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PREVIEW: Field Day 2018
Joseph Mumford , March 12th, 2018 16:50

A selection of tQ's finest writing on Field Day's finest acts, as selected from the forthcoming 2018 line-up

Erykah Badu

Relocating to Brockwell Park for this year’s event, which will take place June 1 and 2, Field Day festival boasts an awesomely diverse lineup. In anticipation, here’s a round-up of Quietus articles featuring some of the best acts set to perform in a few months time. For tickets and the full lineup click here.


Dubbed the Japanese Beck in the 1990s after the release of the ground-breaking Fantasma in 1997, Cornelius fused 60s Beach Boys-like harmonies with krautrock, French pop and synth electronica, creating a sound light years ahead of its time. Mixed with his art-installation-like live performances and avant-garde album art, Cornelius' unique blend of art-pop earned him a legion of fans all over the world.
Elizabeth Aubrey

Read Cornelius’ Baker’s Dozen here


Daniel Avery

The new breed of superstar DJ is someone like Londoner Daniel Avery – still jet-setting, yet unassuming and relatively anonymous, and possessed with an innate talent to work a dancefloor into a frenzy without the aid of an absurdly bespectacled talent show judge's lame "banger". It helps that Avery is a bit of a sort, with a handsome mug that you wouldn't kick out of bed for eating crisps, though lining up a sponsorship deal with a jeans company is hopefully low on his list of priorities. Like most of the new guard, Avery honed his craft behind the decks before stepping into the studio. "I was a DJ way before I even thought I might make my own music," he told Resident Advisor. Therefore, the long-time Fabric resident knows exactly what buttons to push now he is creating his own music and does it with considerable aplomb on his debut album, Drone Logic.
Joe Clay

Read our review of Daniel Avery’s ‘Drone Logic’ here


At the beginning of working on [Swim], the Junior Boys and I had just played at the Barbican with Liquid Liquid, and we went down to Plastic People afterwards and Theo Parrish was doing his residency there. I think that was the first night I saw him play there, and he was just playing some of the weirdest music, stuff that you wouldn't think would make people want to dance, but people were losing their minds to the same weird repetitive loop over and over. Definitely that was kind of the starting point of wanting to make an album that worked in that kind of way. I think I made 'Bowls' in the next couple of days after that experience.
Dan Snaith

Read our interview with Daphni here


Earl Sweatshirt

When Earl – real name Thebe Neruda Kgositsile – raps "I ain't been outside in a minute," it's easy to picture him beyond a basement, down in the earth, brooding with intent. That's where this album sounds birthed from: the unseen beneath us, the sewers and the hidden places most rappers with a reputation of acclaim and no shortage of expendable cash would only be seen dead in. The production, all of which save one track is handled by Earl under his randomblackdude alias, is pitch black for the most part, beats heavy and thick-hooded, keys uncurling ominously.
Mike Diver

Read our review of Earl Sweatshirt’s ‘I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’ here

Erykah Badu

This record is like your first alcohol of the day, on a sunny hungover morning. Clears the head, lets you see the blue sky after the storms & wreckage of the previous night. After a while you start needing it every morning. Right now I head straight for ‘Gone Baby Don’t Be Long’ because the beats and bass and loops are a heavenly moebius you don’t wanna ever fall out of, and it catches the schizophrenic poses and passions of letting your lover out the door better than anything else here. ‘Umm-Hmm’ is good enough to sit next to late 70s Diana or Rose Royce, Dilla’s sci-fi drone-funk on ‘Love’ gets peppered by all kinds of extraneous wibble & wow, Badu coming on like Sly Stone. ‘Fall In Love (Your Funeral)’ is the only prep for romance you need: “You better go back the way you came/ wrong way/ if you stay/ prepare to have yo shit rearranged/ some slow sangin' and flower bringing/ if my burglar alarm starts ringing”, the narcotic, heavy assed rhodes-thunk chassis plunging into your brain, breaking yr bones. Closer ‘Out My Mind, Just In Time’ chops and screws its way through ten minutes that go from neurosis to psychosis, from the blues to avant-hip-hop to slo-mo psyche-funk, never letting go of you as you get engulfed in darkness and revelation. Startling, startling shit. I think this is the best album Badu has ever made.
Neil Kulkarni

