Neel live at Under The Desert Stars Festival

Cast yourself back to the deserts of Morocco with this hybrid performance from Neel

Late in the summer of 2019, Neel was invited, for a specific conceptualised performance, to the inaugural edition of Under The Desert Stars Festival. This fresh two-day event, a collaboration between Rotterdam promoter ISOTOOP and Casablanca label Tikita, was housed on the outskirts of Marrakech in the heart of the desert. Neel was asked by festival organiser Van Anh for a special hybrid performance and wasn’t short on words when asked to reflect on the outcome…

It was clear straight away that she had a strong vision regarding the music to be played at each specific time of the day. She asked me to do something slow – a welcome into the electronic realm after the percussive excursions of Mortazavi. My set time was at the dusk; the darkness would slowly blanket the sprawling tracts of the desert and that’s what I wanted to translate through my music.

I took it as a challenge and eventually everything came together perfectly. The idea was to start the set with people sitting on the ground and slowly get them into my journey. I wanted the first part to be more organic, with percussion, gently introducing the crowd into the darker techno realm. Building up from a lower volume and bpm, I tried to make some sort of a wall of sound covering the audience, groovy and smooth, without any banging kicks.

I saw people dancing with huge smiles on their faces; no one left the dance floor! As I finished my set, I rushed straight into the crowd,

You often sense some distance between the artist and the audience; but there, it felt like everyone was on the same side, together as a whole. In just two days, we managed to build a community.

Latest News