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.
We are taking over The Falcon Tap‘s bunker for this and bringing our good friend Chris I’Anson back – who can forget his blinding set at our second birthday?! For those uninitiated, Chris is the man behind Slipstone Records as well as wildly successful night in Leeds – On Rotation. This man knows his stuff so do come and experience some quality music with us.
The Falcon Tap is a proper pub so expect a variety of beers, ales, ciders as well as a new cocktail menu. We will, as always, be showcasing visuals and are bringing a massive rig to the tiny bunker.
As the winter months start rolling in and we all look back on what a great summer of music we’ve had, it’s easy to get excited about what 2016 holds in store. One producer that’s been making himself difficult to ignore over the last year is Manchester based ‘mute!’ resident JACKY.
Ever since the release of his EP ‘NINETEEN’ on ‘Keep It Zen Records’, JACKY has been gaining momentum as a tech artisan. His debut EP really finds that dance floor sweet spot between smooth infectious basslines, cheeky synths and enticing vocals, a formula that didn’t take long to catch the attention of Steve Lawler, who featured the title track regularly in his sets this year, even laying it down as his track of the summer, and he didn’t stop there. He immediately asked to hear more unsigned material, tweeting “let’s get you released on VIVa ASAP!” and later hooked JACKY up with a guest appearance with the infamous VIVa Warriors at Sankeys Ibiza.
It’s been just over a month now since JACKY’S rumbling tech house EP ‘SINABIT’ was dropped, on VIVa Limited and nothing could have cemented his position more as a definite talent for the future. All four tracks are underpinned with the kind of relentless, pumping bass that make your foot tap without you realising, leaving your brain to drink in the twisted, bouncy synths and subtle vocals which permeate throughout. The title track’s trademark use of these addictive basslines, interwoven with a prickly acid synth and precipice build ups produce a fizzing ensemble worthy of a tech house pro, and leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that this young producer has the same amount of talent as I wish I had money in the bank. But don’t just take my word for it, the release has received some pretty esteemed support from the likes of; Hot Creations head honcho Jamie Jones, Santé, Nick Curly, Skream and Richy Ahmed to name but a few.
It doesn’t stop there either for the protegé from the north-east, it looks like he’s been pretty damn productive in the studio as well, with news of a forthcoming EP ‘Discotek’ planned for early February on ‘Elrow Music’, as well as host of other work set for release with the likes of; Criminal Hype, Keep It Zen, Skint Records and Straight Ahead Music, amongst many, it looks likely that he will be adding to his already impressive remix collection next year.
One thing is for sure, JACKY has created enough of a buzz to keep him a very busy boy in the upcoming months, playing alongside the likes of Paco Osuna, Richy Ahmed, and Cuatero at Motion in Newcastle, as well as confirmed dates in London, Bristol and Cambridge it’s safe to say he will be ending 2015 with a bang.
So, all pretty exciting stuff for a guy who only recently quit the 9-5 routine, and the way things are going, it looks like he’s definitely made the right decision. With his work popping up in sets around the world, including Marco Carola dropping his remix of Lee Walker’s “Gotta get” at Amnesia’s closing party in Ibiza, and a wave of releases ready to hit in 2016, JACKY is definitely likely to be in high demand next year.
As Animaux and Bullet:dodge present: Inxec draws closer, we are very excited to chat with Bullet:dodge Records founder Gareth Whitehead, about the label, music selection and his newest venture – The Brood which him and Michael Greig will perform LIVE (drum machines and all!) in front of our trusty crowd.
Mantas: Hi Gareth! Let us find out a bit more about you. Could you tell our readers on how you started off DJing and what attracted you to electronic music as well as what spurred you to start your own label – “Bullet:dodge Records”?
Gareth: Hi there, my focus was never to be a DJ, quite the opposite in fact. For me, I started producing and writing electronic music which then transpired into me performing live and then DJ-ing.
As a teenager I was very much an avid rock fan, preferring guitar based music, however, as my late teens dawned I was attracted to the sounds of the Prodigy, Faithless, Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Massive Attack. These acts transformed my musical outlook and soon lead me to discover house and techno.
