Live Beijing Music will be taking a short holiday trip next week to Slovenia where the MENT Festival will be going down in the capital city of Ljubljana. Taking place from 31 Jan–2 Feb 2018 the festival is a showcase for a wrath of fresh artists from all of Europe and beyond, during which around 60 acts will perform at various venues and establishments in the city – from down and dirty bars to an old factory plants.
While the headliners are Edinburgh Mercury Music Prize winners Young Fathers and the impassioned dystopian gospel of Atlanta, US’s Algiers, I’m more intrigued by the wide range of talent from Europe. From Austrian ‘cinematic downtempo pop’ (5K 4D), to psychedelic surf rock from Serbia (Dogs in Kavala); from Lithuanian instrumental footwork jazz to Dutch noisy reverb rock; from Belgium noise core freak outs (The Guru Guru) to Estonian avant pop music (Mart Avi). It’s a mammoth collage of sounds and styles and one I can’t wait to jump head first into.
If that wasn’t enough, they will also be various talks and conferences focusing on the music industry including the beehype conference which Live Beijing Music will be attending. For those of you unfamiliar, beehype is a global music webzine that’s run by more than 90 music journalists, bloggers, and DJs from all around the world. They collect and carefully select the best of their local scenes and present it to the global audience. This year, beehype is stepping out of the web for the first time at MENT Ljubljana, where it’ll will host its first stage, the first beehype meeting, the first beehype talk, and a “Best Music Videos from around the World” session. So yeah – very excited for that.
Festival and Conference
31 Jan – 2 Feb 2018
KINO ŠIŠKA / AKC METELKOVA MESTO / ORTO BAR / OLD POWER STATION / HOSTEL CELICA / SLOVENIAN CINEMATHEQUE / KLUB K4 / DOBRAVAGA / SLOVENE ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM
After Young Fathers, Algiers and 29 other music acts from all over Europe, MENT Ljubljana is revealing a further 26 new performers and the conference programme. Among others, MENT will feature two musicians who each started a small revolution in her field. Mary Anne Hobbs is regarded as one of the most influential personalities in music media and is a successful curator and DJ, while Dorit Chrysler has been proclaimed a sorceress on the theremin, an electronic instrument played without any physical contact. The instrument’s inventor Léon Theremin also plays an important role in the film Elektro Moskva, a documentary tribute to the Russian pioneers of futuristic sounds, which will be screened at the Slovenian Cinematheque.
Following the screening of Elektro Moskva, Alexei Borisov, the protagonist of the film and one of the most provocative sonic artists of the Russian proto-industrial scene according to The Wire, will perform together with Slovenian improv musicians Irena Z. Tomažin and Jaka Berger. Meanwhile, Glintshake/ГШ will bring the feeling of Russian absurdism and rock-in-opposition to the festival, with their singer Kate NV also providing the emotional impact of the pop avant-garde with her solo performance.
MENT Ljubljana is probably the only event where you can catch the exciting Eric Shoves Them In His Pockets from the increasingly vibrant Polish scene, Danish duo Farveblind, crowned “The Chemical Younger-Brothers” by Clash, the catchy indie pop electronica of Estonians Avoid Dave, and the cinematic downtempo of 5K HD, fronted by the expressive voice of Mira Lu Kovacs, all in one place. Ukraine will send on over one of the most interesting representatives of its electronic scene Koloah, Croatia the punk-blues poets M.O.R.T., and Austria the rapper and producer of Syrian origin Mavi Phoenix.
Nesesari Kakalulu, an ensemble of nine instrumentalists from Nova Gorica, will premiere their debut album at MENT, while the Slovenian-Croatian connection Kali Fat Dub will show off its second album, released in November. Croatian Svemirko will teach us what emo-macho sounds like, while Slovenian duo Natriletno kolobarjenje s praho will give us a lesson in punk-songwriting. Italians Pashmak conjure up a cabaret jazz atmosphere, shifting through electronica, art rock, folk and Persian flavour, the music of Swedes Hater is vulnerably real and tiredly beautiful, the Slovenians Futurski are melancholic and comfortably catchy, the Portuguese We Bless This Mess is honest and heartfelt, and Netherlands-based Briton Richard Cejer and his combination of genres are simply good.
