Reviews/Previews

Harmonized invite Next Wave to Hops! Open Space, Italy

HARMONIZED ART

No philosophy, just music. July 17th sees the Italian party Harmonized play host to Next Wave for another night of no-bullshit underground techno. It will be the eighth edition of Harmonized parties; Raresh, Vera, Radio Slave and Tobi Neumann have all taken to the decks in previous months to play to the eager Italian crowds, and the next chapter is set to be a big one…

Fronted by Valetino Kanzyani – who will top the bill on the night – Next Wave has grown a reputation since its inception as one of the most exciting events in Ibiza, where people dress to dance, not to prance. The next leg of their European tour will be at Hops! Open Space in Central Italy, and will see Thomas Melchior, Cabanne and Francesco Del Garda playing alongside Valentino in what promises to be yet another night to remember. Check out these mixes to get a taste for what to expect ;) 

 

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Where: Hops! Open Space  / Viale Vittorio Veneto, 130/A - Civitanova Marche

When: 14th July 2013

Cost12/18 €

Full Line UpValentino Kanzyani, Thomas Melchior, Cabanne, Francesco Del Garda

 

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Guy Andrews - Annum EP

 GUY ANDREWS REVIEW

July sees the return of the ever reliable UK imprint FINA Records with a four-track EP from Brighton based Guy Andrews, a producer quickly gaining a reputation for being at the forefront of the so-called ‘UK bass’ scene. With previous releases on Hotflush and Hemlock, a broad taste in everything from post-rock to afrobeat has resulted in incredibly refined productions that never fail to stand apart from the crowd. Always extremely organic, percussive and progressive: this potent combination has led to support from the likes of Massive Attack, Ame, Dixon and Untold – which speaks for itself on the versatility of his records.

A slow-burning introduction comes in the form of opening track ‘Divide’, instantly recognisable from the rich mixdown as a haze of textures gradually builds to form a dense mist of ethereal synths and melodies, thickened up with a growling bassline, in what sounds like a nod to his early drum & bass influence. It’s the playful toms in ‘7AM’ that see the EP pick up the pace a little. A larger than life lead synth conjures up a real 80s new-wave atmosphere, with a hazy, emotive hook making this a nice little set-closer before we flip over to the B-side.

Fixture’ is by far the most straight-laced out of the bunch, with an industrial backbone railed to a strict 4x4 march. There’s a gorgeous contrast between this hard exterior and the slow dreamlike pads that float above it, and the result is a track that I’m sure will get some heavy usage over the next few months. ‘Tapes’ sees a more pensive side of Andrews shine through a little more for the close. Right from the offset, there is something in the choice of chords used that give this track a more sophisticated feel. A stylish arrangement of off-kilter percussion and chopped up vocals is steadily built up, surprising with every bar as the song develops, eventually being awarded pride of place as all other elements are stripped away for the climax, rounding the release off perfectly. 

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Release Date: 17TH JULY 2013

 

Words: James Ellis
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REVIEW: SWEATSHOP BOYS - WIDE WORLD EP

MEOKOSWEATSHOPBOYS

If you’ve yet to check out the debut release from Merveille, Crosson and Lee Curtiss’s side project – don’t hold your breath for anything dazzling. Dubbed ‘Sweatshop Boys’, their ‘Wide World EP’ suggests a more light-hearted approach to their usual material, but the end result is far from spectacular.

Had three producers - whose previous work displays finesse largely unheard of in the majority of dance music today - not been the curators, 'Wide World' might not have been such a let down… Jem Cooke’s playful vocals dance around a funky 808 beat, joined by a simple one bar bassline that beefs it up a little. The end result is a functional track that could no doubt work a dance floor, the problem being that it lacks any real substance. Mosca dishes out three remixes… well, two really; the ‘Dub Mix’ is a nice example of his typical pulsing deep house comprising of weighty beats whilst the ‘Vocal Mix’ has one obvious addition. His 'Ghetto Mix' is a pacy, raw rethink with an old school tint.

It is Matt Tolfrey’s contribution in the form of his ‘Micro Dub’ that really saves this release though. Stripped to the bones, he carves away space for scatterings of haunting piano chords and sporadic stabs, woven together around percussion that is sophisticated yet uncluttered. The vocals are worked over, given a cryptic edge – and the end result is yet another fine piece of work from the Leftroom boss. 

Out Now

 

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Street Feast Presents The Truck Stop!

