i’ve been going since 2006. i missed the hallowed “best gig ever” that was arcade fire in 2005, and while i don’t regret it per se, it smarts when people go on about it. i had a magic time in 06, even though i didn’t really see that many life-changing performances. but hey, at festivals, you rarely do.
07 was special too, but again, performance wise it wasn’t out of this world. i think dancing around like a loon with friends to dj mehdi in the bacardi tent before unkle was probably a highlight. for some reason there was something missing in 08 and 09. last year in particular i wasn’t what you might call “festival fit”, so my enjoyment on the whole was affected.
this year, unlike others, i’m not planning on being a complete nazi with regards to catching this band and that dj (though there are a few standouts that i’ll be mad if i don’t see). instead i want to just have the buzz, and though for me a festival is all about the bands, i’m going to try and see what this whole “spirit of the festival” experience is like. that said, these are the acts i really want to see (youtubes after the jump).
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Tagged Bacardi B-Live, Bonobo, Booka Shade, Dam Funk, Daniel Wang, DJ Mehdi, Edan, Electric Picnic, Janelle Monáe, LCD Soundsystem, Leftfield, Liquid Liquid, Robyn, The Big Pink, Tiga, UNKLE, Villagers
it’s been a good week for arveene and misk. they’ve just been announced for electric picnic, they tore transmission a new one last night, and on top of this they’ve put out their new single eavesdropper on bang gang 12 inches (link is definitely nsfw, so you know). the track is a pounding slab of electro, heaving and pulsating with angry synths and unexpected chord progressions. it’s a pretty hefty piece of work, and i imagine i’m going to hear a lot of it over festival season. there are also some perfect-fit-for-different parties-remixes from cassette jam (which goes even harder) and audiofun (which makes it a techy affair, without losing any of the original’s crunch). you can buy them all here or here, and there’s also a powerfully subtle remix of hystereo for free down below.
Hystereo – Cityspeak (Arveene & Misk Remix)
it’s been a hectic week. completion of an ma, quickfire trips to preston and manchester, djing at spy, electric picnic… well i’m still alive so i can’t complain.
i haven’t even been listening to enough music to warrant a top 10, but my list of five tracks you must hear this week is up on the erol alkan website. check it out.
so tonight’s set at soundcheck was kind of weird. i tried to keep it all picnic friendly, but i veered outside of that field once or twice. i had expected to be playing a bit earlier, so didn’t have the necessary tunes to fit the time i ended up playing – rookie mistake. i had fun though – and mary jane got a huge response!
MGMT – Of Moons, Birds And Monsters (Holy Ghost! Remix)
Goldfrapp – Happiness (Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve Remix)
Passion Pit – The Reeling (Sammy Bananas Remix)
Röyksopp – The Girl And The Robot
Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance (Buraka Som Sistema Remix)
Major Lazer – Mary Jane
Simian Mobile Disco – It’s The Beat
Digitalism – Zdarlight
Basement Jaxx – Romeo
Röyksopp – Remind Me
Miss Kittin & The Hacker – Frank Sinatra
Amanda Blank – Might Like You Better
DJ Shadow – Organ Donor
Flaming Lips – The W.A.N.D.
Toddla T – Rice and Peas (ft Mr Versatile)
Basement Jaxx – Do Your Thing
Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler
Scissor Sisters – Filthy/Gorgeous
Tiga – Shoes
New Order – Blue Monday
MGMT – Kids (Soulwax Remix)
Major Lazer – Pon Di Floor
Florence + The Machine – Drumming Song (Boy 8-Bit Remix)
it’s funny how these things work backwards. when i was on a school tour in greece in 2001, i picked up this single, mainly for the remixes by futureshock and bedrock. but it was the crazy live version of rez/cowgirl at the end of the disc which thrilled and excited me in equal measure. a few months later, on another school trip, i discovered the live album from which this track came, everything, everything. i remember someone making daft hand gestures in time with the violent synths of push upstairs, and i remember being utterly bewildered by the vocal acrobatics coming from karl hyde’s mouth. whatever about on record, his incoherent ramblings seemed impossible to recreate live, but he did it. check the manic breakdown in the middle of king of snake, or the infamous “lager lager” section of born slippy. never having seen them live, it was an exhilarating listen, and almost made up for this gap in my experience. when they played electric picnic last year, i unfortunately missed most of their set (clashes and bar queues can be a curse), but i arrived just as they were kicking into cowgirl, which was the track i was most desperate to see. watching this video several days later almost brought tears to my eyes, beautiful as it was. while some festival shows can be a bit drab and underwhelming, often leading to massive disappointment, the atmosphere in the air at this performance was, quite simply, electric. just watch this.
