Over the summer, the Czech government announced that it was lifting the prohibition on dancing in clubs. It was reported that teens and adults (even some seniors) were dancing in the streets in jubilation around the country at the stroke of midnight, when the ban was lifted.
And so since the time is still ripe for dancing, the annual Lunchmeat Festival, has again invited first-rate international electronic music artists and DJs paired with new media artists for making unique synesthetic (physical and intensely visual) experiences.
While ever evolving, they are even keeping the motto for this year’s festival similarly to last year’s “We See You Dancin’” since who knows when dancing will again be prohibited.
This year’s line-up includes as usual some of the most impressive names on the electronic music scene, including Oscar Mulero, Lee Gamble, and Lorraine James. Mulero, from Madrid, has legendary status for electronic dance festivals and deservedly so for his thunderous and hypnotic yet experimental mixes, and he will do a live audio visual performance with artist Javier Bejarono, presenting “Monochrome.”
Lee Gamble is a London-based veteran on the electronic scene with roots in drum & bass, and with his crafty weaving of rave, dubstep, techno, and jungle, he creates a distinguishable, abstract and cerebral soundscape. Lorraine James also from the UK is a rising star with a tougher/rougher sound rooted in trap, but with a keen feminist edge in her sampling selections.
A standout DJ from Germany, who was cancelled at the last-minute last year, is Helena Hauff, a DJ and producer from Hamburg; Hauff has an hour set from December 30, 2020 on YouTube to give audiences a taste of her relentless delivery of danceable bleeps, bass and upbeat grooves.
Last year, Boiler Room dubbed her the Quarantine Queen to underline the importance of such DJs now.
Yet another DJ of irrepressible dance music appeal is the London-based Pearson Sound. The next time dancing is boldly banned by the state, such music practitioners could become enemies of the state.
A non-electro sound should be welcomed by Soft as Snow, a duo from Norway playing experimental pop and minimal wave, most importantly by avoiding laptops altogether in favor of playing live analog synthesizers, drum machines and samplers, mixed with the processed vocals of Oda Egjar Starheim and her musical partner, guitarist Oystein Monsen, who layers his sound in penetrating heavy effects.
Due to Covid-restrictions last year, a few acts which were cancelled are making another attempt to perform at Lunchmeat. So besides Helena Hauff, there is Lyra Pramuk, who works with layered recordings of her voice, which she manipulates or processes with software and effects so as to become a celestial diva.
Pramuk has a new release from 2020 “Fountain” which is at times like Meredith Monk, or Laurie Anderson in a deeper electro-classical haze, and hopefully, this American based in Berlin, will finally deliver her astounding vocals and encompassing soundscapes in a live performance.
Also from last year’s 2020 program, there is performance art as experimental dance and movement with sound by Italian Marco Donnarumma with bio-electrical and bioacoustics sensors attached to his body. His project “Corpus Nil” is described as a combined human performance and one for an artificially intelligent machine. It is also described as a ritual of birth for a modified body.
Finally, on the ambient or more meditative side, there is Lyra Valenza, a duo from Denmark of Jens Konrad and Hjalte performing with the visual artist Signe Dige. Such lush and calming sound producers are a necessary break on the program for mental and physical recharge.
Similarly, from Slovakia, there is Dalibor Kocian aka Stroon as a vibraphonist, guitarist, synth-player and an electronic music artist cutting across genres from metallic rock to contemporary classical and organ music with his project Temple “Timbre Embers,” a harmonic trance music with Slovak visual artist DevKid.
Just a few of the local artists worth noting include Gertie Adeleido b2b KISSTEMPERA (aka Jakub Hošek who is a visual artist and co-founder of the indie-alt music festival Creepy Teepee), as the duo-project SCRAWLERS, and Ursula Sereghy with a jazz influenced experimental electronica utilizing her background as a saxophonist in jazz and later in a hip-hop group. It’s kind of danceable too.
The Lunchmeat Festival is at various venues across town, including Archa Theatre, CAMP (for its opening night), and Ankali in Vršovice, but the weekend headliners are in the main venue, formerly known as the Theatre of Heroes; it is an underground space of the National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace.
This year’s 11th annual Lunchmeat Festival begins on Tuesday September 27th and ends sometime in the early morning of Sunday, Oct. 3rd. Of course, regulations due to Covid-19 must be applied strictly to ensure the festival’s existence this year and beyond. For more information see the website