Note: this post has been moved above the two below it, in order to preserve chronology – originally posted yesterday. You may want to read those for the full story. I’m trying to recap in order (and what I remember – thank goodness for this little line-up card):
The Fall were really good. Never seen them live. Not a ton for me to say really. Just good rock ‘n roll.
Public Enemy was fantastic. Haven’t lost a step, and *everyone* was getting down. You could tell they were having a great time, and it was really infectious.
Guy Called Gerald and C2 – remember liking both a lot and dancing a ton, but can’t recall any specifics really. I think Gerald played a lot of house, but my memory is quite sketchy at this point. Carl Craig was good, but as with the last time I saw him, and on The Workout, I wish he would mix more aggressively. My favorite sets from him are always more active.
Missed Baby Ford and Gescom- ran out of steam around 3:00 after being up since 7:30. Will see Baby Ford on Wednesday and Gescom on Saturday though,
so no urgency.
Saturday (AKA the day when darkness reigned and time lost meaning)
Note: the venue upstairs was nearly pitch black in the middle of the day. This was severely disorienting. Recall finding out it was 7:30 pm, thinking it was 2:00 am…
Checked Disjecta for about 15 minutes (he = Mark Clifford, once of Seefeel). He was basically just improvising on a guitar with crazy effects. It was really cool, but did my head in a bit after about 15 minutes.
El-P and Murs – damn fine rather political hip hop. El-P had a nice 15 minute turntablism intro as well. Good stuff!
Kool Keith and Kutmaster Kurt – really, really dissapointing. Utter crap. What has happened to Dr. Doom???
Bola (apparently didn’t show) but the visuals while they played some of his music (I think) were mind-blowing. Someone else may be able to fill in gaps about this.
[things get very very blurry]
Aphex Twin – WOW!!! Played about an hour of 110bpmish-techno-industrial-signature-aphex-god-knows-what that sounded like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I believe most of this was live. Concluded with an hour of drum ‘n bass – lots of ragga included. Wicked.
Skam DJs. Lots of fun. Degraded into making out with some woman on the dancefloor. VERY obnoxious. Apologies to anyone who witnessed.
In bed at a healthy 7:30am.
Arrive about 1/2-way through Stasis. Playing nice house rather poorly. Strictly Kev is a no-show (or maybe showed up about 10 minutes b4 the end of his set???) Stasis played lots of hip hop. Never heard so much ‘Stakes is High’ in one weekend. This is good.
Checked Jim O’Rourke for about 15 minutes. Nice pure ambience (i.e. no discernable beat). Not suiting my mood. Head back for more Stasis/Kev/Whatever.
Graham Massey – appears on stage with enormous wire-lantern-bulbous-head-thing. I leave immediately.
Coil (probably my most anticipated show) – really long set-up process (like 45 minutes). Really weird experimental vocally stuff with 3 Nords?!? Cool
stuff. Not right for the moment. Run downstaris for…
LFO (Mark Bell) DJ set. Had no idea what to expect from this. It probably wound up as my favorite set of the festival. Tons of techno classics mixed absolutely flawlessly (using Traktor + 1 CD player it looked like). I suspect he was cueing up two instances of the same track in Traktor and rocking doubles with it. Was really really effective. His mixing was seriously amazing. He finished with what were surely three new LFO tracks – and I can promise you, the wait has been worth it. He’s gone off the IDM deep-end, but the result is pretty stunning, and really complex. I can’t wait.
Shake’s set was not his finest – seemed to be having an off night, although he and the crowd both seemed to enjoy it quite a bit despite the mixing troubles. It got much better as it went on, but the first 1/2 of the set was pretty messy. We all have these nights though…
G-Man: played for about 20 minutes of his live set and some assbag pulled the fire alarm (or maybe it was a real fire???) – no one seemed to know for sure. Retreated to chalet.
Returned just in time for the beginning of Mark Broom. I danced non-stop. Always an excellent DJ – throwing in just enough bangers and just enough depth to keep it constantly interesting. It is true that we are spoiled for choice in London.
Surgeon: Holy crap! This was a proper Final Scratch workout. It wasn’t the best DJ set I’ve ever seen, but I’ve never seen another set like it. He went everywhere seamlessly, and directed the pace with a mastery that’s only been equalled, not surpassed.
Drexciyan DJ Stingray was tight, but hearing tracks like M4 and M5 played at 45 ruins them for me. The whole set was really really ghetto tech fast, but slowed a bit towards the end. It was a bit too much for me after 2 and a half days of non-stop movement and throbbing bass. Needless to say, Venetian Snares after him were equally lethal. I lasted about 10 minutes of their set before running in fear, clinging for sanity. And that about sums it up… in short the top three sets were:
In sum: WAY too much air hockey, blood, saliva, sweat (almost forgot about the sweat), beer, gin and amazing music for one weekend. Not nearly enough food. Can’t wait for next year when all the previous curators do one day each! This was a festival of DEMF magnitude and intensity, enhanced further by the ever-outrageous London techno massive.