Live Report: Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2014

Last night was the first EB celebration of the season with Diamond Edition, Bonobo and Moderat kicking issues off in the Czech capital. Some, Team EB was down the front to report back.

Lana Del Rey and Karin Park give way to Bonobo and Moderat. Twelve months after the ladies graced the phase of the Archa Theatre, it was period for the boys to rock the dancefloor. Modeselektor, Apparat and Bonobo are staples who have built a significant following among Prague audiences through the years. The last time the Monkeytown duo came to town under the EB banner at the grande Art Noveau venue at the Lucerna Palace, there was simply no leg or arm that wouldn’t be moving. Simon Green, better known under his Ninja Tune-affiliated moniker Bonobo, is also no unfamiliar person to the Czech capital. But first issues first. All photos: Tomáš Martinek.

Diamond Version Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2014

Raster-Noton’s stalwarts Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender have taken on the unenviable task of the first act, however they had no reservations, oozing a confident, composed and direct setting of audiovisual rapport with the market, which they had plenty of opportunity to exercise during their massive Depeche Mode stadium support gigs last year. Their bass-heavy instrumentals, at times abstract, at other people sounding like a man-machine marriage in between Kraftwerk and Drexciya. Accompanied by black and white visuals, Diamond Version actually look like a modern day version of the German innovators, their laptops emanating stark, minimalist sonics drawing from the wealth of Nicolai’s Alva Noto and Bender’s Byetone ouevre.



The Englishman returned to Archa after his last year’s profitable concert at the same venue, only to strengthen his popularity among the Czech market. Unleashing his live show—including a drummer and a keyboarder—one doesn’t have to become a music expert to understand Bonobo’s broad appeal. Jazzy inflections and chilled atmospherics interspersed with soothing female vocals are in some way the anti-thesis of Diamond Version’s cool chevy sonic universe. “I always want to focus on the human aspect of music, I want to create my music sound human with out resorting to emo tactics, ” as the global sonic traveller offers told us in an interview.


Moderat Electronic Beats Festival Prague 2014

“.. In the beginning, it was more of a fun thing. When we do our first album, we didn’t really expect much. But in the studio, we found out there’s this incredible energy between us, ” says Sascha Ring aka Apparat. Tonight, they demonstrate their biochemistry to the buoyant crowd, who eagerly await the Berlin-based trio, dropping under their spell within an quick. Hallo Prague, wie gehts? And then, as the first beats of the biggest hit off their latest album Moderat II fill the theatre hall, the hands are in the air. Bad Empire with the backdrop of the hand-drawn symbolism from the actual video, projected by their resident visualists Pfadfinderei, is an hero worship of their set, which also includes older material.

Although apparently diverse projects, three acts have woven a specific music thread throughout the Friday night, that catered for those eager to dance, sing-along or ruminate. ~




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