17 - 31 of December 2004
Moments with substance, a crack in time before the end of the year, a strange feast, a hug and rap. Low Bap. Festival. Eighth in a row and a lucky one! The date during which every year we rewarm our relationship has been over for a few days now! Something like that must be happening in the minds of many people who don't consider December to be gone without a Low Bap Festival. This year, it started earlier than usual, from the 17th of December until the 31st. Being more specific, it lasted till the very first ray of the 2005 sun. Afterwards the system cracked by loads of music, moments, wine and ''vasilopita'' (even I didn't find the winning coin!)...Next year! Now it is time for a small and proper review of all the activity taken place during the 13 days of the festival in order to accompany the photographs arriving in great numbers at 8ctagon office flavouring a little those who couldn't come. First of all, this year's low bap festival took place in four different locations. At Cosmogonia in Perama, at Ston Aera in Petroupolis, at Ksilurghio of Mylos at Thessalonica and last but not least, at Rodon in Athens. From the 17th till the 19th of December, some meetings between djs, mcs, music producers and lyricists were held at Cosmogonia. The mics were constantly changing hands and, either with music accompaniment or not, guys from all over Greece rapped their freestyle (or not!) lyrics...Furthermore, these three days were fulfilled with a lot of interesting discussions about the lyrics and the production of this musical way...At Cosmogonia, screenings of music videos, older films and hip hop documentaries were programmed on a daily basis. On the 20th and the 21st of December, B.D.Foxmoor presented an amazing tribute to hip hop history. The tribute was divided in two parts; from 1977 since 1989 and from 1990 till nowadays. The most appropriate way of perceiving the hip hop history is by listening to the music. Besides, the tracks presented during those two evenings were some rare ones which we haven't had the chance to listen to very often or even never heard before, and so they helped us understand a lot about the origins and evolution of hip hop and plus, about the difference of today's situation from that time. B.D.Foxmoor was explaining how the tracks were being created, was noting their creators and stating their in-between relations. Every night, many older videos were projected.
On the 22nd and the 23rd of December, the festival moved at Ston Aera Music Stage at Petroupolis where the performances of most of the low bap groups had taken place. Plenty of music and good spirits! Therefore, we watched Kamiza (Steel 440, Radim. Vavilona, Fab 888) presenting their two latest records; as they are about two music bombs the words are needless...We were also impressed by Dark Soul and their new songs, Piñata who turned the evening into a Spanish fiesta with their own special sound and plus, Pandomima, Parakseni Taksidiotes, Inopia, OnAxis, Fiasko, Ishtashtrra, Stedorian, Mindstab were also present. Most of them had travelled from very far to be there and the people were reciprocating warmly. On the 23rd of December, Sadahzinia got on stage as well, whom her songs made us remember precious moments from previous festivals...
The Christmas' Eve was suitably feasted at Cosmogonia until early in the morning... On the 27th of December, we relocated at Thessalonica for disturbing the co-capital a bit as well. The date was fixed at Mylos' Ksilurghio. While many low bap groups also performed on stage, Sadahzinia and Extremists, the duo from Brixton, London, were the ones to mark the evening with their presence. The electrified atmosphere was tensed up even more during their No tears and Shine on presentations, while the people were amazingly participating in every other song carrying over to us some vibe of London Hip Hop. During the next day, the 28th of December, we were found once more at Ksilurghio, counting the minutes left for the music to start...Brak the Mask and Totem on one hand. On the other one, the evening was highlighted by Red Armada's long beat samples along with B.D.Foxmoor's voice shaking you, like it or not, from wherever you had laid back...Anyhow, Dj Blakey was next on getting on stage. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to take one good picture of him as his hands were moving with such tremendous speed that we were unable to take a still photograph of him! Blakey is without doubt, one of the best performance djs in the world. He blew us out during the twenty-minute show of his. He even played with the eyes closed!!! While Blakey was performing with the eyes closed, and we, the people watching, were not believing in ours, Rodney P and Skitz entered the stage for taking us off with one-hour show of them. Rodney presented some songs included in the new album of his called The Future, and of course, he didn't prevent himself of descending the scene, getting mixed up with the audience and presenting his half programme from down there!!! What had followed can't be described. Everyone was dancing and singing...Of what? I don't know of what! At any rate, they were accompanying Rodney and shouting Low Bap!! When we started thinking that couldn't be any better, Active Member spontaneously got on stage for finishing us off with a couple of songs...and surely without leaving us even some strength necessary for the next day:29th of December - Rodon live space.
