TransMusicales 2012
TransMusicales 2012

The TransMusicales Festival in Rennes (France) is a very special festival with about 30.000 visitors – a festival for visitors. At the same time it is a festival where the French press and international press, agencies, bookers and managements meet. Within the past 34 years TransMusicales evolved to a festival where the next big things can be found. Acts like NIRVANA, JUSTICE, BJÖRK and a lot more played here at the early time of their career – and after it, they made it huge.

Launched in 1979 by Jean-Louis Brossard and Béatrice Macé, the festival is the place to discover new music and unknown sounds from all over the world. So we went to TransMusicales de Rennes to find out more about the musical zeitgeist of 2012 – and of course to discover new great acts who could be the next big thing.

jean lous brossard - TransMusicales 2012

Within the last 34 year TransMusicales grew massively, even that much that the main festival area isn’t in the inner city of Rennes anymore, but at the Expo area at the very south of the city. Still there are many concert locations in the inner city, like Le Liberté, L’Étage, Chamss Libres, Le Cité and L’Opera. At the same time Les Bars En Trans – another festival – took place in the famous Rue De La Soif of Rennes, there many more bands played in tiny bars. So a lot of concerts were going on in this wonderful city in the Brittany. Here is a little look back on our time at TransMusicales de Rennes 2012.

Wednesday – “I don’t need no gun to destroy everyone around…”

Wednesday evening we were “high on democracy”, which was the motto of ICEBERG, a collective of dozens of musicians who found together for musical projects during TransMusicales. Due to the distance between all the festival locations it sadly was the only evening we spent at Aire Libre, the place were the ICEBERG collective bands played. But it was a nice evening in a pretty theateresque location were we saw LISPECTOR and CRANE ANGELS. Especially second really impressed with almost 10 people on stage, always changing instruments and singing in choirs. Great pop songs that not only impressed the audience, but also made them sing along. How did CRANE ANGELS do that? By being nice, authentic and singing certain lyrics again and again, quite like a mantra.

Thursday – “You bring the end for another dead film star…”

On thursday the festival really started off and after checking out the press- and professional-area and gotting known the people behind the festival, we said to ourselves “wow, this seems to be the most perfect organized festival we’ve been to so far.” First, everything was really perfectly organized. Second, everything was made with love – the designs (by famous artist James Marsh) and even more how the festival staff cared about the media people and music professionals. So it was the first day of a networking-marathon, that was more than useful to probably everyone. And after the festival we still say “wow” and are happy to have met so many great people, about having set up several new collaborations and of course about having met new friends.

Clockwork Of The Moon - transmusicales-2012

At L’Étage we saw LOLITO and CLOCKWORK OF THE MOON who both really impressed the audience with their wonderful performances. Due to other dates we missed BOW LOW and GOLDWAVE, but we heard that also they have been amazing.

At the evening – after a nice Meet&Greet with the Bureau:Export – we took the shuttle-bus to the Expo Park. And it was the bus ride of our lives (at least we thought like that that day…the shuttle bus rides the next days were even more weird). Busses completely packed with people who were in the maximum party-mood. Drunken, loud and smoking. It felt like everybody smoked and sang and jumped in these busses. Bus rides we probably won’t ever forget – an experience that was amazing (although we felt a bit lost now and then).

camera - TransMusicales 2012

The first band we saw this day was CAMERA. The German krautrockers convinced with a great show in front of about 2.000 people. Since a huge krautrock (and grunge) revival is coming up these days, it can be taken for granted that CAMERA is a band that will be heard a lot in 2013. Right after that we checked out TEAM GHOST (with whom there also will be an interview online soon). The French band who just released their Dead Film Star EP played a breathtaking set that convinced us that their upcoming album will could be one of the indie-pop release of 2013.

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NICK WATERHOUSE was the next act. Music that we honestly didn’t thought it would get us, but it did – heavily! If you are into swingy pop music you should definitely check out this guy. There can be no doubt that this guy will make it big pretty soon.

Madeon - TransMusicales 2012

Next act we saw: MADEON. The 18 year old guy who plays music that is located somewhere between DAFT PUNK and DAVID GUETTA – somewhere between amazing electronic tunes and French house – made people go wild. It was a mix of his show, the perfect sound and the perfect light show that made this concert stunning. By the way: every concert had perfect sound and amazing light shows – a huge compliment to TransMusicales for that!

netsky - TransMusicales 2012

Later we also checked out the shows by NETSKY (roughly spoken the JUSTIN BIEBER of dubstep) and MERMONTE. Do we need to say that both shows were a blast? Probably not, because they simply were…

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Friday – “I just wanna ask you something. Do you love me?”

