Animaux | UK

Top Six Things To See At Boomtown 2016

Jul
29

Lions Den -­ The UK’s Biggest Reggae Stage

Rising up on the edge of the woods, this colossal Mayan-esque temple looks like an immovable relic from an ancient past. On closer inspection, however, there are signs that this is a place of very different rituals. Surrounded by a vast amphitheatre of a hill, a formidable array of speakers bulge from the time hardened masonry, vivid lasers pierce the sky while eruptions of flame turn this venerable shrine into a living, breathing roots leviathan. Carrying on his father’s infamous legacy, Damian Marley flies in, continuing to spread the message with his celebrated roots / hip­hop blend. Joining him in a line up as gargantuan as the stage, are the internationally renowned Fat Freddy’s Drop, their jazz-filled dub reggae is more than capable of causing a groove frenzy within the Trenchtown walls and begs for a venue like The Lions Den.

Bang High Palace -­ The Nine-story Behemoth

Erected last year by Comrade Jose, as an imposing symbol of power, this nine-story phosphorescent landmark looms high over the rest of Boomtown. Its formidable spire pierces the skyline as bursts of seismic activity and fire give this whole structure life. It’s bellowing electronic drum & bass voice echoes for miles while the ground palpitates to the rhythm of its beating heart. The palace was erected as a monument to the new totalitarian alliance between the brainwashed ‘Comrade Jose’ (formally Mayor Burrita José) and ‘The Sheriff’, and it worked. Right up until the end of the four days, when a speech by ‘Comrade José’ was hijacked by a masked figure heralding the beginning of a new uprising and a new revolution, the tantalising cliffhanger for the this year’s chapter in the Boomtown legend. Whispers hear mention of this year’s revolutionary prophets, Dj Hype, Dj Hazzard, Mefjus, Critical Music and Full Cycle are just some of the names that hint at a biblical alliance of bass the likes of which are rarely seen on such an epic scale.

Sector 6 ­- Chapter 8’s All New Industrial District

As rumours of revolution bubble over throughout the alleys and dark corners of the town, unexplained rumblings can be heard from Boomtown’s new nuclear power station, sitting in the centre of the recently completed Sector 6. Guttural roars and deeply resonating gurgles can be heard in the quiet of night. Many have heard whispers of heavy garage and grime, others say dubstep, but all say they’ve felt the tremors of palpitating bass. The facts remain to be seen, but propaganda has been circulating, suggesting potential sightings of UK garage emissaries So Solid Crew and DJ Barely Legal within the Sector. Bass representatives Gotsome and Deadbeat UK are also thought to have been spotted in the shadows. Whether the rumours of revolution hold any substance, we will have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, Sector 6 will not go quietly.

Into the Forest -­ The Woodland Raves

The woods and forests skirting the edges of Boomtown are an ever-present intrigue lurking on the periphery of the madness within. They loom on the fringes like mysterious dark boundaries, occasionally bursting with a diffuse green and blue light which pulsates from underneath the canopy, tempting the residents with a hypnotic tribal rhythm. Here, in these dense and secluded woods, the explorer is always rewarded, woodland parties and forest raves are a growing culture for Boomtown’s more rural residents. Celebrating all things psychedelic with a bit of everything thrown in, three such gatherings have made their name in previous years; Psychedelic Forest, Tribe of Frog and The Rave Yard all gaining reputations as some of the most magical places to lose yourself under a canopy of green.

Vamos -­ Boomtown’s Newest House And Techno Venue

Vamos is a brand spanking new venue to hit the loudly exotic streets and bouncing favelas of Boomtown’s carnival district ­ Barrio Loco. Bringing together an intoxicating mixture of fresh blood and experience this fledgeling venue is set to be an exuberant hive of house and techno, and looking at some of the names ready to christen this bad boy it’s one that really can’t be ignored. House legend Derrick Carter, rightly renowned as one of the best DJs in the world sets up alongside; Drumcode’s Alan Fitzpatrick, electro trailblazers Simian Mobile Disco and joining what is already a scorching collection of talent, the highly revered eclectic spinner Jackmaster. Considering this will be its first year at Boomtown, it’s pretty clear that this is a stage that won’t be pulling any punches.

