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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

March 24, 2010
The second edition of the BEMF will take place later this week, from 26-28 March. Before initiating a Google search, let us assure you that the event we speak of, "one big electro-fest for three whole days, with live performances and night-time DJ sets, as well as major seated concerts in the Henry Le Boeuf Hall," is not the Boston Early Music Festival, nor is it even the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival. Lo, for even though the Google search results 1-10 of about 86,300 for "bemf" (delivered in 0.29 seconds, which is really pretty fast if you think about it) would lead you that way/ to bet on Northeastern America in this instance would be to go astray.

For ladies and gentlemen it is in Europe where this action goes down, where "both music-lovers who like to sink back in a plush seat and clubbers keen to party all night long" can find the "total package of images and beats." We are talking of none other than the Brussels Electronic Music Festival, an event that began last year and is continuing with a "second edition [that] promises fireworks!"

The getting is good on tickets for the event, with online and vendor sales of a relatively inexpensive €30 Festival Pass good for all three days, as well as discounted presale tickets and tags at the venue doors while they last. As the name implies the whole deal goes down in Brussels, the Belgian city known as both the national capital and the administrative centre of the European Union as well as the home of the Jan Bucquoy celebrity underpants museum. And of course the Belgian country between the city and the Netherlands has come to be known as a hotbed of ecstasy production. If you can't have fun near the EU offices with a bunch of Europeans from cities with weird old castles and in the vicinity of drugs, framed underwear and a bevy of electronic music, you're just not trying.

Things kick off with a Preview Night + Statik Dancin' Party at Horta Hall that will run for an hour and a half on Friday before running for another six into the wee hours of Saturday. The preview is of side-wired electronic music, in this case courtesy of Hexstatic, a UK duo who got their start when Stuart Warren Hill and Robin Brunson helmed the Ninja Tune project Hex and began touring with Coldcut for the Natural Rhythms Trilogy, where "they were responsible for the visual effects and video mash-ups that made the total-experience reputation of the Ninja Tune evenings." Over the last decade these guys have matched their electro cuts with hard goods like "anaglyph" videos for 3D glasses. The official word says they're "masters of the art of mixing images, from ecological consciousness-raising to SF fantasy, political mockery and more," and they'll be mounting a live video show. Ambitious.

There will be a solo showcase for Sylvain Chauveau, the critical instrumental wunderkind from Bayonne, France who has dropped cuts for the labels Type, FatCat, Creative Sources, Nature Bliss, and some weird French stuff we haven't even heard of. And, okay, so he's not a wunderkind, but he is, according to Wikipedia, "the composer of the soundtracks for films by Sébastien Betbeder" and he has written "original music for dance shows." And what is BEMF but a giant dance show?

Of note on the same night at Terarken Club there is also a five-hour Mexican Electronica Showcase by Nopal Beat, Antena Discos & Droid Behavior, with live sets by Kümbia Korrupters, Luis Flores, Drumcell & CPU, Paravoice and Sebastian Veytia. The Statik Dancin' party will come courtesy of DJ sets by Fader, Darko, Fady One and Thomas Brinkmann playing Soulcenter live, plus an All Stars battle of Fady vs Fader vs Darko set.

Saturday night is a showcase for the Border Community recording house, "a key minimal-techno label throughout the years since [being] founded in the UK in 2003 by James Holden." In Brussels Holden will suit up with compatriots Avus, Luke Abott and VJ Dan to revisit "dance floor hits" that spotlight Holden's imprint as "not just a producer of dance music," based on what those in Brussels call the label's "many incursions into post-rock, ambient, and electronica." Those forays, they say, "are in fact more representative of the label's identity than those few moments of glory under the glitter-ball." Sound menu for the night lists DJ sets by Holden, Luke Abbott and Avus, plus "visuals" by DAN (Köln). Later Thomas Brinkmann plays Click live, and DJ and live sets from Playboy's Bend, Sierra Sam, Quenum, Dan Curtin, Rodriguez Jr and Marcus Vector. The Henry Le Boeuf Bar will have Sylvain Chauveau and Pierre-Yves Macé live, followed by Machinefabriek, and DJ sets by Monsieur Magnetik and Mathieu Fonsny (Surfing Leons). Live sets in Henry Le Boeuf Hall by Cluster, D*Fuse, Chris De Luca (Funkstörung), Aufgang, while Horta Hall has Sei A before the Border Community crew roll in.

BEMF 2010 closes out with a Raster-Noton showcase performance by Cyclo, which is Ryoji Ikeda & Carsten Nicolai. We last mentioned the Berlin-based label when we posted a Field Notes entry on their collaboration with confederate label Minus on the CONTAINER project. The event organizers assure us that "anyone interested in experimental minimalism, in this case the mastery of microsounds," will be treated to a legendary performance by Ikeda and Nicolai. They go on to boast that the collaborative album the pair released in 2001 "is still one of the cornerstones of contemporary experimental music and the stage presentation illustrating it continues to thrill and astound a public eager for dizzying sensations." Aside from that we know that Ikeda's Dataplex was so "un-quantifiable in any traditional sense" that Andy Brown could only give it a (NR) Non Rating, writing that "the sonic equivalent of zeros and ones, the disc slowly but surely builds on sparse glitches and clicks with each track until it reaches a sound that could technically be called music."

Sunday evening's seated performances in Henry Le Boeuf Hall will be Johann Johannsson doing a live set and then the Raster-Noton takeover. Those seated in M Hall will see Dieter Moebius & Joachim Roedelius present a live "journey through Cluster's history," plus sets by The Aktivist (aka Gauthier Keyaerts) with Natalia de Mello, Christophe Bailleau, Cédric Stevensand Odaka.

Remember: Belgium: It's more than waffles. Especially this weekend.

SEE ALSO: www.bemf.be

--
The LAS Staff
A number of the Lost At Sea staff have worked and continue to work for various publications, both independent and commercial. Often very stifling in their narrow focus, conventional media outlets left our writers hungry for something bigger, more diverse, more communal. More active, because this is the twenty-first century and it makes sense. During it's short life LAS has accomplished many of its goals (but not all) and has in turn set new ones. Everything that we accomplish is through teamwork and cooperation, both with our regular staff writers and with our contributing writers. LAS is nothing short of a collective. Another contrasting point to some of the magazines out there is that we've checked our egos and scene ethics at the door. We welcome anyone and everyone to contribute and cover a wide range of topics. LAS does not follow your guide lines.

See other articles by The LAS Staff.

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