I was part of Edit Select records initially but then about mid 2007 I decided to establish my own label to showcase a different sound and provide a platform for my own output.
Mantas: “Bullet:dodge Records”, “The Brood” – you are killing it at the naming game, what inspired you – any specific theme / story behind the names?
Gareth:Forging a pathway for up and coming artists has always been synonymous with the labels ethos, this coupled with releasing tracks from more renowned and experienced producers has given us our identity. I’ve always wanted to work with a variety of artists across the house and techno spectrum so Bulletdodge has always flaunted an assortment of styles.
The Brood album I guess was a continuation of this theme, but instead of just releasing a house and techno album I wanted to create something a bit different. It’s a collaborative album that features a bona fide who’s who of house and techno. From pioneers who helped shape the sound of early Detroit, Chicago, New York and UK scenes in the late 80s and early 90s to the new up and coming talent that the label has to offer. I tried to convey house and techno’s evolution musically by working with some of the people who shaped the scene to the ones who are doing so.
Mantas: Could you tell us more about your inspirations? Who do you follow and what makes “the cut”?
Gareth:It was my dad that really inspired me to learn to play the guitar in my early teens, even before that he always encouraged me musically. He told me to follow the path in life that would make me happiest, which is what I’ve always tried to do.
I like an assortment of different styles of music, at the moment really enjoying the sounds of Seckou Keita, the alluring Kora player from Senegal.
With regards Bulletdodge we’ve always released predominantly the deeper and darker sounds of house and techno. We try not to succumb to current trends, or certainly allow them to dictate our direction. That’s not to say we won’t release a trending track at times but we’ll release it because we feel it has longevity and portrays something Bulletdodge.
Music shouldnt have a sell-by date!
If the music is good it will make the cut! There’s two types of music, good and bad – and all subjective of course! ha ha
Mantas: We are all eagerly awaiting your arrival in York to play at Animaux – any hints on what people should expect?
Gareth: Yes, we’re all looking forward to playing on Friday. This is the first time I’ve played York so very excited.
As it’s The Brood party, the idea is to showcase the talents of Bulletdodge and deliver the Brood live set, whereby Michael and myself will rework and perform the Brood album live using a combination of hardware and software. The night will fuse house, techno and everything in between.
Mantas: And finally – what is the funniest / most absurd thing you have seen in a gig you either attended or played at (or both!)?
Gareth:I heard recently at a gig what the promoters had previously paid for a DJ! They were commanding a fee to play music for two hours that the average person struggles to earn in a few months! That was completely absurd!
Animaux and Bullet:dodge present: Inxec is on Friday, 6th of November at Mansion.
You can still get tickets online via Resident Advisor or from Earworm Records / The Nook as well as our promoters all across York (check the event page). See you there!
After a short and very very speedy ride via bus (bloody terrifying I might add) I had arrived at Wetherby Racecourse. As I was admiring the views on my brisk walk up to the entrance checkpoints, I was greeted by the all too familiar sound of bass thumping in the distance. MINT festival was well under way.
Picture by Mantas Zalepuga
This year the festival had 6 arenas, down from last year’s 8. This, however, did not mean the festival was at all smaller – for the first time MINT Festival went on for two days. All of the arenas were under massive marquees to prevent any nasty weather spoiling the fun and each and every stage had huge LED screens for visuals. The sound was top-notch in majority of the arenas, with a few exceptions – mainly the GOODGRIEF & Digital Society stage, the hard dance tent, although as I am no purveyor of this genre I might be wrong on this one.
I spent most of my time on Saturday at the MINT Presents stage (Jungle Jam & Detonate on Sunday). Even though it was empty when I arrived (around 1PM), it quickly filled up for George Fitzgerald. Thoroughly enjoyable performance – even if a little underwhelming. The best way to describe his set is that if you have had the pleasure of seeing him once before or even watched any of his Boiler Room sets then you have experienced the same I did at MINT. Again, thoroughly enjoyable, yet not remotely memorable.
