Ahead of the Club To Club music festival, the Tri Angle artist picks out his favourite live A/V shows from Amon Tobin to Beyonce
'The future is yet to come.' - The tagline of Club To Club (C2C12), Torino's annual music and arts festival is a pretty accurate representation of what the performers who fill the line-ups each year aim to face. Perpetuating forward-thinking ideas, the likes of Jeff Mills, Actress, Teengirl Fantasy, Vessel and Liars will be performing over the four-day festival with epic live shows. Ahead of his show, we spoke to Tri Angle's Evian Christ, known for his cryptic and elusive aesthetics having first emerged through an anonymous YouTube channel which quickly garnered attention for his heavy drugged beats and dozy bedroom production. Besides telling us about his plans at the festival he introduces his favourite audio-visual shows that we should be looking out for...
Evian Christ: "Club2Club Festival will my A/V baptism of fire, which I’ve been working towards in collaboration with filmmaker Sam Blair. It won’t be like the Beyonce/ThinkBreathe collaboration. My friend Vaghe Stelle will be debuting his own show a couple of hours later, then Jeff Mills is performing with multimedia artist Claudio Sinatti (who is apparently going to be doing "cool things with 6 iPads”). I’m hoping I can hang around to catch Raime and Kuedo perform their new A/V shows too - I actually saw them both last month at Unsound Festival, but I was really drunk, so my recollection is blurry. Not this time, I promise.
I’ve highlighted these four pieces because I think that they showcase a variety of approaches to A/V performance, from installation art to pop music."
The Transfinite (Test Pattern Version)
For me Ryoji Ikeda is one of the most important visual (and sound) artists of our generation. Like many of his works, The Transfinite showcases algorithmic composition at its most affecting. I like that Ikeda takes a very practical approach to his art; that he chooses to deal directly with data, without any suggestion of high concepts or wordy justification. His audio information undergoes a real-time conversion into monochrome patterning and the result is completely overwhelming in its physicality, at once both mathematics and art.
Shrines Tour: I recently got off tour with these guys so I know all about this one. Sensory installation company Tangible Interaction helped my favourite Canadian two-piece - singer Megan James, producer Corin Roddick - to design a set which allows them perform under a tree of overhanging LED cocoons. These lights are fully audio-reactive and respond in different ways to the different musical parts present in each song; sometimes flashing in time with Corin’s kick drum, sometimes following singer Megan as she moves across the stage. In addition, Corin has designed an impressive light installation-come-electronic drum kit, which triggers both sound and light simultaneously by touch.
Amon Tobin’s music is not for everyone, but his ISAM tours have set the benchmark for independent electronic musicians looking to branch out into the world of high-end A/V. As with many other V Squared Labs projects (such as the Skrillex Mothership tour), there is a strong focus on perspectival illusion of movement. This is achieved through the intricate mapping of shamelessly mechanistic and sci-fi inspired imagery onto a huge cubic structure, all the while retaining a striking degree of realism and high definition.
ThinkBreathe collaboration: I think it’s fair to say that one of the main reasons that musicians like Amon Tobin and Skrillex invest so much into the visual appearance of their live show is to compensate for the near impossibility of ‘performing’ electronic music in an engaging way. I love this piece because Beyonce’s ability - as a singer, a dancer, a performer, an icon - is absolutely vital to its success, despite the incredible 3D illusionism and interwoven choreography.