Autechre to perform at Skaņu Mežs 2024

Riga, Latvia’s Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music will host its 22nd edition on 4-5 October at concert hall Hanzas Perons (16a Hanzas street). Iconic electronic music duo Autechre will be the guests of the festival’s first concert evening. Tickets can be purchased at Festival ticket price is 50 EUR. 

Autechre are an English electronic music group consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both natives of Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1987, the duo are one of the most prominent acts signed with Warp Records. Their music has exhibited a gradual shift in aesthetic throughout their career, from their earlier work with clear roots in techno, electro and hip hop to later albums that are often considered more experimental in nature, featuring complex patterns of rhythm and subdued melodies.

The Autechre live experience is a classically pitch-dark mind-warping audio affair. Meaning, their live shows have been held entirely in the dark for the last ten years or so. 

Autechre have been described as “iconic” (“Resident Advisor”), “wildly influential” (“Mixmag”) and “unmatched experimental pioneers” (“Fact Magazine”). 

In 2022, “The Guardian’s” Ammar Kalia reviewed a live show by Autechre, and concluded the text with the following words: “Autechre ultimately create an imaginative music of their own, bombarding their stationary crowd with vibrational movement. By foregoing the percussive backbeat that anchors almost all modern popular music, they leave us unmoored in rhythm, like the cacophony of the club without its dancefloor intermingling. Instead, this is a futuristic music made of sonic ruins – fragments unearthed from the darkness and left ringing in our ears as we go off into the night.”

Other news about the festival

Near the end of 2023, the dates of Skaņu Mežs 2024 were announced alongside this edition’s first confirmed act: Portland’s classic experimental music group Smegma. This performance is now canceled as is Smegma’s entire tour: key band member Ace Farren Ford has died. 

Recap of Skaņu Mežs 2023

In 2023 Skaņu Mežs held its 21st edition, consisting of 32 concerts, 3 sound installations and 9 workshops/lectures. It was headlined by Berlin-based duo Amnesia Scanner.

“Under The Radar Magazine” characterized this festival edition as “sudden, challenging and adventurous” as well as “full of wonders”. Meanwhile, German newspaper “Tagesspiegel” emphasized the respectful way in which the festival presents the work of its participants, and lauded its unwillingness to “to lull you or anesthetize you with clichés”. “For 20 years now, Skaņu Mežs has been exploring the limits of what can be said with sound, and, doing so, has managed to reach a wide audience,” writes the newspaper. 

In a review, eventually published in 2024, “The Wire magazine’s” Chris Bohn (a.k.a. Biba Kopf) highlighted the performance of Joe Morris, William Parker and Hamid Drake, calling it “utterly fantastic”, and the solo show of Phew, describing it as an “ongoing, gadget-driven exploration of sonic pastures” that were new even to the author herself. 

Skaņu Mežs is a member of the SHAPE+ platform for innovative music and audiovisual art as well as the project tekhnē, supported by the European Union and the Latvian Ministry of Culture.

Skaņu Mežs festival is supported by the State Cultural Capital Fund, Riga City Council, the Latvian Ministry of Culture, Goethe-Institut Lettland, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Nordic Culture Point. Sponsors of the festival are Valmiermuiža and Very Berry.

Skaņu Mežs is a member of the international network ICAS (International Cities of Advanced Sound) and the Northern European music festival network NERDS (North European Resonance and Dissonance Society).

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