Day For Night Ropes in Aphex Twin, Bjork, Butthole Surfers & Lots More for Year 2

Aphex Twin
Aphex Twin
Courtesy of Day For Night

By moving to an intriguing new location and reloading with a plethora of performers drawn from the most adventurous reaches of their respective genres, Day For Night once again hopes to produce a festival in 3-D Technicolor while its counterparts remain stuck in flat black and white. Among this year’s top-billed artists announced this morning are enigmatic techno mastermind Aphex Twin, Icelandic electronica sprite Björk, bristling rap duo Run the Jewels, a reunion of Texas gutter-psych pioneers the Butthole Surfers and Travis Scott, the eccentric Houston rapper whose recently released surprise LP, Birds In the Trap Sing McKnight, is currently the No. 1 album in America.

The organizers of Day For Night, scheduled for December 17 and 18 at the former Barbara Jordan Post Office downtown, say they relished listening to those who told them that someone like Aphex Twin — who hasn’t performed in Texas in more than 20 years, nor America in eight — would be impossible to get, and delighted in proving them wrong.

Bjork
Bjork
Photo by Andrew Thomas Huang/Courtesy of Day For Night

“In the last several years, a festival circuit of bands has formed,” says Omar Afra, publisher of Free Press Houston, which co-produces Day For Night alongside New York-based digital design shop Work-Order. “We did our best to deviate from that so we can create experiences where people say, ’This is once in a friggin’ lifetime. I don’t know if I’m ever gonna see this act or this act.’ Man, we’re just stoked about it.”

Other artists scheduled to appear on Day For Night’s three stages include ODESZA, Kaskade, Blood Orange, RZA + Stone Mecca Rider, Little Dragon, Lightning Bolt, Ariel Pink, Squarepusher, Lower Dens, Thundercat, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Liars, Washed Out, SOPHIE, Tobacco, Kamasi Washington, Marcel Khalife, and S U R V I V E, soundtrack creators for the summer Netflix sensation Stranger Things. Houston will be well-represented by, among others, Wild Moccasins; Fat Tony; Vacation Eyes; LIMB; Hevin; -Us; MNYNMS; Kult Dizney; and a reprise of popular Free Press Summer Fest attraction Welcome to Houston, including A-list local rappers Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Lil’ Flip and Bun B (more TBD).

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Under the curation of Work-Order’s Alex Czetwertynski, Day For Night’s digital artists will turn the 1.5 million square feet of the five-story former post office into one of Texas’s largest temporary art installations. Boldface names here include the UK collective United Visual Artists, whom Afra calls “the Beatles of digital and interactive art.” Björk, working under the name Björk Digital, will present a number of interactive installations, some of them employing virtual-reality technology. Legendary director and composer John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape From New York) will combine music and images from his films. Shoplifter, Ezra Miller, Michael Fuller and Damien Echols (a member of the West Memphis 3) will all debut new works at the festival designed to, according to the Day For Night press release, “explore the deep connections between light, technology, sound and space.” Bringing in artists of that stature sometimes helped convince some of Day For Night’s more elusive musical performers to sign on, Afra admits.

“It does help,” he says. “However, the greater point is that music, technology and digital art are quickly becoming one and the same. As technology progresses, I think this is really part and parcel of the music industry playing catch-up. At this point, I think in the back of your head, it would almost have to work to disassociate art, technology and music, but unfortunately that’s kind of the paradigm in the greater music industry.”

John Carpenter
John Carpenter
Photo courtesy of Day For Night

Afra also sees Day For Night as a prime opportunity for the city of Houston to present its best self to the thousands of visitors who will be headed here just for the event.

“I think this is Houston taking that step to say, ‘Not only can we follow suit, but we can lead,’” he says. “We are I think the fastest-growing city in the nation, the most diverse city in the nation, soon to be the third-largest city. We arrived a long time ago, but I think that this is part of a greater narrative of Houston [that] now will not just emulate but innovate.”

Day For Night tickets are on sale now at dayfornight.io, starting at $150 for two-day general-admission passes. A package that includes the Friday-night VIP party featuring DJ sets by Björk, Lightwheel, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler (as DJ Windows 98), Suffers singer Kam Franklin and more, runs $250. VIP packages, which include rapid entry, free food and drink, and special viewing areas, start at $700.

Butthole Surfers
Butthole Surfers
Photo courtesy of Day For Night
Odesza
Odesza
Photo courtesy of Day For Night
Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels
Courtesy of Day For Night
Little Dragon
Little Dragon
Photo courtesy of Day For Night
The Jesus and Mary Chain
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Courtesy of Day For Night
Day For Night Ropes in Aphex Twin, Bjork, Butthole Surfers & Lots More for Year 2 (9)
Courtesy of Day For Night

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