As the Malpas festival readies itself for 2,000 revellers to descend upon it, The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight scours the roster for ten artists he thinks are going to rock the Tribespeople.
So. It is almost upon us, then. ‘It’ being One Tribe Festival and ‘upon us’ being this Thursday (3rd). To say that us lot here at The Waveform Transmitter are excited is an understatement. We’ve all got our wellies down out of the attic, dusted off our favourite leggings, and are armed with some of the best fairy lights money can buy.
From 3rd-8th of August, we will be making Cholmondeley Castle Estate our spiritual home, were we can mingle with like-minded individuals and listen to one of the most exciting music programmes the North West festival scene has offered this year.
We will come to the music shortly, but you really need to understand the ethos of the festival before we start yammering on about the beats. One Tribe is organised by the crew behind Audio Farm, a small festival that has been running since 2013 (kicking off with their Malawi fundraiser at Islington Mill).
The message behind the festival is that although you’re having an amazing sensory experience (believe us, your entire sensorium will be satisfied) you are doing something good in turn. Think of it as paying things forward. All profits from the festival go straight into the coffers of the Green Paw Foundation, a charitable movement that seeks to end suffering for mistreated animals in third-world countries. If that doesn’t sound like a perfect reason to go and fling yourself round a field to electronic music, then we don’t know what does.
Add to this the concept that One Tribe is, as organisers profess, “…an immersive cocoon of energy that radiates outward…” and you’ll begin to see why we’re so excited about hitting the fields ourselves. It sounds like a genuinely magical experience and we are confident that the festival will well and truly cement itself as one of the UK’s most impressive independents.
Not just offering music, the festival has all manner of workshops, talks, crafts, and more to enrich the whole experience for attendees. You can indulge yourself in a nice reiki massage, or perhaps you might want to take a ‘gong bath’. Either way, with so much to see, hear, and do, there is no chance you won’t come back from the festival a significantly more enlightened individual.
So, what of the music, then? We’ll here at The Waveform Transmitter, we’ve picked out ten of the acts we think you should make an effort to check out. In no particular order…
Radioactive Man (Sunday, Forest Stage)
For dance heads who know their shit, Keith Tenniswood should need little introduction. One half of techno super-pairing, Two Lone Swordsmen, and a successful solo artist in his own right, Keith AKA Radioactive Man makes some of the finest electro we’ve heard in a long while. He is playing only a couple of months after the release of his fifth studio album, Luxury Sky Garden, so you are likely to hear some tracks from that during his live set, but we live in hope that he drops ‘Ave That into the mix so we can go completely mental.
Henge (Sunday, Home of Drum Stage)
Purveying what they like to term “cosmic dross”, psychedelic band Henge will be dropping all manner of sonic…er…manna all over the crowd as they take to the Home of the Drum stage on the Sunday of the festival. These guys put on a show like nothing you have ever heard before. We can guarantee you that. The band mix all kinds of instruments, from electronics to acoustics and all in between, teasing out the most outlandish sounds to create a mellifluous sonic tapestry. If you don’t leave a Henge gig questioning your very existence, then you’re doing it all wrong.
Slam (Friday, Home of Drum Stage)
Soma Records celebrates 25 years of pumping out some of the best techno we’ve ever had bestowed upon us, in 2017. So, it seems fitting that the duo that started it all, Slam, would be enjoying heavy rotation on the festival circuit this season. The pair, that gave us Positive Education, as well as the Alien Radio long player (amongst so much more), will be smashing the 303 curated Home of Drum stage as part of the Friday night programme. These two never fail to impress, so come highly recommended.
Move D (Friday, Forest Stage)
Move D produces some of the finest ambient techno that you can ever lay ears on, so it comes as no surprise that his influences come from way beyond our atmosphere, with the likes of space and intergalactic escapades forming part of his inspiration. His Move D moniker came to fruition circa 1995, so you’ll likely know Germany’s David Moufang by several other personae as well. Expect deep, dubby techno vibes from the producer. Perfect forest fodder.
DJ Bone (Home of Drum, Saturday)
Detroit makes the journey all the way to Cheshire, courtesy of one of techno’s unjustifiably unsung heroes, DJ Bone. This man is pretty much as underground as they come. You could call him the punk of techno, given that his ethos to remain pretty much under the radar, in comparison to some of his peers, has been a mainstay of his 20 years plus career. You can tell from his performances that he is loving it just as much as you are, so get down to the front and party like it is your last. The scene’s covert kingpin has techno coursing through his veins.
Psychemagik (Saturday, Forest Stage)
Edit kings Psychemagik will be gracing all with their presence over on the Forest Stage on the Saturday of the festivities. The reputation forged by their Fleetwood Mac re-rubs garnered them some serious attention at the point of release and they’re namechecked by the likes of Greg Wilson, undisputed Emperor of Edits. Their brand of leftfield weirdness, which touches on everything from jungle to hip-hop, means that they’ll throw curveball after curveball right into your face until you’re seriously twisted.
Ivy Lab (Friday, Depth of Bass stage)
Ivy Lab are one of those production teams that are pretty much impossible to pigeonhole. They sit right on the periphery of drum & bass, and yet their sound is unlike anything from that genre. You can possibly draw comparison with the likes of Venetian Snares (under several guises including the aforementioned and his Last Step alias) and Squarepusher (on a drill&bass day), thanks to the outright freneticism of their productions. Go and check these out. They’re something totally different from your ‘normal’ bass music, as they offer a fusion of jungle, grime, dubstep and there are even elements of sino-grime in there. Heavy shit.
D.A.V.E the Drummer (Sunday, Forest Stage)
For a taste of techno’s tougher side, you’ll want to be heading down to the Forest Stage in the early hours to get a load of London warehouse pioneer, D.A.V.E the Drummer. If you like your snares rushing and your acid licking then in front of the speakers while this guy is playing is where you want to be. The Hydraulix head man will be serving up spoonfuls of delicious sonic soup. Drink that right up.
Jerome Hill (Sunday, Forest Stage)
With the aforementioned D.A.V.E the Drummer in mind, it goes without saying that we should include Jerome Hill in this list, with whom he has collaborated on numerous occasions. It remains to be seen whether Hill will be dropping old skool bleep and bass into his set, or whether he’ll go full-on acid techno, but one thing is for sure, his skills behind the decks are quite capable of leaving other DJs for dust.
Stuart Hodson (Friday, Home of Drum stage)
We couldn’t have a list like this and not include one of our favourite DJs, 303‘s Stuart Hodson. He’s a machine behind the wheels, capable of switching his sets right down, or to fever pitch, depending on the crowd, and when and where he is situated. Techno is the order of the day with Hodson, though, so you can be assured of an energetic set regardless – his performances at Liverpool’s Williamson Tunnels are never short of dynamite. Be sure to check out his pal Kenny Muir on the same stage on Friday.
So, there we have it. A top ten for you to contend with. There’s one thing for sure, the organisers at One Tribe have left us with some seriously difficult decisions to make when we’re planning our festival. See you all on Thursday, and if we don’t bump into you, have a boss one. Enjoy!