The Creators Project At Nuits Sonores: Day 2
After the inaugural extravaganza at the Marché Gare on Wednesday night, we awoke to the rather unpleasant reminder that awesome nights are, more often than not, immediately followed by complicated mornings. This immutable law of festivals cannot be avoided, but it can be dealt with. Common sense and my helpful older brother’s advice have taught me to handle this type of situation with the following recipe for “the day after”—plenty of fresh air and gallons of water.
Fortunately, the experienced folks at Nuits sonores took care of everything and coordinated a refreshing venue for the afternoon: the Piscine du Rhône [Rhône river swimming pool]. The perfect place to chill out and relax with good music between two night-time parties.
ALL DAY LONG – PISCINE DU RHÔNE [SWIMMING POOL]
To be honest, I haven’t willingly set foot in a swimming pool for years. In my younger years, I used to swim at night to exercise and stay in shape. I would even cycle to the pool. But for a few years now, the only sport I engage in is climbing the stairs of the metro and avoiding escalators. At first sight, the setting doesn’t exactly bring back memories from my long gone athletic youth. I walk along the tiled floor, I sense a remote smell of chlorine, but I don’t see a pool. Apparently, they’re all located downstairs and the whole ground floor has been transformed into a dance floor of sorts. The stage is an open-air belvedere on the bank of the river Rhône that looks like a stand overlooking the water, the cozy buildings of the area, and the remote green cliffs of the Croix-Rousse in the distance.
This afternoon, for the first “All Day Long” session at the pool, Nuits sonores invited Brodinski for a residency and asked him to bring all his mates to perform before a young and party-ready audience. I got there at the best moment, right as the Sound Pellegrino DJs opened their set with a perfect mix of disco tracks, early house music, electro anthems and Chicago bangers. This new label, founded by the team behind the former Institubes label, is dedicated to emerging DJs and producers in all types of electronic music and from the whole world. So far, they released a couple of nice EPs, and this afternoon I think they made their point: they definitely have taste. Brodinski then took hold of the place and, after this ideal warm-up, he really got the crowd banging all over the place.
THE CREATORS PROJECT AT THE MAC
As I pass the large doors of the Musée d’Art Contemporain for our Creators Project cocktail, I find myself facing 72, Trafik ’s interactive light installation, already surrounded by growing crowd of curious guests. The structure features LED panels that create an architectural sense of perspective in the vast museum hall. Right at the center of it, an iPad allows passersby to control the animated light sequences displayed on the structure. Whirls, flickers and light waves are launched with just the swipe of a fingertip, and I experience it myself under the amused glances of Trafik themselves, who seemed to enjoy my insistence on the whirls. I try to justify myself during our following chat with them, which you will read here in a couple of days.
A bit further in the hall, other guests experience a more violent sort of interactivity. Punch, by Lumpens and Hojun Song, is a disconcerting artwork. An artwork you can actually hit, that wants you to hit it, and as hard as you can. People compete to beat the record of the installation, hitting with all their might. I am tempted to have a go at the record but leave it for the moment. I am not a violent man, I’m more inclined to make digital whirls. As I wander around the venue, waiting for the upcoming gig to start, I am struck by a nice melodic chirping that contrasts with the fun violence of Punch.
This beautifully anarchic music is obviously not a bird flock flying by from the nearby Parc de la Tête d’Or, but a carefully programmed composition from Joao Vasco. The mechanical birds from Chirps, lined up on the museum mezzanine, form a playful and poetic reinterpretation of the animal ethos. The digital code that controls the movements of the birds mimics the actual behavior of a bird flock.
MONDKOPF + TRAFIK AT THE MAC
When the time has come, the guests are led into the large auditorium, where Mondkopf is already overlooking the whole place and ready to play before a vast blank canvas that is soon covered with the visual world of the producer, as seen by Trafik. I had seen the premiere of his new live show at the opening night of the Gaité lyrique last February and was in awe before his mastery and the radical aspect of his music. His electro is dark, saturated, heavy and yet flowing. His style cleverly borrows elements from big electro acts like Justice and Jackson, but also bits from the Black Metal and Drone scenes, in the subtle combination of frenzied beats and atmospheric synths. The way his music and the hypnotic black and white, very pure abstract-geometrical visuals from Trafik Intertwine is truly entrancing.
At this point, by the end of the gig, I was remembered that at this very place Daito Manabe will perform live with his really peculiar live show. From what I gathered on this blog about this man and his electrode VJing, I can expect an electric afternoon.