SMS is always programmed in such a way that you have to dance your feet off on friday night and then have time to listen to beautiful music on saturday. Some people dare to say that saturday night is the “lesser” night. I do disagree with that. Part of the fun of SMS for me is walking into a place and hearing great music by an artist I have never heard before. People who come strictly to dance may be disappointed. Another thing I like about the programming is that it has so much variation without crossing to much borders to very commercial music.
The friday started off for me with Dapayk the german producer from who I own some records was doing his best to look enthusiastic but couldn’t really get the crowd going. His very minimalistic music was just not suited for the biggest tent of the festival. The real reason I was waiting in that tent was Cristian Vogel. I have been wanting to see mr Vogel for several years now but I never succeeded in doing so. This year was no different. Cristian was stuck in traffic and was to late for his performance. A shame cause he was really one of the artists i was really looking forward to.
After the first disappointment of the festival I decided to walk into the “freude am tanzen” stage. Mathias Kaden was playing when I walked in and I immediately got that SMS feel. Everyone was dancing including Mathias himself and although the first hour I heard too much familiar records the second hour of his set was a real dancing bomb. Because of this great experience i decided to hang out some more. Mathias his producing buddy Marek Hemmann was playing next and really kept the vibe going with his live act.
At 3 o’ clock it was time to go and see Henrik Schwarz, another name I was looking forward to see for the first time. Henrik played more of an experimental detroit minded set which I really liked. Great producer although some tracks are not really up my ally. After Henrik it was time for my favorite DJ: Richie Hawtin. And what a set he played again. I am still of the opinion that the best place to see Richie is germany. His set featured almost exclusively tracks I have never heard before and it was all really sterile an minimal just the way i like it. Matthew Dear’s “mouth to mouth” finished his set off and if you heard the track you know exactly what feeling it gives you.
One of the thing’s I have noticed about SMS is how when another artist enters the change the whole mood on that stage swings in another direction. Something I have never experienced in this extreme manner. Ellen Alien & Apparat played after Hawtin and it just felt like a whole new day. I haven’t heard enough of this act to give a fair opinion about them the only track I heard was “Turbo Dreams” which sounded pretty much like the original to me. Which brings me to the question how much of live acts is actually live. Or even of DJ sets. Take for example Pascal FEOS who was playing on the saturday. He was constantly busy turning the knobs of his mixer but I heard absolutely no result in the sound. Same goes for Kraftwerk it just felt to me like they where playing a cd although it was great to see them.
Another Act that is really worth mentioning was Metope & Ada. I have heard them both before but this new live act together was new to me. The result was a more laid back act with beautiful melodies and crawling rhythms. For sure one of the highlights of the festival.
When I come to think of it I can go on and on. I can tell you all about Villalobos his mad structered records and the crazy after party on sunday. But there is only one way to really experience it yourself... Visit SMS next year...