Exetera is on a hype as big as Tempa T trying to convince someone to get out his car. Why? Because we’re ready to catch the ferry over to the sunny Isle of Wight and party with the Bestival crew. The baked beans, baby wipes and bog roll are all packed as we prepare to indulge ourselves in a weekend of hedonistic decadence.
However, because we’re obviously such cool, trendy folk (and not at all pretentious, insecure arty-farty types) you won’t find us having fun with the hoards and signing our hearts out to the headline sets at the main stage. Oh no, we’re far too hip for that. Instead, we’ll be indifferently bobbing our heads to the more alternative, refined artists only the cool, trendy folk (read: pretentious, insecure arty-farty types) know about. So here’s three more nuanced, minimalist artists we’ll be watching – and we hope you will be too (only if you’re cool enough, of course).
London’s rising soul star Kwabs is a late addition to the Bestival line-up and we can’t wait to immerse ourselves in his thundering gospel sound. Deep, layered vocals swim through a sea of sexy R&B rhythms and sparse drum claps with powerful dramatic energy and mesmeric range. After SOHN (see below) produced many of his early brooding releases, Kwabs has since teamed up with Plan B and Johnny Lattimer to cultivate a more pop-heavy sound. With this in mind, Kwabs’s set promises to deliver an eclectic arrangement of awe-inspiring soul and innovative pop to be relished.
SOHN’s critically acclaimed debut EP, Tremors, fuses R&B melodies, stuttering synths, pulsating bass lines, bleeping drums and mournful vocals to create an intense, intricate sound that demands intimacy. So it will be intriguing to see how the Vienna-based producer translates his brand of emotionally charged electronic soul to the large Bestival arena. We hope that SOHN doesn’t keep his set cloaked in dark, existential drama for too long and drops the more uplifting, pop-heavy tracks Lessons, Artifice and big-hitting Bloodflows.
1-800-DINOSAUR: producers, record label and club night extraordinaire. The collective are responsible for some outstanding recent releases and the Port – an unfathomable, imposing shipwreck stocked with the crème de la crème of dance producers and Funktion One speakers – will form the perfect setting for James Blake, Airhead, Mr Assister and mastermind Dan Float to pump out their tantilising blend of ambient experimental sounds. And with Route94, house duo Bicep and Hot Natured Resident Richy Ahmed following James Blake & co, the Port looks like the place to be on Saturday night.
Elsewhere, we look forward to meandering around the Bestival site and stumbling across the many hidden delights, including the absurdist utopia Club DaDa and Oberon’s Observatory – a stargazing platform from which to view the stars on show in the skies as well as those twinkling on the stages.
Bestival takes place from 4-7th September in Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight. You can see the full line up, and buy tickets, here.