We paid a visit to Electric Castle Festival last year and we’re doing it again this year. We’re going to reveal our last year’s adventures and let you know what excites us the most in this year’s lineup which is by far the biggest the festival has ever seen. The festival kicks off on 12 July and we will be ready! (Hungarian version. / Magyar verzió itt.)
It was the last time people made me sleeping in a tent on a foreign festival. Make no mistake I came back with extraordinary experiences, but it seems you have to take the rain into consideration. This is especially problematic on a fest where all the stages are open air. On Thursday we arrived well in time, put up the tent, got inside nice and clean by the time Iceland’s biggest exporter of bitter-sweet melancholy, Sigur Rós, started to play their first tunes. In just a few minutes the rain started to pour down on us which suited their music in an incredible way. I wouldn’t say it made happy – that only happened after half a bottle of Zubrowka – but it gave me a kind of life-evaluating mood, which never before happened to me (and I’ve to hundreds of concerts). However the Zubrowka – Tatra Tea combo did its job, so it was a completely good idea to submerge in heavier beats. Camo and Crooked was a nice start to that followed by a great set by Icicle – not as good as his Let It Roll set from a year before thou – on the Boiler Stage. By the end we were completely all in and soaking wet, so it was a time to grab some shuteye.
The second day brought us a massive brunch in an ad-hoc style restaurant in one of the small streets, yes later some donkey appeared as well but that did not bother us the least. So with bellies full we headed inside and found ourselves at Booha Mansion, which kinda replaced the Mill which we missed so much. We found quality 4/4 and garage beats in the afternoon by Eye Scream and Meeloox and of course we listened the set of one our interviewees from last year, Alex Chronic. However the day’s absolute best set came from Paul Kalkbrenner, since the Berlin based techno-ambassador plays with such intensity, what I have never witnessed from anybody in the minimal techno scene. It just absorbed everybody who had at least a little affinity towards four quarters. We headed over to listen to Dudawless and his spicy dnb and later tried to embalm our souls with some liquid dnb presented by the Nu:Logic brothers and of course the rain just did not stop…
On the third day, just like the on the second the sun came out and started to scorch massive red onto our skin, so we decided to head for Lake Tarnita which was 40 clicks or so from the fest. As we were approaching the mountains it started to rain of course, but we did not back down, we were desperate to swim at that point. At least the two of us. With a charming girl we ventured into the unknown lake when contant drops of rain kept pouring down on us, but it was definitely worth it. The picturesque scenery really made the effort worthwhile. Our good mood got slithered when we got back to fast and found out our tent had got completely under water and all our stuffs got soaked. Well shit happens, so I headed for my car to dry something with the AC so I wouldn’t miss at least some of the shows that day. About half a bottle of vodka and two hours later I was ready for action again, so I started to head back to the fest, nevertheless I had run for cover as it started to rain cats and dogs. I found shelter under a massive beer-umbrella while Skrillex was playing, but instead of being on the show I had a nice chat with the parents of those kids who actually could get in as they were better equipped with raincoats, wellingtons, sponges (who knows) etc. Uncle Karma wanted to compensate me for not being able to get in, so he got me acquainted with some local kids who were heading to an illegal rave not far from the fest, to a place called The Hanger. As it was covered and not far from my parking car – now bedroom as well – I joined them and had a really good time. Thanx again guys!
For the last day I can’t say had a lot of energy, but we endured as we wanted to squeeze every last bit of this experience. The biggest surprise for me was caused by God Is An Astronaut, who I did not like particularly before, but they gave such a great show which overwhelmed us greatly. After that I had to deal with a lovely, but heavily intoxicated Belgian painter, but after she let me go I rushed back to listen to My Nu Leng and Manki’s great garage house and had a peak of the super-energetic set by DJ Marky. Unfortunately I had to sleep a little as I was the one in charge of driving an excruciating 9 hours to home so I needed my head to at full capacity. The Castle last year gave so much, we got completely charged up like a Duracell bunny. It still has one of the best atmospheres in all the festivals we have been to, and it’s full of really kind, social people who are genuinely interested in you. But if I go with tent again, I’m going to buy one that was engineered by NASA, or rather just rent a house with friends.
