Animaux | UK

Primavera Sound Review [2017]

Jun
24

From a personal perspective, Primavera turned into a prime example of times when you might enter a festival rattled up for particular artists and perhaps see a few that almost seem dispensable to the acts you’re eager to see. In an interesting twist of fate, these dispensable acts might just be the highlights of the night, or even, some of the most memorable shows you will ever witness. When was the last time you went to a concert and ended up watching a fully grown and talented man fashion his boxers as a g-string and set fire to his leg hair? What about seeing a 69-year-old performing while wearing a strap-on? What script could we have written that would have showcased any of this?

Aphex Twin

Thursday kicked off in jazzy hip-hop high-tops by BADBADNOTGOOD, and Kate Tempest – who through conveying complex emotions musically was example #1 of unexpectedly entrancing performances. Headlining the evening was Aphex Twin, with a set filled with drawn-out, aloof and prickly transitions that left many describing it for the rest of the weekend as “I’m not too sure what I just watched.” Things were turned down a notch with a theatrical-like show from Tycho, which looking back perfectly resembled vanilla – nice, pleasant, safe. Nothing to get too excited over.

Some sort of effort has kind of happened with Primavera’s stage layout, which results in most alternative/”mainstream” artists performing in the main body of Parc del Forum, with a long, constantly overcrowded bridge connecting this torso to a predominantly electronic music limb. Here, as #2-5 of unforeseen goodness, Fatima Yamaha gave a fittingly lofty and upbeat set, followed by a deliverance of subterranean levels of deep house by German producer/cult figurehead Henrik Schwarz and a truly chilling live set of breakbeat and broken vocal sample wading into moments of old school dubstep from Bicep to an enthusiastic and amicable crowd.

Mogwai

For many, Friday was from the very start not going to live up to the heightened expectations people had set themselves, considering that just the Sunday before, headliner Frank Ocean pulled out his performance as a result, the momentary trend of the festival “Prank Ocean” was born and available on t-shirts, bags and hats.

Regardless of this, the bill promised a rather organic affair of indie and alternative acts, starting with an impromptu show of smoke which somewhere amidst, Mogwai was playing. Mirroring recent albums, things were, once again, a bit vanilla – if anything, they were a perfect beginning for those just arriving and talking to each other while laying on one of the only grassy areas on site.

If anyone were to ask me what Primavera 2017 was like, seeing Mac DeMarco get halfway through “Together” before jumping onto a speaker, giving himself a thong and in the process the cameraman a good old view of his behind whilst carnally lowering himself towards the naked drummer and wincing when he caught himself burning his armpit hair would probably be the first thing that came back to mind. As someone who doesn’t take himself seriously, even as a musician, we, as spectators, were truly given a performance.

The contrast came heavy, then, when on the main stage of the festival, The xx somehow managed to give thousands of people a truly intimate and slightly sombre piece. I was someone who saw the debut album as a lover you never really got over and felt like everything that you experienced afterwards couldn’t compare to. Yet, a compelling interaction between singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim throughout playing, not to mention the iridescent personality of the group conveyed something that I’d never noticed before in the recent albums I’d so strongly stayed away from. In the vocal harmony alone lies a duet that is captivating and yet is almost obsolete in music today. It was clear that the trio had considered a wide range of elements for the set and combined a well-ordered set list with glistening visuals and faintly subdued lighting, which together exhibiting patterns of refracted light, left many in absolute awe. It was, in many ways, so precious, that it seems a shame to have to denote serious issues with sound, as was, in fact, to become a recurring theme throughout the weekend.

The xx

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, sound troubles continued on the Bowers & Wilkins stage, which considering is celebrated for its ingenuity in sound systems, it was almost agonising to listen to legendary force Âme play a live set through a crackling speaker. Despite this, it is impossible to characterise the tandem as anything other than a pure energy drive; it’s instantly clear why the duo has such a powerful reputation between them. This kind of vigour consequently feeds into its audience, which was spaciously formed of techno freaks and house heads.

Friday was signed off with panache by Flying Lotus, who has created himself as a type of cosmic jazz/contemporary electronic music alien. Exalting oomph in both a collision of musical genres and accompanying visuals (of which at one point starred a computerised human tied up on the floor, another feminine body with a face similar to FlyLo’s own twerking over) he unceasingly showed himself to say “no thanks” to conventional style, obscure and haunting one moment, hilarious and mocking the next. Talaboman, the duo outfit that is John Talabot and Axel Boman, moved light-dark/dark-light as the final act of the night when it starts to become morning. Stragglers of all stages transfixed to modern day landmarks of intelligent electronic music, a subjective climax peaking with the sunrise and moving to “The Sun Can’t Compare” in its full and entire glory.

