Between April 27 and 30, with the support of Gijón’s Town Council and the Principality of Asturias, the festival will host a four-day line-up in different spaces of the town, including local, national and international artists working in the fields of electronic sound experimentation and contemporary audiovisual and digital creation.
The first confirmed artists were announced in February, and now the festival reveals a long list of new additions for the line-up of this 17th edition in Gijón (Asturias), including world premieres and live debuts of new albums by renowned artists, as well as surprising collaborations of artists from different fields.
On Friday 28 and Saturday 29, Teatro de la Laboral will host audiovisual performances by Robert Henke, Hélène Vogelsinger, Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt, Grand River, Kathy Hinde, Annabelle Playe & Alexandra Rădulescu and Claraguilar.
One of the most special events of this year will be the closing act, on Sunday April 30 at Teatro Jovellanos. For this event, the festival brings back one of the most outstanding audiovisual works from the last years: the live-media performance Dökk by the Italian studio Fuse*.
Night activities will be resumed at Nave de LABoral Centro de Arte on Saturday 29, with live shows by Throwing Snow, Zoë McPherson & Alessandra Leone, Ninos du Brasil, Kai Whiston and Enxin/Onyx.
Also on Saturday 29, the festival keeps the daytime live shows at Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies, featuring such renowned international artists as Ikonika, WaqWaq Kingdom and James Shinra, and local names as iconic as Komatssu and Jailed Jamie (a Skygaze side project), in a collaboration with Helios Amor.
This new L.E.V. Festival brings back the daytime shows at Jardín Botánico Atlántico on Sunday April 30, in an innovative format that will be announced soon, along with the artists who will perform in this space.
This year’s line-up will also include audiovisual installations and activities related to extended realities, in synergy with the Arenas Movedizas project, LABoral Centro de Arte y el Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto.
L.E.V. Festival (Laboratorio de Electrónica Visual) celebrates its 17th year in Gijón from April 27 to 30. With the support of Gijón’s Town Council and the Principality of Asturias, once more the festival will turn the Asturian town into the epicenter of electronic sound experimentation and contemporary audiovisual and digital creation, with a four-day line-up in different spaces and cultural centers, featuring audiovisual performances and live shows, plus multiple art installations and activities around extended realities.
The first confirmed artists were announced in February (Robert Henke, Ikonika, Throwing Snow and Hélène Vogelsinger), and now the festival reveals a long list of new additions for the line-up of audiovisual performances and concerts for this 17th edition in Gijón, including world premieres and live debuts of new albums by renowned artists, as well as surprising collaborations of artists from different fields.
Teatro de la Laboral: Robert Henke, Hélène Vogelsinger, Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt, Grand River, Kathy Hinde, Annabelle Playe & Alexandra Rădulescu and Claraguilar
Friday April 28 at Teatro de la Laboral will start with the premiere of All Above, the recently released album by Grand River, the project by composer and sound designer Aimée Portioli. This deeply moving third work, her most ambitious and personal so far, blurs the line between her sophisticated, experimental electronic productions, influenced by minimalism and ambient and acoustic music made with vocals, strings, organs, guitars and synthesizers, using her piano as the focal point. Marco Ciceri will be in charge of the lights design.
Robert Henke, this year’s headline, will play after Grand River with his project CBM 8032 AV, created with vintage computers. With this audiovisual performance, the German digital artist explores the beauty of simple graphics and sounds, using five Commodore CBM 8032. This work plays with the ambivalence of contemporary aesthetics and the use of obsolete, limited, 40-year old technology. Technically speaking, everything about this project could have been done in 1980, but the artistic ideas behind this installation would be impossible without the cultural background of today.
Annabelle Playe, multidisciplinary artist and musical producer, and Alexandra Rădulescu, multimedia artist and designer specialized in immersive and interactive experiences, work together to create the project KRASIS, a name taken from the philosophy by E. Coccia, who used this term to stand up for the idea that all living species are constantly mixing and in touch with each other. Under this conceptual umbrella, the artists have created an interactive performance where the devices and media used by each on stage are interconnected, generating a dialogue and an exploration between image and sound in real time.
