London DJ Rattus Rattus serves up a treat of dubstep, electro, grime, funk, bassline and garage in one of his signature mash up mixes that keeps the rave spirit alive throughout. Still spinning the vinyl while everyone else seems to be opting for CDJs, his new mix Raped by Bass Volume II does exactly what you’d expect — provide another onslaught of bass-heavy tracks that leave a serious imprint on your ears.
Germany’s biggest electronic exports, Booka Shade, headline the third Noise of Art microfestival celebrating the convergence of music and visual art in the digital age. A week on the Southbank, in East London and central London will feature art installations, club nights, gigs, music and film events between Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 19.
A festival fancy dress theme of 30,000 freaks under the sea could only be the brainchild of Bestival head-honcho and Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank for another weekend of fun-filled musical madness on the Isle of Wight. More popular than ever, this year’s event has already sold out; but for those lucky enough to get tickets a mouth-watering line-up awaits. For those who will be missing out, there is still time to buy a ticket to the inaugural Camp Bestival in July. Read on for details of both…
For some it was a toss-up between Japanese artist Worlds End Girlfriend and the first half of the FA Cup at the start of Saturday ‘s line-up. For others it was a toss-up between leaving the beach or not. It still wasn’t amazing weather yet there were several cricket and football matches in action on the Minehead sands. There was a large crowd gathered though by the time A Hawk and a Hacksaw took to the stage in the massive tented Pavilion — one example of several seemingly strange choices for the more open and large of the three musical areas.
After the previous week’s adventures with All Tomorrow’s Parties playing against Pitchfork in Camber Sands, Minehead’s monstrous Butlins played host to the more traditional format of single artist-curated ATP festival with Texan post-rockers Explosions in the Sky taking on the necessary choosing duties. Their pick list ranged to include a whole host of US indie alongside math and art rock bands and several folk styles represented along with smatterings of lo-fi noise, bouncing hip-hop and techno.
You may have seen a computerised soul singer wandering the music channels singing about love in an uplifting, gospel style song not far off the Gnarls Barkley style which saw them make it big with “Crazy” in 2006. Well, the video is of SugaRush Beat Company’s “L-O-V-E”, and looks set to catapult them into the big time.
Strong winds and constant rain — a combination British festivals always run the risk of being undone by. Gatecrasher’s first ever two-day Summer Sound System with camping suffered at the hands of the elements when its first day of windswept dance music to a backdrop of sunshine was met by incessant rain on Sunday morning. While never causing the same kind of chaos as Glastonbury’s near-annual mudfest, spirits struggled to remain high as disappointing organisational efforts fought against increasingly poor conditions.
A run of three years of beautiful sunshine for the first Glade Festival events came to a momentous end in 2007 when a monsoon seemed to have enveloped the site causing chaos. Yet, the organisers hauled the event out of troubled waters and the crowd shrugged off the weather conditions to party on through the mud and rain. The weather may not be guaranteed for 2008, but 2007 proved that as long as the vibe and music is right, nothing can stop a good party.
Head to Scotland for a little northern exposure to top music acts at the festival on the shores of the legendary Loch Ness. This summer’s two-day Rock Ness line up is shaping to be an exciting mix of electronic, dance and rock’s most celebrated names, although you’ll probably have to find any legendary monsters yourself.
What is it with holiday parks these days? Once the preserve of families looking for a cheap and easy beach break, now they are being taken over by party animals. Bang Face Weekender, dubbed as “Neo-rave Armageddon”, took over Pontin’s Camber Sands for the second dance music event at one of the venue this year following Bloc Weekend at the Great Yarmouth in March. Taking its cue from the London club night of the same name, the promise of mild paced reggae and dubstep through to techno and acid as well as the crazier stylings of jungle, breakcore and gabber is enough to send most modest ravers into meltdown at just the thought. For the Bang Face Hard Crew in attendance, it was more like euphoric hysteria.
Chill on a Kentish farm for the weekend and see a host of top local acts alongside heavy hitters with the south east’s Lounge on the Farm. The three-day July festival is set in the idyllic surrounds of Merton Farm in Canterbury, and its rustic charms will host 160 bands spread across six stages geared towards all ages. Whether you want to see live acts, DJs or tuck into a hog roast, Lounge on the Farm promises an ethos firmly rooted in the local community to make it a friendly, corporate-free experience.
