4. Who rules the world?
If Thursday night felt excessive, Friday seemed almost impossible to grasp, given the three-room formula. I did stay through the Uruguayan F5
live premiere, a highly inspired example of locally-flavored dance music, bonus for the live drums, while trying to find my place within fractures of Demdike Stare
’s dark set, Faka
’s energetic live and DJ Lag
’s rather disappointing efforts in Room 3. The highlight came in the shape of Acid grandparents Phuture
who, despite the recent loss of DJ Spank-Spank, saw DJ Pierre
perform a tantalizing set with Angel Alanis
. However, one of the most entrancing Unsound sets came from Kablam; playing the 5am slot in Room 2, bathed in blue and magenta lights, she delivered a maze of RnB remixes, Tangerine Dream-like interludes and rave moments. Glaring at the dancefloor filled with queer millennials in ‘90s gear, the entire setting felt like a scene from a Gregg Araki movie.
Denmark’s Apeiron Crew
female trio continued to fuel the girl-power trip instigated by Kablam
with edgy big room sound. „Who rules the world? Girls.”
was a more-than –appropriate name for this shape-shifting night.
Saturday, the last major party at the Forum, embodied that moment when a well tuned machine goes off course – everything felt like too big, too much, lacking the coherence of previous parties. This baroque excess was first expressed with the first familiar chords from Forest Swords
, drifting into Soichi Terada
’s infectious smile and happy house tunes, dipping further into the dark side with JD Twitch
’s Muslimgauze set. Africaine 808
’s and Dodo Nikishi
’s live performance was a highly entertaining set, proving once again the almighty power of live drums.
Overcoming physical and technical difficulties, master Anthony Shake Shakir
delivered the ultimate veteran schooling set, making the crowd go wild over fucking Radiohead. Via App
shared some fresh house, Yves Tumor
showcased the first crowd surfing episode of the festival, while Kamixlo
was too high to mix his own tracks…
Further in the night, Fred P
performed a deep house healing ritual in the big room, followed by a maximum energy b2b by Polish Olivia
and Kazakhstan DJ Nazira
. I was already hooked after their NTS
live set and seeing them work a proper room was a real treat.
The Sunday burnout was quite brutal; everyone was equally tired, sentimental and sniffly, spreading the Unsound virus going around.
’s Philharmonic performance was the perfect over-the-top, majestic display of drones we were all craving. On top of a white-lilies-covered stage, drenched in digital geometric stained glass motifs by German artist MFO
, she was our goddess for the evening, ensuring a safe passage back into the real world.
Coming back to these lines on the American election morning puts a rather apocalyptic damper on things right now, making this inclusive, pan-global sonic utopia all the more special. Force-listening to Lou Harrison on this wet November morning before work, I’m trying to muster my strength and finish this text, as in the sobering light of potential planetary chaos it is crucial to remember, preserve and promote such positive experiences. It is festivals like this that make the real political statement.
Read also: Unsound 2016 part 2: Alternate Reality Games in Real-life Krakow