The Volvo Snowbombing Mission has been successfully completed: the series of snowbound misadventures in the mountains clocked up over 3000km’s – and took a slice of true Snowbombing behaviour to the coolest resorts across Europe courtesy of JAMES ZABIELA, MISTAJAM and URBAN KIGHTS.
Mission Update 15: James Zabiela In Sasse Fee Popcorn
Mission Update 14: Mistajam in Morzine
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No pressure! After an amazing après ski session, courtesy of Urban Knights, the good party folk of Morzine are wondering how we can top it later that evening. As ever, we were prepared and had reinforcements ready in the shape of MistaJam and James Zabiela!
With the unique opportunity to see these three top acts on the same night in the same venue in a ski resort it was no wonder the fans were queuing outside from doors for upto two hours to get entry!
L’Oprea, a venue so well equipped that you cannot see the ceiling of due to the incredible amount of lighting rigs up there, was the perfect spot for these 3 to play. Holding 500 patrons the vibe was intense, jumping and cruising to Mistajam’s brilliant hip-hop set, air punching in awe to James Zabiela’s House techno set and loving the Urban Knights mash ups. Question – does life get any better?
Mission update 13: Volvo Challenge: Apres Ski Party for The Morzine Marothon
Recipe for a great gig (aspiring DJ’s take note!):
A blue bird warm day,
A bar at the bottom of the slope,
A DJ booth out of the sunroof of the Volvo XC60 with decks strapped to the roof bars,
300 up-for-it Skiiers and Boarders,
The Urban Knights,
Add a cool beer to wash it down with.
No doubt about it; this was the best location for the best après ski party EVER to hit Morzine. And what a way to start the 14 hour party ahead (why can’t winter be like this in the UK?).
Mission Update 12: Volvo Challenge: How Many People Can you Fit into A XC90?!
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To while away the lonely hours on the road, Team Mission keep returning to a theoretical contest between the five of them over the last three weeks to discover how many local Snowbombers could we squeeze into our spacious Volvo XC90? The estimates ranged from 9 to 15 as each team member outlined how this would be done; each idea more preposterous and ambitious than the previous.
Upon reaching Morzine we arrived outside a bustling après ski bar surrounded by inquisitive locals, all very interested indeed in getting their paws on a Volvo Snowbombing T-shirt. That’s when we had our eureka moment! Five light-bulbs metaphorically appeared above our heads and flashed as one. We looked at one another in glee…this was our chance!
And this is why the two lively-liveried Volvo’s caused somewhat of a storm outside ‘Bar Robinson’ in Morzine – and how the surrounding crowd, lured by the offer of some free Snowbombing swag entered…en masse…our vehicles in a display of sardines surrounded by sleek Scandinavian style! Feet and arms were everywhere, if they got any closer we would’ve had to marry them right there on the spot! How are we doing? Can someone count? 5 in the front 7 behind 2 in the two seats behind that and 4 in the boot-wow this car is massive… about 10minutes later and independent judges confirmed that an unbelievable 20 Snowbombers have crammed themselves into the Volvo XC90, shut the doors and earned themselves the coolest ‘T’ in town!
Now; where are those keys…they were around here somewhere…
Mission Update 11: XC90 vs horse. Location: Anzere
So we’ve all skied behind a boat on the blue stuff or down a slope on the white stuff, but how many of you reading this have skied behind a Volvo XC90…whilst it is racing around a snow track against a horse also pulling a skier?
We’re in Anzere for this challenge, and find ourselves in a field with a slope at either end at either end in conversation to the Happy Rancho crowd. The course is clearly set out by bright orange cones – the type every self respecting student have in their bedrooms, which were liberated by some forlorn roadwork’s one Friday night. We have an Urban Knight in the XC90 with a Mission Skier on one side of the circuit and on the other side, a ‘Happy Rancho’ horse, a rider and a skier.
The large black snow tyre of the XC90 and the hoof for the horse are on the line. The sun is shining and the starter approaches…Go! Both teams accelerate down their first straight and hit the first corner, both skiers weaving behind their chosen modes of transport. However the course isn’t as smooth as it first appeared – in fact it’s seemingly riddled with more bumps and dips than the Moon! While the XC90 absorbs these like Shaun White Perfectly landing his infamous ‘Double Mctwist 1260’, the horse is finding the going a little tougher. The Volvo pulls away, supremely handing the bends and expertly gripping the snow-covered terrain. Despite a last corner wobble from the skier, the XC90 crosses the finish line a good 10 meters ahead of the hardy mare. Another victory for our Volvos!
