Les Siestes @ Congo

Les Siestes @ Congo

2nd Congolese edition for Les Siestes Electroniques! From November 21 till December 3 we’ll spend time digging into local sounds, playing at weird venues, exchanging with musicians and djs from the neighbourhood.

Ever since 2007, Les Siestes Electroniques have developed an international programme which allows them to put up temporary event at external sites, so as to test the festival on foreign audiences and explore other ways of perceiving music and of getting it through to the public, outside of the festival’s familiar environment; a manner of preserving a certain alertness that matches the adventurous spirit of Les Siestes Electroniques. Thus, whether we settle down in Berlin, Riga, La Haye, Cairo, Kyoto, Montreal, Abu Dhabi or Brazzaville, each time we endeavor to risk ourselves in undocumented practices, experiment with new approaches, and open up new esthetic vistas.

Now we have to admit that our first edition of the Siestes in Congo was for us the most poignant experience of all, and that it truly set a standard: we had gone unprepared, anticipating a frontal cultural encounter, but we did not expect it to play out the way it did. We had planned for the young French musicians we had invited to confront their second-hand africanism to the local realities of the place. But we did not fully appreciate the fact that electronic music, as we knew it, could not be readily apprehended by the Congolese, this because it simply did not exist on any Congolese scene. Indeed, the development of Angolese Kuduro, of South-African Kwaito and Shaghaan, and of the Ivoirian Coupé-Décalé had led us to contemplate the possibility of an electronic subculture in Africa. Yet, the effect of a TB303 on a Bakongo youth who was hearing that radically synthetic sound for the first time reminded us the sense of ecstasy and awe that electronic music can procure, ushering one into another realm.

After taking some time to ponder on that experience, to collect funds and means, and define a more comprehensive programme, we have scheduled the second edition of the Congolese festival in November 2012. At the risk of sounding like partonizing socio-cultural experts, let us say that the main addition to the Siestes Electroniques this year will be a programme of training seminars and meetings meant for the local musicians, which will make it possible for their first amazed response to mature into a learning process. We are still mostly acting upon intuition and groping our way towards a satisfactory formula, yet, let us confess that we would be extremely gratified if we could observe in 2014 that a local practice of Techno and House has caught on.

- The French musicians invited: Douster & Jay Weed
Douster and Jay Weed are the epitome of the globalized beatmaker. Highly connected to the blogosphere they access new sounds daily, with hints of kuduro, kwaito, dancehall, cumbia and other dance music dripping off of newer songs and with an obvious reverence for roots music as a base. Over the past year, Douster and Jay Weed has been steadily growing into their own sound; playful, confident, fresh, with a swagger.
Douster tracks hit hard. He might be young, but, as a producer and DJ, Douster has serious knowledge of game. In Douster tracks Timbaland beats are replaced by Argentine indigenous percussion. Chilean pan flutes pull together a dancehall hit. Wild samples, raw beats and infinite dance characterize this European DJ who knows no geographical limits, taking risks and carving out his own fluid borders.
Jay Weed’s music might be house tempo, but the sub and space comes from a much darker place. He takes the tempo and intuitive percussion of modern UK house (you can see that Hessle’s a big reference point), but makes all the emphasis on the space and atmosphere, resulting in a desolate but moving evolution of dubstep.

- Other guests: Fabrice Fortner & Pierre Teulières
Fabrice Fortner will be in charge of the educational program held during this second edition.
As a filmmaker Pierre Teulières will catch all the glorious and awkward moments of the journey.

- The program:
November 22 - 26: Brazzaville
November 27 - 28: Kinshasa (tbc)
November 29 - December 2: Pointe Noire

- Partners :
Institut Français Paris, Institut Français Brazzaville, Institut Français Pointe-Noire, Ville de Toulouse, Ableton, Heineken