Critical Mass – win passes for the Electric Castle Festival!

// 2016-07-02

Romania’s biggest festival, the Electric Castle, is about to kick start again on 14 July, next to Cluj in the Bánffy Castle, so we thought we help you out highlighting what is worth to see this year, give some insight how we saw the previous ones, and why it is still one of our favourite festivals. Of course we give away some passes as well, so scroll down to play for them! 
electric castle bánffy castle bonobo thievery corporation the prodigy parov stelar rudimental dc breaks high contrast sub focus roni size ishome drugs synko b.traits vlanilla ndj manki xxxy eskmo sigur ros paul kalkbrenner srillex flux pavilion elliphant icicle cam and krooked dj marky loadstar nu tone logistics dub pistols my nu leng dread mc ruffinaments congo natty general levy dudawles madliquid alex chronic


The previous years

We started going to festival 2 years ago, in its second year, when Bonobo and the Thievery Corporation were the headliners and both concerts turned out to be unforgettable experiences; Die Antwoord however was quite disappointing, since they just put on a show rather than a real concert with musical instruments. That year there were only 4 stages, one of which was dedicated to reggae, and you could walk around the whole festival in about 15-20 minutes. As a result of this you would find more and more familiar faces by the third day creating a very warm atmosphere. 

This has changed a bit last year as the number of stages increased to five, also the territory of the fest increased significantly giving a lot more room for pubs and restaurant. The selection in these also widened but unfortunately the prices rose with it as well. The camping was also relocated, so getting into the festival became slightly more difficult and took a bit longer than before.

The surprise headliner last year was the rain that lasted for two whole days which made some things difficult, i.e.: getting to the festival by car took 3 hours more than we anticipated. The organisers were not really prepared for this, but lesson is learnt now and anyway this just made us feel like we were in Glastonbury. We had to buy wellingtons because without those it was impossible to walk around in the mud, and miraculously we found a guy selling these from the back of his Ford Transit. We could buy a pair for Lei 40, but recognising the market gap smartly, the last pairs were sold to the needy punters for Lei 70-80. Probably the festival was moved to July in order to avoid massive rainfalls like the one we had last year.

electric castle bánffy castle bonobo thievery corporation the prodigy parov stelar rudimental dc breaks high contrast sub focus roni size ishome drugs synko b.traits vlanilla ndj manki xxxy eskmo sigur ros paul kalkbrenner srillex flux pavilion elliphant icicle cam and krooked dj marky loadstar nu tone logistics dub pistols my nu leng dread mc ruffinaments congo natty general levy dudawles madliquid alex chronic

From the real headliners, The Prodigy was surprisingly good – as the last 3-4 times we saw them in Hungary were mediocre performances – Parov Stelar and Rudimental brought their usual vibes and atmosphere, but some main stage performer, like Sub Focus and Roni Size, disappointed us big time, and DC Breaks and High Contrast also gave worse sets than what we heard from them last year at other venues.

However we found lots of great new inspirations at The Mill, where most bass-heavy house madness was on the menu most of the time. Ishome, Eskmo, DRUGS, Synko, B.Traits, Blanilla and NDJ’s sets made all problems disappear and transported us to a heavenly place with never-ending joyful stomping, until the break of dawn. XXXY played such jackin house we didn’t know it existed, and WRK showed us how can somebody mix at least 14 different genres in one 1,5-hour mix without the slightest discrepancy.  

This year’s selection

Sigur Rós is going to serve us their truly unique Icelandic psychedelic melancholia, which a must see always. Paul Kalkbrenner, the German minimal techno atmosphere generator, is not only an excellent producer, but great actor as well, as we could see in Berlin Calling, sure thing he is going to play his benchmark hit, Sky and Sand, but he is a lot more than that. His sets are full of emotions, surely one of the greatest in this genre.

Two of the biggest stars of dubstep, Skrillex and Flux Pavilion, which lost some its momentum lately, try to open new dimensions in the genre, most likely into some EDM based tracks, moreover the Swedish beauty, Elliphant, who is often produced by Skrillex might actually be more forward thinking than the master with her hip-hop fuelled songs.
Those who are into broken beats will find highly regarded drum and bass artists again, like Icicle (who used immensely dirty sub-basses last year on Let It Roll), Camo & Krooked or Loadstar, while the more sensitive types will rejoice for the Brazilian liquid master, DJ Marky. A brotherly liquid set can be expected from Logistics and Nu:Tone’s B2B collaboration, and we all know how Dub Pistols love the this festival from last year’s aftermovie.
The actual garage vibes will be provide by My Nu Leng, who will bring Dread MC with them for a full experience, but if we are talking about garage, it highly recommended to check out Blanilla this year since he is bringing a philharmonic orchestra to accompany him on stage. We heard the rest of the Ruffinaments crew, NDJ and Manki, promised a tight, pumping set as well.
The authentic reggae/ragga vibes will be provided by Congo Natty, among others, who just two weeks ago, put on Tarantula by Pendulum to commemorate the recently passed away Tenor Fly on Sónar. General Levy will also be here who still has the most uncategorisable dnb song ever, as well as the most recited phrase in the genre:
The line up is excellent again, and we couldn’t even mention a third of it. We will publish our round interview with Alex Chronic, Dudawles and Madliquid who played an excellent set last year on the last day, representing the broken beat scene of Cluj. The atmosphere of the castle is unique and we should not forget that the organisers spend a portion of their income to renovate the castle, so we could party in a better and better environment each year. The Mill stage will be transferred into a pub this year, but we shouldn’t worry, because the Booha Mansion will take over the artists from that stage serving quality 4/4 all through the festival. What we love most in the festival is its unique vibes and atmosphere as well as the audience which is incredibly responsive: they go mental if they enjoy what they are getting, however they can be very critical if they were expecting more than they are getting. You can really tell people come here for the music and not just to get wasted with friends!

For the Hungarian version, please click here!


Who was Andi Vanca looking forward to see the most last year? (You can find help in our previous Electric Castle articles, below)

The answers have to be sent to the following e-mail address: [email protected] with the subject line: EC3. The 4 winners will receive a festival pass for the whole duration of the event. The names of the winners will be displayed here, and they will be notified in e-mail as well. 

Prevoius Electric Castle articles in English

Only good vibes this year, festival preview and interview with Andy Vancza for 2015

Ruff in the garage business, Ruffinaments interview

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Kanye Westtől Redmanig – a legjobb rapek Majkáék szkreccsere, Gerysson szerint / hiphop, rap, r’n’b – podcaster: dj Gerysson, artworker: Csordás Dávid

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Érzéki monotonitás – szilveszterezz a Koncertblog adekvátan bulizós podcastjával! / house, technó, minimál – podcaster: dj Minich, artworker: Tatlin

Már nem szopnak a ministránsok – fortélyos blaszfémiával indul a Koncertblog podcast-sorozata / metál, hiphop, technó, punk, folk, reggae, blues, alter, pop – podcaster: Dr. Zoidberg, artworker: Szilágyi Rudolf

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