Krunk Picks — 7 Things To Look Forward To At Magnetic Fields Festival 2015
“Moths don’t need to explain why they’re attracted to the light.”
— Marty Rubin
We’re talking about reasons to attend the festival, of course, besides the loaded line-up that’s had every music-lover in India worth their salt salivating since the first wave of artists at Magnetic Fields Festival 2015 was announced. With the likes of rocktronica duo Ratatat, beatmaker extraordinaire Shigeto playing live, Brainfeeder selector Kutmah, DJ Koze with his blunted sounds and in the most recent announcement, the dreamy Garden City Movement from Tel Aviv taking the stage at the 17th-century Alsisar Mahal — the line-up speaks for itself. As for the breathtaking location, we’ll let the photographs from past editions do the talking.
“This year’s edition of Magnetic Fields sees a partnership with one of our favourite international brands, Red Bull Music Academy,” Sarah Chawla, co-founder of Wild City and partner at Magnetic Fields. “A global institute that has become synonymous with challenging and future facing music and nightlife culture – we’re thrilled about sharing this platform with the music scene in India at Magnetic Fields.”
With Krunk squad Kumail, Aqua Dominatrix and Delhi Sultanate joining the contemporary underground local and international talent in performing at the festival, come out to represent and support with us — and revel in the gloriously extended sets. There is much else going on besides the music though, and if all of the above isn’t enough to have the desert beckoning you its way, here are 7 other reasons Magnetic Fields is where you need to be this winter:
The first-ever combined showcase of Indian/Pakistani electronic music producers awaits with prodigious Pakistani beatmaker Rudoh and Haamid Rahim (the other half of Forever South) joined by Consolidate (represented by Rahul Giri as _RHL ) and Islamabad-based experimental electronica producer Asfandyar Khan aka TMPST. This cultural collaboration comes at a time when we daresay our countries could really do with it.
“The Forever South (Karachi) and Consolidate (Bangalore) showcase presented by Border Movement and Thump will be a real highlight for me,” Sarah shares. “Two of the regions’ most discerning music collectives playing side-by-side — this has been a dream for a long time.”
Rahul Giri will also be bringing down the well-loved Sulk Station, with wife and co-creator Tanvi Rao.
II. Element-Themed Art Installations
The theme for the 2015 edition is “as the Bedouins traverse through the five elements” – earth or prithvi; water or jal; fire or agni; air or vayu and then aether or akasha – and the festival aesthetic shadows the theme with its various art installations this year, specially curated by artists and designers like Anjali Mody, writer, visual artist and innovator Shilo Shiv Suleman and textile and fashion designer Shreya Oza.
The mystical experience created by this installation extends to the general aesthetic and ethos of the festival, and Shreya Oza tells us more about her installation, “The installation comprises of a hollow cube made of paper bricks; of a size of a standard brick used in building construction. The bricks will be of several colours with respect to the planned integrated pattern. The installation intends to be an interactive space for sound creators and dreamers since paper works best as an insulation medium, hence, not only making the hollow space soundproof but also cool in the desert. The opening of the installation will be an onsite planning based on the light and situational parameters of the space.”
“Paper used to make the bricks is recycled from the discarded braille books and are made by the differently-abled kids of a Trust based out of Gujarat. It is a skill that has been taught to the kids over a long period of time as a therapy which serves as a meditation occupation for them. The environment created around making this whole installation envisions holistic creative paths,” she continues.
“JOSMO has created two sculptures that are based on elements in and out of this world,” Anjali Mody, of JOSMO Furniture Design Studio fame, explains her installation at the festival. “We have focused our efforts on creating communal spaces through our installations that aid in bringing people together, aligning minds, spirits and conversation. The Lotus Mantra comprises of two metal flowers placed on either side of the courtyard fountain in the main palace grounds. Both lotuses (made of laser-cut mild steel) depict the elements of nature (earth, fire, wind, water) on their petals in silhouetted forms of dancing women. With the help of light and fire, these forms will come alive under the Rajasthan Sky, warming festival goers along the way.”
