- Published on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 09:58
Weekend Circuit bring a nine hour techno marathon to Whitechapel courtesy of Berlin based label Stroboscopic Artefacts. At the helm is head honcho Lucy (aka Italian born Luca Mortellaro) taking you on a journey through the darkest outer reaches of the genre all the way through to industrial and will be sure to pepper his set with surprises in between. Also in session is one of Stroboscopic’s star acts, the Singaporean Xhin (pronounced “sheen”) whose oppressive brand of electronic music marries techno with so many other genres that the only way to describe it really is as a “soundscape”. Support comes from Gareth Wild (EarToGround) and Michael Wells (Weekend Circuit) and there will be a VJ team on hand throughout the night making this exclusive showcase one of the most anticipated events of the weekend.
10pm – 7am
16-18 Whitechapel Road
£15 adv / early entry £13.50
- Published on Tuesday, 04 September 2012 22:56
Chilean minimal legend Ricardo Villalobos works his magic on fabric’s soundsystem in Room 1 alongside resident Craig Richards. Also taking the dancefloor on a techno journey is Canadian producer Mathew Jonson and Swedish duo Minilogue who bring their celebrated live improvised show over for its UK debut. With each of them in charge of a “computer, midi controllers, synth, drum machines, guitar pedals, effects and mixer” and, according to them, no real advance preparation, the performance is destined to be something extremely unique and quite special! Meanwhile Aus Music takeover Room 2 with label boss Will Saul in charge, Soundstream performing live, and both George FitzGerald and Cottam behind the decks. Room 3 sees resident Terry Francis joined by Jef K.
11pm – 10am
77a Charterhouse Street
£21 adv / £16 NUS or fabricfirst
- Published on Tuesday, 04 September 2012 01:09
10pm – 5am
£10 adv / £15 otd
- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 15:49
As one of thousands of dissapointed revellers who attended the now defunct Bloc Festival at London's Pleasure Gardens just over a month ago, it is fair to say I looked ahead to last Saturday's Eastern Electrics festival with something more than simply mild trepidation. In fact, I was nervous. After all, Eastern Electrics, like Bloc, were taking a significant step up the promotional ladder, moving from the relative comfort of their inner city Bank Holiday and New Years Eve clubnights to the unforgiving, almost impractical world of the British festival. Every year the same not-so-rave reviews reverberate around London's streets: Lovebox was too wet, the sound at Field Day and SW4 was, once again, well below-par. Festivals and the capital, it would seem, don't really go.
That said, a forced venue change in April from the leafy, residential confines of Clapham Common (home to the aforementioned SW4) to the barren wastelands of North Greenwich meant things were looking up. And indeed, first impressions were encouraging. The sounds emanating from the tent closest to the entrance appeared full-bodied and loud, and the crowd, by now streaming onto the site in their hundreds, were cheerful and clearly up for it. With personal favourite Kerri Chandler on at the surprisingly early time of 4pm, there was only time for a quick pint before heading into the Black Atlantic tent. Greeted with the classic chords of MK's 'Burning' (was it MK's last track or Kerri's first?), this was already a party well into its groove. The tent itself was spacious, well set apart from potential areas of congestion and full, without feeling uncomfortable. Above all else however, the sound was impeccable. As Kerri brought in Julio Bashmore's 'Au Seve' to resounding clamours of appreciation, I found myself beaming at the systems' emphatic and crystal clear response. Despite having to adhere to the relative constraints of a 2 hour set, Kerri never once seemed phased, moving effortlessly from high-octane, yet still tasteful, moments of electro to his more familiar territory of rhythmic, groovy US house. Just as it looked like he was going to take things really deep, in came the timeless chimes of Rhythm Is Rhythm's 'Strings of Life to close proceedings in style.
MEOKO photo by Ben Douch
Following Kerri was Joy Orbison, a DJ and producer whose stock seems to grow exponentially by the week, and for all the right reasons. Keen to keep the transition as smooth as possible, Joy opted to open with his own slice of quintessential house, this time in the form of Celeda's 'Music is the Answer'. Once satisfied the crowd had had their honeyed fix, Joy set about implementing his own unique, eclectic take on contemporary dance music. Starting off housey, Joy's quickfire, yet seamlessly fluent mixing kept the crowd enthralled and bouncing from the off. As I slipped out to catch some of Andrew Weatherall, I made a mental note to return so as not to miss what would inevitably prove to be a rowdy climax. As one of the very few techno-leaning names on the lineup, I was curious to see how Weatherall would approach his set. Playing to a sparse crowd, Weatherall had fully embraced his role as warm-up DJ, laying down record after record of beautifully slow, funk-fuelled electronic disco, keeping his dedicated crowd swaying effortlessly. Back at Black Atlantic, Joy had moved into more urban, UK territory, flitting with consummate ease between full-frontal UK garage and a selection of his own and Boddika's most recent productions. As the militant, instantly recognisable vocals of 'Swims' crept into conscioussness, the thunder of approval nearly set the tent alight. After such extertion, it was time for a break.
