Animaux | UK

Sūpynės Festival: Mud, Woods and Techno [2017]

Jul
03

Sūpynės Festival returned after a year hiatus for an eleventh time to the majestic Dūburio Ežeras’ woods with an onslaught of art, talks and a variety of niche electronic dance music. The year off seemed to let the Minimal.lt team focus on what made Supynės great in the first place – they reduced the capacity to make it more intimate while, increased focus on quality local talent as well as expanding on some ideas from the past.

The festival boasted four stages – MORE, LESS, HIGH and PLAYGROUND. The MORE stage hosted local newcomers and indie-music types during the day but during the night turned into a house and techno Mecca with artists such as Awanto 3, Brawther, Shed and Neel bombarding the crowd with bass. My favourite has to be Shed who delivered a UK bass tinged set mixed with the finest selections of German quality. The rain and unrelenting techno did make the field into a muddy mess, however, that did not stop the festival goers to keep dancing well into the morning.

The LESS stage played host to the more minimal side of things. Set snuggly among the trees it has to be one of the most beautiful stages I have seen in my life. More eclectic sounds of noir electronics to new wave, drone and experimental filled the woods with highlights being Black Merlin, Dataline, INRA and Patricia Kokett. This stage specifically is why I can wholeheartedly recommend checking the festival out.

The aptly named HIGH stage was only open from six am as a unique after-party place. Incredible sets from one of Lithuania’s greatest export Manfredas and the Smala crew as well as Mountak kept the late (or early) dancers moving up until noon.

PLAYGROUND stage was new to this year – a place intended for interesting talks: everything from glitch art, headliners talking about their approach to creating music to the more interdisciplinary and freeform activities with emphasis on collaborations, discussions and workshops. During the night though, artists such as Octatanz and one of my highlights of the festival – Elektrus Erektus showed off their talent.

For the first time in Lithuanian history, the festival also had a drug awareness tent. With the support of the Lithuanian drugs and tobacco control department (NTAKD) anyone interested in the effects of psychoactive substances had someone to talk to without fear. This is a huge step forward as beforehand most festivals would have a single ambulance to which they would not go even if they had issues due to the absurdly strict laws. Free condoms, tea, water and people who you can talk to were there not to promote drug use but to inform those who choose to do them on how to do so safely.

All in all the festival was a massive success, even though the revellers were drenched in rain and mud all you could see were smiles and all you could hear was incredibly selected music. Cannot recommend it enough!!

Queen of Panorama Bar – Margaret Dygas at Sorgente Sonora (MILAN)

Sep
17

As Milan is rapidly cooling down in anticipation of one of its notoriously rainy autumns, Margaret Dygas and her unique Panorama vibes inaugurate Sorgente Sonora’s 2015/2016 clubbing season at Tunnel Club, Milan.

Half a mile down Stazione Centrale’s western side, squeezed between graffiti plastered arches, Tunnel Club proved to be an unusual yet striking venue for a memorable night. Located along the border where Milan’s classy centre surrenders to it’s post-industrial outskirts, Tunnel Club provided a superb setting for Dygas’ elegant yet sometime bitter sound. The arched ceiling, dominated by a nostalgic disco ball, conveyed the cozy and intimate feeling that so deeply pervaded the night. The glittering ceiling exemplified Tunnel Club’s standing as a tiny jewel encrusted in the grizzling edge of Milan’s city centre.

Lost in the plumy haze of cigarette smoke, the crowd extended its way back from the stage to the doors. Packed with youths excited with the return of an ever richer Milanese clubbing scene, the night was truly evidence of the international reach that techno has recently achieved. What was a dying venue until the mid 2000s has reinvented itself as the gem described above, partly thanks to a genre that attracts so many young raving eyes on a grey mid-September night. And Margaret Dygas, true to the importance of her name in these circles, proved to be a formidable opening act for what should be a juicy season.

Picking up from the deep-housey tail end of Matteo Costa’s set, Ms. Dygas delves into the minimal sound that so uniquely characterises her. Throughout the night, only briefly and occasionally polluted by spontaneous choruses chanting ‘Margaret! Margaret!’, her set covered the most disparate sounds that her beloved Berlinese techno scene has to offer. Gradually taking off from the gentle beats she inherited from Costa, Dygas’ whipping snares hypnotically led the crowd to frenzy before softly landing on a more subsided beat, only to stoke the jumping audience back into hysteria.

Regularly dipping below the decks only to reappear moments after with the shadow of a record in her hand and a satisfied smile on her face, Maggie truly did offer the enthusiastic crowd an encyclopaedia of sounds. The set opened with Dygas’ characteristic crackling snappy sounds and effortlessly moved to darker territory as the set acquired shape. At the crack of dawn, Dygas put an end to her spell with dark voluptuous beats, releasing the captive crowd, and sending everyone off with memories of a set that one may only hope to hear in the most respectable Berlinese clubs.

As Dygas bid her farewells, the club regurgitated the fast dispersing crowd onto the pallid, deserted street. As sparse rays crack through anonymous grey clouds, I wind my way through a ravishing Milan flicking through fond memories of the night. Margaret, thank you!

Preview: Pinch – Down

Apr
02

Bristolian Pinch should be well-known to all bass-music lovers. He has founded Tectonic Records in 2005 and has been making waves in the scene since.

Pinch just made ‘Down’ available to stream which is a part of CO.LD compilation out on Cold Recordings. You can stream it here:

‘Down’ attempts to capture the newer four to the floor sound of Loefah and the lot and to me it falls short, especially coming from Pinch. I have been a fan of his for quite a while and ‘Qawwali’ still sends shivers down my spine, however ‘Down’ just seems empty.The kick is a bit flat and the long drawn reverbed synths sound as if you heard them somewhere before (not a bad thing) better (the bad thing).

I was quite excited about getting my hands on the CO.LD compilation, however I am in two minds about it now. Could it be Pinch not delivering or me just being too picky – who knows, but I will leave you with a tune of his to compare.

CO.LD compilation is out on the 11th of April over at http://coldrecordings.com/.