Monday, June 22, 2009

The Best of Synch Festival 2009 (12-14/06/09)

Among the various mini music festivals taking place in and around Athens in the summertime, Synch Festival offered, for another year, the most adventurous line-up and certainly the best bet to discover new music and see some acts that you wouldn't expect to be playing here as they are virtually unknown to most. But thanks to the good reputation that the festival has created these past 6 years among the more open minded music fans, it is able to attract a crowd even when there are no big commercial names in the line-up - I mean, Rockwave has The Killers, Placebo and Moby, Ejekt offered The Pixies, Echo & The Bunnymen and Jarvis Cocker (more on this festival soon), while the Synch 2009 line-up comprised of Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics, Tortoise, Fujiya & Miyagi, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Junior Boys, The Teenagers, Squarepusher, The Bug, Ebony Bones, A Mountain Of One, The Matthew Herbert Big Band (those are the acts that I managed to watch during the first two days of the festival that I attended) and several others even more marginal and experimental (YOU, Egotrya, Cluster, Fennesz, Family Battle Snake - you get the drift).

The eclectic festival took place in the same unusual venues as last year, the former gas factory that is now the industrial museum Technopolis and Benaki Museum, in the heart of the city, near the Acropolis. The most popular act among the festival-goers turned out to be Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics with their heady fusion of African rhythms and jazz (popularized here thanks to the soundtrack of the excellent Jim Jarmusch film "Broken Flowers"), while my favorite performances came from the krautrocking electropopsters Fujiya & Miyagi, the fast rising, alternative pop diva Florence Welch and her Machine (debut album "Lungs" coming in July) and Junior Boys with their own special brand of electropop.

Here's a selection of photos and videos from some of the best acts of Synch 2009:

Fujiya & Miyagi

Florence and the Machine

Junior Boys

Friendly Fires

The Teenagers with their female fans

Ebony Bones

The Matthew Herbert Big Band


Live@Synch 2009: Fujiya & Miyagi, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Junior Boys and Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics (video footage thanks to alegra and dipanos)

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