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PREVIEW: Houghton 2018
Christian Eede , August 8th, 2018 10:34

A selection of tQ's finest writing on Houghton's finest acts, as selected from the festival's upcoming line-up this weekend

Photo courtesy of Jake Davis

Debuting last year as a collaboration between longtime fabric resident Craig Richards and the team behind Wales' Gottwood festival, Houghton impressed dance music fans, those who played and numerous writers.

With a near-perfect first year that blended some of the finest names in various iterations of electronic music - across house, techno, electro, drum & bass, disco, minimal and more - the festival locked in a 24-hour license that ensured music ran continuously in various corners of the site from early on Friday morning through until the early hours of Monday morning; no small feat in the UK's continued battled against council limitations for clubs and festivals.

That will also be the case this year and will ensure that another of the festival's biggest selling points - of extended sets for many of those on the bill - will continue unabated, standing as an antidote to many festivals and club nights representing similar forms of music which see many DJs playing hurried, shorter sets. Add to that a special setting amongst the grounds of Norfolk's Houghton Hall, allowing for various sculpture and art tours amongst the music line-up, and it seems Houghton's second year will be every bit as special as its first.

Ahead of this weekend's festival, which kicks off tomorrow (August 9), we have collated a number of pieces featured here on tQ in recent years from those appearing on the 2018 bill. You can read our review of last year's event here and snap up one of the last remaining tickets, as well as check the full line-up, here.

Helena Hauff

Once a resident at the anything-goes Golden Pudel club in her hometown, her DJ sets have become among the most talked-about of the festival calendar. There's a fag permanently jutting out of her mouth as she spins, ready to slam on the brake and take a left-turn with an even weirder record. And she is leading the charge for anarchic club music with her releases on labels like Actress's Werkdiscs, PAN, Dark Entries and Lux Rec, as well as her own imprint since 2015, Return To Disorder.
Kate Hutchinson

Read Helena Hauff's Baker's Dozen here

Ben UFO

Thomson's DJ sets often bring a swift, impact-led mixing style to bear on house, techno and the various strains of mutant, bruk 'n' bass UK techno that have established themselves in recent years. On a club floor his sets somehow manage to be simultaneously considered and raucous, locking into an irresistible four-to-the-floor groove, or knocking you for six with unexpected tangents, old favourites you'd forgotten about or brutally bizarre secret weapons.
Rory Gibb

Read Ben UFO's Baker's Dozen here

Joy Orbison

"I think people like to assume you’re quite ignorant when you’re younger, and people maybe thought we were just these kids into jungle and garage and that, but I was interested in lots of styles of music, and getting involved in other things too. It wasn’t hard for me to avoid the parts of the scene I wasn’t into. A lot of the people I looked up to musically came at things from a more punk-y perspective, so there was a lot of things people were doing that I didn’t agree with. I guess if you like certain things, you buy into the whole culture around it, but when you see the corporate side of things - and this exists everywhere - and people aligning themselves with that, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me."
Joy Orbison

Read our interview with Joy Orbison (alongside recent collaborator Ben Vince) here

Andrew Weatherall

"There's never really any start to any project I do, because I never finish anything. We're continually working because I love the end result, but I love the process of making art in any form. You start making stuff, and think, 'that's a body of work developing here, and that's one there'."
Andrew Weatherall

Read our interview with Andrew Weatherall here

Call Super

His club tracks, including this year's headrushy single 'Acephale II', unfold as gorgeous, immersive blurs of sensation, where colour, textural detail and harmony are smudged and swirled together like dollops of oil paints on canvas. For several years the dominant strains of techno have tended either towards cavernous and warehouse-ish, or punky and distorted. In contrast, the delicacy with which Seaton handles his materials - and the giddy tingle of serotonin his tracks provoke as they gradually and inevitably build, crest and tumble forwards in a white-water rush - has made for some of the most refreshing and memorable club 12"s of recent memory.
Rory Gibb

Read our interview with Call Super here

Nathan Fake

Since signing to the Border Community label back in 2003 at the tender age of nineteen, Fake has spent his time refining this sound and building a growing reputation a remixer of note, working with the likes of Tiefschwarz, Shocking Pinks and Radiohead. It was early releases, such as 2003's 'Outhouse' and 2004's 'The Sky Is Pink' (itself something of a guaranteed floor-filler, especially after being transformed by James Holden into a sprawling club track), that first illustrated the way that Fake deviated from the norm.
Jim Keoghan

Read our interview with Nathan Fake here

Optimo

"It had never crossed my mind to be a DJ and I fell into it quite by accident. Myself and several friends were devoted attendees at a sub basement club in Edinburgh’s Cowgate called The Backroom that started in 1986. It was the first club where we truly felt at home musically and that was frequented by people we felt comfortable being around. The resident DJs, Bill & Bobby, had been playing around Edinburgh for years and had phenomenal taste and abilities to play exactly the right records in the right order at the right time. The night’s tagline was that it played 'independent dance music' which I must stress was far removed from what later became codified as the dreaded term 'indie dance'."
JD Twitch

Check JD Twitch's Optimo 20 mix here

Pearson Sound

Those who have followed Pearson Sound's work for some time are keenly aware that this project carries serious weight. When a young David Kennedy - not yet Ramadanman, and years from Pearson Sound - first headed down to FWD>>, the beats heard within were as much process as product: "built" by the producer, detailed on the label inserts; built not by addition but subtraction, the bass, space and pace building a sound that drew Kennedy in; beats that built a community that saw him link up with Ben UFO and Pangaea and, at a crucial crossroads in the dubstep sound, form Hessle Audio and push Kennedy forward.
Lauren Martin

Read Pearson Sound's Baken Dozen here

Houghton festival takes place from August 9-12. For final tickets and more information, head here

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