To describe what Terraforma has been is not easy to put in words.
The festival started on Friday the 1st of July with a brief delay, with a very original piano solo exhibition by Charlemagne Palestine. It was fascinating looking at him preparing his setting made of colourful clothes, taking care of every single little detail.
He hypnotised the crowd with his fingers slowly brushing the piano, with the sun setting down behind him in the entering garden of this wonderful villa where Terraforma took place: absolutely enchanting.
Right after him in the dancehall stage Rabih Behani played a very interesting set with the visuals of Vincent Moon, where the first one was manipulating and sonorizing the african inspired video of the video director.
One of the interesting things of Terraforma is that it has only one stage, not always in the same place. The result of this is that it was not a “proper” festival, I would define it more similar to an open air clubbing experience, where everybody would hear and follow from start to end every single set, I loved this formulation even if sometimes you could miss the beginning of another set since they were not extremely indicating.
For instance, following Rabih Beahni and Vincent Moon, Biosphere’s set was way too short and unfortunately I missed half of his set, since it lasted a bit more than half an hour; to be honest, a bit above expectations.
Second day starts first with a Dj set by Claudio Fabrianesi, then Francesco Cavaliere enchanted the crowd with the first part of his Gancio Cielo project, putting himself in the shoes of a storyteller, magically capturing the attention of a waking crowd: a total success!
To be honest the vibe around was a bit too tight, not much a festival vibe, made of smiles and sharing.
After him Healing Force Project did a remarkable, relaxing set, then a very intense storm interrupted the following show, while everybody was trying to take cover from the rain.
Later it started again with a massive live exhibition by Flanger. The rain stopped too many people from coming, the dancefloor was emptier than the previous night but for mud lovers like me was a lot of fun.
One of the main acts of the second night was Lee Gamble, that gambled a bit with his original set: he went through different kind of music without caring too much about mixing; personally I really liked it – people wanted to dance but he took advantage of this unique wooden setting that Terraforma had to offer to throw an unconventional set.
Atom™& Tobias impressed the crowd with a very intense live session of straight forward minimal German sounds.
The third day was the sunniest, from many points of view: the previously mentioned tight vibe melted under the sun and the deep dub set played by Tropical Disco sound system before and Still after, that went a bit into reggae as well.
Beatrice Dillon was on the decks after, in two hours she drastically shifted from dub to techno, with the whole crowd absolutely enthusiastic and enraptured by the set considered by most people as the best.
My personal highlight of the festival was when Asiko by Tony Allen was magically dropped and everybody was dancing shoeless.
After Adrian Sherwood, Paquita Gordon, considered as a Terraforma’s resident, did a set that was very good for the first half, apparently closing with a Sakamoto masterpiece; then she went into a spiral of so called “closing set songs”: not a good introduction to Primitive Art live set, another personal highlight of the festival.
The following light show called Erratic, by Feldermelder was absolutely stunning: Terraforma’s labyrinth became the stage of real futuristic experimentation, with a very attentive crowd, following the show entranced.
The cherry on the cake was the afterparty at the camping site: Marco Shuttle went deep with a mystical proper techno set in the woods, with a nice summer breeze cradling a small crowd in front of a lake, a perfect end for the festival.
Terraforma is not for strictly for party people, it is made for a an open-minded crowd that enjoys music experimentation, definitely an experience to repeat next year.
Last, special mention to the food court. In festivals is “normal” to eat bad quality food but Terraforma’s organisers took care of a various fresh selection of food from all around the globe for affordable prices.
See you next year.
Words and photos : Alessandro