SYNTHESIS is a two day festival of culture and contemporary music in Kaliningrad. As part of the UK-Russia Year of Music programme, two UK artists — electronic producer and engineer Finlay Shakespeare (London) and DJ and producer Bruno Schmidt (London/Berlin) — will join the lineup of the festival.
SYNTHESIS festival explores the contribution of Russian inventors to the development of electronic music through the Soviet analog synth technology. Celebrates its own unique style and sound the festival will be built around headline performances showcasing the contemporary electronic music scene. The festival will include workshops and film screenings alongside a special nightlife programme. SYNTHESIS promotes a wider international understanding of the avant-garde and DIY esoterica of synth sound as well as to showcases the ability of music to permeate the ‘iron wall’ and reach hearts and minds on both sides.
About the UK artists
The Berlin-based Brit Bruno Schmidt has been steadily building a name for himself over the past few years as both a skilled DJ and producer. On record, his productions, which have appeared on Spinning Plates and Toi Toi sub-label Subsequent, are tight, slick and minimalist in approach. Behind the decks, the same essence and understated character seeps through, with a UK-schooled flare and inventive, precise turntablism.
The young musician's journey began at university in Leeds, where he became resident for long-running local event series Louche, before relocating south to London. It was in the capital that he truly found his feet, inspired by new surroundings and faces—Andrew James Gustav and Gwenan to name two, with whom he established the Hifi party series. Throughout it all, he's also been a devoted proponent and programmer of Meadows in the Mountains, helping to take the likes of Binh and Francesco Del Garda to the Bulgarian countryside festival.
Finlay Shakespeare is both a recording artist for Editions Mego, and a co-director at modular synth firm Future Sound Systems. In both areas of his work, he strives for surprising and unique sonic directions.
His interest in synthesizers was born listening to his parents' record collections whilst growing up and and exploring the insides of the equipment. During his teenage years, he began making music with his home computer, cheap synthesizers and hand-built analogue devices. Inspired by witnessing the workflows of resident artists at the Sound Lab UK, that he joined after having studied audio engineering at college, Shakespeare began releasing the Housediet EPs – a series of monthly sessions where tracks were fully improvised and only briefly edited and mixed before release on BandCamp.
After a full year's worth of the Housediet series, Shakespeare was approached by Peter Rehberg of Editions Mego to rework some of the material for a double album release. This culminated in "Domestic Economy", released at the start of 2019 to critical acclaim, and also preceded by the 7" single release, "Routine", both releases ruminating on the styles of Cabaret Voltaire, Severed Heads and early Human League, whilst attempting to create a new, updated sound.
For more information, full schedule and tickets please visit the festival website.