From September 6 to 8, the Meakusma Festival returns and we are delighted to present you with a first wave of confirmed artists and performers.
2019 marks the fourth edition of the Festival, as always focusing on experimental and club music alike, boasting an intimate atmosphere and a carefully curated lineup. Various venues across the Belgian city of Eupen will for that one weekend be host to the festival, proof of the fact that the Meakusma Festival has become part of the city’s DNA.
At the heart of the festival stands the Alter Schlachthof venue with its comfortable rooms and garden. The program of 2019’s festival aims at distributing all performances in such a way that the smaller rooms of the venue will have to deal with less audience traffic. There will be more simultaneous performances and an extra sound system, installed in a space previously not used. There will be concerts in a church on Saturday and Sunday. The IKOB museum will again be host to several performances during two days of the festival. Other locations are the art gallery Vorn Und Oben, the Gülcher street and the Loten Park with an installation by the Musica organization from Neerpelt focused on a participation-based experience of sound and music and a wooden installation developed in collaboration with Terraforma from Milan intent on enhancing the sounds of the installation’s environment. The German branch of the Dublab radio station will for the fourth time run the Heuboden room over the whole weekend. The festival will also feature many artist talks, installations, a film program, etc.
2017 marked a very gratifying first collaboration with the Brussels-based venue and record label Les Ateliers Claus. They will be back co-curating a selection of artists whose performances will be spread out over the three days of the festival. One example here is the very first collaborative concert by composer, guitarist and lecturer from New Zealand Roy Montgomery together with American musician, artist and producer Liz Harris/Grouper. Montgomery stands as one of New Zealand’s most vital underground artists, his signature sound revolving around atmosphere and the cinematic, complexly layered with echoing and droning guitar phrases. Grouper’s ethereal sound touches upon folk, contemporary classical music, renaissance music, avant-pop and early music.
Reihe-M from Cologne also returns as a curator, presenting concerts in the Friedenskirche by Kali Malone and Charlemagne Palestine. Hailed as one of the founders of minimalism alongside Philip Glass, Phil Niblock, Terry Riley and La Monte Young, Palestine prefers to define himself as a maximalist. His drones intent on making entire buildings resonate, his iconoclastic output is all about reverberation, layering and complexity.
Meakusma has struck up a collaboration with the Belgian KRAAK festival and record label. Three artists from their roster will perform at the festival, namely Köhn, Floris Vanhoof and Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond.
The Meeuw Muzak label will present a joint performance by Swiss free improv musician Norbert Möslang, New Yorker and former deranged grindcore singer Luke Calzonetti and respected contemporary painter and man behind the acclaimed Wendy Gondeln project Albert Oehlen. More Meeuw action comes in the shape of a collaborative performance of 7FO and Tapes. 7FO hails from Osaka and produces meditative oceanic soundscapes creating a reflective space for himself and his audience. Tapes mixes up dub aesthetics, library music, traditional Indian instruments and all sounds psychedelic, exploring the many facets of bass music. Legendary electronic musician Felix Kubin and percussionist Hubert Zemler will, as part of the program curated by Meeuw, present their alienating and dissontant descent into the audiovisual world of science fiction classics that is Juxtalektrovision.
Ben UFO very successfully curated a night at 2018’s festival and will be back this year bringing with him John T. Gast for the night progam on Friday and Laps and Klaus for performances on the dub soundsystem in the garden on Saturday afternoon. John T. Gast’s persona is shrouded in mystery, his work firmly on the fringe of London’s experimental music scene. He has collaborated with Hype Williams and Dean Blunt and cherishes channel heavy production and performance methods.
The Tashi Wada Group is the new group of Los Angeles-based composer Tashi Wada featuring singer songwriter, composer and artist Julia Holter and percussionist and artist Corey Fogel. Reimagining forms of ancient and devotional music, psychoacoustics and non-equal tuning, their sound subtly navigates the interactions, intimacy and spaciousness between the group members. Japanese singer, songwriter and avant-pop musician Miho Hatori is primarily known as the vocalist of the New York-based band Cibo Matto. She has also worked with Gorillaz and the Beasty Boys.
Keith Fullerton Whitman’s work is informed by ambient music, drone, musique concrète and krautrock. He stands as one of the most revered composers and performers working in the field of experimental music today. Brannten Schnüre is an experimental dark folk group from Germany. Their work directs itself towards the atonal and transfers folkloric, ritual elements into the 21st century. Don The Tigermixes rumba, baroque fantasy, guabina and flamenco with musique concrète and eleborate sampling techniques into a deeply expressive and melodically exuberant musical amalgam.
Multi-instrumentalists Benjamin Finger, James Plotkin and Mia Zabelka stretch the boundaries of electronic music, ambient, psychedelia and drone. Finger’s music defies defies definition, admitting to a desire to allow everything. Plotkin was once a member of Scorn. He threads audacious sonic waters from harsh power electronics to dub-infected ambient electronica. Zabelka’s work is visceral, cerebral and sensual. The Austrian violinist, improviser and composer has opened up the traditional understanding of her instrument towards improvisation, experimental music and sound art.
Catherine Plenevaux founded the Lexi Disques label that focuses on the crossroads of experimental and pop music. She will perform together with Céline Gillain whose music uses elements of sci-fi, feminism and deviant pop. The Trio Heinz Herbert has a jazz background, but delves into their own abstraction of jazz embracing technoid club culture, art rock, industrial and ambient sound art. The members of the Blurred Music Duo are both a part of the Splitter Orchestra. The duo works with musical structures that create a blur. Improvised parts alternate with fields of pre-structured material in which digital recordings of the duo are duplicated by live performance.
It is impossible to touch upon every artist in detail. For a full overview of all confirmed artists and performers, check the artist section. More coming up, so stay tuned!