Whistlers Green Mastercrafted Relaxation

Boomtown is a hell of a festival, famed for its detailed approach to immersion and its untameable energy, but there is also a side to it that and be as calming and tranquil as a lilo on an infinity pool, on a cloud, with a brew, and cake. Whistlers Green offers the weary, hungover or curious a vast variety of chilled out activities, workshops and experiences. You can try your hand at jewellery making, blacksmithing, and even chainsaw carving. And for those a who don’t want to get so hands on, you can get your morning yoga in, go for a skate, get a massage, or just chill by the fire. There are also two stages nestled within the tranquillity of Whistlers Green, both providing the perfect soundtrack to this secluded oasis. New to the green this year is the Windmill Stage, a mecca for Reggae, Folk, Funk and Soul, with Radio 6 funk and soul maestro Craig Charles stepping up as well as global electronic innovators Banco De Gaia. Floating Lotus is back as well, showcasing some of the finest singer-songwriter and folk performances around, including The Rubber Wellies and Rhain.

You can read our full guide to Boomtown here or check their website for more information.

Outlook Festival Reveals Opening Concert and Lineup

Mar
04

The acclaimed bass festival will take over a 2000 year-old Roman Amphitheatre in Pula on the 2nd of September, headlined by the entirety of the legendary hip-hop crew, Jurassic 5, as well as the Mercury Prize winning drum and bass duo, Roni Size Reprazent, who’ll be playing a live show. They’ll be supported by the Gentlemen’s Dub Club and the Trojan Soundsystem as well as a very special guest yet to be announced.

The rest of the lineup is, quite frankly, mind-blowing with stellar artists from all over the bass spectrum. On the hip hop front, underground ballers Run the Jewels will be joined by psych-rap newcomers Flatbush Zombies as well ol’ school stars Pete Rock and The Beatnuts.


BANGER ALERT

It also reads like a history lesson in the UK Bass scene, featuring original steppas Cutty Ranks and David Rodigan, dubstep pioneers DMZ, Pinch and The Bug as well as dBridge and Goldie on the drum and bass front. The unstoppable return of grime is also well represented with the likes of Flowdan, Manga, JME and Skepta spitting bars whilst Mumdance and DJ Milktray take to the decks.

In short, the 2nd of September can’t come soon enough…

For full lineup info head to http://www.outlookfestival.com/lineup/

Andy Stott – Faith In Strangers Review

Dec
09

Andy Stott, a Manchester based dub-techno producer, has finally graced us with his fourth album – “Faith In Strangers”. Andy’s efforts are regarded to be among the best, so with expectations high, let’s delve deeper and see if it’s worth grabbing this.

The album starts with “Time Away” – a slow creeper of drowned out drones that builds slowly through it’s six minutes of groan. It’s a perfect set up for what is about to come and you are left in a trance craving for more. “Violence” follows that slow progression, yet you are hooked from the start due to the incredible synth sample which is followed by perfectly timed silences and vocals. Once you get into the rhythm of that, Andy switches it up and, for the first time, introduces anything remotely close to the norm – a beat of heavy kicks, hats and slow snares. The little synth sample you heard in the beginning makes a comeback laced with distortion – a truly fantastic effort and one of my favourites of the lot.

Silence has a big part in this album – it is the driving force behind all of the distortion, heavy bass, screeches and vocals. It is what keeps you coming back for more – the best example for this is “No Surrender”. With a multitude of pauses, even more distortion on pretty much everything, it is a pulse that, at least to me, still maintains a warm sound, even though it should not. “How It Was” follows with what could be described as Andy’s best effort to make something remotely danceable to (and I do not mean this in a bad way, read on). It has a nice 4×4 kick riding away with all of the usual bells, whistles, scratches and distortion that by now you have come to accept and it is a welcome progression to the album.

“Damage” is next up and is, hands down, my favourite. It comes in as a surprise after the relatively calm 4×4 you got used to during “How It Was” and tears you a new one. Again, distortion makes a massive part in making this into something you cannot stop listening. The beat and the insane hi-hat arrangement carry this beast through it’s relatively short in comparison to the whole album four minutes. It is followed by the title track of the album – “Faith In Strangers”. It is a welcome change which goes back to a more dubby sound, which you need if you want to recover from “Damage”. Playful vocals, a rolling bassline, screeches and a variety of percussion with slow drony synths makes it obvious why it chosen as a title. The production value on this most likely the best out of the lot.

The album closes with “Missing”. Reminiscent of “Time Away” this is a perfect closer as it rounds up the experience which this album was. Personally I was very impressed, the mood shifts and the overall sound of the album are great, you get lost in the sound and in yourself when you listen to this. This is no “shuffle on, let’s go browse some internet” type of ordeal. If you want to experience this as it should be, put it on loud and relax. Get lost in the beauty of chaos, seemingly uncomfortable sound and most importantly silences. Vinyl in the bag for this.