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Bestival 2010 – The Review

The Arcadia Stage

Woah. Simply ridiculous. At least 50 feet to the top of this giant metallic three-legged spider, with a rotating circular shaped dj booth towards its top, the Arcadia Stage is visually something a little special. But this freakish giant spider doesn’t only blow your mind with its booming sound-system, pumping tunes hot off the fingers of the worlds hottest dj’s, producers, and bands, it also breathes fire. Giant fire-balls flow from its top and two sides providing your eyes with something to feast on, whilst your ears will be ravished by drum shattering bass beats. But why stop there? catch the Arcadia Stage at the right time of the night, and you can expect to see an enormous lightning show with the three-legged beast producing frightening storms from its inner core. Fire, Lightning, and Sounds to match the visual spectacular, one not to miss.

Four Tet

Undoubtedly one of the world biggest and best producers and dj’s, initially known for his trip hop beats, now specialising in minimalistic breakbeat and electro tunes. Awesome to see him live, but a part of me thinks this kind of music isn’t always the best in a live performance with a massive crowd. The music’s so down tempo and chilled, and has so many levels to it, that among a huge audience it can be hard to really interpret what the dj, in this case Four Tet really wants to get accross to the crowd. But nonetheless a top set from a heroic dj and producer, and a man who I’m proud to have seen live.

Bruce Bane

How bloody cool is this guy. I’d never heard of him before Bestival 2010, and got a brilliant recommendation off a mate, telling me to go and check out his performance. It was the first thing i saw on the Friday morning, and any amount of partying up untill Sunday night couldn’t have forced the memories of Bane from me. A two-man show, but really a one-man performance with a guitarist occasionally adding to the mood and atmosphere, but believe me, Bane (Joe Bone) does all the work. More than just a one-man show, Joe transports you into a movie world, creating countless different characters, voices, sounds and faces all aiding to the story behind the man Bruce Bane – a hired-hand from the world of the old-school. Incredibly light-hearted where the audience can’t help but smile, interspersed with touches of absolute genius. He received rave reviews at The EdinburghFestival and I can’t see Joe Bone falling away any time soon, definitely a name for the future, and if you’ve never heard of him, one hundred percent check out his three-tiered act, they are about an hour-long a piece and each tells a different story from the world of Bruce Bane. Check out his facebook page here ; http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bane/104197804790

The Flaming Lips

To tell the truth i wasn’t the biggest Flaming Lips fans, but i hadn’t heard alot of their stuff. But i had heard they always put on an amazing psychedelic show, and they definately did that. The lead singer Wayne Coyne enters the show on a Zorbing ball, and rolls around on top of the crowd before getting down to track one, whilst the rest of the band enter the stage through the legs of a naked woman imaged on the screen of the main stage. The show was spectacular, right up there with the rest of the best visual sights at Bestival 2010 (of which there were many), and the music, despite not being my current cup of tea, enticed me enough to want to seek out more of their work. Here’s one tune i do remember them playing, and got the crowd fully involved.

Gil Scott Heron

More than just a musician, this guy is an absolute legend. It was an honour to finally see him live, as i had tickets to see him at The Royal Albert Hall a few months back, but the gig was cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano spewing ash and stopping planes from flying…bloody nature. But Gil was everything i had hoped for, his presence on stage is something special. As an ageing man, who could easily be mistaken for a tramp on a US Subway his voice disproves this endlessly. The tone he sings with captures so much pain from his past with a croaky, somewhat crackling edge to it. It’s the clear the man is a musical genius, without whom, music styles we know and love so much in the modern-day would be entirely different. Not to mention the political history of the icon. A hero, and a definite highlight of Bestival 2010. 

The xx

Hot on the press straight after winning the Mercury Music Award for 2010 The xx were a must see at Bestival 2010. Saying that, i pretty much missed all of it. They’ve encapsulated audiences since releasing their album ‘XX’ at the end of 2009 and have grown and grown in stature with each single released. Impossible to quantify into any one specific genre their crossover album entices respect from music lovers from all backgrounds. Their massive singles ‘Crystallised’, and ‘Islands’ are huge tunes…so check em out.

Submotion Orchestra

The brainchild of drummer Tommy Evans and without doubt the highlight of my festival, i’ve been a fan of these guys for some time now, and can’t wait to hear their album when they finish making it. I was lucky enough to be right at the front of the crowd for the gig and was stunned by the beauty of the music and voice of lead vocalist Ruby Wood. It was the perfect hangover cure set, chilled out live dubstep style beats, with jazzy, soulful overtones. If your yet to hear of these guys, please check em out, their a little bit special, (the best band i’ve heard for many years)so for that reason, here’s everything i can find of theirs at the moment.

Gentleman’s Dub Club

Tommy Evans, the drummer from Submotion Orchestra leads the way once more in the Ranking Records Leeds based Reggae/Ska crew. A proper jump up, and get rowdy band creating tunes that start off with melodic reggae vibes, that switch towards massive Ska beats towards the end of most songs. Such a good vibe, and a really tight band, another Ranking Records class act, definitely a record label to look out for in the future. http://www.rankingrecords.com/Home.html – Ranking Records home page.

 

The Prodigy

Sunday night main stage headliners, and pure energy releasing greatness, this Prodigy set will be something I’ll never forget. Just the aggressiveness and emotion behind the tracks makes you move, you can’t help but throw your head around manically with a constant smile on your face. It was (apparently) the last live performance from the guys for a while, and so as expected we got a huge array of the bands classic singles. What a way to end a festival!

pictures courtesy of David Goldsmith & Isabella Dupree Nelson

 

September 18, 2010 Posted by | Breakbeat, Downtempo, Dubstep, Electro, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Ska, Soul, Trip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Submotion Orchestra

Iv’e already posted one tune by these guys from Leeds (‘All Night’) but everything that comes from them seems to be gold. These next two tunes are absolute quality, so chilled out, with a groovy summery electronic vibe, and a  female vocalist (Ruby Wood) delivering textured soulful and melancholic tones ontop of the beats.  

