Although I definitely want to spend some time discussing some of the younger MCs on Poco Loco, I think because Vamos and the kind of House and Techno you’ll find inside are relatively new to the festival, it’s worth just giving a run-down of some favourites there, starting with an epic gathering of well-respected selectors who shall be taking on the whole Sunday.
Ben Ufo & Mr Scruff & Joy Orbison
I honestly wish I was able to spend the whole of Sunday in Vamos to listen to what comes out when these guys get together, it could really go anywhere but let’s face it, wherever they venture is bound to be brilliant: Mr Scruff is well used to a lengthy session and I’ve spent the whole night on the floor to his sets on numerous occasions; Ben UFO has never played a similar set twice at any time I’ve seen him and is one of the few DJs to reach international fame without being a producer also, based largely on the quality of his DJing; Finally there’s Joy Orbsion, whom even as a teenager, before he could mix properly, his uncle (the legendary) Ray Keith recognised his skills as a selector.
I wouldn’t wish to detract you from all of the wonderful things to come on the Sunday of Boomtown, but if you really want to revitalise your soul ready for heading home, I’d say making a day at Vamos would be a good call.
One of the first DJs I thought of when we first decided to invest a little more into our Techno line up and easily one of my favourites, so I was incredible happy that James has booked him in for this year. Again maybe it’s partly the experience factor, having been in the game for over quarter of a century, but I think there’s an underlying passion for the music that has burned strongly since the beginning that many of the new generation simply can’t seem to match. If you’re unsure, just take a listen to this set from a Dublin club last year, absolutely delicious devilry at work.
It took me a while to notice that at Techno heavy festivals such as Bloc, I always seemed to gravitate towards the Detroit DJs. It certainly wasn’t a conscious thing but there’s a warmth to their work that is often missing in artists from elsewhere and there’s a musical palette they seem to draw from that sits easier with my background. It could also have to do with the fact that my first experience with the music was ‘Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit’ – a compilation that I borrowed from my local library in the late 80s. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Carl Craig is as Detroit as they come and is also one of the greatest Techno Djs that ever lived, such a coup for this line up.
Carl Craig is also due to release an album of his classics in symphonic version next month that will undoubtedly be worth a visit. You can check a full concert of the material here, it’s pretty magical.
Somebody we’ve been wanting to bring over for some time! An artist who certainly won’t get tied down to one style, but somehow manages to have a cohesive back catalogue that remains pretty much consistent in its ability to excite. Although treated as a Techno artist generally, I’d say that Chemical Brothers would be the closest act to him, if you had to make comparisons, plus Boys Noize only gets better with time, last year’s Mayday was an absoluter monster of an album and hearing any of the tracks from that played at Boomtown would certainly be a delight.
House Gospel Choir
This makes so much sense when you really think about it. So much soulful House is influenced by Gospel, that it was only a matter of time before the influence would switch the other way. Imagine the power of a full Gospel Choir singing all of those classics! I’d say even if you don’t think you like House, this is something you should witness before fully making that decision.
It’s been a pleasure to watch this pair grow from the very beginning, into one of the best House acts around right now. So much House music these days misses the very groove that laid its foundation, but although these guys are covering a multitude of different styles, they’ve never forgotten that important factor, plus I love their sets so much that I once spent part of my Glastonbury festival, simply dragging anyone walking past in to see them, like a heavy-handed bar promoter in Ibiza.
I was always a fan of Mrk1 in the early Dubstep days and perhaps it’s that musical grounding that really catches my ear in his Solardo productions. That said, in a culture where music is not always the first priority, it could just be the added value of experience, as many of today’s new DJs and producers struggle to excite on the dancefloor (surely the number one requirement of Dance music is that it makes people want to dance, but you’d never know it much of the time), but these guys don’t seem to have any trouble in that department whatsoever.
Another artist whose skills as a DJ match his production prowess, I’ve seen him play a straight up party set to a tiny room in Cardiff or a dark techno set in an Ibiza super-club, always with seemingly effortless ability to control the room.
More recently he seems to have taken something of a step back from production, to concentrate on his Nonplus Records label, very much worth keeping an eye on if you’re a fan of interesting Techno. Here’s a track from their most recent release.