Friday, August 26, 2011

Electric Picnic 2011 preview: 10 must-see international acts and 10 must-see Irish acts

1 - John Talabot

The Barcelona-based producer has kept a low profile since he emerged, letting his music do the talking. Dealing in hypnotic, vibrant house that has a similarly Balearic-tinged vibe to friends and frequent collaborators Delorean (but with a much more dance-floor-oriented aesthetic), Talabot has turned in superb remixes of the xx, Blue Daisy and Glasser as well as his own material - this year's infectious 'Families' following on the heels of 12"s like 'Sunshine' and 'Matilda's Dream'. This could be the highlight of the weekend. Although I think I said that about Primavera and ended up missing his set. Festivals, eh?

Saturday, 23.00, Earth Ship stage

JOHN TALABOT / Families (Ft Glasser) by Young Turks

Shelter (John Talabot's Feel it too Remix) by John Talabot

Raindrops (John Talabot's Cosmic Rework) by Black Acre Records

2 - Flying Lotus

A long-awaited first Irish show for the founder and figurehead of LA's Brainfeeder collective/label. One of the most talented producers around, he followed 2008 masterpiece Los Angeles with the dazzling, all-over-the-shop Cosmogramma, an album that completely revamped his sound and captured a restlessly inventive vision.

Saturday, 00.45, Little Big Tent

Flying Lotus - ...And the World Laughs with You by greenplastic

3 - Julio Bashmore

The Bristol-based producer has released a string of excellent 12"s on labels like Dirtybird, 3024 and Futureboogie. He offers a unique, infectious take on house/UK funky influences, with bass-heavy floor-fillers such as 'Battle For Middle You' mixing with the Balearic-tinged 'Ribble to Amazon'.

Sunday, 17.45, Little Big Tent

Julio Bashmore - Footsteppin' by TenThousandYen

Julio Bashmore - BATTLE FOR MIDDLE YOU by abeano

4 - Star Slinger

Mainly known for his (numerous) remixes, he's re-interpreted tracks for everyone from Deerhunter to James Vincent McMorrow, as well as releasing his own material and collaborating with Teams. His hip-hop-influenced productions are frequently psychedelic, glitchy and playful.

Friday, 18.15, Little Big Tent

The Go! Team Apollo Throwdown (Star Slinger Remix) by Star Slinger

Small Black - Photojournalist (STAR SLINGER REMIX) by Star Slinger

5 - Onra

As Pitchfork put it, "broken beats, woozy aural effects, and the lush sounds of vintage funk and R&B, all filtered through hip-hop's rhythmic, lyrical bounce". The Parisian's Long Distance album features the glorious summer jam 'High Hopes', as well as plenty more tunes that achieve just the right balance between slightly-cheesy retro elements and fresh production techniques.

Friday, 17.00, Little Big Tent

High Hopes ft. Reggie B by Onra

Onra - Long Distance by Hypetrak

6 - Yuck

They've admitted that their show at Cork X Southwest was a bit of an offday, so they have something to prove. Yuck are a thrilling throwback to vintage alt-rock bands like Pavement and Dinosaur Jr, along with the mellower strains of Teenage Fanclub. 'Rubber', 'Get Away' and 'Georgia' - yes please.

Saturday, 20.00, Cosby Stage

Rubber by Yuck

Get Away by Yuck

7 - Rainbow Arabia

Somewhat similar in style to Gang Gang Dance, if not quite (yet) at their level of genius, Rainbow Arabia are a duo who craft electronic pop with notable African and Eastern influences. This year's Boys and Diamonds album encompasses catchy pop moments as well as pulsating dancefloor-leaning workouts with tribalistic percussion and garish synths.

Saturday, 15.35, Little Big Tent

Rainbow Arabia - Without You by Kompakt

8 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

I fear the worst for this one, given that they're clashing with Pulp, Mogwai and Zola Jesus, but hopefully CYHSY still have a loyal enough following to withstand that. Their set at the Picnic a few years back was one of those classic festival moments, their debut album remains one of the finest of the last decade (despite the silly backlash) and they've some new material to test out. Also: The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth.

Sunday, 23.00, Crawdaddy Stage

9 - Underworld

A gateway band for me - and I'm sure a lot of other people - when it comes to electronic music, Underworld have absolute stone-cold classics like 'Rez/Cowgirl', 'Dirty Epic' and 'Jumbo' to call upon. A superb live act, as documented by the classic Everything Everything

Sunday, 20.30, Main Stage

10 - Arcade Fire

Their set at the 2005 Picnic has gone down in legend, and contributed greatly to the then-young festival's growing reputation. This should be a triumphant return, on the back of their very impressive third album The Suburbs.

