The next edition of Flow Festival will be the last to happen in its historical location – a power plant in the Suvilahti area. The programme looks as festive and grandiose as one would expect on this occasion. Featuring names such as recently reunited Blur, perennial Britpop collective Suede, self-proclaimed “Sweden’s darkest pop export” Tove Lo and trailblazing art-punk group Devo, the line-up appeals to music fans with different tastes. The festival’s area incorporates five stages – the main venue, The Other Sound X Sun Effects, Balloon 360°, Resident Advisor Front Yard and Backyard. The Music Void has chosen a few artists that might make your navigation through the massive and vibrant three-dayer a bit easier.
With the name bringing to mind bouncy dance music, Jockstrap pack appropriately catchy tunes and beats into an experimental postmodern package. The duo consisting of Taylor Skye and Georgia Ellery (of Black Country, New Road) adventurously mixes house, folk, jazz and electronica, producing evocative tracks contributing to the psychogeography of London.
Mikko Sarvanne Garden (FI)
The enigmatic collective with a poetic name creates compositions that conjure up worlds of krautrock legends Amon Düül II and fellow Finnish psych-folkers Paavoharju. Balancing between sedative and intense, his music sounds cinematic enough to imagine appropriate scenes from films by Tarkovsky and Sergei Parajanov. Mikko Sarvanne Garden will be playing at The Other Sound X Sun Effects venue giving a stage to experimental acts. It’s, indeed, an oasis of intensity and sedation amidst the festival’s cheer.
Kaukolampi / LRXY (FI)
For his performance at Flow, Finnish experimentalist Timo Kaukolampi joins forces with the audiovisual duo LRXY. The composer’s immersive electronic compositions will be augmented with striking minimalist artworks suggesting contemplation. A perfect set for escapists and yoga practitioners trying a challenging Handstand Scorpion pose.
Ohioan art punks Devo will headline the Saturday night. In the late 70s, David Bowie called them “the band of the future”. Indeed, now their buoyant yet ironic music feels like a much-needed antidote to the socio-political tendencies in the world. It has unlike changed since Devo’s first album, released in 1978 – Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Considering the lack of change, their theory of de-evolution proved to be right.
Arp Frique & Family (NL)
The music of Arp Frique & Family makes a contrast to the monochrome Scandinavian landscape as does fire to ice. The volatile combination of funk, sci-fi-esque disco and Afrobeat is enchanting. Even if the weather at the open Balloon 360° venue plays the usual Nordic pranks, one can quickly get warm from the dancing flame of this music.
Flow Festival will take place in Helsinki, Finland, from 11 to 13 August 2023.