May is near. So how about the other big chunk of our lineup? The OBEY Convention, Atlantic Canada’s festival of contemporary music and art, is ecstatic to announce Syrian wedding singer turned international techno sensation, Omar Souleyman. He comes to us from a string of festival headlining spots around the globe and collaborations with the likes of Bjork and Four Tet for a dance party unlike anything Halifax has ever experienced. Also in keeping with this year’s emphasis on progressive electronic stylings, we looked in our backyard to discover Rebecca Baxter, sound machine builder and sonic adventurer. Baxter is currently working with The Flaming Lips to score a screening of the unparalleled experimental masterpiece Eraserhead for a private David Lynch party, and her noise boxes are now in the hands of everyone from Miley Cyrus to Moby.
A few weeks back we announced one of the most important figures in experimental jazz—German saxophone legend Peter Brotzmann. So to round out the serious business of OBEY Convention VIII, we are now pleased to bring you Winnipeg’s new age pianist Lubomyr Melnyk. His transformative compositions and lightning-speed performances have made him one of the most intriguing figures of contemporary classical music, but it took his recent signing with UK label Erased Tapes to finally bring worldwide recognition for a lifetime dedicated to the metaphysical realms of piano. Also coming to us from the classical sphere: New York chamber-drone ensemble Bing & Ruth, whose 2014 LP Tomorrow Was The Golden Age garnered mass acclaim everywhere from Pitchfork to The New York Times. The album was even famously listed by Thom Yorke as his second favorite of 2014.
Burnt-mind punkers, psych-poppers, and other guitar cult brainwormers—what would OBEY Convention be without them? How about Buck Gooter all the way from Virginia? A screwed-up industrial, performance art, blooze punk duo that a friend of the festival warned us about a few years back. Their live show is frightening and notorious. They join us off a stint of dates through the USA with Lightning Bolt. We bring you Toronto’s golden boy Thomas Gill and his new band Love Thy Will Be Done for a dance floor mix-‘n-mingle of the highest order. And again, one of the best things we have going comes from right here at home—we offer you krautpop Halirawk purveyors, Moon.
There’s so much more to tell you about—Montreal’s Moss Lime, Ottawa’s Bonnie Doon, N213’s Group Vision from Vancouver, JFM, Ali Zhang, Hey Mother Death, JOYFULTALK, Not The Wind Not The Flag, Gift from God, Life Chain, Vulva Culture, more, more, more. And don’t forget the artists we’ve already announced—Peter Brotzmann, Noveller, Last Lizard, Homeshake, Absolutely Free, Container, Ramzi, You’ll Never Get To Heaven, and Gashrat.
We may announce another artist or two in the coming weeks. We have a list of local DJs in store for you as well. We’ll get you all that, and then on April 7th we will reveal our full schedule, including main events, workshops by Weird Canada, a community noisemaking initiative, and free pop-up concerts. And finally, before April is through, we’ll come to you with our standalone art programme for Art In Fest 2015.
Winter has ended. We felt warmth from the sun for the first time this week.
It will be good to see you soon.