Fresh Island has cemented itself as one of Europe's best Hip-Hop, R&B and urban festivals for the past three years with international acts and thousands of revellers jetting to the isle of Pag for the ultimate celebration of the genres' music and culture. For three days the festival will host a mix of stunning live performances, cutting-edge DJs, MC battles, dance crews and beach, boat and pool parties in the idyllic setting of Zrce beach, with takeovers of Aquarius, Kalypso and Papaya (voted best club in Croatia in DJ Mag's Top 100 Clubs).
Larger than life ex-chef Action Bronson will be cooking up a storm for his Fresh Island debut following the recent release of the appropriately titled Mr Wonderful. Next up Pusha T joins the festival, making it up to fans after sadly being unable to perform at last year's event. Working hard on the followup to his critically acclaimed debut LP My Name Is My Name, expected this Spring, the former Clipse member will no doubt be dropping brand new material for revellers at Fresh Island. Having lived and breathed Hip-Hop culture for most of his life, it's only fitting that LA's Evidence is onboard for the festival. A graffiti artist and skateboarder from an early age, Evidence is one of the founding members of respected Hip-Hop group of the 90s, Dilated Peoples. Breaking out on his own, the rapper/producer has since picked up a Grammy for lending his producer talents to Kanye West on College Dropout as well as a slew of revered underground solo material including The Weatherman LP and Cats & Dogs.
Just Blaze is arguably one of Hip-Hop's most iconic producers having worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Jay Z, Kanye West, Jay Electronica, Eminem, Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar. His talents aren't confined to the studio, starting out as a DJ Just Blaze has forged an impressive career touring the world and will be demonstrating his skills behind the ones and twos for the Fresh Island crowds. The original champion of Hip-Hop in the UK and firm Fresh Island favourite, Tim Westwood returns to the festival in 2015. Now hosting a show on Capital Xtra, Westwood has used his radio DJ status to bring Hip-Hop to the masses for nearly 30 years, garnering some big name friends in the game as well as going out on his own with the Tim Westwood brand, selling millions of compilation albums.
2015 sees the first ever grime takeover with VICE's Noisey, as Fresh Island gives a deserved nod to some the UK's best. After appearing at this year's Brit Awards with Kanye West, grime's most promising new talent Stormzy will appear along with NAA founding member, MC and now YouTube sensation Big Narstie and Radio 1/1XTRA DJ DJ Target.
A truly international festival, Fresh Island celebrates talent from around the world, other names set to grace the Hip-Hop stages include influential French DJ Cut Killer, Slovakia and Czech Republic's best selling hip-hop artist, Rytmus, Austrian MC Big J and a live collaboration between Czechs DJ Wich and Vladimir518. The festival will also welcome Haftbefehl, one of Germany's biggest Hip-Hop stars, respected by genre fans and literary critics alike for his lyrical prowess in German, Turkish, Kurdish and Polish.
Temperamental wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of 70,000 festival goers at last weekend’s sold-out Parklife Festival, which now in its fourth year, saw Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, Disclosure and Sam Smith prove to be essential highlights.
Arriving at around 1pm, SFG headed straight to the Hospitality tent for some early afternoon drum & bass with flashing strobes, courtesy of Logistics and later, Camo & Krooked.
Heading to the main stage for Kiesza, who is accompanied by two male dancers, her 90’s influenced choreography and funk tracks prove an early treat. Giant In My Heart fuses disco and funk perfectly, before the Canadian ex-navy recruit takes to the piano for a stripped down cover of Haddaway’s, What Is Love, showcasing her powerful vocal range. Ending with number one track, Hideaway, she lifts everyone’s spirits despite the grey clouds looming up above. Catchy “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” and house-y beats provide the first sing-a-long of the weekend (with many more to come), before the track is mixed into Gorgon City’s deep-house edit. Now recording her debut album, expect another catchy chart-bothering track to go viral in the coming months.
