Sunfall Festival 2017

As the sun fell over Brockwell park there really was only one name on everyone’s lips, the legendary Larry Heard making his return to UK for the first time in 20 years. A gradual stream of people from various tents meandered down towards the Sunfall Main Stage to form an ocean of smiling faces as his gentle voice graced the mic. As humble as ever, he shared his delight to be here before unleashing one of the most emotional electronic music experiences I’ve ever witnessed. Getting things off to a sensual start with “Mystery Of Love”, Larry accompanied by long term collaborate Mr White eased the crowd through some of the deepest, most soulful house, washing away any prior feelings of angst after struggling through ridiculous queues and overt police presence at the door.  As the last stragglers started to fill in any gaps, friends were seen all around greeting each other with hugs and kisses after who knows how long apart. The feelings were gradually heating as the duo ramped up a gear concentrating their ethereal acid sounds, amalgamating in fever pitch during a rendition of one of Mr. Fingers most recent releases “Qwazars”. The crowd raised in elevation, elated spirits all round, hands on heads in disbelief, what actually is going on? There was such a smooth and direct flow of the set with generally little time to stop and take a breather, one solid stream the whole time accompanied by lo-fi graphics zooming through the depths of space tying the whole experience together. Moving on from this the last moments of sun were serenaded with a few choicely timed Mr White jams, “The Sun can’t Compare” and then “Aeroplanes” perfectly accompanied by a powerful low flying jumbo jet roaring overhead.

With the crowd suitably warmed up and feeling raised to Larry’s level, the duo took things on a spiritual tip, easing in with Glenn Undergrounds Thank You mix of “Praise”. The graphics followed suit, showing a man seemingly made of juicy fruit pulsing away to the beat. The general vibe from then on was truly religious, some commenting a little cheesy, but I was fully in it. It felt as though Larry was directing us to a higher power with lyrics “Become the light, feel the light!” to an emotional finale tied up with the ultimate classic “Can You Feel It”. What was one to do with themselves after that?! A moment to sit and decompress was much needed, but the herd soon started to migrate towards their night session of choice…

An undoubtedly righteous show, baptised in the deepest font of House, but the day wasn’t an all round fun time. Many a complaint from all manner of today’s methods of communication rang true with the theme of disorganisation and mammoth queues, some 4hrs to get in and 1hr for a beer. A few decisions such as metal gated queue for the bar and increased security searches around 2pm due to overzealous police could’ve definitely been avoided to ease pain, and it is a shame that Sunfall 2017 was plagued with tedious queues, questionable sound in the tents and familiarly overpriced beers…

This was a great shame as there were many stellar acts which went majorly unappreciated towards the start; Peggy Gou dressed in her red top and blue dungarees looking like Mario popping beats like shells, red preferably knocking Goombas out with a 1-2 click getting the revellers moving like they slippin frick banana slip, only a few people in bobbin in this dip.

One real highlight of the billing was the extended set from Theo Parrish, commanding the crowd with sincere g authority and riding through house riddims like a breeze. True vet. Driving into powerful bongo beats rhythms with kick and distant tribal wails dancing the tempo up and down, jogging pitch smooth like velvet.  Jazzy house numbers with wild synths into a sound cut out, the crowd hails “just play records!” While handling it like a smooth don papa he jumps straight into uplifting house getting the crowd straight back to dancing. Again it happens then slides up a gear with a techno slammer, expertly feathering the tempo down to a slow amble the crowd wobbles to the sub bass, literally in the palm of his hand.

The lack of powerful sound in the tents drew me to check the main stage where Romare was just stepping up with his very full and wholesome sound, with little to no bleed from other stages. Roland drum pads hitting very clean an powerful, lowkey jazz sax riding in, very hypnotic. Main stage had an absolute stack of martin audio subs, so punchy you feel it right there in your chest bringing power to Romare’s sound. Very nice array of live instruments all sounded nicely spaced out with room to breath and swirl, real feel good sensations showing how powerful live music is in bringing people together.

My life, my life in the sunshine! Everyone loves it, instant mood elevation, Roy Ayers raises the crowd in an beat. Very soulful vibes bobbin away, he took it at a darling pace while his band were incredibly tight, such power in the bassist you can tell these friends had been playing together a long time. Smooth grooves sliding through the low hanging sun, bass notes verb piano keys chime a soothing breather for the crowd as Roy vibraphones away, pumpin to full disco vibes super loose dancing ensue; tight fruity grooves. Craaazzzzyyy drum solo hype hype hype crowd feels it then the bassist finishes of in a cheeky another one bites the dust riff to close things off. A truly heartwarming live performance!

