June 27, 2015
WORDS BY HOLMES PRICE
Let’s just say it — when it comes to electronic music Londoner’s are spoilt rotten. Maybe that’s why, despite Field Day Saturday pulling out every stop in the book for arguably the best line-up the festival has seen in its eight years, it was only the week before the festival that it sold out. That might also explain why desperate Londoners panicked in their thousands when they left it to the last minute, and missed out.
Luckily team CTC had planned in advance and headed off to Victoria Park on a packed bus, glowing with fluorescent and other festival fashion risks. After catching Leon Vynehall’s festival closing set at Lost Village a few weeks earlier, we were keen to watch him again at his early slot on the Bugged Out stage. As expected it was already a highlight, with Rare Pleasure’s ‘Let Me Down Easy’ rewarding the early-bird crowd.
The heavy hitters continued with Andrew Weatherall and Daniel Avery going back to back on acid-tinged house with disco and new wave references peppered in. Floating Points quickly packed out the RA stage with his unique record box of loud and proud disco and rarities. As the sell-out crowd began to build around us and the sun continued to beam down, Field Day Saturday had arrived.
We made our way to the main stage for Kindness, whose band had just had to pay for water on a Norwegian Air flight from New York, apparently. Even with Art of Noise and Whitney Houston references and a Best-Of set list, sound problems made the stage seem too big for Adam and his band. That was the story of the day for the main stage – for whatever reason it was far too quiet. We managed to squeeze our way to the front barrier for Todd Terje and The Olsens and only then was the sound engaging. Luckily, Terje made up for it with his unmistakable feel good riffs and complex, beautiful chords all played immaculately by the man himself. His recent artwork came to life as the Inspector Norse dancers took the stage for the predicted finale and smiles lit up the crowd. It was enough to briefly forget about the sound issues and bask in the talent of a man who’s quickly becoming a music icon for all the right reasons.
El-P and Killer Mike’s rap duo Run The Jewels meant that you couldn’t get within 10 meters of the RA tent but when we managed to elbow our way in, it was a killer (d’oh) performance. One fan waved a crutch in the air while El-P explained they’d had one-hour’s sleep, but their on-stage energy didn’t show it, though the stage’s volume had definitely dropped from earlier in the day.
FKA Twigs and Caribou shared headline slots only 200 meters from each other on the Crack and Main Stage. Twigs’ stage presence held our attention until echoes of Caribou’s closer ‘Can’t Do Without You’ were heard and we rushed back for an impressive finish and light show. Day one’s line-up was close to perfect and the execution almost matched it, let down by sound issues throughout the day. Day two’s atmosphere was much more relaxed, with 10,000 less people making their way into the East London park. Pop rock slacker Mac DeMarco played the final set of his tour on the main stage under a blissful sun and it was almost perfect. The sound had sorted itself out and the inoffensive tones weaved through the lazy crowd with their cover of Steely Dan’s ‘Reelin’ In The Years’ being one-half tongue-in-cheek, one-half guitar showboating. As much as Mac DeMarco might portray a flippant attitude, there was nothing dismissive about his performance and it was easily a weekend highlight.
Closing off one side of the site, assumedly to maintain an atmosphere, Patti Smith demanded attention and sing-a-longs from the Main Stage crowd as the sun set. Sunday has always been a slower, calmer affair and it was exactly what was needed to ease out the festival.
Field Day always feels like the unofficial start of summer and the weather agreed yet again. Sound issues aside, the line-up was undoubtedly a reflection of the best in independent music. Though next time, can we have Saturday’s line-up with Sunday’s sound? That would make it the perfect city festival it so nearly is — just don’t wait til the last week to get your ticket yeah?
June 4, 2015
WORDS BY HOLMES PRICE
There were a lot of unknowns heading out the door to Lost Village, a brand new festival created by promoters, DJs and label owners Jaymo and Andy George. How would a first-time festival fair when four-and-a-half-thousand dance-music devotees descended on its cherished site? Would there be enough portaloos? Would there be enough staff at the bars? Would there be enough bars? What kind of mysteries awaited us in the enchanted Lincolnshire woodlands? Would I make my train because the first Uber cancelled and the second one was driving his giant Merc through East London like it was his only child, even though I told him I had a train to catch, yeah?
With so many questions, we headed off to find the answers, catching a cab from the Lincoln train station with two lads from Belfast who’d flown over just for the Village, and were already hungover having started their festival holiday in the airport bar at 4:30am. Classic. As we set up camp the fragrant flashbacks of festival sites came roaring back and a wave of elation washed over us as we cracked our first can and collectively sighed “Summer is here!”.
With the tinny sound of Bluetooth speakers providing the campsite vibes, we decided to head to catch Crazy P who were about to begin their set of thick disco grooves, kicking off with their band-member Hot Toddy’s remix of their 2008 classic ‘Stop Space Return’. P vocalist Danielle Moore serenaded the scene before Grandmaster Flash provided something of an odd mainstream hip pop wedding set soundtrack to the setting sun. And just as we’d been teased out of our tents, the Friday night drew to a close. With access to the main festival site off limits until Saturday morning, it was time to avoid the festival cliché of peaking too soon.
