MENT 2024: A Preview | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, March 1st, 2024  

Los Bitchos

Personal Trainer, Los Bitchos, Irnini Mons, KOIKOI

MENT 2024: A Preview,

Feb 11, 2024 Web Exclusive
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Ljubljana’s MENT festival is consistently one of the most fertile grounds on Earth for discovering exceptional new music from outside the Anglo-centric music worlds of the UK and US. And the artists from our shores they do introduce, tend to be the coolest, the most cutting-edge, possible.

It’s not just the four days of music (21st to 24th February) including the new edition of CE/MENT a new segment focusing on electronic music and the club scene, the festival’s conference will again bring in the top speakers and panelists to tackle the biggest issues facing musicians and the industry right now.

The festival always claims to have a mission of showcasing the new faces and up-and-coming stars shaping the future of European music, and since their first time attending this has been a mission they have completed year after year. If you want to see the most exciting new talent, MENT is the place!

This year there are specially curated stages with Slovenian national radio VAL 202, and a stage curated entirely by never-short-of-amazing local independent label Moonlee Records, which is bound to present some of the standouts (they always do)!

Then there are the locations, finding a forward-thinking cultural present amid a stunning past and fraught history (the beautiful old town sites in the centre of Soviet-era blocks) and having a run of shows in the unique Metelkova City, a strange autonomous social and cultural vives with squat punk vibes, a sense of independence and danger and stories to tell!

MENT really does have its own vibe, and we can’t wait to be back in Slovenia once more on a journey of discovery. Obviously, we can’t possibly say who will be good on the night, but these are some of the acts UTR is thrilled to be seeing in Ljubljana.

Irnini Mons
Irnini Mons

Los Bitchos

You gotta love bands that come at things from a different angle! And London-based Los Bitchos certainly do that as a pancontinental, largely instrumental four-piece. There’s a surf rock foundation but with the rhythmic cues coming from Peruvian chica, Argentine cumbia, the waves of Turkish psych and a downbeat funk. This is truly global party music.

Personal Trainer

We’ve seen rambunctious Amsterdam indie-rock lot Personal Trainer a few times and it is always fun, shambolic and close to the edge, in a kinda “it might all collapse, but it will be a fun collapse” way. They are playful, slightly hyperactive and a real love letter to indie. They have a Pavement thing in there, which is always good.

Artificialalice

A proto-goth indebted art pop project that is a collision of Siouxsie Sioux, Sacred Bones records and Bjork’s darker edges, with strong character-driven storytelling and kinetic electronics! Yeah, we are into that…


Leatherette

“Jazzy”, can mean a buttoned-down idea of what jazz is, or it can mean an off-kilter approach to musical rules where ideas are loose but with the skill to make something happen. Leatherette from Bologna seems to fit the second ideal. Punky edges and jazz time signatures, with no wave elements. There’s shoegaze in there as well. This sounds great.

KOIKOI

KOIKOI is one of the best bands in Europe, and we are not kidding! They traverse genres like it’s the easiest thing in the world and bring an almost unrivaled rock party! One of the reasons Moonlee records should be revered everywhere.

Irnini Mons

Dark, oblique French “post-punk” with surging waves of noise rock and no wave’s confrontational edge. There’s individual singing, big vocal harmonies and they find a groove in noise.

Analena

Zagreb legends Analena, formed in 1997 and are the reason Moonlee records exist! Uncompromisingly DIY they created a strong fanbase off their blend of post punk, power pop and hardcore. Largely unknown in the UK, this is a rare show for Moonlee’s 20th anniversary and something not to be missed.

Nikki Louder

This bunch of Slovenian noise-rock champs have notched up over 250 shows across Europe and UK. They take post-hardcore and math rock into their punkiest realms - big thunderous, distorted anthems for the underclasses.

Fotbal

Czech post punk drowning in psych nuances and rhythmic cues from math rock and krautrock, Fotbal make downbeat music that packs a punch. There are some deep underlying synth sounds and hidden complexities and should make for an engulfing live show.

Avalanche Kaito

A collision of West African and post punk is as awesome as it sounds, it’s familiar but new ground all at once. You dance to what is familiar but it makes you move weirdly because of the culturally removed rhythms. Their eclectic influences echo disparate, yet strangely compatible strands, from griot traditions, Fugazi and Can to 70s era Zappa, Black Midi and the Nyege Nyege Tapes roster. We’ve been waiting to see this for a while…


Find more about MENT at: https://www.ment.si/




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