Grace Jones

With a tendency to present older names and long-celebrated artists on Saturday, the atmosphere at Primavera is usually significantly different. The atmosphere gets a bit more relaxed, the crowd dies down and things become, or so it seems, a little more for the locals. The groove sets in earlier than previous days – this time in an oriental fusion with Junun, a project of different cultures and nationalities, usually including Jonny Greenwood. As a mixture of traditional Indian instruments and Israeli influences with electronic coding as the backbone of the outfit, Junun is a multi-cultural, polyrhythmic discourse; their performance giving colour and vitality and making it impossible to stay still. Later, diva/musical icon/Jamaican disco goddess Grace Jones created an absolute storm on the main stage, her entrance somewhat improvised after a dramatic and wind-induced curtain fall. Between bearing a force of a stage persona by asking for a “Coke” in an ambiguous manner midway through the set, to unveiling herself wearing a dildo, she showed herself to a society obsessed with youth and as limitless and unapologetically ageless.

John Talabot

In fact, Primavera proceeded to go down a Saturday Night Fever route in which disco proved to be king. Since Primavera is also an international phenomenon in both acts and audience, there is something intangibly special when John Talabot, who hails from Barcelona, comes back to his roots and performs in front of an appreciative and melody-hungry audience. Playing a disco set, Talabot continuously manages to capture this essence of bliss and yet take the whole of humankind on the same journey at the same time. Weval were a stones’ throw away making some similar magic – as a live and downbeat edition. The Dutch duo is a bit like how a priest might describe God – personal yet impersonal; transcendental yet immanent. Moving away slightly from the intricate power they’ve consistently mustered throughout their studio work, Weval led all eyes on an emotional thread and offered an all-encompassing performance that takes electro-pop, dreamy dance and touching vocals to finish in a state of rapture.

Regardless of the hushed-up malfunctioning sound system and the constant clashes of interest in the programme, reputations happen for a reason. Primavera is now recognised in international lands as a leading festival for its line-up, and this year, excluding the heartache of Prank Ocean, was no exception. An almost predictable outcome of this is a melting pot that allows attraction of like-minded people from a plethora of countries. Where other festivals might offer better food, boutiques and camping, few festivals can compete with the feeling of leaving in the early morning sun to head to the beach and walk back to base in the magical city with borderline mythological architecture and infinite springs of culture that is Barcelona.

Check out http://www.primaverasound.com/ for more info.

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.

Review: Farr Festival 2016

Jul
26

Farr festival, now in its eighth year, has grown considerably since its beginnings as a small party for friends. With a very affordable ticket price and many big names on the bill, a visit to Bygrave Woods this year was a must. I headed down with 5000 other dance music fans to check it out.

Thursday evening was a fairly quiet affair, with only three smaller stages open and music finishing at eleven. Nebraska played an enjoyable live set followed by Detroit Swindle who treated us to ‘Edit Channel XXX’ by JV, the early finish was a little disappointing but understandable for a Thursday.

Image Credit: Michael Njunge for Here & Now

Friday gave us a chance to check out the site in its entirety. Upon entering the arena you find food stalls and attractions (no sign of the dodgems that were advertised on social media) in a field just outside the woods. The woods are where Farr really comes to life. Five stages are dotted around the woodland and real attention has been put into the ramshackle decorations, it really is a wonderful setting for a festival.

Having got our bearings we headed over to the Hidden Palace for a varied set of chilled house such as Pepe Bradock’s ‘Deep Burnt’ along with some funkier stuff from Funkineven. Towards the end of his set he took to the the mic saying, “This is one of the best festivals I’ve played this year so far.” The crowd seemed to agree.

Image Credit: Michael Njunge for Here & Now

Having left to go to the bar I was told the stage was at capacity, this seemed odd to me as I had just been in there and there was plenty of room. After standing around for ten minutes, I found that the place was practically empty. I’m all for safety but this seemed to be overkill and was slightly ruining the atmosphere at the Hidden Palace.

The festival really got going with the brilliant decision for Joy Orbison, Ben UFO and Midland to play a 6-hour back-to-back set at the terrace. It was a great combination of styles and although I had intended to spend more time at other stages I just kept getting drawn back to them. I did drag myself away to see Move D, however, about an hour in, a power cut brought his set to an abrupt halt.

