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BRDCST: the annual high mass for the musical adventurer
With great enthusiasm, AB presents the 6th edition of BRDCST! Our annual high mass for the musical adventurer will welcome roughly 30 artists from four different continents from 7 to 9 April.
On 7, 8 and 9 April we’ll immerse you in today’s sharpest music.
► SUNDAY APRIL 9TH
GAYE SU AKYOL PRESENTS ‘ANADOLU EJDERI’ + HATIS NOIT PRESENTS ‘AURA’ + THE DWARFS OF EAST AGOUZA + ICHIKO AOBA – ‘SAISON DES FLEURS’ + SLUMBERLAND FEAT. SAINKHO NAMTCHYLAK + MDCIII PRESENTS ‘DRAWN IN DUSK’ + DIENNE (OTHER PEOPLE) + FAT DOG + TAQBIR + EL KHAT + ELVIN BRANDHI (C.A.N.V.A.S.) + YEAH YOU + AYA SUZUKI
The third and final day of the festival is all about unusual voices: Tuvan throat singing from Sainkho Namtchylak and vocal acrobatics from the Japanese avant-garde artist Hatis Noit. It’s also a day for idiosyncratic Belgians such as Dienne, MDCIII and Bloedneus en De Snuitkever. In Gaye Su Akyol we welcome our first Turkish BRDCST headliner: dissident pop in protest against the Turkish regime. We’ll close the evening, as usual, with a BANG: Fat Dog is already the revelation of 2023!
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GAYE SU AKYOL PRESENTS ‘ANADOLU EJDERI’ (tr)
In Gaye Su Akyol we have our first Turkish BRDCST headliner, whose latest album ‘Andalou Ejderi’ (Turkish for ‘Anatolian dragon’) has been festooned with five-star reviews everywhere. Akyol’s music is, in her own words, as influenced by her Turkish roots as it is by Joy Division, Nick Cave and surf music. Their shows – other than Gaye, all of the musicians wear masks – are moving and spellbinding. Iggy Pop agrees: ‘She’s a sparkling, seductive, enormously self-confident, splendid Turkish singer’.
Gaye Su Akyol was detained for questioning by the police in ’19 in Istanbul because of her critical views of the regime. The Guardian describes her music as dissident pop and an ‘unambiguous statement of protest against Turkey’s oppressive conservatism.’ Gaye’s repertoire fits in with the political spirit of the Turkish psychedelia of the ‘60-‘70 and such heroes as Erkin Koray, Bariș Manço, Selda and Cem Karaca.
HATIS NOIT PRESENTS ‘AURA’ (jp/gb)
We already consider the Japanese avant-garde artist Hatis Noit (Japanese for lotus flower) as an absolute BRDCST revelation. ‘The level of vocal acrobatics she can conjure add as much depth as any orchestra. She can do operatic, yodelling, Ibeyi-esque chanting or guttural growl.’ (Loud And Quiet) So it’s no coincidence that she’s placed high on the bill. Noit claims inspiration from Gagaku (Japanese classical music), opera, Gregorian and Bulgarian chanting (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares), avant-garde (Meredith Monk) and pop (Björk). She has previously collaborated with dubmeister Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin and David Lynch has spoken highly of her.
If you listen to her album ‘Aura’ – completed with the aid of producer extraordinaire Marta Salogni (Björk, Black Midi, Lucretia Dalt etc.) – you’ll be hooked immediately: ‘Impressive debut.’ (NPR) - ‘A breathtaking work.’ (Loud And Quiet) – ‘This is a voice you only need to hear once and you’ll never forget it.’ (Mary Anne Hobbs)
THE DWARFS OF EAST AGOUZA (us/ca/eg)
The Dwarfs Of East Agouza is without a doubt the top improvisational/underground supergroup of recent years. The band was formed in 2012 in the Agouza district of Cairo by Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls), Sam Shalabi (Land of Kush/Shalabi Effect) and Maurice Louca (Karkhana/Elephantine). Their combination of North African loop-based rhythms, West African-inspired free jazz guitar, sax and electronics results in exhilarating krautrock psychedelia. Or, as Louder Than War puts it: ‘The Dwarfs of … channel Egyptian vibes into pulsing psych-folk jams.’
BRDCST is so impressed by the veiled Moroccan punk band Taqbir that they’re playing on every day (!) of the festival. Their debut EP ‘Victory Belongs To Those Who Fight For A Right Cause’ features only four songs and clocks in at seven minutes. Think Cocaine Piss meets The Slits meets X-Ray Spex. Live, they are ‘a blast of compressed rage’ (The Wire).
Taqbir are serious: ‘By pushing their anger towards the sexism, homophobia and racism that lingers like a dark, poisonous fog around Moroccan culture, Taqbir play a very dangerous game. They are putting themselves on the frontline, risking potential imprisonment, death threats and more, just to escape the cultural prison they’ve grown up in.’ (The Quietus) Frontwoman Aicha (a pseudonym) and her band perform behind veils to conceal their true identities out of fear for repercussions.
