Mixmag stumbles out the HEL stage at midnight on the first day of Iceland’s Secret Solstice music festival. Seth Troxler is taking over the decks after nearly two hours of The Black Madonna’s irresistible style and Kerri Chandler is set to follow. We’ve been locked in the dance for a few hours and a short break outside is necessary, it’s 12:00 AM after all and the night is young. That said, one step into the sunlight and all notion of time disappears. “What time is it again?” a fellow patron asks. “Noon”, I reply. He chuckles, bums a smoke and continues on his way. This festival’s remarkable atmosphere can flip the mind upside down, but luckily the music carries us through and Circoloco’s showcase is currently in full swing.
There’s a reason why Secret Solstice has been regarded as the world’s most unique music festival by many who have experienced it. The lineup itself is as diverse as any, with The Prodigy, Rick Ross, Rhye, Dubfire and Dusky alongside Iceland’s more ethereal musicians, and the backdrop of the country is like stepping out into a different world. Where else can one journey to see a concert inside a glacier or down a lava tunnel? Only at this intimate gathering to the far north. And again, the distinct lingering presence of light is both baffling and exciting, yielding a mindset that is constantly ready to keep the party switch on.
This year Secret Solstice was met with cloudy weather with sprinkles of rain for most of the festival, so finding a good place to dance and warm up was essential. Luckily the artists involved held nothing back and delivered quality sets across the board. With that, Mixmag has compiled a collection of moments paired with memorable tracks that brought the heat to the dance. This is how we kept the energy flowing from start to finish.
Ata Kak ‘Obaa Sima’
A rare ray of sunlight peaked through the clouds as Ata Kak and his band took the stage in front of an ever growing crowd of youthful patrons at Secret Solstice. The Ghanaian singer has gained somewhat of a cult-like following after the re-release of his debut album titled ‘Obaa Sima’ on Awesome Tapes From Africa. The album’s title track has become a staple of his sound and halfway through the festival set, revellers were chanting its name. Thus, Ata Kak and his crew obliged. The infectious African ballad brought an electric energy to the festival that day, which left Ata Kak with an enormous smile on his face. It was clear he felt the love from his fans in Iceland. The humble artist thanked the crowd for their support and walked off stage with his head held high. This was undoubtedly the set of the weekend.
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