All roads lead to Electron
Kick-off this year some three months before the festivities begin. The initiative of an Electron On Tour, conceived two years ago already, gets a head start. Because the festival thinks big, or rather large, and starts its new edition with an extended series of pre-parties, that will criss-cross the country (Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Basel, Zurich, Valais) all the way to Bordeaux, leading the festival-goers to the road of the great electronic epic journey that will culminate from 17 to 20 April 2014. This approach is consistent with the desire to broaden its scope, as evidenced by the new partnerships of the festival (CFF RailAway, Genève Tourisme and Festicket), while bringing together more and more, increasingly cosmopolite spectators, attracted by a multidisciplinary event that is at the forefront of creativity.
But if today the festival significantly broadens its horizons, it wants also, paradoxically, to be a gathering point. A gathering point for all the actors of the Geneva scene, because to the Fonderie, la Gravière and Silencio, a new satellite venue has been added, Weetamix, just as the Makhno completes the venues at the Usine. A gathering point for all experienced or emerging Swiss talents, since, in addition to the night slots offered each year, a day stage will be entirely dedicated to them. A gathering point also for all the festival-goers, who like thousands of totem poles symbolized in the new publicity campaign of the festival, will come together to celebrate Easter weekend’s high mass of electronic music. Finally, a gathering point for the most faithful devotees who will conclude the festival on Sunday night in the single venue of the Palladium, instead of the usual Rez and Zoo…
A broadband program schedule
The Electron festival never goes in for half-measures, and will again play the extremes when it put together its new programming strategy. First of all, a stylistic splits, as from one venue to another, from one artist to another, the festival-goers will be able to sample all the major trends of today’s electronic music (techno, house, electro, dubstep, electronica…) via niche styles such as goa (at the Fonderie) or dub (at Weetamix). Next, an artistic split as the tutelary figures and figureheads (DJ Pierre, Front 242, Stacey Pullen, Robag Wruhme, Mr Oizo, Vitalic…) will share the billing with the new spearheads of the electronic landscape, such as the electronica prodigy Applescal, the talented duo of hackers Akkord, the new US sensation Giraffage or the undisputed new revelation of the last Transmusicales, Oum Shatt.
Finally, split between the different moving plates of electronic arts that contribute to the richness of this culture, fiercely defended by the festival, that nevertheless constantly tries to create links between disciplines. Dance will again be at the heart of the debate, in novel venues such as the Palladium or, surrounded by the public, in the centre of the exhibition at the Commun. Also movies, conferences, workshops, first encounters… Not to mention the must-see exhibition of the festival, which will invite the festival-goers, with the title Power Tracks Vol.1 – Mécanismes et esthétiques de pouvoir dans les musiques électroniques occidentales et leurs cultures, to think outside the box by moving away from the works usually encountered in the “official” circuit of digital art.
Electron would not be what it is if it didn’t take on the role of a festival at the forefront of the trends, bringing to the table of electronic debate the artists who make the news. This is the case for Daniel Avery, the British producer who is making the headlines of the specialized press, Mount Kimbie, Warp’s little protégés that everyone wants at their party, Perc, the untouchable techno producer, or the crazy Sexy Sushi, in exclusivity at Electron.
However, this year, the Electron festival pushes the invective a little farther by focusing on major musical or artistic projects, that will daily appear on the bill of the festival: complex and extraordinary projects, novel collaborations, rare performances…At the opening day of the festival, an original show combining classical with electronic music, in a unique configuration of two pianos and a chamber orchestra, will bring together Francesco Tristano, David Greilsammer and the Geneva Camerata. The orchestra, from Valais this time, will also be at the heart of Deltron 3030’s “hip-hop opera”, a sensational trio led by scratcher genius Kid Koala. There will also be the exceptional group Japanese Open Real Ensemble, which will gave a unique show for 5 musicians and 4 tape recorders… We should also mention the Dantesque show of Jackson & His Computerband, the very much expected live of British genius James Holden, the exciting performance of Blomqvist or the original, all-too-rare lives, of the Âme duo, Isolée or Max Cooper.
Lastly, Electron 2014 will also be the occasion to revisit labels that have made the history of electronic music, such as Pampa Records, the stable of the legendary Robag Wruhme, DJ Pierre’s acid house label The Phuture, or, in another style, Urgence Disk Records, which will celebrate its 15 years at Electron…
Electron festival, the party is on!