Field Day 2012 // The 405 Preview and Playlist
Wow, has it already been a year since the last Field Day? Well, no it hasn't actually, for it has been brought forward by two months due to everyone's favourite obese draconian entity, the Olympics.
Pedantry aside, June 2nd sees some of the finest up-and-coming acts, with a handful of more established and respected elders, squeeze into a hipster-patrolled Victoria Park. Last year's bill was pretty shit-hot (see some photos at the base of the article for examples of this) and once again the organisers haven't disappointed for it's sixth year.
The line-up has always been strong, no question of that - though will some of the infamous non-musical bug-bears associated with the festival be ironed out? Let's hope so, for we are looking forward to experience a wide-range of artists; here are some of our highlights.
Tickets are still available to purchase, priced at £45.
Field Day 2012 Playlist
Editors Picks: Hector Barley (New Music Editor)
When I was a geeky 16-year-old music fan I made, as I hope many other geeky music fans have made, a ‘Top 10 Bands I’d Like to See Live’ list for my last.fm page (this was a time before facebook). I am ashamed to say that Beirut is the only band left on that list, despite two of the bands being defunct at the time of writing (Pavement and My Bloody Valentine). Five years on, four bands down and three albums later, I finally get the chance to see Beirut Live.
Condon manages to effortlessly combine ‘world music’ influences with classic indie-pop sentiment in a captivating and (thankfully) unpretentious way. His performance has been a long time coming for me, I’m hoping it’s worthy of its place on my geeky 16-year-old me’s list.
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what is so appealing about Claire Boucher. Of course it’s difficult to ignore Grimes’ irresistible brand of dark lo-fi electronic-pop. However it is her strong personality that is both so central to her appeal and individuality. Not only does Grimes incorporate her distinctive style and creativity into much of her artist output (not to mention her vagina rings), her live performances feel raw, natural and are ultimately very enjoyable
Unlike many artists heavily reliant on electronic instruments, Grimes’ performances often straddle ramshackle and spontaneous, as well as rarely resembling the original recordings, yet they are undoubtedly all the better for it.
There’s definitely something appealing about husband and wife duos and Peaking Lights are a fine example. Wisconsin-based Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis create a sound that straddles countless genres, from kraut-rock to synth pop but which falls somewhere best described as ‘psychedelic odd-pop’. Their debut album ‘936’ was a favourite of 2011 and judging from the release of ‘Hi-Lo’ last month, their new album ‘Lucifer’ will not disappoint. As the cliché goes, Peaking Light’s music is the perfect backdrop to the sun, so here’s to hoping for this year’s Field Day.
Where would Post-Rock be without Tortoise? Would we still live in a world where 'rock' was an acceptable genre? I certainly hope not. Since their formation in 1990, the Chicago 5-piece have managed to produce six albums which are consistently cutting-edge and impressive. Not only that but their drummer John McEntire has gone on to be a successful producer in his own right, having produced albums by Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene and Stereolab.
The crux of this is that you would struggle to see such a more seminal band. Only time will tell how well the band will fit into a daytime festival setting, but with a resume such as Tortoise’s, it barely matters.
R. Stevie Moore
Far from picking emerging bands to satisfy my position as ‘New Music Editor’ Nashville-based R. Stevie Moore has been releasing records longer than Grimes, Peaking Lights and Beirut put together. As if that wasn’t enough, Moore has cultivated a career as a lo-fi legend, and has released over 2,000 songs. Having worked in varying capacities with Ariel Pink, Dr. Dog and MGMT to name but a few, Moore’s appearance at Field Day marks his first ever London festival appearance and one of his few ever England shows.
Editors Picks: Tim Boddy (Photo Editor)
London-based trio Sunless '97 are named partly after Chris Marker's beautiful masterpiece Sans Soleil (translated as Sunless, duh), a conceptual film that explores the nature of human memory - and features a flurry of fleeting scenes and images from a wealth of locations and loose styles.
