Senseblender festival Belgium
[13 – 15 july 2001]
courtesy of marita*
We arrived at the hippodrome with just enough time to pitch our tents before it got dark. there was a little amsterdam/groningen tent village in no time. =) the venue itself – the hippodrome – was an unused racing track, surrounded by forest. the party area was in the building where all the betting etc would normally have been taking place. i thought it was an excellent place for a party. =) the chillouts, food stalls, clothes stalls, and chaishops were all outside, and all the vendors were such nice people. i must say, the swedish people that did the thai chaishop get a massive thumbs up from me, they were some of the most friendly, easygoing, humourous people i’ve ever met doing a chaishop. =)
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough decoration and backdrops for the size of the venue. we heard afterwards that half of the deco had never turned up. =( a big pity, cuz they could’ve done a lot with the place. the visuals were provided by ‘psychedelic puddle’, and they were really excellent. the light effects all over the building were really really amazing actually.
Friday night was one of hilarity if nothing else. =) musically, nothing spectacular, or at least not for me. =) paprika & anoubis opened, playing a tag set, and they got the crowd going very well, playing a selection of bouncy well known tracks. i can’t for certain tell you excactly what the line-up was, but i’ll give you my opinion on what i remember seeing. =) squaremeat played live, and they were better than i thought they would be, but still not quite my cuppa tea. i slept through texas faggott, cuz i **know** they’re definitely not my cuppa anything, and unfortunately missed zebra-n also. got mixed reports on his set, some people said it was the best they’d ever heard from him, others said it was way too hard. can’t please ’em all. =)
It started raining friday night unfortunately, and continued through until saturday night, which made for a damp sleep, but also made us very happy that it hadn’t been an actual outdoor party or it would’ve been a complete washout. 😉 the sky cleared saturday night though, although it stayed quite cold, but provided an amazing sky with millions of stars. musically, saturday night was excellent. ea, a belgian dj, started out, and i really really enjoyed his set. he played very full on, quite melodic tracks, without getting cheesy. stuff on the lines of the new chakra, and he played mandra gora – wicked warp! it was the first time in about 5 years i’d heard it on a big system, and after all this time, it’s still one of my long time favourite tracks. =)
Mick chaos took over at 01:30 and this man does not know the meaning of the word minimal. =) he picked up a steady beat of around 144/145bpm and pushed us through an excellent 2 and a half hours of driving music.
I can’t remember who the live performance after mick was, but afterwards at 5am, shawnodese took over, and played some of the best music i’ve heard from him in about 2 years. unfortunately, i’m not fond of overuse of jet effects, but you can’t please us all. 😉 it was all a bit too much at some point though, and i was starting to feel quite tired, and wanted some energy for the live act later, so i went back to the tent and slept for a few hours. caught the last hour of aorta’s set, which didn’t massively impress me, and i found was lacking psychedelia. it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. lots of other people liked it though. =)
And then logic bomb, what we had been waiting for, especially since we’d heard that cosmosis had cancelled. =( but logic bomb took the roof off the place. they were excellent, probably the best hour of music of the whole festival. they pumped so much energy into the place, and the dance floor filled back up immediately. =)
p.l.u.m. span after logic bomb, and very wisely started off quite slow, and built up gradually. it was a difficult slot to have to follow. =) i had thrown all my last bits of energy into logic bomb, so i took it easy for a little while, sat outside for a bit and what have you, but when i wandered back inside at some point, p.l.u.m. was playing a great morning set. we left just before the end of his set, and wandered back to the camp site, which was now basking in glorious sunshine. =) sat around in the sun for a while…. lay down in the sun for a while… fell asleep in the sun for a while… woke up a while later with a very nicely sunburned face. bright red. lovely. i looked stupid. and did for up to a week later, when it finally started to fade…. only problem is it started to peel too. i looked very silly. =) but i kept myself and many others amused. hehe
Slept until about 11pm on sunday night, then staggered out of the tent and had something to eat. we wandered around a bit, came back and had something more to eat, and then headed over to see infected mushroom live. we got the end of the dj that played previously, which was quite good, but who’s name evades me at this point, and just as we were waiting for i.m. to take the stage, one of the merry pranksters, who happened to be doing the projections for the event, got on stage with a microphone, and started asking everyone to move closer to the stage, to sit on the floor to do some communal breathing, and to end the festival as one big lung. ‘oh christ’, we thought and legged it off the dance floor to somewhere safe. but not before timo stood at the side, waited until everyone was nice and quiet, and then roared ‘HIPPY CRAP!!!!’ as loud as he could, and walked out of the building leaving a crowd of us falling around laughing. =oD what a load of hippy bollox, and i wouldn’t mind if it was in someway properly done, but it wasn’t, it was a pathetic attempt at communal meditation that lasted 30 seconds. what’s worse is that 80% of the ppl on the dance floor joined in! sheep. however, it gave us a right laugh. 😉
Infected mushroom live was pretty okay. not as good as i’d have liked them to be. i enjoyed about 60% of their set, cuz i’ve a bit of a soft spot for them every now and then, but it was very ‘infected’, a bit predictable, but luckily, not too much infected cheese. =) a few of our group didn’t enjoy them at all.
Next up, hujaboy, who played a really good set considering he’s israeli. 😉 no cheese or anthems to be heard anywhere. after dancing happily to hujaboy, we watched as matt boom took over the decks.
Yeah… well… i can’t lie on this one… matt’s set was one of the best of his that i’ve heard in ages, and was definitely up there with the top sets of the whole festival as far as i’m concerned. he opened with fractal gliders – chasing ganesh, which i figured was quite a kick in the teeth for our american meditative breathing hippy psychedelic puddle friend. giggle. =oD he pumped some massive bouncy energy into the dance floor without tiring anyone out. he played from 6 – 8am, and the dancefloor stayed full throughout. =) could barely take time out to roll a joint – it was just too difficult to stay off the dancefloor. =)) if there’s one thing i do appreciate about matt’s sets, is the whole sense of humour behind them. 😉 made for a great atmosphere on the dance floor.
When matt finished, we all piled outside to take in some morning sun and completely missed concentrix live, but made it back inside for yo-el, who played a minimalish set without plodding!! =) lots of haldolium, magnetrixx and reefer decree type music in his set, but it was excellent for that time of the morning after such a full night of dancing. very enjoyable. =)
He was followed by siddhartu who continued in the same groovy style. i was really enjoying myself, although i was close to ordering a wheelchair at some point. my feet were exausted. think we must’ve heard all tracks from H2 in those 4 hours. 😉 but i’m a big haldolium fan, so i didn’t mind too much 😉
We staggered back to the tents sometime in the early afternoon, tried sleeping, but it was just way too hot in the tents, piled back outside on blankets, and slept out there for a while, but this time i was more careful!!!, and kept all burnable bits covered, not that there was much left to burn. 😉 we tidyed up around 4/5pm, and were leaving the site before 6pm. =) a few hours drive home, a few hours flaking out on the settee, and a long deep well deserved sleep on monday night. 😉
Piccies to be found here.
And so ends my senseblender review.
next up, sola luna. whee! =o)