Lucy Railton was one of the brightest stars on the second day. She performed solo with electronics but also with her cello – a beautiful electroacoustic show. “I'm very happy to perform here, the darkness and ambience during my solo show turned out more poetic than I ever thought”, she told us. Railton is a cellist working with modern instrumentalism, hard-edged electronic compositions and expressive musique concrète. Since 2008, she has been a dedicated member of London’s new music scene. She’s also an artist from the Shape platform. Alvin Lucier played after her what probably was his last gig. At his 88 years old, he needed a wheelchair to come on stage – unfortunately, Lucier broke his back a few months ago. Nevertheless, he wanted to attend Skanu Mezs, and the organizers couldn't be happier to have him.
Aaron Dilloway aka Wolf Eyes delivered a sick performance of experimental noise using analogue units, passing his voice through eight-track tape loops and vintage echos whilst screaming and making spasmodic movements on a chair. A true legend. The night continued with Manonmars featuring duo O$VMV$M – they are all members of the Bristol-based collective Young Echo. Despite Richardson moving to London, he keeps collaborating with producer duo Amos Childs (Jabu and Sam Barrett, aka Neek, who performed at Glastonbury this year).
They define their sounds as smoked-out ambient, which together with Richardson’s dark approach to the classic swagger that nods to current rap styles but a greater poetic style of observation – “I’m having fun in this festival. We are delighted to be here. It is cool. Our flight was a little bit delayed so, unfortunately, we didn’t get to see everything but so far so good. The venue is very interesting, I like how they are still remittances of how it used to be before it was refurnished. Tonight, we presented some tracks from the project we released together Manonmars and O$VMV$M last year, but we got some other music to share as well.” Another British act followed.
The London-based project Patten – an artist of the Shape platform – is renewed for his hi-tech, immersive A/V shows and multi-platform approach, and whose new album is out via his own new label 555-5555 – after publishing EPs and LPs with Warp in 2017. His show didn’t disappoint. A complete set for an A/V experience combining moving laser beams with film work. "The Shape Platform run of shows has been cool. The timing with Flex, the new album, coming out was perfect. This show was crazy. Sick production team and up-for-it crowd. All the sets were all-time, from Alvin Lucier to Lucy Railton, Terrence Dixon to Manonmars. Epic programming. It was a special one for sure”, Patten concluded.
Just a bit earlier, we sat with festival directors Viestarts Gailitis and Rihards T. Endriksons to go a bit more in-depth about this year's edition and also get to know the mechanics of the festival after these seventeen years.