Friday, September 23, 2011

The Labyrinth 2011

There will be no big MNML SSGS report on Labyrinth this year. I do not feel I have much of a story left to tell. I have said it before: in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Of course there were some differences this year that I could discuss (including some changes that were not for the best, I would add), but the overarching narrative and structure was basically the same as previous years. It was another fantastic couple of days. The music was sublime: the best yet in terms of consistency and fit. The artists were all on top form, each performing to the occasion. The sound was pristine, as usual. The setting was beautiful, even if the first and last days were marred by plenty of rain. And if this year it was a different person closing the festival, the final moments were still very special. Quite simply, this was another Labyrinth and everything that entails.

I am not exaggerating when I say there was not a weak set across the festival, but I do want to highlight my three favourites. On the opening night, it was Kangding Ray’s masterful live performance, where he demonstrated how much contemporary techno could benefit from spending more time listening to Raster-Noton. On the second day, two techno jedis – Atom TM and Tobias – gave a masterclass in improvised analog techno. It was amazing how tight the performance was for something created in the moment. And on the final day, Peter Van Hoesen finished the festival with a truly inspired set that kept people dancing even as the rain poured down. PVH is not Dozzy and he did not try to be, he closed the festival in his own distinctive style, but with just as much passion and sincerity.

I would like to deeply thank Russ, Yasuyo, So, Steve, and all the artists and crew that contributed to making Labyrinth this year. I am incredibly grateful for all their hard work and dedication. Thanks, Labyrinth family.


  1. looks like you have had your share of labyrinths, didnt you?
    i wish i were there, wish there would be some sets from the festival

  2. sounds magical. a ssg special for the festival i hope?

  3. Other notable highlights: Silent Servant keeping the energy high on that rainy first night; Fred P getting stuck in a crazy groove on Sunday; Function doing his usual banging thing later on that day (the man's a walking kick drum); and both So and Dozz taking things beyond deep - and in the tightest of fashion(s) - prior to PVH's closing set. All in all, a remarkable festival. JPN knows how to party.

  4. @ the rhythm method: "faint praise"? He said the music was the best yet in terms of consistency and fit...

  5. I guess it's the sense of weariness that seems to underlie the praise. It reads to me like despite everything being in place the fireworks failed to go off for Chris and if that's right then I'm sad for that for 2 counts. Firstly because I feel bad for Chris. Secondly because I don't get to vicariously enjoy his enjoyment via a longer review.

  6. Your recommendation of Kanding Ray's live show got me to head down on my own to see them in London last night - absolutely awesome, and I had a wicked night so thanks ssgs, always keeping me up to date with the good stuff going on :)

  7. Another great party.

    Kanding Ray's bass frequencies were something to behold (I'd retired to the tent by this point due to the rain - but it still sounded ridiculous), Appleblim and Function were a blast and I thoroughly enjoyed the Dozzy / Neel live even if some found it over indulgent. For me it was cracking trance music that suited the conditions perfectly that night.

    Fred P left me cold and I could have done with Dozz for the final set. Would be good to hear some sunnier house vibes next year (a la Steffi or Move D).

  8. @The Rhythm Method
    "despite everything being in place the fireworks failed to go off for Chris"

    Judging from his last post of 2012, sounds like you were about right. In fact, that sentence above serves as good summary of that world-weary year-end post: everything was in place, but the spark fizzled.

    pretty depressing read, actually.


Say something constructive, bitte. Or if you're gonna take a swipe, at least sharpen your nails.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.