5th Low Bap Festival (27, 28, 29, 30 & 31 of December 2001)
First Day (27 December) B.D.Foxmoor welcomes the beginning of the 5th Low Bap Festival at exactly 5:00 in the afternoon. The people were spread among the chairs or at the back space of the venue. Everyone's eyes were full of anxiety about both the night's features and activities as well as those to come in the next days. They arrived from various locations of Attica and from every corner of the country, coming to the festival with diverse transport medium despite the bad weather and stayed till the last day. They came full of questions about all the 2001 events plus of anguish about the ones to come in the near future.
B.D.Foxmoor realised firstly a review of the year gone and consequently made a short scheduling for 2002. He referred extensively to Active Member eighth studio album called In times of weird fear beginning his speech by the title choice, the lyrics and music preparation as well as the recording procedure in both London and Wales. He talked with the people about all things going on around us lately in global scale but above all he talked about low bap. Many things were mentioned which a simple report cannot include; nevertheless I fragmentarily document the following: B.D.Foxmoor: ''This year I just felt the need of returning back to the streets. And how a situation can turn to the streets? How hip hop is returning on the street? It returns when it goes out in the streets, with people who are gathering up in the streets and describe things they experience there. Within all the other things, which travel into a strange journey having each its own course, we lose moments a little more direct, more human. We were given this opportunity by Red Armada project. We all met within it moments of diversity. Various things which I couldn't do at an Active Member record because both myself and Nikitas are fully into the wanting result. Thus, we consider of course the purpose as being solemn and precious, in whatever way could be perceived, and so we stand for a while at the whole concept of an album being dedicated at its philosophy. By Red Armada project we are able to express some other things we hold inside us. We are not characterised only by this situation of progression, movement and continuity described by the Active Member songs. In the past, we were revealing our other folds elsewhere; as it concerns mostly myself anyway. And while it's necessary starting up things, which help you keep your own balance reminding of the past, Red Armada project is for me the Protest of 2000. It's about that thing released by us on limited copies. Of course, time changes. Back then, we had the vinyl records while now we dispose the CD media type. Back then we hadn't had a studio, now we have. These are all fine but comparing the times and how easily one can be seduced by arrogance, I proposed to do something which couldn't allow us being carried by arrogance, as I am prone to hauteur but I don't dig it a lot. Therefore, at a time where In the times of weird fear record is to become gold we set on release a record from a disc shop. And the record companies go wild. Well, I am just a stranger to all these. And that's why we will continue do such things...''
He also spoke about the film entitled 33 1/3 to be started up by the group within 2002. ''...we are making it mainly for our own soul but also for causing some trouble as it is the time the most crucial for low bap.'' and he continues...: ''Before we were living the pre-low bap time. You'll say that I'm crazy. Well, maybe you are right, but I strongly believe that this time we live the pregnancy period. The mother of low bap was pregnant and we were looking forward to the birth. So, low bap is ready to be born within these days. And when something is born? It is born when we all see it in front of us, we all feel it, and we all start to dream differently about it. Because before we were just dreaming of being nicely born, of having it well installed inside us. To fight with it and with its idea seeing if it suits us at the end of the day...Now, we are out of these luxuries, truth to be told. It's being born within these days and when something new comes to life, you choose. Whatever you want to do, you have to do it now. You just can't do untrue things to a child... Plus, all these will take place silently like all the beautiful things in this world. From that point on, some people are engaged in provoking some buzz about it. To stand by the side of the child and raise it. But most importantly, a newborn child does not belong to anyone anymore. Therefore, we all enter into the same fate and we are all equally responsible. Some people who have a more direct relation with it, might be a little more responsible, but all the others share a responsibility too... One can't talk about and criticise something which he meets for the first time. Consequently, we all shut our mouths, search of be aware that it is born, and if we like it we act in a relevant way. Otherwise, if we are not willing anymore it's the most proper time of, simply, leaving...remember this. At least, let's feel like that, all of us we are present here today, and I am asking it as a favour; because if you are here, either you love it too much either you hate it too much which to me is the same thing. Hence, you have a reason of being here, and so I'm asking you as a favour for the new year to talk more about it. Which records will be released, how this thing would be supported, what nonsense one will say via the microphone are totally lightweight matters in front of this to be born. Now it's the most suitable time for all of us to give a little more attention. Neither to love it more nor anything like that; simply, as we will be all bared by its birth, there is no place for excuses. Each of you who hurried to be declared, you deserve the consequence. A child does not care if you have tattoos or about your dress style; you just have to feed him, to say a good word to him, to teach him how to walk. We are turning therefore, back into the practical stuff and as a result our dreams change their essence. We are not dreaming anymore about that vague thing one from Perama once said and a couple others heard him. The situation is palpable. Thus, we are dreaming in a different way. May we shall begin the festival with that thought in mind.''
