There's always the worry that Field Day might not pop off as well as it should. A weekend festival in the centre of London, it is the wild getaway for beleaguered commuters, end of year students, and the prime cuts of East London's flat-white workforce. The crowd are essentially the over-worked, over-messy, and over-pretentious, all bundled into a sunny park to fill themselves with red-stripe and whatever else they have managed to smuggle in. In this whirlwind of stress release and sun burnt substance over-load, it takes music of elephantine proportions to keep the crowd on side. Luckily, that's exactly what Field Day had.
DJ Barely Legal
Field Day felt like a big one for Chloé Robinson. The nature of her bass-heavy grime led sets means she is more often than not playing sticky basements and sweaty clubs, so shouts out are definitely owed in her direction for filling the slot between Django Django and Caribou, playing to one of the bigger crowds of her career so far.
One of the biggest pulls of Saturday was a semi-PC Music takeover staggered throughout the day, starting with SOPHIE. We've been pretty keen on catching one of his sets since compulsive repeat viewings of the producer's Boiler Room from late last year. The set crackled into latex life just as we'd hoped, reaching a gloriously glossy high-point during "Lemonade". It does, however, seem we still need to have a bit of a chat about PC Music. Despite them generating more think-pieces than TTIP, the crowds for the various affiliated acts were in perpetual confusion, still not knowing whether to let themselves dance, view the whole thing as some sort high-concept art, or just stand there and take the piss. SOPHIE probably had the most success in getting everybody loose, but in comparison AG Cooke was largely treated with the sort of strained collective curiosity normally reserved for the weird kid at school who'd show you his double-jointed elbows in the playground. That being said, they've got a slew of high-octane bangers to their names. "Hey QT", Cooke's "Beautiful", Danny L Harle's "Broken Flowers" and SOPHIE's "Bipp" all stand up, even if the latter insisted on projecting micro-pigs and colonoscopies behind his set.
The Bugged Out! Tent's b2b Roadblocks
We'll be honest, it was a bit of a scorcher on Saturday. Not always the weather you'd immediately associate with two extensive b2b's, from Andrew Weatherall and Daniel Avery, and Dettmann and Klock. But, as it happened, the seasoned selectors absolutely brought it. Given they were collectively covering four and half hours, it would have been counter-productive to have locked in for the entirety, so instead we checked in on regular intervals for a rolling showcase of chugging, steely, acidic techno.
Todd Terje and the Olsens
We took a bit of time to warm-up to Todd's new setup. Now joined by his live band, the Olsens, the vibe was less punchy party-starting and more jumped-up jazz. Initially this was a bit jarring, as the heavy-hitters from It's Album Time were spread out into softer-balearic incarnations. But, you know what, we soon got with the groove and actually, for an early-evening sunset slot Terje couldn't have suited the mood better if he'd tried.
On the iD mix stage, somewhere in between bass-heavy hip-hop and glitchy trap, Yung Gud played "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. That's bold. We're into it.
We couldn't catch all of Caribou's set, largely because the benevolent/thoughtless powers at Field Day put too many killer acts at the top of the bill, but what we did see was flooded us with so many gooey warm summery clichés actually writing them would only insult your intellect. Needless to say, the train that Dan Snaith set in motion with the release of Our Love last year is showing no signs of slowing. Far from trotting out a tired round up of his repitoire, he still takes to the stage glowing with all the pride of your Dad that time you won the "Most Improved Player" certificate at Saturday morning football practice.
Electronic-grime-reggaeton-dub-space-age-rnb-wonky-industrial-jungle-experimental-trip-hop-alternative-pop-collaboration-led-super-production-group Future Brown were really good. The Ruff Sqwad reunion is surely the most exciting day out Tinchy Stryder has had since this one.
Having already spoken with Hudson Mohawke about his soon to be released album Lantern, we were pretty gassed to see him to the stage. What we weren't quite ready for was the scale of the operation. From the moment HudMo's new live band (comprised of keyboardist Redinho and Two Door Cinema Club's drummer Ben Thompson) made themselves known through the heavy dry ice and strobing lights, there was the air of an explosion about the place. Far from the spread out instrumentation of Terje's live versions, this was tight, rough and loaded with dynamism. Not afraid to sling a few TNGHT cuts in with the new stuff, "Higher Ground" met "Scud Books" while "Goooo" played off the Irfane featuring "Very First Breath". The Resident Advisor stage was lifted completely. Take it from this writer, who spent the majority of "Ryderz" on somebody's shoulders: London lost its shit.