Music line-up by day and first details of the discourse programme
As already announced, the world-renowned, multi-faceted sound of art-pop diva Róisín Murphy will be featured at this year's closing concert of the festival at the Orpheum in Graz.
The other new confirmations that have been added in the meantime are equally high-calibre:
First and foremost the showcase of cult label Hyperdub. Not only will the Elevate Festival be 20 years old next year, but the London-based flagship of progressive UK bass sound will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Label head Steve Goodman aka Kode9, who is a friend of the festival, is inviting key acts from his roster to the festival. One of them, Loraine James, will be performing at the Orpheum on Friday before DJ Krush and Hudson Mohawke. On Saturday, aya, Proc Fiscal and Ikonika will get down to business and Kode9 will of course not miss the opportunity to take to the stage himself.
Looking at the rest of the line-up on the Friday of the festival, Iglooghost, one of the Lucky Me label's up-and-coming acts, stands out. Brainfeeder label boss Flying Lotus himself once called the producer "the next Aphex Twin" and the press is also favorably impressed.
Moroccan-born mad miran takes a similarly eclectic and multi-perspective approach in her DJ sets. "Genres are disturbing, I play vibes," she says about herself. Animistic Beliefs are also located between genres. Their productions confront techno with punk, electro with post-club. Influenced by animism and mythology, their analogue-produced tracks convey an incredible energy and consistency. At this point, we jump from the tunnel to the opening day at Orpheum Extra, where another high-energy act, Manisdron, will be performing. The Japanese musician and producer Takafumi Okada combines frenetic drums with Japanese cyber vocals and spiked acid synthesizers to create - as the accompanying text to his latest release puts it - "mutant technoid no wave teeth grinding body music".
Two international DJs, CCL and Simo Cell, have been confirmed for a rare b2b set. The growing international reputation of the two artists can be seen from their major festival gigs and numerous podcast mixes this year.
Vienna-based musician and artist Kenji Araki is regarded as one of Austria's up-and-coming electronic acts. With the album "Hope Chess", which has just been released on Affine Records, he continues his genre-busting post-club sound, but at the same time takes a much more sensitive approach. He will be presenting the release as a live AV set at Elevate.
Hassan Abou Alam also manages to create dynamic arcs of tension that activate body and brain at the same time. The producer and DJ is regarded as one of the heads of the Egyptian club scene. Alam will present his latest productions in a live set.
But there is also plenty to discover at Elevate beyond the dancefloor. The Mausoleum will be dark and apocalyptic when Czech artist Petra Hermanova opens the evening within the sacred walls. Hermanova's elegiac singing, combined with the playing of her electronically amplified zither, sounds like a swan song to the world. The following multimedia performance by the three artists, researchers and inventors Peter Kutin, Patrik Lechner and Mathias Lenz will be just as bloodcurdling, albeit in the sense of a multi-sensory sensory overload. As an adaptation of the kinetic object "Torso#1" developed by Kutin, the award-winning performance ROTOЯ accelerates a sound sculpture until it begins to dissolve as a hologram.
Optokoppler also whisk us away into a synaesthetic world, although the sensory stimuli triggered by these artists are much more raw. The Austrian duo consisting of the producer, DJ and video artist Philipp Haffner, known from the formation Mikrothol producer, DJ and video artist Philipp Haffner and laser luminary Bernhard Rasinger, will kick off the audiovisual Saturday evening at the Orpheum.
When we talk about award-winning local artists and luminaries, Radian is never far away. The internationally renowned Vienna-based band will be presenting their latest album at Forum Keller on Thursday.
Isabella Forciniti will be performing before them at Forum Keller. The Vienna-based Italian musician and composer is regarded as one of the country's most outstanding modular synth artists.
Finally, we can announce another festival highlight: The Memorials will be playing the Orpheum Extra on Saturday evening. Consisting of Verity Susman, the front woman of Electrelane and Matthew Simms, guitarist of the cult band Wire, they are a British duo in a class of their own. Together they revel in psychedelic sounds between 1970s songwriting, ritual drones and improvised freakouts.
Animistic Beliefs (NL) | aya (UK) | CCL (US) | CEM b2b MCMLXXXV (AT) | Colleen (FR) | DJ Krush (JP) | Hassan Abou Alam (EG) | Helena Hauff (DE) | Hudson Mohawke (US) | Iglooghost (UK) | Ikonika (UK) | Isabella Forciniti (AT) | Kenji Araki (AT) | Kode9 (UK) | Loraine James (UK) | mad miran (NL) | Manisdron (JP) | Maya Shenfeld (IL) | Memorials (UK) | Optokoppler (AT) | Pedro Maia (PT) | Petra Hermanova (CZ) | Proc Fiskal (UK) | Radian (AT) | Róisín Murphy (IE) | ROTOЯ - SONIC BODY (AT) | Ryoji Ikeda (JP) | Simo Cell (FR) | Zoë Mc Pherson (FR) + more TBA
In a world facing the highest level of violent conflict since the Second World War and in which democratic structures are increasingly eroding, the 20th anniversary of Elevate festival takes a critical look at the global situation under the title "Western Promises".
We are experiencing democracy under siege. The number of democratic countries is decreasing worldwide, while at the same time more than 70 elections are due to take place in 2024.
At the centre of the festival is the question of how robust the Western ideals of democracy, humanism, individual empowerment, political participation and tolerance are when they are threatened from within and without by right-wing populist propaganda and other anti-democratic forces.
The programme emphasises that democracy is not a spectator event, but requires active engagement. The programme looks for ways to counter polarisation and promote collective empowerment instead of celebrating hyper-individualised outrage.
What are the prospects for Western values and democracies in a multipolar world? What remains today of the numerous "Western Promises" that were made over the course of the last and new century and what about the relationship to our own colonial past? What values does an inclusive democracy need today? Are we ready to take on the challenges and find new ways to translate the promises of universal human rights into a shared, dignified future for all? For these and other questions, the Heimatsaal in the Graz Volkskunde Museum will once again be the venue for three days of discussions with national and international guests.
Geoff Mulgan, the British "social entrepreneur", author, scientist and professor of social innovation, was knighted in 2020. In his current book "Another world is possible", he addresses the crisis of the imagination.
Together, Swiss theatre maker and author Milo Rau and performance artist and founder of the Radical Daughters Cesy Leonhard address the question of the role of art in times of crisis.
Canadian-born digital economist Nick Srnicek, who coined the term "platform capitalism", explores issues of post-capitalism, politics and labour. In his new book, he deals with the political and economic aspects of artificial intelligence
The German-British journalist Ben Knight will present his film "We're All Going To Die". Plagued by the widespread crises of our time, he travels from Berlin to Kansas, Norway and Mexico to learn from those who are preparing for social and ecological collapse.
Other confirmed guests include Shoura Hashemi, Executive Director of Amnesty Austria, political theorist Johannes Siegmund, who is researching racism and solidarity in the climate crisis, and historian David Broder ("Mussolini's Grandchildren"), who is investigating the recent history of fascism in Italy. Tanja Fachataler, Policy Advisor at epicenter.works, and migration researcher Judith Kohlenberger, an expert on refugee migration and integration and author of the book "Das Fluchtparadox", which was named Science Book of the Year 2023 in the Humanities, Social and Cultural Sciences category, will also be part of the programme.
As usual, the festival's discourse events will be open to the public free of charge. In addition to international perspectives, there will also be strong local references and the opportunity to network with speakers and initiatives.