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Ombra Festival

Thursday, inauguration

by Alba Aranda

Photos: Cristina Del Barco

I am writing these lines only 48 hours after the Ombra Festival clousure.
As I look at myself in the mirror, I realize that the extent of the dark circles under my eyes is directly proportional to the fun I had.
Above those bags, my eyes still sparkle and humid with emotion as I recall moments experienced during this festival. I have felt more love, more good vibes and more sincere and true human warmth in this short period of time than in many months.

Full days of great music, of getting together with the family and dancing and synchronizing our bodies and our hearts under the same beat. Ombra is like something similar to a Christmas dinner where you get together with your family, but in this case it is the family you have chosen and with whom you share a passion that makes that many of us even cross borders and to which we devote time, money and energy.
The passion for music.

This year, just with the change of location, the festival was already exciting. If you have read some of my previous chronicles you will know how I like to taste new locations, I feel like a little girl in the morning of Epiphany in front of a great unopened gift.
The truth is that the location has exceeded my expectations in every way. Almost too much, because if we talk about dimensions there was a huge central space completely empty between the stages and the aisles where the exhibitions were.

The fact that there were 3 stages gave me mixed feelings. When I was preparing the route for the weekend I saw that it was impossible not to miss anything. With 2 scenarios, if you organize yourself well, you can miss almost nothing, but with 3 scenarios it becomes a complicated task.
But well, one of the lessons I have learned over time is that you can’t be at everything and that FOMO is something you have to deal with….

But let’s start with the opening day.
I couldn’t get there at first hour, but I arrived to hear a good piece of Umwelt‘s Masterclass, which unfortunately I didn’t pay much attention to, because I had just arrived and there were a lot of people to greet and hug, and because music production is not a subject I’m particularly into…

The former ENMASA factory of Mercedes Benz impressed me very much at the beginning, even though only a small part of it was open that day. A Rationalist style building designed at a time when industrial production was introducing new construction systems, which the architect took advantage of to experiment with all kinds of formal and technological innovations. It was an empty central space surrounded by halls where all the action was to take place during the festival.

That day everything happened at the far end of the factory entrance, only the Megabreakz room (if there is anyone from the organization reading I would love to know the origin of this name for this room), the room where the interviews and the exhibitions took place, were open to the public.

After Umwelt‘s masterclass, Michel Wollenhaupt (Ancient Methods) was interviewed by Chloe Lula, who besides being a DJ and producer, is a journalist specialized in electronic music magazines. Both were going to participate in the festival, coinciding in the closing of the Friday day, and Michael was also going to do a special session that same day, on the opening day.

I stayed for quite a while in this interview, as it was very interesting. They made a retrospective of Michael’s musical background, who had chosen a series of songs that had marked him, explained why he had chosen them and how they had influenced him.

Among the songs mentioned by the German there were pieces of the caliber of “Magnetic Fields II” by Jean-Michel Jarre, “Misery” by Schmerz (a band of Peruvian origin) and one of the songs of the legendary Public Enemy, a song that he included because it was the first song that he bought on vinyl, and that is something that vinyl lovers always remember.

I also found a curious fact, and that I did not know, is that when he settled in Berlin he had a residency at the legendary Tresor club.

After the talks, the action moved on to the Megabreakz room where the Live A/V presentation of Beyond (Urban Legend), one of the biggest names in the Barcelona underground, took place. The Sevillian producer, based in Barcelona, delighted us with the presentation of Frecuencias Ancestrales (project together with Pedro Maia) quiet but intense and deep, accompanied by visuals that mixed folkloric images of popular culture with very saturated chromatic ranges and taken to the maximum contrast (Teresa Espadafor).

Finally, after this, Michael served us the highlight of the day, the expected DJ set of Synth/Wave/Post Punk by Ancient Methods, which started with these rhythms (which many of us enjoyed as they are not common rhythms on the dance floors) but soon ended up being as destructive as what Michael has us used to.

The first day of the festival was finishing as it could not be otherwise, dancing in the dark, with a clear statement of intent of what was to come during the following days.

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