Mission Update 10: Dicks Tea Bar Val D’isere with James Zabiela
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Just half an hour down the road from Tignes lies the famous resort of Val d’Isere. Immediately we set about painting the town red…or rather painting it Volvo Snowbombing! In no time at all bunting was fluttering; flickering shadows amidst a glorious sunset which cast orange hues across the surrounding mountains; inevitably the shadow reached the valley and Dicks Tea Bar grew a little bit more welcoming…
As the evening wore on, the resorts cool quotient descended; their faces reddened from the glorious day and eyes bright with expectation. KVL from the Urban Knights kicked off at 11pm with some minimalistic space being cut by the crowds. There then followed a back-to-back session with fellow knight Benny Kane coming in hard with some visual master techniques. Then the door opened and who walked in but Mr. James Zabelia; freshly emerged from a XC90 and ready to start work!
Once James had set up his iPad he was fully loaded …and didn’t disappoint! The crowd loved every his mix, tweak, phase and rewind. It’s no surprise that the man has been one of the most in demand DJ’s anywhere in the World for the best part of a decade now. Many of the crowd surrounded him following his set, telling him they’d catch up with him at Snowbombing in Mayrhofen in April.
But first we have Anzere in our sights…
Mission Update 9: Tignes
It’s snowing heavily as we delivered a Volvo Snowbombing-infused après ski session, (fuelled by mulled wine and hot chocolate steaming in the snow!) The Volvos were disappearing rapidly into a soft white veil and Benny was finding it getting harder to mix as numb fingers bravely kept the beats up. The dashboard reading was minus 9, but the show must go on! The Urban Knight’s kick off with some minimal tech house and slowly progressed too some deep house – all in all, a great warm up for the night ahead…
Following our impromptu afternoon session, the venue pre sold 300 tickets – yet there was still people arriving! (What’s French for ‘House Full?) After a progressive 2 hour set from KVL it was time for some drum and bass from Benny Kane. The Urban Knights were really smashing it and taking the venue to the extreme. You couldn’t even walk from one side of the venue to another. When the lights went on at 2am, they were greeted by the wall-to-wall pleading of ‘ONE MORE TUNE…ONE MORE TUNE!’ They weren’t disappointed! But all good things must come to an end and after a rapturously received encore, the power was pulled, the lights went up – and stayed up …and we reached for the remote keys to the Volvos. Next stop? Val d’Isire!
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The Ice Driving Challenge
The fun of Ice driving is to successfully get around a slippery track side gliding around the corners, and getting your rear out! (that’s the car’s rear end!) We took the XC90 and XC60 to the renowned Ice Circuit in Les Breviers (Tignes), where Franco – a former professional ice driving champion rode our trusty Volvo’s ragged!
Francois did a couple of laps of the fairly large circuit in very bad visibility and pulled in, wearing a big satisfied smile. We asked him how the XC60 performed. ‘They handle to well; I’d buy one for my son’.
That’s a pass, then! The Mission Team decide that they would like to get firsthand experience of these cars in these icy conditions… with the in-car sound system pumping out last night’s Urban Knights set, which we recorded. For us they were great fun, the acceleration on the ice is surprisingly strong, cornering is excellent… and just as importantly the sounds quality clear, loud and proud as Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ appropriately completed the slide-y soundtrack!
Mission Update 8: Parasailing
If there’s a better way to see a resort, feel, really feel the mountains and get a huge adrenaline rush at the same time, please enlighten us… Until then, paragliding it is! Soaring surreally through the air, suspended by a few suspiciously-slim strings, attached to a gossamer-thin, elegant wing.
Of course Para-gliders are not usually raced against cars…but then The Mission isn’t at all normal!
The Urban Knights slit up: Benny would ‘take the low road’ – drive the XC60 while Klaud would ‘take the high road’- ride tandem paraglide across a 5 km course. The XC60 would start the race some miles away, driving though small lanes snowy roads, streets lined with snow covered barns and steep slopes, ending at up at the finish line in a race against the overhead paraglider.