MCDE follows on this electricity with ease playing his trademark disco funk techno sound playing tracks like Straight Lines’ “Everybody Wants To Be A Star” and Cratebug’s “Acid Train”, he kept the movement flowing through expertly to Floating Points’ Live set, which was phenomenal as always.

Overall the Main Stage supplied many a choice musical experience and made for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Words by Edward Bowyer for Ticketarena

Planet Giegling @ Superstiton, Village Underground

Giegling

If you have not heard of Giegling, they’re a crew of super-talented individuals, majorly German, who came into contact around a small German university town called Weimar. They have been releasing music since 2009 and rapidly becoming more prolific with every release, a vinyl only policy with very limited online presence in conjunction with their unique sounds helps make them highly sought after in such a commodified era.

During their early days of lurking in separate music scenes they gradually made contact and gravitated around a rundown post-GDR space with a great system that they used on the cheap “Giegling” (Originally called The Giegling) and used for 4(ish) legendary parties which set the precedent for their whole ethos moving forward. A deep, enticing sound of spacial nostalgia and lost emotions across many genres; minimal, micro house, dub, techno and leftfield electronica. Their music really has a sense of message and purpose, super heartfelt taking you away to places and feeling far out there you didn’t know existed. They’re one of the tightest labels in terms of sound and aesthetics, epitomised by their ethos “For us, Giegling is the belief that we are better together than as individuals,”

You can read deeper into Giegling at Resident Advisor and Juno Records.

As you can guess I was super excited at the announcement of their world tour…

Planet Giegling.

 

Planet Giegling Tour Poster

I was lucky enough to take a trip to Planet Giegling during the London stop of the world tour, and I must say it was quite the trip. For this leg they chose the renovated turn-of-the-century warehouse space, Village Underground, based in Shoreditch. The space has a real cryptic, religious feel with candles burning along the wall and and matched with a new installation from Giegling behind the decks, formed of a cross of 5 holes which looked to be carved into the wall holding extra large candles, perfectly suiting the aesthetic of the club night who hosted the event, Superstition. This also perfectly matched the Giegling vibe, and the almost religious experience that was to unfold, I can’t think of a better place in London.

Photos by Luca Crescenzi, full gallery here

Dwig (live) @ Planet Giegling, Village Underground

Setting the scene

The instant I walked into Village Underground I was taken aback with what they had done with the place; a bosom of filament bulbs hang above the dance floor; pulsing away to the downtempo beats of Dwig. You can catch his set here.

In addition to this an interesting bunch of Balloons float just above the decks, a mix of all different shapes and sizes, wafting gently between some abstract neon lighting. Initially I thought it was some bespoke scutltpure they’ve been carting around the world, but on closer inspection the balloons became apparent. They were a very impressively simple piece and along with the different colours and intensities of lighting, morphed into all kinds of awesome and bizarre shapes and figures, maybe helped with some slight acidity in my system, but nonetheless a great addition to the spectacle.

Giegling family all stand around assembling the beautiful bulbs
Giegling family assembling the beautiful bulbs
Bulbs an Bunting
Bulbs an Bunting

Journey begins

Warming the crowd up nicely with his more downtempo vibes Dwig sets the scene for one of Giegling’s more well-known acts Dj Dustin, the founder and runner of affairs, who come through with his trademark sound featuring kicks so crispy it feels like you’re right there inside the drum. Catch his Giegling #1 mix here.

Following him was probably my choice for the evening, Edward. Someone who has been hot on the lips of my Berlin-based friends, often playing in the ‘hain, I’ve been keen to check him for a while. He majestically moved the crowd and tempo through a multitude of feels, peaks and troughs, building powerfully to ecstasy quite impressive for the mid point of the party around midnight (had been running since ~7pm).

Gaining momentum

Up next ATEQ, who’s set I can’t speak too much about as I had a fair session in the smoke pit still wallowing in the highs of Edwards performance enjoying the pleasant sensations of some of the finest Moroccan. Following him was another heavy hitter of the crew Konstantin who recently gained hype after his sublime mix for the famous Georgian club, Bassiani. Really building on the intensity he took the crowd deeper and deeper, a pure energy felt to be building around the floor as though we were preparing for something big, real big.