Read our review of Erykah Badu’s ‘Amerykah Part Two’ here

Fever Ray

By this point, it should be clear just how different Plunge is to Dreijer’s Fever Ray debut, released eight years ago while her old band, The Knife, were in between albums. That record sounded like a long-buried bundle of eerie fairytales, brought to life with frosty, skeletal atmospherics; Plunge can be equally unnerving, but the creepy, controlled menace is mostly replaced by something more fidgety, its songs thrumming with nervous excitement and strange, sci-fi-like sounds - note how the dark, rattling clangs of the opening ‘Wanna Slip’ are soon split open by the shrill wail of synths screaming through the sky. And while Dreijer’s voice was sometimes manipulated into a woozy, husky drone on the previous LP, here it’s manic, shaky, urgent. “A bad headache, intoxicated/ I’ve got to let you go,” she shrieks, trying to think straight amid the din.
Ben Hewitt

Read our review of Fever Ray’s ‘Plunge’ here

Fever Ray

Helena Hauff

Improvisation is great because you're really in the moment. That trial and error thing... I think perfection is pretty boring. It doesn't really exist anyway, only in death really. Death is perfect. So it's cool to just go ahead and see what happens.
Helena Hauff

Read our interview with Helena Hauff here

James Holden & The Animal Spirits

This album is full of "euphoria, friendship and true love for the music". Time has collapsed, or it’s going round and round, or it keeps changing its mind - you can hear it in the music and you can see it from the song titles: ‘The Beginning & End Of The World’, ‘The Neverending’, ‘Each Moment Like The First’. Like the gnawa musician, like jazz improvs, like old ravers on Youtube, Holden and his band - the Animal Spirits - are playing with time, poking at it softly, seeing what happens, trusting and listening, and dancing.
Anna Wood

Read our review of James Holden & The Animal Spirits’ ‘The Animal Spirits’ here

Moses Sumney

Aided by intricate vocal layering, another staple feature of his work, the singer-songwriter creates an all-encompassing sense of seclusion. Whether it’s the effervescent jazz interlude at the end of 'Quarrel', or the drawn-out tension in Sumney’s voice, it’s undeniable that Aromanticism is a deeply sensual listen.
Alice Kemp-Habib

Read our review of Moses Sumney’s ‘Aromanticism’ here

Nils Frahm

Restless reinvention is to be admired, but reconsideration and striving for personal perfection is to be prized. While Frahm’s previous penchant for the former has given him a brilliant and varied book of songs from which to draw, it’s his intense performance and passionate adoption of the latter which makes Spaces a work of gentle genius, and one of the year’s best albums.
Tristan Bath

Read our review of Nils Frahm’s ‘Spaces’ here

Nils Frahm, picture by Michael O'Neal

Panda Bear

None of the songs deal with death in a literal sense. In 'Tropic Of Cancer' I more meant that in terms of identity - like when we experience something really intense it will force us into evaluating ourselves in a new way. And when that happens, a part of us dies. Our self-image goes away and it is, in a sense, like a death. The title is also a way of presenting something dark and intense that we don't seek to deal with, but packaged in way that's light and casual and kind of funny. It appears to me like a cartoon or a comic book.
Noah Lennox

Read Panda Bear’s Baker’s Dozen here

Princess Nokia

“rincess Nokia’s debut album is oscillating, introspective and at times chaotic. It serves to complicate rather than explain or define the New York rapper’s own identity. She is an urban feminist, a ghetto bruja, an Afro-Latina, a New Yorker. She is all this and more.
Alice Kemp-Habib

Read our review of Princess Nokia’s ‘1992 Deluxe’ here

Princess Nokia photo by Vincent Arbelet

The Comet Is Coming

While intrinsically linked to funk via those beats, and spiritually linked to all manner of cosmic music via their imagery (and love of space-creating echo and reverb effects), The Comet Is Coming has the feel of an utterly fresh sort of project. While there have been comparisons to countless punk-jazz outfits (they've even played with Ted Milton's Blurt, while Hutchings has worked with the legendary James Chance with Melt Yourself Down), this project exists somewhat more out of time. It's completely explosive and spontaneous, overflowing with the high energy of a party in full swing – or perhaps more aptly the energy of a rocket heading straight out into deep space.
Tristan Bath

Read our interview with The Comet Is Coming here