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The team behind Street Feast – the moving street feast event that serves up to 3000 visitors per night when they opening their stalls and trucks around east London warehouses, car parks and other open air spaces - has raised the bar (again) when it comes to serving up great street food. Pairing up with Tweat Up - another open air eatery organisation - they are now presenting the largest ever gathering of food tucks in East London, all with an American twist – The Truck Stop!

There is two things the colourful and bold Americans are especially famous for; their food and their cars, and this week you have the chance to experience them both first hand right here in East London.  Wood Wharf will be transformed in to a mecca for foodies during the evenings of Thursday and Friday the 4th & 5th of July.  The open space just by the river side will host new home for the “festival food” inspired event -previously held at the Merchant Yard. 

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The mouth-watering food on offer at The Truck Stop event has influences from all over the world and the pop-up roadside diner will have top-notch chefs cooking up set supper-club menus. If you don’t fancy a full meal, you can grab a “walk- and-talk” serving from the Rotary Smoke barbecue pit or the taco shack.  There will be grilled BBQ Ribs, bangers, burgers, gourmet balls and even sushi to mention a few of the deliciousness on the menus. The 20 food trucks (that has been sourced from all over the UK) and The Truck Stop will feed your appetite on all things food and American. The Rotary Bar will supply the drinking hole with a craft-beer and cocktail bar, and here the cocktails are American styled, meaning pint-sized - and trough Camden Town brewery you can even pre-order your own 50-pint keg of beer that will trench the thirst for up to 15 friends and cost only £200 (bring some red plastic cups and you have your own High-School house party!). Here nothing is done by half measures…and there is whispers that somewhere within the stalls there is a secret gin bar serving up the finest in gin based drinks! 

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And even though food and drinks is the big crowd puller at the The Truck Stop, there is more things on offer…There will be live music, Dj’s and a large scale showcase of classic American Cars and trucks, so even though most of the food trucks offers a show by them self by their quirky decorations- there will be even more for your eyes to feast on and great music for your feet to move to. 

The Truck stop and its food trucks will all be serving up their homemade grub from 5pm until 11pm on both nights, Tickets are £10 (online advanced bookings) and your ticket will provide you with 10 “Truck Stop dollars” to spend at the Rotary Bar on cocktails or beers.

Street Feast on Facebook 


words by Maria Lodetoft..

 

 

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A Walk On The Wild Side - Gottwood 2013

GOTTWOOD BANNER CAPS

Despite still being relatively new to the game, the organisers of Gottwood have proved over the last three years that they really know what they’re doing when it comes to putting on a festival. Not focussing merely on the music – although the line ups are always on point - each June they host a celebration of life, love and creativity with a stunning display of artists and installations, carefully constructed deep within the Anglesey woods. With rave reports from previous events combined with a line up boasting some of the most exciting acts on the circuit right now, I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to visit the magical Welsh woodlands to see for myself just what all the fuss is about. After all, you don’t get nominated for Best Small Festival 2012 and Best Dance Event 2012 for nothing! With that in mind, a small group of us packed our bags, loaded up the iPod for the trip and set off…

DAY 1

Following an arduous five-hour car journey, we finally arrived at the festival site, where a somewhat confused girl attempted to chaperone us into a parking space. After having our bags searched by the surprisingly cheery security, we discovered that the actual festival site was around a fifteen-minute walk away, although a pick up truck would shuttle us there for just a tenner a group. There was no chance our flimsy plastic bags filled with supplies would survive the walk, so we happily accepted the offer and piled in along with another group of enthusiastic Mancs, the excitement mounting as we passed more and more eager revellers flocking across the gorgeous landscape, overlooking the sea...

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Shuttle truck

We arrived at the campsite to find plenty of space left to set up in the ‘overflow site’, despite only arriving mid afternoon on the Friday. The sun had finally come out after a good few hours of rain, and in no time at all we’d set up a little village and started cracking on with boxes of cheap wine to catch up with those already in full swing. Eager to get going, we made our way towards the main festival site to kick things off with Zoo Look. It was on this journey that we got our first taste of just why people seem to cherish this festival so much; everything about the area is enchanting. Walking through the grand archway, you’re transported to a land usually restricted to dreams and acid trips – but there was no need for drugs as we drank in these sights. This year's theme was 'Wild Things', and with each step came a new surprise; whether it’s a giant multi-coloured spider web, makeshift swings hanging down from backlit branches, or a massive sofa draped in whacked out hippies. There was a real sense of unity radiating between everyone as we revelled in the mystical atmosphere, and with the entire forest cloaked in a sea of lights and colours, you couldn’t help but smile.  

