One couldn't expect much more from Dimensions Festival, nestled in the Istrian fortress of a stunning peninsula in Croatia, having raised the bar for festival curation in its short 3-year lifespan. Playing host to electronic talents old and new by day and by night, on a boat, beach, moat or garden - wherever you choose to experience the music - it is impossible to be disappointed.
This year's opening Amphitheatre extravaganza saw the emotive and dramatic Nils Frahm open with his distinctive noir pianism and techno kicks, with Kwabs' soulful vocals resonating around the 2000-year-old stadium in due course. Stealing the thunder was the infamous Caribou whose latest album has been the talk of the town, whilst Darkside closed the concert (listen to their set here) drawing dramatic guitar and often beat-free sounds into thriving, colourful techno.
With an opening show as good as that, we knew full well the rest of the festival would wield promising results.
The Metalheadz boat party hosting Ulterior Motive, Jubei and the truly infectious Goldie, was a tech-energy contest, whilst the disco blaring in the daytime from the Italojohnson boat party flip-reversed when the three Italians took over the Moat that night with their unsettlingly (but encouragingly) hard strain of techno.
Roy Ayers' vibraphone mastery took hold of the audience at the Clearing, Daphni arrested a thousand spectators in an alluring display of proper depth and worldly destruction, and Motor City Drum Ensemble, even amidst a torrential storm, changed the lives of whoever experienced his set at the Void - an outdoor stage powered by one of only three Void sound-systems in the world.
Other artists who stole thunder included Dan Shake in the Garden stage, Croatia's very own Miss Sunshine on the Arija stage, dBridge and Calibre in Mungo's Arena and the Ostgut showcase in the Void of Dreams.
With powerful electronic music spread across such a beautiful site both day and night, with stunning sound-systems at every stage, not to mention the refreshingly international and music-aligned audience, it is little wonder why Dimensions is such a magical festival. Completely flawless on every level, it's difficult to articulate the respect each individual felt towards the staff & organisers for helping to curate a true underground mecca for the electronic music head. A true feat for music lovers of our time, some have described it as an almost religious experience, and with that I couldn't disagree.
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