By Daniel Mackenzie (@EkcaLiena)
The pathways to drone are mysterious and numerous, rooting themselves in metal – in the case of doom stasis heavy hitters SunnO))); electronic music – like Loscil; a history of abstract sound in the case of Brian Eno or Tangerine Dream. It’s not a surprise that a celebratory showcase of the genre would take a very specific core and break it open into its spectral histories.
Le Guess Who? Festival, based in Utrecht, premiered the beautifully niche, utterly essential 24-Hour Dronefest at their enormous four-day, city-wide festival held last November. It sounds like the kind of idea you have in the pub, not particularly seriously, but after a period of gestation someone just says ‘well, shall we actually do that?’, and you do. The programming of the first 24-Hour Dronefest was ambitious and diverse, surely satisfying anyone with an interest in all things slow. Luminaries like SunnO)))’s Stephen O’Malley, Tim Hecker and William Basinski were there alongside more fringe artists like Constellation Records’ Carla Bouzolich and art-bass outfit Emptyset.
In a continuation of projects Le Guess Who? run in partnership with teams based abroad, the second day-long drone event will be held at the remarkable Basilica space in Hudson, New York. With a snappy title change and enhanced status as the primary attraction, 24-Hour Drone: Experiments in Sound and Music, will commence on April 25th at 3pm. Artists include Prurient, SUUNS, Bobby Previte and an impressive list of other sound makers from disparate worlds of noise, ritualism and sound art.
Many more details can be found on the event website, and if it’s possible to make it along, this event comes highly recommended. If it’s not, let’s hope one day it comes to London…