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The archway entrance

Zoo Look were playing at The Barn, and despite having a relatively early set, the atmosphere was electric as they pumped out a set of playful deep house that saw the room fill up in no time.  Glowing lights hung down from the ceiling, illuminating the crowd, and it was clear that many had already started tucking in to some pretty potent narcotics. As of yet I had seen nothing but amicable exchanges from friendly strangers, but there was one particular incident which really dampened the mood when a couple started laying in to someone for the fact he was ‘shuffling’ – literally tugging at him and sneering ‘you can’t do that here mate…’ Granted it was an isolated incident, but it's become a sad truth that this sort of snobbery has started to infiltrate dancefloors everywhere. Isn't dancing meant to be about about freedom of expression? 

Detroit Swindle were next up. By now, the room was packed to the brim as the duo threw down some serious heat, and the crowd literally erupted when they dropped Todd Terje’s summer anthem ‘Strandbar (Disko Version)’. We used a trip to the bar as an opportunity to explore the Boxford Caravan, where Richard Rowell was mid-set. Being open air (and raining again), there was a lot more space to move; a welcome change to the packed out barn, and the crowd were drinking in the smooth and funky mixture of organic house tinged with disco flavour.

Gottwood is famous for its legendary ‘Walled Garden’, where 360-degree overhead visuals provide one of the most captivating experiences you’re likely to witness at a venue. We made our way through the twisted pathway shrouded in reeds and vines, the sounds of Christophe becoming ever clearer as we approached the entrance. Even after all the hype surrounding it, nothing could have prepared us for what we saw upon entering. Almost everyone was gazing up at the ceiling as sequences morphed into each other, before transforming seamlessly into a vast robotic head (that was to become somewhat of an emblem throughout).  Before long, Crazy P Soundsystem took to the stage, filling the room with their sexy brand of funk infused disco that never fails to impress, with Ron Basejam laying down the beats whilst Danielle Moore provided the vocals – always a powerful combination, my personal highlight being their performance of Stop Space Return.

It was a difficult decision, but there was no way in hell I was missing out on seeing Extrawelt, who unfortunately happened to clash with Crazy P. With one final gaze up at the roof, we made our way over to the Wild Thing stage. Despite the rain, anticipation pulsed through the crowd like electricity, a sea of colourful umbrellas acting as a makeshift marquee that bounced along to the rhythm. Playing a live set, Extrawelt’s distinctive melodic techno couldn’t have been better suited to the festival, and fists were flying up with every track he dropped, a highlight of the festival for many without a doubt!

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Extrawelt

Soaking wet and minds completely blown, we ambled back over to the Walled Garden to get down to the Futureboogie All Stars. I’ll be honest… things were becoming a blur by this point but my god did those visuals look awesome! Someone dropped Paris Dub 1 by Paranoid London and the magician behind the visuals cast a blanket of white over the entire dome, lighting up the whole room to reveal hundreds of (quite literally) ecstatic faces! There are always certain memories that linger long after any festival has ended, and this was one of them. There was nowhere in the world I’d have rather been, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in feeling that. As the night drew to a close, Ryan Davis took to the Wild Thing stage, eventually closing the night with his anthem Zodiac, to the delight of many. The clock struck four, and the music was over for the night. We trudged back to the campsite, ears ringing, legs aching, but all grinning from ear to ear. 

DAY 2

Friday night had really taken it out of me, so by the time we managed to venture out of the campsite towards the music it was getting on a bit to say the least. We lounged around on the giant sofa to the smooth sound of Louche’s own Josh T warming up the Boxford Caravan, before realising that Tom Demac was about to start his live set at the Walled Garden. His set was packed full of energy and the crowd were really feeding off it, including my group of friends who seem to have mustered up energy out of somewhere… It was a nice surprise to see my shuffling friend from the day before getting down; evidently shrugging off the comments from yesterday’s snob to enjoy the DJ he’d travelled all the way up to Wales to see. That’s one of the things about Gottwood – being such a small festival, there’s a real feeling of community that only grows as the days go by… something which lacks from some of the larger events in the country.

Back to the Louche stage, and Brinsley was pumping out some real gems, although sadly the music was too quiet! Disappointed and bemused, I discovered that they’d had to cap the sound after a council official had gone round with a noise level tester. This didn’t faze Brinsley, and he made up for the lack of volume with a brilliant selection, my personal favourite being Kerri Chandler’s iconic System remix. After the initial shock, the volume became irrelevant as the crowd pushed towards the front near the speakers, the atmosphere more than making up for it.

