A bilingual blog by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero dedicated to all things fun, like music, cinema, comedy and sci-fi. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org - Un blog bilingüe de Carmelo Ruiz Marrero dedicado a todo lo que sea divertido, como música, cine, comedia y ciencia ficción. Contacto: email@example.com
Laurent Fintoni DJ, label owner, writer for FACT magazine, and frequent consumer of Viennese whirls.
A tram loops around Vienna’s historic city center. It’s late at night and instead of the usual tourists, the tram is filled with young people talking, drinking and trying to catch a glimpse of local act Ritornell, who are performing at one end of the car using keyboards, self-made instruments and laptops. The vibe is relaxed and fun; it’s a party in a train, because… why not?
I was in town to attend the 2013 Waves festival, a yearly showcase of alternative and independent music that takes over the city center for a few days, sending revelers across streets and parks to find acts in traditional and makeshift venues from trams to opera houses to nightclubs. Supported by the city, Waves is a great example of the health and diversity of Vienna’s music scene.
Perhaps best known for architecture and classical music, Vienna is a pretty city that’s full of contradictions: small but large enough, quiet but full of life, rich but cheap to live in. The city has enjoyed a new music boom in recent years. This follows a couple of decades or so after the downbeat eccentrics Kruder & Dorfmeister put it on the international map.
During my time there, I met up with a handful of the city’s new breed of artists and they showed me around the clubs, the neighborhoods, and the food spots. Many of these DJs, producers and musicians have grown up in town or moved there from around the country, drawn by the capital’s rich history and increasingly vibrant scene. Slowly, but surely, they’ve brought a new energy to Vienna that makes the city feel more exciting than the usual European hotspots of Paris, London or Berlin.
Ulrich Troyer, photo by Eva Kelety
Longtime resident and experimental musician Ulrich Troyer believes, “Vienna still has the image of Mozart and old cultural heritage, but there is a modern, vibrant and creative cooking pot under its historical lid.” My time at the Waves festival backed this up, and since then I’ve continued to keep an eye on the scene.