Interculturality all round
While the call to close Europe’s borders gets louder, the Feeërieën plucks the abundant fruits of that very openness. Culture– the most durable (often elusive) soul of a people – prospers through artists that fan out into the world and are inspired by other (Western or not) cultures. Melanie De Biasio has Italian roots, grew up in Charleroi but calls Brussels her home. Fulco Ottervanger has roots in The Netherlands but passed through Brussels for quite a while before nestling in the inventive jazz group De Beren Gieren, in Ghent. The biting grime of Kamixlo matured in Brixton but his roots lie in Chili. The roots of both Sons Of Kemet-frontman Shabaka Hutchings and Parisian pianist Chassol can be traced back to the Caribbean. Both are now successful in London and Paris respectively. What to make of Algeria’s Imarhan? Their physical homebase is the south Algerian city of Tamanrasset but their spiritual home is the Tuareg community in which they live, which is rooted in Northern Mali.
Basically: inter-culturality is not just a concept. What’s more: it should be a characteristic of any self-respecting festival.
Musical themes as guide in the forest of ‘unknown names’
Imarhan, Sky H1 or Ian Willam Craig don’t immediately ring a bell? To be honest? Until a few months ago, we’d never heard of these exciting artists either. But in the meantime their music has touched us deeply and we would like to share the musical love with you. What’s more, in order to make it even easier for you, there is an intended musical theme to each day of the programme. Whether it’s vocal splendour, a tribute to the musical legend Moondog, global sounds, jazz or electronica: take your pick!
Monday 22.08 focuses on vocal splendour with the most impressive voice to emerge in Belgium in recent years, one also appreciated by Eels: Melanie De Biasio. An outright discovery is Canadian opera singer Ian William Craig, who manipulates his voice with reel-to-reel tapes and is often described as ‘Bon Iver meets William Basinski’.
To mark the occasion of what would have been the 100th birthday of Moondog – ‘The Viking of 6th Avenue’. On Tuesday 23.08, we have put together a true tribute for this musical legend who is respected by Daniel Lanois, Elvis Costello as well as Antony & The Johnsons. Antwerp band Condor Gruppe will provide a wonderful own approach, two musical students of the late Moondog will provide historically correct interpretations.
Wednesday 24.08 goes for global sounds: exciting worldly sounds such as those of Algeria’s Imarham, with a new view of Tuareg music for Tinariwen adepts. All to be opened by absolute revelation Sons of Kemet – seeing is believing! Their outright hypnotic music departs from jazz, but has Caribbean as well as African influences.
More jazz? Yes! Thursday 25.08 we present the awe inspiringly beautiful jazz of De Beren Gieren – with as pivotal figure pianist Fulco Ottervanger – that unexpectedly incorporates the necessary distortion. In turn, Chassol will make a global breakthrough when the new Frank Ocean album that he also worked on is released. His own ‘Ultrascores’ (live accompaniment with interactive images) has already impressed many.
Friday 26.08 is ruled by grime and experimental bass. So there’s plenty of danceable electronica, whereby Visionist emerges as curator and presents artists from his very own Codes label.
Lastly: be kind to the trees. They’ve been around longer than you have (and the generations prior to you).