Reviewed: Kappa FuturFestival 2019
For the short flight to Turin, it very much had the sentiment of a flight to Ibiza. Grinning British guys and girls packed into the plane made for a jovial journey to northern Italy. The reason they all have made the effort is down to the buzz around Kappa FuturFestival. And when you dig a little deeper it’s clear to see why. Looking across the lineup the programming is immense, featuring titans of techno across four stages. And then there’s that main stage. The one that has been plastered over the Instagram accounts of some of the best DJs in the scene over the past few years.
The Friday night before the main event of Kappa FuturFestival begins we are invited to dinner at EDIT by the founder of the festival. The food and wine is future-facing and tasting, crafted with that traditional Italian passion – much like the festival itself. We believe this to be a good omen and rest well before the festivities commence.
It’s a Saturday scorcher in Parco Dora in Turin. The renaissance influence that is apparent in the city’s buildings and churches hasn’t quite made it out to the Kappa FuturFestival site. The festival is set against an industrial backdrop with huge metal pillars from factories dotting the site. The stages are located close together so we save our legs from too much walking, ready for the hours of raving we have ahead of us.
Patrick Topping is giving the crowd what they want early on in the day, on the Jäger stage. Underneath the cavernous steel framework, he guides into techno territory. Full-blooded 909 kicks reverberate down onto the thousands of people already raving hard. He spins ‘Donny’s Groove’ by Mella Dee, the producer who has been releasing belter after belter on his Warehouse Music imprint.
HAAi plays some banging techno to a dedicated crew over on the Dora stage. Partygoers are seeking shelter from the suns rays under a few select trees that dot the site. And in the shade, they’re being treated to a number of stone-cold classics. HAAi is solidly making a name for herself on the circuit and is showcasing why she is tipped for great things.
Amelie Lens shells it down on the Seat stage, slamming techno for the masses. As the daylight starts to fade away, the light show comes into its own. She plays in front of a glowing fireball that pulsates with the beat. The largely Italian crowd laps it up, chanting her name. Amelie has definitely become somewhat of a rock star in this country, and the applause at the end of her set, even Carl Cox takes a moment from the start of his set to salute her.
Gerd Janson b2b Prins Thomas draws a smaller but funkier crowd. They swerve through techno and house, even firing the odd disco tune into the mix. ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ by Gwen McCrae draws head nods and fist-pumping from the few hundred gathered on the sites smallest stage. The set feels intimate which for a huge festival is an impressive feat. The contrast with the Jäger stage is big, but the festival makes both very much at home.
The pair finish on the anthemic ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ by Stardust, still as fresh now as it was when it was originally released. The band’s only ever single was remastered for a one-off release last month to celebrate the track’s 20th year anniversary. Hearts full to the brim of disco joy we head off into the Turin night.
Sunday follows quickly after and with a quick trip into a nearby trattoria we are replenished. Joining the throngs of people making their way to the festival we slap on some factor fifty, it’s set to be a hot one. And even the water-spraying showers inside Kappa FuturFestival can’t protect from sunburn.
Forging across the festival site we make it to the Seat stage for another Belgian female DJ star. Charlotte De Witte brings the industrial and the acid to the Seat stage in the searing Sunday sun. Like water following the path of least resistance we surge through the crowd arriving near the front, next to flags and tops waving in the air together. Charlotte plays songs like ‘This Is The Light Way’ by Macrotech, bouncing acidic bubbles down onto the Torino crowd.
She plays an unbelievable heavy techno set, the crowd laps it up with gleeful abandon. The only downside is the visuals are stifled by the glaring sunlight, but when the music is this good it hardly matters. For 2 hours she holds the Seat stage hostage as she rolls out techno tornadoes, this girl is bound for stardom. The sound from the speakers is loud and rich, without being deafening to a point, this has been a feature across the festival.
Trip label boss Nina Kraviz brings her A-game to the main Jäger stage, she smashes it thousands of revellers dancing along with her. A quick dash over to see Richie Hawtin on the Seat stage and he brings his old school techno to the party. The crowd is with him as he lays it on proper thick. A worthy end to what has been an incredible weekend, but there is still time for one last dance and we head to the afterparty for the man behind the mask, I Hate Models.
I Hate Models plays an apocalyptic set, crashing thunderous drums invade my ears and the rest of Torino most likely. But with the darkness, he also brings the light. With melodic moments interspersed against the harsh, industrial sounds that reverberate around the room. The rising French star rounds off an incredible few days in Italy with arguably the heaviest set of the weekend. A fitting finish.
And with that Kappa FuturFestival is done for another year. After it’s eighth edition has again proved to be a smashing success, we can’t wait for next year!