Very very excited (and nervous!) to announce that our next instalment will take place at the historic York’s FIRE STATION! This has been a dream since we saw the For Sale sign above the door for the fire engines. After gruelling negotiations with York’s council and the police, we were finally able to format an event that would make everyone happy.
We are investing heavily into the sound and light aspects of this, in order to truly transform the venue into something you will remember for a while – how many parties at a fire station have you been to? Add on great DJs, art pieces as well as visuals, a cheap bar and a place for those that want to chill and sit, a dance floor for those who don’t and you’ve got yourself an Animaux: Au Feu!
We are running the night in partnership with Blank Canvas, a Skippko.org project to find new and interesting venues in derelict buildings so that artists can practice, have workshops and galleries. Their motto is ‘To advance the education of the public in creative and visual arts and crafts and the techniques and practice thereof’ which we cannot support enough, thus are dedicating all of the profits towards their development. To accomplish this, we are collecting a tiny fee on the door (you are encouraged to donate more!) as well as a few donation boxes across the venue. We wouldn’t be able to do this without their support, so please give back – support the local art!
Cannot wait until you see what we have in store (or FIRE STATION)!
Believe it or not, mid-summer has come and gone and August is looming, which can mean only one thing… the return of Boomtown. This year we’ve put together our very own guide to one of the most immersive and vibrant festivals on the UK calendar. Check it.
On the 14th July, Farr Festival makes a greatly anticipated return to Bygrave Woods in Hertfordshire. The festival has always prided itself on being located just 40 minutes from London, and its handy location has proved popular with the fans it has amassed over its 7 years in the running. Although by no means a landmark UK festival, Farr has popped up on the radar of electronic music fans from across the country and really made a name for itself. The line-up for 2016 is stellar and makes Farr an unmissable festival this summer.
The likes of John Talabot, Palms Trax and Jungle all appear in the woods this July. Palms Trax’s recent appearance in York was one of the best bookings of the year for this historic city and so seeing the German producer play again at Farr would be an experience not to be wasted. Hunee also appears at Farr after his brief but memorable stint in Fibbers this year. Festival organisers have cannily booked pop outfit Jungle to give a light touch to the otherwise more underground scene of Farr’s line up.
Dekmantel Festival is back to the Dutch capital with its fourth installment and it is a doozy – they promise over 150 artists spread out their day and night programs as well as the opening concerts. Have a quick gander at the very stylish video they cooked up:
Dekmantel are heavily expanding on their opening concert idea and offering not one (like last year) but nine (!!) concerts spread out across Amsterdam’s beautiful city-centre locations. All venues are linked with free ferry services and promise an additional free cultural program. These range from James Holden’s dreamy techno ventures with a live band to Alessandro Cortini’s (Nine Inch Nails) live electronica experimentations. You can check the full opening concert line-up over at Dekmantel’s website.
August fifth marks the first official day of the festival in the stunning natural surroundings of the Amsterdamse Bos park and it is hard to describe the amount of musical talent spread out throughout the weekend. Just the first day sees the likes of Jeff Mills, Ben UFO, Surgeon and Moodymann among many other very talented folk. And this theme continues throughout the weekend – I can hardly imagine what it will be like deciding if I should see Dixon or Aux 88, Roman Flügel or Daniel Avery on Saturday and picking between Palms Trax or Motor City Drum Ensemble on a Sunday afternoon just seems cruel. To top it all off at Amsterdamse Bos, the organisers promise: “We aim high with everything we do, but the festival terrain is an exception. We want to give our visitors an open view on the landscape, and thus the decorum will incorporate no skyscraping elements of any kind.” You can check the full day-by-day line-up here.
The night programme returns to the Melkweg – which is one of Holland’s most well-known and iconic music venues. The large building is a former milking factory, and has been in full effect since the abandoned factory got discovered in 1970. It’s a perfect spot for an adventurous club night, offering you a chance to wander and get lost somewhere between the four separate areas, including the majestic Rabozaal, and the coiling hallways that lead you there. Some of the names throughout the weekend include The Orb, Tama Sumo, Optimo and Jackmaster (full night line-up here) and yet again, Dekmantel showcase their prowess in offering a huge collection of talent with focus on great music as opposed to specific genres or styles.