Upon returning to the terrace for the last few hours of the three-way b2b we did notice a serious lowering of volume levels. Fortunately tracks such as Four Tet’s Kool FM edit of ‘God Made Me Phunky’, Boddikas ‘Mercy VIP’ and Bizzare inc.’s 1992 hit ‘I’m Gonna Get You’ kept energy levels high. Hunee closed out the evening at The Shack, playing one of the wide-ranging sets he has become well known for, dropping Kiki Gyan ‘Disco Dancer’ a personal favourite of mine. With a great light show bouncing off the tree canopy above The Shack has a lovely feel to it and Hunee’s selection made for a quality conclusion to day one.

Image Credit: Michael Njunge for Here & Now

On Saturday having enjoyed sets from Maurice Fulton and Young Marco I would have loved to catch Gilles Peterson but due to the hidden palace being at capacity I was unable to. At ten we headed to The Shack for an excellent performance from Palms Trax dropping ‘Music Sounds Better With You’, which went down a storm. He then mixed that into ‘Women Beat Their Men’ by Submission it was a great transition and a standout moment of the weekend.

I was completely blown away by Helena Hauff who played two hours of relentless hard-hitting acid techno that went to show why she has become such a sought after booking these days. Again as the night wore on volume levels at all the stages were a real problem, I had to get really close to the speakers in order to avoid music bleeding in from other stages. As some of the stages are quite close together it may make more sense to reduce the number of stages and keep them further apart to avoid this.

For the final hours, I moved between Optimo and Mike Dunn and finally settling on John Talabot for the closing moments. Towards the end of his set he dropped Midland’s ‘Final Credits’ this was the fourth time I had heard that track over the course of the weekend. Finally bringing the festival to a close with ‘Everybody Dance’ was a nice touch and went down well with those of us still dancing.

Image Credit: Michael Njunge for Here & Now

Farr festival is great value with an intimate feel, however, more food stalls in the campsite would help sooth morning hunger and volume levels can be a little frustrating. These problems aside, the small number of attendees, delightful setting and well-curated line-up mean Farr is certainly one to keep on your radar.

Preview: The Animaux Guide to Boomtown 2016

Jul
21

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.

For more information and tickets visit http://www.boomtownfair.co.uk/

Preview: Farr Festival 2016

May
26

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.

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Preview: Dekmantel Festival 2016

Apr
28

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 OrbTama SumoOptimo 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.

http://www.dekmantelfestival.com/

Gottwax EP 3 – Review (with Ponty Mython)

Apr
16

Ah, April… The sun is finally starting to come out from under the clouds, thus warming our hearts and minds, as well as reminding us that the best season is almost upon us! Summer? No, of course not, it’s the festival season! With April comes Gottwood Festival vinyl imprint Gottwax‘s yearly offering of their carefully selected grooves.

This year we are treated to a bright orange four track EP with grooves coming in from Appleblim, Bonar Bradberry, Ponty Mython and Krywald & Farrer. “Phosphene” by Appleblim eases us in with a lovely slow crawler. Layers upon layers of synth goodness peppered with incredible drum programming, have a listen:

Next up, we have one-half of PBR Streetgang‘s Bonar Bradberry with his dreamy entry – “MOD”. Slow and steady rhythm oozes TRON – futuristic synths intertwine with a slow kick drum and very minute percussion to deliver what I can only describe as that feeling you get just after a good festival. Echoes of a storm.

On the flip, Lithuania’s fast up and coming star Ponty Mython picks the mood up with “Ruddy’s Loop”. Disassembled breaks, a powerful jazzy double bass, clever piano samples as well as an uplifting synth line drive in the “summer is here!” feel. A clever vocal cut about sampling makes the whole effort quite cheeky in the best sense of the word.

Ponty Mython

Ponty Mython

I managed to catch up with Ponty Mython and ask him a few questions:

Mantas: How did the partnership with Gottwax come about?

Ponty Mython: Tom from Gottwax found one of my unreleased tunes in some podcast and asked me to play it. I sent him a 4 track playlist with “Ruddy’s Loop” on it. He liked it so much that we decided to release it.

Mantas: What is the idea behind “Ruddy’s Loop”? Where is the quote in the song from?