Hungarians Freakin’ Disco practice psycho-jazz and techno, Slovenian Čunfa will surprise you with direct and more complex instrumental beats, Serbians Threesome serve up loud, explosive surf music, and Belarusians Weed & Dolphins combine the seemingly incompatible. And as MENT rhymes with Ghent, this year’s line-up is again spiced up by Ghent rock madness, launched in February 2017 by Raketkanon and continued a year later by Shht.
The MENT Ljubljana Conference is inviting you to interviews with Mary Anne Hobbs and Dorit Chrysler, and will feature some of the leading personalities in the music industry, including futurologist and prominent music professional Sammy Andrews (Deviate Digital), London manager and promotor Ina Tatarko (End Of The Road Festival Management, Parallel Lines Promotions), Olya Moldavskaya (The Orchard), who is the representative for Eastern Europe and Russia at one of the leading digital distributors, booking agent Sarah Besnard (ATC Live), Sasha Yerchenko (Atlas Weekend Festival), who organises the biggest international festival in Ukraine, and Pia Hoffmann, regarded in Germany as the chief specialist for music placement in films.
The programme of the upcoming conference primarily aims to expand useful knowledge. Musicians will gain practical experience for conquering foreign markets and successfully managing their band, including how to engage their followers and successfully develop their YouTube channel.
And what’s new in the area? Musicians from the ex-YU region will present the music scene, while we’ll review the status of local publishing in detail, seeing as a platform for Balkan labels is being established at the initiative of the IMPALA network of independent publishers.
5K HD (AT) / ALEXEI BORISOV (RU) / ALGIERS (US) / AVOID DAVE (EE) / BLUE CRIME (NL) / CHUI (HR) / COJONES (HR) / ČUNFA (SI) / DARLA SMOKING (SI) / DOGS IN KAVALA (RS) / DORIT CHRYSLER (AT/US) / ERIC SHOVES THEM IN HIS POCKETS (PL) / FARVEBLIND (DK) / FFX (SI) / FRAN PALERMO (HU) / FREAKIN’ DISCO (HU) / FUTURSKI (SI) / GLINTSHAKE/ГШ (RU) / HATER (SE) / HIGH 5 (HR) / HYPOCHRISTMUTREEFUZZ (BE) / IGRALOM (RS) / KALI FAT DUB (HR/SI) / KARPOV NOT KASPAROV (RO) / KATE NV (RU) / KOLOAH (UA) / KUKUSHAI (SI) / LUCIDVOX (RU) / MANON MEURT (CZ) / MART AVI (EE) / MARY ANNE HOBBS (UK) / MAVI PHOENIX (AT) / MOTHER’S CAKE (AT) / M.O.R.T. (HR) / MRFY (SI) / NATRILETNO KOLOBARJENJE S PRAHO (SI) / NEOMI (SI) / NESESARI KAKALULU (SI) / NIEMOC (PL) / NIVE AND THE DEER CHILDREN (GL) / PASHMAK (IT) / RICHARD CEJER (UK) / SEQUOYAH TIGER (IT) / SHEEP GOT WAXED (LT) / SHHT (BE) / SHORTPARIS (RU) / SVEMIRKO (HR) / THE GURU GURU (BE) / THREESOME (RS) / TOLSTOYS (SK) / TRAD.ATTACK! (EE) / ÚLFUR ÚLFUR (IS) / WANDL (AT) / WE BLESS THIS MESS (PT) / WEED & DOLPHINS (BY) / YGT (SI) / YOUNG FATHERS (UK)
Festival pass (all three days, all concert venues):
→ Super Early Bird (limited amount) = 25 EUR (sold out)
→ Early Bird (limited amount) = 30 EUR
→ presale (until 30 Jan) = 35 EUR
→ during the festival (from 31 Jan to 2 Feb) = 39 EUR
PRO pass (festival and conference):
→ Super Early Bird (until 16 Nov) = 49 EUR
→ Early Bird (from 17 Nov to 15 Dec) = 59 EUR
→ presale (from 15 Dec to 30 Jan) = 69 EUR
→ during the festival (from 31 Jan to 2 Feb) = 79 EUR
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2053584178209241/