In Aarhus for the Spot Festival, one couldn't help but be drawn to the impressive red cube topped with a rainbow boardwalk taking up the skyline just behind the main stage, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum. Particularly when there's a gigantic banner hanging down the side advertising an exhibition by new American folk artist Wes Lang, this gleaming stature invites investigation. A somewhat controversial subject in the Danish press, Lang's The Studio exhibition presents a vast collection of the artist's paintings, illustrations, sketches and collages, as well as a scale recreation of his Los Angeles studio, a deep pose of his twist of middle Americana and indigenous iconography. ARoS is a hot tip for those travelling Denmark, a must for Wes Lang enthusiasts.
Multiple FOR Festival connections with the latest web video from Thursday night headliners Klaxons. In the tradition of their Radio Soulwax: Under The Covers concept, last year's guests 2ManyDJs have animated the stimulating Love Frequency cover art, syncing it with Chemical Brother Tom Rowland's mix. The epic remix will be released on Phantasy, the label run by Erol Alkan who'll also be DJing some after hours thunder at the Croatian paradise.
Morgan Geist first came to our attention as one half of Metro Area, with their single 'Miura' and their sole, majestic, self-titled LP, which if memory serves correctly was played on repeat at the Modular Christmas boat cruise of 2003. Since then he's released a string of quality singles, compilations and remixes under his own name and via his Environ Records imprint, more recently settling into the groove under the Storm Queen moniker. While the MK remix of 'Look Right Through' might have been the tune that took Storm Queen to #1 in the UK, if you really break it down then Geist's other Storm Queen singles reach equal, if not even higher states of consciousness. 'It Goes On' is a tough, detuned, minimal jack track, while 'Let's Make Mistakes' is a more ecstatic dancefloor burner, both with Geist's impeccable analog touch. Get acquainted!
Storm Queen is playing at FOR Festival 2014. Tickets available here.
Six years since their first release, we're only just cottoning on to Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods. Self-proclaimed "electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class", Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson sound like John Cooper Clarke and Mark E Smith on a spiralling bender. The bleak layered lyrics of 'Tied Up in Nottz' keep giving with each listen.
Factory Floor's self-titled album, released late last year by our friends at DFA, delivered on the extraordinary promise of the trio's earlier work by managing a startling range of sound from disco to industrial to dub to electro. In the hands of a lesser group such an ambitious palette would come across as muddled, but the depth of sound and a clear sense of history elevates each release far beyond pastiche. Their live show is unmissable, and their set at FOR will surely stimulate both body and intellect, a sonic onslaught with an unmistakeable groove.
A remarkably illuminating chronicle of one of the most overlooked annals of dance music history, The Sound Of Belgium is Jozef Deville's engrossing in-depth look at his country's unique take on the genre for fans and first timers alike. From the historical context of the Belgian's love for beer and dancing, the film eloquently and entertainingly tells the story of the development of the nation's nightclubs and the sound they birthed which went on to become a hugely influential one on dancefloor's the world over, whether you realised it or not.
The film (Deville's film school project) was so intensely researched it's allegedly been finished since 2011 but has only just arrived on screens, such was the process of clearing the rights to some 100+ Belgian new beat and techno originals that feature in the film. This impressively meticulous approach was one also employed by the New Beat DJs of the late 80s, whose manic record collecting fervour saw them clean out record stores from Brussels to Brooklyn, pre-dating 2manydjs (a notable omission from the film) and their infamously legendary, encyclopedic record library. Deep, throbbing bass, wintery dark ambience, anarchic lyrical malcontent and riveting, writhing acid squelch - Belgians do it better.
Revisiting this modern masterpiece from Maurice Fulton who will be manipulating the dancefloor at FOR Festival. Fulton's career has been as eclectic as it's been essential, with 15 years of exploration that's traversed house, garage disco and leftfield techno. Through countless productions under his own name as well as Syclops, Boof and Eddie & The Eggs, to tastemaking remixes for Hot Chip, The Rapture and Alice Smith, Fulton has pushed the rules of electronic music time after time. A maverick artist who prefers to let his music do the talking, Fulton's DJ performances are the perfect way to enter his world - a deep, soulful distillation of his formidable career by way of his coveted collection of tunes.
The self-anointed humble magnificent Edan certainly does things on his own terms in his own time, but when he does stick his head up it's always worth tuning in. Back in 2009 he released the Echo Party mixtape - given free reign of the Traffic Entertainment Group vault (distributor to P&P Records, Magic Records, Chocolate Star amongst many), Edan crafted a deranged, spun out mix of early hip hop, disco and new wave, supplemented with his own instrumentation and extensive special fx. A heady, bugged out half an hour, it provided a pretty solid insight into the mind of the man, complete with ridiculous attention to detail that went all the way down to him personally hand printing the CD and LPs. Now some 5 years later, an accompanying film has surfaced coupling the music with it's visual equivalents. The Echo Party Movie is wonderfully off the wall and a perfect half hour distraction from reality, courtesy of the man Edan.
Alex Sushon, aka Bok Bok, is surely emerging from the 'underground' (whatever that means in 2014) as one of the most innovative and influential figures in dance music today. The London-based producer is not only an incredible DJ whose deep, historical knowledge of dance music finds him fluent in everything from classic house to grime, but also helms the genre-wrecking Night Slugs label.
Here's his latest collaboration with the spellbinding Kelela, following on from his work on her 2013 mixtape 'Cut 4 Me'. This LA-London collaboration with converge on the shores of Hvar, Croatia for our FOR Festival in June.
Rewinding Boiler Room's recent visit to Sydney where they filmed some live sweat from Black Vanilla, the combination of Marcus Whale (Collarbones), Lavurn Lee (Guerre, Cassius Select) and Jarred Beeler (Marseilles). Crude boot-rattling garage productions and dual vocal RnB chemistry, sassed up like Prince's deleted 'Black Album'. No mindless knob twitching to view here, just serious crowd hyping (damn Marcus can move). If you like what you see and see what you like, waste no more minutes and download their free mixtape.
Masquerade, Atlanta, GA, USA
Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN, USA
9:30 Club, Washington, DC, USA
Union, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA, USA
Terminal 5, New York, NY, USA
Virgin Mobil Corona Theatre, Montreal, OC, USA
Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON, USA
St Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI, USA
Double Door, Chicago, IL, USA
Metro, Chicago, IL, USA
First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO, USA
In The Venue, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
The Showbox, Seattle, WA, USA
Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR, USAView All Dates