Gatecrasher is not quite the giant in clubland it once was. Indeed, all the dance superbrands have found the going tough since the turn of the millennium, culminating in overexposure and a re-aligning to offer more infrequent events. This year sees Gatecrasher’s Summer Sound System expand to over two days on the second May bank holiday weekend with the option of camping and a few surprises away from the beaten track to lure 60,000 clubbers to the Turweston Aerodrome near Brackley in England.
The stage is dark, the tension in the air is weighty. A sign saying ‘Hotel Hades’ is the only thing that’s lit. And you’re attracted — like a moth to a flame. You’re welcomed in, your course guided by a familiar hand. Step inside, make yourself at home and take a tour around the home of the Jazz Devil…
Winner of the best small festival in the 2007 Festival Awards, Blissfields returns in 2008 to a new home of The Matterley Bowl near Winchester. Following in the footsteps of the late and respected Homelands dance festival, Blissfields is a three-day, wallet-friendly event running from July 4th to 6th with big ambitions. Its three headliners range from the quirky in The Wonder Stuff, the fresh in The Whip and the legendary in the form of Roni Size Reprazent. Yes, Blissfields is looking to put itself well and truly on the regular festival calendar for all in 2008.
A dose of techno, a game of air hockey, a flirt with dubstep then go-karting and a quick nap in a chalet bed before hitting the 24-hour dancefloor again may not sound like a normal weekend at the family holiday park Pontin’s, but that was exactly what was on the menu in Great Yarmouth for the second three-day Bloc Weekend where the party really didn’t pause for breath thanks to a superb range of artists and an even better selection of festival-goers keeping one of the most friendly vibes alive throughout the first major party of the year.
Less than a month away, the final details of Bloc Weekender 2008 have been revealed — including details of the previously secret headliner and what sounds like one of the most madcap final days to a festival imaginable. Read on to find out more…
A few of us over at zap! bang! thought we’d discuss what we particularly enamoured with in 2007, so here’s some lists of our individual favourites.
it’s competition time again!
Dance fans who like their music fresh and away from the glare of mainstream gloss should set aside a long weekend in their diary for 2008: March 14th to 16th for the second BLOC Weekend. Its mix of underground electronic dance music is one of the newst to the UK’s growing number of fesitvals at holiday parks and after a highly-rated first event, this year’s promises to be even bigger.
The anomaly here though which stretches the label’s scope far wider is with the experimental sounds of improvisational jazz outfit Zaum. Led by drummer/percussionist Steve Harris, Zaum originally came together in 2002 and have put together several records, most notably Above Our Heads The Sky Splits Open (Slam, 2004), which received high acclaim in The Penguin Guide to Jazz, as well as the new record I Hope You Never Love Anything As Much As I Love You, released last month on Amazon, and described by the Wire as “…quite simply the best British improvised record in more than a decade”.
Following on from the success of DigiSlang 1, City Slang have taken the next logical step to release the sequel.
The new City Slang digital sampler is not only FREE but it has tracks from the latest and greatest City Slang offerings.
Mark Ronson is playing London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on October 25th and we’re able to give you the chance to win a pair of tickets for the show plus a stay at the prestigious K West hotel (in association with Columbia).
Chicago band The Changes is promising to dispel any thoughts their music can be pinned down to a blueprint when their debut album is released on Monday, September 17th — by claiming to make it impossible to compare them to anyone.
The Modfather Paul Weller has gone back to his Northern Soul roots by teaming up with Britpop DJ-turned-artist Andy Lewis.
All awards ceremonies are flawed: hailing one album better than all others across genres is ridiculous and taste-specific (and as experienced as the judging panel is I’m sure they haven’t got any 16 year old grime kids on it), but the Mercury Music Prize is still an improvement on most. Better than the glossy industry back-slap/sales-boost of the Brits, better than the bizarre categories of the Grammy’s (“Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” anyone?) and better than the admittedly fun, but narrow-focussed NME Awards. M-People apart it has rewarded some great records in the past, like Screamadelica, Dummy and Different Class.