on the shore of the ultimate sea

Vivan los chiringuitos

In Barcelona, the days begin and end as you will them. If you want to stay up for a few cycles of sun and moon, well, the city is with you. For the most part, it accommodates. Rather than test its patience in a string of consecutive time warps, Sunday I relaxed on the beach with a few hundred beautiful, friendly people and the gentlemen from Kompakt records. The event was in support of c/o pop, a yearly music festival in Cologne replacing Popcomm, held at a chiringuito one beach east of Friday’s scene. For a moment, let me reiterate my praises of these magical places. There are parties from 4-1 a.m., on the beach, with dozens of similar places on down the line. Next door yesterday was Get Physical’s bash. Next came Minus. Did I mention there are no cops, traces of bad attitude or norms of dress or consumption? To be honest, if the vibe was the same and Jimmy Buffet was on the stereo it would still have been fun–Kompakt’s touch made it magical.

I arrived as Michael Mayer as playing a light, sunny afternoon mix, nothing nutso or too pounding, beach music. He was waiting for DJ Koze, known to some as International Pony or Monaco Schranze, working now as Adolf Noise. Germany’s most popular DJ belted out a set that began hard and ended with what sounded like Glen Campbell, a cheeky choice but exactly what the crowd was looking for.

Next was Tobias Thomas, tidying things up a bit with humpbacked bangers. Some other day I would have watched Tobias Thomas jubilantly snapping photos of the crowd and pondered how these digital media have impacted the way we look at important events–are we any longer subject to only our own memory? No; by seeing Thomas with a radiant smile capturing what, for him, was a fantastic thing to remember, his became part of mine. But thatís neither here nor there, as it was time for Mayer’s finale.

Mayer back and forth, from the past to the present, pointing to roadside diners where the ghosts of house and electro and rave wait for the dusty traveler with sand in his rolled up jean cuffs. Wolfgang Voigt looked on in approval, and Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos sauntered in from their game of techno paddleball. Elephants trumpeted, monkeys chattered, ‘Safari’ played its course and the evening concluded.

Earlier, as Thomas played Ada’s cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Maps,’ I realized I was off to Cannes, where last year the YYYs picked up an award for their song in adidas’ “Hello Tomorrow,” inspiring another song, ‘Gold Lion.’ Funny, I’m zooming across the French countryside now, how’s that for a transition?

Written by Nick

June 19th, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Music

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