AVA Festival '17 symbolised the euphoria and cultural importance of dance music | Page 2 of 9 | Soundspace

AVA Festival ’17 symbolised the euphoria and cultural importance of dance music



05 / 06
North x South and a conversation with Renaat Vandepapeliere

As the crowd spilled out into the stairway for refreshments and a quick cigarette the attention quickly turned to the next wave of workshops and discussions.

The importance of collaboration was the hot topic during the opening keynote, and this was continued through Four Four Magazine’s talk on the importance of the North and South of Ireland coming together more often.

Representatives from Techno & Cans, The Night Institute and Champion Sound Music discussed legislation, bridging the gap and Brexit’s impact on the electronic music community.

One topic that peaked my curiosity was the recent influx of great electronic talent coming from Ireland’s shores, and why it is only being recognised now. The Night Institute and Extended Play’s Timmy Stewart pointed out that it took the birth of AVA, and their collaboration with Boiler Room, to be able to distribute the sounds of the islands best internationally. Timmy went on to say that we are entering a period of real international respect and how that may, in time, influence Ireland’s politicians to view electronic as being culturally valuable. Stigma of drug taking and bad behaviour still surrounds the local scene, but collectively this feels like its slowly changing. Belfast and Dublin exist as parallels to one another. Together we can ensure that the strong current of electronic music that dominates our island can finally be culturally reflected within our landscape.

Leaving feeling particularly inspired, our attention turned to R&S Records Renaat Vandepapliere, and he’s quite a character. He has his opinions, and he sticks by them. A perfect example of this is when he spoke about listening to Aphex Twin for the first time and how everyone thought he was crazy for wanting to sign him. It’s funny how this was being discussed on the eve of Aphex Twin’s first ever live stream at Field Day, London. “They can all fuck off”, stated a confident and assured Vandepapliere.

Vandepapliere then went on to criticise modern press, explaining that every artist is branded a ‘legend’ far too quickly and no one maintains the ability to criticise anymore.

The most accurate portrayal of Vandepapliere’s ‘no bullshit ‘ attitude was aroused when asked about Jeff Mills show that would be conducted later that evening. “Jeff made his first record to connect with E.T? It’s bullshit.” He obliterates the idea of the concept album, stating that the people that make them should stick to making films, not music. “Techno is disco for the 21st Century”, he explains. It isn’t meant to portray a concept, it’s meant to make you dance.

Elsewhere in the building talks were conducted by Ireland’s own Ryan Vail on how to battle creative blocks in order to finish a project and a Native Instruments session with Jordan, ELLL, New Jackson and Hammer acted as a source of inspiration for all aspiring creatives in the audience.

Techno don Myler illustrated a track deconstruction and BPI conducted a chat on Brexit before Leftfield’s Neil Barnes took over the closing keynote – the variety of genre and discussion in this years conference was second to none.

Educating the audience is an element that AVA heavily focus on, and once again they did not disappoint.

Images by Luke Joyce, Grant Jones & Kenneth Kelly.

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