Bonaventure: an exhilarating and expressive form of protest

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SHAPE Platform is a pan-European initiative designed to give the underground music scene exposure on its own terms. The SHAPE Class of 2018 is as exciting as you’d imagine, which is why we’re showcasing picks from this year’s selection every Friday…

Bonaventure is the second NON WORLDWIDE member to feature as part of our #SHAPEFridays series in 2018.

In our recent Q&A with fellow NON artist Nkisi, we discussed music being a process of piecing various cultural fragments into new forms. This idea is also apparent in Bonaventure’s sonic landscapes.

The intimidating, unrelenting club atmospheres underpin vocal samples and spoken word snippets. Together they form the sound of imaginary cities and new interactions; a sci-fi techno-topia whose inhabitants consistently dig into various time periods in order to express themselves in the present.

Following decades of sample-heavy music and postmodern ideas of creativity, it’s the sort of period compression we’ve come to expect. What’s essential about Bonaventure and NON as a whole is that they’re using these techniques to shine a spotlight on African culture as expressed through the African diaspora in both Europe and the USA, as well highlight the daily and institutional racism experienced by people of colour in Europe.

Of course, these cultures are rarely displayed as equivalent on a day-to-day basis, in galleries, museums, TV, or even the internet for that matter. Not so in Bonaventure’s music, where folk and contemporary music are reworked and presented on a level playing field, offering us an alternative guide to a possible future.

If sound can indeed be a mode of protest, as Brandon LaBelle has argued recently in his book Sonic Agency, then Bonaventure is an example of the most exhilarating and expressive type of it.

Designed and managed by a handful of the best music festival on the European continent, many SHAPE artists will be making an appearance on line-ups throughout the year. You can read our full interview with co-founders Viestarts Gailītis and Rihards Endriksons by clicking HERE.

by Editor
May 11, 2018

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