This year the twentieth edition of the Club to Club 2022 Festival (C2C) took place in Turin, Italy, from 3rd to 6th November. The return of Club to Club after the COVID-19 pandemic was highly anticipated and did not disappoint.
By hosting DJ sets and live concerts in different locations, the priority to remain a reference point for electronic music in Italy and abroad has shown to be unchanged. This year’s edition was dedicated to two recently deceased artists, the Italian Franco Battiato and Sophie. They had participated in previous editions of Club To Club, in particular those of 2014 and 2019.
Over twenty years, the event has become one of the leading electronic music events in Italy, allowing electronic music enthusiasts to enjoy artists such as Thom Yorke, Aphex Twin, James Blake, and many others, in different locations throughout the city of Turin.
International artists and different venues ranging from theater stages to redeveloped buildings have quickly positioned the festival as a not-to-be-missed event for live electronic music fans. What clubbers can breathe at C2C is an air of innovation, projecting into the state-of-the-art of IDM music.
The first day of the festival was held inside the Cantieri OGR (Officine Grandi Riparazioni) structure. It is a building steeped in the history of Turin as it has represented excellence in the field of railway maintenance for decades. Following its closure in the 1990s, the center has been reconverted. Now is the running engine of the city’s cultural scene, hosting exhibitions and events.
Cantieri OGR, a genderfluid focus
In this industrial context, on November 3rd Aya, Lyra Pramuk, Arca, and Spiritual Sauna have performed. The eclectic Berlin-based artist Lyra Pramuk offers deep vocals blended with folk influences. All this is mixed in an unmistakable electronic background.
Arca, currently a symbol of gender identity, stood out as an experience, mixing almost two hours of concert between Dj-set and a live performance seasoned with scenographic elements.
Throwing roses at the audience, hypnotizing visuals, and kicking red stained glass on the stage is just a tiny part of the show. Arca is an artist who, with gender transition, has also made an artistic change. Gloomy songs, such as those present in Xen or Mutant, leave room for electronic rhythmic explosions full of feminine energy.
Lingotto Fiere, spoiled for choice
On November 4th, the Club to Club 2022 events took place inside the Lingotto Fiere exhibition center, divided into two different stages. The opening on the Main stage is all Italian, with the debut of Sara Berts, an emerging electronic composer from Turin under the label Gang of Ducks, and the 72-Hour Post Fight, a band that alternates jazz interludes with punk-electronic outbursts, returning to the stage of Club To Club 2022.
An opening that anticipates the expected performance of Autechre, an English duo, cornerstones of electronic dance music as we know it. The whole show took place entirely in the dark. The attention to the synthesis of sound materializes with the alternation of metallic pulsations, and extraterrestrial polyrhythms: disorienting with style seems to have become daily bread for Autechre.
Subsequently, live shows will alternate between the two stages of the Lingotto.
Starting from Elena Colombi and Jockstrap, two shows with different souls. On the one hand, the surgical precision of the Italian artist’s experimental techno, on the other, an exhibition with pop-electronic vibes featuring acoustic instruments, violins, and vocal melodies by singer Georgia Ellery.
This duality of performances is repeated later. Blackhaine draws thousands of fans into the moshpit with an aggressive and dynamic show. Instead, Caribou on the Main Stage takes on ecstasy with lysergic visuals and psychedelic melodies. Accompanied by his band, Caribou plays hits such as Sun and Odessa.
As the event unfolds, BPM on both stages also increases. Jeff Mills, Jamie XX, Kode9, and as closing acts, Two Shell and Bill Kouligas try their hand at DJ sets and live performances that make dance, not giving up on a vast musical selection suitable for different types of musical tastes.
Dancing as a primitive need
On 5th November, the events took place in the same location, Lingotto, with the same division of stages. Neapolitan DJ duo Nu Genea designed a specific format called Bar Mediterraneo on the Stone Island stage, selecting the Tunisian DJ Deena Abdelwahed for the occasion. This choice adds Arabic sounds to the ethnic influences already present in the musical selection of the format, flavoring the dancing experience.
Simultaneously, the shows on the Main stage alternated between different genres.
Drummer Makaya McCraven performed with his band in a concert on jazz vibes. Subsequently, YEИDRY and Pa Salieu propose R’n’B sounds that differentiate the musical proposal of the festival. The best is yet to come. It’s time for Caterina Barbieri to represent the seeds from which the fruit of the Club to Club blossomed.
Caterina Barbieri‘s recipe is steady: the BPM slows, and sonic trails produced by her modular units inebriate the listeners. The absence of low frequencies, arpeggiatos, and polyrhythms captures the attention of the audience. Clouds of smoke help the light to diffuse in shades dear to Tim Hecker shows.
Afterward, the atmosphere changes again, the Bicep live set turns out to be very dynamic. Dancing while observing colorful visuals and being overwhelmed by hits like Glue and Apricots results in a relaxing and joyful experience.
Romy and DJ Plead close the evening with two DJ sets on the respective two stages of Lingotto. At that time, the dawn is already near.
Cantieri OGR, a close look at the future
For the closing event of Club to Club 2022, a panel is presented to the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. It featured a summary of the last Festival with Jazz Monroe from Pitchfork and the German writer Max Dax. After this parenthesis on topics such as the future of the human body, the need to dance and the education to listen, the event moves back to OGR for the shows.
Hans Arsen & Reptilian Expo, Sabla & D.K., and Stenny & Ehua play in a more intimate atmosphere than in previous days. These emerging artists stand out, with a solid show worth the ticket price.
Lastly, the watchword for C2C remains unchanged: having fun by innovating, and for twenty years now, it seems to work. Notably, all events sold out several days before the start of the festival, and more than 35,000 participants came from 40 countries all over the world.
Club to Club has already been confirmed for 2nd to 5th November 2023, so it is best to mark it on the calendar.