Monday, 23 May 2011

I love Jackmaster and I'm not afraid to admit it

The latest Fabriclive mix is owned by Scottish DJ dude Jackmaster. He's one of the main players in the Numbers crew and one of the best DJs we've seen over the past year. He's disgustingly young but seems to be able to deeply tailor his sets to any kind of party - whether it be booty bass, grime or disco. His latest Fabric mix has been on repeat in our kitchen and my headphones for the past month and a half and there's still no sign of it losing its edge. It's energetic, exciting DJing which doesn't veer into the kingdom of the sausage fest, despite having a tracklisting which should make any IDM head weak at the knees.

You can read my review for Resident Advisor and the interview I did with him for Stool Pigeon underneath below...

Jackmaster Fabric mix Resident Advisor review

Jackmaster interview with the Stool Pigeon

This Anthony Shakir tune is one of the more exquisite delights from the mix - but everyone of the 29 tunes on there is a freaking minter. Brace...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Bang Face Weekender 2011 - I LOVE MY LIFE AS A DICKHEAD

Ooof - Last weekend was A LOT. The Bang Face Weekender is A LOT. It's the only festival I've ever been to where you're welcomed back by a chorus of faces exclaiming: "You're alive?!" Which is nice, but illustrates the perimeter of fear which surrounds the event.

It's easy to be put off by the day glo, neo-rave armageddon vibes which emanate off Bang Face - while the moniker doesn't exactly imply you're going to be enjoying a restful time of it at Pontins, where the shebang is held. But at any festival, whether it's the Ketamine Olympics or the Chelsea Flower Show, the appropriate vibe is always to go hard or go home. Bang Face isn't threatening. Although the vibe is wrapped in a dreadlock, a vague whiff of the nineties and mild bouts of madness. But nothing more nutty or deadly than you'd find in any other festival or 'warehouse party'. Plus it takes place at a perfect crossroads of rave - an axis which straddles a grey area somewhere between the past, future and present. But with perhaps one and a half feet in the past. In the best possible way...

We got to the site on Friday after boarding the bullet train and getting our cider on all the way to Rye. We stopped at the local Budgens to pick up a shed load of ale and fodder, before making our wonky way down there. At the entrance we were greeted by a brace of security guards who, after asking who we were, started shouting "Press! Press! The press are here" in a vague bid to find someone with some sort of authority. No one came. It was a suitably daft, yet joyous beginning to a well daft, yet totally euphoric 72 hours.

Friday was all about getting totally pished and massively narked up - Jeff Mills is the one thing that really stands out through a thick haze of dancing, sweat and jaw chattering good times. He laid down a thick, lean set of techno which still stands out through a fug of smoke and lairiness. After he'd wound us up as tight as a spring, we unravelled into pools of human mess via bouts of extreme beggaring in the main rooms and outside before ending up back at Chalet 21 for some serious acid bendiness. Memories fade at this point but we definitely went back to our adopted home for a horsey sit down. Our crew even went to sleep which says a right lot about the sort of massive state we were in. Wonked. And pooped.

Saturday involved emerging from the pit and tucking (that's right TUCKING) into a fry up before TUCKING into our fridge and watching Bang Face TV from under the cover of a duvet for much of the afternoon. When we ventured out, it was under an extreme cloud of murkage. I ended up swapping my socks in exchange for a balloon. There was a gabba rave going off in the chalet just up the road, which had to be visited bare of foot. The musical highlights were numerous but Space Dimension Controller and the Squire of Gothos both got the collective rave pecker standing firmly to attention. The Squires seemed to be playing in the midst of a sauna with sweat and tops off being the vibe. We didn't bother with sleep on the Saturday eve, instead choosing to wander around the chalet areas, which ensured we came into contact with a few nightmares nonetheless. One chap appeared to have completely lost his marbles and was screaming from the back of a van. Another chalet was shut down by security in the early hours of the morning after a man with a vaguely psychotic glint in his eyes and not much in the way of clothes was seen staggering about. The true cause will (hopefully forever) remain a mystery but the numerous balloons we embibed blunted any edge of darkness these scenes offered at the time.

Sunday was all about the mid-afternoon chalet rave - although Leftfield took what was left of Bang Face down a memory lane carved out of nineties bass and rave tackle that eve, one of the highlights was dancing on the scorched earth earlier in the day. A variety of rigs appeared to have somehow convened in one area and were doing their best to outblast each other. Mutant strains of jungle and gabba were both rinsed in this demilitarised rave zone but the best bits was the pop - hearing Madness and Queen in those moments nailed the vibe perfectly. Stupid, fucked up, fun and life affirming all at the same time. Which sums up the weekend perfectly.

There were shitloads of other moments - the signs ("The only thing I'm fucking tonight are my prospects", "Not marriage material", "I'm a massive cunt", "Hard Crew"), Bang Face TV with Normski and crew and the Hard Crew - the ravers who we danced, chatted and monged with other the three nights we were there. Without sounding like too much of a hippy twat, every year we've attended Bang Face, the Hard Crew have done much to make it. Everyone might be on a massive amount of drugs. Sure. But they still don't have to be so nice or accommodating. Massive, hands in the air style props to everyone we met and met up with again from the past two years. The previous two were tremendous. But this one was summat else. Roll on next year. I'm already contemplating giving up on normality, investing what little dosh I have in a rig and spending the rest of my days stumbling round Europe searching for the next rave. Alternatively I'll calm down and get on with the day-to-day. Either way "I LOVE MY LIFE AS A DICKHEAD".

Neon Ugly Crew

Scran and booze

'Not Marriage Material'

The Wizard

Jeff Mills leading Bang Face into the apocalypse

"Can I have 18 hot wings please mate? And make them fucking soggy. I've got a mouth as dry as the sahara."