The conversation arrived to its end around 9:00 when the lyrics writing contest was to start, perhaps the most important of the festival, along with the ones of music production and mcing. The jury committee of the lyrics contest was consisting of Sadahzinia, Panagiotis Loutas (''Daskalos'') and two people from the audience. People from the audience were also found in the committees for the music production and mcing contests. Afterwards, the whole place had to be on duty for approving or not the choices of the jury committee. As far as the lyrics contest was concerned, the contestant lyrics were read and the jury made a selection, ending up at the end to the follow four-place result: 1st prize - Totem - For a painless end, 2nd prize: Chtikio - An idol to worship, 3rd prize: Ksenistis - And you go, 4th prize: Nicos Papadoules - White story. As for the music production and mcing contest, the tracks had a live presentation one by one. It was a ''strong'' competition as various factors were implicated. Indeed, at the mcing contest we ended up at a tie between Caradine and Chtikio but the second one won because of a...''stuntman''! The winner of the music production contest was Thodoris (Northical) of Kako Sinapantima. (To whom many congratulations are deserved for all the effort carried over by him and his team.) After the commendation of some souvenir awards, the chairs vanished for the live act of Low Bap Sessions to begin. Many groups got up on stage both the ones having participated in the Low Bap Dromologio project as well as those without any record presence yet. Indicative, the following groups performed live: Pirines Iaches, Social Waste, Tichodioktes, Lost Signals, Alea Jacte, Stedorian, Oria, Dark Soul etc. By the end of the live set, B.D.Foxmoor and Xray played music from the decks...
Second Day (28 December) During the second day, a truly meaningful conversation took place between Periklis Korovesis, B.D.Foxmoor, Xray and the people who attended the place since early. Periklis spoke in a simple and bluntly word about the meaning of politics and the political thought. He also talked about the time he himself was a political prisoner. Several topics were discussed such as Genova, Seattle, September 11th, the social movements and about all the things evolving around us lately. A transcription of the conversation would be a wishful thing indeed but as its duration was up to three and a half hours it's a difficult initiative. We will report only some small pieces although it's perhaps unfair for all those nice things cited with a brilliant flow. So, our discussion started like this: Periklis: ''Even though I've taken part many times in my life in political conversations, I feel a little nervous as it's the first time that I have a contact with an audience like yours, and of course I am heavy loaded by the fact that I am not at your age anymore. Plus, the discussion is called a political one; and what is politics anyway? The words of the politicians or any single one who grabs a microphone and starts talking? Whoever has settled in his mind that politics is that thing, he just doesn't understand politics and he is interested in ruling other people. Let's give therefore a definition of politics: politics is yourself, your life and your future. If you don't succeed being the master of your life, of your consciousness, of your history, then you would already have accepted the role of the slave. Someone else will decide in your place...The thing they prepare for you is an unemployment of such range that humanity has never met before, a persecution from education, an oppression from participating in social issues.'' '' I strongly respect music groups such Active Member since the time they were completely unknown, as they combine both revolution and aesthetics offering their creation to people. They don't form a target market for being vignettes. Purely, their work is used consciously by themselves in order for a community, like the one we meet this evening, to form and exist. I believe that every circumstance or idea finally concludes to life itself. Hence, each one shall take over his responsibility, find his companion or companions and may we all together create a system based on life from where we will be able and ready to interfere at any time and not let them take our lives. I would like to stop here while the rest could be said in a questioning and answering manner...'' A little later, when the first questions about the new world order and the globalization etc were posed, Periklis mentioned: ''...I don't remember who once said this but whichever the question