The night will be completed with the world premiere of Videoscope by Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt, an audiovisual performance based in Vigroux’s latest release, Magnetoscope. This work takes us to the sound and aesthetic elements of the eighties, “a terrifying time”, according to the French musician and composer. Progressive pop, Vangelis’ romantic vibes and dark, abstract, harmonically complex layers of sound, generate timeless compositions combined with machine-funk’s melodic euphoria and now with the visual work of multi-awarded artist Antoine Schmitt, with who he takes us on an infinite ride in space and time on the autobahns of a world in deep transformations.
Saturday April 29 at Teatro de la Laboral will kick off with the performance Twittering Machine by audiovisual artist Kathy Hinde, who translates John Keats’ poem Ode to a Nightingale into Morse code and reinterprets it sonically, including bird songs recorded with different effects, intertwined to create a hypnotic chorus of real and artificial birds. Her goal is to warn us and to invite us to think about the effects of technology in nature.
Also at Teatro de la Laboral, on Saturday 29, Hélène Vogelsinger will showcase her modular synthesizer project Metaphysical Alteration, where she explores different spaces to connect with their energies, creating unique, poetic moments. The signature sound of this French composer, producer and sound designer is a blend of minimalist, repetitive music, lyrical vocals and deep, elevated layers.
The following act will be Claraguilar, multi-instrumentalist musician combining different fields such as theatre, dance and cinema, ambient and chamber pop arrangements and electronic and techno music. She will showcase Mystery Is All, her debut album, full of melancholic melodies, orchestral samples and countless synthesizers, to create multiple melodies. Her live show incorporates new songs and the collaboration of Osicla Estudio in the lights department.
Nave de LABoral Centro de Arte: Throwing Snow, Zoë McPherson & Alessandra Leone, Ninos du Brasil, Kai Whiston and Enxin/Onyx
Night activities on Saturday 29 at Nave de LABoral Centro de Arte will start with a live show by two-piece Enxin/Onyx, formed by Tot Onyx (Tommi Tokyo, previously in Group A) and Hiro Kone (Nicky Mao). Unsettling and constantly changing, halfway between discordance and harmony, this new collaboration and their first EP Dorothy contain a constant interaction between elements of each artist’s individual practices, generating a sonic experience which knows no bounds.
The night will go on with Kai Whiston, whose long awaited latest album, Quiet As Kept, F.O.G. was released last September. Kai was born in the heart of late nineties dance music. Her parents were young ravers from the New Age Travellers community. Her new work is an overwhelmingly ambitious and ravishingly beautiful symphony, where the artist explores these memories in a realistic way, and how this community made an impact on her life, part celebration, part critique, mixing reality and fantasy.
Acclaimed producer Throwing Snow, aka Ross Tones, will showcase his fourth album Dragons AV, a work halfway between science and ancient wisdom, between prehistoric rites and the complexities of the contemporary world. The ten tracks in this album combine solid electronic beats with the physicality of countless acoustic instruments, accompanied by a neural network of visual elements created with the artist and technologist Matt Woodham.
After playing in 2021’s L.E.V. Madrid, Zoë Mc Pherson and Alessandra Leone come to Gijón with Pitch Blender live AV, a new audiovisual show around Zoë’s recently released eponymous album. A strong setlist full of cybernetic experiments for the dancefloor, like a rave in an art space, released through her own SFX label, also co-directed with Alessandra Leone.
The night will be closed by the legendary Italian project Ninos du Brasil, playing a daring and unlikely blend of noise, batucada, samba and electronica. Anyone who has attended one of their live shows, either in a Belgian punk squat or at the famous Venice Biennale of Architecture, says it is an otherworldly experience. A condensed yet intense set which brings together techno, old-school hardcore, the spirit of stadium chants and carnival parades.
Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies: Ikonika, WaqWaq Kingdom, Komatssu, James Shinra and Jailed Jamie ft. Helios Amor
As in previous years, 2023′ L.E.V. will host a series of concerts at Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies on Sunday April 29 from midday, starting with Komatssu, playing their third album No place For Poetry, released with Tensal Itd. An exercise in eclecticism, combining space techno and melodic landscapes, solid breaks and beautiful atmospheres, in a new and surprising work by the most personal and intimate alter ego of the iconic DJ and Asturian producer Héctor Sandoval, a personal L.E.V. favorite since the beginning.
