This year’s Johnnie Walker The Journey boasts of a gravity-numbing artist, post-rock giants, an ambient wizard, a synth pop legend and a cinematic masterpiece. And, that’s just the beginning.
After the brilliant turn with trip hop genius Bonobo and jazz virtuosos Snarky Puppy, Johnnie Walker The Journey is back with an even more promising lineup this year. Clearly setting the bar for all Indian cultural festivals to follow suit, JWTJ is back with some of the most iconic names whether it’s contemporary music, performance art or cinema. With legendary synth icon Giorgio Moroder post-alternative crusaders Explosions in the Sky, downtempo ambient producer Tycho, performance and theatre whiz Leo for their very first performances in India, along with the compelling documentary ‘Listen to Me Marlon’ on the life and times of the great Marlon Brando, to be premiered in India for the first time, 2015’s Johnnie Walker The Journey is quality on the go.
We look at the five artistes deserving of your presence at JWTJ on December 12 and 13 at Mehboob Studios, Bandra.
If you’re a fan of synth, then look no further, for you have Giorgio Moroder to thank.
Also known as the father of Disco, Giorgio Moroder has made his mark as an influential Italian producer, songwriter, performer and DJ. If you remember queen of disco, Donna Summer sauntering to Hot Stuff, then you have obviously had a long standing association with Giorgio Moroder’s retrogressive tunes. If you haven’t, then here’s a better picture. Remember the era of disco that you now love courtesy Daft Punk? Yes, Giorgio Moroder was probably one of the first few pioneers of it. The winner of 3 Oscars, 4 Grammy’s and 5 Golden Globes has seen it all – from Donna Summer’s late 70s disco hits, to having produced for artists such as David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Blondie, and Bonnie Tyler to his new age dance productions with pop sensations like Britney Spears, Charlie XCX, Mikky Ekko and Sia.
The godfather of modern dance technology as he is most popularly known will swing some serious nostalgia at Johnnie Walker The Journey this year. If you call yourself a connoisseur of the genesis of the electronic music revolution prevalent today, Giorgio Moroder’s an act you absolutely cannot skip.
Explosions in the Sky
If music could expand to spatial measures, sounding both symphonic and innate, scopious and indigenous, then it would probably sound like the kind of music Explosions in the Sky are adept at. The post-rock group, in their 15 year-long career, have managed to create a distinctive, experimental sound that screams out their uniqueness from the depth of their mellow rhythms and exuberant instrumentals.
Have you ever had a pop song tap into your attention in the very first listen, making catchy repetitions in your playlists? Explosions in the Sky achieves just that, with mere instrumentals. By holding your feelings with emotionally stirring harmonies, the band needs no words to fill any gaps. Synchronously, the band’s furtherance into popular culture can be attributed to their OST presence on numerous shows such as Friday Night Lights (including its prequel film with the same name), One Tree Hill, and CSI: Crime Investigation, along with movies like The Kite Runner, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highway and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
With six voluminous albums behind them, the band is likely to perform an all-inclusive set at Johnnie Walker The Journey, from songs like Your Hand In Mine from the constantly evolving The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place to Let Me Back In, from the extremely skillful Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. With Explosions in the Sky, the chasm of instruments remains unmissable.
If you found yourself overjoyed at Bonobo’s presence at Johnnie Walker The Journey last year, then this year, fans of a similar kind of down-tempo electronic beats will be satiated with the music of the ambient genius, Tycho aka Scott Hansen. Music heads that find music in visual stimulation will be duly rewarded with Tycho’s perceptibly expansive compositions.
The ambient sounds with experimental techno find the perfect fit in Tycho’s often larger than life musical pieces that seem to transport the audience to another world. From performing to large scale festivals such as Coachella, Firefly Music Festival and Hopscotch, to smaller, more intimate venues, it’s music that is as adaptable as it can be. Having had his albums continually feature in the strongest electronic pieces, his workmanship with music is bound to leave fans of ambient music in awe; right from his ability to dive right in when the time’s right, to his ability to play along the fringes, it’s music that fits in comfortably with the mood.
In the last several years, physical theatre has been gaining prominence with its ability to transfix the audience; if not with just words, then with the mere movement and illusion capable with the human body. Of them, Leo, the gravity defying performance theatre act stands tall. Leo, a transfixing stage piece is one where an ordinary man’s life is found suddenly altered with change in gravity, causing him to persist at a 90 degree angle. The piece has performed to sold-out shows at numerous iconic venues such as the Sydney Opera House, as well as wowed audiences and critics alike at New York, Melbourne, Berlin, Moscow, London and Hong Kong. This origamic, mind-numbing physical theatre is one that is not just awe-inspiring but tizzying to say the very least. Experience acrobatic magic in the most wonderful ways with Leo.
Listen To Me Marlon
The documentary, ‘Listen to me Marlon’, offers a fascinating look at the inner life of Hollywood icon Marlon Brando, told in his own words. While the screen legend Brando may be the most famous and iconic movie actor that ever lived, he may also be the most misunderstood. Award winning British film director, producer, editor and writer Stevan Riley has charted Marlon Brando’s exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen through exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive. The documentary utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell his story, revealing a man more humane and compelling than anyone could have ever imagined.
Johnnie Walker The Journey, a cultural confluence
While other festivals allow audiences to watch artists perform live, and only that, Johnnie Walker The Journey wows audiences with an extraordinary experience. Fans and enthusiasts get to engage with the performers in an interactive session, bringing to the fore an engagement of the most candid and informative kind. So when we say Johnnie Walker The Journey is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, we mean it.
You absolutely do not want to miss this incredible lineup! Grab your tickets for Johnnie Walker The Journey here.