Innovate and grow, these are the two main objectives that have been the keystone of the Westway Lab since its fledgling days. These objectives provided the necessary fuel which has since made this original and unique festival, conceived in Guimarães in 2014, a prominent event on an international level. This year’s festival will follow along the path of previous editions with more and more layers added on to make the event increasingly engaging by expanding into the city, which will also contribute with four new stages to welcome the talent hailing from both Portugal and abroad to a very open setting.
The Westway Lab will thus feature more days, more stages and more bands, and during this time the event is sure to extend its inestimable cultural and social value widely throughout the community, one which represents economic value for the region as well.
This year, one of the major novelties will be the pollination of music – the core art form of the festival – with cinema, with the arrival of the well-regarded South by Southwest Festival (SXSW), whose presence adds still more international exposure to the Westway Lab.
What excites us most is our inability to explain fully what it is about the Westway Lab, and its ever-renewing processes of generating new ideas, which makes the event a delicious mechanism able to shape future memories in such a highly inclusive way. And nothing better than to close the festival with an iconic thinker the likes of Brian Eno: So often in life, we are confronted with a range of possibilities. The best thing we can do is to choose one quickly and then make this option work for us. This takes us to interesting places, with surprising results.
Their sound is defined by a versatility that is a blending of genres such as pop, folk, rock, and soul, with influences from the 1960s allied with a certain modernity given its more danceable indie feel. They will premiere their EP “Freeze Out” from 2015 and this spring will release a new single, “Out of Sight,” which raises the bar with even more captivating melodies. The band is already known for its exciting live performances and for that reason a great concert is surely in store at the festival. Prior to the Swedish band’s taking the stage, the CCVF Café Concerto welcomes the performances of Jaran with Yafeni, and Buslav with Urso Bardo, musicians who have been artists-in-residence at the Centro de Criação in Candoso and who are now presenting the results of their collaborative work at Westway.
“Phobos” is a group of small robots and music-making devices which have gathered together to form the Dysfunctional Robotic Orchestra, a collection of strange instruments with defects, genetic mutations, and odd behaviours. “Phobos” is a critique of how technology has been superimposed over human thought and how work and modern forms of slavery function. It is also a historical retrospective of the various attempts at human freedom through machines, technological utopias, and the advances and setbacks of freedom.
Compositor, letrista e multinstrumentista proveniente da Polónia, Buslav mistura a eletrónica, a pop e um lado mais acústico. Depois de vários anos a colaborar com outros artistas como músico freelancer, Buslav lança o seu álbum a solo em 2016. As músicas que oferece ao público são delicadas e emotivas, pondo toda a sua alma nas composições que resultam em baladas que enternecem quem o ouve. Mas nem só desta sonoridade vive a música de Buslav, que rejeita rótulos no processo criativo e tanto faz canções mais comoventes como consegue fugir da nostalgia e criar músicas mais pop. Os concertos são sempre uma viagem em espiral emocional que tão depressa apelam ao lado mais melancólico como, de seguida, transformam a sala de concertos numa festa. O virtuosismo de Buslav faz com que se equilibre tão bem entre estes dois mundos que, na sua música, são um só.
Maybe Canada is Magnus Hansson from Gothenburg Sweden. Previously, Magnus was a singer & guitarist for the alt-country band Dusty Brown. Maybe Canada is a one-man band, featuring the support of some good friends and musicians. In September 2011 Maybe Canada released his debut EP. It was recorded at Studio Epidemin in Gothenburg by Petter Ericsson. The second EP was released in January 2013 and was recorded at various places by various producers, though most of the songs were recorded by Magnus himself at Studio Grey Mountain. The third release has been out since March 2014. Its three songs complete the “EP project”. Maybe Canada mainly plays as a duo with friend Joakim Fritzner on pedal steel and electric guitar. They’ve been a support act for Justin Townes Earle in Gothenburg. Maybe Canada was an opener for Gothenburg based Hellsongs during one of their Germany tours.