When we first learned that Touch was planning a follow-up to last autumn’s brilliant Atmospheres festival, the question wasn’t whether or not we would attend but what line-up they had in store for us this time around. Once again occupying Lambeth’s beautiful Museum of Garden History for a long weekend, Atmospheres 2 returns with a focus on hauntology, particularly with respect to music. If your Derrida is as rusty as ours and you fancy a refresher course, or if you just want to hear some of today’s best abstract electronic sounds, you should keep 8–12 May open.
First up on Thursday 8 May is an evening with multimedia composer Philip Jeck, ex-Loop and Main founder Robert Hampson and pianist/organist Marcus Davidson. All three performers will play solo sets, though also expect a collaboration between Jeck and Davidson. Best known for generating sound through manipulating the imperfections of old vinyl records, Jeck has a lengthy discography with Touch. His latest album, Sand, may span 45 minutes but with every listen it always seems to evaporate in seconds. The opportunity to hear these grainy loops resonate inside such a unique venue should not be missed.
The following night Fennesz will bring us his swirl of electronically-altered guitar, both in a solo set as well as in collaboration with Charles Matthews, whilst Bristolian sound artists Matt Davies and Simon Whetham open the festivities. Philip Jeck returns on Monday 12 May in what may be the most musically diverse bill in the series. Dubstep producer Kode 9 will play with his frequent collaborator The Spaceape, as The Caretaker and original Ultravoxxer John Foxx round out the line-up.
Those lucky enough to not be trapped in an office during the day on Monday should wander down to the Museum early for the six-hour symposium, “Hauntology Now!” Presentations from k-punk’s Mark Fisher, Touch co-founder Jon Wozencroft and others will explore the weight of the past on the present through questions such as, “Why do certain places retain the traces of past sonic events?” The symposium will wrap up around 6:00 p.m., followed by a two-hour break before the evening’s music begins.
Image courtesy of Touch.