Nestled as firmly in the Anglesey countryside as it is in the UK festival consciousness, Gottwood Festival celebrates it’s 10th year this June. While returning headliners like Andrew Weatherall, Antal, Craig Richards, Hunee, Margaret Dygas and Palms Trax have become ingrained in the story, there’s a lot to be discovered further down the lineup. Here’s our picks for 2019.
Following the Stamp The Wax takeovers on Thursday, the Manchester takeovers in Ruffy’s Lab have been the highlights of our festival calendar for three straight years now. A DJ masterclass without the headliner hype, where the stage’s shabby intimacy helps the rotating ensemble of selectors create a energy with the dance floor like few others around. Overseeing one evening’s proceedings is Il Bosco. The Diggers Directory guest is a Manchester stalwart, whose Red Laser imprint has provided a platform to unsung local producers, while his involvement in Friends & Family, Eyes Down and Hi-Tackle record shop has left an indelible mark on music lovers and dancers in his city. Not content with all that, he’s also defibrillating hardcore through his superbly named side-project DJ Absolutely Shit. Enter Ruffy’s Lab at your peril; you’ll leave feeling like you’ve got a long way to go before reaching the level of Il Bosco and friends.
With just two releases in nine years to their name, there’s a myth around Insanlar that corroborates the shamanistic nature of their scant recordings. The Turkish supergroup, whose name translates to “humankind”, formed in 2010 as an inhouse jam band for the Anatolian rock revival series, Minipop. Original members Baris K and Cem Yıldız were joined by renowned Istanbul drummer Alican Tezer to form the core band and, in 2013, released their debut EP Kime Ne. The 24 minute techno-folk hybrid, was rooted in Anatolian Alewi religious poetry and Mesopotamian instrumentation but arranged with chugging ferocity. A re-release two years later on Honest Jon’s with two Ricardo Villalobos remixes catapulted their idiosyncratic sound into the club consciousness across the world. In 2019, they follow up with Demedim Mi, 45 minute album on Rush Hour consisting of just one track split over two parts. A singular sound with divine and the hedonistic qualities in equal measure.
The breadth of Sydney selector Lauren Hansom’s record bag appears infinite. Her mixes for Resident Advisor’s Live series, Stamp The Wax’s Diggers Directory and Crown Ruler, see her join the dots between new age, boogie, industrial and new wave, and have gained support from MCDE, John Talabot and Jayda G. Her most recent recording is a physical one, a tape for Berlin-based party and tape series Altered Soul Experiments, who’s previous instalments include mixes from Antal, Marcellus Pittman and Ge-ology. Fans of Jamie Tiller, Raphael Top-Secret, Jan Schulte, John Gomez, Jonny Rock and Sacha Mambo, keep close tabs on Lauren’s movements.
A fierce DJ and producer, Tel-Aviv-born Mor Elian has become one of the most exciting new names in techno. From Los Angeles, she threw her Into The Woods warehouse parties, and now, from her current home in Berlin, she runs Fever AM with fellow producer Rhyw. This has been an outlet for both of their own productions, most recently the gritty techno breaks of Mor’s Move Like Atoms EP. Her Breaking Through feature for Resident Advisor last year uncovered a deep-rooted love for music from an early age, and a journey through different cities that helped shape her as a DJ.
See Thru Hands
As far as first co-signs go for an unsigned band, See Thru Hands haven’t done too badly with Ruf Dug, Boots Collins and Everything Everything. “This band is gonna blow your socks off”, exclaimed the former on his NTS show, never shying away from giving fellow Manchester talent a foot up. Praise from the self-proclaimed P-Master of the Universe was a touch more surprising but no less vociferous. “Radiophonic border line funk that makes a mutha smile”, he concurred, in an unexpected reply to the band’s direct Tweet. And then finally, in November 2018, Mercury-nominated Everything Everything picked STH for their stage at Manchester festival Off The Record. This range of reputable supporters goes a long way to show just how versatile the band’s sound is, bridging the rock and funk worlds, while also seducing club DJs with guitary-inclinations.
Separately, bass player Danny has releases as Tommy Walker 3 on Red Laser Records, guitarist Tommy has another band called Porij, Becki teaches at BIMM Manchester and formerly toured the world with the Pipettes, synth wizard Gaz restores and remasters audio for Andy Votel’s Finder’s Keepers records, and Duncan has co-written some tracks with Maceo Plex as DNCN. Together, they are a massively exciting prospect with the same kind of cross-cultural potential as Golden Teacher or Talking Heads before them.