Les Rencontres Trans Musicales festival is 39 years old. And it can rightly claim it’s importance in the shaping of France’s musical landscape, and beyond. It’s the 9th year in a row that I am heading there, and I’m never disappointed. Never. So as I’m filling my record bag with some amazing new music I discovered there a short while ago, I thought it would be rude not to share a few.
We kick off my journey through the musical paradise that is this 39th Trans Musicales on a Funk & Soul tip. We’re at the Parc Des Expositions, the main festival site just outside my French hometown of Rennes. London based band Lakuta is setting Hall 3 on fire with ‘Bata Boy’. It’s Thursday, I just got in and I’m already finding myself at the front on the left.
This festival is all about endurance. I don’t want to peak too too soon but Kiddy Smile is on next door, throwing shapes with his Parisian vogue crew. Sexy house with attitude.
On Friday we start more chilled. Dutch beatmaker Duke Hugh showcases his improvisation skills, as well as tracks from his excellent debut LP on Rhythm Section Records.
Time to travel way out of Europe and towards the far East, Oki Dub Ainu Band is giving you an insight into traditional Japanese sounds. Stunning.
Ready for my first knees up session, I head off to Hall 9 for a fix of Gospel House. No disappointment here. House Gospel Choir is spreading the love!
We close tonight’s highlights with London hip hop duo Too Many T’s, taking the whole of Hall 4 by storm. I’m jumping up and down and feeling like the Beastie Boys may have just found their UK descendants.
Saturday is the last night at the Parc Expo festival site, and I’m feeling like I need a big one. We start with deep, melodic Techno straight from one of my favourite places in the world, Iceland. ABE turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.
Picking things up in Hall 9 is Time, French producer who’s just come back from a stretch living in New York, with a bag full of creativity…and amazing records.
It’s Australia’s turn to represent with Confidence Man, a really cool electro pop band with tongue & cheek lyrics and an incredible stage presence. I’m back in the game!
You can always find something a little ‘different’ at the Trans Musicales. So after being satisfied with my daily dose of electronic music, I head over to catch US saxophone madmen Moon Hooch. Trust me, you have to see them live. Mental!
It’s Sunday and energy levels are seriously down. But I still have a little something left in me so I head to UBU Club in the centre of town to check out Ghanaian party monster Diron Animal. Dance!
We finish high on emotions. Supported by the mesmerizing sounds of A House In The Trees. I don’t know if it keeps getting better every year or if I’m just realising how important this festival is in my life. Probably both. So I’ll be back next year, and the one after that, and the next, and…
Thank you once again, Trans Musicales.