1. No festival without headliners.
Every full-evening programme needs a strong engine. If an unknown band can play for more people, outside of their own underground crowd, thanks to a good, well-suited crowd-puller: then, yes, please! Even if those headliners are still rather 'relative' at Domino. But even so: who are the kingpins this year?
LOU REED has already been announced. LOU REED at Domino? Yup! You read it right. Lou Reed presents ‘a night of deep noise’ completely based on his controversial album ‘Metal Machine Music’ from ’75 that considerably influenced Sonic Youth, Sunn 0))) as well as the Japanese noise-master Merzbow. The the stuttering electronica of AUTECHRE (AE to the friends) will also be present, once again giving a sign of life in 2010 via the impressive ‘Oversteps’ . The electronica meets post-rock of 65daysofstatic (already present at Domino in ’06) will prove that this band has now matured. The gents themselves are certainly looking forward to it: “We’re playing the Domino festival in Brussels, which is an honour.” we read on their blog. Also DANIEL JOHNSTON – who delivered one of his best albums in ’09 with 'Is and Always Was' – is daring to experiment and will take on the clash with BEAM, an eleven-member contemporary Dutch music ensemble…
The deliciously daft hip-hop of DAN LE SAC VS. SCROOBIUS PIP (present with a new album: ‘The Logic Of Chance’ ) will be here too, just as RAIN MACHINE, the project from guitarist/singer KYP MALONE of TV ON THE RADIO. Fans, The Pixies have previously taken them along on their North-American tour. Finally, also: the garage-punk of CRYSTAL ANTLERS (not to be confused with Crystal Castles or Crystal Stilts)
2. NOISE. WHITE NOISE. DRONES.
Domino has always had an ear for ‘noise’. Just remember visits from Wolf Eyes, Black Dice, Sunn 0))) or the minimal (white-noise-)electronica of Berlin's Raster_Noton. This year too it will be a high-mass for the noise-fetishists amongst us.
LOU REED’S METAL MACHINE TRIO is undoubtedly the most controversial kingpin of Domino 2010 (and, by extension, of the entire 2010 'indoor' concert season?). Lou Reed presents ‘a night of deep noise’ entirely based on his controversial album ‘Metal Machine Music’ from ’75. Once reviled at release, now dug up again and adored in art circles. Even Rolling Stone was forced to review its opinion. In ’75, Rolling Stone described the album as "the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator" and “as displeasing to experience as a night in a bus terminal". In ’09 the review of Reed’s live performance in NYC was already much more satisfactory: “Although the music was played in the same spirit as the original album, it had much more direction, making it more listenable.”. We are dead curious!
Even more ear-appealing sounds? Then you can go see British noise duo FUCK BUTTONS. Their Belgian stage debut already took place in the AB in ’08. They have now actually become popular with their ‘almost pop-music’ or ‘noise with teen appeal’ . Portishead are certainly die hard fans. Just check out the reviews of their second album ‘Tarot Sport’. Even more sweetness for the ears? Then remember RUSSELL HASWELL, who released his most 'popular' album in ’02, via Warp: ‘Satanstornade’, a collaboration with the Japanese noise-master Merzbow.
And we haven't even mentioned the bursts of noise that AUTECHRE, KAPITAN KORSAKOV or MOUNT EERIE slip into their sets…
3. FUTURE SOUND MUSIC
Are you still with us? Just when we thought we'd completely figured out the dubstep genre, now people have started talking about crunchy, funky, wonky and purple. Rustie and Hudson Mohawke were already here last year and, in the dubstep-league, Skream (’07) and Kode9 & MC Spaceape. This year we've invited KING MIDAS SOUND (the brain-child of Kevin Martin), who has one of the gems of '09 to his name: ‘Waiting For You’, on Hyperdub. Some young producers will be added to this section, we’ll keep you posted!