It is clear that Dekmantel are continuing their strive towards building the greatest city festival in Europe. It oozes quality – from locations to the talent, everything has been meticulously planned in order to create an atmosphere like none other and if you are one of the lucky ones that managed to grab a ticket, I salute you as we are in for a ride.
A surprise new Kendrick Lamar album, untitled unmastered., has dropped, less than a year after his acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly. Listen to it below.
Eight tracks and 34 minutes long, the release appears to delve into the “chamber” of unreleased music the rapper revealed in an interview earlier this month he’d been waiting to unveil. All tracks are untitled, but are dated to suggest when they were written and recorded, spanning from 2013 to 2016. Guests include CeeLo Green, Anna Wise, Jay Rock and TDE boss Punch.
Striding into it’s fourth year, MINT Festival returns home to Leeds for an epic two-day camping event at Wetherby Racecourse. Encompassing six arenas of diverse sonic programming, MINT Festival is the perfect close to the summer, taking place over the weekend of the 19th and 20th September.
The festival offers a huge line-up both in the amount of artists performing and the variety of music genres between them. We have the techno and house superstars Sven Väth and Ricardo Villolobos, Zip, Martinez Brothers, Seth Troxler and others (among which is Animaux’s favourite lady – Annie Errez).
Those who want to experience the heavier side of bass music have Benton and Skepta to look forward to and those who prefer something a bit more commercial Kryder and Sigma will be playing too, among many many others.
This is shaping up to be an incredible weekend no matter what your preference in electronic music might be. Personally, Sven is what sold this for me – cannot wait! 😉
FKA Twigs new album comes with five music videos, available here as one 18 minute segment. The album deals with issues such as the objectification of women, their roles as child-bearers and their position in society.
It’s well produced and beautifully abstract, with captivating choreography. In “Figure 8” an older woman with features of an angler fish may describe the allure of women, as they attract men without a display of their true selves. “I’m your Doll” explores how a woman might be a sexual object from the waist down, as Twigs appears on a bed with the body of a sex doll. After she is impregnated, “In time” appears to parody the promiscuity of RnB but, instead of showcasing lyrics about seduction and sex, Twigs asks her partner to “stay with [her] in this”. “Glass and Patron”, my favourite track, juxtaposes brutal bass with birth and is by far the most abstract video of the bunch.
The final track, “Mothercreep” of the album does not have a video attached to it. Could it be that Twigs considers child–birth as the end for women, their ultimate purpose? Or is that a reflection of what society dictates?
With every viewing I unlock more, but I’m never sure of anything other than the fact this is a great album.
The Garden Party returns to Leeds for its 10th rendition on 29th of August with two days packed of great artists and amazing food! This bank holiday weekend they are taking over The Tetley (Hunslet Road, LS10 1JQ Leeds) 10 AM – 11 PM on both days with afterparties running afterwards.
The Garden Party is offering a very impressive and wide array of artists spanning the two days – Roisin Murphy, Todd Terje, Joy Orbison, Âme and Grandmaster Flash to name a few.
As well as music they are reaching out to independent food and beverage sellers for the highest quality grub and drink – FISH& / BOOZY Q BBQ / NORTHERN BLOC / BÁNH MÌ BOOTH / PIZZA FELLA / RŌLA WALA / SELA / CRAFT BEER BAR / COCKTAIL SHACK.
With club and promoter partners such as Warehouse Project, Canal Mills, Mono_Cult, and KMAH Radio among others, the quality is assured as the best the North has to offer come together for a fantastic two-day party. See you there!