Next in the bill is Ikonika, one of the most respected names in the UK bass diaspora. After more than ten years of activity, four albums, dozens of EPs and live shows all over the world, and specially known for her affiliation and her numerous releases with Hyperdub Records, Ikonika is an artist constantly evolving. Her last Bubble Up EP, with a strong presence of the amapiano sound, reflects her diverse interests and musical influences, generating a show where she combines her vocals with live edits from her songs.
Japanese tribal bass duo WaqWaq Kingdom is formed by Kiki Hitomi, singer and composer as a solo artist or for such prestigious projects as King Midas Sound; and Shigeru Ishihara, legendary breakcore-gameboy DJ under the name of Scotch Egg. Their unique sound blends the traditional Japanese Minyo style with Jamaican dancehall, footwork, dub, techno, tribal polyrhythms and Super Nintendo tunes. Their work shows strong influences of the ancient Shinto mythology and Japanese Matsuri festivals, which honor their local gods. The results are truly hypnotic, Shamanic live shows.
Since his first vinyl release in 2015, James Shinra has been exploring the most melodic side of braindance, electro, breakbeat and rave. His debut album, Vital Heat, in Analogical Force, was so well received that allowed him to get away from the dancefloor and widen his musical spectrum in multiple directions. This time he will play at Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies, using his full arsenal of machines to delight us with a live show full of acid, electro beats and unforgettable melodies.
Closing the line-up in this space, Jailed Jamie will premiere, especially for L.E.V. Festival, his album Gimme Something To Break, which will be released on March 17. A side project by a very well-known name in Spanish underground electronic scene, Jaime Tellado (Skygaze), now joins forces with local label Antic Mass to release his second album as Jailed Jamie, paying tribute to timeless genres from late nineties-early noughties, such as bigbeat, breakbeat, jungle an electro. For this premiere at the festival, he will be accompanied by a crucial name in Gijón’s culture: Helios Amor. Both this concert and Komatssu’s will be presented with the collaboration of the Youth Department of the Gijón City Council.
Closing act at Teatro Jovellanos: Dökk by fuse*
One of the most special events of this year will be the closing act, on Sunday April 30 at Teatro Jovellanos. For this occasion, the festival brings back the project Dökk by Italian studio fuse*. It was part of LEV 2021, with the constraints imposed by the pandemic. At L.E.V. we think it was one of the most outstanding audiovisual performances of the last years, so we want it to reach a wider audience this time.
This live-media performance takes us to a journey to the subconscious, the emotions and the unpredictability of the human being, combining live dance with a data system able to perform a real time analysis on aspects such as sound, the movements of the performer o her heartbeats, to read them and project them on stage, transformed in digital landscapes and 3D objects. A space where each gesture has a direct consequence, in a continuous pursuit for the balance between light and darkness.
New live formats at Jardín Botánico, audiovisual installations and extended realities
On Sunday April 30, and as a first in this 2023, L.E.V. will bring back daytime shows at Jardín Botánico Atlántico de Gijón, with an innovative format that will be announced soon, along with the artists who will perform in this space. Besides, throughout the four days of the festival, different spaces of the town will host several audiovisual installations and activities related to extended realities, such as virtual or augmented reality. As in previous years, this is a collaboration with Arenas Movedizas, the experimental project about audiovisual culture, with the support of the European project RIT (Realities in Transition), Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto, LABoral Centro de Arte and European project EMAP (European Media Art Platform).
L.E.V. Festival 2023
27 – 30 abril | Gijón
An initiative by Datatron
Supported by Gijón’s Town Council and the Principality of Asturias
Partners: RIT (Realities In Transition), LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, EMAP (European Media Art Platform), Arenas Movedizas, Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura, Embajada de Canadá en España, Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Madrid, Conseyu de Mocedá de Xixón, Radio 3, OCIMAG, CLOT Magazine, Organics by Red Bull.
Spaces: Teatro Jovellanos, Teatro de la Laboral, Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto, Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies, Escuela de Comercio and Jardín Botánico Atlántico.
Graphic design: Pasajero37 / Motion design: Holke79 / Sound design and music: Jorge Haro