STRP blog 26-11 Opium for the masses

By Laura Graat and Renee Schmeetz

maandag 28 november 2011

photo: Willie Kerkhof

It was hot, it was sweaty and it was really, really busy.  The last night of clubbing at the STRP Festival was completely sold out thanks to some electronic music giants lined up to perform. The night was not just about danceable beats though, it was the visuals that really took the limelight.

Much anticipated, Amon Tobin´s live show ISAM brought in visitors from all over Europe. One of the few shows given on the continent: this electronic mastermind took the crowd on a futuristic journey with his visuals. ISAM, a radical studio album, is his most recent release. Unlike other dj’s who just stand behind their tables, Tobin is locked inside a 3D glass cubicle that completely incorporates him. From the other side of the Klokgebouw’s industrial hall, beamers project computer graphics and morph the static geometrical décor into a dynamic and dreamlike spectacle.  It is his encore set that really moves the crowd: techno-minded with drum 'n bass and dubsteb mixed in.

Aphex Twin, part of the Electronic Music Hall of Fame, was presented with the challenge of winning over the ecstatic audience from STRP 2 to STRP 1. Though musically completely different (Aphex Twin seems to be more into rave these days), he certainly knows how to baffle the party-people. Imagine the scene: it’s midnight. You’re still coming down from Tobin’s musical and visual high. You’re starting to get a little tipsy. You stare at the screen in front of you, then up comes your face with Aphex Twin's demonic branding over it. With his face-mapping technology Twin’s maniac alter-ego plays a mindgame with the innocent STRP goers.

Surprisingly, it was one of the smaller names on the billing that really wowed the crowds with solely his music: MC/beatboxer/standup comedian and eclectic DJ Beardyman. Without a huge visual spectacle backing him,  he made all live samples of his voice and videofootage on the spot, mixing it into a rich deephouse/techno cocktail.

Has Saturday-night left you with a hangover? Not to worry:check out the first pictures on, and you realise it was worth it!

Hope to see you again next year from November 8-18