is, the answer is always the people. What we need is all the people to stand against a wrack which acts upon various levels (television, human relations, environment, employment). No person among us is socially acceptable because there is no society wanting us. In consequence, these movements that have been lighted up by all the people, are the only hope and can also be the solution, if we, of course, respect the diversity, if we do not distract one another.'' At a later time, B.D.Foxmoor told him: ''The fact that we found out you had been tortured during the junta regime is because some of you decided to live and not to revenge. That's a nice lesson indeed. Whatever you are, I don't care. I care that you've lived, that you've not run away like others. Leaving is for cowards...and I am not flattering you by saying these things.'' Periklis: ''It wasn't my intention to do something heroic. I have survived, but it was an act of fear. Let's be in peace with our consciousness. Let's deepen and search our desire more because it's also under censorship, and let's imagine how our life can be better. Always by reversing the world of course as the one we face is a lie. The real one stays hidden.'' Then Periklis talked to us about the first books he wrote: ''Although I am an original lazy man, I managed at some point to conduct my first book and talked about all the things that happened to me. And for a while I had thought that my duty was over, that I had paid my depth towards people and towards myself. But eventually I was feeling quite unfulfilled inside me. There were things I couldn't express but only to myself and no co-speaker was present. I didn't understand of course back then that this is the start of creation. That a voice inside you asks for a co-speaker and your self is the one who transforms into one. For that reason, even if you are one hundred years old, if your mind keeps arguing, you will create. It never ends, because it's your own personal salvation.'' A guy from the audience posed the following question: ''All those movements taken place globally are intended to demonstrate a solidarity? That we are all united?'' Periklis: ''No, exactly the opposite I should say. All those big gatherings want to show that we are separated. As a matter of fact, that's the picture we present and that is what the others understand too. They are feared by our number not by our uniform strategy.'' B.D.F: ''Besides, any united situation could be more manageable to deal with, meaning that they are aware of strategies to dissolve more organised things. What scares them is what they don't understand...Thus, we are talking about many different things which cause trouble at the same time, which will compromise at the same time but at that same time the diversity will be shown off as well. And that's the beauty of what we are living now.'' They also discussed about the I wish I were song and mainly about some of the people mentioned by Active Member and Korovesis had personally met or heard of. He had met almost everyone, except of course the ones of ancient times! Indeed, he narrated us the moments he had as a remembrance from each one. We talked about Pablo, Rafaelides, Chatzidakis, Apostolides and Manos Catrakis...Periklis dedicated one of his poems to us: ''For your information, I will remember for a long time this evening...'' he told us just before his recitation which had a verse like this: ''Master, did we truly had such blood as we lost?'' And for conclusion: ''The distance is small, you are too young and I swear that I didn't notice of when my hair turned white. I am making bullshit as being a youth; something probably might be wrong with me but I am not interested in finding out what. The thing is that from all the human history we have a limited time to live; let's not mention the diseases and sudden deaths. We must however live with dignity and that's not on bargain. We can fuck every asshole who will prevent us living our life. Our life consists of dreams, colours, education, feast; not to go wasted. We have just one small piece for ourselves and they will not trespass it. Signifying, that this evening, I hope, is not by chance, that we intend to consider it seriously and not let it go wasted. That is, we must send a message somewhere that we are not to joke about and neither do we come here to rule, to lead nor to be the rascals of the situation. What we only want is to respect us. And it's a strong thing the one we jeopardize. To respect us and not to touch us.'' If the evening was to finish around here, it would be as good. But the programme had more to come...
