Woody’s Roundup: Great Escape Special

Last weekend eased us gently into a marathon summer of music and drinking in the sun. In the way that Field Day successfully curates a summer’s day, Great Escape manages to sustain the pace for three. It is one of those festivals that appears to effortlessly cherry pick the crème de la crème of future big players in the game and scatter them smoothly across a plethora of spaces.

Twin Shadow

This year was no exception, and our favourites from the hundreds of bands, DJs and artists you could have seen will form the theme of this week’s Woody’s Roundup. First up for us was Twin Shadow. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Florida, George Lewis Jnr relocated to New York and worked at his take on 80s new-wave. This year has already seen him take the stage at Coachella festival in the States, as well as a stretch of European tour dates. If you catch him soon, keep a keen eye on the drummer; he makes the live show.

On a sunny Friday afternoon, we reluctantly squeezed into a pitch black sweaty studio to assess the live credentials of a band who have been subtlety bubbling away in blog world since last summer. Young Empires are threesome Robert Aaron Ellingson, Jake Palahnuk and Matthew Vlahovich from Toronto. They put on a lively, upbeat performance that really gets you moving; great fun and very Kitsuné. My other key observation was that their cheeky frontman doesn’t wear shoes, which in a way sums up their charisma as a band perfectly. You’ll probably have to go and see them to understand what I mean.


Now, how to describe Ghostpoet… hypnotic? Melodic? Going places? All of the above? I’ve heard the name ‘Ghostpoet’ dropped into conversation everywhere lately and he recently got a coveted Maida Vale slot on Rob Da Bank’s show – so he must be good. By far and away my favourite performance of the festival, Ghostpoet’s tone and rhythm gives a nod to the distinctive style of Maxi Jazz. In short, perhaps somewhat controversially, my feeling is that he could be this decade’s updated, grimier and dubbier answer to Faithless.

Saturday came around all too quickly and led us down the path to the depressingly named Irish alternative rock band, Funeral Suits. Now, don’t be put off by the idea of music to play in a mortuary – it’s not. Great Escape described their music as ‘a shared love of epic, distorted guitars, blistering harmonious pop, art and electronica’. As a guide, I would probably say take out the math rock rhythmic oddities of the Foals, add some more drums and turn up the bass, but keep the melodies that soar over the top of Cassius and you’re probably about there; really enjoyable and a much happier find than the rest of your “funeral suit” Google searches.

In the basement of Audio, whilst the sun was still shining, Becoming Real (a boy who has clearly grown up in a world that welcomed the beginning of dubstep) put on a best practice performance in the art of sculpting off-beat electro tracks on the spot with just a Mac, mini keyboard and a nano pad or two. He’s probably more of an acquired taste, but certainly one for fans of weird dubstep-driven electronica.

Last but by no means least, Foster the People closed the festival for us. ‘Catchy melodies and hammering basslines’ we were promised, an even bigger performance by the boys from LA we got. With enough instruments to serve an orchestra, these boys are coming to get you. I’m expecting to see them on stage at every festival this summer. It’s happy, it’s sunny and it’s got mass-appeal, but it’s not the same old story… Watch out for the lead singer’s dancing feet, they’re captivating. They do a pretty cool t-shirt too.

It was an impossibility to see everyone, but since I got back I’ve been scouring the programme for any gaps in my repertoire. I’ve got a habit of believing the hype, because more often than not it’s founded. In order to avoid short-changing you here, I’ve also made sure the likes of Little Dragon, Florrie, Black Devil Disco Club, Lone, Beat Connection, Gang Gang Dance, PolarsetsCharli XCX, The Holidays and Suuns are all represented in a ZIP too.

The Great Escape 2011 – part 1 [GE2011.zip1]
Twin Shadow – I Can’t Wait // Young Empires – Rain of Gold // Ghostpoet – Cash & Carry Me Home ft. Kano (if you don’t like Kano, I’d buy the original…) // Funeral Suits – Colour Fade // Becoming Real – Get Hype // Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks (MNDR 4 – Track Remix)

The Great Escape 2011 – part 2 [GE2011.zip2]
Beat Connection – Silver Screen (Young Montana Remix) // Black Devil Disco Club – To Ardent ft. Nancy Sinatra (Grovesnor Remix) // Charli XCX – Stay Away (T.Williams Dub) // Gang Gang Dance – House Jam // Little Dragon – Feather (Fromwood Remix) // Lone – Once in a While // Polarsets – Morning // Suuns – Optimist // The Holidays Moonlight Hours (Jonathan Boulet Remix)

Woody’s Roundup

Many of you are lucky enough to be on the South Coast this weekend to kick off the festival season with The Great Escape in Brighton, and we’ll have reports next week, but Audio and Digital alone will be seeing the likes of d/r/u/g/s, Actress, Little Dragon, Ghostpoet, Kill Em All, Caribou, TEED, Black Devil Disco Club… as well as the festival itself in various venues around the seafront.

