Event announcement: EuroNoize
Event date: 23 May 2019
More info: Scala website
EU funded "avant-garde Eurovision" event EuroNoize announced for May 2019. Featuring performances from artists such as Winnie Puhh, Asian Women on the Telephone, Mauraudeur, Felix Cubin, Sissy + more
On May 23rd, an “avant-garde Eurovision” called EuroNoize will be taking place at London’s Scala. A celebration of the obscure, the niche and the uncategorizable, music that runs deeper than national borders, EuroNoize was born from Pil and Galia Kollectiv’s grotesque fascination with the Eurovision Song Contest to represent the secret international fellowship of “punx and weirdos” stretching everywhere from Russia to Ireland… The event will feature 11 bands from around the world, who will perform one new song in front of a live audience. The event will also be streamed live online so people can cast their vote from afar for their favourite performance of the evening.
The event will bring an array of artists from across Europe such as Estonia’s cult internet sensation Winny Puhh, Russia’s Asian Women On The Telephone and Ireland’s hard-hitting feminists Sissy to represent their countries. Also, contentiously, despite being set in London and as a testament to the great talent pervading throughout the world and proudly representing a unity currently not felt throughout the country, the UK will not be represented at the event following Brexit. The event will also be hosted by Ruby Waters, drag alter-ego of Andrew Milk from the band Shopping and Kay Isgay of the band Homosexual Death Drive.
The promoters, Galia and Pil Kollectiv, who have previously curated events for Thurston Moore, Simon Reynolds and more have now been settled in London for several years but are originally from Israel – co-incidentally also the host nation of this year’s Eurovision. Please see a full quote from the organisers below as well as full line-up details here.
"The concept for EuroNoize was born of a grotesque fascination. Growing up in Israel, watching the Eurovision Song Contest was an exciting family event. Through a strange set of circumstances, Israel was included in Europe for one night, and a parade of bizarre performances in foreign languages invaded all living rooms around us. The music has always been mostly appalling, but occasionally, a subversive spectacle would penetrate the predictable blandness: a Finnish monster metal band, an Armenian serenading a giant apricot seed or a bunch of out of tune Israeli artists waving a Syrian flag. More than anything, these displays sat uncomfortably with the requirements on the one hand to represent an increasingly meaningless idea of national identity and on the other hand some kind of recognisably Anglo-American popular music. There was also something utterly fascinating about the spectacle of European bureaucracy that occupied almost half the night. Telephone lines, broadcasting authority committees and a complex system of awarded points demonstrated what the enlightened administration of international cooperation is all about. For us, amidst the sectarian violence and chaos of our home town of Jerusalem, it was as exotic as full orchestral arrangements and sequin dresses.
It might have been this early interest in music as a visual spectacle that drove our interest in the idea of the art band. Coming from a background in music journalism, we have always worked with musicians and incorporated music in our artwork. But in 2010, these fields began to merge in our band WE. Initially a performance piece, this project involved four masked musicians intoning the lyrics to famous songs in the plural, retaining little from the originals but the lyrics. It was through curating a series of art and music events spinning off of the band that we began considering the possibility of pursuing our interest in Eurovision further. As fans of the obscure, we had a good collection of barely popular music in diverse languages. What sort of Eurovision could accommodate the type of our weird music we were listening to and making? What would it mean to ask of this kind of group to represent its country of origin? It was also somehow obvious to us, without any real proof, that a network of likeminded individuals existed across the world, that a small group of aficionados in places as far away as Russia, Iceland or Malta might also share our unconventional taste. We became interested in understanding how this global subculture revolving mostly around Anglo-American music intersected with local identities on the periphery of the culture industry.
We set about planning an event where a selection of bands from the continent would be asked to perform one original song in front of a live and broadcasting audience who could vote for the winner. When the opportunity arose to apply for EU funding for the project, the Brexit referendum had yet to take place. However, by the time the project was confirmed, with a book, record, exhibition and conference to accompany a night of live performances, it had gained a new relevance. One decision that followed was to exclude Britain from the competition. It was also important, since we couldn’t afford to include every country in Europe, to try and represent its different regions. Working in partnership with The University of Reading, Kunsthall Oslo and ARE Prague, we set about selecting a line-up of exciting noise and outlandish presentations from a host of loud and unlikely nominees.
Our line-up reflects an attempt to present a broad, although by no means comprehensive European spectrum representing the east, west, north and south of the continent. One of the first bands we approached was Estonian cult outfit Winny Puhh. In 2013 Winny Puhh became an internet sensation for their performance at the Estonian pre-Eurovision televised competition. They performed a weirdo-punk number wearing wrestling gear and Chewbacca masks, singing in a crockery breaking falsetto and playing an electric banjo. Oh, and they had two drummers suspended from the ceiling upside down. Because Winny Puhh never made it to the Eurovision final, we felt we needed to correct a historical mistake by including them in EuroNoize. Also playing are experimental Russian trio Asian Women on the Telephone, who cross dada cult costumes with philosophical musings laid over heavily distorted beat. Our final representatives from the eastern European block are E.P.P.! from Serbia whose songs form short advertising jingles for non-existing products.
Although Germany’s Felix Kubin recorded his first master piece at the age of 12, he has continually challenged musical norms for nearly forty years with his high concept digital hardcore, retaining an uncompromising DiY aesthetic. By contrast, doom-noise metal outfit Golden Core from Norway was only formed in 2014, when its two members were 9 and 11. Representing France is Hassan K, who mixes Persian music and surf guitar. Italian garage-punk veteran Tab Ularasa is an illustrious shapeshifter who probably has more aliases and former bands than all the participants of EuroNoize put together. Hailing from the French side of Switzerland, Mauraudeur’s post-punk is the anti-thesis of the actual Eurovision sound, with its cool, detached vocals and spikey guitars. Ireland’s Sissy are possibly the most melodic entrants, but the hard-hitting feminist politics of songs like their pro-choice nod to Enya, “Sail and Rail”, belie tuneful appeal of their lo-fi power-pop. Finally, completing the line-up are Greek brothers Lakis & Aris Ionas who form the core of art-rockers and Lee Ranaldo collaborators The Callas.
Britain, following Brexit, is not participating.
EuroNoize will be hosted by Ruby Waters, drag alter-ego of Andrew Milk from the band Shopping and Kay Isgay of the band Homosexual Death Drive." - Pil and Galia Kollectiv
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