The photography and drawing contest started just before 9:00. Like the previous day, the jury committee was selected at the place and the sketches started to fall immediately upon the huge projection screen. Amazing works which regardless of the final results, deserve many congratulations for the freshness, the humour and their gusto. Until the announcement of the results, Xray presented on the screen a retrospect of all the drawings he sketched at times on behalf of Freestyle Productions. From the first posters for live sets back in 1993, flyers, invitations, artworks, cd & lp booklets, sketches used on music videos (I'm not turning back) etc. Eventually, the contest's results were formed as following: 1st prize - Vasilis (Tichodioktes), 2nd prize: Alexis Tsiampis, 3rd prize: Panos (Tichodioktes), 4th prize: Penny. Afterwards, the photography contest began. We all laid back around the screen gazing the moments passing in front of our eyes. Till the decision of the final results, photographs taken by Yiannis Spanakis, Yiannis Papadimitriou, Sadahzinia, Vangelis (Piñata) and B.D.Foxmoor were shown. They were coming from live acts, back staged moments and from Twin Peaks Studio (the welsh studio where the recording of Active Member 8th lp took place). The greatest and funniest thing though was the captions in every picture stated by B.D.Foxmoor. Eventually, the results of the contest came up as following: 1st prize: Sadahzinia, 2nd prize: Yiannis Papadimitriou, 3rd prize: Akis Theotokatos. Then, the live set took place and the projection of Spike Lee's new film.
Third Day (29 December) The conversation of the third day was dedicated to the more specialised on technical issues. Fotis Kikiras, sound engineer and collaborator of Freestyle Productions, solved some questions of the people about softwares, consoles and other issues of sound engineering. He even presented and shortly explained some of them on the projection screen. B.D.Foxmoor talked about his new studio, that is, Perasma Studio, and about the recording procedure of Active Member latest album as well as of the other F.P record releases of 2001. The djing contest was next to come. The projection screen had been dismantled and its place was occupied by two MK2 and a mixing console. The djs who arrived from all over Greece (one came from Luxembourg) were well practised. I was particularly impressed by the teamwork among the participants, a thing that we surely don't meet at the respective contests abroad. They were changing cartridges and records and were helping each other at the switches. (And we hope of amelioration of the djing situation in Greece!) Dj Smartie Al along with people from the audience (as the juries), rounded up with the following results: 1st prize: Dj Booker, 2nd prize: Polychronis, 3rd prize: Iasonas Rados. Afterwards, Smartie Al (who, for the record, won the fourth place at the 1995 world DMC) performed a 10-minute show. As expected, he mesmerized us all reminding us both of the beauty of vinyl record and of the fact that turntable is undoubtly a musical instrument, regardless any stuck complaints. Xray followed who couldn't leave us, especially this day, without mouth-scratching like the one he presents to us during live sets. The only difference was that B.D.Foxmoor and the contestants djs were performing him some scratches and he had to execute them as precise as possible with his mouth. It hasn't been decided yet who among the two, the turntable and the vinyl or Xray, is the winner! The turntables gathered up and as a big human circle was formed at the venue, we were ready to welcome the B-boys and girls who were to make a show off. Tolis and his friends were the ones to dance as well as B.D.Foxmoor, Jamoan and some older ones who were present. A live set by Yerma, Piñata, Kako Sinapantima and Onomasia(Northwards) followed. After these groups which warmed up the evening, the time came for Red Armada presenting the Umicah 2 project. Let along all the sound issues, it was a very good live act indeed, having set the microphones on fire. By the end of the live set, a true party followed where everyone could grab the microphone and rap upon various Freestyle Production's tracks. True mayhem! Caradine (of 843) was continually on the air ''travelling'' across the place on people's hands. The evening closed with B.D.Foxmoor performing a hip hop retrospect which lasted till morning reminding us of the best moments of the music we so much love.
Day Fourth (30 December) The fourth day started, like the previous ones, at 5:00 in the afternoon. Efthimis Papadimitriou, a friend of low bap and a Professor of Philosophy and Ecology at Ioannina University was invited at today's conversation. A lot of important things were told concerning ecology and subsequently the human kind while there was a great participation from the part of the audience. Periklis Corovesis also took part in the conversation, sharing with us some of the pictures he carried along from Chiapas valley and Zapatistas community. Conversations like this and of the 2nd day should be heard live especially from the people near low bap. The 3d animation contest didn't take place because of luck of participations. Nevertheless, three videos were presented, all with a great difference among them. First of all, a ''music video'' made with 3d animation for In times of weird fear intro track was screened. It was created by Katia and Marios from Cyprus while the drawings are Xray's. (I think it deserves, nonetheless, the first prize!) Following the clip, B.D.Foxmoor presented a small video tribute on the preparation and recording of Red Armada - Umicah 2 project. There was a presentation of all the participants, as well as moments from the recording and mixing procedure. For the end, the infamous Kastoras presented ''the glorious and high-qualified video'' entitled How Archontas saved my life, on direction, screenplay, soundtrack and production of his own. Starring: himself, his brother the ferret and some stunts. The movie was not digital and so the reason of the small sound problems. In other ways, everything was fine (Congratulations to you Kastoras. You are learning!) After the projections it was time for the live set. Brigada was found on stage along with a new member, Nicos, and most importantly, with brand new songs. The new album of the group will be on release before the end of February but the people present had the chance to listen to some tracks for the very first time. Later on, the time came for Sadahzinia to enter the stage. She got up on the scene along with B.D.Foxmoor presenting us some songs from her two previous albums as well as some featurings of her. At the end, the track called Don't cry was performed, coming from her forthcoming studio album which was being recorded at time. After the end of the live set, B.D.Foxmoor and Xray played music from the decks...in order to prepare the people for what was to come the next evening.
