The 80th edition of Gifgrond was incredible! It took me a few days to recover from it, but the gained smile on my face is still here to stay! I was already highly in the mood because of this special Funderground episode show broadcasted on Beachy Head Radio ( https://beachyheadradio.com )in which a whole parade of old school Gifgrond artists paraded by in a 2 hour mix.
But nothing could possible prepare me for the actual real thing!
The line-up for this 80th episode of the one and only unique party in Tillywood, the Netherlands, was simply almost too good to be true… with the great sound engineer Cees, Bob & Paul providing drinks, 3 live acts and an incredibly energetic deejay, the space had packed itself with a crowd that needed no airplane to fly around the venue! People who forgot how to dance, danced! People who lost their hearing skills years ago finally could hear music again! Yes, it was loud and energetic to the max, but there was also another special layer to this Gifgrond edition: a feeling of togetherness and love!
But let me start at the very beginning of the evening. Upon my sneaky undercover early entree, my nose was met with the lovely smell of incredible food. Backstage, the artists were treated warm and kindly with an obviously delicious meal cooked by the kind individuals; Hans & Marcelle. I could not resist sampling some of the leftovers. Let me tell you: I was surprised there was even a tea spoon left: so delicious! This must be one of the secrets that would turn these artists into a special force of Gifgrond goodness!
Soon enough, the official outside doors opened and the floor filled up with a curious crowd made out of people from various parts of life. This lucky crowd were in for a very special treat tonight! The band named ‘Brainhack Musicbox’ all the way from war-torn Ukraine, was the first one to do their music magic. This incredible trio gifted the public with a zone in which introverted forces melded into one.
This was a creative melting pot of synth jazz meets experimental, all flowing through a whole array of conceptual spaces in which each unique sound improvisation became interactive with another. A distinctive horn in its own world, a string gliding up and down and bleeby synth patch work sparred with each other to embrace their differences and combine them for good! These musicians represented Ukraine like no other with their flag proudly in the middle, making this not just a performance to be extra thankful for, but also letting us all think about the terrible shit situation within their home country. https://brainhackmusicbox.bandcamp.com
I wasn’t the only one drifting away with these sounds and thoughts, as the entire Gifgrond seemed to feel solidarity within them. When the performance by Brainhack Musicbox had come to an end, the Gifgrond organizer T took the stand with the help of a special favorite Gifgrond attendee, Andrew Cartwright as the translator, to sell clothing with the money for it going to Ukraine.
To increase this even more, V-Fest a new magazine by Steph Byrne also spontaneously chipped in by selling V-Fest and every bit of money went to the same goal!
The solidarity of Gifgrond was through the roof as, at the end, 240 euros had been raised, which simply made this 80th edition open a whole new level of things! Not just the eyes and the ears were filled, but also the heart!
This, of course, had to be celebrated & my goodness, who could have done this job any better than the Berlin-based Cesar Palace? Cesar Palace was the one and only drummer of the extraordinary kind who could elevate the sentimental mood into one of pure action. Armed with two feet and two hands, the drummer worked every rhythm around to open up entire new portholes towards new and better worlds! These grooves and steady attacks wiped us all out by surprise, making us travel through different zones in which the beat was key, but the noises weren’t unkind either! The full enthusiasm could be heard and felt like an active vacation that nobody knew they had signed up for! Even now, days after, I’m longing to go back to wherever Cesar Palace took us. Luckily, the artist’s bandcamp provides some nice audio adventures for home use. https://cesarpalace.bandcamp.com/
Then it was time to increase the madness by leveling it up. Insert: Piet Du Congo! A mad artist from Belgium, a breakcore hero and tattooist all in one! Tonight Piet Du Congo had the audacity to even make the people who never danced come out in action, revealing some old school Gabber among the Gifgrond crowd! Piet Du Congo was on hot fire, giving no rest to anyone with a continuous salvo of beats, fills, breakdrums, kicks and a wicked sense of video chopping! Total mayhem erupted as the energetic sounds and bright triggering visuals banged on banger after banger. A continuous flow of breakcore made me think of sending Piet Du Congo to the Kremlin, as I don’t think that building would survive! Gifgrond however, seems to be holding its ground in these hardcore sounds! https://pietducongo.com
After all the action, it was time for Gifgrond veteran DJ Ibrahim Kazoo to completely take over! Ibrahim Kazoo took this job very seriously and elevated the night to a higher climax than any usual Tillywood bed-adventure! With an eclectic mix, DJ Ibrahim Kazoo enlarged the lovable mood of universal love in various ways, making this 80th episode of Gifgrond one that would go down as a very special unforgettable treat!
The next day, in the daytime, armed with brand new blisters under my feet from dancing, I sneaked into Gifgrond for another look.. Piet Du Congo was up and this time he was skilfully tattooing, making sure that (one of the lucky few) the owners of these fresh pictures would go home with a memory that would last even if their memory itself would fail! DJ Ibrahim Kazoo’s arms were looking very good!
With this beautifully satisfying picture in mind, it was time for me to sneak out again, looking back at this Gifrond episode very dearly. What a lovely place, so full of surprises, solidarity, love, creations, vibes and… what will it bring next time?