OOST x Rewire: Listening Guide
For our Friday program during Eurosonic we’re proudly linking up with The Hague institution Rewire. The festival’s prominent position within the global circuit for adventurous music is reflected in a diverse cast of characters, each representing their own respective universe. In this listening guide we dive a little deeper into their work.
Words by Kos van Erp / Pictures of last year by Sjoerd Knol
Mun Sing (live)
Mun Sing might ring as a name relatively new on the audience’s radar, but the moniker’s legacy already runs far, wide and with impact. As one half of Giant Swan, Harry Wright has been producing much-cherished cross contaminations of industrial techno and hardcore punk; a balance that seems harder and harder to strike in a tasteful manner with every year that passes. As opposed to the Giant Swan project – one that seems to inherently harbor the urge to confront – Mun Sing presents more of a turn inwards.
Their debut album, which came out last year and made it to Resident Advisor’s best releases of 2023, presents equal levels of energy through different modes of being. The timbre explores the hi-fi, plasticized, glossy textures of experimental club. IDM’s jittery rhythms and glitched-out structure give the album an unpredictability that’s seldomly heard. Bristol’s scenery and influence are ever-present in a punchy low end, and the dynamic range proves to be immense with maximalist beatless passages. So, where’s the turn inward? In the fact that the album’s untraceable bursts of energy are interspersed by haunting stretches of ambient and experimental pop. It’s these passages that most acutely reflect the LP’s themes of grief and sorrow.
This borderline joyful, liberated navigation of darker subject matters is expanded upon in Mun Sing’s energetic, cathartic live performance. Stage antics that match the unpredictable nature of the music signify a club experience that might prove to demand its own long-lasting residence within your brain.
3phaz signifies their music as ”post-Shaabi from Caïro”. The anonymous music project hailing from Egypt, takes the country’s folk music style and transports it to the 21st century. The instrumentarium of the style’s original iterations are taken, utilized, sampled, warped and arranged into hypermodern club cuts.
Shaabi’s origins lie among Egypt’s working class, are intrinsically connected to the act of dancing, and take a variety of traditionally Western music instruments such as the violin, trumpet and accordion to mix in with Northern African percussion, wind and string instruments. 3phaz’s 2023 album ‘Ends Meet’ is one of their most exciting exponents of this style of music to date. Instruments such as the kanoun and nai are sampled or digitally synthesized and arranged in long stretches of repetition to psychedelic effect. The percussion section meanwhile, is an intricate weaving of sequences that include darbuka, riq and punchy, digital kicks. Music that provides a danceable first live show in the main room; that speaks to the body as much as it activates the mind.
Voice Actor (live A/V)
Voice Actor broadcasts delicacy on a full-width frequency spectrum. Despite the no-frills release of their latest album on Stroom last year, the project quickly gained traction and garnered a listener base whose devotion to the record is only matched by the LP’s runtime. With 109 songs spanning three and a half hours and countless genres collaged into a fragmented spree of nostalgia, ‘Sent From My Telephone’ presents something for everyone. For anyone on the lookout for a melancholic, late night listen, that is.
There’s experimental pop, found footage, lo-fi hiphop, field recordings, ambient, nods to new age and spoken word. There’s a record here, in fact, that feels like a personal diary, like a radio broadcast, like a peek into someone’s life more than it feels like an album in the traditional sense of the word. In a live setting the material here sucks in the listener in a multidimensional way with the addition of a special A/V setup. Personal reports of their rare live appearances at Le Guess who!? and Beursschouwburg are overwhelmingly lyrical; we’ll hear and see for ourselves on Friday January 19th.
Goldblum’s music reads like a finely soundtracked stroll through a long-perished, eerily empty antique warehouse. Not unlike Voice Actor, the experiments of Marijn Verbiesen(Red Brut) and Michiel Klein(Lewsberg) seem to archive stretches of sonic history that almost went unarchived. Working with tape loops sourced at flee markets, vintage synth sounds, claustrophobia-inducing layers of noise and vocals in both Dutch and English, Goldblum’s music taps into the reptile brain, sways the motor cortex between slow-dancing and listening.
Mika Oki (DJ)
Mika Oki’s track record reads like that of an artistic polymath. As a producer, her tracks and features surface sparsely and mostly on V/A’s, yet to widely acclaimed effect. As a DJ, Mika’s a returning guest at some of electronic music’s trend-setting and trend-defying institutions like Nyege Nyege, Garage Noord, Dekmantel and Fuse. Her sets are possessed with drive, propelled by percussion, admiring the deep history of UK dance music and haunted by the ghosts of 90s rave anthems. This is party music in the most creative flavors available.
Her portfolio doesn’t end there, by the way. If given the chance, be sure to catch her collaborative live performance with SKY H1(featured at Rewire Festival 2022), for which Mika produced one of the most creative and impressive stage designs in recent memory. Or tune into her broadcasting brainchild: the Brussels branch of LYL Radio. In any case, the primetime moments of Rewire x OOST are about to be soundtracked by someone who lives, breathes, drinks and dines electronic music.
Torus is a recurring main character at our yearly independent Eurosonic programming. Dating back to the times when Oosterstraat 13A was still mostly given life by avant-garde pop podium De Gym and with multiple appearances since, the history runs deep with this multitalented icon of The Hague. Whether making and exhibiting highly esteemed visual art and installations under real name Joeri Woudstra, booking lineups strictly ahead of the curve for Laak and Laser Club, producing music and audiovisual live experiences as Torus or playing DJ sets full of trance grandeur – every single creative mode of output oozes with nostalgia. Not just any nostalgia; nostalgia so strong it puts a pit in your stomach, inducing heavy yearning for unfamiliar scenes, (un)lived eras and dance floors ”before my time”.
Listen to Torus’ b2b with Evian Christ below. One that singlehandedly sent Job Jobse’s Strangelove stage at last year’s Draaimolen Festival down into the history books. This is trance at its biggest, most anthemic and teary-eyed proportions.
Most familiar? Most familiar. Few have played a role in post-pandemic OOST as big as Verity has. Spearheading Groningen’s hefty push into forward-thinking bass territory, the now Amsterdam resident signifies the resurgence of high-energy, UK-leaning club music. From that one fabled closing set after Batu during our reopening in 2022 to subsequent appearances at Dekmantel Selectors, DGTL, De School and recurring slots at Garage Noord, this one’s well-transcended the Groningen environment, yet always keeping a firm footing in the close circles where it all started. Listen to the recording of her Selectors set below. During our night with Rewire you can expect Verity to open with class, presenting low-slung, percussion-heavy bass music in a perfect alley-oop to 3phaz.
Fatima Ferrari (DJ)
Fatima Ferrari cross-pollinates dance floors from the limelight. The The Hague based DJ mixes Middle Eastern club cuts connected to her heritage with a globalized view on dance music. Dancehall, electro, baile, jersey club, footwork, kuduro; they all shine bright in passing, being pulled in and out of different levels experimentation as the dance floor so wishes. Fatima Ferrari sets are energetic, they’re daring, they’re always offering something avant garde in the face of cultural inertia that plagues many a genre. Fresh takes all around in the upstairs room on Friday night.
Our collaborative night with Rewire takes place on the Friday(January 19th) of Eurosonic. Tickets are available here. Other OOST nights that week include a collaboration with Dekmantel, hardcore punk night ‘Polosonik’ with Rat Race and Good Boys Booking and a afternoon of Dutch hiphop featuring Mula B and more. All info via www.komoost.nl.