Beyond the Tracks Day One, 15th September, 2017

Birmingham’s own Beyond the Tracks kicked off an excellent festival weekend with a Friday night full of electronic dancing and local talent. The apply named festival, Beyond the Tracks took place next to the rail across from Moor Street station.   The festival brought together a collection of electronic and rock artists that where both local and legendary.

Highlights from Friday night include standout performances from High Intelligence Agency, Leftfield and night headliners Orbital.

In a mixture of carnival rides and fantastic food stalls, Beyond the Tracks brought about a mixture of local talent and musical legends, creating a carefree atmosphere in our backyard. Friday’s lineup seemed to kick off the festival with an electronic vibe. Many of the artists on the docket where somehow fixed into an electronic style and while the individual styles certainly varied, the night was undernoted with the familiar and fanciful beat of an electronic nature.

One of such artists is local electronic powerhouse Higher Intelligence Agency. The futuristic electronic group has been crafting artificially tinged electronic music for almost as long as some have been alive. Their music is part machine, part music, giving a really interesting and transfixing nuance to the festival. No doubt loved as local artists, their show was a display of their creative brilliance.

Orbital, a band named after the orbital motorway of which was an integral part of the early rave scene, brought their techno punk rock to the stage, manipulating sounds and energy so that the set brought on a life of its own. Orbital is certainly a group that pairs really hard techno oriented licks with expansive sounds. Their tunes are driving and hard-hitting, never shying away from crafting songs that are powerful beyond words. Whereas some electronic artists create waves of emotion and escapism, Orbital crafts tunes that are relentlessly pushing, to the point of exhaustion. Their power was on full display, as the band wowed festivalgoers for the entirety of their set. Each tune swayed into the other, building momentum and energy for the entire set. While the group certainly played standout favourites from their years of music creation, they also seemed to create on the spot, improvising and manipulating the sound in the actual moment. This ability to curate on the spot created music that seemed to take on the space and the crowd, transforming the night into a truly unique and exquisite moment.

Beyond the Tracks may be a new festival, but it certainly has a well-defined identity. The bands were well-seasoned locals whose musical abilities were at times mind-boggling. As Friday came to an end festival goers left excited and energized for the weekend ahead.


Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

Photographer: Katja Ogrin

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