Saturday, 22.00, Main Stage

Irish Acts:

1 - Toby Kaar

The Cork-based producer is probably the most exciting newcomer of 2011: his amazing remix of Nouveaunoise's 'Cinnte' took an already great tune and made it his own, while further productions as well as a string of dazzling live sets (including support slots with Gold Panda and And So I Watch You From Afar) have kept his star in the ascent. Encompassing a diverse range of styles - from trippy, glitchy hip-hop-influenced sounds to the more mellow, atmospheric likes of 'Bread' and the almost-post-rock tones of his Ten Past Seven remix - he's playing three times over the weekend: see him at least once.

Friday, 00.00, Love Letter Stage
Saturday, 13.30, Little Big Tent
Saturday, 22.15, Earthship Stage

Nouveaunoise - Cinnte (Toby Kaar's Cloudy Mix) by TobyKaar

Heart of Gold by TobyKaar

2 - Le Galaxie

Arguably the finest live band in the country playing songs from one of the albums of the year. A no-brainer. Le Galaxie's live sets are glowing sci-fi party affairs with neon body paint, freak dancing and glow-sticks - and tunes to match: the kaleidoscopic DFA vibes of 'Midnight Midnight', the electro-pop bounce of 'Solarbabies' and the dramatic, swelling 'Victory' to name but three.

Saturday, 13.30, Electric Arena

03 - Midnight Midnight by Le Galaxie

01 - Earth by Le Galaxie

3 - Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands

A scintillating live act; the dark, gothic synth-pop of recent album Golden Syrup may be somewhat disorientating but it's also danceable.

Sunday, Body & Soul Main Stage, 21.00

Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands "Miracle Candle" from sophie gateau on Vimeo.

4 - Catscars

Earlier this year Robyn Bromfield released the shadowy, new-wave-tinged Construction - the shape-shifting, spooked-sounding textures of her songs should make for a fascinating late-night set.

Saturday, 02.45, Love Letter Stage

5 - Katie Kim

A live performer of quiet intensity, Katie Kim's songs tend to be hushed and subtly atmospheric, with beguiling vocals that convey unnerving depths. Songs from her excellent upcoming double-vinyl release Cover & Flood are sure to feature.

Saturday, Body & Soul Main Stage, 20.15

6 - Tieranniesaur

One of the jewels in the Popical Island crown, Annie Tierney's gang deal in exuberant, irreverent lo-fi funk-pop. Songs like 'Sketch!' and 'Here Be Monsters' are guaranteed to bring the fun times.

Saturday, Body & Soul Main Stage, 18.00

7 - Adebisi Shank

Adebisi Shank's live brilliance almost goes without saying at this stage - furious, frenetic performers, last year's This Is The Second Album... saw them develop their sound into something bracingly unique, combining gargantuan riffs and infectious hooks with dazzling, Battles-esque experimentation.

Saturday, Cosby Stage, 15.15

Adebisi Shank - Genki Shank by Richter Collective

Logdrum by Richter Collective

8 - Visionair

Gaining attention from the likes of Altered Zones, Visionair's music is both evocative and rhythmic, their songs pulsing and swelling with vintage-sounding synth-tones. Live, tunes like the hypnotic, expertly-paced 'HYPNOM' sound even more muscular and forceful than on their extremely impressive brace of EPs.

Saturday, Love Letter Stage, 01.15

03 HYPNOM by VisionAir

03 TOTEM by VisionAir

9 - Great Lakes Mystery

Citing influences such as Arthur Russell and John Carpenter, Gareth Averill's project is characterised by atmospheric, dramatic synths and mesmerising ambience.

Sunday, Love Letter Stage, 18.00

Lemmings by Great Lakes Mystery

Organo Moderato by Great Lakes Mystery

10. Soil Creep

New project from Aidan Wall (of Porn On Vinyl and the now-defunct Hipster Youth). If the pretty-amazing 'Where (n) Meets Infinity' is anything to go by, expect trippy, inventive lo-fi electronica along the lines of Lorem Ipsum. Then again, it could be something else entirely! Should be interesting.

Friday, Love Letter Stage, 20.00

Soil Creep - Where (n) Meets Infinity by LongLost

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