Decibel Festival presents Optical 2: Ascension

Maria Minerva / photo by Marek Chorzepa

When I tell people I’m excited about Decibel Festival and they ask what’s that – my response of “an electronic music festival” is greeted either by some reference to a current top forty electronic musician (Skillex?) or a complete lack of interest. If any showcase is going to convince people that there is more to electronic music than dancing and ambiance, it’s the Optical 2: Ascension showcase, which looks at how traditional instruments (vocals, guitars, field recordings) can be used with electronics to create a symbiotic sound.

Starting things off is Lulacruza, who blend the primitive with the modern by using field recordings from natural environments (they’re from the jungles of Columbia and Argentina) alongside synths.

LA producer Brian Simon’s side project Anenon is not exactly what you would expect when the place LA is usually mixed with the title “producer” – the music is subtle, featuring layers of natural sounds woven under more piano and saxophone instrumentation.

Julianna Barwick‘s soaring voice literally glistens, sparkles, and flows throughout her album The Magic Place. Since she came onto the scene, the use of “dreamy” to describe music has changed – her music pulls the listener into a dream that is awash with color and light and could be described as religious with its chanting and cathedral level reverb. At the Optical 2 showcase, she will be collaborating with artist Christina Vantzou, who besides being a multifaceted film maker and illustrator and also has her own solo album.

So the past three bands have been pretty serious – and not to say Maria Minerva isn’t serious, because her music is seriously good, she does play around a bit more. Her lyrics are more present and often playful – “California Scheming” bounces echos off a seriously present beat. And the video itself is pretty playful, as you can see below. She also geographically rounds out the evening, since we have the Americas covered – Maria Minerva hails from Estonia.

Maria Minerva – Fire (feat. Chase Royal)

Doors open around 5pm and ends at 9pm @ The Triple Door on Thursday September 27th. Get more information about this showcase here.

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