About the author
Spring has already started, and in a few more months it’s summer. Since I connect summer with different cultures and dancing, why not celebrate this lovely season at Strange Sounds From Beyond? It’s not so much the sounds that are strange, though they’re more special than at other festivals, but I like their way of thinking. Last year I couldn’t go, but I was really intrigued by the announcement so it always stayed in my head. Reason enough for a little chat with owner Quintin van der Spek!
Most of the festivals book artists that are originally from the UK, somewhere else in Europe or the United States. Not that this has something to do with discrimination, but it’s intriguing at the very least. However, this line-up is very refreshing!
The style you represent is getting more popular, afrobeat for example. Do you think this has to do with the current zeitgeist? Discrimination is still there, and political issues are mainly about this topic.
“I’m sure this has something to do with the current zeitgeist. Techno and house music are everywhere and the festival market is getting bigger and bigger. A few years ago there where only five festivals in this genre, nowadays there are a lot more options. Besides that I think people are being influenced by social media more; because they’re more up-to-date they don’t have to visit a record store to discover the newest music.”
A few years ago I visited Pitch Festival for the first time, but it was also the first time I discovered music with a different cultural background in this scene. I really loved the performance of Omar Souleyman, and since that day I’m always looking for more cultural diversity in music. I asked Quintin how he sees Souleyman’s growth with festivals: “I think this has something to do with timing, but also with the context of the line-up and the way of telling the story to the public. It also has something to do with supply and demand. People are more open-minded than a few years ago.”
When I checked the line-up I listened to every artist on it, and the sound of DJ Okapi really made my day. How did you come up with him?
“Since he’s working with Rush Hour is was very logical to ask him for the Rust Hour 20 years stage. If you like his music please visit the blog Awesome Tapes from Africa their is a Afro-Synth blog.”
Since I’m really inspired by your taste of music, tell me what your favorites are?
“We compiled the line-up with lots of love and passion for music. Black Merlin, Vladimar Ivkovic, Nosedrip: they’re all favorites of mine. But someone like Antal is one we could be really proud of as well, it’s almost a funny thing that he’s just from Amsterdam, but in fact he’s one of the world’s best DJs. Besides that I’m really looking forward to the live act from Beau Wanzer and Traxx under Mutant Beat Dance. The performance of synthesizer-guru Wally Badarou and of course headliners line Selda and the Sun Ra Arkestra will be very special as well.”
Strange Sounds From Beyond 2017
Feature image by Bibian Bingen.
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