Festival Focus

State-X New Forms

Aside from providing a glimpse into the future of avant-rock and cutting-edge electronics, two-day festival State-X New Forms is setting the record straight in terms of the history of indie music. After seven editions featuring headliners such as Sonic Youth, Pere Ubu and the Melvins, this year’s line-up includes US live sensation Mission of Burma and a host of other cult heroes deserving of wider recognition.

14 & 15 December – Paard van Troje, Den Haag

Mission of Burma
After disbanding in 1983, Boston post-punk outfit Mission of Burma became ‘the band that influenced influential bands’, from Shellac – who catalysed the 2002 re-formation – to Sonic Youth, whose broad harmonic palette is foreshadowed in ‘All World Cowboy Romance’. Because of their killer hooks we can’t avoid smiling upon hearing such angst-ridden anthems as ‘Academy Fight Song’ and the Moby-covered ‘That’s When I Reach For My Revolver’.

Their double-neck guitars and supersize gong make Japanese boy-girl-fronted power trio Boris appear more decadent than the average Sabbath-inspired stoner band. What truly sets them apart, however, is their oversaturated sonic knockout punch, delivered with Zen-like conviction.

Otto Von Schirach
Flabbergasting us with face-melting electro since 1998, Miami gabba Otto Von Schirach tones down his trademark sickness in favour of more dancefloor-friendly booty bass on 2012’s Supermeng.

Fantastic Mr Fox
James Blake adores him and Jamie xx shares his spotlight, hence Stephen Gomberg’s sticky ‘post-dubstep prodigy’ label. Mellow on the surface, his jerky dance tunes hide intricate sample mosaics, with twists of slick electro soul.

Gum Takes Tooth
Like a Lightning Bolt without strings, this UK duo converts live drums, samples and distorted vocals into high-energy grooves, occasionally infiltrated with blast beats and dubstep drops.