Move D was closing the stage, and as the clock struck one, the house veteran stepped up to the platter to show us how it’s done. To anyone that has yet to experience one of his sets… they’re about as deep and raw as they come, and crafted with the sort of creativity to put most other DJs to shame. No fads, no crowd pleasers as such – he seems to play music almost for himself – lazily raising a fist every so often, with a cigarette hanging nonchalantly out of his mouth as he plucks out another record. It’s fucking cool to watch, and a joy to listen to... I just wish it was louder!

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Move D

Wanting to explore the festival a little more before the site closed once again, the woodlands were beckoning us. After meandering amongst the trees, we stumbled upon ‘Happy Hookah’, a cosy shisha lounge serving a selection of flavoured smokes and tea. We opted for an apple one, made a little nest amongst the pillows and enjoyed the opportunity to take a moment’s time out, one which Gottwood have got covered without a shadow of a doubt.

 

DAY 3

It seemed to have crept up on us far too soon, but the final day was upon us. Although, being out of fresh clothes and with only half a pack of biscuits and about a fiver to get me through, it was probably for the best! The fact that everyone is usually in the same boat is usually enough to console, and such was the case at Gottwood. Joonipah did a great job of getting the party going at the High & Dry Lake stage, playing a hard hitting mix of house, techno and bass to a crowd caked in face paint and glitter, all eager to make the most of the last day. I took a moment to look around and drink in the whole atmosphere. Bubbles floated above the patchwork mob, a dog weaving around legs to chase a balloon – getting more attention than the DJ at times. The backdrop to the stage – as the name suggests – was a glistening lake, providing that extra touch of serenity that helped the festival stand apart just that little bit extra from normal life.

Over to the Gottwood stage at The Barn, the Mancunian’s Alex Lewis & Willow, decided to mix things up a bit, splitting their two-hour set into two separate parts – allowing each to really get into their own groove. Alex Lewis was first up – effortlessly throwing down one of the best set’s we’d seen with a quintessential blend of underground house and techno oozing with style, and a healthy dose of acid thrown in for good measure – all vinyl only of course. The room was filling up by the second as people piled in, ears pricking from the roars that could be heard from outside in the courtyard. Willow followed up with ease, her signature selection of equally refined house and techno, coupled with the way she toys with her audience, culminating in a final hour that really did the duo justice, my highlight being when Die Vogel’s ‘Maikaferbenzin’, a stripped down, ultra smooth roller completed with a typically Vogel brass section.

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Alex Lewis & Willow

Tief were supposed to be hosting the Boxford Caravan, but in light of the sound issues due to the council, the organisers made the decision to move them over to the Wild Thing stage... a decision that didn’t really bother me as I wasn’t really feeling the Boxford Caravan anyway. We headed over to catch KRL, one of the lynchpins of the Wolf Music family, and proudly showing the love with a wolf tee. The first half of his set was largely disco orientated, much to the appreciation of the substantial crowd that had gathered for the final showcase… although later he delved into his own unique style of garage infused 4x4 music he’s so well known for.

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KRL

Following them were Wolf Music themselves and then finally Bicep, who kept things light hearted, reeling out classic after classic. The atmosphere was perfect, everywhere you looked people were laughing and getting down with the sort of energy usually unseen of three days into an event. Even the security guards were dancing on top of the wall of hay bales –causing the crowd to erupt in waves of clapping and cheering each time. As tends to be the case when you’re having the time of your life, 3am came along way too fast, much to the dismay of everyone. Everyone had got so lost in the magic of the festival, no one had really prepared for the end. But in a flash, it was over.

Stumbling back up to the campsite, we reminisced over the last few days – swapping stories and highlights, stopping every so often to waste a bit more money on laughing gas (which seemed to be in constant supply throughout). Proving they really had thought of everything, a huge ‘chill out’ tent just opposite the main archway acted as a haven for those not wanting to face another night in a freezing tent. A friendly stranger handed me a cider and I sprawled across the floor, eyes starting to droop as someone tapped away at a bongo drum to the faint sound of house music coming from some portable speakers. I was filthy, exhausted and could feel the mother of all comedowns beginning to creep in... but in spite of this, nothing could wipe away my grin. See you next year!

Words: James Ellis
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