ROISIN MURPHY / LITTLE DRAGON / TALIB KWELI / TODD TERJE / SOUL II SOUL / KERRI CHANDLER / JOHN TALABOT / JULIO BASHMORE / JOY ORBISON / BLACK COFFEE / HEIDI / GRANDMASTER FLASH / ÂME / BICEP / REDLIGHT / PATRICK TOPPING / B.TRAITS / MR SCRUFF / CRAIG CHARLES / SHADOW CHILD / PAUL WOOLFORD / CHRIS LORENZO / FATIMA & THE EGLO BAND / PREDITAH / ROMARE / PBR STREETGANG / CRAZY P SOUNDSYSTEM / FUTUREBOOGIE / ADY SULEIMAN / ERRORS / DUTCH UNCLES / BAMBOOMAN / GALAXIANS / HONNE / LONELADY / HAELOS / FORMATION / BERNARD AND EDITH / WHILK AND MISKY / ARKIVE / DISKO KID & TOBIAS / PEOPLE GET REAL / KRYSKO & GREG LORD / THE SONIC EMPORIUM / GRAINGER / STE ROBERTS / CHRISTIAN MAIDEN / OLI PATTEN / SIAN BENNETT
This will be the third, ongoing year of the young festival of electronic music, hosted in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. From the opening concert on the 30th of July to the last beat of the closing act in the early hours of August 2nd, Dekmantel will vibrate all the way throughout the capital with its new improved and expanded layout; and I sure as hell can’t wait to be shaken by it.
For the past two years Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) has been the main and only location of the festival. The 1,000 hectares of the entirely artificial landscape park –that is three times the size of Central Park if you need a comparison are located just outside of the city on the borders of Amstelveen. Although artificially created, don’t expect to see fake trees and little ponds. The site is a host of immense natural beauty and amongst other things you can expect to see lush forests, grassy meadows and large water areas including lakes and rivers. It is also a host of a variety of animals but I doubt you’ll get to see any before they are chased away by the boisterous vibes. De Heuvel (The Hill), is one thing you shouldn’t miss; an artificial mountain turned massive slippery slope in winter for kids to enjoy winter sports on. But who says you can’t use it for your regular adrenaline rush tumble? And if you want to fully embrace nature in all its glory there’s even a ‘Naturalist area’ where you can ‘kick your clothes off’ and relax. This year, the space will host five stages (MAIN, UFO, THE LAB, SELECTORS, BOILER ROOM) and not only will you have the chance to experience all of the above, but also another two additional venues!
Treating the opening concert (30th July) as a proper concert, the team have decided to host it in the concert hall for contemporary classical music, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ (Music Building on the IJ). The building features two massive venues -one for music, one for theatre- and is located above the IJ tunnel by the waterfront, just a 10 minute walk from Centraal Station.
The second, newly adopted venue for the night programme is one of significant importance to the Danish electronic music scene. Former dairy factory, the Melkweg (Milky Way) has been the city’s most well-known electronic music venue ever since its renovation and re-opening in 1970. Located in the nightlife hotspot of Leidseplein, the venue features a number of multi-purpose rooms including two on the ground floor with ridiculous capacities (Max: 1,500 and Oude Zaal: 700) which will most likely be used for the purposes of the festival.
The Dekmantel team lives by the ethos they started with: quality over quantity. The music scene is grand and there really is something for every taste.
I for one can’t wait for some of the big names that will hit the stages of Amsterdamse Bog. The king of the infamous Berghain in Berlin, as well as producer and label owner, Ben Klock, will be gracing us with his presence, followed by the equally influential techno master Marcel Dettmann. Both will play on the Friday evening as a perfect reminder of what is to follow in the next couple of days. Two of the biggest American names in techno, Carl Craig, Detroit master and experimentalist and Jeff Mills with his relentlessly hard and industrial sounds are certainly going to grant some life-changing dance floor experiences I do not want to miss. One of my personal favourites, Nina Kraviz, will be one of the last to share her unique blend of acid house and techno with the festival crowds on Sunday at the UFO stage, clashing with the deep beats of Dixon from the Main stage –it’s going to be a hard choice. Incorporating more styles into his techno beats than anyone, from hip-hop to jazz, grime and live instrumentation, our very own U.K. artist Four Tet will also be gracing the Main stage and is certainly someone I never tire of seeing. Certainly, there are more names that strike a chord and a lot more genres for you to look out for. Squarepusher will be bringing us some drum & bass, musique concrete and acidic beats with jazz influences, Ricardo Villalobos his mad dance beats, Madlib his hip-hop influenced sounds and Siriusmodeselektor will give us the opportunity to feel his mad bass live. And if you need a break from all the electronic music just for a little while, Roy Ayers will be there to chill you out with his funk, soul and jazz.