Maya Jane Coles took the stage next (and delivered) and as I have had seen her before, I took a wander around the grounds. Other stages at MINT included the very aptly named “Bitch” stage for all of the EDM ‘artists’, the Blasé Boys Club stage with performances from the likes of Kiwi (thoroughly enjoyed bouncing to his deep house grooves), Waze & Odyssey, Tiga and Duke Dumont. The Knee Deep in Sound (Prism, Circular & Deja Vu on Sunday) stage played host to the likes of Green Velvet, Hot Since 82 and Denney. Last but certainly not least we had the System & Set Twenty One arena (Elrow on Sunday) where one of Animaux’s favourite guests Annie Errez performed alongside Premiesku (LIVE), Apollonia and Luciano among others. As you can see there was a huge variety of stages, artists and music genres which benefited all the punters – everyone had somewhere to go and someone to be very excited about.
I returned to the MINT Presents stage for Martinez Brothers and even though I had high expectations for them I was completely blown away. These two really know how to put on a party and the their two-hour set felt like a very welcome explosion of euphoria. Everyone around me – including the bouncers and guys backstage were grooving with huge grins on their faces. Highlight of MINT and I cannot recommend them enough.
Photo by Mantas Zalepuga.
Mister Sven Väth was up next and I could not imagine anyone more suited to follow the Martinez Brothers’ show. The stage designers, light and visual guys, pyrotechnics and everyone else went all out to make Sven’s set look amazing but therein lies the issue. It looked amazing – lasers, fireballs, amazing visuals and lighting were top-notch however when it came to the actual set.. I was very underwhelmed, the long intro was setting it up to be something it never really became and even though I am a huge fan of minimal techno people wanted a proper belter of a set to close the first day of the festival and that never came. He weaned between bass and minimal techno and eventually it seemed people lost interest and the tent started losing people. Do not get me wrong, the music itself was amazing but with the reputation that Väth comes expectations were a lot higher than what was delivered.
And thus day one concluded and thousands of people tried to go home or Leeds for the afterparties. I say tried as the tiny roundabout next to the festival grounds got slammed by people trying to hail taxis, fighting and other usual post-festival malarkey. This has to be addressed next year as having hundreds of intoxicated people running on a road is bloody dangerous.
Sunday was a lot quieter – it seemed people’s batteries ran out on Saturday. Due to technical difficulties Elrow & Seth Troxler Presents stages were combined into one, however this ended up with quite a few unexpected yet fantastic b2b’s and all of the inflatables! Special mentions of the day go to Zip and Ricardo Villalobos back to back as well as Henrik Schwarz’s performance.
All in all MINT Festival was a truly great experience with a lot of fantastic artists and insane production quality. Recommend.
As Milan is rapidly cooling down in anticipation of one of its notoriously rainy autumns, Margaret Dygas and her unique Panorama vibes inaugurate Sorgente Sonora’s 2015/2016 clubbing season at Tunnel Club, Milan.
Half a mile down Stazione Centrale’s western side, squeezed between graffiti plastered arches, Tunnel Club proved to be an unusual yet striking venue for a memorable night. Located along the border where Milan’s classy centre surrenders to it’s post-industrial outskirts, Tunnel Club provided a superb setting for Dygas’ elegant yet sometime bitter sound. The arched ceiling, dominated by a nostalgic disco ball, conveyed the cozy and intimate feeling that so deeply pervaded the night. The glittering ceiling exemplified Tunnel Club’s standing as a tiny jewel encrusted in the grizzling edge of Milan’s city centre.
Lost in the plumy haze of cigarette smoke, the crowd extended its way back from the stage to the doors. Packed with youths excited with the return of an ever richer Milanese clubbing scene, the night was truly evidence of the international reach that techno has recently achieved. What was a dying venue until the mid 2000s has reinvented itself as the gem described above, partly thanks to a genre that attracts so many young raving eyes on a grey mid-September night. And Margaret Dygas, true to the importance of her name in these circles, proved to be a formidable opening act for what should be a juicy season.
