Walpurgis Special: Helena Hauff, Volvox + more
Walpurgis night party with our favorite DJs from around the globe
So you thought the Intonal Festival was over and it was time to pack up and go home did you? Well, Intonal may be finished but we’re not through with you. Not even close. This is not the gentle outro. It’s the massive hidden track.
30/4 marks Walpurgis Night or Hexennacht in German, which translates to “Witches’ Night”. Saint Walpurga was an English missionary, canonized on 1 May ca. 870, who’s name was used by the priesthood in Northern Europe in an effort to hijack the pagan spring rites. At this time of year, the pagans used to burn giant bonfires to mark the end of winter and the return of the sun. The Christian elite denounced the pagan worshippers as “witches” and so began a prosperous era of power consolidation and misogyny. Trump would have been proud.
But…. Swedes are still burning massive bonfires on this very night while most visitors of Intonal probably believe Walpurgis to be an obscure EBM label. The word ‘Witch’ has completely different connotations too – far from being a possibly fatal term of abuse like in the Middle Ages, most of us now associate it with compelling female characters like Hermione Granger or Willow. It’s the very definition of ‘backfire’. And it’s also a circle. The pagans loved circles.
So on this hallow night we’ll pull out all the stops. Together with every single guest of this Walpurgis ceremony, we’ll build two gigantic bonfires of energy inside Inkonst. We’ll concentrate one in front of Helena Hauff and Phuong-Dan, and the other one in front of Volvox and Almaty. And we’ll dance to celebrate the end of wintry nights and the return of the sun, like we always have. And we’ll drink to the happy closure of a behemoth of a festival and for new glorious nights to come.
Words can hardly express the level of affection the ravers of Malmö and the Intonal family have for Hamburg’s Helena Hauff. Seriously, we would have her back every year if we could. And we sort of have. 2014 she attended an artist talk at Inkonst before playing Sorgenfri HQ with Ulf Eriksson. In 2015, Helena Hauff performed live at Intonal together with James Dean Brown as Hypnobeat. Last year… well, perhaps we didn’t want to seem too eager but this year we couldn’t help ourselves. Helena Hauff has an exceptionally developed taste for acid, electro and dirty Chicago beats, whether she’s spinning records or releasing them on labels like Werkdiscs and Panzerkreuz. Now she’s finally back in Malmö.
Volvox is a dominant force on the Brooklyn underground scene, known for tough, stripped-back techno and groovy, acid-flavoured sets. Based in NYC since 2011, she holds two monthly residencies: JACK DEPT. NYC at Bossa Nova Civic Club is a top event of the notorious hotspot that’s focused on an acidic house party vibe featuring standout DJs and producers from across the burgeoning American scene. The mighty UNTER party pushes the harder edges of techno and in just a year has won accolades as the best after-hours in New York. And speaking of NYC, Volvox’s Boiler Room appearance of 2016 was absolutely stunning. These last years, she’s been touring extensively, melting audiences round the globe with her selection of contorted acid. Now it’s time for Inkonst to liquefy at the hands of Volvox.
Phuong-Dan is closely linked with the legendary Golden Pudel club in Hamburg. Before this beloved St Pauli underground club went up in flames last year, Phuong-Dan was one of its longest serving DJs. While The Golden Pudel is now hopefully in the process of being rebuilt, Phuong-Dan spends lots of time in his second home, Salon des Amateurs. These two clubs constitute the European axis of a very special dance floor philosophy that’s not based on genre or style, but on vibe. It’s an outspokenly open minded perspective on club music where weird and overlooked records can find a place beside more straight-shooting stuff. It’s all about bringing different musical expressions together to see what happens. And that takes tremendous skill. Phuong-Dan’s undisputed position on this eclectic axis says it all.
Almaty is a restless soul, a fact that’s plainly mirrored in her DJ sets. There’s a constant fluctuation in terms of temperament, energy and complexity that in less talented hands could cause disconcert on the dance floor. Instead, it’s the other way around. The consistency of change in Almaty’s sets acts like a flow generator; after a while the dancers stop realising they’re being expertly nudged in different directions and just give in to the current. She’s there, they’re there – what else is there? With acid, techno and electro as her main weapons, Almaty always conjures a typhoon, but she also manages to place the dancers within the very eye of the storm. This doesn’t just make her an Inkonst favourite, but also undoubtedly one of the best DJs the region has to offer.
The Walpurgis Special will not be included in the Intonal festival passes or sunday tickets.