Report: A/V synesthesis in B/W

Revisit this year's Lunchmeat Festival and take a peek of what it looks like when contemporary electronic music meets new media art in the Czech Republic.

Lunchmeat Festival is already a well-known, well-loved, and keenly anticipated event in the context of the Czech club milieu. The focus on the creative intersection of progressive electronic music and new media art ensures its unique position and innovative potential on the local scene. This year’s 7th edition held on October, 14th, brought about a couple of changes. The festival moved locations yet again, this time settling in the strict functionalist beauty of the former Electric Enterprises building, Prague-Holesovice – a place familiar to many thanks to NEONE multi-art-space there. The relocation allowed for the spatial extension of the event, with two stages, Neone and Elektra, running alongside the main stage hidden in the old cinema space. For the considerably high number of acts, the evening’s program was managed pretty conveniently and with a bit of running about (and endless backpack checking at the entrances), you could see pretty much everything your heart desired. The architecture of the building complemented the visual aspect of the festival and just in general the interior layout and interactive gadgets were really fun to explore.

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The second change I felt very subtly happening this year was a kind of relocation in terms of the visual identity (courtesy of Zuzana Burgrová and Nikole Wilde). Lunchmeat left the vibrant neon colours and playful graphics behind, and entered a monochromatic space rotating around the marble-like 3D Female_head.max model – the central symbol of this year’s topic connected to multiplication and duplication. Through the visuals based on B/W minimalism, the festival seemed to follow in the footsteps of its older cousin, the cathedral of audio-visual sermon – Atonal.

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In line with the festival’s philosophy, the program brought some of the hottest names of contemporary electronic music scene in collaboration with visiting as well as local visual artists. The line-up was pretty dense and the following overview is just a selection of things that particularly crushed us out. In the best way possible.

The London-based experimental duo patten took over the main stage with an extremely well thought out performance reaching the perfect unity of visuals and music, almost erasing the line between the two media. Precisely programmed laser beams created a wall of dripping light while patten’s videos were projected on the big screen behind the stage, mixing with scattered sounds and vocals. It felt like being immersed in a brand new hyperreality.

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On Elektra stage, music producer and DJ Ziúr, living and creating in Berlin, presented a music set which sent shivers down one’s spine. Debuting with her EP “Taiga” this July, Ziúr introduced the kind of sound which is hauntingly beautiful in its brutality. She creates a kind of controlled chaos which, however, feels very organic. It was as if the very nerve cells responded to the sounds. At one point, she shattered the crowd with a raw hardcore explosion and it felt like fireworks of euphoria. Pure love.

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Roly Porter in cooperation with MFO presented their live audio-visual show Third Law halfway through the night. After reading some reviews from this year’s Atonal, where the two artists also performed, I was very much intrigued. One of the crucial moments of their show encouraged participation of the audience. The instructions on the screen are clear – close your eyes and don’t be afraid. The strong strobe lights piercing the flesh of one’s eyelids create patterns of popping colours to the powerful sound of hypnotic drone. It was also kind of beautiful to look around and see the dreaming, flashing faces of people, each in their own private worlds.

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KABLAM, Swedish producer connected with the Berlin music scene, was another part of the succession of great acts on Elektra stage that night. She opened her set with variation on Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)”, letting the message seep-in well before moving to her captivating deconstruction of genres with a set which really made you listen and pay attention.

The last slot on Elektra line-up was reserved for the showcase of Her Records label presenting three of its main members/founders – Sudanim, MM and Kid Antoine. In their ecstatic b3b set, they poured out the sounds of contemporary London clubs and made you sell your soul to them. It was a 3-hour ritual in red light and smoke-machine infused air saturated with acoustic energy, jumping from experimental to catchy hooks, which locked you in the sweaty moment forgetful of the space outside.

 

Lunchmeat Festival: Website, Facebook
Text: Padla Nemeckova
Photo: Bajza

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