Vril built upon this energy, initially curve-balling with some off-key trippy downtempo numbers before easing into his trademark hypnotic, powerful techno sound. Something the crowd were more than ready for an apparent in the increasingly abstract forms of dancing, raw energy flowing around pulsing the bodies like rag dolls.

Blast off

Kettenkarussell was to close of proceedings, named as the German for a chair-swing fair ground ride, he took the crowd of on the final spiral ascent up onto Planet Giegling. The last hour was a pure whirl wind of excitement as the real hardcore remained and danced themselves into an absolute bliss ascension.  The ballon installation was gyrating to the bass and masses of smoke which swirled all around, highlighted with the powerful lights and tears streaming down my face. It was such a spectacle I couldn’t help but break the events no-phone policy to snap the takeoff…

Blast off to Planet Giegling
Blast off to Planet Giegling

Floating down

Even weeks after I’m still on a high from the energies shared that trip to Planet Giegling, it was such a powerful, emotional night that is very hard to compare to anything else I’ve witnessed. Doubly inspiring that such a grass-roots group of friends can go on to traverse the globe spreading their unique sound and message, something rarely seen in the world of electronic music.

Giegling truly are producing a sound so hauntingly emotional and yet so highly personal that it feels like there is an honest and important message behind it, Planet Giegling feels like the most complete representation of that, yet I still cannot put my finger on it; magical.

 

Percolate x Mind Fundraiser @ Oval Space

It was a great party, for an even better cause; Mind are a UK charity dedicated to providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

On the whole a massive £9793.72 was raised – shout out to Percolate and all involved for helping to raise awareness and open up the conversation on mental health.

 

Peeping PercolatexMind Oval Space Leon Vynehall b2b bicep percolate mind oval space Hazy crowd percolate x mind oval space Crowd PercolatexMind Oval Space Cane Kane and Issace PercolatexMind oval space Don Killshaw PercolatexMind Oval Space

Love Thy Neighbour Oval space

 

 

More photos here

Floating Points Live @ Electric Brixton 

Floating points is a name you’ll probably be familiar with for songs like Vacum boogie and Nuits Sonores, really funky fresh dance tunes, with heaps of soul. This trademark sound was incubated through many intimate sessions at London’s Plastic People club, of which has sadly shit its doors at the turn of the year.

That being said, if you look further back into Dr Sam Shepard’s roots you see a highly educated neuroscientist with background in classical music, he started out as a choir boy in Manchester before learning to play an array of instruments. His debut album Elaenia is a cosmic culmination of Shepard’s varied musical career, placing it in genre hard pushed for comparison – spiritual jazz is the phrase which often comes up to describe it. You can read more about his album when he sat down with Katie Hutchinson from the Guardian 

The Live show was a great rendition of the album interspersed with some intense and interesting experimentation and improvisation, a highlight was a five minute techno drum an bass solo with mesmerising strobe lighting throughout. The whole orchestra were incredibly tight, even if they did look a little bored throughout some of the extended breakdowns – bringing out real highs and deep lows, You can fell how much Sam enjoys playing with the crowd.

Overall the gig was a good musical performance and Electric Brixton suited it well – my only criticism was that Shepard lacked much real showmanship such as introducing and closing words, which would’ve really help bring together such a disconnected and experimental set like this; Something he can definitely work on to take the show to the next level from musical expression to spiritual transcendence.

If you enjoyed the album then you should do all you can to try an catch an upcoming live show, if you prefer his older releases and Dj sets then you may be left a little wanting without that persistent funky rhythm to dance to.

Four Tet – Live Performance @ ICA, London, August 24th 2015 with Video

In todays day world of USB stick playlists and lip syncing, it’s getting hard to tell what really is ‘live’ music? This goes doubly for electronic shows, where some of the most popular ‘acts’ consistently pump out pre-baked shows for extortionate price tags. Luckily we still have acts like Four Tet, currating ridiculous line-ups for honest prices  while also pioneering a truly live electronic experience – a unique journey through the sound and vision of Kieran’s music.

Four Tet plays live

Four Tet’s show last night at the Institute of Contemporary arts was a prime example of this, a simply beautiful electronic a/v show like nothing I’ve seen before; A perfect matrix of lights dancing to the sounds of his latest piece Morning/Evening sprinkled with classic tunes along the way.

This was a special show and I’m pleased to have grabbed a few clips to share; I can’t recommend enough Four Tet’s Live shows, catch one near you: http://www.fourtet.net/index.php/live/

 

Four Tet's Live setup surrounded by lights
Four Tet’s Live setup

See Kieran go into a few details of his Live setup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KIvnLBF7vU

WUITW 2

Warm Up In The Woods is a woodland-based rave put on by the Warm Up crew.

