You Nearly Missed: experimental music and visuals at New Forms Festival’s Transform

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      New Forms Festival has been kicking around since 2001, with mostly-annual events that question the limits of form and format.

      This weekend, New Forms Festival, in collaboration with Acceleration Radio and Fromlife, is holding Transform: its annual two-night event at KW Studios. The atrium will offer visuals, DJ sets, and instrumentals, while the production studio below will play host to powerful live performances from DJs, musicians, and performers who defy easy classification.

      Reylinn McGrath, who hosts Acceleration Radio’s weekly show on CFRO 100.5, says in a statement that their show is focused on audiovisual experimentation. “Alongside Fromlife and New Forms,” they say, “we are bringing our maximalist inclination to deconstruct the boundaries of genre and artistic mediums.”

      Sets begin at 9pm and end at 2:30am in both areas, with each West Coast-sourced lineup bursting with Pacific-side magic. Idiosyncratic Victoria DJ Scree Running kicks off the event downstairs on Friday night, with further energetic sets coming from Almaazz’s deconstructed club tracks, Lil Smudge’s energetic hip-hop, and DJ Arch Nemesis rounding out the night upstairs. 

      On Saturday, there’s a similarly diverse lineup on offer, with everything from Jairus Sharif and Mustafa Rafiq’s genre-defying sounds and Pesawa’s Afrofuturist and Ghanian-touched music, to Tla-o-qui-aht musician Tsimka’s singing paired with improvisations from collaborator Michael Red.

      There’s plenty of merging of both sound and visuals, as you might expect from an experimental festival. Get ready for Ephemeral Objects’ abstract visuals, a VJ interlude from Subdidi, and a performance from DJ Zygote that promises to merge found objects and digital media. 

      Though broadly pulling from the electronic or experimental world, Transform embraces such a diversity of genres it’s hard to pin it down. Get ready for two nights of getting out of your head and into your body.

      Transform Festival 

      When: December 8 and 9, 9pm to 2:30am

      Where: KW Studios, #10 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

      Admission: $30 each for Friday and Saturday