Convergence – London’s multi-venue festival of music, art and technology – is almost upon us.

With Baltimore’s pop maximalist Dan Deacon at the helm as the festival’s artist in residence, Deacon will be leading a Masterclass with Guildhall Young Arts Academy – in addition to bringing his interactive show to Village Underground – while Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood will unveil the first full-length UK performance of Junun with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express. The legacy of Gil Scott-Heron will be celebrated in a day of talks, screenings and performances.

And there’s more. So much more in fact, that we’ve picked out eight of the must-see acts at the festival.

Download a free Convergence 2016 compilation, featuring the likes of Ash Koosha, Factory Floor, Anna Von Hausswolff and Of Montreal.

Gil Scott-Heron tributes

Convergence 2016 is all about the wonder that was Gil Scott-Heron. Pieces of a Man: The Gil Scott-Heron Project will celebrate the life and legacy of an artist whom many considered to be the Godfather of hip-hop. There will be a day of talks, screenings and performances, culminating in a live performance featuring guest vocalists Kwabs, Jamie Woon, Nadine Shah, Loyle Carner and Gwilym GoldSpeaking about the live show, the festival’s musical director Dave Okumu says he’s “interested in exploring ways of recontextualizing his songs and poetry in a musical landscape that may not have come into existence without him. I’ll draw on the rich heritage of  hip hop, funk, blues, soul, jazz and electronica, as well as finding inspiration in what is happening in music today.” 

Nurse With Wound

Stephen Stapleton’s arch-noise provocateurs are the stuff of legend: a relentlessly metamorphosing beast with an anarchic disregard for convention and a thing for electric collaborations, including Stereolab. Every NWW show is notably different from the next, so we can’t tell you what to expect from their live experience, but then that’s why they’re so good.

Karen Gwyer

Michigan-born, London-based Karen Gwyer has music running through her veins and never fails to impress with her varied sets of experimental techno/noise. Catch her polishing and pummelling her dusty hardware into the most ugly-beautiful sonic artefacts: live fragments of an ever-expanding palette which has over the years taken in abrasive synth-wave, twinkling microhouse and everything in between.

Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express

Jonny Greenwood’s most recent album Junun is a collaboration with Israeli-American singer and composer Shye Ben Tzur and 19 Rajasthani traditional musicians. For Junun, Greenwood and Tzur tapped The Rajasthan Express, an Indian supergroup that specialises in a unique blend of three strains of traditional music: qawwali, Manganiar court music and Rajasthani brass band. Junun was mixed by Greenwood’s Radiohead bandmate Nigel Godrich, whilst director Paul Thomas Anderson, an old friend and frequent collaborator of Greenwood’s, captured the whole thing in a short film.

Dan Deacon

Baltimore’s hyper-pop mastermind will be performing in different incarnations over the course of the festival, including a performance with Szun Waves, a supergroup made up of Luke Abbott, Jack Wyllie and Laurence Pike who call themselves ‘a mystical adventure into the realms of free-jazz and shimmering psychedelia.’

Shit Robot

Dubliner Marcus Lambkin moved to New York in the early ’90s and has spent the past two decades becoming an omnipresent force in the city’s sweaty, underground dance scene. He literally helped build it, using his enviable carpentry skills to construct DFA’s Manhattan studio, which has been his label home since the release of 2010 debut From The Cradle to the Rave. And the clue’s in the name: if you’re looking for a place to flex your limbs, just follow the electro robot.

The Herbalizer

Ninja Tune original The Herbalizer, aka Jake Wherry and DJ Ollie Teeba, made one of our favourite trip-hop albums of all-time, so their show is not-to-be-missed. The pair will be toasting their 20th birthday (no, we can’t believe it either), doing what they love, surrounded by friends in the form of a performance with Rodney P, a three-piece horn section and full live band.

Omar Souleyman

Omar Souleyman sucks every last drop of naffness out of wedding entertainment. The Syrian hero has done it all: danced on an iceberg, remixed Bjork, played the Nobel Peace Prize concert, and still has more energy in his little finger than a school bus of sleep-shy toddlers. In fact, he’s so electrifying live, you’ll find yourself wanting a divorce just so you can get married again.



Share Tweet