4. BRAND NEW. YOUNG. INTRACTABLE. AND (OFTEN) FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BELGIUM.
A heap of fresh, young and generally intractable bands/performers – as ever, the mission statement of Domino – will also be present and then (often) for the first time on Belgian soil. Just think: the nine-member FOOL’S GOLD from LA that according the prominent Rough Trade shop are ‘one of the first fresh revelations of 2010’ with their ‘afro-pop’. Or as the BBC reports: “Much like Fela Kuti’s reinvention of American funk as afrobeat, or Tinariwen’s Led Zeppelin-influenced desert blues, Fool’s Gold stretch Western pop templates out into African shapes”. THE ROUGH BOYS will make an impression too. Recently picked up by the Rough Trade label (see: Antony, Pete Doherty,…), their (essentially) garage-rock is sure to appeal to a broad audience. Brooklyn's THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS debut on Belgian soil too, and that on the basis of only one single track (‘Dressed in Dresden’ ) that we heard on the Warp collector ‘2010’ and which incredibly intrigued us. Can we tip another band? ASIWYFA or rather AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR, a Scottish band that were absolutely the revelation of Eurosonic earlier this year and will make fans of Explosions In The Sky of 65daysofstatic foam at the mouth. KING MIDAS SOUND (see: Future Sound Music) also take its first steps on Belgian soil.
5. BELGIAN (DEBUTS).
2010 will be a strong Belgian spring. New releases from Admiral Freebee, Fixkes, Arid, Meuris, Gabriel Rios,… etc. are coming at us, but there is even more to be found in the underlying layers… For example, the previously announced TOMMIGUN who dove into the studio with members of Black Heart Procession to work on their debut (release: end March). Also already announced, TOMÀN is no unknown to the AB but now comes to do it with visuals. KAPITAN KORSAKOV is the noisiest animal of the lot but that didn't stop them from landing in De Afrekening with their single 'When we were Hookers'. What should we make of the opening night with three promising Belgians of 2010: TAPE TUM, THE BEAR THAT WASN’T and MARBLE SOUNDS. TAPE TUM is the band based around the Dousselaere brothers, who debut with ‘The Night We Called It A Day’’, which will even be released internationally via the Icelandic label Kimi Records. MARBLE SOUNDS is our absolute favourite, who float somewhere between Pinback and The Notwist and many other fine sounds with ‘Nice Is Good’’ (via Zeal Records). They're our absolute tip! After Isbells, the revelation of 2010? And finally there is also the heart-stoppingly beautiful album by The Bear That Wasn’t.
6. LITERARY TALENT AT DOMINO? CD/DVD/BOOKSHOP.
You can visit a culture-wise Domino this year too. Aside from tens of performances, you can also sate yourself on the now legendary bookshop, containing an extensive range of CDs/DVDs/books that will completely fire-up the Canvas-viewer in you. The ‘added-value visitor’ is a fact!
Finally, also your undivided attention for LAURA DOCKRILL (previously: Dockers MC). We saw this bright young spoken word performer – friend of both Kate Nash and Scroobious Pip – at work last year in London in the famous Royal Festival Hall and we were very much impressed. This Laura has the gift of the gab and is author of twelve impressively praised books. Word up!
7. PRE-LISTENING SESSIONS @ RENEWED AB-STELLABAR & SOUNDTRACK BY…
Also present again: the famous pre-listening sessions. Sharing albums with the audience, weeks before they're available to hear, or purchase, via iTunes or the regular record stores. In the past there have been gems by Jamie Lidell, Sonic Youth or Autechre. Be there on time! From 7pm onwards, in the renewed AB StellABar (to the left of the stage in the Main Hall).
In the Agora (at the entrance) of the AB you will be treated daily to the latest albums of the moment. The talent of tomorrow. The musical intractability of everyday. Pangaea, Gonjasufi, Sachiko, Petr Kofron and Bass Clef? Not one single unknown band shall remain unheard.