MEOKO photos by Ben Douch
Enjoying a beer in the glorious evening sun, one could just about make out the figure of Jamie Jones replacing Azari & III on the main stage. Regardless of his increasingly commercial stature, Jones has always sparked a certain curiosity in me. Unable to resist, I ambled over and had a listen. Enjoyable if a little innocuous, I thought it wiser to use Jones' powers of polarisation and rejoin the 2020 Vision tent, where Anglo-Argentinian four-piece 2020 Soundsystem were well into the swing of their celebrated live performance. Extended periods of improvisation gave it a refreshing jam-session feel, with the band moving away from their disco-house roots and onto slightly darker, more acid tainted ground as the night wore on. As their energy on stage radiated onto the dance-floor, contemporary UK house poster boy Huxley was left with it all to do. And boy did he come through. Cut after cut of upfront, modern house had the public totally spellbound, vassals to his every electronic whim. Playing way beyond the scheduled 10pm cut off point, Huxley closed the festival with a barrage of hits, old and new. Another helping of Bashmore's 'Au Seve' ensured its tuneful melody remained ingrained in the mind for days after, while Armand Van Helden's 'You Don't Even Know Me' got a rare and very well-received airing.
MEOKO photos by Ben Douch
On all counts, Eastern Electrics fully delivered. Primarily of course the music was superb, and yet while I wouldn't dare retract from its cruciality, choosing, booking and having the artists perform to the best of their well-documented ability has got to be the easy part. From a logistical point of view, the layout of the site was devised intelligently, each of the three huge bars were well-staffed at all times, there was no overbearing security presence and a big screen on which to watch arguably Britain's most succesful night in Olympic history proved a more than thoughtful touch. The sound across the event was near faultless and never once did the festival feel overcrowded, merely busy and vibrant. Of course the sunshine played its part, but regardless this was an event that had clearly been honestly and professionally curated, with no eye for greed. Managing to catch a few passing words with Ralph Lawson and Damian Lazarus, both commented on how smoothly the day had gone – everything behind the scenes had been conducted in such an expertly fluid and relaxed manner. Essentially however, Eastern Electrics had merely stuck to their mandate; in exchange for payment they put on a day out to really, really remember. Unfortunately in London this is just so often not the case. I'm just glad, and still a little surprised, that Eastern Electrics managed to so brilliantly buck the trend with such modest and telling ease.
Words by Carlos Hawthorn
- Published on Friday, 27 July 2012 13:21
Imagine… you’re lying on a warm beach next to your friends, all sipping cocktails (or very cheap Croatian vodka depending on your budget)…the sun glistens down on your skin whilst you reminisce about the previous night … the perfect song that dropped on a boat party as the sun set, the sight and sound of thousands of you cheering as the sun came up again over the club where you’d lost your mind and body to the best time you’ve ever had.
You’re mentally preparing yourself for the next 19 hours of festival time. This is a rare chance that allows you to take in the spectacular scenery; your eyes scan the view taking in a volcanic landscape, ashen hills that roll out of azure waters. Watching last night’s revellers who still haven’t been to sleep yet languish in the shallow waters drifting in and out of consciousness, the gorgeous beats pound on about 20 metres behind you in the beach front clubs, all around there’s people laughing, chatting, dancing … the festival goer’s are in true holiday mode and now all that’s real is the vague happy memories of the previous nights and the promise of the events to come.
This is the week that moved so fast yet stayed in the moment, that tore us apart and built us up again, it’s very own time and reality in the perfect hedonistic bubble – This is Hideout Festival 2012.
Not for the fainthearted, Hideout Festival on Zrce beach, Island of Pag is the place to come if you want to forget cold and wet Britain, your bank account, your name, and just dance until you collapse to some of the best artists in electronic music today.
