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.

 

Have you come from Farr?

Nestled away in Bygrave woodlands just north of London a few miles off the North Circular, Farr Festival manages to create a unique sense of isolation in which you can leave your worries behind and immerse yourself in the woodland vibes. This year was no exception with an expertly curated selection of music, across nine stages featuring the likes of John Talabot, Paranoid London, Move D, Dorisburg, Project Pablo, Denis Sulta, Helena Hauff and of corse the long awaited 6hr B2B2B with Ben UFO, Joy Orbison and Midland.

The festival offered both camping and day ticket options, capping at around 4,500 revellers; it never felt too crowded or busy. Even at peak times you could generally find space to get loose. All of the stages had their own unique charm, scattered throughout the woodlands you could really loose yourself in the mix; I constantly found myself finding little hidden cotches and areas I’d missed before. The campsite was a short way down the hill which provided both an impressive view on the walk back to the campsite, often to the backdrop of a beautiful sunrise, along with a walk up full of anticipation as the woods gradually came into view, the slogan “Back to the Woods” felt fitting indeed.

Group journey past the corn onwards to Farr, Bygrave Woods
cheeky
Flying Farr colours
Flying Farr colours

The Hidden Palace was as the name suggests, nestled deep into the heart of the woods and due to its more enclosed nature compared to other stages played host to a number of intimate standout sets. Funkineven was one hot on the lips of many after a funky lit acid electro set, eluding cool and charisma the crowd loved it when he stopped the music to get his smoke on, one of the many little touches by artists which really help to create a intimate atmosphere. A highlight for me was Tesselate Soundsystem dropping Oh Jabba by O B Ignitt, one of my all time favourites such a treat to finally hear it out. Giles Peterson was another highlight from this stage, a real crowd pleasure. Unfortunately I didn’t get to check out the extended set by A Love from outer space who hosted the stage, but I’m sure that was nothing short of intergalactic.

Farr Festival 2016 - Hidden Palace Stage
“~…Rummaging through a dustbin left by the old tenants, and there she was starring right back into me~”
[Rhys Salt] 2016
Farr festival 2016, blessed at the Hidden Palace stage
Blessed at the Hidden Palace

The FARR sign proved both a perfect meeting spot and even better vantage point, looking out across the rolling fields of surrounding Hertfordshire; It was a real perfect hub for gathering friends and brewing spirit.

Revelers sit upon the Farr sign, looking out over the rolling hills
FARR

FARR sign rolling hills rhys oosh squat

Although this seemed too much for some people, when one of the most savage out breaks of “Get if for the gram” I’ve ever seen killed it so hard, Some people just fully lost their shit shouting crazy, no lie it was fucking ridiculous. I say people but it was really only one person, I’m just so shocked never have I ever met witnessed someone kill tha vibe so hard in my life it is difficult to portray just how astonished I was… see squalling clear 20 plus people out the way to “Get it for the gram” was simply bizzare, so much for peoples ponchos huh… shame because they did look legit.

Girl at Peoples Ponchos move revellers aside to "get it for the gram"
Power to the People…’s ponchos.
Peoples Ponchos @ Farr
Peoples Ponchos @ Farr
Peepin at the people through the peephole
Peepin at the people through the peephole

ensue party people

The Shack Stage at Farr Festival 2016, earlier in the day before the madness ensued
The Shack Stage earlier in the day before the madness ensued
Warm Up stage
Warm Up stage was great during the day, providing lush warm and deep grooves for the afternoon sun. Its a shame this stage didn’t stay on later to float the party people up to the sunrise with some magical melodies and

The Terrace was popping the majority of the Friday night as you would’ve guessed, although I managed to catch first two hours before dashing off to see Move D at the Shack.

Alex and friends @ The Shack for  Move D
Alex and friends @ The Shack for Move D

After an hour of the legend Move D, I had to move on to the late and great Dances Tunnels stage wile out with Dorisburg. Bumped into my buddy Steveo and the Warm Up head honcho Aidan; getting excited for them to host the Terrace stage on Saturday.

Steveo and AidanSteveo and Aidan (Warm Up)  happy times
Steveo and Aidan big love

Hunnee was simply perfect to close out the Friday at the shack, a beautiful selection of soulful music transition through disco, funk to techno and house, his mixing was impeccable, a joy to behold.

 

Come take a trip
Come take a trip
Have you seen the Yo Yo Man ? Farr Festival 2016
The Yo Yo Man, have you seen him?

 

Waves at the Hidden Palace
Waves at the Hidden Palace

Wavelord

The Ran$om Note went deep on the Saturday evening with Paranoid London playing live along with Helena Hauf and finished by OGs Optimo

Ran$om Note stage at Farr Festival 2016
Ran$om Note stage at Farr Festival 2016

 

Dancing @  Farr Festival 2016

 

 

Aj and Steveo @ Farr Festival 2016
Aj and Steveo

 

See you next time
See you next time

 

At the start of the festival I was surprised when my friend steveo described Farr as a boutique festival, but now thinking back I wouldn’t describe it as any other way. The taste is delicious  throughout, great music selection, festival setup, atmosphere were all on point, Only thing is that it didn’t go on longer! The 4am finishes and wrapping up on the Saturday night were a surprise, and a little bit of a shame.

 

Shoot film, stay broke.

Daniel Avery – Knowing We’ll Be Here [PHLP02]

 

“After being signed to the ‘Phantasy’ label, owned by Erol Alkan, Daniel Avery’s debut album, ‘Drone Logic’, was born in Alkan’s back garden studio, made using only analogue equipment. It was created with the intention of locking in the audience and taking them on a journey through sound – definitely the right idea.

Inspired by Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Four Tet, a trippy vibe is created by his rhythmic and psychedelic swirls and space-like aura, leaving an intriguing trail. ” Musical Roundabout, YouTube

Knowing We’ll Be Here is one of my favourite tracks, feature below, but the whole album can be streamed here.