Labyrinth / ラビリンス 2014

Photo courtesy of @mindgameslab

Held each year, high in the mountains of the aging ski resort town of Naeba (苗場), in Niigata Prefecture (新潟県), Labyrinth is arguably one of the most important underground electronic music festivals of our time. The fest is three days of music showcasing the world's most cutting-edge artists, spanning a wide range of electronic music genres. Fans from all over the world gather to hear music legends and pioneers share their latest creations, many of which were composed or created especially for the event. Artists like Atom™, Burnt Friedman, Petar Dundov and Surgeon made their appearances against the crisp mountain backdrop as audiences danced and became entranced.

This year's festival (Sep 13-15) was a particularly special one since my close friend of two decades, Chicago-based DJ and producer Phonaut, was invited to take his place alongside the world's top artists, and make his international debut at Labyrinth 2014! Phonaut took the stage first thing in the morning on day three of the festival and played a 3-hour set that lasted the whole morning. As the morning matured, the crowd emerged, growing from wake to shake as the eclectic, experimental and phantasmic sounds of Phonaut's performance rolled and drifted from the stage's sophisticated and high-tech sound system.

I had the pleasure of enjoying an "I'm with the band" experience after being invited to hang out onstage during Phonaut's performance. This gave me a chance to get some candid photos and also allowed me to get a tiny taste of the event from his perspective, and allowed me a precious opportunity to see my good friend in a new light and to catch a fresh glimpse of his talent and newly-tapped music potential which is certain to grow all the more now that he's an international performer.

If any of my readers enjoy electronic music, I highly recommend checking out Phonaut and treating your ears to something fresh and innovative. His website, www.phonaut.com has lots interesting content as well as lots of music available for download. Also check out Phonaut's lineups on Mixcloud and Soundcloud. Finally, definitely check out last year's full length release on Carpe Sonum Records, the self-titled release by Indiana Drones, a collaboration between Material Object and Phonaut.

If you would like to check out more photos from the event, please visit my Picasa Album here.


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