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When you marry club music with culture, you get Elevate. In addition to the focal points of live concerts and experiments, the Schlossberg tunnels also contain the most diverse blossoms of electronic dance music. From hypnotic samba interpolations to amorphous polyrhythmic techno to queer rap, there are as many reasons to dance as the night has 4/4 bars.

Day time open-air on the Schlossberg - Two decades of techno culture with DJ Koze, Roman Flügel & Steffi
Boasting three of the most distinguished techno ambassadors, the 2018 Festival will open a large open-air stage at Schlossberg for the first time: none other than DJ Koze, Roman Flügel, and Steffi will transform the Kasematten stage on Saturday into a light-flooded epicentre of hedonistic techno culture. The colourful hustle and bustle above the city's rooftops was made possible in close cooperation with the Greek Reworks Festival, a special guest in Graz this year. The stage will be presented by Red Bull Music. The prelude to the daytime disc starts with Dutch producer Steffi, a resident of the Berghain Panorama Bar with celebrated albums on the Berghain label Ostgut Ton unites dark underground techno with vibrant house. Roman Flügel, a producer, live act, DJ and label owner since the 90s, is still known to many as one half of the duo Alter Ego, which provided some of the most vibrant club hits of the 00s. As a solo musician with several albums and releases on labels such as Cocoon, Playhouse, and Dial as well as his mix on the latest Fabric compilation, he has been shaping the discourse of the night for more than two decades now. At Elevate, he will play the open-air stage following a well-known mediator between the worlds: DJ Koze, probably one of the most dazzling figures of techno and house, self-ironic paradise bird from the biotope of the Hamburg Poodle Club, bridge-builder between hip-hop, minimal techno, discourse pop and the compact universe. He plays a set of several hours, which shows the Hamburg resident, who has been chosen by SPEX and the likes as DJ of the year several times, from his cheerfully optimistic, almost sweet side to his furiously danceable one. Those who do not leave this stage with a smile on their lips were not there.

LGBT hip-hop from New York, Cloudrap and polyrhythmic techno - Friday night on two floors
Friday night at the Elevate home base Dom im Berg is all about hip-hop, beats and cloud rap. The artist Nosaj Thing, originally from Korea, is flown in from sunny California. Known to a wider audience as a producer of hip-hop juggernauts like Kendrick Lamar and Busdriver, he comes to Graz with a laser show that creates a kind of temporary sculpture of light and fog to produce a highly advanced club sound, wide-ranging bass, and flashy hip-hop cuts. Also from the States - from Brooklyn - comes the young shooting star Cakes da Killa, who has been rapping at Busta-Rhymes-speed since 2015 and together with Mykki Blanco, Le1f and Zebra Katz conjure up the fingernail-coloured brilliance of a queer avant-garde in the US hip-hop. Also on stage: the newcomer and Flying Lotus protégé Iglooghost, Viennese Cloudrap innovator Wandl with his melancholically massive bass walls and the American musician Sofie, who as a member of Boiler Room and the Vienna Academic Philharmonic Club combines club music with classical music. On the second stage, the Tunnel, acid, techno and wave are the centre of attention. For the first time in Austria, for example, resident of the New York club The Bunker Mike Servito and Emma Olson aka Umfang, who as co-founder of the Discwoman collective fights the supremacy of male musicians in contemporary club culture with amorphous, polyrhythmic techno. You can also look forward to the detailed, eruptive sound designs of the young producer Objekt, who lives in Berlin. With his brittle beats, the technically extremely agile DJ has been undermining all kinds of techno conventions for some time now, without foregoing a good mix of EBM, acid house & electro. The stage will be opened by the Viennese promoter and DJ Misonica with her mixture of psychedelic Krautrock rhythms and industrial techno. As a part of FEMDEX, she raises the gender ratio in the line-ups of Vienna's club events.

The final club night on Saturday: Unconditional party euphoria, ghetto house and industrial on three stages at Dom im Berg
If you want to warm up after the techno summit on  Saturday's open-air stage, you can walk from the top of the Schlossberg mountain to the warming walls of the cathedral in the mountain tunnel, just a few minutes away. That's where the Numbers Label Night awaits. The legendary label, which has made artists such as Jamie xx, Hudson Mohawke and Rustie famous, has been influencing the world of bass music from Glasgow with psycho-exotic magic and unconditional party euphoria since 2003. Head of the band is label founder Jack Revill aka Jackmaster, second in the world ranking of the most sought-after DJs according to Resident Advisor. And indeed: The Scotsman is so omnipresent with his eclectic sets on the stages of the world that not only his label but also a whole flood of legends precedes him. In addition to him, the musician Willow from Manchester is also on location, whose 2015 debut Feel Me, which was strongly pushed by Move D, provided decisive impulses at the pearly and dubious interface of hip-hop, ambient techno, and left-field. The spherical tracks of Roman techno pioneer Marco Passarani - best known as half of the disco duo Tiger & Woods - should not be missing in such a colorfully hedonistic context. Also part of the label night is Errorsmith, who is packing his first album after 13 years. High-energy samba quotes encounter wild synth drones that ride up and down spectral tones on a computer-animated wave ride. The Berlin club veteran Erik Wiegand - Errorsmith's government name - has actually been experimenting with compositional principles for years, this came about by modifying the timbre of the entire sound spectrum - a rare and all the more physical listening experience live in the club.
None other than DJ Deeon, the ghetto house pioneer will be bringing the raw, sample-heavy Chicago tracks with which he propitiated house and hip-hop culture on his Dancemania label back in the 90s. At  Elevate on Saturday, he can be found on the Tunnel stage, which is dedicated entirely to the crossover genre of ghetto house, which he played a decisive role in shaping. He is accompanied by Teklife member DJ Taye, who presents his latest rap-footwork album, which will be released on Hyperdub in February. Also on board is the Portuguese artist Nídia, who is strongly influenced by Kuduro rhythms and whose latest album Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida has received rave reviews from such diverse music magazines as The Wire, Pitchfork, and The Quietus.

Put on your dancing shoes!

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