Arvika Festival 2004 report

Top level Party reports

Festival report and photos by PKS
The 13th Arvika Festival is finished...

The yearly Arvika Festival in Sweden is actually a rock/synth festival, but since dj Morg and dj Kvasi is heavily involved in organising this festival, there is also a techno/psytrance stage. This festival is only a couple of hours driving from where I live, Oslo in Norway, me and my friends decided to take our sixth trip to Arvika, after seeing the impressive line up. We arrived Arvika in the evening on Wednesday 14th of July. The usual festival camp was as usual floating of mud, so we decided to try out the extra camp, which was much better. They didnít let us in there, so we decided to drive up to some mountains in the forest and camp there for one night. We found a beautiful spot with an incredible view over the entire Arvika city. Luckily we had brought a sound system running on 12V car battery, so we put on some nice chill out music and watched the sun going down behind Arvika. We also made some decoration for our camp.

The next morning we woke up ready for some action. First we drove to buy some beer, food etc, and then we went to the extra camp. There was no mud at this camp, so we put up our tents and decorations, and it became really nice! Then we put on the sound system again, and started drinking beer. Arvika is actually as much about drinking as about the actual concerts(!) The first interesting artist for us this Thursday, was GABRIEL LE MAR, playing a live and dj set from 15.00 to 17.00. I have seen this guy playing once before, at Sola Luna 2001 in Greece, and was really looking forward to hear this talented guy again. He played his usual style somewhere between house and trance. He usually has this dubby style, but here we got less of that, but more influences of electro. He djed in the beginning, and at the end we got a little bit of live performance. He had a male singer with him on stage. I didnít like the vocals very much. The rest of his set was nice, except for a couple of mistakes on the beat matching. Other interesting acts this day was Male Or Female from Belgium and Skinny Puppy (!) from Canada. But the most exciting thing to see for me this day, was FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON Presents AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS from the UK. I was hoping for some of those FSOL classics, but after their latest Amorphous releases, I had my doubts that we would get much electronica at all on this concert. Sadly, I was right. What a terrible experience! One of my favourite groups ever were playing this extremely boring music! Not much electronic sounds at all, just boring instrumental music with (in my ears) no feeling at all. Definitely the biggest disappointment for me on this festival. We went back to our camp, played some goa classics, and went to sleep until the next day.

First high light this Friday was ETNOSCOPE from Sweden playing live at the psytrance stage from 14.00 to 15.00. And what a show! These guys sure did a good job on stage! Four people, one on didgeridoo, one on drums and two on the electronics. The drummer was really good. Progressive trance with a tribal feel. Some of the drums remind me a little bit of some tracks by Juno Reactor. For me, this was one of the high lights on this festival. It seemed like the Etnoscope guys enjoyed it a lot on stage tooÖ After this great show by Etnoscope, dj LLOPSIS played a dj set. Then there was a live set by ORYX from Denmark, playing some tracks from his album released on Iboga Records earlier this year. Then we got SUN CONTROL SPECIES from Australia and dj D-NOX from Germany. I had to eat and drink a little, so I missed most of that, but went back to see WIZZY NOISE from Greece playing live from 23.00 to 00.00.
They played a lot from their latest album Stereo Electric released on Spun Records earlier this year. They gave us some nice full on trance and it made my feet moving for a while. Quite interesting to hear they mix in some kind of electro influences in their full on sound. After Wizzy Noise, Spirit Zone father dj ANTARO from Germany finished the evening at the psytrance stage, but I chose to see FAITHLESS at the main stage instead, since I have seen Antaro several times before. Some people told me that he played some strong full on trance. After Faithless, it was time to freak out in the camping againÖ

The last day of the festival, Saturday, started with dj KVASI playing a progressive set from 12.00 to 14.00. Then it was time for SHIVA CHANDRA from Germany playing live from 14.00 to 15.00. This was a nice experience, since I have never seen this guy live before. He had a progressive drift, with massive beats all the way. I danced through most of his set, and enjoyed it a lot. Then it was time for dj TATI. This is actually a girl from Brazil!
Quite impressive to see a girl djing, but her progressive sound was a bit boring for my taste. At 17.00 to 18.00, SUB6 from Israel played live. Now, the psytrance area was suddenly full of people, so the rumours that these two brothers has something going sure had spread. They played most of the tracks from their debut album Who Needs Love Songs, released earlier this year on Hommega Productions. People danced like mad to their music, so it sure hit the crowd. Personally I think there should have been some more melody in their music, but their beats are smashing. Then it was time for one of my favourite djs in this world, dj DIMITRI NAKOV from the UK.
After Sub6, most people walked away. Pretty weird if you ask me, since Dimitri is a very talented dj. He is also a member of the group called The Good, the bad and the ugly, which he does together with Antidote and Deedrah. And he didnít disappoint me this time either. Strong, melodic full on all the way, far away from any cheese. After Dimitri, another high light went on stage, which was BAMBOO FOREST from France playing live! And what a show! This was the best set on the psytrance stage this year in my opinion. Totally drifting, melodic, hard pushing full on, which made me dance like a mad man! But these two guys need to lighten up a little while they are on stage. They are playing this hard, full on music, but they donít move their body at all! After Bamboo Forest, dj MORG went on stage. This guy books the artists to the psytrance area, but I had to take a rest. At 23.00 to 00.00, SPACE TRIBE from Australia went on stage and played his usual full on, intense melodic trance. At 00.00, dj YAHEL went on stage, but of course I had to go to the main stage where no other than KRAFTWERK was playing live!! I saw Kraftwerk live in Oslo earlier this year, but seeing them on a huge stage like this with 17000 people watching was incredible! After Kraftwerk, I saw a little bit of Yahel, and he played his usual cheese trance.

Kraftwerk was a great finish on the festival for me, but as usual, they finish off quite early on this festival, so we went back to our camp and had a 12 hour after party, playing our favourite classic trance tracks. Not many people, but the vibe was great! The Arvika Festival is very different from trance festivals, but it's fun to do something different for a change. See you next year!
PK (

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