Oporto’s psy tech prog project MNGRM (pronounced ‘Monogram’ for those not in the know) had a chocker-block dance floor throwing shapes to their unique blend of addictive electronic ecstasy. Luis and Marco’s 2-hour explorative adventure well and truly took Boomers to a higher plane, as they started with atmospheric melodic techno then slowly progressed into the darker more psychedelic stuff.
We know we’ve mentioned ingenious Italian projection mapping crew Delta Process already in our musings, but they defo deserve another massive heads up for their incredible work that night. With at least five VJs on laptops all collaborating together at any given time to produce one epic visual explosion, we were quite simply blown away.
DANCE TEMPLE GRAND FINALE
One of the planet’s greatest places of musical prayer, the Dance Temple was on fire for the final day of dance floor devotion as Dickster, Alpha Portal and Avalon had a dedicated crew of Boomers worshipping at the altar. Realising that Avi Astrix would always have a whiter and brighter shirt than him, Leon Avalon had toned it down a bit for his Boom set and had on a slightly hippier number than usual that certainly helped raise the vibe and deliver a stomping set that had Boomers giving it their all.
Tristan’s special 20 Years of Boom four-hour extended set still had Boomers wanting more, while Burn In Noise’s closing finale as the sun slowly dipped and the Temple’s stunning lights and visuals gradually came on ignited an exalted response. None of us wanted it to end, but it all finished too quickly and Boomers dispersed to the beach to gather with their friends and enjoy the final minutes of daylight, or else head to the Chill Out Gardens where the likes of Dillard and Carbon Based Life Forms had Boomers grooving until 6am.
Chilling backstage, we caught up with Nano Records main man and Boom veteran Regan. He said: “It’s been amazing! I’ve had one of the best weeks of my life! I’ve seen old friends and I’ve made new friends.
“I love Boom because of that. When you come here, you always meet interesting people from places you’ve never been, and who are from the same culture. Instant friends! And then at the same time, there’s friends I’ve met here for almost 20 years now and this is where we gather. So to see them again and party together and just hang out, it’s been amazing. We’ve been here the whole week so there’s loads of time to connect with everyone.
“The logistics and production have been next level this year. You can really feel it. The whole crew are a really super-cohesive unit and that energy trickles down throughout the whole festival. Everything is smooth on every level so the energy is smooth everywhere – there’s no jagged edges. I’ve been to many Booms and this is by far the smoothest. I can’t fault them on anything this year at all, it’s been amazing and it’s been an absolute pleasure to play here.”
ALPHA PORTAL EXPLOSION
Both Avi Astrix and Yoni Ace Ventura were having the time of their lives on stage and that energy dispersed throughout the entire dance floor. In fact, in the many years that we’ve seen Avi play we’ve never seen him enjoy himself on stage or dance as much as he did on this final day at the Boom Dance Temple.
Yoni said: “Opening the portal – as we call it – at the Boom was really exciting for us as Boom is the Mecca of all festivals, so it there were many exciting moments for us.”
“It’s definitely the mother of all festivals and we are really honoured to be here as a debut show at Boom Festival,” Avi added.
When discussing his previous day’s solo set, Yoni said, “It was my sixth time at Boom and for a few years I’ve been doing these long five-hour sets, which is a huge honour and was amazing. I felt so good! I connect really well with these people, the dance floor and this tribe, this festival and the guys who run it, so it was a big pleasure for me!”
Avi said: “Each of us, we’re doing our own thing, then we collaborate together so to do that at Boom Festival was amazing. We try to do something different and raise some sort of special environment and vibe, so we played a really different soul set!
“There is some sort of vibe and energy that comes off the Boom dance floor, you can’t even explain it. It’s the energy and anticipation that comes from waiting for two years and it just explodes!”
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT
We attended a presentation by Michael Matania on how to ground psychedelic experiences. The talk consisted, in the most part, of tips and hacks for taking control back on our own nervous system and attention. Meditation, breathing exercises, learning about the way our mind and body functions, are all useful tools for mastering our own consciousness and general behaviour in our daily lives. Meditation, as he explained, does not consist of pushing thoughts away - but rather acknowledging them from a distance, so that we can gradually realise what thoughts and beliefs are originally ours, as opposed to those that have been placed in us by society.
The talk was inspiring for many reasons. Mikey was relatable, spoke with a sense of humor and provided examples easy to understand. He didn’t stand as a mighty guru, but rather as a person who had gone through life changing experiences and learned from them, finding accessible ways of coping with challenging situations.
Michael's talk was acclaimed by everyone attending - a message from a Boomer to Boomers.
The Chi Temple hosted a joyful session of Capoeira Angola, a modality that takes its roots in African culture, but which was developped by slaves in Brazil. Capoeira allows for the forming of strong social bonds and celebrates art, freedom, diversity, friendship...The class was therefore extremely pleasant not only to participate in, but also to watch. At the end, as usual, a "roda" (circle of people) formed, where everyone could take turns and dance/fight their peer within the circle. It is a moment where differences become blurred, as women, men, children , unexperienced first timers and experts all mingle to play together and practice their skills. The "mestre" (one of the teachers, also known as master) said a few words in the end, mentioning how the Boom crowd was easy to teach due to their body awareness.