Futuresonic, the electronic music and media arts festival, this year celebrates ten years at the forefront of its field.
The 2006 festival takes place over three days traversing music and the arts, involving multiple and often unusual spaces. It takes in headline gigs, breaks musical acts, maps the city, premieres ground breaking technologies, ships in some of the world's most innovative artists and musicians, and gives Manchester a weekend-long urban experience not to forget...
One weekend only. The future of electronic music, played out across three nights of live gigs, DJ/VJ acts, club nights and more. Ranging between post-punk, dubstep, post-rock, glitch and lush aural landscapes to the latest, artist-made hardware straight from Japan. UK firsts, rare performances, big names and breaking names. From sweaty, intimate, killer gigs to those allowing a little more introspection and verve. Futuresonic Live sweeps across the city, taking over the Northern Quarter and heading up to the Academy, cramming in some unusual and exclusive venues along the way.
Warp's new four-piece defy all labels, masterfully fusing post-rock, jazz, funk and electronics with beat-centric sequences all hurtling at you with the force of sonic velocity. They've stunned crowds across the US and Europe with their live performances and now, as part of their first UK tour, Battles play at Futuresonic. Battles won hearts and minds at last year's ATP and by common assent were the hottest act at Sonar - be first in line to see them in Manchester before they go massive.
"One of the most exciting bands we've discovered" - Warp
"An appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties [saw] them dazzle audiences with their densely meshed musicianship" - David Stubbs, The Wire
The coup of this year's festival, Futuresonic present a rare performance by a pioneer of contemporary music, Christian Fennesz: a meticulous laptop conceptualist who weaves tangible melodies and glowing guitars into dense, almost symphonic textures. Lush, live performance that it as surprising as it is beautiful - he is as likely to play guitar as he is to create sun-baked aural landscapes - Fennesz is one of the most important artists working within the electronic arena. This year's performance will be as far away as it's possible to get from sterile computer experiments, putting the emotional back into electronic music.
"There's a warmth in Fennesz's work, an emotional integrity" - David Sylvian
"Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language" - City Newspaper, US
Fennesz "offers all the puzzles and adventures of experimental music, but with a more assimilable grasp of melody - and a prominent role for the guitar" - The Wire
One of Japan's biggest artist-musicians plays Futuresonic for a UK-first, entirely unique gig. Toshio Iwai plays the aptly-named TENORI-ON - Japanese for 'sound on your palm'. Developed by Toshio Iwai and the Yamaha Corporation, this hand-held instrument plays both sound and creates ambient light patterns in a performance that fuses what we hear with what we see.
"Controlling light and sound as comfortably as playing musical instruments or painting pictures" - Toshio Iwai