A1 eleh - woven over
A2 radian - rusty machines, dusty carpets
B1 maja ratkje - softly as i leave you
B2 nsi. - quartz
B3 farben - atrappp
C1 dopplereffekt - dyson sphere
C2 elektro guzzi - saftgulasch
D1 thomas köner - tiento para elma
D2 matmos - exclusively polygamist!
D3 snd - 11-12
the electrónica en abril festival was born in 2003, not long after la casa encendida opened, in response to what had become a clamorous demand: madrid needed to carve out a niche for itself on the international electronic music scene. the festival was conceived with a clearly-defined, manageable format: three days and three international artists per day. there was a distinct sense of the need to look outwards and absorb everything that was happening in other parts of the world, to push the boundaries of what was then the norm in the city. with this idea of excellence in mind, the festival was articulated around four specific concepts: avant-garde, cutting edge, live performance and wide-angle vision. we wanted to showcase some of the trends that had shaped electronic music in its myriad facets over the last decade, to create a space that was committed to these sounds. we set out to reflect on where electronic music was headed at the dawn of the 21st century, and in keeping with this ambition we juxtaposed a wide range of sound spectrums, such as techno, improvisation, hip-hop, jazz, electro, ambient, dubstep, wonky, etc. and how should we view electronic music: as an aesthetic category or a way of working with sound? it has been quite a challenge, but over the years the festival has gradually acquired its own shape and substance. in fact, electrónica en abril has grown not only as an event but also as a space that expands the city limits and constructs it, insofar as it brings audience and artists together in a shared project. it has become a kind of travelogue, guiding us as we transcend critical listening and open our minds to live, cutting-edge electronic music, whatever its roots.
"music is the weapon of the future," proclaimed fela kuti. in our case, we might say that in the past, or at least over these last three decades, musical standards in madrid have been a far cry from what one might expect of the third most populous city in the european union; unlike others, where any public or private space can become a metaphor or synonym for the music scene. consequently, everything that la casa encendida has made possible, whether by creating or by offering coordinates and tools, has merely served to open a door to the future. and electronica en abril has certainly found its niche among the many events organised by la casa encendida over the last ten years. conceived as a dialogue with an audience that has played an active part in this adventure from day one, the management model implemented by la casa encendida has alleviated some of the structural problems - access, education, press, television, etc.- that have held madrid back in terms of music, but although this has clearly fostered a certain growth, we still have a long way to go in both the private and public realms.
ten years on, we have reached the point where we are excited by the irrepressible vitality of the current electronic music scene at a time of dramatic changes in consumer trends, when artists are still trying to find their place and come up with a logical, legitimate response to the internet and the expectation of radical free consumption it has generated. we are thrilled with this small success and delighted that we have come so far, that we have been able to provide madrid with a wealth of sounds it was hitherto lacking, that we have made it possible for some of the most important artists of the past decade to visit our city for the first time, and that we have broadened the horizons of what we call electronic music. to celebrate this achievement, we have produced a vinyl record featuring some of the artists whose excellence and humanity have left their mark on la casa encendida. the tracks have all been specially commissioned, and the result is a double album which sheds light on the past and present of this festival. but it is also an album that testifies to the capacity of these musicians to shape their own language, which at this point in the 21st century does not even require electronic tools to create that halo of potentiality, to achieve the unachievable in the sound dimension. for electronic music, as a sound that questions the notion of the present, inevitably transports us to another place and a future that once seemed beyond our reach, and that is the great achievement of these artists.
today, when every imaginable national and international authority wants to deny us the future and undo many of the accomplishments of recent decades, music must become a weapon of the future, even in madrid, and regardless of whether it sounds like pure fantasy, for that is just another of the traps they have set for us. it must become a tool of the future for inventing new discourses, for using that praxis as a reflection and indispensable action for constructing our reality, and for claiming what rightfully belongs to everyone. this is the only way electronica en abril can exist.
jose luis villalobos electronica en abril festival curator 2003-2012