Easterndaze x Berlin DIY Music Topographies

Easterndaze x Berlin DIY Music Topographies

Written By:

Jasmina Al-Qaisi


October 24, 2016

1. Musical independency

Usually, Easterndaze is a blog which digs into the contexts of DIY music scenes and their collectives. Particularly, Easterndaze × Berlin: DIY Music Topographies made in continuity of OFF Biennale Budapest in 2015, and curated by Lucia Udvardyová and produced by Natalie Gravenor is the concert & film screening series which turned quite analogue for a while.

Music collectives from Budapest, Bucharest, Prague and Warsaw paired in a very masterful and considerate way with some Berlin headliners=super memorable. Documentary from within the depths of Berlin and Eastern European activist, independent, alternative, self-proclaimed/non-proclaimed underground and DIY music culture=delightfully exclusive.

Future Nuggets (Bucharest), Christoph de Babalon (Berlin), WIDT (Warsaw), Farbwechsel (Budapest), KETEV (Berlin), Praxis (Berlin) are few of the significant representatives of creative musical independency in Central and Eastern Europe brought together by this festival.

2. World Wide Rain

I am walking sheepish in small drops of rain, on a path I’ve been before, but never to Silent green Kulturquartier, one of the patrimonial buildings of Berlin, where death took its last forms. First a cemetery, than a remarkably charming crematorium, Silent green is currently hosting special cultural events. Towards me, two ladies on high hills are walking with certainty. I follow them, than an arrow, than few discrete voices. It’s my first day in Berlin this year and the 1st of October. Secretly planned performances with a low guessing rate from the audience are about to happen under the two names the night was baptised with: Sameheads and Future Nuggets. Here you go! Slices of Berlin and Bucharest brought by Easterndaze X Berlin.

Future Nuggets, one of the hearts of the rebirth of a liminal awesomeness previously buried under the preconception ruins of the early post socialist times. More precisely, the Romanians who brought back the infamous electronic music, sometimes ahead of its time, sometimes just prematurely dead. The outernational topic debaters.

SAMEHEADS, that functions as a showcase in the literal sense as a venue in Neukölln, brought for tonight by a character with pretty diverse musical expertise, Nat Fowler (Novo Line) with an apparently voluminous performance inspired by the '80s look a recording studio setup. Sameheads speaks through music, fashion, visual art and parties in a contemporary language inspired by particularities and ambiguities of specific pasts.

Raindrops are gummy, sometimes big, and sometimes impossible to chew. People are showing up in a spirit between an art show and a hot wine on a friend’s terrace. A heterogeneous crowd, obviously. An interesting transition for my first day here.

Australopitecus Oltensis, one of the timeless combos by Ion (Raze de soare, Future Nuggets) and Horațiu (Impex, PC Harem, Aneb/Plevna) two of the musicians who are currently working upon a lost memory of electronic Romanian liminality, will as well be a surprise.

The invisible bell of a British accent invites us in. It’s on. A blue light is covering up the room. Ion and Horatiu invite the crowd to self-reflection from behind keyboards and drums, and make outer-space invitations with a Theremin. There are small groups of people merging and listening, yet no words are involved. People are dressed conforming to this weather-confusing Saturday. We are witnessing an invitation to self in a hexagonal tall ceiling ice-cream looking crematorium where the mystical getaway is shot down after each applause session in the pauses between tracks. The sounds I raise my eyebrows to send me back home- the 90’s manele threnody which breaks in my spine. I am in the right place, at the right time.

Novo Line staged a living room next to the musical gear. A lady and a man spilling invisible coffee on each other and reading a magazine in a continuous impossibility caused by the very fast transition between bright white light and deep darkness. Next to the living room, the staged musical time machine causes counter intuitive guessing regarding where does the music that is bombing our chests come from. Wires, screens, neon lights are covering the gear. People watch from the floor, very few dance. Some people are overdressed and for some others, the wine they are drinking is the brightest colour they worn in months. In the meantime, people enjoy cigarettes under a staircase outside. They enjoy each other’s company and gossip about the world wide rain.

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3. A context

Easterndaze includes a highly progressive imagery to its concept. Not only the conjuncture visual representations of music, but artists who are using technology to travel dimensions.

Kimatica, a London-based creative studio brought the transformation with body projection mapping and strong base sounds of a Gheisha into a demon. The Glitchy Gheisha keeps people in place and seduces them with blues and reds throughout the entire time of the transformation. Seductive technology meets seductive dancing and costume.

Looking at Easterndaze’s program you can easily get the political breeze and indubitably shape yourself a context. The films are probably one of the most productive celebration of uniqueness and counter mainstream films selection.

Lichtblick-Kino is usually hosting independent actions, being small (32 places) and independent itself (since ‘94). Speaking of DIY, of oppression, of money loss, money denial, independent and beyond public recognition achievements, counter culture and art abstinence, isolation, coincidence, solidarity, rescue, composers of noise, composers of silence through music in context, through sounds of contexts.

Here's a list of the city, context, movie, country of origin, coated in personal annotations:

PRAGUE/Czeck Underground Scene / 31 Endings / 31 Beginnings, CZ, 2015 – the depth of underground.

BUCHAREST/ DIY music scenes from hip hop to electronics/ Balta Alba, RO, 2016 – couldn’t see it, way too many wanted to.

CLUJ/ Portrait of electronic music pioneer Rodion GA / Dream Images –RO, 2016 – continuous laughter and unexpected secrets.

BRATISLAVA/ work in progress screening / A Room of One's Own, SK, 2013–2016 – Darkislava

BRATISLAVA/ Noise in music/ HUDOBNÍCI: MARTIN BURLAS, SK, 2015 – low regrets composer.

BRATISLAVA/ Avantgarde in classical music/ HUDOBNÍCI: LADISLAV KUPKOVIČ, SK, 2015 – no regrets composer.

BUDAPEST/ Hungary Then And Now/ East Punk Memories, HU/FR 2012 – disappointment and joy before and after the wall.

BUDAPEST/ SHORTS Galactic Jackson HU, 2016– a local Freddie Mercury.

BUDAPEST/ AND Orbán Népe (Orban Nation) HU, 2016 – fresh and hardcore.

WARSZAWA/ Experimental music and visuals/ 15 Corners of the World, PL, 2014 – hear with eyes, see with ears.

BERLIN/ Counter cultural art/Praxis - Nothing Happens in the Absence of Noise, UK/GER 2015- no, that was breakcore.

BERLIN/ Night life and gender/ Sounds Queer, DE, 2014– a story of labour and queer and both these intertwined.

BELGRADE/ Underground music and other arts/ Beograd Underground, E/RS 2012 – Underground? what underground?

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