Oslo World Music Festival: Bassiani X Frædag

HVL (Gigi Jikia) | Kvanchi (Tornike Kvanchi) | Cadency | G-Ha & Olanskii | Karima F | R.L.O.C

Once a year the musical world ascends on to Oslo from all four corners of the globe to celebrate the regions often overlooked by the western hemisphere. The Oslo World Music Festival sets the stage for new and established artists, bringing together many famous names for a 5-day musical festival whose intentions spread beyond the realm of entertainment. OWMF presents music from around the world, with special focus on Asia, Africa and Latin America with the purpose of the festival focussed on artistic quality and social engagement. Every year Jæger too takes part in OWMF’s nocturnal activities looking to highlight new and established talent from the more unlikely corners of the electronic music world. OWMF teams up with our weekly residencies for one week in early November, with Untzdag, Retro, Frædag and Nightflight residents bringing DJs together that most accurately define their individuality.

HVL & Kvanchi fly in from Tbilisi in Georgio, representing the Bassiani label and club. Located in the basement of the Dinamo Arena football stadium, Bassiani is the leading light in Tbilisi’s club scene, which many say is one of the best in the world right now. It’s not hard to understand its appeal: the sound is excellent, the atmosphere awe-inducing, the bookings unapologetically heady (Northern Electronics, The Bunker New York and Giegling are a few of the club’s favorites) and the parties heroically long, with headliners often playing for eight hours or more. 

This would be extraordinary anywhere, but it’s especially so in Tbilisi, a city isolated from the rest of Europe’s music scene, in a country still recovering from the war and poverty of the post-Soviet era. Average incomes hover around 200 Euro per month, and cruel drug laws send young people to prison for trace amounts of low-level substances. These circumstances would quash most club scenes, but here it only gives things more oomph. The social activist Paata Sabelashvili has said that, “In Georgia, raving is a political act,” and Bassiani happily embodies this credo, fighting the country’s drug laws and challenging its social prejudices. For many people, it’s much more than a club: it’s a symbol of a new era in Tbilisi.  

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