Music festivals are never all about the music. Some music isn’t even all about the music. Some time way back in the 80s (Were you even born? I wasn’t) some people in Detroit, Chicago and New York discovered a combination of rhythm and texture that, when combined with certain chemicals, would increase the rush of serotonin to the pleasure centres of your brain. Since these initial discoveries were made, the job of replicating this sensation has been refined to an art. Many would have it that the feeling was perfected in the early 90s, in a field somewhere, about two hours drive from London. These giants of the dance music world know how to get fists and hearts pumping, their repetitive beats now mixed with nostalgia halcyon days of raved-up yore, perhaps the most powerful drug of all. Whether you’re head-to-toe in neon, dipping ice-pops in strangers’ mysterious bags or quietly chewing the inside of your jaw raw in the privacy of your own parka’s hood, you’ll soon be telling people you saw through the curtains of reality to somewhere far more interesting. Let these five master DJs soundtrack that journey of mind and body before you inevitably end up at some psytrance rave in the forest.
Part 1 of our preview series is here: Token Irish.
Putting the Halcyon in halcyon daze since 1989, there are few bigger dance acts than Orbital. Starting off on their father’s cassette deck, the brothers Hartnoll became one of the cornerstones of the British rave explosion in the early 90s. They’re probably the one act to ever sample both Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle and almost definitely the only act to do it well. These days they know exactly how to blow an immense festival crowd’s mind in just the right way. Fresh from covering Ian Dury at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic games last night, you can expect a masterful set from two of the most experienced and inspired heads in the game this weekend.
Richie Hawtin is so cool. He’s such a cool DJ. What a bro! He can DJ in a pool with all his friends! He’s so slick. Feel those minimal, big room beats. It’s like Detroit with an English/Canadian sensibility. No one he knows was shot in south central today, they were all too busy chillin’ on the beach in Ibiza. We shouldn’t joke though really, I mean, he has been involved in some of the biggest movements in techno over the last twenty odd years and Plastikman was often sheer genius at work. He really shouldn’t make it all seem so effortless though, it makes the rest of us jealous.
Mr. Kevorkian is a true legend of house music. He started off DJ in the Paradise Garage and Studio 54. He started Axis Studios. He’s played and remixed just about everyone who is anyone, from Yazoo to Yoko Ono. He’s owned multiple labels. He’s DJ’d on every corner of the globe from touring Japan with Larry Levan to the Cosmic Twin tour with Derrick May. He’s moved casually from house and disco through to the toughest of Berlin techno and minimal, from Tresor to Fabric and, as anyone who caught his recent set in the Button Factory will tell you, he hasn’t even begun to slow down. As Youtube commenter SANTOANDRE puts it, “with francois k there is no doubt…“. We’re inclined to agree. Dance, dance, dance the night away.
Have you heard it? You’ve surely heard it. If you’re anything like us there’s a chance you’ve heard it so much that if you hear it again you’ll walk casually up to the DJ booth and throw the mixer as hard as you can into the nearest black hole. Still, it’d probably be ok if the man himself was to play it. I mean, it is his song after all. You can be sure a lot of people will be psyched to hear it. It’s the kind of song that gets people jumping up and down, abandoning all sense of decorum as the total upper melody cascades through your brain, again. Tenner bets it’ll be totally awesome. One of the moments of the festival probably. Who’d begrudge him that?
While it might not seem like the most incredible accolade going, Optimo was the best club in Glasgow for a very, very long time. Every Sunday night there would be queues around the block to get in to this one beacon of Scotch clubbing promise. The club ran for 13 years, sadly winding up in 2010. JD Twitch and JG Wilkes had a vision and it took them (and the ever-increasing crowd) places they could never have imagined, including to the coveted top spot of Mixmag’s Best Clubs in the World list. Looking at the music coming out of Scotland now, Mr. Hudson Mohawke for instance, we have a lot to thank them for. Let Mylo tell you all about them.