The start was synchronised and saw the XC60 expertly navigating the treacherous track, cornering and accelerating rapidly where possible, whilst overhead the paraglider spirals swiftly in order to lose altitude quickly. Ten minutes later and it is pretty much neck and (above) neck! On approaching the finish line, it looks like the paraglider has the edge… but the XC60 finds a little extra on the long straight and hits the finish line just as the airborne Klaud is still 7 metres above the ground: Another victory for the seemingly invincible Volvo
Mission Update 7: DC Pro Rider jumps XC60
Wherever we go in the mountains, the liveried Volvo XC60 and XC60 get a lot of attention, and pulling into Le Vert Hotel was no different. In no time a small gathering of pro-riders and pony-tailed boarder girls gather and shoot admiring glances at the two shapely Swede’s. We get chatting to Jean ‘Jahknow’ Fanjat, a professional DC rider who also looks after the Chamonix park. Well one thing lead to another and before we know it Jahknow is suggesting he and Raphael Roux (another DC pro- rider) jump the Volvo! Our reply was obvious – “You’re on! … but mind the paintwork!” We then retire to the hotel lounge, to discuss the best way to execute this.
The next morning and we meet the two guys at Le Vert Hotel at 0900 hours. It’s a cold morning but we have to get moving before the temperature rises as it has been doing, to ensure that the boys can keep their speed on the snow up to the kicker. We arrive in a car park in Le Tour – there’s a fair amount of snow around and it doesn’t take Jahknow long before he’s shoveling snow into a landing for the jump the other side of the Volvo XC60. About 2 hours of building and shaping later and we have an expert kicker and landing created. Due to the lack of slope, we pulled in the riders using a rope tied to the back of the Volvo XC90 on one end! This would provide them with the velocity needed in order to attain the air needed to clear the XC60
A few test runs later and the guys not only clear the Volvo, but start pulling out some spins, as you can see from the footage!
Mission update 6A: Meribel
Although it wasn’t snowing, it was seriously sub zero and we were putting out the Gobo, our HUGE outdoors projector in the bitterly cold conditions. (A big thanks to our grandma’s for the hats, gloves and scarves that we all got for Christmas!) The venue – the legendary Dicks Tea Bar is underground and we were pleasantly surprised to find a bigger sound system ready to service the 400+ pairs of expectant ears, who had gathered after seeing the Volvo Snowbombing convoy pull into town and park up. Word travels fast when there’s a chance of a great party!
The doors opened at 2300, when the Urban Knights kicked off and they had the mixing going from drum and bass, to dubstep and down to house and techno…if it moved; it was in there! The visuals looked amazing on the 4 screens and seemingly more and more people were arriving – having been alerted by SMS that The Mission were in town.
After a sweat soaked five hour set it was finally time to pack away the VDJ’s and get the XC60 and XC90 heated seats on (happiness is a heated car seat in deep winter!), as we loaded up the large amount of kit that we had with us back into the Volvo’s and headed off into the night and en route to Chamonix, passing the stunning Mont Blanc.
Mission Update 6: The Full Terrain Quad Bike
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So here The Urban Knights have the opportunity to be driven up the slopes in a full terrain buggy driven by the manager of the Hotel Doran in Meribel… Straight-lining it all the way to the top of the mountain sure beats a chair lift!!
Mission Update 5: Party Time
Location: Les Arcs: Red Hot Saloon
After a long, relaxing drive down to the south of France in our luxury accommodated Volvos we reached the snow-capped Alps and were ready to save the mountains from an avalanche of awful après ski sounds and share the Volvo Snowbombing vibe.
The Red Hot Saloon bar was the first leg of The Mission – a warm and welcoming intimate venue. After spreading the word around town and sampling the local cuisine, we were ready to commence our Mission.
The Urban Knights had set up their 3 decks including 2 DVJ1000′s and one CDJ1000 and SVM1000 mixer and were ready for some visual Audio’s. The set up was looking fresh and the CD’s were ready to go.
We were stoked to discover hundreds of students were in town which added to the atmosphere. This meant that their intake of cheese had been kept to a minimum, but they were still ripe for some Urban Knightery!
With an awesome alpine mix from the Urban Knights and some free giveaways from The Mission Team, the crowd was one that looked like they wanted to jump into the cars with us and join the mission to the next leg in Meribel!! Alas, we said our au’voir’s and jumped back in Volvos to hit the road…
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Mission Update 4: En route to Les Arcs
Mission Update 3: Departure
Location: London to Les Arcs
We stood scratching our heads in the middle of Soho, London. For the first time we could see all the kit needed to complete The Mission, plus enough tunage to power a nuclear reactor. How on earth would we get it all into the Volvos?
But 20 minutes later, with careful packing not seen since we left for Scout summer camp when we were all 13, fit it did – the storage space in both the XC60 and XC90′s is seemingly endless - meaning we could utilise the cars interiors for what they were meant for …comfort! (we’ll come to the heated seats later on in the blog..!)
