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Station Narva 2018

The first edition of the music and city culture festival Station Narva will take place in Narva on September 21-23. The headliners of the festival are Tricky, Echo & the Bunnymen and Actress.

The live music hotspots of the festival will be the Kreenholm Manufacturing Company and the cultural hacktivists' headquarters, Art Club Ro-Ro. The multiple stages of the main venue will be set in the grand industrial architecture complex of Kreenholm island, which was once home to the world's largest cotton spinning mill.

Keywords "grand" and "majestic" are also suitable for the legendary Echo & the Bunnymen, whose dark, swirling fusion of gloom and theatrical psychedelia is bound to bring out the poetry of Kreenholm's rough steampunk milieu. Grand ambitions and the belief that they were standing on the shoulders of the saints has been part of the Bunnymen lexicon since they first appeared on the late seventies Liverpool post-punk scene. Led by principal members Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, the Bunnymen are touring in anticipation of their new album The Stars, the Oceans & the Moon. The album, to be released in October, includes a couple of new compositions and gives a new twist with "strings and things attached" to classic tracks from "Bring on the Dancing Horses" to "The Killing Moon" — "the greatest song of all time," according to McCulloch.

Tricky, real name Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, is a trip hop pioneer from Bristol, UK, currently residing in Berlin. A quarter-century after his first appearance on wax, and collaborations with Beyoncé, Yoko Ono, and Grace Jones, he still possesses a sound that he made entirely his own – a blend of hip hop, ragga, rock and disembodied lyrical threats, reconstructualising samples and slices of both the most respected black music and the tackiest pop. Tricky began his career as an early collaborator of Massive Attack before embarking on a solo career with his debut album, Maxinquaye, in 1995. The album went gold in the U.K and was nominated for Mercury Prize; the critics spazzed out and David Bowie himself wrote a prose poem about the artist for Q magazine. In 2017 Tricky returned with his 13th album, ununiform, a delicate, storming and intricate album that saw him take perhaps his most radical step yet – a journey into happiness and contentment, confronting his legacy, history, and even death itself. Four tracks of the album were recorded in Moscow, featuring Russian rappers Scriptonite, Vasily Vakulenko (Basta), and Smokey Mo.

Actress (real name Darren J. Cunningham), the creator of cerebral abstract techno and R&B concrète, will fill the industrial era colossus with the post-industrial power of future, crafting chopped sample loops into rumbling tracks soaked in static. After his signature sound reached its perfection last year with a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world LP, he has released a collaboration album with the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) on Ninja Tune entitled LAGEOS.

Kreenholm will also embrace the gender-and-genus-bending industrial pop by Gazelle Twin, the moniker for British performance artist and producer Elizabeth Bernholz. In 2017, she released the tribalism-and-fascism-exploring Kingdom Come, based on the eponymous book by J.G. Ballard, and she's already gearing up to drop a new album, Pastoral, during Station Narva.

Swedish singer-songwriter Jenny Wilson, who has collaborated with the likes of The Knife and Robyn, will perform songs from her latest unflinchingly honest full-length Exorcism. St Petersburg’s Shortparis will offer the audience a thrilling ride on the dark side with their spastic dance grooves and falsetto chanson whilst Moscow's RSAC (Red Samara Automobile Club) will play their irresistible hoodlum-hymns. With reverb pedals plugged in and amps turned all the way up, the Finnish shoegazers Joensuu 1685 are preparing for their global comeback; also from Finland, comes the grime and dubstep mixing hip-hop star View.

Estonia's own music scene will be represented by around a dozen cutting-edge acts. The "true child of post-genre", Mart Avi will present his high-end concepts of 21st-century pop from the upcoming solo album OtherWorld. The Lovecraftian milieu will provide a perfect setting for the darkly atmospheric hip-hop shamanism of 12EEK Monkey. The dance version of Estonian indie founders Röövel Ööbik, Una Bomba 50+, will vent their hooligan house steam, whilst the noise-rock stalwarts Zahir guarantee to fly everyone to the other side of rock 'n' roll. Sõpruse Puiestee (aka "Friendship Boulevard") will deliver their trademark melancholy vintage melodies, whilst art-punk provocateur Indrek Spungin will throw a weirdly wonderful performance of "behavioural schoolbook mistakes, poetry and music". There will be Guesthouse's powerful beats and relentless flow, and the force of gangsta rap mixed with Oeselian dialect by "Estonia's Mayakovsky", Beebilõust. The Russian-speaking Estonian music scene will be represented by the hip-hop unit Eksponatika Klan, Narva's finest rapper Propazha, and an acoustic kitchen-style gig by local troubadours Tam i Tut.

Besides the musical frenzy, the whole city will come alive with sights, sounds and interactions – from art activities in Narva Art Residency to the heated public talks under the umbrella of the Narva's BAZAR opinion festival, and from the yard picnics to the home concerts by local untapped talent. The never-before-seen trilingual stand-up performance will take place in cooperation with Comedy Estonia, and the European Commission Representation in Estonia will arrange fun and enlightening Speak Dating sessions. Joining forces with Narva's own Lamprey Festival, Station Narva will bring Nordic street food to Narva River Promenade. At the promenade, Tarmo Tammiste, Mayor of Narva City, will receive the annual title of the autumn cultural capital of Estonia at midday, followed by a public get-together meal at the long table with a backdrop of the picturesque River Narva and the silhouette of the Ivangorod Fortress over the borderline.

Station Narva music programme by day:

Friday, 21st September:
Tricky (UK), Actress (UK), Jenny Wilson (SE), Una Bomba 50 + (EE), Zahir (EE), Grechka (RU), View (FI), Beebilõust (EE), RSAC (RU), Shortparis (RU), Propazha (EE)

Saturday, 22nd September:
Echo & the Bunnymen (UK), Gazelle Twin (UK), 12EEK Monkey (EE), Mart Avi (EE), Joensuu1685 (FI), Fever Dream (IS), Sõpruse Puiestee (EE), Электрофорез / Electroforez (RU), Indrek Spungin (EE), Tam i Tut (EE), Eksponatika Clan (EE), Guesthouse (EE), PTF1987 (EE)

Station Narva's info desk along with DIGIX Games Café will be open in the main atrium of Narva College of the University of Tartu from September 20-23.

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