CULTURE

Bios Project 01 brings multimedia to Athens

The increasing reliance by musicians and producers on computer technology as a basic tool in music’s creative process over the past decade or so has led to drastic changes in the sound and rhythm of pop music, particularly the dance scene, as well as on pop culture in general. The trend should be well exemplified at Bios Project 01, a three-day music and multimedia festival in Athens this week to feature live performances by several acts in tune with the latest developments, DJ sets, as well as projections of films, documentaries, and an exhibition of dance music album covers. The festival’s organizers intend to stage the Bios Project twice a year. This week’s event will be the first. To be held between tomorrow and Friday, the event’s musical activity has all been scheduled for the final day, with live performances by three German acts (Mouse On Mars, Thomas Brinkmann, and Pole), British electronica artist Scanner, as well as two local acts, Poptraume and Alexis Retsis. A DJ set by Luke Slater that will run well into the early hours, between 2.30 a.m. and 5 a.m., will bring the festival to its conclusion. Since emerging in the late 1980s, Slater, the event’s headline act, has toured the world extensively both as an electronica artist and DJ. At the Bios Project 01 festival, Slater has opted to appear as a DJ. He will be visiting loaded with his specialty item – techno discs. The German techno duo Mouse On Mars, who will be performing a one-hour set between midnight and 1 a.m., were formed in Dusseldorf back in 1992. Not long after, the act managed to attract the attention of an Indie label, Too Pure, which released the group’s debut album, 1994’s Vulvaland. An intriguing effort, it injected elements of kraut-rock and dub into the material’s more dominant techno features. Following two more albums on the Too Pure label, Mouse On Mars, which comprises Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner, founded their own record company, Sonig, through which they have released four albums to date, including 1999’s Niun Niggung, which was voted that year’s best album by the influential music magazine The Wire. The pair’s latest album, this year’s Idiology, comes as a humorous, experimental take on techno-pop. Due to take the stage just before Mouse On Mars, also for a one-hour set between 11 p.m. and midnight, Scanner (aka Robin Rimbaud) is one of the alternative electronica scene’s more interesting figures. A multifaceted artist, Scanner, 41, has been active in various domains. Besides music, his activities include writing, mostly experimental, and video installations. He is also the head organizer of Electronic Lounge, a monthly musical event at London’s Modern Art Institute, ICA. Not surprisingly, Scanner’s live performances are shaped as multimedia events. One of Germany’s leading exponents of the country’s techno scene, Brinkmann, the designer of a two-needled turntable which he often uses in his work, has also worked extensively as a producer. He studied fine art in Dusseldorf before turning to music. Brinkmann, who originally surfaced with a series of dub-techno singles on his own label, Ernst, has developed into one of the dance scene’s more influential figures in the minimal techno field. He will perform between 1-2.30 a.m. An exhibition of electronica album covers, titled Goodbye 20th Century, will serve to highlight the immense impact of computer technology on graphic art. It will trace the stylistic evolution of album covers over the past decade. Film showings will include Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and two films by Iara Lee, Modulations and Synthetic Pleasures. The event is being held by Bios, an Athens-based promoter of music and multimedia arts in association with an Italian organizer, Link project, and Caipirinha Productions from the USA. It runs from tomorrow through Friday, 6 p.m-5 a.m., at the Foundation of the Hellenic World, 254 Pireos St, Gazi. Entrance is free on first two days, and 7,000 drachmas on Friday. Do you defend them?