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Hear the sound of the underground at Tallinn Music Week

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The fairytale surrounds of Estonian capital Tallinn, for one week a year, becomes the European centre for new, underground music from across the globe.

Mart Avi

Between the 2nd and 8th April, the multi-venue festival takes over the Old Town and surrounding area for new acts from across the world. TMW is known for uncovering acts that often miss the UK music radar and revels in highlighting the Estonian underground as well as music from countries like Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe.

With a complete disregard for genre, TMW is more about creating trends rather than following them. A quick look over the hundreds of acts performing will give you alt-pop, indie-rock, synth-pop, metal, hip hop and dark techno.

One of the best events on offer is Cryptomarket which over two gigs plays host to the UK’s Suzi Wu, Slovenian noise quartet Lynch, Estonian producer, and activist Maria Minerva and indefinable Russian group Mirror Lips - to name a few.

These events are also showcasing three acts who are soon to head to UK shores. Tallinn local boy Mart Avi has been described as a ‘new form of pop artist’ for his strange and combustible pop compositions that mould genre into his own ideas of what music should be. His commanding voice sounds like a Estonian Bowie. He is also performing at Liverpool Sound City.

The Great Escape will see sets from Russian post-punk maverick Kate NV and disco punk Wet Red, who combine synth pop and post punk in a manner that could only come from the former Soviet bloc.

And it’s not just music that TMW is all over. The Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center is curating a programme of contemporary art in gallery spaces including a photography from Andres Teiss and an international group exhibit curated by Margot Samel.

Alongside all this the TMW Creative Impact Conference will explore creativity in relationship to a range of topics, issues and problems with a wide range of expert speakers and thinkers. Expect in-depth thought and discussion around the theme of ‘New Economy Future of Music, Better Cities, Design Thinking’. Tallinn Music Week isn’t just about presenting the best of now but the best ideas for the future.

If you are looking to combine a trip to one of Europe’s most unique destinations with the best in new music and culture, Tallinn Music Week is the right event for you.

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