Slaves seized Birmingham's O2 Academy with a heady concoction of heavy riffs and pummelling percussion, Music Writer Christian Nasillo reviewsWritten by Christian Nasillo on 23rd January 2019
Junction 2 Festival 2018: Top 5 Acts To Watch
Nathan Davies tells Redbrick Music his top 5 acts to see at this years Junction 2 Festival
With under a week to go until Junction 2 Festival, this is Redbrick's guide to the top 5 acts not to be missed.
Over a career spanning nearly 4 decades, Carl Cox has remained one of the biggest names in dance music. Having begun mixing disco, rare groove, and electro, Cox’s style shifted with the introduction of house to the UK in the 80’s, then bloomed with the subsequent explosion of the British rave scene. Whilst his forays into production have charted singles, EPs, and albums, and even gained him a Top of the Pops appearance, Cox has remained immersed in the club world in which he began. His sets coalesce the various facets of underground dance music seen throughout his lengthy career whilst his Intec label strives to remain at the forefront of techno music.
An impressive 15-year residency at Space Ibiza, and the featuring of his own ‘Carl Cox & Friends’ stage at festivals worldwide speaks to a timeless, universal appeal. Never failing to keep his finger on the pulse of dance music, and second to none for his charisma on stage, Cox continues to be a certified crowd pleaser.
It may be true that fate played a part in establishing Len Faki as one of the most in-demand techno DJs of the moment. It was the burning down of his Stuttgart apartment which prompted his move to Berlin, where in 2004, stood in good stead by strong appearances at Tresor and Ostgust, he became resident at the newly-opened Berghain. The now-infamous club soon became known as the world capital of techno, and Berghain’s meteoric rise brought with it international recognition for its residents, including Faki as well as other modern-day techno heavyweights such as Ben Klock and Marcel Dettman.
Faki’s unashamedly hard-hitting, high-octane techno has become synonymous with the genre, whilst a penchant for tweaking tracks has meant his sets remain unique; this affinity for editing culminating in last year’s unveiling of the ‘LF RMX’ series. Serving to release some of the long sought-after weapons initially created for use in Faki’s DJ sets, the project donates its earnings to a Berlin organisation helping homeless children, showing that Faki has a heart of gold, even if it’s pounding at 130 bpm.
Amongst contemporaries such as the Hessle Audio crew and his long-time collaborator Boddika, Joy Orbison (real name Peter O’Grady) forms part of an exciting contingent of British talent. Drawing inspiration from the UK’s diverse musical offerings, it is Joy Orbison’s versatility which makes his sets unpredictable and irresistible.
Nephew to producer Ray Keith, Joy O became well acquainted with jungle from a young age, whilst his 2009 debut single ‘Hyph Mngo’ was hailed as a forward-thinking dubstep game-changer. His varied, bass heavy productions draw upon elements of techno, house, breakbeat and UK funky to name but a few genres, whilst a 2-step thread throughout much of this work is reflective of the UK garage which Joy O credits much of his sound to. This diverse range of musical tastes and influences is perhaps even better exhibited in Joy Orbison’s cultured and eclectic sets; transporting you to a sunny beach, before firing you into outer space, then dragging you back down into a sweaty warehouse over the course of a few tracks.
Dixon b2b Âme
Collaboration between Dixon and the German duo Âme spans well over a decade. Having originally signed them to the Sonar Kollektiv label, in 2005 Dixon joined the pair in establishing Innervisions as a sub-label, which subsequently became independent. Despite only putting out a handful of releases annually, the label has become one of the most well-regarded and progressive in dance music, whilst individually the Innervisions head honchos have gained some undeniably impressive credentials.
The embodiment of ‘less is more’, Dixon, in spite of his sparse discography, has consecutively taken the top spot in the last four Resident Advisor DJ polls, whilst Âme's Kristian Beyer, the DJ of the duo, has earnt a top 10 place in the latter three of these. Irrespective of the questions surrounding the representativeness of these polls, this is indicative of the high-quality sets both consistently provide, and an extended 6 hour back-to-back at Junction 2 is sure to showcase the immersive, melodic style which typifies the Innervisions label.
Collaboration, mutual remixing, and co-production between Luke Slater, Steve Bicknell, and Dave Sumner (aka Function) is nothing new, with the trio having joined forces in various compositions since the early 90’s. However, the idea for their acronymic live project was born in 2015, when the three came together for a gig at the Moulin Rouge, Paris, supporting the release of Function’s Berghain 07 mix (all three being producers for the Berlin club’s Ostgut Ton label).
Debuting at Berghain in 2016, the trio’s improvised audio-visual show blurs the line between DJing and live performance, with each member manipulating various elements, focussing on the “psychedelic aspects of techno while emphasising their overlapping styles and rhythmic sensitivity”. Intended as one-off performance, its success saw LSD continue to develop, with their first EP, Process, being released in November 2017. Earlier this year, the avant-garde project made its first London appearance at Tobacco Dock for the Junction 2 launch with great success, and the intrigue of an act that “accentuates hallucinatory and shapeshifting sonic elements” means its first ever festival performance come will be hard to ignore come June 9th.