Last weekend we went to the Alien Disko festival, an event from outer space for music lovers of all kinds. The second edition was plenty of different styles, as it was the first edition. If you wanted to hear something different and to let yourself go in melodies, sounds, noises, beats, and, in the end, music, that was your perfect festival. African sounds, electronic music, rock, indietronica… if we were dancing on another planet, maybe this would be the soundtrack.
The night of the Friday began with Drahla, a band added some weeks before the festival took place instead of Sauna Youth, who canceled because their drummer had a damaged eardrum. The band of Leeds reminds to Sonic Youth and started their concert emerging from the mist, a magic way of inaugurating a festival in one of the most beautiful venues of Munich, the Münchner Kammerspiele.
Some minutes later, we could enjoy the steamroller of sounds called Nah. The Philadelphia artist mixed African sounds, hip-hop, techno with powerful drums and geometric visuals. He pronounced two statements: “Don’t be shy and get loose” and “Don’t give a shit and take care of each other”. Two big lessons in life.
After the tremendous show of Nah, we saw a little bit of Tomaga, a band that produces sounds from another world. Seeing them was like being inside of a mysterious movie soundtrack with loads of intensity and different noises coming from synthesizers, drums, xylophone, and percussions, creating an extraordinary sound.
A little bit of the so-called indietronica came at Kammerspiele 2, where we saw before the show of Nah. This time the band Ms. John Soda was filling the air with their wonderful pop and their rays of sun’s visuals, creating a dreamlike ambiance.
We came back to the main room to see Shabazz Palaces, whose singer Ishmael Butler, was always smiling and rapping. He and the multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire reinvent rap as we known and create unconventional sounds mixing jazz and hip-hop in a masterful way. Not to mention the visuals, space, kids with a boombox… Simply incredible!
The after-work party was amazing, like a jam session, some musicians were distributed in every corner of Blauen Haus restaurant, using regular instruments and modular synthesizers.
The second day began with The Notwist, the band behind the idea and curation of Alien Disko festival. They are pretty iconic in Munich, and their singer, Markus Acher, seems to have the ability to be everywhere, as he is also a member of numerous bands in the Bavarian capital. Their show was at the beginning only instrumental, creating the perfect atmosphere for the started of a long night. It was also like a short jam session, with improvisation and noise in the best sense of the word, and colorful and hypnotic visuals.
We saw some videos of the duo Sculpture before going to the festival, but seeing them live was completely different. Their powerful sound combined with animated visuals made at the same time was something captivating. We couldn’t lose our sight of the show.
The concert of Vanishing Twin was like being inside The Wizard of Oz film. Each member of the band looked like coming from a fairytale. Cathy Lucas, the singer, was wearing a strange hat and loose-fit harlequin trousers, and the rest of the members were wearing glitter and shiny garments creating a magical aura thanks to the faint lights and the stardust sounds. Something really unique that we were fortunate to see for the first time in Germany.
The end of the night for us arrive at the Konono nº 1 show, our last concert of the festival. This super orchestra from Congo made us move and dance like we wanted to keep the bad spirits away, as a way of liberation. They use traditional African instruments in a modern way, creating sounds of the future. Their concert was a party itself, with an unstoppable rhythm. See you next year aliens!
*Header image: Sr. Burns artwork