ICHIKO AOBA – ‘SAISONS DES FLEURS’ (jp)
If you were to stick tender sprigs into a flowerpot with rose petals, a perfume of stars and a soft, summer glow, Aoba would swirl out of it with her ‘Saisons des fleurs’. Her frivolous, fragile voice can enchant an audience better than any mermaid and lure them into her deepest emotional seas. Since her debut ‘Kamisori Otome’ (from 2010), Aoba has released no fewer than six solo albums. She has worked with living legend Ryuichi Sakamoto and with Mac DeMarco (on a whisky commercial, in fact). Her latest album of atmospheric folk was succinctly described by Uncut as ‘sublime’.
MDCIII PRESENTS ‘DRAWN IN DUSK’ (be)
The trance-inducing MDCIII equals stunning modular drums, wild processed saxophone sounds, improvisation and pulsating grooves. The ‘double drums’ and sax trio with Mattias De Craene (Nordmann), Simon Segers & Lennert Jacobs made a strong impression last year with their album ‘Drawn In Dusk’. ‘The result puts you under a mirage that would make film makers like David Lynch jealous,’ wrote the Dansende Beren music blog. Live, they exceed every possible expectation.
EL KHAT (il/ye)
El Khat – named after the drug khat that people in the Middle East have been chewing for centuries– is ‘a quartet led by brilliant Yemeni-Israeli composer and musician Eyal El Wahab that takes an innovative hand to old Yemeni sounds as passed down in popular music of decades past.’ (Pop Matters). It’s been said of their latest album ‘Albat Alawi Op.99’: ‘It’s like the Israeli desert version of Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica.’ Spot on, as the album rattles and bumps in all directions. The album title is crammed with references: ‘Alawi’ as a homage to Faisal Alawi, a popular singer from Yemen who passed away in 2010, ‘alba’ is a tin box that may contain many treasures, while ‘Op.99’ (Opus number 99) hints at the desire for their compositions to receive respect equal to that of Western classical music. An absolute BRDCST find!
DIENNE (OTHER PEOPLE) (be)
Dienne (see also Lili Grace, Faces On TV etc.) had a dream debut: her solo album ‘Addio’ – described by Humo as a ‘breathtaking electronica album’ – came out on Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label. The record is a study of loss, grief and processing the passing of her grandmother, made physically impossible by Covid. With her warm, multi-layered electronica complemented by oboe, flute, field recordings and piano, this multi-instrumentalist takes the listener on a dreamy melancholy trip.
SLUMBERLAND FEAT. SAINKHO NAMTCHYLAK (be/ru)
The now-66-year-old Tuvan Sainkho Namtchylak is a living legend. Her voice covers seven octaves with a nod to Meredith Monk and Diamanda Galás. The Wire: ‘Namtchylak can easily manipulate her vocal chords to sound completely inhuman and demonic.’ With Slumberland (aka Jochem Baelus, a product of the Antwerp underground and instrument maker) she has recently released the ‘Lightkeeper’ EP, generating nothing but superlatives. She was assisted by none other than the Canadian/Lebanese artist Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (aka Jerusalem In My Heart). Their musical marriage is an exciting communion of overtone singing, avant-jazz, electronica and industrial.
FAT DOG (gb)
Fat Dog likes to be let out in the post-punk scene with a vivacious crowd. The London band – despite having recently signed to an indie with a proven track record – has deliberately avoided releasing music thus far. However, their live recordings do demonstrate that they are justifiably tipped as the new Black Midi, Black Country New Road or Squid. The live reviews say it like it is: ‘Ecstasy Beyond All Bounds’ or ‘raw, chaotic and compelling’. We’ve deliberately given Fat Dog the final slot – like Duma last year – at the BRDCST festival. That’s what you call going out with a bang!
ELVIN BRANDHI (gb)
Elvin Brandhi is the alter ego of Welsh sound/noise artist Freya Edmondes. The music of this highly active ‘improvising lyricist’, producer and sound artist is best described as auto-tune blast beats created from field recordings, tapes and ‘broken’ noisy electronics. Her output is certainly impressive. Her debut EP 'Shelf Life' was released in ‘18 on the young London-based C.A.N.V.A.S. label, followed in ’20, under the name VILLAELVIN, by the album ‘Headroof’: a stunning collaboration with several African artists on Hakuna Kulala (the sub-label of Nyege Nyege Tapes). In the course of ’23, she’ll release a collaboration with Lord Spikeheart from our favourite Kenyan/Ugandan industrial black metal duo Duma.
YEAH YOU w/ ELVIN BRANDHI (gb)
As well as a solo set, Elvin Brandhi will also perform at BRDCST together with her father, Gustav Thomas, as the duo Yeah You. They record their lo-fi noise pop tracks in a Renault Clio during trips to the Netherlands and Germany, en route to the local Tesco or in the IKEA car park. Rough beats, field recordings and distorted synth lines form the canvas over which Brandhi drapes her stream of consciousness lyrics.
Aya Suzuki is a Japanese percussionist and performer who divides her time between Belgium and Japan. In her home country, she studied at the Toho-Gakuen School Of Music in Tokyo, where she was trained by the world- renowned marimba player Keiko Abe. She obtained a master’s degree of percussion at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent in 2017 as she graduated as one of the top students of the classical music department. Besides playing her solo works on festival stages around Europe, she also works with ensembles and companies in Belgium such as Ictus, Spectra Ensemble and Needcompany.