This year’s Bluedot festival boasts probably the best line-up of a British festival in 2017. There’s a whole range of artists but all share one thing in common: the desire to keep pushing boundaries and smash pre-existing constructs. The festival takes in everything from the dirtiest techno, to the most blistering of psych-rock, to the most heavenly trance, to The Girl Sweat Pleasure Temple Ritual Band. The Gryphon has selected our five favourite acts of the festival. Feast your eyes and ears, please.
The Belgian geniuses have recently released a new album entitled From Deewee and they’re touring with three synth players and three drummers. They are going to be the act to see at Bluedot. It’s hard to sum up the Soulwax sound in words alone. It’s really electronic… but somehow completely organic at the same time; their most recent album was recorded in one take, for instance. Soulwax are masters of their craft and, along with Aphex Twin and Orbital, represent some of the most important leaps taken in popular electronic music. This is one of only a handful of dates they’re doing in the UK this summer so take the opportunity and go see them.
Track to listen out for: ‘Transient Program For Drums And Machinery’
2) The Girl Sweat Pleasure Temple Ritual Band
They are bringing their Suicide-on-diazepam-meets-The-Fall-with-a-drum-machine sound to Bluedot. For those not in the know, this band is a brainchild of Leeds cult hero Girl Sweat who has come up with one of the most wonderful, original, aggressive sounds of the 21st century. I don’t care what you’re doing, or who’s on, or how hungover you are – go see Sweat and feel your mind expand.
Track to listen out for: There’s nothing online that can accurately convey the five sense assault, so just check out their Facebook page instead to get an idea of how out-there they really are.
3) Team Picture
These guys are another Leeds artist that have been plucked out of relative obscurity (compared to huge names like Orbital and The Pixies) by the Bluedot organisers. Their brand of fuzzy psych and blistering proto-punk is not something to miss. I saw this group of ‘polite individuals’, as they describe themselves on their Facebook page, at The Brudenell in Leeds and was politely blown away. They sound a bit like Moon Duo and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and all the other raft of neo-psych bands- this is a wholly good thing.
Track to listen out for: ‘Back To Bay Six’
Who wouldn’t want to see ‘Belfast’ or ‘Halcyon And On And On’ live on a warm Saturday evening at the height of summer? Imagine the thrill of hearing that glittering shimmering synth line in ‘Chime’ in a huge crowd, and then that chunky, leaden bassline come thumping into the crowd. A lot of people see Orbital as a band most suited to raves or clubs, but I think festivals are the optimum place for them. Watch their closing number at Glastonbury on the Park Stage in 1995 on Youtube and then tell me they’re suited to a club.
Track to listen out for: ‘Belfast’
It’s easy to laugh at Alt-J. You’ve got the spoof video with the two guys eating rice crackers, you’ve got the jokes about them being the “Aldi Radiohead”, but beneath the slightly annoying voice and the oh-so-hipster image, you have a genuinely inventive and original band that don’t deserve a lot of the criticism that is levelled at them. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny that they’ve been consistently releasing interesting stuff for a while now. Go see them, if even it’s just to harangue them about rice crackers…
Track to listen out for: ‘The Gospel of John Hurt’
Bonus number 6) Pixies
Even if you’re not a fan of their new stuff, this will be worth it just so see ‘Debaser’ and ‘Where Is My Mind’ performed by Frank and the gang. They may have lost Kim Deal but they still have the songs. Put simply, they’re one of the most important rock groups of the 80s and 90s.
(Image: Get Into This)