For those who didn’t know, Boomtown very much begins on the Thursday, and this year we have more stages opening than ever before. One of these is The Windmill up in Whistler’s Green (just above the Lion’s Den, overlooking Downtown for those who don’t know), and we have an amazing selection of acts lined up for you there on Thursday, starting from 17:00 with…

DJ Format

Last year he performed in Poco Loco with long term partner in crime Abdominal (above is the title track from their forthcoming album), but this year the focus will be on Format’s selecting skills. His fabriclive 27 mix was one of the most well received in the series and he has released a number of classic mix albums over the years.

He’s one of the most formidable crate diggers the world has ever seen, as well as a damn fine producer who has worked with some of the greatest names in underground Hip-hop. If you enjoyed Craig Charles at this stage last year, then prepare to be taken to the next level of funk.

Stagga & Magugu

This is also a great opportunity to post their brand-new single which came out today and has already been getting love from the likes of Gilles Peterson (more about him later). There’s even a brief little cameo from yours truly in the video.

I’ve know these boys for many years, Stagga was in Chrome Kids with me and I used to work with his old group Optimas Prime before then. His music has always been incredible and over the years I’ve heard him played by DJs as diverse as Daedelus, Gaslamp Killer and Mary Anne Hobbs, to Rusko, RSD and Rob Da Bank.

Magugu I’ve known since his early days as one of Wales most respected Grime MCs, but with this latest project he’s really dipped into his Nigerian roots, having moved to Cardiff from Ajegunle in Lagos.

He fires laid back baritone Pidgin Rap over Stagga’s own individual take on Bass music, which takes in elements of Dancehall, Dubstep, Afrobeats, Footwork and Grime amongst many others.

Beating Heart

We should never underestimate the power of music, and I love that these guys have been using music as vehicle to create real positive social change.

With access to a serious treasure trove of recordings (the Hugh Tracey archive at ILAM) from the 1920s to the 1970s across 18 Sub Saharan countries, they have been working with some of today’s top electronic producers to remix the material, with the aim of raising money for the communities that the music is originally from.

Their first album focussed on Malawi and producers involved included My Nu Leng, Rudimental, Kidnap Kid, Ulterior Motive, Clap! Clap!, Luke Vibert and Machinedrum amongst many others.

Gilles Peterson

Unquestionably one of the most important taste makers this country has ever known. The Windmill stage probably wouldn’t even exist as it is without the influence that Gilles has had, both over my own musical upbringing and that of the nation as a whole. He has been responsible for introducing so many great acts into the world and has consistently pushed boundaries, championing those who continue to evolve the many mediums of musical expression.

All that and he’s a damn good DJ to boot so I’m looking forwards to what’s in store for his set with us this year. He shall also be bringing the mighty Earl Zinger along for the ride.

Check out more about Whistler’s Green here and here.

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