Active Member, Rodney P, Skitz, Blakey...along with all the people gathered up for living that night! Many report photographs are coming from that evening as we consider it of a special importance and meaning (especially every time the people hug and the words just fly away.) The stage was more than formidable; the familiar figure symbolising the four hip hop elements was dominant upon a huge banner and the lighting was inviting you on a 4/4 rhythm of movement...Blakey opened the night presenting us an extraordinary show. The people were applauding while watching him. Afterwards, Skitz and Extremists were to follow up and they had truly enjoyed it; they were singing half a song while the other half was told by the people! The time for RRRRRodney P had come. As the atmosphere was already very warmed up, Rodney looked a bit anxious. You see, the stage of Rodon is raised keeping the people at distance. And he needed a way to be close to them. In the beginning he sat on the edge of the stage like a storyteller does, but after a while he had enough and was saying ''I got to get down to my people''...and before we heard the end of the line, he was already found among the people singing with them! Everybody went crazy! The ones next to him will surely remember it for a long time. Rodney didn't stop even for a minute saying ''I'm a low bap soldier''...Following Rodney P, a frantic Active Member live set had taken place. Plenty of songs, plenty of voices and fists raised up in the air. It was indeed, the festival's greatest moment. Sadahzinia, dj Booker and of course B.D.Foxmoor had managed of not leaving us any voice for the rest...In the middle of the show, B.D.Foxmoor stopped singing and started chatting up with the people...He was asking them from where they had come...you can't imagine the answers...! During Guardian Angel performance, some guys had opened up a banner with Pirovatis figure drawn upon it...Everyone was there, that's for certain! Ramon presented a song of his accepting the applause of the audience while No man's land by Rodney P and B.D.Foxmoor provoked some mayhem at the place. At the end, all the contributors got on stage once more, but as all the ''fare well'' are always difficult, this beautiful moment stayed for long in our minds while we were singing with our voice, our eyes and with our whole body.
There were still two more days left but nobody was suspecting of how beautifully the evening of the 30th of December would be unfolded. Red Armada and Extremists had surely managed to excite us and the evening would be just perfect even without something extra on the programme... But the 8th festival had other in mind: B.D.Foxmoor started playing some older Active Member songs and as the people had taken courage for good and remembered them, he started inviting everybody present to catch the mic. What a lovely feeling all this participation of the people had left. Nightmare, Silent Performance, From run-away land, At the time of the shadows, From the corner of the world...A lot of people left their shame behind and felt overwhelmed in front of the microphone; it was a nice feeling indeed that one. Furthermore, Sadahzinia got on stage in order to say some dreamy songs of hers, as The Scarecrow, the hug-song was one of them. Maybe, this scarecrow which had befriended the rain is low bap itself. And that same rain found us when we were leaving Ston Aera Music Stage at dawn. The new year's eve was the last day of our festival. The people had started gathering early at Cosmogonia. There was soup and food for everybody and some warm wine which was making you all smiling (supposedly, a recipe of the elves - rather a goblin one I would say!) B.D.Foxmoor played music till morning...The 8th Low Bap Festival had finished...
Everything worked as planned and a little after the welcome of the New Year, the winning coin of ''vasilopita'' ended at low bap with an impressive way indeed: We cut the enormous cake on 50 squared pieces for sharing. But, in spite of the custom, we didn't address each piece to its receiver. We only asked from a twelve-year kid to choose a piece, whichever he wanted, for low bap, and the rest would be distributed to the people. The kid chose a small piece from around the centre of the cake for low bap...and it was the one with the winning coin! Who knows? Maybe it will be its year. Happy New Year.