The AgeOfAquarious festival & Beats4Life

This winter in Finland has been exceptionally dark. Last November Helsinki had a total amount of 13 hours of sun light during the whole MONTH! That’s simply too much (or too little I mean) to handle and some fresh inspiration needs to be found in order to maintain. I found myself booking flights to bboy Maurizio’s AgeOfAquarious music festival held in Turin Italy.

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What’s dope about the festival is that first of all, instead of your regular bboy jam it is truly a music festival first. The whole festival is all vinyl and strictly vinyl only. That’s in the case music is not played live. Besides bboys & bgirls the weekend gathered some serious record collectors, dj’s, beat makers, turntablists, mc’s and artists in general.

The first day’s line up was 10 dj’s of different generations. The pre party night at The XO Cafe was mainly funk. Mauri gave me a good slot right before he took over and rocked the party. What shook me was to see how much the party people really appreciated the music! The whole night had a great aura of appreciation which made it a great pleasure to rock a few funk 45s.

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Pre party venue

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Pre party, day 1

Main day was day 2 on Saturday. Saturday was about workshops, few battles, circles and more partying. While many of the new generation had chosen a Floor Wars elimination event, I was feeling very comfortable surrounded by hip hop heads from my generation or older. A lot of Italian OGs we here for the weekend. I was happy to see Davide from Passo Sul Tempo after a long time and rock some circles with him. He still has it and that unique flava was a pleasure to see.

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w/ the main men Davide & Maurizio

Sunday the day 3 was about two things: The live band and the beat makers battle Beats4Life. Even though it was already the third day it didn’t hold people back and the live band made everybody go off. Nothing like getting down to a dope live band. Time to step out of the comfort zone, I entered the beat makers battle for the first time. The rules are something that makes this concept so dope: To enter you have to pay 20 euros. But not at the venue, you will spend your 20 € to record stores digging in your own city. Your time limit is 24 hours. After you’re done, you have another 24 hours to make a beat sampling those records.

During the process you need to make a video that proves you’re not cheating and another video about the process to see what you found and what kind of gear you’re using. Scratches could be added on top. My weapons of choice were MPC Renaissance, Technics 1200s and Logic Pro X. Here’s the records I found with my budget:

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Records found with the 20 € budget

Here’s the second clip:

So on Sunday all the 12 beat makers brought their records with them. Everybody put their records to a crate that the winner would take home. Everybody’s beats were played and reviewed by the judges. After the scores were give I found out I got on the fifth place. Based on the scores 8 contestants went through to the battles. I did my first round but didn’t make it to the top 4. Nevertheless the whole experience made me very inspired with tons of great feedback and tips. The concept is hard and the time is limited so I’m happy on how it turned out. Need to go back to the lab now and spend more quality time with my MPC. Congrats to Truskull for winning, you killed it with the boom bap sound!

Thank you incredible bboy Maurizio The Next One and everybody involved for incredible cultural weekend! It was just what I needed to survive until the days are longer again here in the north. Listen to my final beat here:

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The Final Venue

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Beats4Life trophy

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THE Crate

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