Intonal continues to deliver on a promise to be at the forefront of experimental and underground electronic music. This year’s line up really portrayed the breadth of contemporary electronic music. Prominent DJs like Lena Willikens and Beatrice Dillon, to sound designers like Yves De Mey, Hassan Khan and Electric Indigo.
For the third consecutive year, Inkonst and Inter Arts Center ran the Intonal festival in partnership with CTM and Unsound. As ever, Intonal celebrates musical expressions off the beaten track – from exciting journeys into sound to experimental club music and energetic live performances. Art, installations and artist talks will also constitute integral parts of the festival.
So what can you expect when you attend Intonal? Well be prepared for the unexpected, be prepared to sometimes find yourself in a transcendental state, and foremost be prepared to enjoy everything from radio jitter and sinus tones, to minimal techno beats and ambient noise. Intonal is also a very friendly environment where musicians meet the audience in a relaxed environment, so although sold out it never feels crowded. Entering the “Black box” in the basement where Electric Indigo performed invited you with black walls, black coffee tables with everything from dressed up aliens to hipsters drinking a beer or two while getting sucked up into the artists universe of ambient soundscapes. Or enter the main stage where Beatrice Dillon performs on a pitch black stage, while all lights are directed on the audience dancing away to the quirky and heavy beats and basses.
Of course Stereoklang was on site to capture some of the action, or even lack of it. Intonal is run at Inkonst in Malmö, an abandoned chocolate factory who perhaps has never been so full of life as now, when dark ambient soundscapes and heavy techno beats merges with the chocolate infused brick walls. Although we did not attend it all, as we would have needed to clone ourselves we managed to capture some artists on tape, so with no further ado we present you with this year’s Intonal video teaser, so as to make sure you mark the calendars for next year’s follow up.
Electric Indigo started her DJ career in Vienna 1989 and then moved to Berlin to work at the legendary Hard Wax record store and begin a thriving career as a DJ and musician. These were crucial times for electronic music in Europe and Electric Indigo took part in forming that culture. She has continued doing so over the decades, one example being the creation of female:pressure, a network for female artists in the fields of electronic music and digital arts. Known for creating music for a wide variety of spaces and creative fields, she will perform her work ‘109.47 degrees’ at Intonal. The title refers to the ideal tetrahedral angle in foams as described in Plateau’s laws. In this work, she creates complex sonic structures composed of very small acoustic entities. These structures live on friction, cohesion and constant movement.
Hassan Khan’s renowned performances bring together prerecorded compositions with live improvisation defying most classifications. Khan usually uses a battery of feedbacking mixers, filters, processors, laptop manipulation, virtual synthesizers and live microphones in tandem to the recorded studio sections to produce live sets that are treated as one composition. He has worked with instruments including vocalists, brass ensembles, string quartets, the various instruments of a classical Arabic music takht, programmed Gamelan, group clapping and piano. For Intonal Khan has put together a concert program ranging from slow and suspenseful listening to subtle dancing including the pieces A Short Story Based on a Distant Memory with a Long Musical Interlude (2011), Excerpt from Club Gamelan (2015) & Taraban (2014).
Eartheater is Alexandra Drewchin, a New York based musician and artist who seeks on a daily basis to upgrade her mental software. Also known for her shamanic performances fronting Guardian Alien, Eartheater is Drewchin’s unshackled solo vessel, a deliberate distillation of voice, synths, guitar, and electronic production techniques into short-form compositions teeming with crystalline details. At any given moment, an Eartheater composition reads somewhere between a folk song, a musique concrète collage, and a filmic suite fit to soundtrack a cosmic montage that only she can imagine in full detail. Eartheater is Drewchin’s personal evolution: as a musical process at once tethered to advancing technologies and to the flashes of humanity that escape between the circuits.
Moon Wheel is a project by Olle Holmberg, a Swedish multidisciplinary artist, composer and performer. Increasingly prolific and active on the Berlin scene, Holmberg has started turning heads locally and abroad through his finely-crafted and constantly evolving productions. His cerebral, shape-shifting compositions are inspired by nature, history, and wandering, integrating natural and synthesised sound worlds. From analogue techno to more experimental tones, Moon Wheel’s productions and performances are heavily built on improvisation. This focus on invention rather than recreation keeps Holmberg’s music constantly on the move, always taking new and undiscovered paths. We’re thrilled one of them led to Intonal.
Laurel Halo always seems to be on the move, but never seems to be hasty. The highly original Halo sound is bubbling, adventurous and experimental but at the same time firmly rooted in the traditions she’s probing. Like a sublime book of poetry with an impeccable list of references. Heavy, mutilated strains of electronic music with influence from the sounds of Detroit, UK and Germany – Laurel Halo’s music is shapeshifting, moody and ecstatic, with rhythmic flashes mediated by modal simplicity. The Michigan-born and Berlin-based artist has previously released records on the classic London-based labels Hyperdub and Honest Jon’s, and we happen to know she’ll be releasing new material in the coming months.
Sendai is the collaborative experimental project by Yves De Mey and Peter Van Hoesen. Both artists are long time friends who share a deep passion for exploring the outer limits the electronic music. 2016 saw Sendai unveil ‘Ground and Figure’ on Editions Mego. On this their newest album, the pair’s working method became a real hybrid form, crossbreeding analogue and digital, allowing the produced tracks more room to shift, swirl and swim around the circumference of the audio spectrum than ever before. Sendai is about machine music and hypnotic disorientation. When this duo gets to work, a thudding, pulsating and shape-shifting experimental beast that lives in its own unique world is summoned.
Two additional favorites on stage, that we unfortunately weren’t able to capture live was Beatrice Dillon (mainly because she was performing on stage in complete darkness) and Lena Willikens who, with their energetic beats really contributed to a magic evening.
To wrap things up we share with you how the Intonal crew themselves describes their magnificent event:
The line-up is more varied than ever before. Holly Herndon’s hyper-intelligent yet emotive music will through Toresch and Lena Willikens encounter the rougher side of Düsseldorf. Great Britain’s rising star Beatrice Dillon’s dazzling rhythmical abilities and Ghédalia Tazartès’ poetic patchworks will convene with the singular and beautiful resonances of Grouper’s and William Basinski’s.
These potent meetings between different timbres, tempos and temperaments constitute the very core of Intonal. Collaboration between different players on the alternative cultural scene, all contributing with their own unique perspectives, is the basis for the festival’s very existence. Intonal is a headstrong festival and we’re picky. We’re looking for performers that dare to venture beyond their own artistic limitations; that dare to be singular, subtle and sublime.
We also place a lot of trust in the festival’s visitors – we want them to be daring, headstrong and open to new expressions as well as the very spirit of Intonal: the enthusiasm, the adventurousness and the certainty that this event has the potential to be a truly great experience if we just let it in under our skins.
For a growing number of music aficionados, Intonal has become a self-evident visit just because the content of the festival is never self-evident. Last weekend of April, Malmö will be occupied by a four-day regime of experimental culture, electronic music and interdisciplinary alliances. Curious? Then you’re invited.
MORE INFO, COMPLETE LINE UP AND SCHEDULE:
See you next year 🙂