The three-day festival will take place across several venues in Eupen, Belgium including The Alter Schlachthof, IKOB Museum of Contemporary Art and Friedenskirche.
2018 marks the third edition of the Meakusma festival, which continues to grow and develop whilst retaining an intimate atmosphere and carefully selected lineups featuring experimental and club music alike.
An exciting prospect for this year is the collaboration with La Scie Dorée, the Belgian record label run by Timo van Luijk. A La Scie Dorée showcase on Sunday will feature live performances by Steven Stapleton and Christophe Heeman, Michael Ranta and Timo van Luijk, and Bart De Paepe and Kris Vanderstraeten. Steven Stapleton has been releasing music as Nurse With Wound since 1979. Christophe Heeman was a member of Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa and has been releasing his acclaimed and sought-after solo work since the early nineties. Their performance at the festival marks the first time in years they will be on stage together. Michael Ranta is an american percussionist and composer based in Cologne. He founded the Asian musical instruments specialist store Asian Room in Cologne in 1977. He famously performed with Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Osaka World Expo in 1970 and recorded with legendary German producer Conny Plank. Kris Vanderstraeten has been a pivotal figure in the Belgian free improvisation scene since the 1970s and visual artist and musician Bart De Paepe runs the Sloow Tapes and Sloowax labels.
Following on from his well-received 2017 efforts, Ben UFO returns on Friday 7th to once again curate a room at the festival. On the lineup here will be a DJ set by Batu, Ploy and Bruce as Timedance, the UK techno label run by Batu, a DJ set by Ben UFO himself, plus performances by Canadian experimental and minimalist composer Kara-Lis Coverdale and experimental dub project Jay Glass Dubs. Kara-Lis Coverdale released the highly acclaimed Grafts album on Boomkat Editions in 2017. Her work blurs the lines between traditional composition and research-based modernism. Jay Glass Dubs has released on the up-and- coming Bokeh Versions label and has recorded with legendary musician and poetess Leslie Winer. His is a self-proclaimed counter-factual historical approach to dub music.
The German branch of the Dublab radio station will for the third time run the Dublab Room on the festival site. Featuring non-stop music, artist talks and interviews, the Dublab Room has become the de facto chill out room of the festival, providing solace as well as discord for the festival audience.
Sound artist, composer and performance artist Christina Kubisch will be playing her quintessential 1984 Night Flights album live. Keith Fullerton Whitman once dubbed Kubisch the most consistently rewarding of the first generation of sound artists as her work continues to be unique and groundbreaking in its approach and composition. She will be part of the reiheM showcase.
The Friedenskirche will host concerts by The Transcendence Orchestra and Razen. The Transcendence Orchestra is the brainchild of legendary techno producer Anthony Child (Surgeon) and producer and DJ Daniel Bean. A highly personal research into their own fascination with the mystery and mysticism of long-forgotten traditions, The Transcendence Orchestra sees them combining synthesis with esoteric acoustic instruments, disregarding preconceived ideas about what constitutes techno. Belgian band Razen delves into hardcore melodic minimalism and raw dystopian deep listening through releases on Kraak and Three:four Records. The Friedenskirche proved to be a unique concert setting at the 2017 festival and we are very pleased it is back this year.
The 54KOLAKTIV soundsystem will also be back for a stage in the garden of the Alter Schlachthof. Performers here will be the legendary Austrian leftfield dub band Hey-O- Hansen, the German Lo-Fi band Die Waitwatchers of Tim Berresheim, Michael Bente and Andreas Hissen, legendary Honest Jon and Mo Wax sleeve designer and DJ Will Bankhead, Ukrainian band Chillera and Sea Urchin whose latest acclaimed release on the Belgian Kraak label explored the boundaries of dub music.
The IKOB Museum will host performances by Tomoko Sauvage and Emmanuelle Parrenin. Japanese musician and artist Tomoko Sauvage sculpts and improvises sounds in relation to the environment. For more than ten years she has been delving into the sound and visual properties of water in different states, as well as those of ceramics, combined with electronics. Emmanuelle Parrenin is a legendary French folk singer and harpist. Her work is defined by folk, ambient and minimal music.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, a composition by Belgian composer Wolfgang Delnui will be presented in collaboration with the Ostbelgienfestival and the Centre Henri Pousseur.
Lena Willikens will be curating the Kühlraum on Saturday. Willikens is one of the most exciting and relevant DJs and producers active in club music today.
Belgium-based composer Christina Vantzou will be playing longer continuums of select pieces from N4, her new album released on Kranky, in collaboration with Echo Collective members Margaret Hermant and Neil Leiter and violinist and pianist Beatrijs De Klerck. Her work has been hailed as breathtaking and of spellbinding beauty.
There will be a camping site in the garden of the Alter Schlachthof. For those with a hankering for camping, festival tickets indicating the camping option are available. In addition, cheap rooms are available on a first come, first served basis in the youth hostel in Eupen, a mere ten minutes walk from the festival site. The Eupen youth hostel has been a partner for every Meakusma Festival so far and they feature special rates for festival visitors. The festival website will provide an overview of hotel possibilities in and around Eupen, next to B&B’s, guest rooms and AirBNB options. Through the Meakusma website and Facebook pages, the festival audience will be able to connect with visitors and hosts for any couchsurfing action.
This is only the first wave of artists for the 2018 Meakusma Festival. For a full overview of all confirmed artists and performers, check the list below. More will be confirmed through the festival website in the near future.
Drums Off Chaos
Steven Stapleton & Christoph Heeman
The Transcendence Orchestra (Anthony Child & Daniel Bean)
Hinosch (Stefan Schneider & YPY)
Timedance (Batu, Ploy and Bruce)
Peter Brötzmann & Heather Leigh
Jay Glass Dubs
Michael Ranta & Timo Van Luijk
Die Wait Watchers
Tomoko Sauvage & Emmanuelle Parrenin
Dman & Roger 23
Bart De Paepe & Kris Vanderstraeten
Maria w Horn
Bear Bones, Lay Low