Santiago de Compostela will be again, for five days, the epicenter of exploration around electronic and avantgarde music through a program focused on dialogue between disciplines of contemporary art and digital creativity, as well as parallel activities with cinema, talks and performance.
The sixth edition of WOS Festival x SON Estrella Galicia begins its countdown. The festival, which will take place between this year September 11 and 15, will once again locate Compostela on the epicenter of contemporary exploration and avantgarde creativity, flooding the city for five days with nearly half a hundred activities distributed in different spaces, all within walking distance of the cathedral, in a historic district declared World Heritage Site. The locations include two museums, two theaters, an 18th century church, contemporary buildings of singular architecture, a farmers’ market, two concert halls and an independent cinema hall, among other places destined to create unique experiences for small audiences.
The ten first names for the lineup of this sixth edition include Drew McDowall (Coil), presenting a reinterpretation of the referential work ‘Time Machines’ with live visuals by Florence To; to the djs Elena Colombi (NTS) and Olivia b2b; the presentations of the new works of Rafael Anton Irisarri, Gazelle Twin, Eli Keszer and Mary Lattimore; the saxophonist Bendik Giske; the British Vels Trio and Harrga, and Catalan pianist Marina Herlop.
BENDIK GISKE (NO/DE) is a queer artist and saxophonist who uses corporality, vulnerability and resistance as his tools of expression. Giske takes the constitutive structures of electronic music and plays them live with his saxophone, without any layers or loops, allowing human failings to manifest. He cites Lindstrom’s arpeggios and Evan Parker’s circular breathing as references, achieving the fusion of free jazz and club music with the combination of these two extremes.
DREW MCDOWALL & FLORENCE TO (UK) PRESENTAN ‘TIME MACHINES’. During the tumultuous 1980s Drew McDowall was part of the Psychic TV collective, soon to join Throbbing Gristle’s Peter Christopherson and the enigmatic John Balance in the esoteric and progressive electronic music band Coil. He will be in Compostela presenting a reinterpretation of the referential album ‘Time Machines’ with live visuals by Florence To, who integrates light and generative motion graphics around the specific architectural design of each space, according to her research in psychoacoustics and neuroscience.
ELENA COLOMBI (IT) B2B OLIVIA (PL). The respected NTS dj Elena Colombi stands out for her unique selection, using industrial rhythms, techno, ambient or proto-house. She will meet for the second time back to back with Olivia, Unsound resident dj and one of the key figures of the club scene in Krakow thanks to her idiosyncratic selection of tracks and excellent technical skills with which he travels from a raw and dark techno to the simplicity of electro and the warmth of house, from Detroit techno, to distinctive Dutch sound, ebm, industrial, cold wave, acid, electro, synth or house.
ELI KESZLER (USA). Drummer and composer based in New York, Keszler’s work revolves around space and deals with the interaction between sound and the environment, managing to transform physical and virtual spaces through his performances, recordings and installations. Keszler’s interpretation is imaginative, and his pieces transmit a spectrum of emotional dynamics that go from the epic to the intimate.
GAZELLE TWIN (UK). Gazelle Twin will be at WOS Festival x SON Estrella Galicia presenting her new album, ‘Pastoral’, published in September 2018. The artist Elizabeth Bernholz signs an album brimming with traditional and contemporary musical tropes; from archaic instruments -the harpsichord and the humble recorder- to the application of contemporary sample-looping. Beyond the choral infusions, which reverberate here like a twisted Sunday mass, you can see shadows of 90s house and of a once prosperous rave scene sheltered in the countryside. For all this, Gazelle Twin builds an eccentric visual incarnation of all of the above: an appropriate costume for a court jester of the 21st century.
HARRGA (UK/ES) is a project by Miguel Prado (Nzumbe) and Dali de Saint Paul (EP / 64, Viridian Ensemble, DSC), whom facing the escalation of the migration crisis, decided to pay tribute to the ‘Harragas’ (people who cross borders illegally and burn their papers, losing their identity). In May of 2019, they released their debut album ‘Héroïques Animaux de la Misère’, featuring Moor Mother. Dali de Saint Paul mixes poetry and politics, singing in French, Darija and some English. She spits with fire and fury, although there is a tangible compassion in her painful lamentations. Combined with the unique noise design of Miguel Prado, they evoke a ferocious and completely anomalous vision of contemporary industrial music.
MARINA HERLOP (ES). Classical pianist with a delicate dexterity, Marina Herlop dedicated herself to dismantle theories and destroy the limits of her own proposal. In ‘Babasha’ (Aloud, 2018) the Catalan artist added to her peculiar piano compositions layers of brilliant electronics and synthesizers, spun by an unique and luminous voice, more daring and risky than ever. She is currently finishing her third reference, based on the introduction of electronic tools in the process of composition and production.
MARY LATTIMORE (USA) conjures with her harp abstract forms that evoke memories, landscapes and allusions. Her music explores a reign of narrations without words and indefinite travel stories, where, with the help of occasional effects and voices, harp improvisations are transformed into spectral songs. In the live performance, Lattimore reveals the impressionist magic of her instrument, blurring classical technique and environmental electronics.
RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI (USA). Composer, multi-instrumentalist and established producer in New York, Rafael Anton Irisarri is a reference for post-minimalist, drone and electronic music. Described by Drowned In Sound as “one of the most celebrated artists of contemporary ambient music” and by Pitchfork as “a new type of composer who mixes indifferently pop, techno and classical”, Irisarri’s music often has a dreary quality, elegiac, deeply emotional and epic. Combining amplifiers, multiple speakers, synthesizers, guitars, computers, video images and lighting, Irisarri decontextualizes the relationship of the audience with the space, creating an enveloping and otherworldly environment.
VELS TRIO (UK). Through an unstoppable thirst for improvisation, the sound the Vels Trio is characterized by their heavy rhythms, emotionally charged compositions, and a modern and expressive musicality built with frantic and irresistibly attractive sound structures. Impossible to label, the passions and individual forces of the group have paved their way through progressive, electronic, jazz, funk and hip-hop.
The countdown begins for the annual event of the Galician producer WORK ON SUNDAY that will be celebrated between Wednesday 11th and Sunday 15th of September, with the support of SON ESTRELLA GALICIA linking one more year its name to the festival as main sponsor. The organization will add more names to the lineup over the coming weeks, both for sound and for parallel cinema and talks programs. The Weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and Premium (access for five days) tickets can be purchased at wosfestival.es/en/tickets-and-passes.