Spending around 20 minutes struggling to find the Colonnade presents: Drop the Mustard stage, where the majority of the main house draws performed, SFG caught some of Hot Natured’s, Lee Foss’ Ibiza-cum-Manchester house set at the hilltop Kaluki stage. Eventually, finding the Greek coliseum-like Colonnade stage, SFG caught house duo Waze & Odyssey’s set, including their now infamous house remix of R Kelly’s timeless classic, Bump & Grind as well as a remix of Robin S’, Show Me Love. Later at the Colonnade, it was Route 94’s turn on the decks. Performing a mostly obscure but impressive house set, with the exception of Defected Records releases, Fly 4 Life and Tell You Why, the young London-based producer drew a large crowd, with one fan feeling the need to scale a tree, receiving a smile from the producer and applause from the audience below. But it was number one house crossover hit, My Love, which saw everyone take out their iPhone’s to record the sing-a-long moment before 94 imminently takes his sound to Ibiza for the summer.
Pacing back to the opposite end of the site, to the Red Bull Academy Presents stage, Gold Panda’s hotly-anticipated set proved essential for the eyes and ears. Synth-led electronics impressed the large crowd during cutting-edge debut album offerings, Vanilla Sky, Snow & Taxis and early track Marriage before a chopped up reinvention of fan favorite, You, with its pitch-shifted vocals circling around the tent.
Back at the main stage, Grammy –winner, Foxes, attracted a large crowd with tracks from her debut album Glorious, including Youth and recent single, Let Go For Tonight, while another Hot Natured label-mate, Richy Ahmed, continued the Amnesia Ibiza-ready house vibe with 808 hi-hats and drum machines aplenty during his mid-afternoon Kaluki stage set.
Later, the sun shined while Radio One DJ Annie Mac drew the biggest crowd so far with a house orientated set including Ten Walls’ new track, Walking With Elephants and Gorgon City’s collaboration with Laura Welsh, Here For You as well as Second Citys’ I Wanna Feel which rocketed to number one two weeks ago. Later, before Sigma’s, Nobody To Love, she tells the crowd to, “grab your friend, boyfriend, or a total stranger”. Its sets like these, demonstrating which tunes to play to get thousands of people dancing, which stand testament to why she is such a hot DJ commodity.
Rudimental, who, trumpets included, perform album tracks, Spoons and Baby, show a softer side to the Black Butter Records collective. Dedicating Not Givin’ In, to his son, DJ Locksmith pulls on the crowds heartstrings before the drum & bass beats kick in, but are soon cut off due to a technical problem. It’s all back to normal though after the crowd chant “Rudimental, Rudimental, Rudimental” to give them the support to carry on, which they do oh so professionally, continuing with album tracks, Free, and later, Feel The Love.
It’s A$AP Rocky however, who delivers the best and most charismatic performance of the weekend, as a more than deserving replacement to Kendrick Lamar, who cancelled his slot. Weed promotion, referring to women as “hoes” and a whole lot of swearing, but what else would you expect from song’s titled, Hella Hoes and Fuckin’ Problems which are performed with a fifteen-man-strong A$AP Mob watching him from the side of the stage. Bassier and rowdier than on record, Palace and Wassup take the Now Wave tent to Rocky’s hometown, Harlem, New York City. “Put your hands up if you smoke fucking weed ‘cos that’s what I stand for”, demands Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, before Purple Swag where he toys with the crowd saying, “are you people ready to get turnt up or what?” New A$AP Mob track, Hella Hoes, results in a mosh pit before taking it to a “whole new mother fucking level” during Skrillex-produced Wild For The Night and Lana Del Rey-featuring Hands On The Wheel. Thanking the audience for getting him so far, he exclaims, “I can’t wait to get on them rides tonight” before a quick run through of his part in final track, Fuckin’ Problems. If you ever get the chance to see A$AP Rocky live, TAKE IT. You won’t be disappointed.
Weaving back into the middle of the main stage crowd for Saturday headliner, SFG didn’t know what to expect from the legendary Snoop Dogg’s headline set. “Who’s getting blazed in the house tonight?” asks Snoop’s DJ during a ten minute prelude to the iconic rapper coming onstage. Dressed in a USA stars and stripes jumper and yellow shades, Snoop stalks the stage with everyone taking his picture. He dedicates Supa Dupa Fly to “all the girls in the house” before rapping his part on Justin Timberlake collaboration, Signs, and his brief part on Katy Perry’s, California Girls. The only thing he could be blamed for, is looking relatively bored and indifferent, but it is Snoop Dogg after all, why should he be bothered?
Ending the night back at Kaluki in Marc Kinchen provided early evening house, in his number one remix of Storm Queens, Look Right Through, which is quickly followed by his Medicine remix of Shadow Child's, Friday and his edit of Hot Natured’s, Reverse Skydiving.
