Review: Beat-Herder Festival 2018 (Part 2 of 3)

Credit: Steven Knight | © The Waveform Transmitter

With Day One covered in our previous instalment of our Beat-Herder three-part review, Ste Knight provides the details of what went down on Day Two of the festival.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

So, you already know from Part One of our review, that the first day at Beat-Herder was a special one. We took in the sites and sounds of the festival as we settled into our three day stint in the fields that we were calling home for the weekend and, thankfully, managed to grab some well-earned rest as we had well and truly gone hell-for-leather during the first twelve hours of the festival.

Day two started a little slowly, as we all decided to get glittered up beyond ourselves (we argue that this was in keeping with the theme for this year, the letter ‘E’ – glitter is fairly Extravagant, after all). This led us to the medical tent, where an eye-bath was required to remove copious amounts of glitter from some rather painfully swollen eyes. The medical tent dealt with the issues quickly, so we extend props to them for their professionalism and calm attitude. Perhaps our theme should have been eyelids.

Credit: James Cray | © Duke Studios

Anyway, with that small diversion dealt with, we popped down to the Trash Manor, catching the last of what 7″ Sal & Son had to offer, which was a heady mix of disco and funk, and we have it on good authority that the younger element of the pair will only listen to this kind of music nowadays. They went head to head, dropping disco and funk classics back to back.

With our dancing muscles nicely lubricated (and our eyes finally able to focus on what was in front of us, glitter-free) we headed to the Toil Trees, where Ryan Hartley was laying down some elastic beats to keep forest-dwellers in high spirits. It wasn’t long before we were, once again, kicking up dust in the dry, woodland space, with Hartley our guide. This segued us perfectly into the Fusion Brothers‘ set, which was filled with top-notch house music and ramped the energy up several notches. We stuck around for some of Miguel Campbell‘s set, which we unfortunately had to leave early as we ambled over to the main stage to see what Morcheeba had to offer.

Their performance was a nostalgic trip, with their classics being played out before a crowd who were lapping it up, swaying gently as tracks such as The SeaPart of the Process, and tracks from their new album, Blaze Away, drifted from the speakers and up the hill of the natural bowl that stands before the main stage. It was obvious why the band have been going strong for over twenty years, selling in excess of ten million records.

Credit: James Cray | © Duke Studios

With Morcheeba‘s big calm-ing effects well and truly in place, we decided to completely overturn their chill factor hand head to The Factory, where OFF ME NUT records were smashing out all manner of bass-heavy skullduggery, courtesy of label mainstays PhatworldSpongebob Squarewave, and Ben Suff Donk, who were damn near causing a riot over at the enclosed space. Wobblers galore blasted out of the speakers, and it was great to see that this under-reperesented genre was getting the airtime it deserves, along with others such as breakbeat, jungle, and D&B.

We spent the rest of our time that day between the Main Stage and the Toil Trees, as there was so much electronic music going on that we weren’t sure if we were coming or going. Tuff London entertained us for an hour-and-a-half, before Sam Devine took to the decks and wowed us with her track selection and her skills on the mixer. Once her set was almost done, we popped back down the hill to the Main Stage, to see what Soulwax had to offer.

Jeez. What can we say about this performance other than it shook us to our very core. Playing a heavily electronic set that mixed the acoustic with the analog, Soulwax blew the entire crowd away with both sound and spectacle. The Belgian group had no less than three drummers, who were super tight. You can check out a clip of their performance in our exclusive video clip, below.

Somehow, Soulwax‘s stint on the stage totally zapped all the energy out of the group, who were pogoing like like coiled springs around the field in front of the stage, so some of us headed off back to camp to grab a few zeds. The rest of our party headed over to see what Erol Alkan and Mella Dee had to offer. To say they came back satisfied would be an understatement.

Day 3 at the festival offered what I considered to be the best in terms of music, as several of my favourite artists played, but you’ll have to wait for part 3 of the review, tomorrow, for more of that. See you in a jiffy, Beat-herders!

Credit: James Cray | © Duke Studios

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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