Day Fifth (31 December 2001 - 01 January 2002) This evening started a little later, around 10 o'clock with music from the decks. At around 11:00 people whom we wouldn't expect gathered, and people who should be present were missing. Everything was foreshadowing a very warm New Year indeed. (and a whole year full of low bap, hopefully) At 12 minus 10, Kastoras made an appearance dressed at his best (as it was New Year's Eve) and started the countdown of time to introduce us to the new year. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...2002! ( kisses...hugs...kisses...etc) and during the first five minutes of the new year, we listened to...''I am swearing for the first time in my life...'' the first lyrics of the Protest song. And the party had immediately begun! The live retrospect through the Active Member full discography lasted for more than six hours. I state below the complete tracklist of the night, for truth sake. But it was beautiful, very beautiful...The people were participating, taking the mic and we all became one big company. Without you, we couldn't make it. May you all be good (as B.D.Foxmoor said at the end). 1.Protest, 2.Soul games, 3.Lost at their mistakes, 4.Common Secret, 5.At the time of the shadows, 6.Low Bap Madnifestah, 7.Listen,Mother, 8.Lost in the dream, 9.Burden of insults, 10.Refugee, 11.Nightmare, 12.The big game, 13.What an irony, 14.The greatest curse, 15.I am not turning back, 16.Silent performance, 17.From run-away land, 18.Without a safety net, 19.For all the brothers long gone, 20.Mud and light, 21.Wounded elf, 22.While I am drunk 23.Violence, 24.It's a dirty sacrifice, 25.The fox of the moor, 26.Get out of here, 27.West of the river, 28.Mask, 29.Do me the favour of, 30.Myths of the moor, 31.The melody of the decline, 32.From the corner of the world, 33.Farce, 34.Leave them there, 35.Nothing anymore, 36.Tonight the night came quicker, 37.It's my fault, 38.I'll be long gone, 39.At the turn of the century, 40.Unconcerned, 41.I remember, 42.About fear, 43.Bell, 44.The tree, 45.Small voices, 46.Borrowed prayers, 47.You'll be judged, 48.Yes, 49.Another lie, 50.Very Seldom, 51.Don't get mad about the fire, 52.Goodnight, idiot, 53.Homeless ballad, 54.Zero, 55.You will not find me, 56.Guardian angel, 57.Tell me, 58.Where are you?, 59.Are you not satisfied yet?, 60.But I didn't figure it right, 61.Somewhere here, 62.Welcome, you strange man, 63.Ageing, 64.Now, you are free too, 65.Strange days, wonderful days, 66.Life full of fire, 67.Intro(weird fear), 68.Lie of mine, 69.I wish I were, 70.The silence is returning, 71.Premiere, 72.Like it or not, 73.Stay there, 74.Enchanted child, 75.Not on your life, 76.Rightful beginning, 77.The biggest nonsense, 78.Sing and laugh, 79.Where are you taking me?, 80.Road of fools, 81.May something will stay, 82.May nobody care.
The 5th Low Bap Festival ended around 7 o'clock in the morning. It was full of moments and I have a feeling that everyone who attended to, as well as those who helped for its organization, gained something more than a simple annual meeting has to offer. It was a date with our self, with our weakness, our good and bad moments, our thought and memory. But, it ran out too! As it always happens with all the beautiful things. See you all next year.