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PLAYLIST: Bloc Weekend History
The Quietus , March 7th, 2016 16:08

In a special playlist feature ahead of this weekend's Bloc, organisers Alex Benson and George Hull reflects on the history of the holiday park weekenders

Bloc 2016 takes place at Butlins Minehead from March 11-13. For the full line-up and to get last minute passes, click here

We get asked to do charts a fair bit, and it’s always tempting to give up-to-the-minute Bloc bangers which are perfectly aligned to the Bloc programme. But we're feeling quite reflective as this is last Bloc weekend so we wanted to give a list that is pretty meta-Bloc.

These are the tunes that influenced the festival’s formation and the ones that give it the vibe it’s known for, which is sometimes pretty weird.

In no particular order, below is a cross-section of the DNA of Bloc.

Universal Indicator - Green K2

Sublime, raw stripped down acid techno we were introduced to by going to the Dedbeat festival and checking out Mike Dred. These tracks are either by him or Aphex Twin. Not sure which.

DAVE The Drummer - In The Freeze

This one saw some real teenaged provincial market town action - my mate would borrow his mum's Astra and we would glide around Norfolk scorching this one out and drinking Scrumpy Jack. Makes me long for a simpler time.

Model 500 - No UFOs

Bloc was very, very electro-oriented at the start - because we went to Wang and the Haywire Sessions in London. That put us on to Underground Resistance, Detroit, and all sorts of problematic but ultimately rewarding life choices.

Two Lone Swordsmen - Machine Maid

On that tip, a homegrown classic from Keith Tenniswood and Andrew Weatherall. Heroes, gentlemen, scholars - their influence is what set us off to create a music festival.

Tomita - Ode To Joy

All the Bloc crew lived together in a rank, crumbling town house in Brighton that was full of people, noise and fury. This one got slammed on the sound system at any hour of the day and night and I love how ostensibly beautiful it is but actually underneath it's all sickly, kitsch and discordant. It always sounds to me like the sound of something coming off the rails.

Venetian Snares - Dollmaker

Not just the sound of something coming off the rails, but the sound of the rails being driven into your head by a psychotic locomotive driver, this track was the pinnacle of the interest we had in breakcore. It still stands the test of time and makes me think of the ballroom of an ancient cruise liner gradually succumbing to a storm at sea amid lightning and monsters.

Pentangle - Light Flight

Under the influence of school-friend Ed Chamberlain, out-there folk also forms a big part of after-hours Bloc wind-downs [or wind-ups, depends on the time of day]. This is Pentangle at full force.

The Remnants - Bad Taste

Peter Jackson directed BlocTV favourite Bad Taste before he did Lord of the Rings, and this is the theme tune. It’s a feel-good, amateurish belter about teamwork and staying strong together. If you and a bunch of mates are banded together to achieve a noble dream against overwhelming odds and you just about nail it - play this to congratulate yourselves afterwards.

Ed Chamberlain - Styge

We released this on the BaseLogic label many years ago, it’s by one of our core crew and is lovely, intricate electronica. You may not know it. You do now.

FUSE - Substance Abuse

The fancy dress theme for Bloc this year is Richie Hawtin, as it won a competition on our Facebook page for most popular suggestion. I was pretty worried that this might come across as though I did not have the utmost respect and admiration for Richie Hawtin, which I do.

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