III. Heineken Desert Disco: Strictly Vinyl with The 264 Cru
Cut us some slack on going back to the line-up on this one, because the slew of genres this rechristened stage has up its sandy sleeve on Friday to kick the proceedings off with, actually warrants it. Afrobeat, jazz and funk meet hip-hop, reggae, disco and dub with Dubai-based The 264 Cru, a collective of DJs, music producers, creatives, and lateral thinkers dedicated to specialized music events and pushing independent sounds.
“To The 264 Cru, the medium of vinyl holds a special place in this exploration of music because of the constructs of the format, every record holds a story behind it and represents a certain movement and ideology if you will,” DJ Mocity (AKA Mohammed Abood) shares. “The 264 Cru pushes the idea of vinyl as a community building medium which helps bring like-minded individuals together due to the physical nature of the format and forces human interaction in this modern, segmented world of niches micro-genres and sub-genres. Sitting down and listening to an entire record as a whole brings to the fore the idea that music can’t be so easily classified and categorized as certain media tries to make it seem. Hearing subtle influences from all ends of the musical spectrum we can start to connect the dots and appreciate the deeply embedded themes and motifs behind all music of value, music created as a piece of art and not as a product.”
IV. Downtime Sessions at the Festival
A music festival set in the desert seems unlikely to offer you healthy activity options, but that’s exactly where Magnetic Fields scores. Stretch out those sore, danced-out muscles in morning yoga sessions in the palace over the weekend, hosted by Namrata Sudhindra from Nikaya Yoga. When we say health, we do mean it in the holistic sense of the term because Magnetic’s got you covered with a dedicated welfare area managed and curated by mental health awareness and emotional wellness experts TATVA, ‘a space where there will always be a listening ear and a place to rest’.
For revellers with otherworldly inclinations, indulgences include stargazing sessions on the rooftop.
V. The Famed Treasure Hunt: Back Bigger & Grander This Year
In collaboration with Nappa Dori, like last year, the adventurous can traipse out on a treasure hunt to solve clues hidden all over the festival over the three days. The luxury leather design brand will also be selling limited edition backpacks at the festival (which you can buy online here).
“Since the festival takes place in a palace in the middle of the desert, the artwork employs the use of several isometric shapes and crystals, depicting the flamboyance and magical vibes of the environment that exists within the fort walls and beyond,” Gautam Sinha, founder Nappa Dori, tells us a little about the custom-made Nappa Dori backpacks. “The upper regions of the bag carry a crystalline inverted palace with pieces of it falling from the skies onto the sparking dunes. While last year’s bag was a celebration of the festival, and how it is during the day, this year’s backpack speaks of the energy of the night with glitter dust on the ground and stars dripping from the skies. Our decision of doing white printing on black only emphasises this mood.”
VI. Dungeons & Secret Parties
In a thrilling first, the dungeons of the 17th century palace will be the site of one of the popular secret parties featuring Boston disco duo Soul Clap and Delhi-based producer Soulspace in collaboration with the respected online music magazine and brand Resident Advisor. What more could a festival-goer ask for?
VI. The Munchies On Hand
Getting down to real talk – mouthwatering hot naan wraps, aromatic Rajasthani curries, woodfired pizzas, waffles and desserts should keep you warm and toasty in the desert. To take things up a notch, Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat, who has been awarded prizes around the world for its single- origin Vietnamese chocolate, will also be hosting an exclusive chocolate tasting session at Alsisar Mahal.
“There is definitely more interest in the festival this year and a lot more people who want to come and experience the magic that is Magnetic Fields,” Sarah Chawla winds up. “The most heartening has been the appreciation of our efforts to curate a festival like this, and the word-of-mouth, organic buzz that has built up around the festival.”
The magic from the festival wanders from the desert to the coast this year with a special Magnetic Fields Boat Party in Goa on December 26, 2015. So if you haven’t had your fill of the heady experience, or weren’t able to make it for the actual festival, you know where you need to be as the year draws to an end.