Ponty Mython:  I thought a lot about Roni Size’s 90s stuff while making the tune. Wanted to make something with a live bassline, classic breakbeats, but served as a house song. Then I found that quote about sampling in an interview with Roni Size. So it is like an ode to sampling. Every time I play it people ask “what is that?!”, haha. I guess it is a very bright spot in my discography. 🙂

Mantas: Who’s Ruddy?

Ponty Mython: It is just my imagination – it is a guy from the 90s, who just found that fat bassline loop and was excited to do something with it.

Finally, it is Krywald & Farrer‘s turn to close the proceedings with “Innacamo”. The end, however, is tropical and the jubilant African vocals are what keep a smile on my face when the dreaded April showers loom. A guitar sample helps keep things interesting and the bassline mixed with copious amounts of bongos flesh this one out into a truly fun floor filler.

As a whole this is a great entry yet another year by Gottwax and annoyingly is getting me even more excited about Gottwood – most of these guys will be performing there. Why annoyingly? Because it is still April and Gottwood cannot come fast enough.

Available 16th April 2016 – Record Store Day release, record available from selected RSD outlets and Gottwax online store. You can pre-order online via the Gottwood shop.

Dekmantel Reveal Colossal Lineup For 2016

Feb
23

If you weren’t already dribbling with excitement over the prospect of another year of Amsterdam’s Dekmantel festival, then, well.. what’s wrong with you? Even a quick glance at the lineup announcement should be enough to make you look like you need treatment for rabies. It’s an absolute monster.

Set in the idyllic ­ and enormous ­ Amsterdamse Bos forest, about 20 minutes outside the city centre, Dekmantel is thought of as one of the best techno and house festivals on the European calendar and its a reputation which has been snowballing year on year. Ever since more humble beginnings as a series of events and parties (not all legal) in and around Amsterdam, curators Thomas Martojo, Casper Tielrooij ­ and more recently Matthijs Theben Terville ­have faithfully nurtured their concept with an unwavering and inherently simple philosophy “we’re not a festival that changes the lineup year on year” “We’d rather focus on quality.”

Just by taking a quick glance at the latest lineup release you can see what they mean, a good number of this year’s artists and selectors are tried and tested Dekmantel veterans. Theo Parrish, Robert Hood, and Moodymann return, harking back to 2007/8, when Thomas and Casper brought Detroit’s uniquely industrial stylings to Amsterdam’s ­ at the time­ minimal house focused scene. Ben UFO, San Proper and Juju & Jordash also represent a significant part of Dekmantel history, the latter pair being the first to put out EPs on Dekmantel’s own label. The more recent release of EPs from New Jersey master Joey Anderson, and accomplished Ukrainian producer Vakula, not to mention an ongoing partnership with Robert Hood really bolt down a flourishing feeling of trust surrounding the label. Both working on the basis that they “need to release it, because it needs to be heard” the pair further established the Dekmatnel name as a bustling hive of raw talent.

With a long line of successful events and a contact list that would be any promoter’s wet dream it’s no wonder the Dekmantel name has become synonymous with excellence, and looking at the list of djs gracing the selector stage this year you can see why: Ricardo Villalobos, Dixon, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Jackmaster, Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Tale of Us, Fatima Yamaha, Rødhad and Ben Klock all make up just a glimpse of what an utter dream of lineup the trio of music devotees have put together, putting pay to the strong Dekmantel ethos ­celebrating artists that simply need to be heard.

Also on the bill are a number of scintillating partnerships which are not to be missed. 808 state’s Graham Massey and ‘Voodoo Ray’ creator A Guy Called Gerald reunite to showcase a live all-­analogue acid house set. Ben UFO and Joy Orbison also team up again, spinning anything that falls between house and techno, as well as local boys Antal and Hunee putting together what is sure to be a lively and soulful collaboration.

For those who just don’t know when to go to bed, the festivities will continue well after the sun goes down at the long-established Melkweg (Milky Way) club, which will play host to the likes of, Jackmaster, Legowelt (live) and a dizzying swathe of exciting up and coming talent. The festival will kick off on the 4th of August with a series of opening events dotted around the city, all connected by a free ferry, neat huh?

The full line up can be found here, tickets here. Dekmantel will run from the 4th – 7th of August.

