Sunwaves – Memories that last a life time
The magical non-stop festival that takes place twice a year on the Romanian black sea shore. There is much more to Sunwaves than meets the naked eye. Clearly it begins with the incredible sounds you absorb during the festival, but the experience as a whole is something that simply can’t be compared. The people you meet become friends for life, the location and surroundings; as the sand continuously laps up the calm waves rolling in, and the pure fact you will never get to see such high calibre artists deliver extended sets on quite frankly some of the best systems we have ever experienced. It’s basically like seeing RPR in their own living room, where they feel well and truly comfortable to deliver a unique experience. Here at MEOKO we have a special place in our heart for Sunwaves, and we know the feeling is mutual for many of our readers; so join us as we recap our highlights of SW21 this past April, and as we discuss what makes the trip to Mamaia, so special. Jogging the memory for a time of reflection.
Two months ago, the 21st instalment took place, as likeminded people from across the world gathered to let loose and appreciate a careful selection of home grown talent and artists the Sunrise family believe in. Personally, we believe this encounter was one of the best so far, with a ridiculous amount of special moments to choose from (even the woman standing on the decks when Perlon boss, Zip, was playing). Memories that will last a life time, moments engraved in our mind. May we add, this is in no particular order, because that is just impossible to narrow it down.
The Thursday night arrives and the buzz around the area is beginning to reach a high, the stage is set ready for the next chapter. Over the course of the night two stages are opened, the warm atmosphere has lifted immediately. Now we are not sure if this is because it was the first morning, but there was something extra special about this occasion. The sun rose and around 8am Suciu and Herodot stepped up to the mark in stage 4, and what a journey we was in for. Anyone who has seen these two play together have a true understanding of chemistry, they bounce off each other from one groove to another, a trip through all kinds of sound. Romanian talent at its finest. At some points there must have been no more than 100 people on the dancefloor, but that’s what made it; if you was lucky enough to be there then you will understand. Steaming through till mid-afternoon the real transition for us was Lee Burton – 15:30 (The Jam). The mood of the night time lifted when this track come on and you just knew things were in full swing. More and more people arrived and without even realising you was drawn within Sunwaves 21. A morning we will never forget.
- The SIT Journey
When it comes to raw and natural talent it doesn’t get much better than Romanian duo SIT. We are sure we speak for many when we say their Sunwaves appearance is highly anticipated every time. Starting off with a much lighter atmosphere before they began chopping and changing between driven crazy loops, taking the crowd deep in to the night. As far as a unique sound goes, none can quite compare to the productions from Vlad Caia and Cristi Cons. Therefore, it’s pretty incredible when hearing around six solid hours with SIT, it makes you wonder how many unreleased productions are jam packed in to this extended set. Pure masterpieces, journey work, always with elements of their classical music history. When seeing SIT on the beach it really does sum up why we make the trip to Mamaia, homegrown talent delivering the special sounds that only they can capture and deliver. We distinctly remember Loopu – Marbles rumbling on the beach, lifting the atmosphere.
- Villalobos Saturdays
You just simply can’t beat Ricardo when he is on fire. Diversity at its best. Flickering and fluttering in and out of all varieties of records from across his many years of experience. Rushing techno tracks, mellow ambience, and all out 4/4 90’s house jams, laid down so perfectly. In such a way it is appealing to all audiences. There has been much hype regarding his 20+ minute edit of Nightmares on wax – Aftermath, and the recent release on Digwah, Unknown artist – Something Else. With the sound and lights cutting out (was this done purposely?) before hand; opening with this had the crowd engaged immediately, ready to party, whilstling and cheering from the off. Villalobos was his usual self swaying around and hugging everybody in sight. Priku performing his live set as Atipic certainly painted the perfect picture for the wizard. Saturday night with Ricardo is some what of a tradition, and we believe it’s also a special time for him, immersing himself within the festival atmosphere.
- Sunrise with Pedro
Stage 4 beside the Black Sea is where the magic happens when the sun comes up. Pink skies surround the area, the waves glide in as the sun begins to appear from the ocean. The giant wooden structure of this stage is pleasing to the eye, cleverly made as its own speaker. But let’s focus on what you can hear. Pedro. Petre inspirescu, one third of RPR. Depending on the elements you took from the sounds you was hearing, made that specific moment. Two experiences in one set. There is a constant layer of dreamy and magical percussions taking you far away, but simultaneously rolling and vicious bass lines would suck you in. The highs seemed as if they were trickling from the Funktion One stack, all the way out to the open sea. Too many fantastic tracks to choose from, but it was special to hear Durrred – Quarter to ten at this special time.
- Mihigh Finale
One word. Energy. No where else in the world after 4 nights of partying would there be such an electric atmosphere, and such an up for it crowd. The Midi man himself Mihigh was called upon for probably the hardest set of the festival. Slick, vibrant minimal grooves from the off till nearly 2 in the afternoon. A masterclass. Mihigh showed no signs of easing up at any point, if feet were moving the music was definitely not stopping. A freedom to continue until he wanted. Even once the music was done, the beach was full of smiling faces, relaxing and enjoying there final drinks and spliffs. Conversation was flowing as everyone tried to take in what exactly had happened over the last week. Not a single person was ready for it to be over. Feeling fully inspired.
Attention to detail. This is something the Romanian scene as a whole capture. No glitz and glam, no egos. Just the basics of what’s needed for a perfect party. The Sunrise family, the organisers, take everything in to consideration. Beginning with the visuals that allow your mind to be twisted and moulded in to their bubble, or the incredible sound on each and every stage. Behind the scenes people are working tirelessly to ensure making this perfect experience, thank you. It feels as if the systems are created perfectly for each individual artist, and this is something that many clubs/festivals can struggle with. There are not many places you can go and party, with the stage leading out on to the open sea such as this, completely wall-to-wall sea. This adds to the timeless feel, time does not matter, there is no sense of urgency, no worries, what happens, happens.
All of this combined is what makes Sunwaves special to so many people. It simply can not be put in to words, it can only be experienced. See you in August for Sunwaves Festival – SW22.
Lee Burton – 15:30 (The Jam)
Loopu – Marbles
Nightmares on Wax – Aftermath
Unknown Artist – Something Else (Digwah)
Durrrred – A Quarter to Ten
Words by Zac Bidwell