Croatia is hotly tipped as “the new Ibiza” (without the 16-euro-for-water price tag) with festivals all over the place every weekend of summer, Hideout is only its second year and is the most main-stream of these with a plethora of artists and genres ranging from dubstep and drum and bass to the deepest of house and pounding techno – basically, there’s something for everything and each artist is either a rising star or at the top of their game. Headliners included Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Annie Mac, Skream and Benga, Skrillex, Sub Focus, Claude Von Stroke, Ben Klock, Maya Jane Coles, Damian Lazarus, Heidi, Kerri Chandler, Erol Alkan, Shy Fx, Simian Mobile Disco – the list just goes on and on: https://www.hideoutfestival.com/2012-line-up
We spent a week here as we didn’t want to miss pre-parties, post-parties, boat parties, pool parties as well as beach time and watersports….not forgetting the main event itself. I’ll cover my highlights as frankly there were far, far too many good things I saw, heard, experienced and probably forgot, to mention all of them…
Thursday we enjoyed the most beautiful of sunsets at the Mono_Cult boat party, who played delicious grooves to an intoxicatingly happy crowd; including one of the best moments of a festival I have EVER experienced and will be unlikely to forget, as they played Joe Goddard’s remix of Nneka shining star as the last of the sun’s rays shone on the boat and the sky turned pink.
On Friday the 29th we caught Kerri Chandler, always a crowd pleaser, play an extra long set at Kalypso which is a new venue of Hideout, at the far end of Zrce beach (ie only a five minute walk from the other two clubs). Starting at midnight (early on for Hideout times) the club was already heaving with dancing semi-naked people making the most of the various stages and platforms, and Kerri lasted until four making sure he kicked the festival off with his fantastic soulful house.
What I hadn’t prepared myself for, was the fact I would actually venture over to and even ENJOY was the drum and bass that took over at Papaya, the largest club with huge stage which almost backs out onto the sea, with an almost collesium like layout. Sub Focus ensured every single person in the vicinity went wild with their dubstep influenced hits whilst Steppa played festival favourites including quite a few prodigy samples as the sun came up and it was pretty nice to see energetic dancing for a change instead of the generic fist pump.
Saturday was the most popular of the pool parties as Hot Creations took over the Papaya with Cera Alba, Richy Ahmed, Jamie Jones, Robert James and Seth Troxler. The party was full of bassey summertime sounds and of course their classic deep house, but we had to leave early to ensure we boarded the Dirtybird Boat party. Which, I can only describe as, was completely insane. It was my favourite four hours of the festival by far with two of the loveliest DJ’s around, with Claude Von Stroke showing us exactly why he’s a master of dirty house, and man of the moment Eats Everything playing his already instant classics entrance song and the size, as well as his brilliant remix of Circles by Adam F. These guys know how to have sweaty, dance-inducing fun, and after this event, Saturday become pretty blurry.
Sunday was the long awaited Crosstown Rebels boat party, but with two headliners Maceo Plex and Damian Lazarus sadly not appearing (due to no fault of their own) we were unsure what the mood was going to be like…. but Richy Ahmed, the hero he is, more than compensated with his unique blend of genre-combining house that the crowd lapped up. Subb-Ann then stepped in playing some of the fantastic remixes he’s become famous for including the Noir and Haze classic Around, as well as smashing sun-down tracks like Jagged’s Hello Kool Nice (Quarion remix). As we pulled into the town’s harbour, the boats lighting and the streetlights shimmering off the water, the music eventually had to fade but as the crowd yelled for more, Robert James led a beat-boxing finale.
Later we watched Seth Troxler play my favourite set of the festival, intelligent to the needs of the crowd his house pounded through papaya ensuring nobody was going home before dawn with tracks from the like of Lee Curtis and Freks, indeed the crowd appeared trance-like in the maestro’s hand.
Ricardo Villalobos played the last sunrise of the festival to a crowd that were still dancing and cheering like they would never leave, veering away from his infamous minimal to play more summery beats including remixes of the late Donna Summer’s I feel love and the kraftwerk remix of Whitney Houston’s I wanna Dance with somebody. A fitting finale.
If you’re going to make the most of Hideout you will need buckets of stamina and an appetite for serious fun, and this festival won’t suit you if you’re not happy surrounded by sweating , good looking, happy and generally very nice brits; but in return for your endurance and cash you’re rewarded with so, SO much … perfect sunsets on the water; amazing open air clubs; euphoric pool parties; memorable sets from favourite artists and once in a life time, hands in the air sunrises; and ultimately what many say has been the best week of their lives … so there you have it.. Hideout 2013 awaits you.
Words by Rosa Devlin