The Lost Village concept is that an abandoned woodland village was turned into a magical musical experience, but some of the former residents still linger between the trees. CTC had an exclusive behind the scenes look at the site before it was opened to the frenzied festival ticket-holders and with Blair Witch-style effigies hanging from trees, actors in Victorian-surrealist and hidden gems in the form of magic circles, plane wreckages and extravagant ambient lighting it was an immersive, if uneasy experience.
But we weren’t here for a pantomime – the lineup of world-class DJs far superseded the festival capacity and Saturday kicked off nicely with Citizenn bringing the Forgotten Cabin soundsystem to its knees with the first kick drum of the day. Cristoph followed by Walker and Royce took to the main Ruins stage, bringing chugging tech house to the tree folk.
UK festivals can often be defined by their weather and considering the time of year and location Lost Village struck sunshine gold. It was this, along with the unique surroundings and solid line-up that meant us Villagers felt like we’d stumbled into something very special.
Once Greg Wilson had lured us into a disco delirium the scene was set for Erol Alkan to take on the Forgotten Cabin’s Funktion One rig, now a favourite among the CTC collective. Opening with Charles B & Adonis’ ‘Lack of Love’, acid was the theme of choice and on that system the trip was unforgettable. Later Tiger & Woods took to the Abandoned Chapel for a chopped-disco sonic sermon. We made our way to Four Tet (at the Forgotten Cabin, duh) who brought his unmistakable record crate of other-wordly vocal house, techno and acid, wrapping up with a Chinese-language banger (genre on the rise?). A fitting ending to Day One: nothing was as it seemed deep in the Lincolnshire countryside and the Villagers were lapping it up.
As is often the case, Sunday was a slower start. Intoxicated on the immersive Lost Village experience (and booze), the campers were slow to rise with the light rainfall giving everyone the excuse for a lie-in (it’s possible I was projecting this particular ambience). Once Australian producer and DJ Young Franco took to the CDJs at Basecamp, commanding the sun out from behind the clouds with his M1-heavy, vibe-soaked set, all was good again at the Lost Village. It was long before the Forgotten Cabin lured us back for festival-founders Jaymo and Andy George’s set. Every now and then Andy would freeze, look up with a look of ‘holy-shit-I’m-DJing-at-my-own-festival’ on his face, before snapping back into shoulder shimmying on the drop. It was a charming moment, and a reminder of what the duo had achieved with Lost Village.
Back at Basecamp, Jonas Rathsman’s disco set was an up-close-and-personal affair with Kano’s ‘Are You Ready?’ and Koxo’s ‘Step By Step’ keeping the ever-growing crowd moving, while Rathsman played perfectly into the Air Piano DJ stereotype. This type of intimacy was common throughout the weekend and added greatly to the experience, something I hope Moda keep in mind for next year’s festival. The scene was set for the finale and with Jackmaster’s deep techno set still ringing in our ears, we made our way to Leon Vynehall at the Abandoned Chapel. Definitely a highlight, luscious synths and samples weaved together over booming basslines as Vynehall effortlessly hot-swapped between styles and sounds. It was big, bold and brilliant. We swung by the mainstage just in time to hear Annie Mac round the weekend off with Caribou’s crooner ‘Can’t Do Without You’.
Lost Village wasn’t perfect. The mainstage sound was disconnected from the crowd, while every area got noticeably quieter on Sunday, possibly down to licensing issues, complaints from surrounding forest dwellers or hearing-loss. The security was unnecessarily confrontational at times, further highlighted by the fact that most villagers were relaxed and respectful to the site and each other. But the vast majority of Lost Village was a triumph. Moda now have an important decision to make – keep the numbers low, the setting intimate and the lineups just as strong or open the doors wider and expand on the concept. We know which we’d prefer but either way, Lost Village 2015 was one of those ‘I was there’ moments. And the summer’s only just begun.
June 4, 2015
They just spun at Love Saves The Day and released a killer new LP ‘Walk Dance Talk Sing’, and now Crazy P have stopped by for a chat with the crew at CTC. We sat them down for a round of quick fire question lovin’ — you can read a full feature by CTC’s editor here on the phenomenon that is Crazy P!
Most memorable festival set you’ve played? Well aside from the obvious LSTD! It would have to be the Garden festival 2011. It was our first live gig after a short break and we were incredibly psyched up for it. The crowd were phenomenal and coupled with the natural beauty of the venue it was fab!
Favourite Crazy P tune to open a festival set with? ‘Clouds’
Best thing you’ve ever found at a festival? Ha ha! Er…my mates
Ultimate festival main stage line-up — alive or dead? Prince, elvis, mr.tumble, the cure, …I really don’t know :-)
Weirdest thing that’s ever happened during a show? Someone asked if we could stop playing so they could propose
One festival you’d like to go before you die? Bingham village fete
Fave act you saw at Love Saves The Day? Jesse Ware
Where can we see you play this summer? Park life, Garden Festival, Beat Herder Festival No. 6, and Haunting other stages in the uk
Anything else we should know? Our album Walk Dance Talk Sing is out! Stream the full album below:
Thanks Crazy P!
