This year’s Field Day has outdone itself both up and down the bill, boasting everything from legendary producers and punk poets, to the new, young voices of UK hip-hop and grime, to West Coast spiritual jazz, Australian folk and London trip-hop.
There’s be something for every music fan in Victoria Park this Saturday, but here are a couple of choice picks from all ends of the bill, and all ends of the musical spectrum.
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Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – 13:45 @ Moth Club
Led by Alto saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, this group of spiritual Afro-jazzers released a Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders infused album last year – 'We Be All Africans' – after a break of almost 30 decades, to wide acclaim. Ackamoor developed his style after taking the band on an extended tour of Africa – living in Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia – so expect chanted choruses, infectiously rhythmic percussion and kalimba thumb piano alongside Ackamoor’s alto sax.
The only UK date on their current European tour, dancing along to this set will be the perfect way to start your Field Day.
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HÆLOS – 15:10 @ Eat Your Own Ears
Join East-London trio HÆLOS for a set of their own brand of chilled-out trip-hop electronica, or what they themselves have dubbed “dark euphoria". Vocalists Lotti Benardout and Arthur Delaney join forces to create something pretty special at the mic – especially when playing live – set in front of a moody, atmospheric soundscape of rich textures, with echoes of Portishead, Massive Attack and 90s euphoria.
It’ll be interesting to see music written – as the band have said – for that part of a night out when the sun is just starting to come up, played in broad daylight, on their home turf.
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Julia Jacklin - 15:15 @ Shacklewell Arms
Chill out in the sunshine (hopefully) to the mellow, wistful sounds of Australia’s indie-folk songstress Julia Jacklin, fresh off the back of a tour with fellow Field Day-ers, Whitney, and from dropping her debut LP last year.
The floaty dream-pop of stand-out track, 'Pool Party', will get you swaying along with your cider, and Jacklin’s emotive, nonchalant sultry vocal combined with her smooth guitar melodies will be the perfect accompaniment to catching some late afternoon rays. A welcome slice of calm before the inevitable storm later on…
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Loyle Carner – 16:25 @ Eat Your Own Ears
Already with a reputation for bearing his soul, Loyle Carner combines a respect for the craft of old-school hip-hop (both US and UK – think Jehst, Nas, Common, Mos Def) with his distinctly south London voice, to create one of the most compelling, interesting acts on the UK hip-hop scene today.
On the back of sell-out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and rave reviews for his debut LP, 'Yesterday’s Gone', Carner’s hazy, mellow flow and soulful lyrics, backed up by piano, jazzy guitars and US-style boom bap beats, are a treat not to be missed.
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Death Grips – 16:50 @ CRACK
Enter the post-apocalyptic world of Death Grips and prepare yourself for an avalanche of industrial hip-hop, punk-rap noise. Even if this niche is normally too much for you, just the sight of MC Ride live and writhing in the flesh is worth the walk to the CRACK stage alone…and we double-dare you not to dance to 2012’s accessible break-through track, 'I’ve Seen Footage'.
Infamous for their intense, high-octane, visceral live shows, this is a set not to be missed, and if their latest posting on You Tube – the frantic, 22-minute 'Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix)' – is anything to go by, they definitely won’t disappoint.
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Lady Leshurr – 20:30 @ Eat Your Own Ears
The first lady of freestyle, Lady L is sure to put on a good show. The Birmingham rapper is notorious for her deft, skippy flow and witty rhyming, as well as her distinctive West Midlands accent – see the grimey 'Queens Speech 4' – and freestyle videos on You Tube racking up millions of views.
Her live performance is as joyous as it is skilful, showing off her lyrical ability and speed – and often backed up by high-octane dancers and a live band. The chance to see a female MC at the top of her game is not one you should pass up.
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Aphex Twin – 20:55 @ The Barn
With the celestial Flying Lotus, infectious Run The Jewels and legendary Slowdive, the headline spot today is hotly contested. But reclusive producer Aphex Twin is such a rare bird these days that it’s a set not to miss. With a back catalogue embracing everything from drum n bass, techno, trap, IDM and hip-hop – and plenty in-between – his music alone is enough to draw the crowds, but today’s live performance is set to be something special, even for the enigmatic Richard D. James.
Taking place in the new, custom-built Barn tent – complete with high-powered sound system – the set will be live streamed through the NTS website, alongside visuals to match the tracks from collaborator, Weirdcore. Join the infamous ‘windowlicker’ for what is bound to be a stellar ending to your day.
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Words: Emma Finamore
Field Day takes place on June 3rd.