Sunday would prove to be better weather on the whole, aside from one insane downpour during Warpaint’s set which saw everyone flock to the nearest tent.
Opening the Disclosure Presents: Wildlife stage, Kanye West-collaborator Pusha T, performed tracks from his acclaimed debut album, My Name Is My Name as well as his part on the aforementioned Kanye hit, Mercy. Stalking the stage, which looks like brown lego bricks stacked high, Pusha runs through the trap beats of King Push and Nostalgia. Promising a new album in the not-so-distant-future, he continues with Numbers on the Board, seeing arms in the air pulling back and forward – an impressive debut at Parklife for the hotly-tipped ex-Clipse rapper.
Next up, are classical-cum-electronic Cambridge graduates Clean Bandit, who remained at the top of the charts for a month earlier this year with their single Rather Be. An early afternoon set time doesn’t seem to affect the eager crowd, growing by the minute. Arriving onstage to classical music alongside two guest vocalists, the quartet open with older track, A&E, before Dust Clears, with Jack Patterson leading the vocals over a synth-y beat. Tracks from their debut album New Eyes soon follow. Up Again, begins as a hand-swaying, blissed-out production before drum beats and classical chords intrude, culminating in a full on drum and bass climax while Come Over hears cellist Grace Chatto’s sweet vocals soar over a Caribbean, almost reggae beat. Mid-set, it’s clear that new single Extraordinary could become their second number one judging from the crowd’s reaction. Heart on Fire, featuring vocals from Elizabeth Troy is dedicated to “all the garage heads” before the lyrics of Mozart’s House ask, “so you think electronic music is boring?” Following this genre-crossing set, they’ve proved that that their sound is far from boring. Nightingale is then mixed into Gorgon City’s deep-house edit before feel-good festival anthem, Rather Be, which stayed at number one for a month, ends their set with the crowd on each other’s shoulders singing along word perfect.
Unexpected pop star Sam Smith, arrives for his 5pm slot to screams of excitement. Opening with Nirvana, he shows his powerful voice off straight away before Disclosure collaboration Together, complete with Chic-esque funky bass guitar lines. Leave Your Lover slows the set to a mellower, emotional halt, with some female fans starting to tear up, before further winning them over by telling the crowd that Manchester is his favorite place. Before new track, Restart, Smith informs the audience that he’s filming the music video right now, and of course everyone is more than happy to clap and sing-a-long for it. An unexpected cover of Arctic Monkey’s track, Do I Wanna Know breaks up the set with a unique take on the indie hit. Money On My Mind and Lay Me Down follow with emotional lyrics, while the heavens fittingly starting to open, before ending with recent number one single, Stay With Me. It’s obvious that Smith is providing the definitive sound of 2014, after his vocal talent was first discovered by the mainstream on another Disclosure collaboration, Latch, which is given a flawless acoustic rendition.
Later, over in the Heidi Presents: The Jackathon tent, Hot Since 82 brings deep house and techno beats to a sweaty strobe light flashing tent, delivering arguably the best bass orientated set of the weekend.
Over in the Sounds of the Near Future tent, SBTRKT gives an astonishing live
set. Opener, Pharaos, gets the packed tent going before the masked man says, "It's so good to be back. It's been like two years since we've been here.” New lasers and synths track Temporary View, which went up on Soundcloud just two days ago, receives a great reaction as a taster of what to expect from the impending second album. Debut album tracks, Never Ever, Trials of the Past and Wildfire follow with tribal drum beats and feature Drake-collaborating, Sampha’s recorded vocals and Little Dragon’s in the latter, which echo around the at-capacity tent.
Pacing back to the Wildlife stage to catch headliners Disclosure, it was shockingly easy for SFG to get near the front – probably because Oxford indie-types, Foals, were headlining over on the main stage. The wunderkind production duo of house revivalists, Guy and Howard, open with synth led F For You featuring on record vocals courtesy of Mary J Blige. Preacher lyrics and simplistic house beats follow in When a Fire Starts to Burn and newer Friend Within collaboration, The Mechanism, with the background screens showing the duo playing in real time while Guy picks up the bass guitar to play the funky chords in the former, while pyrotechnics shoot from the top of the stage. Checking with the crowd that they are okay to play some older material, they bounce into older E.P tracks, Boiling, Tenderly and Flow before inviting guest vocalist, Sasha Keable, onstage during album track Voices and later Sam Smith to join them for the song which started it all off, Latch.
