becomes a problem…

But still, Dour is a great festival. The lineup is always interesting, with lots of (to me) unknown bands and artists to discover. Stuff like Bogdan Raczynski for instance. Squarepushereske jungle mashup beats mixed with gabber hardcore at some points… sweeeeeeet. Donna Summer was pretty phat as well, though I had no idea what he was actually doing with that computer of his… it looked pretty much like he only pressed the play button and let it rip and act like a nutter on stage. Cool stuff though.

A Belgian artists that managed to surprise me was Stijn that same evening. I didn’t expect much of it cause I saw an interview on TV where he was talking about a song he did with another Belgian artist which included a guitar (blegh) so I expected it to be some rocker with some electro influences oslt, which isn’t really my kind of thing.
But it wasn’t. Hell no. It was all electro baby, phat oldskool booming 808 beats, some square synth sounds and vocoded vocals… sweeet.
Nothing new about the music itself, pretty standard electro stuff, but the guy knows how to blend the whole thing into a show, and make it interesting too watch.
Fuck, it doesn’t always need to be extremely chopped up breaks now does it. If it works it works, no matter how “simple” it is.

There where too much good things to mention in detail though, and a lot of things that are already forgotten because they just didn’t cut it enough to stand out in a 4 day musical bath, but some more I find worth mentioning was the crazy gabber set by Overnoise and Noisebuilder (live), Creature with the Atombrain (rock, not my kind of thing normally, but I liked this) and of course Die and Krust who made up for a disappointing drum’n’bass night earlier with Fresh & Pendulum.

Oh, and if you’re on a festival where Air on Maiden is playing, but you’re not into that kind of thing, go see em anyway… they cracked me up!