This year’s absolute star is Deadmau5, who is shifting towards techno significantly, setting the direction to follow for others. Others like Nero who managed to absolve the shift from drum and bass to dubstep and back. The rockers would find pleasure in the recently only real instrument driven Trentemoller and UNKLE who gave a very impressive show last year on Sziget Festival. There will be crazy punk by Atari Teenage Riot and very clever alter-rock by Franz Ferdinand. Drum and bassers can cheer for Noisia, Dilinja, Dimension or Metrik, and the liquid souls want to see S.P.Y. or Etherwood.
This year however we feel the balance in electronic music is shifting towards house and techno and that’s a bit surprising as the EC was always pro broken beats, but we can live this as long as such exciting artists are booked as Maceo Plex, who is one of the hottest thing in techno right now or the ever-intoxicating Moderat trio from Berlin. The list continues with Mind Against, Duke Dumont, Áme, Claptone with a bunch of local heroes like Petre Inspirescu, Priku, Barac or Arapu. There a great number of Hungarian acts in this year’s line-up including Punnany Massif, Tesco Disco, Bohemian Betyars, Infragandi and the Ninjabreakz crew with Adam Dolph and the Selekta girls. We can also find real treasures like Tommy Cash, not to mention one of the world’s most creative improvisator, that is Beardyman. But go on, take your own pick as not even half the line-up is mentioned here.
Previous Electric Castle articles
The Soul of a Nation – interview with Alex Chronic, Dudawles and Madliquid
Critical Mass – review of previous years and overview of 2016
Only Good Vibes This Year – festival preview and interview with Andi Vancza for 2015
Ruff in the Garage Business – Ruffinaments interview
Indulnak monstre nyereményjátékaink az Electric Castle-re – helyszíni riporttal
Az emberek a részévé válnak – hármas interjú a román elektroszcénából
Kritikus tömeg – élménybeszámoló és ajánló 2016-ra
Boncidáig és vissza – riport a második EC-ről
Az első nagy nemzetközi fesztivál Romániában – interjú Andi Vanca szervezővel
Mint tíz éve a Szigeten – interjú a Ruffinamentsszel
Nem csak játék és mese – a 2014-es EC ajánlója
Koncertblog Session podcast-series
A magyar technó legjava Dr. Zoidberg csoportterápiájában – podcaster: Dr. Zoidberg, artworker: Dori Pazonyi
Ha kicsi a tét, a kedvem sötét – Koncertblog Guido & Maurizio de Angelis Session / podcaster: dj Muttley, artworker: Dori Pazonyi
Tücsökzene, szinesztéziára kihegyezve – a legjobb psytrance-ek Görgőtől / goa-psy, forestpsy podcaster: dj Görgő, artworker: Mukiellő
Nők a pult mögött – ezek voltak a legmenőbb breakek tavaly / break, bassmusic – podcaster: Miss Mants, artworker: Szerdahelyi László
Kanye Westtől Redmanig – a legjobb rapek Majkáék szkreccsere, Gerysson szerint / hiphop, rap, r’n’b – podcaster: dj Gerysson, artworker: Csordás Dávid
Balladák és slágerek – Koncertblog Best of Crossover 2015 Legarstól / indie-pop-house-deephouse-pop-mainstream-crossover-funk-slow-newwave-diszkó-nudisco – podcaster: Legars, artworker: vj Manna
Koncertblog Best of Metal 2015 Session by Dr. Zoidberg / metál, deathmetal – podcaster és artworker: Dr. Zoidberg
Nincs mit cifrázni – a drum’n’bass legjava 2015-ben dj Ren és a Koncertblog szerint – podcaster: dj Ren, artworker: Oláh Orsolya
Érzéki monotonitás – szilveszterezz a Koncertblog adekvátan bulizós podcastjával! / house, technó, minimál – podcaster: dj Minich, artworker: Tatlin
Már nem szopnak a ministránsok – fortélyos blaszfémiával indul a Koncertblog podcast-sorozata / metál, hiphop, technó, punk, folk, reggae, blues, alter, pop – podcaster: Dr. Zoidberg, artworker: Szilágyi Rudolf
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