May 28, 2015
Will Kinsella picks his top five favourite tracks for dance floor primetime.
Roberto Capuano ‘Never Stop’ [Truesoul]
Easily one of my favourite labels at the moment. This is another dance floor buster from Truesoul. Never Stop is an incredibly versatile record. You can play it early or late in a set. Women love it, lads love it. Its a great dance floor track.
Harvey McKay ‘Trick Baby’ [Drumcode]
I’ve been following Harvey for some time. The second I heard this track on promo from Drumcode I went out and booked him for his debut Irish show. I knew it was going to be a massive track and one I’ve heard in numerous sets since. Great work from the big man from Glasgow.
Okain ‘Circles’ [Truesoul]
Another screamer from Truesoul. What can I say? A great dance floor record with a killer bass line. Ideal for 3 deck sets or if you like to get creative with layering and looping on Traktor/Serato. Essential material. It has served me well.
Wouter Do Moor ‘Fluffy’ [Ovum Recordings]
Quirky synth work at its finest. The day I got this on promo I played it out before Miss Kitten in Dublin and the crowd lost their shit to it. One of my favorite Ovum tracks in recent times. Solid.
Ricky Ebner ‘Pullbalbner’ [Sci+Tec]
This track has everything I like about Sci+Tec. When they nail it, they really nail it. Another dance floor buster. Essential listening for those on the hunt for dark groovers. Vocals are killer too. Delivered with style.
May 26, 2015
WORDS BY LEON CLARKSON
There are only two Wookie’s that exist on this wonderful planet we call Earth. One’s an intelligent biped from the planet Kashyyyk; the ever dependable, Chewbacca. Whilst the other co-pioneered UK Garage’s rise to prominence during the late ‘90s/ early ‘00s, with a continual string of innovative, groove-laden and bass hefty vocal and dub tunes that you need to check out!
Historical gush and painfully obvious Star Wars reference behind us, why exactly are we here? SET MO’s ‘White Dress’ ft. Deutsch Duke (Wookie Remix), that’s why! The brilliantly on-point Australian duo have a knack for creating infectious tunes, and after their solid re-working of Wookie’s ‘The Hype 2.0’ ft Eliza Doolittle last year, it’s on ‘White Dress’ that the favour is returned. Wookie revitalises things from the laid back, euphoric vocal deep house affair to a much more UK Garage focused redraft. Switching on some trademark Wookie percussive goodness it’s a far pacier journey, with upright beats and attentive chords/keys and a punch-funky bass line to compliment the sublime vocal line from Deustch Duke.
But for all the familiarity, this is unlike any of his other most notable productions of recent times – see ‘Higher’ ft Zak Abel, ‘The Hype 2.0′ ft Eliza Doolittle and his remix of Disclosure’s ‘Voices’. Sit up, take note, and open up your cool Summer 2015 party playlist excel spread sheet that you’ve been tirelessly working on since New Year’s Day; copy and paste this in BOLD >> Set Mo ft Deutsch Duke – White Dress (Wookie Remix).
May 22, 2015
The much-loved Aussie DJ staple will be spinning across the UK, including exclusive sets for London via Birmingham promoters Shut The Front Door, Moda Black festival Lost Village, and our own CTC knees up at The Queen of Hoxton on 5th June.
Warm up for Lost Village (which kicks off later today) with an exclusive mix from Young Franco — it’s the kind of feel good, sunshine house music we’ve come to expect from the Brisbane-based maverick.
May 21, 2015
WORDS BY HOLMES PRICE.
How do you stand out in a summer full of festivals? Plonk yourself in the middle of a mysterious forest, lasso a luxurious lineup, keep the numbers at an exclusive low and the distinctiveness high and you’re stumbling somewhere towards Moda Black’s brand new experience Lost Village. Kicking off this Friday May 22nd in secluded woodland in Lincolnshire, Lost Village is “inspired by a fascination with old ruins and abandoned places” according to festival and label founders Jaymo and Andy George.
No strangers to throwing killer parties, this is the Moda crew’s first venture into a three-day event and with an epic lineup to match the surroundings, it’s got the potential to leapfrog copycats and place itself at the forefront of UK summer calendar. Headliners Four Tet, Jamie Jones and DJ Koze represent the variation found throughout the weekend with everything from festival regulars Annie Mac and Jackmaster providing a surefire selection to more tailored acts like Kölsch, Leon Vynehall and John Talabot mirroring the unique setting with their very personal style. Other highlights include the thunderous duo Dusky, classy club king Jonas Rathsman, disco don Greg Wilson and Greco-Roman fave Roosevelt – who’ll be taking their live show to the forest.
Limiting the tickets to 4,500, Moda have put their trust in both the public and their own musical instincts to deliver a line-up of established and exciting newcomers. Link it in with an atmospheric setting and the finest in food, drinks, exclusive styling booths and special surprise appearances and Lost Village might be the festival everyone is talking about this time next year. Make sure you’re part of the conversation – tickets are still available. See you in the woods.
Lost Village is on this Bank Holiday Weekend. Final tickets at lostvillagefestival.com