Editorial issue N° 7 — KRAAK festival 2016

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, You are holding the 7th edition of the irregularly published magazine wisely dubbed The Avant-Guardian. It's the third edition published on the occasion of the yearly KRAAK festival.
25 February 2016 | AG 7

I could explain the deeper concepts of the festival, but I will not bore you with vague writings about the other, scenes or criticism on society and the role of music in all that. Although I’d like to think of the festival as some sort of state of contemporary music. An event which counts as a blunt statement on what 2016 music is about, exemplified by an old school intuitive and fragmented program.

From there on, through experiencing the festival you will be left to yourself to make up your own thoughts on where music stands nowadays. You can find your own answers to questions like: is music still relevant? Are there new (r)evolutions or are musicians chasing their own and others tails, recycling the past? Has music still a role in society? Does it formulate criticism on a consumerist mind-frame? What about music and ideas on European values, and values of Non-Western people?

For my part, I rather give you a good read on festival experiences. 

This year’s edition is ambitious, taking over an art center in the heart of brussels for at least three days. The reason is simple: some music just don’t fit in a schedule that jumps from free jazz to conceptual composition to vocal poetry or folk. As a listener you need time to sink in the slowness of some music. We took that into account, leaving space and time for music that isn't always easy to digest.

At the other hand three days open the possibility to explore extreme concepts of experiences of live music. Saturday and Sunday afternoon will focus on slow minimalist and meditative music, presenting equally folkish, vitalist or hermetic traditions. Friday and Saturday evening are overdone with energetic bands and parallel programs. See the Fri- and Saturday as a counterpoint to the afternoons. 

Three days open up the possibility to bound. You can cuddle each other, discuss extensively on exclusive re-releases of unknown bands. You can stomp unknown strangers in the face during noise acts like Viper Pit or Guttersnipe and have a deep personal conversation with the person you have kicked. You can emerge slowly into deep intensive drones in a church. The good thing is: those things happen as well on a 1 day festival, but this time you will find each other the day after. In the end you will feel connected and fragmented with the rest, in the fact that you experienced the same great festival. Getting back home, left to your social media will feel as a poor ersatz for what happened at the festival.