In collaboration with Kino Šiška, the SONICA festival is organising an explosive festival evening of the eclectic and experimental club practices of the SHAPE festival network. Aïsha Devi, one of the most successful SHAPE musicians in recent years, has developed an original blend of traditional vocal techniques, throat singing in mystic languages, and club sounds. Meanwhile, Giant Swan is a Bristol duo with an explosive, hardcore punk version of industrial techno, constructed live entirely with synths, drum machines and vocals. Over the past year, they’ve brought listeners at both the Southbank Centre in London and at the Unsound, Supersonic, etc. festivals to their feet. The event is part of the three-day Psssst!: Shape x Sonica x Sigic x Showcase programme.
No one on this planet sounds like Aïsha Devi. Her voice is the strongest instrument in her repertoire, composed of extreme rhythms, rave inserts, angelic and throat singing, mystic linguistics and body sonics. Her music is spiritual and her live shows a transcendental experience. She’s a rebel and a radical alchemist whose art breaks boundaries and travels through dimensions. Devi bases her production and performance in meditative techniques, transcribing metaphysical research, ritualistic practices and healing frequencies into an alternative club paradigm. The dislocation of pop culture, evident in her mixes for NTS, FACT etc., is one of her primary tools, as well as her stylistic signature.
In 2013, Devi co-founded Danse Noire, a label supporting inspiring club music from all over the world, where she released her breakthrough single “Aura 4 Everyone” in 2014, followed by “Hakken Dub / Throat Dub” that same year, placing her universe alongside artists such as Vaghe Stelle, El Mahdy Jr., JG Biberkopf, GIL and IVVVO.
In 2015, Houndstooth released her debut album Of Matter and Spirit, an important sonic statement with an expansive political and philosophical undertone. This year, the label also released her second album DNA Feelings. She’s wowed crowds at CTM, Mutek, Unsound, Boiler Room and countless festivals and venues, from Siberia to Mexico and beyond, with her hypnotic digital mantras and appealing stage presence.
Giant Swan, currently based in Bristol, is a project by Robin Stewart and Harry Wright, an acid coupling of energetic, aggressive dance music, quaking bass and hypnotic electronic noise. From the multitude of post-machines and trans-instruments, including an abused guitar and liberal vocal manipulation, Giant Swan creates a cross of hypnotic bass, industrial percussion and disoriented energy, transported with telepathic complexity. As the main forces behind Bristol’s Howling Owl collective, they’ve spread their wings over Great Britain and Europe, sharing the stage with acts such as Surgeon, Vessel, Shackleton, Venetian Snares and Container. Onstage, they’re a vortex of potential energy, bleeding among many sonic movements, yet simultaneously destructive and invigorating. Based in rhythmic tension and wild improvisation, no two of their shows are the same, while the duo repeatedly build and demolish their perverted vision of techno-as-non-techno.
The acclaimed Earn 12” release for FuckPunk in 2016 reaffirmed them as one of the most interesting electronic music acts in recent years, while their 2017 EP, along with performances at Villette Sonique, Berghain and Unsound, took them to a whole new level.
Lifecutter is the dark, perfected technoid of Domen Učakar, also active as a member of noise duo Ontervjabbit. His second album in 2017, Death(c)rave, solidified his merciless vision of contemporary techno and his energetic live shows have gotten many a dark cellar to dance the dance of the dead.
Organisation: MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art in cooperation with Kino Šiška and supported by the SHAPE platform.