Boomtown Releases Its 2016 Mainstage Line­ups

Feb
07

So it’s coming to the time of year when everyone starts crawling out of the gym wondering what the hell happened to January. We’ve just spent a month trying to reverse what a couple of weeks binging on Aldi’s finest booze, and sugar riddled treats can do to our otherwise, I’m sure, trim and sculpted bodies. Nevertheless memories of sunnier and happier days start to filter through, hazy flickering memories of a time when being outside didn’t mean wearing more layers than a family sized lasagna and when sitting in a field listening to music was not only possible, but a pleasurable experience at that.

Yep you guessed it, it’s time to think about festivals, and Boomtown is one I have been itching to see a line­up for. It’s a festival which is well-known for its rich atmosphere and freedom of expression. It even comes with its own warped dystopian storyline, one that develops year on year, with last years saga seeing the union of the brainwashed ‘Comrade Jose’ (formally Mayor Burrita José) and ‘The Sheriff’. A move that led to the building of the ‘Bang High Palace’, a huge, nine story fire-breathing behemoth of a main stage. Erupting with vicious drum and bass, the palace was erected as a monument to the strength of the new totalitarian alliance, 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 next chapter in the Boomtown legend.

Never pinning itself down to any specific genre, Boomtown really rewards the wanderer, you can find yourself raving in a hidden wood one second then skanking on a sun drenched amphitheatre of a hillside the next. Quite literally, the nine different districts making up this brilliantly peculiar pop up city each boast its own flavour of musical delights, from the Latino carnival mood of ‘Barrio Loco’ to the futuristic neon drenched buildings of ‘DSTRKT 5’, a stroll around boomtown is as spicy and unpredictable as a liger (Editor’s Note: Liger) in a curry house. So all in all I don’t think I can be blamed for my, let’s be honest, childish anticipation for the “immersive audio­visual joyride” that is Boomtown. Especially when you look at the wide variety of well known names hitting the many stages this year.

Damian Marley, reggae legend in his own right, returns to the UK’s biggest reggae stage ‘Lion’s Den’, alongside the Kiwi seven ­piece Fat Freddy’s drop and classic skank merchants Madness. In the centre Boomtown’s self proclaimed musical “melting pot” ‘Town Center’ looks to be living up to its reputation this year, setting up to host electronic dignitaries Leftfield and Parov Stelar alongside the ‘Fun Lovin’ Criminals’’ eclectic mix of hip-­hop, funk. Over in ‘DSTRKT 5’ ‘Bang Hai Palace’ is back and immense as ever, looking ready to blast its drum and bass propaganda to the masses with Roni Size and DJ Krust reuniting to mark 20 years of Full Cycle Records, as well as a b2b from DJ Hype and DJ Hazard. Boomtown wouldn’t Boomtown without it’s vast menagerie of hidden spaces and secret stages, and this year looks to be no different. Names like the unpredictable Glaswegian house, disco (and.. well, everything else) connoisseur Jackmaster, renowned for being “one of the most talented and versatile DJs there is” lining up alongside Radio 6 funk and soul stalwart Craig Charles to grace some of the more enigmatic stages sprinkled around Boomtown, the spirit of exploration is clearly still alive.

But anyway, here it is, the first major line­up announcement for Boomtown Chapter 8.

Gottwood Festival Announce Even More Names

Feb
03

Festival news all around but here’s one that actually excites me. Gottwood have just added even more names to the list!

Joining the Gottwood Family will be the Barcelona based Hivern Discs Label owner John Talabot, known for his slow moving and ebullient house. Alongside John Talabot, Gottwood welcomes the return of Rush Hour records (and York favorite) Hunee, a Gottwood favourite following an epic set in the Gottwood Forest during the 2015 event.

Gottwood are also excited to announce rising star John Dimas, who will bring his stripped back avante-garde house and techno sound to a Gottwood stage, whilst hotly tipped Manchester grime collective LEVELZ take over an intimate corner of the welsh woodland.

Ensuring all musical bases are covered jazz, funk and fusion band The Expansions, who are best known as Andrew Ashongs session band, will play Live on the Lawn Stage as will the enthused raw groove, funk and hip-hop sounds of The Max Graef Band and the afro edit sounds of Sheffield’s Al Zander aka Lodger.

Futureboogie’s Maxxi Soundsystem, twin duo The Menendez Brothers and One Records head honcho Subb-An will be bringing more up front party attitude to the forest, along with the well respected Leicester based club night and label collective City Fly. Manchester based crowd-loving crate-digger Neil Diablo will also be onboard, playing solo and also alongside Crazy P original member Jim Baron as their Ron & Neil collaboration.

127 days left to go!

Tickets and more info at http://www.gottwood.co.uk/