Field Day 2014: A Quietus Preview Of The Best New Acts

We have a peruse of some of the acts we've not actually mentioned yet in our look forward to next weekend's Field Day Festival

It’s only a week to go to this year’s Field Day, a new and improved version of the Festival that’s actually made it become Field Days. Rather than indulge an audience that just gets older and older each year, organisers Eat Your Own Ears have split the event in two: the Saturday features tonnes of the contemporary electronic music that we’re excited about at The Quietus, from James Holden to Dan Avery to Ryan Hemsworth to Vessel to Evian Christ to Jessy Lanza and Eclair Fifi, as well as song-playing young miscreants Fat White Family, East India Youth and All We Are, along with all sorts from the slightly older – Seun Kuti, Neneh Cherry and Thurston Moore. Then on the Sunday there’s a slightly smaller festival site, featuring a headlining performance from the Pixies, The Horrors no doubt looking and sounding sharp, and Future Islands proving that there’s more to them than dancing like an electrocuted full-size Action Man. That’s not to mention the excellent food at the festival, and the presence of the London Brewer’s Market flogging ale magicked from London water in postcodes not far from the Festival site. Below, Quietus writers take a look at some lesser-known artists from the festival in addition to those we’ve been covering in our extensive preview features here. See you next Saturday, bright & early, for one of Tim Peaks’ formidable brews!

Saturday 7 June

Eclair Fifi

Member of Glasgow’s increasingly globally-reaching LuckyMe crew and resident at Manchester’s renowned Hoya:Hoya nights, Eclair Fifi is among the UK’s best current DJs. As with many of her Glasgow contemporaries she’s clearly been long inspired by both Detroit techno and Chicago house, in their many guises, but her mixes are remarkable in their ability to seamlessly draw together banging party music from across a broad spectrum without feeling scattered, a knack she shares with contemporaries like Oneman and Ben UFO. Her mix for FACT from last year – which swoops from Oneohtrix Point Never, chilly neo-grime and the crystalline beat palaces of Night Slugs and Fade To Mind to grubby club tracks, R&B and midnight techno – is a great place to start. Rory Gibb

Ryan Hemsworth

Much like Nguzunguzu (see below), Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth is classifiable mostly by his (brilliant) lack of consistency over his output. His 2013 album, Guilt Trips, set hazy, three-minute clusters of melodic electronica, occasionally carrying the wispy vestiges of his cloud rap production – his previous LP, Distorted from 2011, was recorded with Californian MC Shady Blaze, and he’s also worked with fellow Oaklanders Main Attraktionz – side-by-side with sultry R&B and sonorous synth-pop modes. This all gets knitted together immaculately, testament to Hemsworth’s finely-eared eclecticism – as his banger-filled DJ set at Elsewhere festival in London last month proved – which has also found him setting up Secret Songs, a SoundCloud-based series of free tracks by ascendant producers he’s curating. Laurie Tuffrey

Jessy Lanza

In an interview with tQ last year, Lanza spoke of her admiration for a number of 80s and 90s R&B legends such as Patrice Rushen, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and Melba Moore (the latter returning the compliment in the comments). On her debut, Pull My Hair Back, those influences were reworked into Lanza’s distinctive whisper tone, which together with an intuition for vocal hooks made for an album of alluring and carefully-composed electronic pop – one of the highlights of Hyperdub’s releases in 2013. Lanza worked together with co-producer Jeremy Greenspan of Canadian duo Junior Boys, to build a spacious and minimal backing of reverb, skittish rhythms and guitar stabs that accentuates the elegance and dreaminess of her delivery. Tracks like ‘Fuck Diamond’, with its cut-up voices and handclaps, demonstrate the pair’s desire to branch out from modern R&B into more experimental territory. But come next Saturday, it’ll be the Moroder-style synth arpeggios and Lanza’s breathy vocals on dance floor numbers like ‘Keep Moving’ and ‘As If’ which will be bringing the tent down. Adam Bychawski

Slackk b2b Samename

London-based grime night Boxed celebrated its first birthday this March, having graced such London venues as Peckham Palais, Fabric, Plastic People and Birthdays over the past year. If you’ve been, you’re probably familiar with its residents; Mr Mitch, Logos, Oil Gang and Slackk, a producer from Liverpool whose monthly mixes throughout last year <a href "" target="out">(which incidentally he has made available in their entirety through this handy Mediafire zip file) charted the ever-mutating, ever-intriguing sound of instrumental grime. He’s since become a semi-regular fixture on NTS and Rinse, as well as producing a sideline onslaught of compelling releases. It’s only fitting that he should play Field Day, and will take to the Red Bull Music Academy stage next Saturday. Joining him behind the decks for a back-to-back set will be Samename, a producer from Manchester who’s been throwing war dubs at Bloom and just last week released his debut EP Yume, four tracks of Japanese-influenced grime instrumentals, including a glossy re-imagining of Ironsoul’s ‘Chinese Water’. Not to be missed, will see you there. Sophie Coletta