It’s only in its fourth year, but soon enough Blur’s iconic single won’t be the only thing which comes to mind when thinking of Parklife. Providing a great line up, the organisers delivered great variety at an affordable price, SFG cannot wait until next year!
Check out the latest additions to London's premier electronic music festival South West Four which takes over Clapham Commin this August bank holiday weekend.
The latest additions include Tiga, rapper Pusha T, Wilkinson, Gorgon City, rap producer Just Blaze, & Second City.
After destroying dance floors worldwide with their hypnotic, primal techno track ‘Let’s Go Dancing’, the demand to see Tiga go head-to-head on the decks with Audion has soared. Many festivals have similarly battled it out for their sought-after services but it is SW4 that will deliver a stellar UK festival exclusive. March marked their return to the studio with the mammoth release of ‘Fever’, another deliriously soothing techno jam which has again illustrates theirtechnical brilliance and has since made its way onto every dance floor imaginable. This clash of their mind-seducing sounds will be a red hot highlight of SW4 2014.
After exhilarating the UK crowds last year as part of Chase & Status’ arena tour, US hip hop sensation Pusha T returns to the Capital at SW4 for his exclusive London festival performance of 2014. Recently signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label, Pusha will arrive in London off the back of the critical and commercial success of his debut album ‘My Name Is My Name.’ With the recent news emerging that the Bronx rapper is currently working alongsidePharrel and The Neptunes and that his new album ‘King Push’ is in production, we can’t wait to welcome Pusha to Clapham Common and his armoury of freshly produced beats.
Signed exclusively to Ram Records, Wilkinson has spent the last year establishing himself as one of drum & bass’ greatest assets. Having caught the ear of label boss Andy C back in 2010, Wilkinson has enjoyed unconditional support from BBC Radio 1, with releases such as ‘Afterglow’, ‘Automatic’ and ‘Need to Know’ propelling him to the very forefront of the scene. Having delivered an outstanding performance at O2 Brixton Academy over Easter, it’s clear there are very few acts in the world that can rival his electrifying live performances. Forming one of the weekend’s most exciting debuts, SW4 get ready for arrival of the unmistakeable Wilkinson.
Having established themselves amongst the hottest duos in electronic music, Gorgon City bring their infectious funk-laced house sounds to South West Four. After marking their territory in 2013, the duo have fused varied electronic genres to create a sound that has quite literally taken the world by storm. With an impressive arsenal of peak-time weapons including ‘Real’, ‘Intentions’ and ‘Ready For Your Love’, Gorgon City combine hip-swinging rhythms and butt-shaking bass, the end result of which is a salubrious yet sordid sound. With South West Four representing their exclusive London festival performance of 2014, this is a must attend event for all their fans.
Throughout the past ten years, Stanton Warriors have honed a uncategorized sound that has been championed everywhere from London warehouses, Miami boat parties and illegal Detroit raves to the stages of Glastonbury,Burning Man and Coachella. With a freshly rejuvenated sound for 2014, the Bristol-based duo will return to South West Four for the first time since 2006 for a thrilling main stage performance. Their indefinable sound has led toreleases on XL Records, Fabric and Universal and official remixes for Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, M.I.A and Gorillaz. This phenomenal output and remarkable longevity has ensured the Stanton’s celebrated status as they manage to remain fresh, original and relevant.
Hailing from New Jersey, US producer Just Blaze has worked with the biggest names in hip hop including Snoop Dogg, Usher, Kanye West and Busta Rhymes to name just a few. With a distinctive knack for using old-school soul samples in unique ways to create hooks that are cherished worldwide, the arrival of the established beat-maker at SW4 is huge. As the go-to man for new, fresh and innovative ideas, his recent collaboration with Baauer, ‘Higher’, has blown up across the globe and is sure to cause unforgettable scenes as he arrives in London for this exclusive performance.
Born in Chicago and raised in the UK it’s no surprise that our next addition has rhythms and grooves running through his veins. Over the last twelve months SecondCity has quickly established himself as one of the most talked about breakthrough names in electronic music thanks to two outstanding EPs on Dirtybird and Saints & Sonnets. With his latest track ‘I Wanna Feel’, a 90’s throwback classic with a firm foot in the future, set to storm the UK chartsfollowing its imminent release on Ministry of Sound, we are delighted to confirm that SecondCity will join us for his exclusive London festival play on Sunday 24th August.
