Exclusive mix 99: schiev Festival 2017

Since its humble beginning in 2015, Brussels’ perkiest and sharp-eyed simple music festival schiev is back for their third round. Hosted in what’s become their emblematic lair of choice Beursschouwburg, schiev will be taking over for the entirety of the weekend with a flurry of cutting-edge performances, determined conference talks and afternoon label markets. Always on the look out for the most innovative and daring artists in Europe’s electronic and experimental ranges, schiev is proving to deliver year after year – and 2017 is looking as promising as ever. Festival curator (and our office brotha’ from another muva) Guillaume has compiled for us this teaser of a mix to get us all excited for the weekend. Counting down the seconds – and so should you.

Can you describe yourself in a few words?
 How did you first get involved in schiev? How does it fit into your life?

We are schiev Festival, a Brussels-based festival on the verge of its 3rd edition. We promote and support what we like to call schiev artists: those who seek, innovate and search for new ways. The ones difficult to pin point or classify into a specific genre. Schiev means crooked, bent or mis-shaped in Brusseleir.

The idea of the festival came after a couple of encounters between Sarah, who use to work for Brussels’ Cimatics Festival and Guillaume, who was involved in Les Siestes électroniques (Toulouse). They met here in Brussels, and again a few months later in Berlin, and the rest is history. Laia joined the team a bit later, right before the first edition, to add her pro-organiser skills to the mix.

The three of us have been involved in different musically related projects and music has always been part of our life. As the curator, Guillaume is constantly on the look out for new projects, but Sarah and Laia enjoy a lot of different things too. We all bring our own approaches – organisation-wise but also musically – and that brings a lot to the festival. We’re also part of SHAPE, an EU platform that connects us to a solid bunch of curators all over Europe. We all share our discoveries throughout the year, which is a pretty big influence for the festival.

Is music a full-time thing for you at the moment? If not, what are your other occupations?

We are all busy doing other things: from documentary making and conference logistics for CTM for Sarah, organising different things at Bozar and facilitating booksprints for Laia, to being your humble servant here at The Word and trying to be a decent dad for Guillaume. We’ve all got busy schedules, but always try to keep schiev a priority. It’s our playground somehow and the occasion to really create something of our own.

Can you describe the mix in a few words? What is its overriding influence, where would it best be enjoyed, what makes it special? Can you tell us about the exclusive track on the mix? If it isn’t one of your own productions, how did you come across the artist?

As none of us are proper DJs, we think it’s safer to call this a selection, with a few transitions that we hope aren’t too painful for your ears. The idea is to go through the schiev line up, which is quite diverse, from minimalistic modular synthetizer pieces to raw industrial techno or avant-garde pop. We think that’s what makes the mix quite special: we don’t like to stick to one genre or one aesthetic during the festival, and that’s obviously reflected here.

As we didn’t have an exclusive track at hand, we picked a pretty old Aymeric De Tapol deep cut that we think people may have not heard before. It was released on the small Strasbourg’s label La P’tite Maison, and it’s quite simply a brilliant track.

When and where did you record it? Describe the room, the furniture, the walls, the view from the room, the neighbourhood, the weather at the time, etc…

Guillaume recorded the mix on a Sunday morning since, not being a proper DJ, he failed to record it properly in one take late Saturday night. He recorded it in his tiny living-room full of plants and comic books on cracked Traktor software, looking out for his ten-month-old and his new super-fast crawling ability after the cat. Thus please excuse him if one or two of the transitions are a bit abrupt.

What do you have coming up in the next few weeks?

We’re in schiev mode big time since the festival is scheduled for the 10th, 11th and 12th of November. We’re all busy finalising the last little touches, with our amazing schiev team joining forces for the last run: scenography, technicalities and all which still needs little adjustments here and there.

But this time around, we won’t be leaving you high and dry post-festival, as we’ll be hosting a monthly radio show on your soon-to-be favourite radio, The Word Radio!

Julien Pik (c).