Following on from last week I’m still thinking about new releases, mainly because Dirtybird 50 has just come out. New names to me, and all of them stompers. Listen here.
This all means that in London town, we’ve got launches galore, as 6th Borough Project & The Revenge play Warm at Plastic People to celebrate the new album One Night In the Borough (which is bloody good), Fabric are launching Jackmaster‘s Fabric 57 mix, with Hudson Mohawke and SBTRKT live, and The 2 Bears join Toddla T at The Nest to celebrate the Bear Hug EP.
Fittingly, The 2 Bears have remixed Toddla T’s Take It Back (we posted the Dillon Francis mix last week) so you can have a listen here:
Toddla T – Take It Back (The 2 Bears Remix) by The 2 Bears
Nice work all round.
Tomorrow Round Table Knights take over 7-9 Crucifix Lane (this was called Counter Culture for a while and is one of my all time favourite London venues. I cannot recommend it enough, the vibe is like naughty children having a house party while the parents are away) for the Say What? album launch party. Partypartyparty gogogo.

Afrojack – Pop On Acid
Slice & Soda – Year of the Dragon (Villa Mix)
Ghost Eyes – Phantom Mountain (Stopmakingme Remix) [via Planet Notion]
Mario & Vidis feat. Ernesto – Changed
Round Table Knights – Paparussi (L-Vis 1990 & The Neon Dreams Remix) [from the limited edition vinyl pressing of Round Table Knights Remixes]
Tiga – Sex O’Clock (Matias Aguayo remix)
Jargon – Disappoint you (High Rankin remix)
Woody 49.ZIP

Dan’s done it again

OK, OK, I have to stop posting ALL the Stopmakingme mixes, but they’re so good I feel like I’d be stealing something if I kept them all to myself.

This little number is to celebrate the release of the Circus album by Black Devil Disco Club, the sixth album from Bernard Fevre since 1978. Out on Lo Recordings last month.

Catch both Stopmakingme and Black Devil Disco Club at The Great Escape in Brighton next weekend.

Stopmakingme – Mix for Black Devil Disco Club, April 2011
Austra – Beat & The Pulse [Domino]
Domeyko/Gonzales – Eschatol (Rio Lobotomy Remix) [Death Strobe Records]
Discodeine – Singular [Pschent]
Hounds Of Hate – I Like Triangles [Back Yard]
Para One & Tacteel – Infinity Riser [Ed Banger] – Remix of Bernard Fevre’s ‘Dali’
Black Devil Disco Club ft Afrika Bambaataa – Magnetic Devil [Alter K/Lo Recordings]
Black Devil Disco Club – Coach Me (In Flagranti Remix) [Lo Recordings]
The Chemical Brothers – Got Glint? [Virgin] – Features a sample of Bernard Fevre’s ‘Earth Message’
Tiga & Zyntherius – Sunglasses At Night (Black Devil Disco Club Remix) [Turbo Recordings]
Daniel Maloso – No Doy Nada [Comeme] Stopmakingme & The Deadstock 33s – Oscillate [Tigersushi]
Serge Santiago – Running Passions [Santiago]
Black Devil Disco Club – She Flees The Silence (Instrumental) [Alter K/Lo Recordings]
Black Devil Disco Club ft Faris Badwan – Distrust (Stopmakingme Remix) [Alter K/Lo Recordings]
Factory Floor – R E A L L O V E (An Optimo (Espacio) Remix) [Optimo Music]
Black Devil Disco Club ft Cosmetics – X Paradise [Alter K/Lo Recordings]
Gesaffelstein – The Lack Of Hope [Turbo Recordings]
Clouded Vision – Future Furies (People Get Real Remix) [Meant]
Blondes – Hater [RVNG INTL]