This year sees Field Day festival upping sticks and finding a new home in Brockwell Park, situated just to the south of Brixton. A new home certainly doesn’t mean any compromise in the quality of lineup as Field Day once again books some of the most exciting names in underground techno, soul, neo-jazz and left-field pop. Two Field Day veterans, Tom and Rhys, rundown 9 of the most exciting acts playing at this year’s festival. Tickets are still on sale for Field Day 2018 and you can grab those right here.
There’s no two ways about it: Erykah Badu is a phenomenal booking. The neo-soul singer-songwriter is a living legend with a wealth of incredible material to her name, and will there ever be a better time to see her than headlining a sunny Friday night in Brockwell park? As politically necessary as ever – perhaps even more so – Erykah Badu is one of the most vital musicians of the 21st century. With a career spanning back to 1997’s stellar Baduizm, Field Day is your only opportunity to catch Erykah Badu in the UK this summer.
If there’s one thing you can expect to leave a HAAi DJ set with, it’s a smile. Managing to make every set a sonic travel tour with her varied selections, HAAi is an artist that makes every set familiar but also wildly unpredictable at the same time. Have you ever caught yourself thinking ‘hmm, I like listening to this, but I’m really in the mood for acid’, so you hit pause choose the next track and it all feels a bit disjointed? Well, not when you’ve got HAAi on the decks in front of you, what she can do is make that transition oh so natural. Case in point.
Mafalda was made for festivals. Always bringing a delectable arsenal of obscure records and rarities that encompass Latin, disco, soul, jazz and practically everything in between, Mafalda is a testament to expert crate digging and selection. Aside from co-running the formidable Melodies International label that re-releases some of the most sought-after obscurities, Mafalda and the Melodies team have been responsible for the recent spate of You’re A Melody parties at the Lion & Lamb pub in Hoxton which have firmly cemented themselves as the best way to spend a Sunday. Relaxed and intricate selection that spans everything from Arthur Russell to Madlib, Mafalda is an assured summer delight that’ll excel in the sunny festival circuit.
Objekt b2b Batu
What kind of 2 for 1 deal is this? Not only do you get world renowned DJ extraordinaire Objekt, you get Batu, head of Timedance, at the same time?! It’s very hard to put into words what this collaboration could mean for the future of electronic music. Harnessing all of the forward-thinking energy that Batu is known for, and refining it through the mind of Objekt, we may just witness one of the most important b2b’s this decade. While these two are on the decks you might see someone in front of a speaker with what appears to be their soul shattered into countless tiny pieces. That’ll be me – feel free to come and say hi.
Now this is the one that I am most excited for. Nothing comes close to the sheer jubilation of Malian powerhouse Oumou Sangare’s music. Combining traditional West African rhythms and instrumentation with an absurdly assured powerful vocal performance, if there’s one thing for certain, it’s that listening to Oumou Sangare makes you want to dance, a factor that perhaps explains why her music lends itself so readily to remixes (the most recent remix compilation was released for Record Store Day and features reworks by Sampha and St. Germain). But it’s not about the remixes – Oumou Sangare’s music is a celebration of African music and culture; a rapturous experience of melodies and rhythms rarely encountered in western music. Field Day has once again delivered the goods.
Now, I could list off the reason why I’d recommend you go see Princess Nokia at Field Day, but there’s only one reason to mention Princess Nokia in this article. It’s for the people who don’t know who she is. Everyone else who actually knows Nokia AKA Wavy Spice is going to see her at field day because she’s so damn unmissable. Nokia fan-person or not, make sure you’ve got the lyrics to all her songs etched into your memory, because you don’t want to be chanting gibberish at Queen Spice. Disrespecting the Queen while in her audience really is quite embarrassing. Prepare to feel all emotions simultaneously and rage at that fact.
Last year, Fever Ray’s Plunge found a place in my Top 10 Albums of 2017 list due to uncompromising takes on electronic music combined with a defiant outrage regarding issues such as love, gender politics, identity and, most pressingly, sex. Then, I forgot to buy tickets to see Fever Ray’s bizarrely grotesque live show at The Troxy, a live amalgamation of Frankenstein’s laboratory, BDSM practice and carnivalesque imagery. Luckily, though, Field Day had me covered and booked Fever Ray to play a UK festival exclusive. If the live show as anywhere near as punishing, visceral and anguished as Plunge (which it certainly looks to be), Karin Dreijer’s live Fever Ray ensemble will be an unforgettable provocation of the senses, and one only to be found at this year’s Field Day.
Ross From Friends
Ross has gone from strength to strength recently, signing to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder record label and making one of the songs of the year (so far) with ‘John Cage’, his reputation has been solidified within the the music community. Whether you have any reservations about ‘lo-fi’ house or not, Ross From Friends is on this list because he is an artist that is smashing the shit out of everything he touches at the moment, in a good way. Shame on you if you somehow decide there’s something more interesting on at the same time as Ross, unless of course it’s something else from this list. That would be quite the dilemma. See you at the Resident Advisor stage friend, I know you’ll make the right choice.
What, getting a whole host of outstanding worldwide artists wasn’t enough for Field Day and they want to nurture up-and-coming homegrown talent? Sounds good to me. Nubya Garcia is a London-based saxophonist and at the forefront of what appears to be a jazz resurgence, and deservedly so: she’s fantastic. Latest release, 5ive, is a gorgeously realised selection of tracks with outrageously competent performances from each of the musicians (although a special shoutout goes to Moses Boyd on the drums). Nubya Garcia at Field Day just makes sense: passionate jazz, festival environment and homegrown talent. Is there a better way to start the Friday morning of a festival? I’ve yet to find it.
You can buy tickets for this year’s Field Day right here, or if you can’t make it, at least join us on the dancefloor of this official afterparty that boasts Daphni, Mount Kimbie, HAAi and more. Field Day is the 1st-2nd of June.
Image: Andrew Whitton / Field Day Festival