Last night Electronic Beats set up in Budapest for its second date of the drop festival season. Daniel Jones and Louise Brailey report from the front row.
In Budapest’s massive Millenáris Teatrum, the audience was already packed tight and waiting with bated breath by 9pm. Amongst projected visuals, photo booths and try-me-out app stations, an additional edition of Electronic Beats Festival Budapest had just opened the doors and the Georgia-born Washed Out was started take the stage first.
Washed Out (Photo simply by Szabolcs Nemeth)
With his recent sophomore album Paracosm showing that he was more than just the buzzword “chillwave”, the crowd knew these were in for a treat, and Greene did not disappoint. Summer vibes seemed to ooze from his equipment, soaking the floor with memories of swimming pools and taken kisses as the extremely tight lights rig flashed across our encounters. It was especially appropriate considering that Budapest is currently experiencing an unseasonable heatwave; when our flight from wintry Berlin landed, it was around 75°F. Buzzing through such t-shirt soaking killers as “Get Up”, Greene swiftly lent new meaning to the term “warming up the crowd”.
Charli XCX (Photo by Rolf Wenzel)
By the time Charli XCX took the stage, everyone was ready for something with a little more thrust . Charli gave it in spades, and it’s really striking how much of the rock diva she really is. Backed by a band of schoolgirl-styled music artists (which, really, was a bit naff) she laid down a set that could have made Joan Jett proud. Mixing new wave bombastica with punk rawwwk showgirlship, she blitzed via crowd-pleasers like “Set Me Free” and “Grinz”, but what actually slayed ‘em was her version of Icona Pop’s “I Do not Care”—which she, of course , co-wrote. Her command of both stage and vocal chords shows that even though the lady takes much of her influence from the Internet, she shines brightest in IRL. Someone get this girl a stadium, stat, because she’s primed and ready.
John Talabot (Photo by Szabolcs Nemeth)
John Talabot may not have to get commanding stadiums but hell, dude has reach. His 2012 debut ƒIN gained over everyone from broadsheet critics, hard-to-please hipsters to one-dance-album-a-year indie fans. In a live capacity, Talabot tweaks and twists his sound, adding organic percussion and live vocals which heighten their capacity to leave you emotionally punch-drunk. Fixed opener “Depak Line” is a masterclass in clubbing tantra, building slowly, element by element, into a humid climax. Likewise, “El Oeste”‘s pitch-bent synths take on an almost insinuating quality on the venue’s excellent system. This really is melancholic pop music popped at the joints and nailed to a main grid system, its jouissance wrung dry—and the crowd love it . Before the show Talabot tells Electronic Beats that performing his music live is a feat of multitasking, but onstage he looks cool: impressive a tom here, triggering examples there ( that scream in “Oro con Sangre” now sounds with startling frequency) while long-time collaborator Pional provides ample back-up.
Nôze (Photo by Jannik Schäfer)
From the sublime to the… well, almost. Nôze are certainly a strange proposition: coming up on the Paris house scene, Ezechiel Pailhès and Nicolas Sfintescu’s “we’re mad, us! ” schtick and Balkan brass antics are much more likeable than they have any right to be. A surprise then, that onstage things don’t get much whackier than a glass of Champagne and some undone top buttons. Foregoing their live band for Mac-book Pros and a pair of microphones, they will move through heads-down gothic minimal, accordion-powered oom-pah techno and… yes, a lot of brass swing (albeit welded to brawny, Get Physical-approved bass lines). Unsurprisingly, it’s their biggest record, the tellingly titled “You Have to Dance”, that gets the biggest response with one reveller, dressed in the stegosaurus onesie, particularly enamoured. And also, what hardened critic can argue with that? Until next time, Budapest. ~
Miss Budapest? There’s still a chance to grab the last remaining tickets to our remaining fall festivals, and stay tuned for more for live video footage from this event soon.