Tracks from Hudson Mohawke, Four Tet, and Skrillex Dominated Bestival 2015


This story is over 5 years old.

Tracks from Hudson Mohawke, Four Tet, and Skrillex Dominated Bestival 2015

We're back from the UK with these sounds ringing in our ears.

Well, that's it. We're back from the Isle of Wight, and what is without a doubt always the most painfully drawn out ferry journey imaginable, with nothing but a bag full of unwashed clothes, uneaten packets of instant noodles and a pair of snapped sunglasses to remind us of Bestival 2015. Rob da Bank's annual knees up on Robin Hill has become a sort of pilgrimage to the end of summer for many people, and this year was no different in offering a final chance to swing some limbs in the dying sun.


Given Rob da Bank's legacy as a selector, it's no surprise that Bestival is also the best of the calendar's more mainstream music festivals to see a wealth of incredible DJs and electronic artists — a reputation it more than bettered this year. We only had so much time, and so many legs, so we couldn't quite catch every single amazing looking thing on the line up, but for our money here are the ten tracks that defined Bestival 2015.

Dean Blunt - "Punk"

For the first night of a festival — that also featured The Chuckle Brothers on the line up — a show that included unnerving spoken samples, relentless white strobing, blasts of toe-curling static, and a vocalist barely visible through a thick rolling wall of smoke presented something of a challenge for many who had simply arrived early to get a good spot for Jamie xx. Kudos then to anyone who stuck it out and reaped the rewards of a set stylised to perfection and an artist way ahead of anybody else in the country.

Underworld - "Two Months Off"

Perhaps our biggest surprise of the weekend, Underworld pulled through with an intensely euphoric, career spanning set of progressive, hands in the air trance. The band benefitted from Bestival's canny stroke putting the band on in a much later slot (something Twigs and Tame Impala also enjoyed), meaning their huge sound was given the after-hours environment it needed to fly. Of course, "Born Slippy" was the one we were looking forward to the most, but it was "Two Months Off" that gave us our real moment. An act we thought we might find cheesy at best, or tired at worst, proved themselves to be an invigorating insight into the power of 90s dance music at its best.


Four Tet - "B2TS"

Hebden dropped another of his becoming legendary festival sets at Bestival. While we were totally stoked to here his unmanageably good "Digital Arpeggios", released under his Percussion moniker, it was actually his recent bizarro-garage edit of Cheryl Cole's "Fight For This Love" that really got us moving. A tune that has no right being as good as it is.

Ben UFO b2b Joy Orbison - Homepark - "Forever Walking"

As is so often the case with a set that has Ben UFO's name behind it, we knew roughly 0% of the tracks being played during this sunday night closing set, that ended up being our favourite of the weekend. In the sweat drenched Bollywood tent, UFO and Joy-O protected dancers from the rain with a surprisingly amped up selection of tunes. We're only able to shout out "Forever Walking" after a stint of track IDing online — a process we will continue with the rest of the set throughout the week — but it is representative of a final night expending the last of our energy to two of the UK's best selectors.

Baby D - "Let Me Be Your Fantasy"

Another throwback moment came in the shape of Baby D who took to the World of Rave show to take us straight to the world of mid-1990s rave. Of course it was their stunning, unabashed number one "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" that had us fully losing ourselves to the breakbeats. Refreshing also, to see a crowd made up half of people who probably hadn't even been born when the track was first released.


Hudson Mohawke - Joubert Singers - "Stand on the word (Larry Levan Edit)"

We've picked this track, but it could have been anything based on how wildly eclectic HudMo's do-not-give-a-fuckery was on Saturday night. It was full on party mode for all involved, with the Glaswegian jumping from the new school of trap-led hip-hop into a slew of happy hardcore. Opening with Eprom and Salva's filthy rework of Kanye's "All Day" all the way to ending with the Levan edit of the Joubert Singer's "Stand on the Word" should give you a feel for just how varied the course of his ebullient set was.

The Jacksons - "I'll Be There"

Okay, so watching the four remaining Jacksons on the main stage wasn't exactly the late night sweat fest typical of most of our sessions on the Isle, but it still provided an opportunity to appreciate some disco dons that are too often mumbled in the same breath as their younger brother. Lighters in hands, "I'll Be There" gave us some of the grooviest feels of the summer.

FKA Twigs - "Numbers"

Twigs, rather than suffer from an over-saturation at the hands of a summer spent touring and playing festivals all over the world, seems only to get more impressive and distinct every time we see her. She already gave us one of our Glastonbury highlights, and her stint in the Big Top after Tame Impala qualified everything we already thought and more. An artist on the brink of so much greatness and an unquestionable electronic icon of the future.


Skrillex - "Where Are U Now"

Say what you like, when that weird flutey sample thing flooded down over those clattering tabla drums and fireworks began pinging off the Port stage, "Bangarang" and "Baby" seemed like distant memories.

Missy Elliot - "Get Your Freak On"

We know we're supposed to write about dance and electronic music but, we're only human.

Follow Angus on Twitter.