Some people have argued that electronic music is not really music at all. To me, it is the epitome of music. I love the infinite possibilities of unique soundscapes electronic music can create. And to be fair, it has been around for quite some time and the number of genres is mind-boggling. Plus, it can be found everywhere in modern culture (remember when many ads had drum and bass in them, and for a while now, every other extreme sports video on youtube features dubstep) and can be combined with any style, like the David Guetta-influenced elements in contemporary Hip Hop, Rap, and RnB.
But experiencing this kind of music is the best done live, immersing oneself into the soundscapes. Following, are two compilations of some of the gigs I went to in 2012/13. Sorry for the, at times, bad audio or video quality (unedited smartphone footage) and for the occasional Vertical Video Syndrome. And I also apologize for being the guy in front of you holding up my phone;)
Intro/outro track: Ludwijka 5 (Strike082), Anders Ilar on 15 Years of Shit.
The whole video is footage from the Fusion festival near Berlin, from the 26th of June to the 1st of July 2013. A truly amazing experience, as one enters a parallel universe devoid of rules and regulations, full of self-expression and tolerance (self-responsibility being the key). A subculture minimizing consumerism and fostering creative expression, the whole festival is organized from the bottom-up, without the usual hierarchies one would expect for an event of this scale. In 2013, over 70'000 people attended, plus an estimated additional 10'000 illegally without tickets, bringing the whole infrastructure to its limits. Since 2010, the organizers had to limit the number of tickets and from 2012 on, people wishing to attend the festival needed to participate in a ticket lottery. This means that the people who made it to the festival are really happy to attend and there is no trace of an aggressive vibe to be felt (only the local neo-Nazis need to be banned, their ideology plaguing the whole area).
The festival, first starting in 1997, is set in a former Soviet military airfield (more on the history here). Every year, the site transforms into a tent and camper city, immersed in non-stop, mostly electronic, music (the happening is so big that you can probably find any kind of music genre somewhere). Here is a playlist of nearly 100 hours of music from the festival. The intricate, and at times huge, decoration and installations are mind-blowing, making the whole thing a truly audio-visual feast. Finally, the food is strictly veg*an:)
A compilation of the following clips:
Rammstein, O2 Arena London, 24th of February 2012
Not electronic music, but just an awesome live band. They seriously rock, with crazy pyrotechnics, next to extreme and bizarre performances. Rammstein is perhaps one of the most controversial and provocative bands out there and address extremely disturbing aspects of society:
- "Mein Teil": The song is inspired by the criminal case of Armin Meiwes and Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, that happened in Rotenburg, Germany. In March 2001, the two men, both in their 40s, met each other and cut off and cooked Brandes' penis. They consumed it together, before Brandes was killed by Meiwes. As Brandes agreed to the whole ordeal, Meiwes was initially only convicted of manslaughter. In a retrial, he was then sentenced for murder.
- "Wiener Blut": The song deals with the Fritzl case in the town of Amstetten, Austria, that began on the 29th of August 1984. Josef Fritzl lured his then 18 year old daughter Elisabeth into the basement, drugged her, and kept her captive in a dungeon he had constructed. This was only discovered on April 28, 2008, 24 years later. During this time, sexual abuse led to Elisabeth giving birth to seven children. One died, three would be adopted by Fritzl and his wife (he claimed his daughter was in a cult and that she had left her babies on their front porch) and the remaining three would be condemned to never see the sunlight and live in an extremely constrained cellar compartment with their mother until their rescue. Their only connection to the outside world was a TV and radio.
- "Hallelujah": Insinuates the scene of a minor being sexually abused by a pious priest.
- "Rammstein": The first song written by the band based on the tragic Ramstein air show disaster. The lyrics are extremely graphic. The song was featured in the 1997 David Lynch film "Lost Highway", and gave rise to the band's popularity in the US.
Ab und zu, Schatzalp Davos, 25th - 28th of May 2012, and 9th - 12th of May 2013
One of my favorite parties, set in an amazing Belle Époque (Art Nouveau) hotel in the Swiss mountains. The organizers put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears. So no wonder many DJs want to be part of the experience. Words cannot really describe this event, and pictures can only give a hint.
Streetparade, Zurich, 11th of August 2012, and 10th of August 2013
Arguably the biggest electronic festival in the world (Berlin's Love Parade was permanently cancelled after a crowd rush). It was initiated in 1992 and people often foresaw its demise. In 2013 approximately 950'000 people flocked to Zurich to dance in the streets, following 28 Love Mobiles (huge semi-trailer trucks, pumping out 600'000 Watts of music) and party at one of the many clubs that weekend.
Lethargy, Rote Fabrik, Zurich, 9th of August 2013
One of the many clubs that get transformed for the Streetparade weekend, set in awesome surroundings. A short clip features Northern Lite.
Zurich Openair, Glattbrugg, 24th of August 2012 and 31st of August of 2013
A music festival just outside of Zurich, featuring indie, electronic, and rock music. Initiated in 2010, in 2013 an estimated 70'000 visitors attended. Next to promoting newcomers, many big names of the music industry can be found each year in the line-up. Clips, in chronological order, feature: Soulwax (see also Radio Soulwax), the Prodigy, Soulwax performing as 2manydjs, Paul Kalkbrenner, Justice, and the Chemical Brothers.
Underground Party, Zurich, February 2013
Event at the Hallenstadion, Zurich, March 2013