Last but not least, I have to mention the treats the team has lined up for our evening entertainment in the Melkweg. Again, I just have to praise one of the headlines as I am monstrously excited to see this guy. After his recent release ‘Faith in Strangers’, Manchester dub and techno producer Andy Stott will be playing a live set. Another highlight will certainly have to be watching the U.K. father of disco/garage/house, DJ Harvey, mix another one of his incredibly varied sets. Moreover, two artists will be returning to the Dekmantel stage after their successful sets last year: the granddad of U.K. techno Surgeon and U.S. experimental house boss Traxx. Once again, there will be something for every taste. Answer Code Request will be bringing the industrial punch and fierce determination, Basic Soul Unit the deep house, Boris Werner the house and others a lot more.
My expectations are big, but my excitement is bigger. I know I’m not missing this for the world… why should you?
“The process of Bloom started with the idea that the world we perceive is a reflection of what’s inside us, subconsciously or not. It is about coming out of your shell, about expanding into the space around you. We just have to take the walls down, and bloom.” – Joanna Borromeo
Born and raised in The Netherlands, producer Beatsofreen has gained major attention by releasing his first well-received beattape “Future Memories” back in 2011 at the age of 17.
After a successful collaboration (Global Soul EP) with Medaforacle (USA), he was signed to the Darker Than Wax family, celebrating his new EP “Coloured Dreams” (2013), a little tribute to the late & great J Dilla. With his alter ego Stan Forebee , Beatsofreen also creates more jazz-orientated beats, and most recently landed himself a feature on Okayplayer for his remix of Flying Lotus’ ‘Siren song’.
We managed to have a quick chat with Mr. Beatsofreen as he is prepping for his newest release – “Dimensions EP”.
Mantas: Why Beatsofreen? Was the name inspired by something or was it just something you thought would be memorable to people?
Beatsofreen: The alias Beatsofreen originally comes from a Dutch pronunciation of the word schizophrenia. Given the fact that my head is musically inspired in so many different ways, I’m referring to that term by deriving Beatsofreen from schizophrenic. A friend once came up with that one and it actually never got out of my head.
Mantas: Could you shed some light for us on how the whole production game started for you?
Beatsofreen: I grew into the production thing naturally. I played a few instruments before realizing I could create beats and record instruments myself. At the time I started, I was triggered by this dude who moved to my little village, a few blocks away. We were the only two listening to hiphop in our neighbourhood back then. Imagine: green flat landscapes, farmers, mills and cows, local folk people, and two strange guys rapping and making beats together.
Mantas: Could you guide us a little through your sound? What makes the cut?
Beatsofreen: I would consider my sound as warm, organic and full with colors. With that approach I always try to create music that is surreal and imaginative.
Mantas: Who inspires you? Flying Lotus is the obvious answer, but do you have any hidden gems?
Beatsofreen: Most of the inspiration comes from nature and other experiences than music at the moment. I’m inspired by not too many artists. But to name a few: Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Ben Frost, Sigur Ros, Thom Yorke.
Mantas: And finally – what is the funniest / most absurd thing you have seen at a gig?
Beatsofreen: That was at the solo debut release party of Perquisite, former half of the duo Pete Philly and Perquisite, a few years ago. Live band went crazy on stage, solo’s and everything. I don’t know what happened, but in the middle of a massive jam, his self-build setup broke in pieces and half of his gear fell off stage. The other band members didn’t even notice and went on playing.
Beatsofreen’s official first single ‘Bloom’ of his upcoming ‘Dimensions EP’ is out now on electronic music label Darker Than Wax. The track features Canadian songwriter / vocalist Joanna Borromeo. You can stream and download it for free below: