“There are few festivals where all musics are equal. Big Ears (Knoxville), BRDCST (Brussels), and Le Guess Who? (Utrecht) might make good examples.” - Brooklyn Rail
It’s a little early for the seventh edition of BRDCST, but we’re barely able to control our excitement any longer. We are proud to announce the first batch of names who will take to our stages from 4 to 8 April 2024. Yes, you read that right: BRDCST is now a five-day event.
The annual pilgrimage for musical adventurers is, as always, a gathering of the most diverse genres and artists from around the world, and will also take over the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ter-Rijke-Klarenkerk/Notre-Dame aux Riches Claires this year. Curator Kurt Overbergh talks us through the (incomplete) bill.
Warp icons with authentic signature sound
Autechre kicks off the festival on 4 April with a BRDCST pre-show. For over 35 years, AE have been an inimitable act with their bouncy electronica: complex, abstract, dark, cubist and funky all at the same time. Autechre’s most recent trip to Belgium was back in 2016.
Oneohtrix Point Never performed alongside The Weeknd in 2021 at the Super Bowl halftime show and will bring BRDCST to a close. His aftershow will be a selection of earlier work in addition to his latest album Again.
Already a Warp icon in the making: Jasper Marsalis – son of the renowned jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis - aka Slauson Malone 1. Marsalis has created beats for Solange and Earl Sweatshirt and his Warp debut Excelsior is “a masterpiece of American surrealism. As if Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ was re-imagined as Brain Wilson’s ‘Smile’”, says Line of Best Fit.
English singer-songwriter Tirzah recently surprised us with her intriguing third album trip9love…???, accurately described by Boomkat as “just inarguably, inexplicably, touched by genius”. Her experimental blend of pop, post-grime, and R&B is utterly intoxicating.
However, the best quote we have read about Tirzah comes from Gonzo Circus: “She doesn’t sing to try to convince, doesn’t sweep through eight octaves, and doesn’t wear herself out with exaggerated vibratos, melismas, or wails. It is singing as an intimate form of speech, and that’s why she captivates so hard and deeply.” Especially for BRDCST, she curates a night with kindred musical spirits. May we kindly suggest Mica Levi, Tirzah?
BRDCST takes over the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ter-Rijke-Klarenkerk/Notre-Dame aux Riches Claires
According to Google Maps, this somewhat concealed church is a mere 190 metres from the BRDCST headquarters. The church was built in the baroque style in the 17th century, based on a design by the renowned Mechelen architect Lucas Faydherbe, a student and friend of Rubens. In 1989, an intense fire destroyed the almost 150-year-old organ. This was replaced in 2011 by a modern classical organ built by Patrick Collon, one of the most productive Belgian organ builders of the latter half of the 20th century.
The Swedish Ellen Arkbro – once a student of minimalist La Monte Young – is a great lover of organs, as her 2017 debut For Organ and Brass shows. NPR described her as follows: “(she) shifts monochromatic tones like a Rothko painting”. Arkbro is the first of a series of artists who will take over the church over three days of BRDCST.
Adventurous jazz theme
With Alabaster DePlume, Colin Pulice, and Amaro Freitas, BRDCST deliberately continues the jazz theme of previous years (The likes of Tom Skinner, Jaimie Branch, and The Comet Is Coming have previously appeared on the bill.) Alabaster DePlume is the nom de plume of Angus Fairbairn and is at his artistic peak with a formidable output. His shows are musically captivating and verbally hilarious.
From the slums of the Brazilian port city of Recife, Amaro Freitas has developed into a pianist of international renown. He approaches the piano as a percussion instrument, showing an affinity with the master Thelonious Monk. He is assisted on his upcoming album Y’Y by Shabaka Hutchings.
Finally, ambient jazz guru Colin Pulice “is creating the experimental jazz tapes of your dreams”, says Pitchfork. He has toured with Bon Iver and his latest composition, If I Don’t See You in the Future, I’ll See You in the Pasture was immediately included in the ‘Best New Music’ category on Pitchfork.