One of the original six members of Bristol’s excellent Young Echo crew, Seb Gainsborough makes music that perforates the senses, festering up inside nostrils and in the back of throats, ripping apart any notions of genre in its wake. After a smattering of 12"s and EPs on labels like Left Black and Liberation Technologies, Gainsborough blackened the roots of Robin Carolan’s Tri Angle Records label with his exhilarating debut full-length Order Of Noise, released under his Vessel alias in 2012. A murky, greyscale affair, it journeyed through sculptured corrosions, grubby bass and tingling static, embracing physicality while racing through the frontal lobe. You might know him by other names; he’s produced tracks under names like REI and Panther Modern as well as being part of Bristol groups and Baba Yaga and Killing Sound, whose <a href "" target="out">self-titled EP released on BEB this year provided a brutal sonic exploration both violent and beautiful. Vessel plays Red Bull Music Academy’s stage on Saturday, hopefully billed post-sunset – expect gloopy, antagonistic bass, or better still, don’t expect anything. Sophie Coletta

Sunday 8 June

The Bohicas

With so many scenes and bands emerging from the metropolitan sprawls up and down the country, it’s easy to forget that the suburban hinterlands are fertile grounds for new bands. After all, so many of the new towns that were built in the wake of the Second World War to ease the congestion in bombed out sites house great swathes of the population. And so it is that The Bohicas have emerged from that oft-ignored area that lies somewhere between the outer edges of East London’s far reach and the greener, leafier environs of Essex. This is a setting that has clearly been working to their advantage. Away from the hustle and bustle of urban pressures and jostling for space with other band, The Bohicas have crept from the shadows with a sound that collides driving and pulsing motorik beats with grinding, riffing guitars and a melodic sensibility that’s been created entirely on their own terms. Signed to Domino, their calling card, the double A-side ‘XXX/Swarm’, has served notice of a talent that is set to grow in stature and affection. Their time is now. Julian Marszalek

Mickey Lightfoot

Up against the almost exclusively guitar-wielding lineup on Sunday comes the post-grime pop of Mickey Lightfoot. This South Londoner’s first EP, To Kill A Flockin Bird came out in October last year, and while press releases and reviews lauded the EP’s "experiments with electronic and native Western African beats" there’s nothing of the sort to be found therein. Osei Amponsa – the producer/rapper behind the project – has in fact crafted a multi-faceted sound that incorporates retro-futurist drum machines with tropes from relentless classic grime and sweeping pop choruses. The man can certainly craft a truly original and yet radio-friendly track. Lightfoot’s ‘Tell Me Something’ already has the size and shape of a classic track, taking cues from the same 80s stadium pop aesthetics that informed Solange’s ‘Losing You’. To that effect, anybody who was there will remember Solange’s ace set from last year, (under the guidance of another Londoner – Dev Hynes). Lightfoot’s serving a similar purpose in 2014, flying the flag for well-produced pop music on Sunday alongside Future Islands. Tristan Bath


The L.A. duo – whose name is pronounced en-goo-zoo en-goo-zoo – are a staple of the city’s Fade To Mind roster, sharing a similarly forward-thinking mindset with label mates Kingdom and Kelela (they produced a couple of cuts on the latter’s CUT 4 ME mixtape). Last year, they released their fifth EP, Skycell, a retro-futuristic concept-tinged set of electronic dance tracks, which found Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda refining their sound – fractured club music, deftly skirting the fringes of footwork, trap and house – to its finest iteration yet. As key as their original output is their DJing work – check out their two album-length mixes, The Perfect Lullaby volumes one and two – which finds them giving free rein to their globally-ranging listening habits, re-editting their twin loves of Nicki Minaj and Future’s chart hip-hop and R&B together with zouk, cumbia and kizomba to forge something awesomely fresh-sounding. Laurie Tuffrey


The fractal, shapeshifting electronics of London-based audio alchemist Patten soothe and jar at the same time; his Warp debut album ESTOILE NAIANT, released earlier this year, felt akin to immersion in a restless sea, with eddying rhythmic currents traveling along different trajectories drawing your senses in multiple directions. As electronica goes, Patten’s music is among the most rewarding currently around; both his recent Warp releases and his 2011 No Pain In Pop album GLAQJO XAACSSO immediately accessible thanks to its rich melodic sensibility – bearing traces of influence from Warp label mates like Boards Of Canada and Clark – but also deceptively complex, packing layers of subliminal detail amid its blissed-out dreamstate rush. He’s known for having taken varied approaches to live performance, including work with live instrumentation alongside audiovisual shows and club sets; for his Field Day appearance we’re promised a DJ/re-edit set, presumably another parallel viewpoint into his many-faceted vision. Rory Gibb

The Wytches

With the popularity of psychedelic music showing no signs of abating, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between one band and the next. With the template set by the likes of mind-melting overlords Spacemen 3 and Loop, many are the bands for whom tremelos and fuzz boxes are the default setting, but with The Wytches there’s a subtlety at play that sets them apart from the peers. Formed in Peterborough and relocated to the more welcoming and bohemian setting of Brighton, The Wytches have arrived at a sound that is far grimier and dirtier than many of the bands in thrall to bells, beads and kaftans. Though they’ve described their sound as "surf doom", the riffs at play here are tar pit-thick and often feel like an oil tanker being pulled across concrete into the sea. Crucially, The Wytches are only too happy to revel in the ill-effects of brown acid and so eschew Techicolor dreams in favour of darker, more nightmarish visions that, somewhat oddly, prove to be just as satisfying. To be sure, there’s menace at play here but sometimes, just sometimes, you need that element of danger and fear to set the blood and heart pumping. Get those defibrillators ready. Julian Marszalek

For the full Field Day line-up and ticket information, please visit the Field Day website

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