Picking up from the deep-housey tail end of Matteo Costa’s set, Ms. Dygas delves into the minimal sound that so uniquely characterises her. Throughout the night, only briefly and occasionally polluted by spontaneous choruses chanting ‘Margaret! Margaret!’, her set covered the most disparate sounds that her beloved Berlinese techno scene has to offer. Gradually taking off from the gentle beats she inherited from Costa, Dygas’ whipping snares hypnotically led the crowd to frenzy before softly landing on a more subsided beat, only to stoke the jumping audience back into hysteria.
Regularly dipping below the decks only to reappear moments after with the shadow of a record in her hand and a satisfied smile on her face, Maggie truly did offer the enthusiastic crowd an encyclopaedia of sounds. The set opened with Dygas’ characteristic crackling snappy sounds and effortlessly moved to darker territory as the set acquired shape. At the crack of dawn, Dygas put an end to her spell with dark voluptuous beats, releasing the captive crowd, and sending everyone off with memories of a set that one may only hope to hear in the most respectable Berlinese clubs.
As Dygas bid her farewells, the club regurgitated the fast dispersing crowd onto the pallid, deserted street. As sparse rays crack through anonymous grey clouds, I wind my way through a ravishing Milan flicking through fond memories of the night. Margaret, thank you!
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, we arrived at The Tetley in Leeds – a former brewery, now contemporary art gallery complex. The Garden Party was upon us and I could not pick a better setting myself.
The festival grounds were quite small in comparison to other day festivals I have visited before (namely Field Day), which I very much enjoyed – all of the five stages were a brisk walk away. We were instantly drawn to the biggest one – the Fact stage by none other than Ame. A fantastic performance of melodic techno and house left the very varied crowd craving for more while we went on to explore the grounds a little more.
The other stages were considerably smaller in size, however keeping the caliber of the artists performing in mind, this ended up being a very positive experience. My biggest pet peeve of not actually being able to make out artists on stage, or staring at screens here turned into intimate performances. The best example of this was my highlight of the Dummy stage – Roisin Murphy. Seeing her and her band move the few hundred smiles around us really cemented The Garden Party as a place I will recommend not only to those interested in electronic music.
Another stage – Metropolis & Ape (known as Just A Little Stage on Sunday) played host to the more commercially orientated artists such as Redlight, Shadow Child and B.Traits among quite a few more. We managed to catch a good bit of Redlight and even though I would not describe the experience as groundbreaking it was thoroughly enjoyable for what it was.
The Red Bull Truck, which was classed as a stage, was placed in such a way that quite a bit of the sound was drowned out by the rumble of its bigger counterparts, however Ste Roberts and Zutekh deserve a mention for keeping the bar and food stall queues grooving throughout the two days.
My absolute highlight of the festival, however, was Heidi. The woman definitely knows how to put on a great show and as the Saturday night drew to a close I and many others, it seemed, were craving for more of the jackin house goodness. If you ever get a chance – do see her. Other special mentions go out to Joy Orbison, my new love – Black Coffee and Romare for making me get achievements on my phone’s physical activity tracker.
All in all The Garden Party was thoroughly enjoyable. A lot of thought went into curating this city festival, far more than others I have attended in the past and it shows in everything – from the sound, the line-up and the food. Itching for next year’s edition!
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! 😉
Tribal Sessions have revealed their opening run of shows at Fire in London, as the iconic party begins its latest global residency at the celebrated UK club in Vauxhall on Friday 9th October.
Techno luminary Juan Atkins headlines the launch party on Friday 9th October, cited as one of the scene’s originators,with fellow pioneer and Be As One label found Shlomi Aber playing too. The enigmatic Redshape joins them, with support from Blue Hour and Tribal’s resident, Jozef K.
Other impressive names throughout the residency include Booka Shade, Re.You and Argy on the 16th of October. The week after will be headlined by Noir and for Halloween they are throwing an Acid Special night with DJ Pierre, Dark Sky and Anek at the helm.
Pre-sale early bird tickets go on sale Thursday Aug 27th at 10am and general sale starts Friday 28th August 10am www.tribalsessions.london.