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 – Edward Keef

All photos courtesy of Dan Medhurst

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.

Five years of Grey skateboard magazine video

It’s been a very bleak few years for skateboard print magazines, but luckily we have Grey – a real Phoenix from the ashes. In its small form size its super easy to grab from your local skate store an read on the go. Always packed with the interviews you wanna read an shots you need to see. Grey magazine have been a truly essential part of the UK scene for the past few years, an it shows with this brilliant retrospective

 

Here’s to another five more amazing years of Grey!!!

Cheers guys!!!

Chris Oliver goes in for his Vans Excursions part

Chris Oliver keeps to himself, letting his skating do the talking. His latest part for the Vans Excursion series is no different; heavy tricks from start to finish you cant take your eyes away!!!

Nice variety of spots and tricks including fresh takes on many iconic London locations, with a chilled original soundtrack.

This is a proler edit not to be missed.

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

Globe EU Tour kicks off today in London – Rodney Mullen, Chris Haslam, David Gonzalez, Mark Appleyard, Louie Barletta and more!

Globe are kicking of this summers European Tour, #GLOBEEUTRIPPIN, at Southbank today @ 3pm. All their best skaters have made the hop across the Atlantic including legends Rodney Mullen, Chris Haslam and Mark Appleyard; full roster can be seen on the flyer.

More details on Sidewalk

 

Globe EUTRIPPIN skate tour a
Skateboarding video by Sidewalk

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.

 

VX Fresh new web series from Milk Skateboards – Harvey Miller

Milk Skateboards came out of nowhere in 2012 and have been pushing UK skateboarding ever since, They have both a refreshing art style, note one of my favourites Henrys cat graphic by Rob Mathieson, great board quality and a rad team. They’re also a local company to me, and everyone I’ve met who been involved have been safe!

Of course, if you’re from the UK I’m sure you’re already fully aware of Milk Skateboards and have come here for the skate action. Kicking of their new web series VX Fresh is Harvey Miller with a powerful gnarly style, the first trick is a krook powerslide down Euston Banks and the edit doesn’t let up the pace. With this level of skating in throwaway clips for web edits, I’m doubly stoked for the full length film coming soon…

Other videos from Luke Petty

VX FRESH – Harley Miller from Milk Skateboard Co on Vimeo.

 

Stay tuned for the next edition of VX Fresh