It was slow progress due to the snowy roads (top road-holding and traction incidentally!), this meant that we only just made it onto the ferry – our two Volvo’s were the last two cars on before the big gate went up.
After a wander around the ferry, we found ourselves chatting to a group of snowboarders who’d spotted the branding which covers the Volvos, as they emerged from their Camper on car deck 6. They were heading off to Chamonix for 2 weeks and were stoked to hear we’d be in town on Thursday – so we gave them some stickers and told them they were the advance assault party!
Off the ferry, into France then to Troyes..Reims…Lyon… running low on Haribo with only those white ones left (note to Haribo: no one likes clear Gummy Bears – sort it out!) By the time we reached the outskirts of Les Arcs it was getting dark and the silhouette of the Alps was both foreboding and welcoming.
Although the journey had been long, we all felt fine. 10/10 to the Volvo head of ergonomics! Nevertheless, it was still great parking up and unloading the kit. We felt like The Mission was well and truly underway!
Mission Update 2: Mission Training – Arm wrestling & tobogganing…whilst wearing lederhosen!
When The Urban Knights took on The Mission they knew it would be interesting…but lederhosen…cow milking…in Tristenbach – the remote barn where the Volvo Snowbombing Backcountry party takes place?
But never one’s to shirk a challenge, a leather short-clad Klaud manfully took on champion lumberjack (and venue owner) Christian whose biceps are the thickness of a lamppost and who hasn’t been defeated in 12 years. The outcome was a foregone conclusion, but it was an entertaining contest nevertheless – and the Urban Knights bravery earned him supersized meisterwurz schnapps…
Outside meanwhile, it’s minus 18 and the bus back to ‘der hoff’ leaves in 10 minutes – from the bottom of the track! Both Knights expertly navigated the floodlight track and made it to the bus just in time…salvaging their honour and making it to The Arena in time to play their set – and Jack Beats (who’s plane was unable to take off from Heathrow due to the snow back in the UK) – The Mission saves the day!
Mission Update 1: Mayrhofen and Mission Training!
Location: Mayrhofen, The Arena
As Mayrhofen is the home of Volvo Snowbombing, we were surrounded by knowing smiles as The Mission Volvo’s paraded up the hauptstrasse and parked outside the famous Arena club. Familiar faces appeared and told us the word was out that The Mission was in town and that tonight’s show would be rammed-to-the-rafters. After a quick trip to Hans the Butchers for some of his mythical Pork Rolls with senf (Austrian mustard), we set up and sound-checked.
We were then challenged to the most bizarre set of training tests for the official Mission Tour which included dressing in lederhosen, arm wrestling…and cow milking. Upon returning to resort around midnight, we met up with resident DJ Mr Stocky who had done his usual excellent warm up job and readied the large crowd for the Urban Knights & special guest SUB FOCUS & MC ID!! To say they were received warmly was an understatement and the Arena’s floor was fuller than we were in the butchers earlier! It was a typical showcase of house, dubstep, breaks and tech house – seamlessly mixed up and mashed to perfection – the ideal training for The Mission!
Check back soon the next Mission Update!
What is The Mission Tour?
We’ve assembled a crack team of sonic snow soldiers and handed them a mighty mountainous mission: to generate the Volvo Snowbombing vibe in the premier powdery playgrounds across the Alps of Austria, Switzerland & France! As well as delivering a slice of the Volvo Snowbombing loaf they will also be undertaking some unique challenges and experiencing various alpine antics in each resort they hit.
Our agents include resident DJs THE URBAN KNIGHTS whose weapons of choice are two of Volvos hottest cars. A passion red XC60 & a Sapphire Black XC90 – the embodiment of cool Scandinavian design and fully loaded with Pioneer CDJ1000′s & Video Screens for VJ-ing: in short a mobile disco done the Volvo Snowbombing way!
ARMOURED COMBAT MOBILITY
The mission will require transportation that is bold and dynamic. This is why the weapons of choice are two of Volvo’s most powerful cross-country cars, each will carry a powerful portable party pack: Pioneer CDJ1000′s pimped up sound & hi definition video screens for VJ-ing – making the most of that infinite loading space! The Mission will cover over 2500 miles in the most challenging midwinter driving conditions in Europe and presents the ultimate task for the mother of all mobile discos!
CROSS COUNTRY MISADVENTURES
Every step of the way our Mission Team will be documenting the Volvo Snowbombing madness and writing a blog to keep you folks informed of their antics every step of the way! Keep checking back for our exclusive Mission blog!