VILNIUS - Lithuania's largest summer dance music festival kicks off in Vilnius' Kalnu Park on Aug. 14 with a flood of laser lights, gigantic amplifiers and several of the hottest sounds from popular disc jockeys.
The sixth annual Sun's Kick (Saules Smugis) festival, organized by Radiocentras, starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until sunrise. In addition to Lithuania's Metal on Metal, stars will be coming in from three other countries: The U.S. will be represented by Felix Da Housecat, Denmark by Kid Massive and the Netherlands by Rank 1.
The local band, Metal on Metal is the 8 p.m. opening act. The uninitiated can visit the band's home page (www.myspace.com/nesakykmamai) to hear a handful of their tunes. The first song, "No Front Teeth" includes a melodic trance, rock and funk that all blend, and then are separated into a series of patterns and offbeat motions accompanied by an electric keyboard.
Felix Da Housecat, born in Detroit, Michigan, is sure to attract the older generation since he started off mixing house music in Chicago way back in 1987. His latest album, released July 9, is "Future Calls The Dawn." His 10th album, "Virgo Blaktro and the Movie Disco" is expected to be released in September.
Kid Massive, also known as Benjamin Pedersen, was raised in London and relocated back to Copenhagen in Denmark, where he became an active part of the electronic music scene. He recently won the award for "Best Upfront Single" and was nominated for "Best Producer 2005" alongside Trentemoller & Morten Trust (aka Soul Magic) at the 2005 Danish Deejay awards.
The last performance is by Rank 1, who come on from 2 - 4 a.m. These guys are known for hitting European dance charts with their singles "Awakening," "Such is Life," and a remix of Cygnus X's "Super-string." The two Amsterdam disc jockeys, Piet Bervoets and Benno de Goeiji, met at a party in 1997. Benno had no experience in producing, but has a keen ear for classical music because he played the piano and the keyboard. The pair created their first release together soon afterward and are now traveling across Europe, the U.S., Japan and South Africa.
In the past up to 40,000 spectators have attended Suns Kick, making it a record-breaking event in Lithuania. Dance music fans from all over the country and abroad have been entertained by disc jockeys such as Juiceppe & DJ Angel, Chocolate Puma, Stephen Diamond & Mc Base, and bands like De-phazz, SEL, The Herbaliser and The Orb. Other big names that have performed in past years are Blank & Jones, Olav Basoski and Gabriel & Dresden.
"Not only is it the most popular dance music [event] in Vilnius, but in the whole country. This is a stand out event. It attracts the biggest crowds, because we always choose the venues which can hold thousands of people," said Jurgis Pauliukas, marketing director at Radiocentras.
The festival is open to all adult age groups, and those under 18 will not be allowed into the premises.
Suns Kick 2007
Kalnu Park, Vilnius
Aug. 14, 8 p.m. - sunrise
Tickets 40 's 50 litas: www.bilietai.ltwww.saulessmugis.lt