Hard Crew going in

Fake benjamins

The 5th chalet mate - diet flex



Nelson Bangdela

Mr Ed's cousin on day release

Clown going large

Honesty is the best policy

Bragging monks

Atari Teenage Riot


Crowd surfing on a dinghy. Obvs

Mega 'Blackpool illumination style' murked

Catching some z'ssss - what a nancy


Go West


Chalet mates getting (it?) on

Buried at Bang Face

The inevitable backlash

Too. Much. Sand

Sunday afternoon chalet rave madness

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Bang Face is coming

It's nearly here - the neo-rave armageddon which is Bang Face. Just one small sleep until we journey down to Rye and get to Camber Sands for the ruffage. The past two years have been serious. This one should be similar. I'm feeling wrinkler just thinking about it... See youse on the flip side...

Tough at the top

Another week, another set of blurs - Here are some of the highlights. When we weren't eating, we were drinking. When we weren't doing that, we were working. Hard times...

Voting babes

Creepy freaky nostalgia

A man grating a courgette

Chilli business

Slugabed is the motherfucking man

Slugabed was a completely new name on me until last night but this Brit producer/DJ has got stylez in bucketz. I reviewed his debut EP for Hyponik - it's mint and got a tune on it called Nu Krak Swing...

Slugabed Moonbeam Riders EP review

Even more exciting is the Roots Manuva rework which went missing earlier in the year - He's managed to polish perfection. Which suggests his talent is real...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

I love donna (meat)

Sometimes a tune pokes its tweeter up which has just the right balance of beat, wonk, stupidity and sheer bangingness to make you fall for it before you've even heard it. So it was with Erik & Fiedel's Donna - According to this past FACT interview, the pair were attempting to come up with a rough neck, contemporary take on the squelchy acid b-line at the close of Donna Summer's Our Love. Which is a majestic aim - that tune has been to the soundtrack to getting out of the box for the past 12 months. Here's their tribute...

And here's the Summer/Moroder original - Goosebumps every time...

MMM, who are part of Smith'n'Hack and DJ regularly at Berlin's palace of techno pleasure, Berghain, have a new record out - you can check it over via the FACT webpage...

Monday, 9 May 2011

Wave yer flag

Saturday after the wedding must have been one long hangover for much of the UK - We were feeling rotten enough to only be capable of once again mounting the horse and drinking high quality premium lagers from 3 in the pm until about 4 in the am. As per, it was a long mucky day which had numerous highs, lows, peaks and troughs.

Tings kicked off with a greasy motherfucking fry up - plus numerous pint pots of berocca did the rounds. R'n'b bangers got dropped for most of the afternoon. Once we left the gaff, a Union jack flag was stolen off the front of the house and almost set fire to in the street. Which could be classed as high treason, although I'm not totally sure what the legalities involve. Someone was sick. We bought some rum. And drank it really, really quickly. We tried to go to a dance hall night but it was fucking dead as a bucket of door nails. The lack of anything regarding a 'mandem' in the basement of this restaurant prompted us to head back onselves in terms of aesthetic. The musical U-turn we embarked on saw us heading into central London to G.A.Y Late - which is where things really got tasty.

I'd never previously had the experience of visiting this late night emporium of dance, drinks and sexuality before, but, if I'd been drinking for 8 hours again, I'd definitely make a reappearance. They don't have a DJ - just music videos beamed in from a "state of the art video juke box", which makes the whole vibe well fucking left - This is way more car showroom than club. Although there aren't many car showrooms where dancing on a small stage is encouraged - and the drinking of numerous over-priced shots is mandatory - You're egged on to get fully involved with this shit. At one point I found myself contorting my body into ever weirder and more wonderful shapes to Rihanna's Rude Boy. We got talking to some other punters while outside gasping down hard on our tabs - there were some lonely souls out there in the dark, who were only made to feel lonelier by our cuntish character acting. The way home involved going for a gargantuanly overpriced Chinese takeway, then trying to board a bus back up to Hackney. The first bus wouldn't stop - so that bus got a severe kicking. The bus which let us on had to endure the three of us dribbling poisonous egg fried rice down our collective fronts. The next day waking up and feeling poisoned to the very core. Classic Binge Britain at its finest...Link

G.A.Y late - the entrance

Guts of the chicken shop - where the dirty magic happens

Flag down - but not singed

Dreams die fast round our way

Dins dins

A pleasant afternoon getting sozzled

Berocca - man's best friend


The afternoon's work - part 2

Kiss it. Go on. Kiss it...

Unless one has spent most of the year underneath a massive stone, then it was obvious summat big was going on the other Friday. Yep. That's right. The Royal Fucking Wedding was taking place, which, whether you're a royalist or not was totally and utterly mint. Not only did it provide us with an additional day off but gave the whole country and excuse to begin binge drinking heavily from around breakfast time. I missed the actual ceremony as we went hard on the Thursday eve and was in the process of 'losing' some rank fried chicken we'd picked up the night before while the vows were going on. But the afternoon was a different story - the street party on Wilton Way in Hackney was summat else - Some of the punters were absolutely munted which made for a real mixture of sights. Children painting shit crossed with men who'd consumed so much 'K' that they couldn't walk straight.

The day was topped with Kiss the Royal Fist, which went down in the evening down at the London Fields. The vibe was off the chain mainly cos of the sunny drunken vibes of the day. Plus the amazing mixing skills on show behind the decks. One of the highlights was smoking a cig in the kitchen of the pub and thieving a tomato. It was that sort of day. Big.

At the controls

Delicious - can I have 50 more?

In da mix

The Roots Manuva soundsystem

Token gesture towards the wedding bash