Mulatu Astatke and Midori Takada at Fondazione Prada

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  • Besides being one of the cultural epicenters for art in Milan, Fondazione Prada is also one of the city's most fascinating buildings. The former distillery from the early 20th century features a bar designed by Wes Anderson and an impressive art collection. Recently, the venue opened its doors to electronic music events, beginning with I Want To Like You But I Find It Difficult, a three-part series curated by Craig Richards. The first event took place in late April, with Richards and Ricardo Villalobos playing for roughly 100 people on a breathtaking panoramic terrace. At the second edition, on June 8th, two stages were placed in the modern courtyard. The legendary artists Midori Takada and Mulatu Astatke performed on the main stage, while E/ Tape, Nicolas Lutz and Richards took over the smaller stage. When I arrived around 8 PM, concrete walls and glass surfaces were illuminated by the pink sunset. The crowd ranged from elegantly dressed people to young techno kids in Balenciaga sneakers, sipping beers and cocktails while they waited for the concert to start. During Takada's performance, the audience was distracted—chattering almost drowned out the Japanese artist's sounds, a minimalistic mix of gong, percussion, vibraphone and vocals. She span among the instruments onstage like a shaman. "I would kill for a chair to sit in and close my eyes," said someone behind me. I agreed. After a 30-minute interval, soundtracked by E/Tape's crispy basslines, Astatke and his orchestra stepped up. The ten-piece band transformed the vibe with their captivating live show, the audience finally starting to move their feet and shoulders to the powerful jazzy tonalities. The group knew how to engage the crowd, asking for claps and howls, as the enthusiasm reached its peak with "Yègellé Tezeta," one of Astatke's most iconic tracks. There was an enthralling drum-led encore before we plunged ourselves into the back-to-back between Richards and Lutz. The two selectors played a mesmerising and downbeat selection of Shazam-proof gems, sending the audience home in a dreamy haze. Photo credit / Ugo Dalla Porta