Son Tinh Camp. Hanoi, Vietnam
The end of April saw the return and second installment of Equation festival, Vietnams answer to the heady DIY boutique festivals fostered closer to home. The festival, analogous with a growing Vietnamese Techno scene and Hanoi's Savage club (a staple destination on the SEA circuit) is located at Son Tinh Camp an hour south of Hanoi.
Spread over 3 days the festival played host to just 800 punters offering in return refuge to those intent on tracking down more specific and singular sounds than the typical crusty backpacker raves. On site were a number of considered stages and installations strung out amongst an attractive woodland that protruded into Dong Mo Lake. The quiet setting offered near 360 degree vista's and hazy silhouettes of the Ba Vi mountains under the right conditions and that's exactly what we got on Sunday morning.
Key performances came from Powder, Samo Dj and S.O.N.S at the Journey stage with robust undulating bass driven grooves and an eclectic mix of broken beats and oddball 90's rave references from the latter. At the Universe stage Answer Code Request delivered pummeling ethereal sounds to a happy and bewildered audience with other well known artists such as UVB and NTHING maintaining a hypnotic intensity from Friday night through to Sunday afternoon. Elsewhere the Savage regulars and SEA representatives did not disappoint. Diverse selections from ALI at the Tea Tent Stage melted through the early morning lull with oozing vibrant sounds like Luis's - Shea's World and Jonny Nash's - Eden. Later LAKES layered riffs provided further tranquility as speed boats cut across the water in the distance.
With an unearthing of South East Asian talent and rapidly expanding expat communities the region is experiencing a transplantation of cultures with a charismatic music scene emerging at its apex. Thanks to shrewd promoters unburdened by some of the restrictions and difficulties that come with throwing parties in many European and western cities there's a freedom and lawlessness to this exotic territory. It was these qualities coupled with a well studied line up thats given Equation a solid reputation in its infancy.
Written by Wobbler Prokopowycz.