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C2C Festival preview @ Village Underground

Kuedo, unquestionable star of the night

The C2C festival offered in London a small preview of what will be the 12th edition of the Club to Club Alfa Romeo Mito. Kuedo headlined the event.

Photos by Georgina Cook / Drumz Of the South

The 12th edition of Turin’s C2C Club to Club Alfa Romeo Mito festival took its show on the road this year with premieres in Istanbul, Milan and London ahead of the main event on November 8 to 11. I won’t lie I wasn’t aware of the festival’s existence until this year, and the name (which stands for Club 2 Club) confused me slightly as it’s also the name of a certain French DJ collective. Maybe we’re finally reaching critical creative mass and there are no original names left.

For the London preview the festival brought a showcase of the Italian New Wave (its theme for 2011) alongside Kuedo, who headlined with a live A/V show. The logic of aligning Kuedo’s sci-fi inspired electronic melting pot with Italian New Wave is something I’m still trying to understand though I guess rather than look too hard I should put it down to a case of promoting the festival’s past and future (Kuedo headlines this year’s closing party).

Village Underground in Shoreditch hosted the event and while the venue has had its fair share of flack in recent years the space and sound on the night were much better than last time I went, and better suited to the house and techno of the Italian artists on display as well as Kuedo’s bottom heavy, rolling beats and floating synths. What was perhaps stranger – despite it being a Thursday night – was that the night started at 7 with most of the live acts on before 11 when Kuedo took to the stage. That meant I missed everything aside from O/One Circle who were interesting though the strobes on stage was total overkill for 10pm.

The real attraction – both from a personal point of view and by the crowd reaction and size before and after – was Kuedo’s live A/V show and it didn’t disappoint one bit. With an impressively large screen acting as the focal point, Jamie’s position in the corner of the stage with his laptop and controllers meant that he almost effaced himself allowing both the music and visuals to do the talking. In 45 minutes the now Berlin-based producer ran through the majority of his debut album, reworking certain tracks in new ways – adding layers, shifting melody locations, swapping rhythms – and including a few unheard interludes, including one with a rapper on top. One personal highlight was the new version of Scissors which sounded huge over the system and what sounded like a slightly different version of Work, Live and Sleep in a Collapsing Space that took the track into seriously neck breaking territories. The crowd reaction throughout was quite interesting: as the music moved through periods of rhythmic and melodic intensity more people started to move, with pockets of dancing amid those seemingly mesmerised by the music and visuals (or just simply doing the usual Italian/London thing of being quite dead pan during a live show).

As cosmic disco legend Daniele Baldelli took to the decks the venue thinned out quite a bit and considering the miserable weather and other commitments it was time to make an escape into the cold London night. As a taster of what the festival offers C2C’s London preview was an interesting offering and anyone looking for a trip to Italy that combines discovering Turin with a well curated line up could do worse than consider this year’s festival as a worthy option.

*You can see all the pictures of the event here

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