Lunchmeat Festival 2020 – We Must Keep Dancing

Lunchmeat Festival 2020 – the annual cutting-edge club arena for electronic music paired with state-of-the-art audio-visual technics – will take place from September 28 till October 3.

The festival combines performances for sit-down attention and contemplation with later evenings for revels on the dancefloor.

However, the motto for this year’s festival is “We See You Dancin’” which puts more emphasis on our need for such a release, especially in these weird times of both post-quarantine and another potentially upcoming quarantine.

SOPHIE is the biggest name on the festival’s marquee this year. As a Los-Angeles based, Scottish singer, performer and producer, SOPHIE has a colorful and singular PC sound from her own software produced adrenaline-charged synth-pop merged with elements of sound blasts, like the twists and turns of computer games or sound fragments on movie soundtracks–the new “natural” sounds of life around us. SOPHIE has emerged from her underground status recently as a top-ranked producer for pop stars including Charli XCX, Kendrick Lamar, and even Madonna (see the video “Bitch, I’m Madonna”).

Another experimental pop artist at the top of the bill is Lyra Pramuk, who works with recordings of her own voice, which she manipulates or processes through software and effects for a celestial sound massage. Pramuk is a young American based in Berlin, and her sound returns us to an ancient time or to our ancestral roots of ritual and spiritual chants, quite poignant for our Covid-fear computers’ era. Pramuk’s performance could be the only one combining listeners lying on the floor with eyes closed in deep meditation, while at the front or in the corners, dancers may be slowly weaving to her magic.   

Another one at the top of the list is Helena Hauff, a German DJ and producer from Hamburg; Hauff herself is a great dancer as she can be seen dancing to her own set of minimal techno and electro for an uplifting Boiler Room performance “Streaming From Isolation” in March 2020. This one was streamed live from her apartment (under lockdown) in order to raise funds for Global FoodBanking Network.  Boiler Room has even dubbed her the Quarantine Queen to underline the importance of such DJs now.

Robert Henke, yet another first-rate DJ and producer from Berlin is a veteran of more experimental electronic music with his slow-building, luscious and monumental sound mixed with assorted bleeps and burps best heard on albums like “Floating Point” from 1997 or “Indigo Transform” from 2009 which is an ambient drone on the darker side.

Henke is an audio-visual installation artist so in this way, he is a descendent of Brian Eno, yet he is in the pulse of the younger generation. His audio-visual piece for Boiler Room (composed in 2015) “Lumiere II” and performed in Mexico in 2016 (on YouTube) is a meditative inner space odyssey and a masterstroke in computer programming graphics light and sound.

For the fans of hyper-full-blown computer graphic-visions, possibly the one to best meet such urges is the Chicago and New York-based digital artist Sam Rolfes, a true 3D and VR pioneer. He manipulates his body into futuristic forms in fantastical worlds and for Lunchmeat he’ll do a 360 AV experience. The sound that goes along to such creations is a heavy-duty computer-industrial mash-up and it’s loud.

Another harder set will be promised by the duo Know V.A., well-known for their Hard dance mixes ala Strange Days in Amsterdam. It is a hard sound that can be hard to dance to (at least for the uninitiated). 

Locals or other artists a bit closer to Prague on the program include Nina Pixel (from Slovakia) with Adrián Kriška performing Ancestral Archeology—a dark, noisy and industrial exploration; Ethno Service, a techno-dub ambient dance Prague collective will make an AV collaboration with Štěpán Marko.  And NIVVA who is a computer creation/virtual musician/artwork based in Prague, as if a home base is even relevant for digital avatars. “Easy”, her February 2020 release as a single and video (on YouTube), is a short and exceptionally slower minimalist electro-synth-pop ballad sung in English.

There are a few other venues too, including Archa Theatre, for a bewitching and immersive installation titled Nonotak, experimenting with space in a mesmerizing duet or dance in kinetic light and sound between two artists, the illustrator Noemie Schipfer and architect/musician Takami Nakamoto. 

This one was voted by The New York Times as one of the best performances at the Sonar Festival in 2017. Other sites include CAMP (Centre of Architectural and Metropolitan Planning), and the alternative club space Ankali (in Prague 10) to provide ample elbow room for so many artists and audiences in need of a release—as this festival is foremost for those who follow digital art experimentation and also like equally to dance to progressive electronic beats in the darkest and deepest caverns of the city.

Hopefully, the festival will commence on September 28th as planned and run till October 3rd at the National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace as the main location for the program. The regulations due to Covid-19 also must be applied strictly to ensure the festival’s existence this year.

And so, the most up-to-date regulations for participation in the festival and any updates to the program can be found at the website.

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