Review: Dimensions Festival
Forta Punta Christo, Pula, Croatia
Thursday 6th September – Sunday 9th September
Dimensions is the new sister festival of the hugely successful Outlook. Focusing on the deeper side of electronic music, with a lean towards house and techno, it took place a week after Outlook, in the same brilliant location – an abandoned fort overlooking the beautiful Croatian coastline.
The first night had an incredible lineup of live acts in Fort Arena 1, including Portico Quartet, Little Dragon and Nicholas Jaar. However, it was Four Tet who stole the show with a live set consisting of material from his new album, Pink. The sound at Dimensions was near perfection, and most impressive was the psycho sub cabinets Outside The Fort, which Kyle Hall described as ‘like playing on a giant pair of studio monitors’. Floating Points took full advantage of the crystal clear sound, delivering an impeccable set, which ended with Fatima delivering some stunning live vocals over his masterpiece ‘Myrtle Avenue’. Down in the Moat, a narrow 200m strip with 5m high walls and speakers all the way down, Blawan saw the night through with some of the strangest yet exciting techno out there.
Friday night began with a mind blowing, Aphex Twin-like set from Nathan Fake, followed by an emotional live set from Gold Panda Outside The Fort. Back in Fort Arena 1, Detroit techno legend Carl Craig nearly blew what was left of the fort to pieces with his 69 live set. Roman Flugal was fairly disappointing, but Berlin diva Cassy more than made up for it with two hours of groovy techno bliss, which was even more enjoyable thanks to her cool, sophisticated stage presence and contagious smile.
The final night offered a mouth-watering prospect of five hours from two of Detroit’s finest: Theo Parrish and Moodymann. Theo exceeded all expectations and played literally the best DJ set I’ve ever witnessed, seamlessly mixing between funk, soul, disco, house and hip-hop. He even dropped Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. But in the context of Theo’s masterfully constructed performance, it fitted in perfectly and the crowd went crazy for it. Moodymann continued in a similar fashion, albeit with less impressive mixing, which was made up for by his charisma and character.
Daytimes could be spent relaxing on the beach, or enjoying one of the many boat parties hosted by various club nights and labels. I ended up on the Aka Aka Road/Trix boat party, which featured Space Dimension Controller and Midland among others. Last night’s hangovers were quickly shaken off as the sun shone down on the deck, and some great moments were had with Midland closing his set with an edit of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’, before Space Dimension Controller began with Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’.
Despite a few queuing issues Dimensions was a near flawless event. The spectacular location, brilliant lineup, great sound systems and an awesome crowd made it one of the most enjoyable festivals I have ever experienced. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for next year.
words: Dominic Freeman