Photos Credits: Peter Neusser

Munich-based festival Alien Disko reached his third edition. It was initiated in 2016 by brothers Markus and Micha Acher (The Notwist). One of the special features this year is a focus on music from Japan, conceived by the Tokyo-based duo Tenniscoats, two long-standing friends of the brothers Markus and Micha Acher. The lineup included artists like Palais Schaumburg (with original band members), The Notwist & Guests, Sauna Youth, Pierre Bastien, Malphino, Otomo Yoshihide & Umeda Tetsuya, Friend of Gas, Oshun, Tirzah, The Pastels, Tenniscoats, Ben Lamar Gay.

If you are curious and you love eclecticism, this is the right festival for you. In two days we had the pleasure to see different bands and artists which showed different perspective of the concept of music, merging genres and styles. And we had also a different idea of the concept of the festival with a great level of contamination and collaborations between bands and a surprising direct contact with the audience (especially for the final parties at Blaues Haus with Gutfeeling and Alien Transistor music).

Three stages at the same time and unfortunately we didn’t see all the acts involved. Our festival started with the live show of Notwist, opened by Japanese band Zayaendo (which also featured the final song). A stunning performance which shows a rare synergy with a selection of tracks that mirrors the meaning of the festival. Special mention for the feature of Saya Ueno (Tenniscoats) which we saw in different shows. She also sang and played piano during the Eddie Marcon performance, one of the greatest gig of the festival. They are a group of remarkable musicians which have different influences (from jazz to experimental folk). They showed how instruments can have a different way to be used. The right solemnity to close day one.

In the middle, we saw also the energetic and captivating performance of British band Sauna Youth which recalled in our minds some of best punk bands perfomance on the stage; Palais Schaumburg fired up Kammer 1 with the original lineup (with special note for the sublime performance of the drummer).

The second day of the festival was introduced by the Parade in the streets of Munich. An event that embodies in full the essence of Alien Disko. It was like if a bit of New Orleans vibes filled up the city. Vitality and Power was brought from hip-hop duo Oshun and German band Friend of Gas. The idol of this night was the guitarist of the band which played on a chair (I assure it isn’t easy) because he had an injured foot. Then we went at Kammer 2 (of Münchner Kammerspiele) to see the ethereal performance of The Pastels that “delivered” elegance, vibrant sounds and sublime harmonies (with the help of Tenniscoats for a couple of tracks and the finale ride).

Chicago-based musician Ben Lamar Gay closed the second day at Kammer 2 with the best concert of the festival. Surrounded by an incredible and talented band, he showed his great music sensibility and the different ways to think jazz with funk and “exotic” influences. Funny and touching at the same time.

Alien Disko is a celebration of diversity, it tears down walls of genres and and territorial boundaries. It has deep roots in the city and glorifies the local scene. It encourages the international meetings and the discover of new cultures and other local scenes. We saw it as more than a festival, a big party where the exchange between people and musicians was total. The dynamism and the glocal approach, besides a welcoming and well-organized location like Münchner Kammerspiele, are the strengths and we can’t wait for the fourth chapter next year. We will be there again.