Festival Review: Electro London
On a sunny and warm autumn evening in September electronic music lovers and some of their favourite bands gathered in London for the Electro London festival! The festival paired today’s underground alternative electronic music talents from different countries, such as Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and the UK.
The opening act AkA was rad, and their show was very conceptually provocative even if it was not my cup of tea. I have to admit I’m very suspicious about live performances that put their focus on compositions without using any vocals (yes – there are lots of bands that have realized they are more than capable of making fabulous music without using vocals and that’s great). Anyway the quality of sounds was amazing and audience really enjoyed this thought-provoking, surreal sounds. Also what really stuck to my mind was the complex build-up to a fantastic crescendo, and so worth the ride!
I did find that the performance of Cloak dragged a bit towards the end, but for the most part this was a fantastic show. I certainly did enjoyed their music, as it was entertaining, delightfully light-hearted and cheeky kind of show.
You know how sometimes you get that feeling when you wish you could wipe the music you just heard from your minds, just so you could have the pleasure of listening to it for the first time again? This time eleKtroFish was one of those bands. Patrik Gbratt (person behind the eleKtroFish) has the heart of a warrior, the soul of a poet and seemed to know exactly how to keep the dramatic tension in the audience and question the identity, liberation, freedom, oppression and the ability of people to make their own choices at the same time. Especially in those places where it is still illegal to be who are, freely express yourself and your love if it does not fit into conventional norms of heteronormativity. EleKtroFish was able to use imagination to rise beyond the purely material sounds to the transcendent. It so refreshing to see the band that is not only extremely talented, but use that talent to bring the political messages to the audience!
Tiny Magnetic Pets was such an adventurous experience. I enjoyed their performance from beginning to the end. It seemed their music was wonder to behold, as the tentacles of the sound spiralled out in many directions at once, but then rapidly coalesced again with grace and agility. What I liked best about their performance was that they managed to explore different approaches that could be challenging and overwrought in a sensual way.That’s what made it feel so authentic.
EMT delivered a varied exploration of reaction – intuitive and complex. In short, even if their energetic music was not something I am particularly into, it still was wonderfully composed, uniquely conceived piece of performance filled with a mix of emotions. It all together made for a sometimes challenging but an ultimately rewarding performance.
The next on stage was The Department. Their performance surprised and intrigued me, not only with its stimulating creativity, but as well with their sheer force of will and comprehensive reaching. The melody hooked everyone in right away and kept thoroughly engaged the whole time. It was just the kind of beat that not only sticks with you for the moment, but travels way deeper in your mind. It keeps you wondering, questioning and just opening doors to other musical dimensions …
Johnny Normal who played right after The Department was a total genre change. The first description which comes to my mind is – pleasantly numbing captivating beats. They did this incredible thing where audience could feel the vibration of the air and it was done so subtly, one did not even realize that they were doing it until it was done. Uniquely composed and performed, deeply satisfying as well as profoundly alarming, Johnny Normal had it all.
I really don’t get why everyone is getting so excited about Sinestar. Their performance was fine, their sounds were ok, but I tend to feel that their music is not something unique and just kept reminding me of many others bands I’ve heard through the years. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. Now, don’t get me wrong, Sinestar is a great band. Eccentric and ambitious and the audience seemed to be really into them.
Mechanical Cabaret has done it again – created a performance, or rather a piece of art, that kept everyone up wanting more and more. It seemed that Mechanical Cabaret have never stopped experimenting with forms and tones, and some of their turns were stunning. Pieces were often selected to perfection, sounds repeating and repeating in the subtlest ways: tying complex chains of action together. There was a dynamic charm about their music – just luring the audience with lush sounds. Mechanical Cabaret really just „get“ people and interactions on a very deep level in a way I’ve seldom seen before. It was powerful. I mean really. This band has a way of literally sucking you in and creating this alternative universe from the sounds so clear that you become part of it.
What really attracted me to the Electro London was its diversity. At the same time it really highlighted how the same exact event can be seen from so many different aspects, and from each of those sides, it can appear vastly different. I’m not going to say a word more but I will assure you that this event is something you should regret missing out on! Luckily for you – there are more events planned by Electro London, so check their facebook for more exciting news: https://www.facebook.com/electr0london/
Review and picture by Milda Bandzaitė.
More pics in our gallery.