As part of our forthcoming #SummerOfFestivals2 we have been asking some student stations to curate really epic playlists for their favourite festival bills of the Summer. Edinburgh’s Fresh Air have opted for London’s Field Day which takes place this year in Victoria Park on the 3rd June. Check out our specially curated playlist below and make sure you check out the full line-up here.
We also had Sigi Whittle and Ross Devlin from Fresh Air write us some words about their favourite acts playing Field Day this year.
Born in Sudan and raised in the United States, Ahmed Gallab aka Sinkane is a funky, multitalented singer who cleverly melds styles from around the globe into bombastic joints full of rhythm and sass. His latest album, Life & Livin’ It, is as polished and poppy as Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars. In the past, he collaborated with groups of Indie exoticists like Yeasayer. Sinkane is probably the most unabashedly global of any artist on Field Day’s lineup, which is saying a lot considering the number of big-name acts stacking the bill. Run The Jewels and Aphex Twin may be known and respected the world over, but Gallab and co. make truly worldly music that will surely get the crowd dancing to a universal rhythm.
Imarhan are a band from Southern Algeria, influenced by traditional Tuareg music and the modern “desert rock” of Tinariwen, of whom one of the members is kin. Tinariwen were one of the only bands making music during the Tuareg rebellion, propelling them to facme for their unique, worldly sound. Imarhan continues this tradition and adds a dose of fun, along with poetic lyrics. More than their predecessors, they’re come ready to rock — “Tahabort,” off their self-titled debut album, is full of Motown riffs. They sing: “From Tahabort to Ehanghas…under the shade of the acacia trees, or in the garden.” The group embarked on a truly massive world tour in 2016, visiting Europe, the UK, and the United States. They also supported Kurt Vile. This summer features a relatively milder schedule, which could hint at an album in the future. Field Day is just one of two festival apperances where Imarhan bring their innovative music, as well as a positive note for cultural exchange in tumultuous times.
Forest Swords is an incredibly talented producer, capable of making expansive, sensitive compositions from found sounds and unusual sampling techniques. He is one of the many electronic producers at Field Day who are pushing the limits of technology and composition to explore the digital future of music, artists like Clams Casino and Flying Lotus. He’s been remixed by Lee “Scratch” Perry, and his debut album Engravings was released on the hazy, dark electronica label Tri Angle. The Leeds producer just recently announced “The Highest Flood,” to be released on the venerable Ninja Tune. His music is instrumental, with a portable radio quality to it, smatterings of foreign voices sound warped and unintelligible. It is very evocative of distant, dreamy landscapes, the sort that are visited on long car rides through alien countrysides.
Not only are there brilliant international bands playing but the homegrown talent on display is immense. Some of the stand out bands this year are travelling down from Scotland and will surely take the south by storm. This year two of Scotland’s finest acts travel to London for the event:
The Arab Strap, a major player in the 90s Glasgow indie scene are back with a compilation of their greatest hits. Having taken a break since their last album release in 2006 Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton both went on to work on solo projects. Aidan Moffat’s collaboration with Billy Wells won them the first Scottish Album of the Year award with ‘Everything’s Getting Older’. However, the latest revelation of a come-back was met with an incredible reaction as they had to add a second Barrowlands date to the mini tour of late 2016. The Glasgow dates had fans from all over the world travelling to be a part of the reunion of one of Scotland’s most creative bands of the past twenty years. The band have announced various festival dates for over the summer, ranging from the Scottish festival, Electric Fields to Airwaves in Iceland. Their unique style of minimal lo-fi indie creates a stunning atmosphere especially when combined with the spoken word simple lyricism that Moffat brings to the table. Their single from 1996 ‘The First Big Weekend’ which was remixed by producer Miaoux Miaoux has created waves in Scotland and was included in Detour’s ‘Top 100 Scottish Tracks of 2016’. A perfect fit for Field Day, Arab Strap are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Scotland is also represented by Pictish Trail. Based on the Isle of Eigg Johnny Lynch started up Fence Records which has later become Lost Map Records. His label includes other fantastic artists such as Randolph’s Leap and Kid Canaveral. Having released his debut album, Secret Soundz Vol.1, in 2008 Pictish Trail was quickly heralded as one of Scotland’s most creative people. His second album, Secret Soundz Vol.2 was released in 2012 and was recorded on Eigg. His latest musical venture, Future Echoes includes singles such as Far Gone which was, like Arab Strap’s ‘Last Big Weekend of 2016’ included on Detour’s ‘Top 100 Scottish Tracks of 2016’. Along with the singles Pictish Trail also released several hugely original and unique videos. Not afraid to be completely mad his electronic music is perfectly accompanied by insane visuals. Touring consistently since the release of Future Echoes, Pictish Trail is set to play several festivals over the summer. If you like the quirky electronic sounds of bands such as Hot Chip then you cannot miss Pictish Trail at this year’s Field Day.
Originally from Brixton, London based Gaika is pushing boundaries in the industry, not only musically but also racially. The highly auto tuned musicality of the single Blasphemer speaks volumes and resonates with a huge audience. Signed onto Warp Records famous for being big players in experimental electronic music Gaika has set about carving a unique and new sound. In an interview with the Guardian he stated that “If you’re a black guy you’re supposed to make grime, reggae or coffee-table music”. Although supporting the fantastic emergence of grime in recent years he sets about to break the stereotypes that dominate the music produced by UK black artists. His mixtapes, released independently showcase the complexity and maturity of his sound which has continued on into his latest album ‘SPAGHETTO’ which includes the single ‘3D’. Since the release of the album Gaika has been touring heavily with several dates in the US. This home run of gigs continues into the summer with dates such as the Radio 6 Music Festival in Glasgow where he will be appearing with Scottish Album of the Year winner Anna Meredith. As well as UK dates Gaika will be playing dates in Spain and the Netherlands. His Field Day appearance will undoubtedly be a stand out moment of the festival and definitely not one to miss.