North Dissonant Voices – 2016 begins in Porto

With 2016 coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking about our festival agenda for 2016. Well, if you happen to be around Porto on the 2nd of January, the guys at Signal Rex have exactly what you need, a one day festival featuring concerts of some of the most intriguing underground acts in the country, a book release and an art installation, all with the purpose of turning the event into a “house for artists whose work is too demanding and exquisite for bigger venues, a place where people can perform and express themselves”.

Let’s go through the line up then. First, we’ve got MOASE (Memoirs Of A Secret Empire), a post-metal trio which just a few months ago took the task of opening Amplifest in a collaborative effort with Juseph to deservedly good reactions.

Then there’s Nevoa, a two piece from Porto whose first full-length “The Absence Of Void” just came out during the summer and has everything to please lovers of atmospheric black metal, somewhere in between the European tradition and a Wolves In The Throne Room kind of thing.

As for Vaee Solis, their blackened doom with sludgy traits first showed its ugly face to the world back in March and they’ve been plaguing Portuguese stages ever since, having already performed with bands like Acid King or Bell Witch, the latter of which already with F. Correia (Concealment, Wells Valley) as a second guitar player. When “Adversarial Light” (stream below) came out, we had a nice chat with them, which you can read here (Portuguese only).

Last but not least, we’ve got Örök and Atila, both one person projects from Miguel Béco. The first plays the kind of black metal that will water the mouths of those who think Darkspace and Paysage d’Hiver are some of the most criminally underrated projects in the genre today, an unavoidable conclusion upon listening to “Übermensch”, the rather interesting first full length from Örök.

As for Atila, prepare to bask yourself in eerie dark electronics that will linger in your head long after the concert’s over. We witnessed the project live in way too early a time of day during Amplifest and the conjunction of the captivating mechanical darkness echoing in the room with the hypnotic live visuals of long-time collaborator Guida Ribeiro rank amongst the most well-rounded performances of the weekend.

While the concert line-up of a festival is usually all there is to it, that’s not the case here. There’ll be the release of “Fogo Adverso”, a book by graphic artist Pedro Esteves, who explains that “there are many faces inside me, and at the same time, all those faces, creatures, landscapes, and people converge at one single point that is common to them all”. Besides the book release, NDV will also feature the exhibition “Gongs & Cymbals” by João Filipe Pais, a percussionist associated with some of the most boundary-pushing acts in today’s Portuguese music, such as HHY & The Macumbas and Sektor 304, amongst many others. Instead of limiting himself to the playing part of music, he’s also known for building his own instruments, a side of his creative process that will then be displayed in the exhibition.

Finally, as you might know, every Friday our photographer and long time collaborator Pedro Roque presents us with a mixtape to get us through the weekend in his recurring “Roque À Sexta” feature. A frequent presence as a dj around the country, lately with his alter ego Mr Gönzo, he has shared his nasty favourite tunes in places such as Santa Maria Summer Fest and Amplifest. At NDV, there will be no alter ego, just Pedro Roque doing what he does through the night, giving you an excuse for another beer and some more headbanging.

North Dissonant Voices will take place in Porto at Cave 45 on January 2. Doors will open at 9PM and tickets cost 8€. Stay tuned for more about the festival.