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.
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! 😉
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:
Chemical Brothers finally return after five years since their last LP ‘Further’!
Titled ‘Born In The Echoes’ features collaborations with Q-Tip, St. Vincent and Beck and will see the group tour across the UK, Europe, North America and Japan in the coming months. You can listen to ‘Sometimes I Feel So Deserted’ below.
Full tracklist of the album:
01. Sometimes I Feel So Deserted
02. Go feat. Q-Tip
03. Under Neon Lights feat. St. Vincent
04. EML Ritual feat. Ali Love
05. I’ll See You There
06. Just Bang
08. Taste Of Honey
09. Born In The Echoes feat. Cate Le Bon
11. Wide Open feat. Beck
‘Born In The Echoes’ is out July 17 on Astralwerks. More info and first pre-orders (although seems US only at the time of writing) can be found at http://www.thechemicalbrothers.com/
Taking place in a now infamous Welsh forest location, Gottwood boasts a mystical fairytale-like setting. Entering its sixth year, the Gottwood team are excited to be bringing the most established and forward thinking line-up to date to their wholly independent, electronic music based festival.
I haven’t had the pleasure of attending Gottwood yet, however a friend – Alex Hughes, had this to say:
“Great music, great crowd. They put the effort in making the site look amazing with the added bonus of it being in the woods. They’re keeping the capacity at 5000 now which was worked really well last year, didn’t feel too busy. Just a proper good small festival in the woods.”.
This is what attracts me to Gottwood. With the ever-expanding festivals, hour-long queues to bars / loos, it seems they are starting to forget why people decide to go and live in mud for days – the music. And oh do Gottwood crew deliver on that:
Honestly haven’t been this excited for a small festival in years. See you in a forest somewhere in Wales in June!
Full Line Up 2015:
Adam Shelton / Andrew Ashong (Live + Dj) / Artwork / Brawther / Craig Richards b2b Ben UFO / dBridge FaltyDL / Frank & Tony / Hunee / Leon Vynehall / Marcellus Pittman Margaret Dygas / Maxxi Soundsystem / Midland / Motor City Drum Ensemble / Mouse Outfit (Live) / Move D / Om Unit / PBR Streetgang / Point G (Live) / Radioactive Man / Ralph Lawson / Subb-an / Tornado Wallace / Zenker Brothers / Zip
2 Bad Mice / Al Dobson Jr / Alex Arnout / Alex Jones / Bad Passion / BEHR (Live) / Bell Towers Blackhall & Bookless / Bradley Zero / Brinsley / Casino Times / Cassio Kohl / Cedric Maison / Chimpo Cottam / Denney / Dom Chung / eLDOKO / Francis Inferno Orchestra / Futureboogie DJ’s / General Roots (Live) / Hesseltime / Ishmael / Josh Tweak / Lee Coombs / Luv*Jam / Michael James Morris Cowan (Live) / Nils Diezel / Prequel / Real Nice / Red Eye Hi-Fi (Live) / Romare / Ruf Dug / Sean Brosnan / Sisterhood / Soul Jazz Soundsystem / Sounds Of The Universe DJ’s / Steevio (Live Modular) / Tenderlonious / Tristan Da Cunha / Wolf Music / Zoo Look
Alec Function / Assheton / B&W / Bobby Pleasure / Brothers Of Jah / Chad / Charles Jordan / Charlie McFarley / Cherrie Flava / Ciaran Hansen / Congo Tuff / Croz / Dan Jordan / Daniel Orestes / Dave Beer Ed Mackie / Ed Steele / Ed Sweet / Edward Antonio / Em Williams / Endaf / Everything Is Everything / Farrer / Fox / Gold Wing / Good Block Dj’s / Hamish Cole / Herukajon / Hijinkx / Hizatron / Hugh Bailey Hunter Giles / In A Lonely Place / Indra / Itchy Rich / Jigsaw / Jonny Dub / Jonny Sleight / Jonny Tawn / Jordan Plange / Kaim Shah / Kostas G / Kris Davis / Krywald / Lauren Lo Sung / Lorcan Mak / Low End Grooves / Maff C / Master & Commander / Metrodome / Metske / Mr Paul / Nanny Banton / Nick Wood OJsmooth / Optimus / Phase 2 / Rankin / Reme / Rich Reason / Rob Amboule / Sharkbait Silas & Snare Surgeon / Sison / SoulJam Dj’s / Spam Chop / Sparkz / Studio 89 DJ’s / T-Man / Talk & Smoke / Toby Nicholas / Tom Saunders / Truthos Mufasa / Will Brockbank
Love Saves The Day is back for its fourth year at Eastville Park in Bristol on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of May 2015 and is bigger than ever before. Seriously, there are loads of class acts this year across eight stages and people are well excited about it. Hannah, a real life Bristolian says “I’m going”. Good for you, Hannah.
Saturday will be headlined by Jessie Ware, the English Rose with the thorns still attached, giving us a lesson that British soul and R&B is still alive and well. Berlin based Âme will get us all moving while Tale Of Us bring out the emotive side of electronic music. Northerner Patrick Topping will also be bringing those summer techno vibes while elsewhere one of Bristol’s most loved, Julio Bashmore, is sure to keep the party going.
But that’s not all. Saturday will also get down and dirty. The hard-hitting, high-energy Hannah Wants will be bringing her unique style of bass-house, meanwhile the Cardiff kings, Bodhi, do what they do best by bringing the ultimate deep house. To top it all off Just Jack, the Bristol-based club and record label will have their own stage this year.
The not-so-lazy Sunday welcomes Azealia Banks to the main stage, best known for her hit “212” that everyone sings despite not knowing all the words. Straight from New York Banks brings us the best in fresh rap and hip-hop. Joining her will be the revolutionary hip-hop DJ Grandmaster Flash and the insanely cool alternative R&B singer Kelela.
Alongside the more urban sounds Day Two brings some Animaux favourites. Four Tet, Daniel Avery, Dark Sky, Joker and Ghost Culture are going to smash it, with loads of skill, stage presence and sick beats they’re bound to make Love Saves The Day a city festival with a difference.
Of course, being Bristol, Love Saves The Day have also made room for loads of great local DJs on both days. To name just a few on Saturday we get the likes of Yanis Piff, Third Son and Harry Buggé and on Sunday we are treated to Lojik, the collective Dutty Girl, and Seka. The vast range of local talent on display promises to enshrine Love Saves The Day as a festival for the people; by bringing big names while showcasing the underground Bristol scene we get the best of both worlds. Now we just have to hope it’s sunny.
Aphex Twin has released a new single off of his upcoming Syro album. It has been 13 years since his last album and I, as many others, are way too excited for it. Listening to the first single, which features his unrelenting experimental style mixed with a flowing downtempo vibe reminiscent of Ambient Works, it seems the hype has been warranted.
You can listen to it for yourself below:
Syro is available to buy at Bleep as well as all other usual online retailers.