- NEXT BROADCAST 13/10/2017 (22:30 CEST)
SKAŅU MEŽS FESTIVAL : SHABAZZ PALACES, JLIN, MACHINE WOMAN
It’s been fifteen years since the first Skaņu Mežs (“Sound Forest”) festival took place in Riga, but a question repeatedly voiced is – what is the festival’s purpose? Briefly – Skaņu Mežs is organised both to give an overview of the latest developments within modern music as well as to nurture an ongoing chain of interesting musical events in Riga, Latvia. Skaņu Mežs is a music festival which has as its goal to widen the audience’s horizons, and to offer alternatives to dominant views on culture. The events can be seen as an opportunity for people to detach themselves from their mundane and everyday comfort zones, in this way refreshing their perspective on the world. This year Erica Synths Garage collaborates with the festival to create an oppurtunity of experiencing genre wise diverse performances to those not present in the festival. On 13th of October tune in Erica Synths channel at 10:30 PM CEST to witness Shabazz Palaces, Jlin and Machine Woman perform live.
The first hip-hop crew signed to the Sub Pop label, Shabazz Pal aces is the brainchild of Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, although the Digable Planets member wasn’t so quick to admit it. In 2009, Shabazz Palaces released two EPs — one self-titled, the other titled Of Light — but Butler’s name didn’t appear on either. No promo shots, no social net - working sites, no interviews, and no press releases were issued by the enigmatic, Seattle-based project, but that didn’t stop the local press from throwing praise at these EPs, which hit much harder than Digable while retaining that forward-thinking wordplay. The EPs became favorites at the Sub Pop offices, too, and in 2010, the usu - ally indie rock label signed the project, releasing their debut album, Black Up, in 2011. Next, it transpired that Tendai Maraire — son of the famous mbira player Dumisani Maraire — was responsible for most of the instrumentation on that record and that Shabazz Palaces was, in effect, a duo. In 2014 they published a second Shabazz Palaces studio album, Lese Majesty. Three years later, in 2017, they returned with two further albums, Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs the Jealous Machines; both albums chronicled the journey of Quazarz, a celestial being trying to navigate the harsh reality of life on Earth. Both Black Up and Lese Majesty were named among the „50 Best Albums of the Year” in 2011 and 2014 respectively, with Lese Majesty, being the most abstract of the two recordings, attracting also the attention of experimental music audiences and being named in a similar year-end-best-album list by The Wire magazine. The two recently released albums of 2017 have also gathered positivel feedback; Pitchfork, for instance, wrote the following: „Gangster Star and Jealous Machines are es - sential counter-programming against the indoctrination of the screen-based economy—and a refreshing example of art and expression wholly unconcerned with convention.” Before the two albums’ release, Rolling Stone magazine named them among the 24 most anticipated rap albums of 2017, adding that „Shabazz Palaces are responsible for some of the most strangely alluring hip-hop of the 2010s”.
Jlin first came to public attention featuring on the Bangs and Works footwork compilations at the start of the decade. Her de - but album on Planet Mu - „Dark Energy” - displayed a unique creative talent that outgrew any easy genre tags, placing her in her own musical zone of hyper rhythmic cuts that displayed a tension between anger and colourful euphoria. Embarking on a world tour soon after the album release she grew a repu - tation as a formidable live act, and the album ended up in the top 10’s and 20’s of album lists for 2015 for lots of music publi - cations. In 2017 she follows up her debut with a new album due out in the first half of the year. Patton was raised in Gary, Indiana, United States. Growing up, she was exposed to music through her parents, and her favorite artists were Anita Baker, Rachelle Ferrell, and Sade. She also heard footwork at an early age. Patton began making her own music in 2008, and was inspired by her mother to pur - sue a unique sound. She also received encouragement from figures such as DJ Rashad, who she communicated with online. After making the track Erotic Heat, she was hesitant to re - lease it because it did not fit the conventional sound of a footwork song. The track was ul - timately released on Planet Mu’s Bangs & Works, Vol. 2 compila - tion in 2011, which showcased Chicago juke and footwork artists and brought Jlin atten - tion. The song was later used to accompany a 2014 Rick Owens fashion show. She released her debut album Dark Energy in 2015 to critical acclaim. Dark Energy would help to popularize footwork on a global stage. In 2017, Jlin released her second album Black Origami. It features collaborations with William Basinski, Holly Herndon, Fawkes, and Dope Saint Jude.
Russian-born Anastasia Vtorova a.k.a. Machine Woman is a sound artist and image maker who often collaborates with oth - er artists. Her works are inspired by late night listening to the sounds of down beat minimal electronica along with melan - cholic cinema from all over the world. She sets what has been de ëned as “waltzing the line be - tween techno and avant garde”. Since 2014, there have been releases on Tesla Tapes, WTN?, Peder Mannerfelt Produktion as well as contributions to Sacred Tapes and low income $quad. Her work has begun to gather notable attention, having been highlighted in Fact Magazine’s ‘10 house & techno producers to watch in 2016’. November 2016 saw the beginning of Take Away Jazz Records, Vtorova’s own label the output of which she characterizes as “music for people who can’t sleep at night and are perhaps quite fond of mundane, abstract col - lages”. She has recently been offered a regular show on Berlin Community Radio as well as contributing a bi-monthly pod - cast to Bristol’s Noods Radio. Vtorova is currently working on a number of remixes and new material. Machine Woman is a fan of audio books and the Baltic Sea. She is an artist of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art from Europe.