Guest of honour #1: Svetlana Spajić (RS)
Ever since we saw Robert Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramović in 2011, one voice – apart from that of ANOHNI – has stayed with us to the present: that of Serbian singer Svetlana Spajić. BRDCST is proud to present a double whammy. You see, Spajić is the protagonist on Shara, the brand-new album by Gordan, “the unlikely trio of the breathtaking traditional ethnomusicologist Spajic, and two Berlin-based noise and experimental musicians. They celebrate a dark and dystopian take on ancient Balkan folklore”.
Enter part two, Lenhart Tapes: the alter ego of the Belgrade-residing cassette collector and noise musician Vladimir Lenhart, also known as the ‘The Walkman Alchemist’. His latest album Dens is, according to The Wire, “a stunningly sophisticated collection of vital new interpretations of traditional songs from across the Balkans” and features as a guest… you guessed it: Svetlana Spajić!
Guest of honour #2: Attila Csihar (HU)
The legendary Hungarian extreme metal vocalist Attila Csihar – best known for his work with the influential Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and drone ensemble SUNN O))) - is living proof that black metal has a place among the avant-garde arts. Void Ov Voices is the result of Csihar’s fascination with ancient ruins which took him to the Lebanese city of
Baalbek. One of the largest monoliths in the world is there. He recorded his vocal acrobatics there, which are somewhere between “animalistic growling, singing, and throat singing techniques”.
Csihar also presents The Nosferatu Project: the live soundtrack to the first real filming in 1992 of the book Dracula by Bram Stoker. A field day for Csihar, who presents this Belgian premiere across the road at arthouse Cinema Palace.
Guest of honour #3: Valentina Magaletti (UK)
The Italian drummer/composer and multi-instrumentalist Valentina Magaletti has a highly impressive CV. With her extremely personal approach to percussion, she has played drums for Thurston Moore, Lafawndah, Mica Levi, Kamasi Washington, and Nicolas Jaar among others. In one of her key releases, A Queer Anthology of Drums, she reflects on her queer identity. She also performs under the name Vanishing Twin – including at BRDCST in 2017 – and Zongamin.
Magaletti presents two of her most prestigious projects. Holy Tongue – her trio with producer Al Wootton and Susumu Mukai – evokes the atmosphere of the experimental dub of On-U-Sound, 23 Skidoo, Liquid, and ESG. The highly explosive Moin focuses on alt-rock, post-punk, art rock, and doom metal.
From small bagpipes to protest music from Soweto to feminist queer folk
In keeping with tradition, BRDCST presents the most unusual and diverse sounds from all over the world. For example, the Scottish Brìghde Chaimbeul (pronounced ‘Bree-chuh CHaym-bul’) has developed a tonal colour entirely her own on her small bagpipes, which sound more like rich textural drones. She has previously collaborated with Colin Stetson and Caroline Polachek.
We give space to a loud voice of protest from Soweto with the seven-piece Afrofuturist punk collective BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness). According to KEXP, their music is “a magnetic blend of traditional South African styles combining hypnotic polyrhythms with hip hop and psych-rock and fiery lead vocals.”
The Japanese Goat – not to be confused with their Swedish namesakes – make “minimal techno without the electronics, performed with jaw-dropping precision” according to Japan Times.
The nine-piece folk collective Shovel Dance Collective made an impression earlier this year in AB with their free-spirited take on British folk from a feminist, queer, and anti-colonial perspective.
The Swedish Iranian Shida Shahabi was recently – like Tirzah – invited by PJ Harvey for her much-talked-about show in 2024 in Gunnersbury Park. PJ fell for her blend of classical and electronic elements at the junction of ambient and drones.
Kurt Overbergh, curator, BRDCST festival
► Take advantage of low ticket prices!
If you buy a ticket for the pre-show along with an Early Bird Festival Pass and/or ticket for the closing night now, you pay less. On sale as of 17/11:
BRDCST pre-show w/ Autechre + Early Bird Festival Pass: €90 (instead of €100)
BRDCST pre-show w/ Autechre + Early Bird Festival Pass + BRDCST aftershow w/ Oneohtrix Point Never: €118 (instead of €128)
Early Bird Festival Pass + BRDCST aftershow w/ Oneohtrix Point Never: €83 (instead of €93)