They share the same jazzy feel as The Cinematic Orchestra and quote heavy influences from them and other NinjaTune trip hoppy artists, such as Bonobo, Andreya Triana, and Amon Tobin to name just a few. They’re heavily touring the globe at the moment playing at many major festivals, including Secret Garden Party, Outlook, Greenman, Lattitude, and Shambala festival.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Electro, Jazz, Soul, Trip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Submotion Orchestra – All Night

Spawned from the vibrant music scene in Leeds – where their weekly residency at Hukaz bar has become a staple Monday night haunt for the local populous – 7 piece outfit Submotion Orchestra have spent the duration of their first year taking away the breath of music lovers from the UK and abroad. Using both electronic and acoustic instruments with live mixing and effects from superstar dubstep producer/dj Ruckspin (who, with Quark, coined the original and much requested version of ʻSunshineʼ), Submo base their style around elements of dubstep, downtempo and soul music to create a warm, textured sound that leaves lead singer Ruby Wood ample space on which to float her haunting, smoky vocal lines.

The bulk of Submotionʼs material is written by drummer Tommy Evans (also of Gentlemanʼs Dub Club) and producer/live fx man Dom Howard aka Ruckspin. Smooth, sexy and beautifully arranged, the E.P explores the space and bass weight of dubstep whilst holding true to the soul/jazz background of the musicians. From the shimmering, melancholy Rhodes in Finest Hour to the muted trumpet licks in ʻSunshineʼ, Submotionʼs unique sound works as a full shiatsu massage for the eardrums, and will have the radio and club DJʼs mouths watering. Finest Hour gets the Planas treatment for the remix: a euphoric hands-in-the-air banger designed to take the dance floor to another level.

Submotion Orchestra has a busy summer in front of them, appearing at many of the major festivals across the UK and Europe. The band is currently working on their debut album, which will be hitting the shops in September. Watch this space!

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Acoustic, Dubstep, Electro, Jazz, Soul | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Toshinori Kondo & DJ Krush – Ki-Oku

Downtempo, acid, psychedelic smooth jazzy tones, this DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo collaboration is emphatically brilliant. Japanese Trumpeter Toshinori Kondo provides the melancholic samples over the break beat, trip hoppy style that one of the biggest hip hop DJ’s in Japan, DJ Krush, possesses. The albums start to finish brilliant, and a rare find that can be listened to from beginning to end. The album displays the genius of the pair, whilst a better example of multi-layering downtempo trippy beats surely doesn’t exist anywhere else within the music scene. Kondo, despite remaining a relatively lesser known name within the industry has worked with the likes of Herbie Hancock and John Zorn  in providing his fusion of avant-garde jazz.  The album is set out in a unique way, with ten “proper” tracks and three short interludes (entitled Tobira 1, 2 and 3). The album also features a distinctive cover of Sun Is Shining, which was originally written and performed by Bob Marley. The album has recieved major praise from music critics universally, with Allmusic stating that “This is one of those albums that reveals more with repeated listens; if it sounds too easy at first, listen again — there’s lots of interesting stuff going on beneath what sometimes sounds like a merely pleasant surface.” It’s an incredibly well produced album with a huge amount of feel incoorporated within it, loads of emotion and passion created by the trumpeting, with the entire album emphasising the smoothness that acid jazz can employ.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop, Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les McCann – Benjamin

Born in 1935 in Lexington, Kentucky, Les McCann is a heroic Soul, Jazz, Piano player and vocalist.  His music has been sampled by many defining artists within the industry, including underground hip hop duo Mobb Deep (Prodigy & Havoc) in thier hit “Right Back At You” (BMG/Loud Records). Les is best known for his work in the late 60s and early 70s with partner and saxophonist Eddie Harris, whom he first encountered at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The resulting album, Swiss Movement (1960), was a top selling jazz 12″, and the single “Compared to What” sold platinum.  Les McCann helped pioneer the use of the electric piano, clarinet, and synthesizer, and his work into the 1970’s acted as a pioneer for the electronic jazz movement. Here’s ‘Benjamin’ by Les, which is sampled by Mobb Deep, and is absolutely beautiful. Click the link, and enjoy.

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cinematic Orchestra – Man With A Movie Camera

Is there any better way to begin, jazzy, soulful, a classic in every way, its an absolute must have in any music lovers collection. The album comprises the soundtrack to a re-released version of the ground-breaking 1929 silent documentary film, Man with a Movie Camera  from RClick for Self-Titled Trackussian director Dziga Vertov. The Cinematic Orchestra were commissioned to record the score to play as the opening event in Porto, Portugal’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2001. The performance was met with the highest possible praise, and is still presented around the globe at various festivals. I was lucky enough, whilst interning at NinjaTune, (the record label the orchestra are signed to) to see them perform the album live at the Roundhouse in Camden. It was truly stunning, and possibly the best live show i have ever attended. A personal favourite tune has to be the last track on the album, and a song that also features on Cinematic’s previous album ‘Everyday’, the song called ‘All Things’ is mesmeric, beautifully created and comprises the perfect meloncholy mood for a winter’s walk. On Man With a Movie Camera ‘All Things’ is played as an instrumental version, but on the previous album, accompanying vocals are majestically presented by the one and only, a true British hip hop great, Roots Manuva, who is signed to the sub label of NinjaTune, Big Dada, a label that Wiley has also released albums under. So here it is, (click the pictures) give it a listen, and leave a comment. Enjoy!

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Jazz | , , , , , , | Leave a comment