“As a brand Warm Up is very dedicated to representing melodic techno and electronica. Expect deep progressive grooves and lush warm melodies from our residents and friends”

WUITW 2 was my first warm up event, it was such a special morning and epic party – The vibes were happy, uplifting and deeply felt by all. The deep, melodic branch of techno that the warm up crew radiate brings a real sense of unity and oneness with the music,  nature and everything. Progressing to deeper groves throughout the early morning through sunrise, Aidan kept the crowd on a heart string powering through in to the new day.

Warm Up are a shining example of how to run a party, highly recommend! The next WUITW event can be seen here 

Catch the next Warm Up event

Hear a portion of Aidan Dohertys 5 hour set below:

 

Few shots from the night

Warm Up In The Woods 2 Crowd

Happy Chequers Going Deeper Stoked Flowers Lusty Paisley Distant Stripes Feels Hazy Shades

Field Day 2015

Field Day is a cosy festival in Victoria Park, it hosts a stellar selection of music from across the spectrum.

For me the highlights of the Saturday were Daniel Avery B2B Andrew Weatherall in Bugged out tent, along with Todd Terje’s flamboyant live set and Caribou closing out the Main stage.

CaneoKilla Field Day Gang Field Day Embrace Field Day Birthday Prince Field Day SLINGSHOT Field Day Todd Terje Dancers Field Day 2015

Four Tet & Friends at the Boiler Room

This was my first chance to go to a Boiler Room, and what better then to see one of my all time favourite producers and DJ’s, Kieran Hebden aka Four tet. For those who are not familiar, the Boiler Room put on intimate, invite-only underground music shows which are live-streamed worldwide, They usually take place in London, New York and Berlin amongst other cities.

For this event they chose one of my favourite spaces at the moment, Corsica Studios, packing out the small room to give you an authentic boiler room vibe.

Boiler Room’s are often criticised on YouTube for attracting a ‘Too cool” crowd, who barely manage a shuffled dance whilst being in the presence of some next-level act’s. This was definitely not the case at Four Tet’s; the whole gang were having it the whole time, start to finish, the energy was unreal!

The decks, matey in th
The decks ready and waiting

 

A few of us post show with the man himself ( in yellow )
A few of us post show with the man himself ( in yellow )

Thai jazz specialist, Chris Menist warmed up the early arrivers (I was too late and missed his set 🙁 )  DJ Barely Legal and DJ Champion got things pumped with some garage, funk and dub heavy hitters.

Catch the full live stream here on loop:

http://boilerroom.tv/recording/four-tet-ldn/


Four Tet Boiler Room London DJ Set by brtvofficial
 

If you want to try an catch a Boiler Room in your city, I recommend signing up to the mailing list and following all your favourite artists on Twitter.

Trouble Vision – Dark sky, Seven Davis Jr, Love Glove, Daniel Wang @ Corsica Studios

This was my first night at Corsica Studios, making the trip mainly to see Dark Sky who are one of my favourite up an coming acts in the UK bass scene,  really on it with their debut album imagin. They put on a solid 3hr set  and didn’t disapoint!

That being said, I was absolutely blown away by Love Glove in Room 2, a vinyl only DJ crew bringing the disco boogie soul jams.  I am indebted to Trouble Vision for putting these guys on the bill, and introducing me to something special. They had the room bumping with love, positive vibes an cutting shapes; I’m so stoked for these guys, cant’t wait to catch them again.  They were for me the highlight of the night, getting my blood pumping an moves  flowing as soon as I walked into the club.

Big up Corsica crowd

 

Which brings me onto Corsica Studios itself, a truly ‘underground’ club with no frills an honest service from everything to the music acts, door policy and the bar. They know people are coming there for the great music an keep that at the focus of the club, not letting anything else get in the way. It consists of two rooms, room one a nice intimate space with a stage an bar round the corner, with room two round the corner, being slightly smaller, both powered by the funktion one system. More than enough to keep both rooms pumped!!!

The club is a great size, large enough to host a good variety of sounds, yet small enough to really incubate the feel good vibe throughout the crowd. Corsica Studios is a proper club and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already been, Kompakt records are hosting what looks to be an epic night on the 20th March ft Weval (live) the Dutch due fresh on the scene for their first UK show.