Friday started off with an interview session with pupils. Since TransMusicales is a festival that is very aware of their social and cultural responsibility they did projects with school classes where pupils had the chance to talk to different people from the music business. We at NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION like that idea very much, so I decided to talk to them. It was great fun to meet these interested young people and we’ll definitely do that next year again.

Right after that we met and interviewed the French disco pop duo JUPITER. Later that night they played a dj set – that couldn’t have been more dancy – at the Expo area. We talked about the their music, the future of disco pop and about the French house scene. The interview will be online soon. We also met SKIP&DIE singer Caterina (aka. Cata.Pirata) for an interview at that day and talked with her about the band’s debut-album Riots In The Jungle, her home country South Africa, politics, party and of course about hope and passion.

MSMR - TransMusicales 2012

After another amazing shuttle bus ride to the Expo park, we saw the concert by MSMR – who especially live sound a bit like a mixture of POLIÇA and THE XX. Since so many people are talking about MSMR these days, we wanted to see if the hype is right and sadly we have to say that we expected a lot more. Of course the show was a good one, but not more than “good”. Especially when the singer tried to improvise during their hit single Hurricane we realized that somethings wrong. Maybe she just was not in form that day, but we can’t go with the hype when a hit song like that gets messed up like this. Sorry, we just were a bit disappointed.

vitalic - TransMusicales 2012

Right after MSMR we saw great shows by PETITE NOIR and O.CHILDREN and a stunning dj set by SINJIN HAWKE. Sadly we missed the show we were looking forward to most at that day – VITALIC. He played (with live band) at hall 9 and when we arrived there we had simply no chance to get in. Thousands of people in front of hall 9 – sadly also with a quite aggresive atmosphere in some corners. So we went back to get some “beauty”-sleep.

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Saturday – “Riots In The Jungle”

Saturday was the day. Not only that we had tons of dates, like interviews with the festival initiators Jean-Louis Brossard (who does the festival booking since 34 years), Béatrice Macé (who is the co-director of TransMusicales and takes care of the cultural actions of the festival), Canadian indie-rock band HOT PANDA and French electronic music duo SPITZER. We also were looking forward to many shows such as those by AUFGANG, TNGHT, ZEDS DEAD, ATTAQUE, SINKANE, SKIP&DIE and SPITZER.

First band we saw that day: AUFGANG – and what the hell was that? A drummer and two piano playing guys. They played like gods and we were competely amazed by the beauty of this music, suddenly synthies came in and the songs evolved to a mixture of classical music, rock music and electronic music. A mix we wouldn’t have expected, but one that completely blew us away. We are very much looking forward to the bands debut-album which will be released in early 2013. Then we checked out DARKO who played a wonderful mix of postrock, shoegaze and alternative rock – great show by these guys, who obviously don’t like the Brittany that much. We didn’t really get why…

tnght - TransMusicales 2012

Then back to the festival area at the Expo Park: we thought we already experienced strange bus rides the two days before, but this has definitely been the bus ride of our lives. We weren’t sure if we’d arrive at the Expo Park (and if yes, how), but finally we did and instantly checked out the dj sets by RED SUNRISE and TransMusicales was more electronic than the festival installments of the past years was no secret and ZEDS DEAD, ATTAQUE and SPITZER we saw three more amazing sets. ZEDS DEAD heated in with dubstep at its best, ATTAQUE made people go wild with their live techno show and SPITZER (whom we also interviewed at that day) the electronic night found a wonderful and melancholic end.

Skip&Die 2  - TransMusicales 2012

But the winners of the festival were SKIP&DIE. We saw them twice at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival, both times on small stages. At TransMusicales they played the big stage in front of several thousand people – and the band proved that they are made for huge stages and that they can easily manage to make thousands of people go crazy. If there is one band these days that will make it huge in 2013, it is SKIP&DIE. Over and out.

It was NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION‘s first visit at the TransMusicales de Rennes Festival and already now we can say: we’ll be back. A festival that is one of the most professional ever, with a lot of love in design, sound, light and a lot more. Could it be better? Well, of course there are still things that could be improved, like an English option in the festival guide. But French people and English language has ever been a pretty difficult thing. Also it was kinda sad that the festival locations were that away from each other, but there obviously was no other possibility, since the festival simply grew bigger than espected years ago. The bus drives were something we’re not used to, at least not in a way like that. And another thing we are not used to that much: people who do drugs and/or drink way too much alcohol. We do consider ourselves as very open-minded people, but still this has been quite a lot what we’ve seen there. People should finally get that drugs are not cool and that being drunk as hell neither. Another thing we learned: in France it is quite hard to finde vegan food, but finally we found our way.
However, no reason to say bad things about TransMusicales, on the contrary: it was one of the best festival visits and we are looking forward to visit this wonderful city of Rennes again, next year. Thank you TransMusicales, thank you Rennes. See you next year!