Druga Godba are delighted to announce the main line-up for the 34th international Druga Godba festival, which returns with a host of top names and musical delights that will, in true DG style, make the last weekend in May a long weekend to remember. For the second year running, the festival will take place in Piran and Ljubljana, and will feature a large number of other events alongside the concerts.
The first name on this year’s list is Ibeyi. These twin sisters, who have become global superstars by dint of their unique take on electronic soul, which comes mixed with the Cuban Yoruba tradition and other Afro-Cuban styles, are anchored at the very heart of a full-blooded programme that stretches across a variety of venues in Ljubljana and Piran. They will be appearing in Kino Šiška on Friday, preceded on the same stage by Ljubljana-based Iranian rapper Naji and special guest Ntoko. The programme then moves on to the outdoor stage at Gala Hala in Metelkova and the Congolese musical sensations Kokoko!, whose homemade instruments sound uncannily electronic and who are headed by producer débruit, a DJ familiar to clubbers from his two previous visits to Ljubljana. Friday evening in Gala Hala and Channel Zero, Metelkova, will be marked by a mix of rock, Xhosa funk, dub-metal, free jazz, spoken word and topical psychedelia in the form of three brilliant bands: The Brother Moves On from Johannesburg, Chromb! from Lyon, and Brighton-based Fumaça Preta.
This year’s festival will also see an appearance by one of the world’s most innovative trance producers and DJs, James Holden, who has put together a team of three musicians for his new project. The result is a crack studio and live outfit, The Animal Spirits, who are without doubt one of the most exciting musical stories to emerge from the UK in recent years. James Holden & The Animal Spirits will be the stars of Saturday night in Kino Šiška, where they will close the festival along with local band BeatMyth (Igor Vuk, Ntoko). They will be preceded on the Komuna and Katedrala stages by mini-orchestra Olfamoštvo (Slovenia) and Colombian band Los Piraňas, whose visually and musically stunning mix of retro psych, cumbia, chicha and champeta has shot them firmly to the top of the contemporary Latin music tree and created a huge buzz on European club and concert stages.
Alsarah is a Sudanese refugee whose band, The Nubatones, made their breakthrough in Brooklyn before taking their sound across the planet, on a mission to help uncover and interpret the heart of Sudanese traditional music via the medium of sweet, danceable retropop. If Alsarah is the New America, Chris Eckman is its previous incarnation. He has helped to put Ljubljana and Slovenia on the world music label map with Glitterbeat, many of whose acts have appeared at the festival over the years. This time he takes to the stage himself with his latest Dirtmusic line-up and a critically acclaimed new album, Bu Bir Ruya, which navigates a perfect path between hypnotic rhythms, widescreen atmospherics and dark political realities, all shot through with (Turkish) psychedelia, post-punk, funk, rock and electronic beats. Alsarah & The Nubatones and Dirtmusic will both appear at Monfort, Slovenia’s best concert venue outside the capital on Thursday. To make the visit to Piran even easier, we’ve organised free return coach travel from Ljubljana to Piran, with stops along the way for people who live between the two. (The coach trip is available holders of Festival Passes only.)
The Piran programme will, like last year, begin with a free concert on Tartini Square. This time round, we’ll be joined by the popular Macedonian nine-piece band, Ljubojna, before making our way to Monfort on foot or by boat.
Three free Druga Godba concerts
This year’s festival will feature three free afternoon concerts, with the first taking place on Thursday 24 May on Tartini Square, Piran, featuring Ljubojna. Both days of the Ljubljana part of the festival will kick off with a free outdoor concert: on Friday it will be Nadah El Shazly in the garden at the Švicarija café in Tivoli park, and on Saturday Les Filles de Illighadad appear in the garden at Vodnikova domačija.
Musician and producer Nadah El Shazly is one of the most creative figures on the Cairo underground scene. Last year’s debut, Ahwar, caused something of a stir, with legendary music magazine The Wire naming it 12th best record of the year. Les Filles de Illighadad, by contrast, play subtle acoustic ishumar (Tuareg resistance music) with an intensity that is only increased by its gorgeous polyphonic vocals.
As the Early Bird period has ended, tickets are now available at the regular pre-sales price. Festival Passes are EUR 50 and include free coach travel from Ljubljana to Piran and back for the Thursday night concerts. A day ticket for Thursday 24 May costs EUR 14, for Friday 25 May (six concerts) EUR 28 and for Saturday 26 May (four concerts) EUR 22. Tickets are available from www.mojekarte.si.
The line-up for the 34th international Druga Godba festival, with dates and locations, is available here: https://drugagodba.si/en/line-up/