November 9, 2016
1. An expressionistic Disneyland
Not long before my trip to Lunchmeat, while still in Berlin counting the days left until the festival, I met a Prague based experimental collective in the aftermath of an Eastern Daze Festival concert night. I remember someone mentioning that the Czech capital is an expressionistic Disneyland, to answer my questions about what to expect from the city and its scene. And this form of foreshadowing set a proper tone for enjoying the brilliantly styled line-up of Lunchmeat Festival, as well as the breathtaking accompanying AV shows.
I can not stress enough the importance of the local context of dance events that happen outside the generally acknowledged “capitals” of musical abundance of excess. Living in Berlin for almost a year, I tend to acknowledge a heightening of standards and a devaluation of the enthusiasm factor in the eyes of audiences that have been exposed for too long to so much – which oftentimes comes hand in hand with a failure to acknowledge the tremendous efforts which independent organizers invest in bringing something new and thinking a concept into a danceable reality. This may just be a necessary evil, but outside the overstimulation bubble, both organizers and audience don’t have it just as easy. The struggle of organizing an event that can compete and even outsmart “Berlin-level” bookings, technical resources and logistics is even harder in places where the scenes are smaller and either haven’t been there forever, or haven’t received the attention and support you’ll see in those cities that have been using electronic music traditionally as a token of spastic tourism and popularity.
Traveling to Lunchmeat Festival along a Berlin crew I was sincerely wondering at some point if they are going to have fun, at all – and if that would only label the festival as just another pretty party. My curiosity was even more ardent thinking of the crowd I will encounter at our destination. Prague has a history of art collectives whose articulate discourse exudes a passion for exercising philosophy as well as a love for culture. Before the festival I came across Czech avantgarde documentary RAFANI: 31 Endings / 31 Beginnings, whose soundtrack was signed by Nurse With Wound familiar Aranos – which came to no surprise since the people featured sounded already very compatible, in their expression and approach, with the experimental side of music, that including also the sort of conceptual music that we hear in clubs, but aims much deeper nowadays.