Every few months I find a new European city I immediately fall in love with and plan to move to at 28. I’d get a season ticket at the football club. Work in a lazy café and walk the neighbour’s dog while they’re at work. Get really into house plants or cycling or board games. Make some intensely meaningful friendships which dissipate completely after six months of being back in the UK. Bilbao’s my latest one. It’s class - the seafood, the hip but friendly people, the angular art - and not least because it’s nestling one of the most underrated festivals in Europe.

I’d not heard of BIME Festival before, but it’s quietly operated since 2013, ostensibly in the shadow of its larger sister BBK; and looking over its previous posters, it’s quietly but dramatically improved in its line-ups over the years. Set in the immense halls of the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, there was a degree of surreality to the whole experience; spectacular lighting rigs and chasmic but clear soundsystems presenting an incredible roster; but the audience was uncannily small. Being able to veer from the bar and back again to a few rows from the front during a splenetic Aphex Twin set felt improbable – not that I was complaining.

The acts represented were welcomely eclectic. Editors and MGMT fulfilled the festival nostalgia-drunk, neither being particularly invigorating but having enough fluffy 00s-memories currency to maintain momentum. Stephen Malkmus & The Jigs *shredded it*, even finding space for some Pavement (‘Starlings On The Slipstream’); Kurt Vile, too, shredded it, the songs off the new album sounding better live than they do on record. Aphex and Slowdive, two of the best live acts ever – objectively, in my view (lol see what I did there) – were authentically transcendental, the closest approximation of music as religious experience; for very different reasons.

We largely stuck to the consistent Big Acts working the two stages of the main hall, but a sharp interval into one of the smaller, adjacent stages brought the slap-in-the-face adrenaline shot of Mumdance. Flashes of Blawan’s synth squawks on ‘Tasser’ ensnared, before the Brighton DJ realised his opportunity of an unwaveringly on-board crowd to reach for sentimentality and succeed, dropping Josh Wink’s epochal acid anthem ‘Higher State of Consciousness (Tweekin Acid Funk)’ to literal shrieks of delight. It was frenzied electro and high, high-bpm techno, simultaneously hysterical and exhilarated and conceivably the festival highlight.

Last act of the weekend was Jon Hopkins, whose heart-wrapping, wide-eyed melodic techno tore me apart, again, as it unfalteringly does. Though I left, or more literally hobbled after two days of sustaining myself until the very early hours, with a Hopkins-shaped arrow in my heart, I also left being enormously impressed by BIME. The production values, organisation, and act curation were sublime; I can only hope its reputation snowballs enough to start attracting the size of audience its product deserves.