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Numusic Festival

Norway's Numusic Festival (Sep 6-9, 2006) was born out of a desire to have an intimate non-commercial festival that would bring the most contemporary electronic artists together on a bill with musical pioneers who have influenced them. In the past, this has seen techno mainstay Carl Craig and 50’s experimentalsit Karlheinz Stockhousen successfully share the same bill. This year the designated trailblazer was Pierre Henry, whose electronic soundscapes echoed around Stavanger Cathedral while everyone from the Afra Beatbox Orchestra to Annie to Andy Weatherall got people's happy feet moving in the nearby venues. The art events that ran throughout the five-day festival were centered around graffitti, to accompany the festival's hip-hop theme. Within a day or two, stencils started to appear, including the Mona Lisa flashing her arse down by the harbour.

Numusic was once described by a US journalist as "Sonar for those in the know" and he’s not far wrong. With maximum crowds of 150 to 200 per gig (Afra actually played the closing party for a crowd of only 40 or 50) and a similar ethos to the early Sonar gigs it really is one of the most special events on the music calendar.

By David Bowen


Pierre Henry.

Dalek spits the truth.

Stavanger's own Electrophant.

Silly dancing is encouraged.

Erik is Electrophant's youngest fan.

Wolf Eyes' music is rough, distorted, and rock-influenced.

The gigs, in general, are unpretentious and more about fun than fashion.

Beat Box Orchestra.

Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden.

Walk the at-at.

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