The Summer Festival Guide brings you the hottest news straight outta Sundown Festival HQ who have announced this morning that grammy award winning artist Pusha T and Jess Glynee will join this years lineup.
US Rap star Pusha T has been confirmed to perform the main stage on Saturday, 30 August, while Jess Glynne will join the Sunday line-up
As one half of hip hop duo Clipse, and a solo star in his own right, two-time Grammy Award winner – for 2003’s Like I Love You with Justin Timberlake and 2013’s Mercy with Kanye West, Big Sean and 2 Chainz – Pusha T has scored numerous hits in both the US singles and album chart and has worked with everyone from Pharrell to Kanye West.
Fresh on the back of two #1 hit singles as a featured artist, on Rather Be with Clean Bandit – who are also performing Sundown’s Sunday – and My Love with Route 94, Jess Glynne’s star is rising fast, with big things expected of her this year, a spot on the Sundown line-up included
Whether Jess will team-up with Clean Bandit to perform Rather Be together at Sundown has not yet been revealed
Sundown Festival, recently featured in BBC Three’s Festivals, Sex & Suspicious Parents special episodes, now boasts a main stage line-up of Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah, Zane Lowe, Katy B, Foxes and Pusha T on the Saturday, with Ellie Goulding, John Newman, Clean Bandit, Neon Jungle, Ella Eyre and Jess Glynne on the Sunday, with more to be announced in the coming weeks and months
Elsewhere, Sundown’s dance Stage 2 will be hosted by House specialists Defected Records on the Saturday night, with DJs MK, Breach, Sam Divine and Shadow Child announced so far, while drum and bass label RAM Records take over for the Sunday, with Andy C, Wilkinson, Calyx & Teebee and Delta Heavy now confirmed
Following phenomenal growth for a festival, Sundown Festival 2014 tickets are in high demand after Sundown festivalites grew from 15,000 at the 2011 event to 38,000 in 2013, when all camping tickets sold-out months before the festival kicked off. More than 80% of camping tickets available for this year’s event have already sold
One of the most successful hip hop groups of all time, OutKast, returns to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and is one of the over 30 artists included as the first additions to Flow Festival 2014. The 3-day tickets are available through Lippupalvelu and Ticketmaster from March 6th at 10am.
Flow Festival is organised again in Suvilahti, Helsinki on August 8–10 with a broad selection of the moment’s most interesting music. Besides the comeback gig of OutKast, the festival features dark indie rock from The National, hip hop from South Africa's controversial Die Antwoord and R&B soul artist Janelle Monáe.
Others coming to Suvilahti will be Darkside – the joint project of Nicolas Jaar and multi instrumentalist Dave Harrington – U.S.based Blood Orange that rose to prominence with last year’s Cupid Deluxe, and Charlie XCX who is rolling out one hit after another. This year's festival crowd will also witness the return of the shoegazers Slowdive, promising guitar-driven indie rock from Mac DeMarco, as well as Nina Persson, the former The Cardigans singer, who released her solo debut early this year, and singer-songwriter Bill Callahan with his warm baritone recently featured on his fourth album Dream River, picked as Mojo Magazine’s album of the year 2013.
Electronic music will be prominently featured with hugely popular German Paul Kalkbrenner and French act Kavinsky, as well as a frontline of Brits including Bonobo, Mercury Award nominee Jon Hopkins, James Holden and Jamie xx – of The xx fame – all joining Flow. There’ll be soulful electro from British duo Jungle, and Little Dragon from Sweden who will release its fourth studio album in May. Meanwhile, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson andPusha T bring a quality dose of U.S. hip hop to Flow. African rhythms will be served up by Malian Saharablues outfit Tinariwen, Senegalese Mark Ernestus presents JeriJeri and Les Ambassadeurs, a Malian super group including Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam’s Amadou Bagayoko, andCheick Tidiane Seck.
Local acts at Flow include Iisa, Death Hawks, Risto, Noah Kin, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Eurocrack and Sound & Fury. Tuomo will perform his only Helsinki gig of the summer at Flow, while Magenta Skycode plays its only gig in Finland all year.