Lunchmeat Festival 2019—Dark Stars on the Horizon

Lunchmeat Festival returns to Prague at the end of September as the leading arena for cutting-edge electronic music and with more audio-visual punch than ever before. Their new motto is a challenge to the mainstream: “obsessed with audio-visual mindf**cks— & those who question the status quo.”

Since the night-by-night programing is not yet fully available, this is a short list of the top-notch artists who will be performing from September 30th to October 5th, opening with Dasha Rush’s performance of Aurora Cerebralis 360, which comes to Prague only a few days after its premiere in Berlin. Dasha Rush is a Russian-born visual artist and DJ/producer, overall a marvel of elegant experimental beats including drops into long ambient lulls or up-tempo dance groove interspersed by abrupt interruptions or hiccups of noise or her own vocals, while Aurora Cerebralis 360 is her newest head trip.

A second performance of Aurora Cerebralis 360 was recently added since the first sold out weeks ago. It is described like this: “From generative images of cerebral activity and neural connections, Dasha Rush & Alex Guevara create a dance on the threshold of simulation and stimulation, since the images from the inside of our nervous system also change the perception of the physical space.”

The minimalist composer Catarina Barbieri, from Italy (and based in Berlin), is another highlight. She does a deep space minimalism, meaning it’s a riveting exploration of repetition to the outer limits, influenced by classical music, and classic electronic masters i.e. Giorgio Moroder. On interviews with her on YouTube, she explains her complex experimentations like a latte-fueled young computer scientist or a professor, then behind the deck she transforms into a minimalist trance high-priestess. Her 2019 release “Ecstatic Computation” is a futuristic renaissance with surprising jolts of fury and beauty.

On the harder or darker side, French-Canadian Jesse Osborne-Lanthier otherwise known as HALCOO6 can weave with ease from light-hearted medieval or classical music (on his radio show) to hard-biting, treacherous beats as in “A.T.L.H.F.V.A.M.L.T.H.A.T.U.” or “As The Low Hanging Fruit Vulnerabilities Are More Likely To Have Already Turned Up,” which sounds like it could be the highway to hell.  

Lotic are based in Berlin in the same vein as American artist-musicians a century ago who sought out a safer life in Europe, as an exit or refuge away from racial prejudices in the USA. From Josephine Baker to Sidney Bechet and Nina Simone in France to Albert Ayler in Sweden, and countless lesser-known others, there were expatriate African-American artist-musicians who were decades ahead of the times musically and in some cases simultaneously simply out of step in their being or persona. As their kin, Lotic are sonically pioneering and deconstructing sultry American pop with a shock, spin and a grin.  

On the artier side there is Konx-om-Pax presenting “Ways of Seeing” which is likely inspired by the seminal art historian John Berger’s same-titled book. The audio tracks to their visual production start from a light psychedelic bounce to darker celestial explorations. Then there is “SYNSPECIES,” by a Spanish sound artist based in the UK, Elías Merino, with a Slovenian artist and coder Tadej Droljc doing “multi-scaled audiovisual objects that are cross pollinating, mutating, adopting and fighting for their space and existence; it’s a world of unreal physicality, constantly kneaded by violent forces.”

HDMIRROR is a Berlin-based South African producer who is a maximalist rave-godchild in aesthetic overload for his visuals with futuristic beats influenced by hardcore techno (or gabber) and trance. Then possibly the deepest in this direction, LSDXOXO has tracks with titles like “Death Rattle,” “Love Taps,” or “FREAKQUENCY,” that are best for the early morning-rise blur of thumping dance-floors.
Finally, a maestro senore is also a highlight this year. Murcof is a Mexican experimental electronic composer from Tijuana (the border town by San Diego), but he has been based in Barcelona for over a decade. Fernando Corona (aka Murcof) began performing as “Terrestre,” a founding member of Nortec Collective, the phenomenal alternative-techno DJ-producer ensemble from Tijuana. His tracks as part of Nortec are melodious and upbeat often with vocals in stark contrast to his austere later solo works. 

While Nortec Collective was best known as a fantastical whirl of futuristic dance beats combined with the quirky horns and shuffling rhythms of Mexican folk, mariachi, nortenos and banda, Murcof’s music started as an experiment sampling modern-classical music from Morton Feldman or Giya Kancheli with his layers of beats. The result is a majestic instrumental music of icy soundscapes, or an ice cool minimalist and ambient zone that is usually slow-burning in a somber and ominous tension. Murcof’s performance with Sergi Palau, a visual artist based in Valencia, is based on dream logic and surrealism. 

With up to 35 international projects spanning six nights and combining visual aspects with progressive electronic music artists in several venues including the Planetarium, CAMP, Ankali, and for main programs in the National Gallery (Trade Fair Palace), this year’s Lunchmeat aims to become among the top festivals in Europe for sounds and visions of our future.

For more information including the full program, see the website:

...and buy your tickets here

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