With the big day just around the corner, we ask our partners and crew to share some festival acts worth showing up for, because more than just being able to put together a festival, we’d like to think of ourselves as simply one of the most ardent music fans, right up there with you.
Hugo (Red Light Radio): Vanligt Folk
There’s an incredible indoor equivalent of SSFB Festival in Malmö called Intonal. Festival director Ulf Eriksson runs the record label Kontra-Musik. We’re big fans of the label and when it introduced Vanligt Folk’s Hambo record last year, we were blown away. The crossover of weird lo-fi wave and punk electronica is original and energetic. Checking the live videos to then witness some Swedish mad men going wild, it was clear this has to be seen at this year’s RLR stage.
Coincidentally they were booked too at Intonal last April and we can promise the current live show is insane and perfect for our little stage at Noorderlicht.
Hugo (Red Light Radio): Clara! Y Maoupa
Maoupa Mazzocchetti has a history of releasing records on our favourite labels like Knekelhuis, Mannequin, Editions Gravats, Unknown Precept, Arma and so on. His productions are all fresh and quite different. No surprise Maoupa hooked up with Spain-raised PRR! PRR! affiliate Clara! to do a Reggaeton project. They are about to release a lot more music, but for now get familiar with their ‘El Ratón’ track, already a classic to us. It’s about time to bring these heavy Latin rhythms to our SSFB stage.
Rush Hour crew: Mutant Beat Dance
Mutant Beat Dance is a combination of Traxx aka Melvin Oliphant, Beau Wanzer and Steve Summers. Their mission is to bring the wild and free sound of Chicago’s Music Box era into the 21st Century. It’s hard to describe their genre, but it comes the closest to a mix of post-punk, minimal wave, industrial, disco dub, EBM and proto-house / early house. We absolutely tip Mutant Beat Dance because you won’t get many chances to see them this festival season. Not to miss!
Rush Hour crew: KAMMA & Massalo
Upcoming duo KAMMA & Masalo are true craftsmen in the so called ‘DJ game’. They’ve both been collecting records from a young age and for a couple of years now, they’re producing the hell out of things. This already resulted in Masalo’s New Dance EP on Rush Hour Music last year, amongst several other dancefloor-filling edits that are being played by highly skilled DJs like Hunee and Palms Trax. This year’s Strange Sounds From Beyond will see them closing the Rush Hour stage. And to be honest, KAMMA & Masalo are just the type of DJs that will flourish during a festival closing set.
Shane (The Rest is Noise): BbyMutha
At first glance BbyMutha may seem like an odd booking between all other acts but don’t be deceived. After last year’s victorious run of Mykki Blanco and Lyzza it was certain that genre-defying, forward-moving rap belongs at Strange Sounds From Beyond. And BbyMutha is just that: hard to pin down and unstoppable. Her exquisite flow is undeniable and her unapologetic anti-patriarchal lyrics are inspiring and empowering in a world where toxic masculinity can be over-abundant. Collaborating with producers such as Suicideyear and LSDXOXO gives her music that extra edge. Favourite tracks: ‘Toxic’ (yes, Britney’s Toxic is there) and ‘Indian Hair’ (as known from Netflix’s ‘Dear White People’). (And now we haven’t even mentioned the fact that she is also a single mum of two sets of twins; that alone deserves all the respect in the world.)
Shane (The Rest is Noise): Mdou Moctar
It’s a dream come true that Mdou Moctar plays Strange Sounds From Beyond. There are a lot of great Tuareg bands out there and we are lucky some of them get to play in Europe once in a while (that is as long as Fort Europe’s visa issues don’t stop them). While famous bands like Tinariwen, Bombino and Imarhan may have paved the way, Mdou Moctar especially stands out for his innovative guitar playing and sense of urgency, all while staying light-hearted and casually winning the album-promo-game of the year.
Quintin (Strange Sounds From Beyond): Mabuta
Mabuta is part of the fresh wind of jazz musicians currently sweeping through South Africa. Frontman, composer, producer and bass player Shane Cooper is seen as one of the biggest new young virtuosos in the country; once you hear him play, you’ll instantly understand why. For a band, Mabuta sets an incredibly high bar. Great numbers played to technical excellence, the music has a calming presence, and never ‘too much’ as you sometimes get with certain music. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon at home, or a Saturday afternoon at the NDSM…
Lounes (Strange Sounds From Beyond): African Head Charge
With a discography in excess of a dozen albums and a career shy of four decades, legendary ensemble African Head Charge will be gracing Noordelicht for the very first time with the objective of openly amassing more converts to their signature brand of polyrhythmic outernational sounds. The London-based psychedelic dub-reggae ensemble is led by Jamaican percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah and one thing is for certain, they won’t sound like anything you’ve heard before, so get ready for a system-wide sonic cleanse.