This somewhat mirrors the sound of Sunless '97 - a myriad of sentiments present akin to a visceral pop rainbow; though instead of a pot of gold at the end, you'll find a mad saxophone solo. See 'Body Weather' for evidence of this - which will be released as a double A side single on June 18th (with the more experimental 'Azul' the B-side). The 12" will be out on the wonderful Not Even - also home to Becoming Real who has remixed 'Illuminations' to great effect in the past. If Alice, Edward and Matt of Sunless '97 are as playful and hip live as on record, you'll be in for a treat.
One sun-kissed weekend I was back in to my parents house, and whilst reminiscing about halcyon days, I found myself in my old room reading Loud & Quiet with a photo of Gold Panda on the front. My dad, knowing that I was involved in 'that music community', walked in, he commented dryly "Oh, it's nice that you're on the front of your music paper there".
Sadly looks are the only thing I have in common with the lightly acerbic electronic whizz - old story-teller Derwin Schlecker getting all the talent. It's been over 18 months since wonderful debut LP Lucky Shiner (our Ed gave it 10/10 you know), though in that time he has released a string of EPs and a compilation for DJ-Kicks. He's also been busy in terms of touring, so Field Day should guarantee a tight, well-honed live-set of earthy and earnest electronica into the night. 'Mountain/Financial District' will be out on 7" a week after.
Christian Fennesz has been creating music since the age of 8, before becoming involved with the techno-scene in his home of Vienna and then onto more guitar-orientated antics in the late 90's. Since then, he has gone on to create several albums of superlative-smashing classical ambience, from the choppy melancholic electronica of Endless Summer, to the more guitar-feedback wash of Black Sea. His rich musical heritage and evolution providing an equally rich and diverse output.
Much of his work is of the slow-burning philosophy - releasing a sonic worm that burrows into an important part of your soul. The composition is rich with detail and delicate textures, rewarding still after scores of listens; effects and pedals draping a cloak over new sounds to be discovered. Prepare to be hypnotised and allow to loose yourself for a crucial 45 mins of your life - The Haxan Cloak provide a DJ-set immediately before which should set the scene fittingly.
Post-fucking-beautiful-coruscating-kaleidoscopic-trip is not a genre term as far as I know, but should be just for Peaking Lights as there’s no point in attempting to place 2011's debut LP 936 into a genre, there really isn’t. The Wisconsin husband/wife duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis have their hands in dub, flirting at ethereal folk with winks towards warm psychedelia but whatever, it’s gorgeous; from the first beat of ‘All The Sun That Shines’ it drags you into it’s sun-blissed post-salvia world.
A new LP titled Lucifer is out on June 18 on Weird World, so prepare yourself for a blast of new material. Extra points for them if it's a sunny day.
If you type "Crocodiles" into last.fm (do people still use that?), the first hit that comes up is of course Crocodiles. The second result is Echo & The Bunnymen's album of the same name; this is somewhat apt.
Delve a little deeper, and the duo from San Diego take hold of a myriad of influences - a foundation in 60's pop and garage-rock, The Velvet Underground often cited. And sure, there's a Jesus & Mary Chain feedback-drenched aesthetic too - though everything is applied through their own bespoke filter, resulting in hints of kaleidoscopic kraut and even dub. Third and forthcoming new album, Endless Flowers, is to be released two days after Field Day on June 4th Souterrain Transmissions, so be sure to catch Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell (with extras members in a live setting) who'll have a wealth of material at their disposal.
2011 Look Back
So Rob Da Bank's all singing, all dancing, fancy-dressed brainchild, Bestival, is here, and I, for one, am excited. With draws such as the likes of a Bollywood field, a wealth of comedians and spoken word artists and cinematic events to keep you busy, even if you don't plan on seeing any music at all, you won't be short of choices for what to see, but just in case you are a bit interested in the music, and, well, we'll assume if you're reading this then you are... [read more]
The line-up for this year's Field Day festival got an added hit of 'awesome' today, with the likes of Feathers and Bean Pearce being added to the already pretty spectacular list of artists set to perform. [read more]
The festival that thrives on being non-conformist hits Merton Farm this weekend. With a relaxed atmosphere and great music, this is well worth the trip to Kent. That's before you even take into account that your very own The 405 is curating the Farm Folk stage on Friday and Saturday. [read more]