Tag: The Prodigy

Preview: Secret Solstice Festival 2017

With its inaugural run back in 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland’s Secret Solstice Festival has quickly become one of Iceland’s largest music festivals, featuring a diverse and eclectic array of established and internationally recognized artists, locally renowned acts and up-and-coming artists from all over the globe, performing in one of the most unique backdrops in the entire world – the roughly 72 hour period of near constant daylight Iceland experiences during the Summer Solstice, because of its proximity to the Arctic Circle. (After all, Reykjavik is the northernmost capital and administrative region of the northernmost country in the entire world.) Building upon its growing reputation as one of the world’s most unique music festivals, the fourth edition of the festival may arguably be one of the biggest and most diverse lineups to date as it includes Foo Fighters, Rick Ross, the UK electronic act The Prodigy, The Verve’s former frontman Richard Ashcroft, Pharoahe Monch, Chaka Khan, Foreign Beggars, Dubfire, Novelist, Rhye, Dusky and Chicago house music artist Kerri Chandler. Along with those artists, some of Iceland’s renowned acts, including Högni, Úlfur Úlfur, Amabadama, Emmsjé Gauti, GKR, Tiny, Aron Can, KSF, and Alvia Islandia will be performing. And adding to the 72 hour party vibe, the festival’s organizers have planned a series of electronic dance music takeovers and showcases featuring some of the world’s best party crews – including Ibiza’s Circoloco, Above & Beyond Records’ deep house imprint Ajunadeep Records’ dance floor collective Crew Love, ATG and Dubfire’s SCI+TEC among others.
Interestingly, for the second consecutive year, Secret Solstice is currently the only major music festival in the world to be certified CarbonNeutral®, as the festival sources almost all of their power needs from the use 100% renewable geothermal energy, hybrid vehicles provided by Toyota Iceland – and from offsetting any residual emissions through the purchase of high quality, verified carbon credits. Unlike any other festival I’ve attended or heard of, festivalgoers and artists alike can know that they’re being environmentally responsible while partying and catching some of the world’s most interesting artists. Of course, during a multi-day festival like Secret Solstice, it’s difficult and damn near impossible to catch everyone and everything, so consider me as a helpful guide – with some information on artists I’d love to catch while in Reykjavik.

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months, you may recall that I wrote about the British and Brazilian industrial rock band Plastique. Comprised of vocalist Anelise Kunz, multi-instrumentalist Fabio Couto and producer Gabriel Ralis, formed back in 2010 and with the release of their self-titled debut and their sophomore effort, #SocialScar, the trio received both national and international attention for a sound that’s inspired by Nine Inch NailsGarbagePJ HarveyGoldfrappBrody Dalle, The Smashing PumpkinsThe Prodigy and The Beastie Boys. Adding to a growing national and international profile, the band was named one of the Top 5 in Marshall’s Ultimate Band Contest in 2013.

Naturally, wanting to build upon the steadily growing buzz around the band, the members of the trio initially went into the studio with the intention of expanding upon the sound that had won them attention. But once they started writing material they realized that they all feeling an inordinate amount of pressure to come up with something new, and as the story goes they went on a hiatus with the hopes that some time off would help. As the band’s Anelise Kunz mentioned in press notes their first single in some time “Quake,” “came out as a sign of hope . . . there was no pressure, the vocal jam just happened, and soon we were all involved in getting this one ready to go!”

“Lips,” Plastique’s latest single is informed by a series of demos the band had recorded while working on their previous single “Quake,” and in many ways that spirit of experimentation informed the track. Sonically, the song pairs layers of scuzzy, heavy metal-like guitars, industrial clang and clatter, propulsive drum programming and anthemic hooks that you can imagine a crowded club of enthusiastic fans shouting along to paired with Kunz’s sneering, growling punk-leaning vocals. In some way, the song (to my ears, at least) reminds me of the punishing forcefulness of Ministry (in particular, “What About Us?” one of my favorite Ministry songs) with the attitude of Garbage (in particular, “Supervixen“). Throughout the song you can tell that the band does not fuck around; they’re going to take names and kick ass — but with an irresistible sultriness.