Ekko Festival 24/10
Frahm and Christ, a full spectrum in extremes
On this grey Saturday morning, the silence in my mind produces nothing but nothingness, and the empty thoughts vaguely lead me back to yesterday. With Amber, one of the breath-taking songs Nils Frahm enchanted his audience with yesterday, gently playing through my speakers, the thoughts and memories vividly take its place in my head. The sudden realization which comes in between Ambre and You, another track of Frahm’s arsenal to get a full church silent, makes me realize that words might not be the best way to describe the manifestation of yesterday evening. But, as is expected from a proper journalist, the truth must be told. And in my endeavour of becoming so, I will let you take a trip down to my memory lane.
The moment I set foot in Korskirken, Frahm has already stolen the noise of the audience, and gently replaces it with an overwhelming sound coming from his pianos and synthesizers. The German, who unfortunately became part of the world of lost luggage, doesn’t need much to get its attention, and although his material is unwillingly limited, the music is produced to its full limit. I softly take place on one of the church benches, and try to hold my breath till the end of the song. As I still kept my jacket on, to not disturb the music with the unbearing sound of the zipper, the squeaking sound the repositioning of my feet make scare me to death, and for a minute I wished I never took part of the concert. As being chanted by the spell of Frahm’s music, the audience luckily didn’t bother, and Frahm himself? Well, the enchantment from the music seemed to hit him the most.
The following one and a half hour the German genius guided me through my thoughts, brought me back to my early days as a teenage kid, and softly puts me in an egoless state. With nothing to bother, nothing to care, or anything to fear, the music had put its strings on my thoughts, and the hands of Frahm move like the kindest puppet master ever experienced. And as a tear runs down my chin, caused by the tone of his last song, I snap back into reality. Back into my thoughts, and the person who I tell myself I am. The grace from the audience, followed by standing ovation for Frahm, could have lasted for days. And as the last clapping of hands is done, I move myself to the exit of the church. With a rushing silence through my head I step outside in the cold and hard world, and realize I’m up for the next part in Østre itself. As I still can’t quite understand what just happened, I decide to walk for a while, just to put all the pieces back to place.
After a fifteen-minute walk I enter Østre, where the vibe of Frahm is nowhere to be found. Still being mesmerized by Frahm’s performance, the music of Drippin didn’t really have the impact it should. The music is good, and the quality flows from the sweaty forehead of the seemingly young DJ. And as I started to hear more and more of what Drippin is trying to tell me, the crowd around me has put its thoughts at a different place. With a dance-off right in front of me I start to feel uncomfortable and quickly order another beer at the bar. Since the show off continued when I turned myself away from the bartender, I decide to take place at the other angle of the room. As I almost bump in to Evian Christ, who later turned out to be the male part of Nguzunguzu, my comfort easily comes back, and my attention switches to the music. With the actual Evian Christ standing behind me, who later indeed took place behind the decks, I start to prepare for the music of the somewhat little guy from Ellesmere Port. Two years ago I did the same, and unfortunately his show at LowLands got cancelled. A second chance at Pitch last summer also got lost, as Rejji Snow replaced him on the July festival. But now, chances of him not performing were seemingly small, and as he took foot towards the stage, I got more and more assured I was finally going to see a performance of the man most famous of his production for Kanye West’s ‘I’m In It’. The full hour of trap and hip-hop was just as breathe taking as Frahm’s earlier performance, and the crowd quickly shifted its focus from the black concrete towards the short guy in his bomber jacket. Two tracks from his 2014 Waterfall EP, and West’s I’m In It have a huge impact, but fall into the pool of forgotten thoughts when the before last track is put in. The track, taking me back to my musical history of noise and disorder, is filled with pure chaos. The chaos from the speakers is translated by nothing but respect from the complete crowd, and the Brit easily pulls off a track that would have barely been accepted by a true Rotterdam raver. Since that raver is silently still present in my character, the second tear of the evening runs down my chin.
The follow up by Future Brown barely has any impact on me, and give the crowd its space back to do a dance off. Before I again got faced with my uncomfortable posture towards such a phenomenon, I silently take the stairs down to the exit of Østre. Accepting my urge for extremes, I am graceful that I have encountered two ends of the spectrum tonight. Frahm mesmerized me, dissolved my ego, and took me on a trip through my unconsciousness, while Christ filled me with joy and anarchy. Ekko Festival again proved the quality of the variety in the program, and as I gather the pieces of my still lost thoughts, I prepare myself for tonight’s encounter with Floating Points.