On my second night strolling around Basel, everything was buzzing a little more: the quiet of the week before was replaced by the Autumn’s Fair flashing lights and the horrendously loud remixes of pop songs turned into EDM nightmares. Sorry, had to add that. Fortunately for me, Basel embraced me for another reason: my second evening at Baloise Session. After a dance to electro swing and 80s synthie, now it was the case of long awaited Indie Sounds night, starring two completely different bands: BOY and Kaiser Chiefs.
Fall means a lot of things: change of temperature, grey days and layering of clothes. A big Yikes! for me. But fall also means that the hippie dances at festivals are replaced with indoor locations. Some of them are simple, others outstanding. Last week I was part of one of the most beautiful indoor festival settings I’ve seen so far. Baloise Session has me two times this year and let collide two different generations. But we all danced together in the end. The power of music. So kitsch but so true at the same time.
I’ve seen tons of different concert venues so far, and I honestly was thinking that nothing can impress me anymore. To celebrate the rays of sun finally blessing us here in Switzerland, I was able to be part of a live session that was just one of a kind. An acoustic session by Kelvin Jones, on a tram riding through Zurich for an whole hour.
Sometimes the best things happen under the most unexpected circumstances. Just a few days ago, on June 17h, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their 11th studio album. The whole making process was a bit more challenging than some previous works, but that’s maybe exactly why they came back showing us the best side of their funky Californian vibe, despite the 33+ years of musical career.
On the second festival day we had way more time to enjoy everything slowly in Zermatt. We decided to go uphill to the highest event stage located on 3030m over the sea level to hear some fine jazz and face fully to the sun shining down. And who had known… later on I would be very amazed by an artist I should have heard about a long long time already.
Sometimes it really happens (shock!), I don’t need to travel far out of town to join in for a music festival. It’s kind of surreal for me just to be able to get to the venue in nearly 20 minutes: while the most festivals are happening spread all over the country, this time everything was concentrated in the middle of my hometown Zurich. And as I could see during these two days, the M4Music certainly is one of the most influencing festivals in this part of the country.
A couple of years ago, Resident Advisor released a collection of short films between 20 and 30 minutes, picturing the electronic music scene in different cities worldwide. They were shown two years ago during Sónar by Day in Barcelona and as well last Fall at the Amsterdam Dance Event. These little masterpieces are a nice insight into a scene that constantly changes, lives and struggles, even for those who never really gave it a try.
If I have to do a little retrospective about my personal 2015, it would be quite hard to decide what hits my own top 5. I lost the count of how many flights took me all over the planet and I have too many experiences still floating around in my head. In terms of travelling, I think I can put everything in one big pot, because I was never disappointed of the places I chose to see. When it comes to all the musical events I’ve been to, I can be only super grateful either: I’ve seen as many festivals and live acts like never before, and it’s very easy for me to make a choice of my favourite events.
Switzerland may not be the tropical island surrounded by deep blue sea as I wish it was, but it has a lot to offer especially in terms of cultural events. For its tiny size compared to other European countries, it offers an extremely wide range of musical happenings all year round. Baloise Session is one of them.
A couple of weeks ago I was at the Amsterdam Dance Event for the first time, which is one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world. This event is not only a networking platform for DJs, it’s also a great place to meet interesting people that are involved with dance music in different ways: producers, writers, photographers, directors and more. I was lucky enough to meet Claudia Assef on my press trip. I found her very fascinating: her knowledge, her way to talk aaand her amazing way to dress colorfully (which I sadly didn’t have the time to shoot). We bonded immediately and had great conversations at dinner about digital work and how electronic music evolved. Also, she is the founder of the first DJ Museum of the world, which I thought was a quite interesting idea, so I decided to do the first interview of my life with her in order to know more about the project.