Before Rewire kicks off on Friday, dive into the music programme with the final part of our ‘Festival Routes’, pointing you to performances and shows you certainly don’t want to miss. This route highlights the musicians that embrace noise, grain and other dense textures for their weighty music.
An early festival highlight will be the performance of Ryoji Ikeda’s ‘100 Cymbals’ by Les Percussions de Strasbourg at the Amare Concertzaal (19.00). The renowned Japanese-born and Paris-based visual and sound artist is mostly known for his compositions in the field of experimental electronic music and computer art, but here he applies his grid-like approach to music to the realm of analogue and physical instrumentation. By employing ten percussionists in a geometrical set-up consisting of one hundred cymbals, this composition transforms the cymbal into a site of harmonic tension, producing alluring and hypnotic sounds that verge on droning synthesizers.
At Theater aan het Spui (22.55) The British noise experimentalist Helm joins forces with the American visual artists Nate Boyce for an immersive A/V performance based on Helm’s newest work Axis, a propulsive, throbbing and convulsing piece of harmonic noise and spelunking audio design that masterfully weaves techno, bass and noise together. This intense album proves to be a fascinating sonic framework for Boyce’s equally tactile and uncanny approach to (digital) imagery.
Shortly following their performance, Blackhaine will take over PAARD (00.15) with an energizing and captivating performance of his latest material. The performer, choreographer and musician hailing from the UK has established himself as one of the fiercest embodiments of British counter-culture — a sensational multi-disciplinary artist that manages to channel British desperation and austerity in gripping and cinematic music, choreography and video work, fusing rap, spoken word, trip-hop, ambient and drill into a thrilling new whole.
Head into the Saturday night with a reality-shaking set by Aho Ssan, who will perform a live show based around his debut LP Simulacrum. Inspired in part by French sociologist Jean Baudrillard’s influential text “Simulacres et Simulation,” his electronic work plays with synthesis and simulation, picking apart notions of reality through entrancing layers of fog, glitch, noise and bass.
Listen on bandcamp
Then, head over to PAARD (23.40) for an all-out performance by Ziúr with Kiani del Valle & Sander Houtkruijer. This immersive live show doubles down on Ziúr’s cinematic and intense approach to music production. The result is an exhilarating and intoxicating performance with cathartic music, hypnotic visuals and ecstatic dancing.
Ecko Bazz will bring a similar, undeniable energy to the stage. Merging the sounds of hardcore UK grime with dancehall, American trap and ferocious Lugandan lyrical style, the Ugandan rapper has become a unique phenomenon exploding onto the Eastern Africa hip hop and grime scene. His forceful and poignant club music is now taking the world by storm and will undoubtedly shake-up PAARD during the Saturday night (01.00).
Listen on bandcamp
During the late hours (PAARD, 03.00), Jana Rush unleashes her distinctive take on Chicago footwork music that’s expanding on the intricate rhythms and humming subbasses hailing from the Windy City. By letting loose some of the more conventional rhythmic characteristics of the Chicago sound and incorporating challenging jazz samples, Jana Rush is crafting deeply personal music that’s well-versed in both the world of footwork and experimental electronic music.
As Slumberland, the Belgian musician, composer and instrument-maker Jochem Baelus tinkers on his hypnotic krautrock, embellished with distorted exotica. On Sunday (Korzo, 15.10), he will take the stage of Korzo together with Tuvian vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak, the first female overtone artist who combines these traditional chants with influences from avant-garde music.
German trio Carl Gari (Jonas Yamer, Till Funke and Jonas Friedlich) and the Egyptian singer and trumpeter Abdullah Miniawy will then bring their urgent collaborative work to Rewire 2022 (Koorenhuis, 18.30). Their unique, shared sonic sensibilities are employed for powerful music that evokes how Egyptians have lived under the brutal oppression of the Al-Sisi regime.
Equally urgent is this intense performance by Jerusalem In My Heart. Their agitated, yet unwavering work warps traditional Middle Eastern music and culture through a prism of restless avant-garde modernism, reflecting on destabilizing effects of globalism on the Arab world. During Rewire, at the Koninklijke Schouwburg (20.05) Jerusalem In My Heart will translate their urgent material to a site-specific performance that combines their dystopian, brooding music with acute, analogue visuals projected by 16mm film projectors.