Terraforma: Europe's best festival?
A festival is a journey. You arrive still hard-wired to an office routine existence. It may well have been mostly a year since your last festival, and with that comes a level of uncertainty as to how the next days of debauchery and sleep deprivation will pan out. But essentially, you’ve arrived at this human gathering for one reason – escapism. Escapism can occur through countless formats, but it’s the heightening of our senses (as opposed to the numbing) that leaves the most distinct lasting memories.
Located in the huge garden of Villa Arconati: Terraforma is an escapist dream that has as much emphasis on music as it does on location. The mystifying aesthetic induces fantasies from the moment you step into the woods: two incredibly well designed stages, enormous hammocks, mesmerizing light design. This year, exceptional experiences included the Kiosque à musique and house of C- ALPHABETIC WATERFALLS, (which is going to be moved soon in Belgium for Meakusma Festival to complete a collaboration between the two events).
What else makes Terraforma special are the people there. It’s always funny to observe the transition in behaviour over the duration of a music event of this kind, but this time, after three days of sound systems and roaming around, everyone was still in a peaceful and happy mood. Terraforma has always been able to bring together the right crowd of international music lovers who are there for one thing: the audio-visual spectacle that the festival is known for. Year after year, Terraforma continues to pioneer in forward-thinking experimental music.
Friday was all about BPMs except for the hypnotic apparition of Laurie Anderson; her performance out of time and space mixed touching words, Tai chi and improvised violin notes. Later on, DJ Stingray closed the night with the pure energy of his techno.
On the Saturday I returned just in time for the psychedelic performance by Vladimir Ivkovic, who made a perfect set for a perfect stage during a perfect afternoon.
However, I should admit that after such precision (and a little bit of rain) I was disappointed by two of the next performances: Stargate, the new project of Lorenzo Senni whose live show didn’t convey the right vibes and Juliana Huxtable, that put on a set full of disconnected tracks without any sense or virtuosity.
Buttechno, after a very dark intro, lifted the situation up again followed by the old school set of Bambounou that became the king of Saturday night with his deep and dubby sound.
Sunday came with a fresh and bouncing set by Ramzi, who I immediately fell in love with. After which, Donato Dozzy with a noticeably more mature sound was able to induces some subconscious hypnotic chain reaction in our synapses.
RP Boo, was the revelation of this edition. He left everybody speechless with his two hour two-step set: I’ve never seen such a big crowd shaking every single cell of the body than that day.
The closing set by Paquita Gordon made even more difficult the decision to come back to the campsite and pack up our tent. The sun was down and festival was once more finished for another year.
Overall, Terraforma is journey into Alice’s Wonderland. It’s a place that touches on some of our most primal senses: nature, community, the elements. You might come back to reality on Monday morning, but the reality is that you won’t be able to forget how deep it was as an experience.
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