what really brought this album back to my attention was the lights display at transmission last week, as they featured a series of giant, pixellated green squares. what else could they be? i even mentioned it to a few other people who all saw what i saw. so many artists are turning their hands to live shows these days, and it’s rare that they can pull it off. if they all had a listen to this album, maybe they’d have a better idea of what they should be doing. six years after i first discovered this collection, it still excites me more than most live shows. either most live shows really suck, or this album really rocks. i’ll let you decide.
Underworld – Shudder/King of Snake
Underworld – Rez/Cowgirl
another great dj who’s coming to stradbally next week (next week!) is duke dumont. he’s been making big noise for a few years now, with two epic releases on great labels (the regality ep on turbo and the dominion dubs ep on dubsided), as well as melting the collective consciousness of the blogosphere with simply mind-blowing remixes. lily allen, bat for lashes, late of the pier and mystery jets have all been transformed at his hands, and his work has made that of many a dj that much easier (the latter even made if onto james lavelle’s recent global underground mix, a seal of approval it hardly needed yet thoroughly deserves). he’s no one trick pony either. as a dj he’s pretty darned impressive too. case in point is this live mix from fabric, which surfaced on bodytonic last year.
BodytonicLive 05 : Duke Dumont
fake blood, fake blood. i guess he needs to introduction, and he’s been blogged to death, but hey i’m going to talk about him anyway. you know he does that thing in his remixes where he cuts up the original track to make it sound like the artist is saying fake blood? at the field day afterparty i heard him play a track which had a fake blood drop that sounded like it was created just out of noise. no vocals. no idea what it was though. for now, these are my favourites. you could say the calvin harris drop is a bit lazy, making use as it does of harris saying “blood” – but he’d be a fool to do it any other way!
i’m a big fan of james murphy and all things dfa and lcd. he makes great music. he gives great interview. proof can be found at resident advisor right now. he dissects the cultural significance of various different kinds of party and social gathering, as well as examining different styles of dj set:
My favorite DJ sets are often filled with music I don’t know and then suddenly one song I know and love, that’s been earned. That’s as good as it gets. When you’re out dancing, and somebody’s been playing music you just don’t know at all, and then all the sudden something comes in that you know and love, right at a good moment, that’s a little more open or energetic than the previous nine things…I prefer that.
i remember seeing murphy dj at dublin’s antics, a wednesday club night frequented by teens who like to get indie kicks and cheap drinks across three rooms (i’m not knocking it). almost without fail, a bizarre look crossed the face of every kid who wandered into the room murphy was playing in, and they soon wandered off. so when murphy says that “pat mahoney and i started playing disco as a way to make people more uncomfortable,” i can say that i’ve seen the results of this discomfort. it’s hilarious. murphy and mahoney bring their special disco version to electric picnic next month. in the meantime check out their contribution to the fabriclive series.
continuing with my perusal of acts playing electric picnic (can you tell i just got my ticket yesterday?), i’m revisiting the podcast nôze provided for bodytonic last february. there’s no tracklist, it’s just an hour of gorgeous tunes, ranging from weird jazz-house to ethnic-tinged techno, to 80s pop. enjoy.
Bodytonic Podcast 030 : Nôze (Direct Link)