Stockholm-based DJ & producer Vicky Zissou shares her experience of La Vallée Électrique Festival – from the point of view of an artist.
Somewhere hidden in the forest and framed by majestic mountains of South of France, La Vallée Électrique 2018 was happening. With a focus on electronic music and nature, the small and intimate 48-hour-non-stop festival was celebrating its second edition under July’s sun. Thanks to the organisers who invited us to bring some deep, Northern techno into the French woods, we found our way to the fairytale valley. Cut off from the world, surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere and untouched nature, we were ready to dive into a new world.
DAY 1 | FRIDAY
After a couple of hours of delay (a technician had a car trouble on his way to the valley), the festival finally started around 22.00. Axymt opened the night with a beautiful ambient vinyl set, followed by Fjäder’s atmospheric live which was in a perfect symbiosis with the forest around us. People were sitting, or laying, in front of the lovely crafted bamboo scene that reminded me of the Orbits and Parallel stages while enjoying Fjäder’s performance. The beginning definitely was worth the wait, and the perfect intro of the first night of the gathering.
Electricity all over
When Monument’s resident and La Vallée Électrique co-curator VBC [Vibrance] took over the Forest Stage and dropped the first beats of his carefully selected vinyl set, the name of the festival (The Electric Valley) literally became alive. Flashlights were illuminating the sky when the summer storm came up with a heavy rain. Nevertheless, people were staying and dancing, fighting the elements. By the end of the set, the storm was gone. Mood.
Swedish Deep Techno rising through the French woods
The Scandinavian theme continued with three more deep techno acts from Sweden. Thanks to the prime time, and the exceptional sets before, the floor was already crowded. I (Vicky Zissou) was in charge of the Nordic trio’s opening with a deep and tribal techno set. The music was booming in harmony with the trees and wilderness. And again, the name of the festival came alive, this time in the form of electricity blackouts during my set. Luckily, the crowd was in a really good mood, and decided to stay and wait until the deep bass was again floating back through the forest and masses.
With his brilliantly mixed DJ-set, Skóll took over for the next two hours and led people into a hypnotic trance with his driving and mental deep techno. Fjäder took over again, and guided the crowd through the dawn with a proper DJ-set of ethereal sounds, followed by a hybrid set by OVUNQVE’s founder Astronomy Domine.
DAY 2 | SATURDAY
Together with the rising sun, the Parisian artist JPLD played a wonderful morning set. People were slowly coming back to the Forest stage with their coffees, fruits and spliffs, enjoying the delicious slow tempo set from Ōtium‘s co-founder.
Then, it was time for some well-deserved rest. We had our artist camping van on a beautiful silent hill, and framed by the wonderful view over the forest, the valley and the breathtaking mountains, we were recharging our batteries. A couple of hours later, back at the intimate festival, people were chilling either by listening to the music, taking a bath in the little river near the stage, or exploring the forest with their field recorders, catching cicadas and nature sounds. We were up for some tasty home-made food, enjoying the hot weather, hanging around with new friends and swimming in the creek.
The whole afternoon was characterised by selecta-mood: vinyl-only all way long. To accompany the sun in its descent, La Vallée -resident Raken played a recital of driving dub techno, and set up a unique rave-mood – even after the 24 hours of previously non-stopping party. Lunar Convoy, half of the Norite squad, followed Raken with a high quality DJ-set, getting people into the proper mood.
9beats then delivered an impressively mastered live set with deep influences. Linn Elisabet followed with a powerful and intense 2 hours ride, it being the last dose of techno for the weekend. In the middle of the night, it was time for some broken electro sounds with DiiGiiO and his acidic records.
DAY 3 | SUNDAY
As the sun was rising, the mysterious Discothèque Sauvage plugged in his machines and played a wonderful, emotional braindance live set. To conclude the festival, Loop Exposure – also one of the La Vallée residents – took over with their already classic closing set, consisting of more than 6 hours of dynamic minimal house suitable for the afterhours. It was a perfect closing for a great weekend with inspiring music, intimate atmosphere and magical surroundings.
La Vallée Électrique 2019 will take place between the 2nd and the 4th August, and will be strictly limited to 500 guests.
Selection of recorded sets
cover picture by Dimitri Allonneau