Much of what you now know of Croatian festivals now can be traced back to groundwork laid down by the two pioneering festivals, The Garden (c.2006) and Soundwave (c.2009). Matching its predecessor by reaching the decade milestone this year, Soundwave will take over Tisno for a final time this July. Before the curtain falls, resident DJs, returning artists and directors look back on some musical highlights, from Robert Glasper licks to Marcus Intalex tributes.
Read more details below while you stick the full Spotify playlist on. Soundwave runs 26th-30th July – buy tickets from their website.
Highlight from your own set? Anchorsong – ‘Last Feast’
In the middle of my set at Soundwave 2017, there was a power cut. I was playing at the main stage in early evening and we lost all the sound and light. Somehow my MC microphone was alive, so I kept talking until the power comes back and I restored all the setting on my gear. I was grateful for the audience to put up with me talking bullshit and waited until I began to play again. I was playing this track when the power cut occurred. Strangely enough, I experienced another power cut when I was playing this track at a festival in Italy in 2016. Maybe it’s something to do with this tune.
Highlight from another set? Natureboy Flako – ‘Mating Dance’
Seeing Flako’s set at Soundwave 2012. I wasn’t familiar with his music at that point, but we were staying at the same accommodation and became friends so I went to see him. It was eclectic and unconventional set, I was blown away. He was playing this track, and I was immediately hooked. The sun was setting, and it matched the mood perfectly. I was dying to find this online after the festival, so really pleased when this EP came out later that year.
Highlight from your own set? Jon Phonics – ‘The One’
I played this on our First Word Boat Party that we did with Wah Wah 45s a few years back. The boats at Soundwave are always special and I’m looking forward to being back on the Argonuaghty this year.
Highlight from another set? Splash – ‘Babylon’
Josie Rebelle playing this at about 5 in the morning, main stage last year during her B2B set with Alex Nut as the sun rose over the sea. Killer!
Highlight from your own set?
The first time I played played Soundwave was 2010 with Broke’n’English. I think we did our set and also then hosted for the next two DJs. It was a madness and in the midst of all the hype I jumped in the crowd off the stage. It only looked like a small jump but after falling for what seemed like 10 minutes I eventually landed and the shockwave went right up my spine and I thought I’d broken my back for a second. I didn’t have time to check because everyone jumped on top of me. Rum helped afterwards and although I’ve never been checked out I don’t think I broke my back.
Highlight from another set?
Last year we did a First Word boat party. While listening to Mr Thing DJ we went on the top deck with Sleazy F Baby, LayFullStop & IAMDDB and we saw dolphins swimming past the boat. Was one of my favourite moments in life.
There has been so many sick sets at Soundwave. As one half of Main Squeeze, I play with my brother BobaFatt a lot but also I wanna to shout out all the great DJs that play over the weekend.
Highlight from your own set? Solid State – ‘Just A Vision’ (Marcus Intalex & St Files Remix)
One of my favourite sets that I can remember is last year. Monday night, super late. I think it was the last set of the festival on the beach stage. We had recently lost Marcus Intalex (RIP) and, as one of my favourites, I was gutted. I remember saying to Bobby back in the UK as a passing comment, “I would love to play a straight Marcus set at some point”. It turned out that myself and Miguel E played back to back for an hour or so and then I ended up on my own for hours, zoning out playing nothing but Marcus Intalex records as the sun came up. It was meant to be! Then we had a lil impromptu 30 mins of bashment and then we moved on! Shout to Carlton aka The Extra Time Specialist. A great ending to such a vibey festival.
This record and sound reminds me of my youth in Bristol going to nights live Drive By (Shout to Gerard). The deep rollers were always the one for me. I used to catch a buzz when you could hear the bottom end rumbling and rolling as you were walking into a club. I’ve always been proud that dnb is ours as genre.
Highlight from another set? Slum Village – ‘Players’
One that stood out as a great moment was the Slum Village live set in 2015 where they reveal the drums for the J Dilla produced ‘Players’. I remember Eric Lau putting me onto the knowledge behind it and saying to me “when you hear it you will never unhear it and its not what you expect”. Stood with Noah, Yasmin, Aly Gilla, BobaFatt, Russ Ryan, Alex Nut, Disco Ali and all the crew looking at each other like whaaaaaaaaaaaat just happened! If you don’t know then you need to see them and see it! Watching such great “rappers” was such a “delight”. I’ll leave it there. It shows that Dilla was special in the way he didn’t care where he got his ideas from. He took stuff from where he wanted… old, new, rare, cheap, popular, weird. I love that. The fact we get to hear music like that live in the sun is why Soundwave is a special festival.
Steve Space – ‘Follow Me’
First time I heard Alexander Nut drop this was on a boat at Soundwave. An amazing track, but particularly difficult to drop seamlessly in to a mix because of it’s so broken. Alex always manages to mix seamlessly so no problem for him though. First time I heard this I had to run over and ask what it was, such a good sunshine boat party tune.
Children of Zeus – ‘Still Standing’
Children of Zeus and their lead track ‘Still Standing’ from their first EP The Story So Far. Whether it’s on a boat, on the main stage, or in the club, the unification this track causes is immense, crowd and artist singing their hearts out. I can’t wait for their new album, can’t wait to see them on a boat, on the main stage and in the club this summer, giving Soundwave a proper family send off.
Highlight from your own set? Aretha Franklin – ‘You’re All I Need To Get By’
Played for about three hours on the final night of the festival a few years back, as I have a few times. I love that, at Soundwave. I can play everything from jazzy dub and soul to drum and bass and the crowd will come with open ears and hearts. This was my final tune. ARETHA DA QUEEN. SOUNDWAVE DA KING.
Highlight from another set? Marvin Gaye – ‘What’s Going On?’ (Rhythm ‘N’ Strings Mix)
Dawn was breaking, very few of us left, maybe not even a dozen. Me and Fatima’s band, who I’ve got to know a bit over the years and catch a good vibe with, were doing laps round Barbarella’s to this as Jazzanova played it. He then mixed in the original with Teutonic precision. Eurphoria ensued.
Highlight from your own set? Riot Jazz Brass Band – ‘Pelinkovac’
We discovered a local Croatian spirit called pelinkovac when we first started playing at Soundwave and decided to write a tune about it. A couple of years ago we introduced the spirit to the crowd with a little tasting during the set prompting some pretty hilarious reactions. Needless to say it’s not the nicest drink.
Highlight from another set? Unrehurst & Robert Hurst feat. Robert Glasper & Damion Reid – ‘Mr Thomas’
Robert Glasper played in 2013 which was an incredible experience. During a particularly quiet moment in the set, Glasper played “the lick” (which is a well known musical phrase that we play a lot), and we disturbed the peace with our screams of admiration. It was great to chat with him after the set and discuss our obsession with the lick.