A guide to Glasgow's new Riverside Festival of electronic music 2013
Guests include Jamie XX, Boys Noize, Len Faki, J Rocc, Josh Wink and Michael Mayer
“At an all-day event like this, people will be much more open to different styles of music and because the bill’s not specifically targeting one type of crowd it has the potential to draw people in from different scenes; I think it's always better when a crowd is more mixed up".
Keith McIvor AKA Optimo’s JD Twitch is discussing the varied line-up of acts involved in the upcoming Riverside Festival, which will be the first ever music event to utilise the impressive back-drop of both The Riverside Museum and The Tall Ship, as a venue.
"That part of the Clyde is beautiful, it's a kind of isolated spot, away from everything”, he adds. “The Riverside Museum is such wonderful building and The Tall Ship is an iconic Glasgow landmark; it's fantastic that Glasgow Life we're even up for having something like this event there, so it seemed liked an exciting thing for us to be involved with”.
Optimo aren’t the only local DJs set to perform; Slam, Auntie Flo as well as Subculture’s Ross Telford, RUBADUB’s Martin McKay, Pro Vinylist Karim, Kev Stevens and Craig Moog will all be supporting an impressive array of international guests.
Here’s The List’s guide to The Riverside Festival’s headline acts:
Alexander Ridha, better known as Boysnoize, began producing and DJing at an early age, initially under the Kid Alex moniker.
His earliest recordings were released on the International Deejay Gigolos, Kitsune and Turbo Recordings labels, however, in an effort to maintain his own artistic freedom, Ridha established Boysnoize Recordings in 2005.
The imprint has since gone onto become the home for his four albums, ‘Oi OI Oi’, ‘Oi Oi Oi Remixed’, ‘Power’ and last year’s ‘Out Of The Black’, which featured rapper, Snoop Dogg as well as numerous singles, both his own and those of Shadow Dancer, Jan Driver and Housemeister, amongst others.
His music merges a variety of styles, drawing its influences from hip-hop, disco, techno and electro, while his DJ sets have gained worldwide recognition, praised for their energy and imaginative use of visuals.
Aside from remixing the likes of David Lynch, N.E.R.D., Depeche Mode and The Chemical Brothers, he’s also added his productions skills to work by artists such as Kelis, UK rapper Kano, The Black Eyed Peas.
He also produced and co-wrote Chilly Gonzales’ ‘Ivory Tower’ album and has collaborated with Erol Alkan, Spank Rock and Scissor Sisters, while last year, he and Skrillex joined forces to form the Dog Blood project, the pair performing together at the 2013 Miami Ultra Music Festival.
Michael Mayer’s early involvement in the Cologne record store, Delerium helped to kick-start his now twenty year-spanning career in music, which has seen him progress from being a partner in that business to become,not only an owner of the Kompakt label, but also a producer and international DJ.
Famed for his marathon sets that can take in ambient, house, techno, and even pop and R & B, Mayer’s early successful forays behind the decks later led him to establish what has become Cologne’s longest running club night, Total Confusion with friend, Tobias Thomas. Its success earned him residencies at the likes of Robert Johnson, Fabric and Berghain as well as numerous international dates, while he’s also been responsible for the Speicher and Immer DJ mix series.
Though not a prolific artist, his second album in nine years, 2012’s ‘Mantasy’ was well received and it, alongside his earlier, Superpitcher-collaborative project, SuperMayer as well as the numerous remixes he’s worked on, have all helped to highlight his accomplished production skills.
He first used the Jamie XX moniker on an ‘XX’ FACT Magazine promotional mix in 2009, which included three of his own remixes of the band.
Remixes for Florence + The Machine, Adele, Jack Peñate, Glasser and Radiohead followed; then in 2010 he reworked Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘NY Is Killing Me’ and ‘I’ll Take Care Of U’, from the album, ‘I’m New Here’, the last the legendary artist released before his passing in 2011. Both tracks became part of a full-length collection of remixes, ‘We’re New Here’, produced entirely by Smith but featuring Scott-Heron’s material, which went on to receive generous critical acclaim.
In 2011, he released his own two-track single, ‘Far Near’/’Beat For’ for Glasgow’s own Numbers’ label and also produced the title track of rapper Drake’s second album, ‘Take Care’, as well as providing co-production input on the Alicia Key’s song, ‘When It's All Over’.
Smith returned with the XX on their second album, ‘Co-exist’ in 2012, while this year, he helped curate the band’s ‘Day + Night’ festivals which took place in Berlin, Lisbon and London and saw the group perform live, alongside acts such as Jessie Ware, Mount Kimbie and Kindness, with Jamie DJing at each event.
Underground Resistance Presents: Timeline
The most recent live performing project of seminal Detroit label, Underground Resistance, Timeline combines techno with jazz, to create dance music with an improvisational twist. The quartet features musical director, Jon Dixon on keyboards, the saxophone of DeSean Jones, DJ Konspiracy on turntables and leading figure in both the Underground Resistance label and collective, ‘Mad’ Mike Banks.
Able to call on an impressive back catalogue that includes classics such as ‘Hi Tech Jazz’, ‘Nation 2 Nation’, ‘Body and Soul’ and ‘Jupiter Jazz’, Timeline also illustrates the deep affection UR has for their home town’s musical roots, merging elements of Motorcity soul and funk with their own distinctive, electronic blueprint.
His arrival in the German capital marked a decisive turning point in his career; successful appearances at OstGut, led him to win a residency at its replacement, the now legendary Berghain, and due to the characteristically long length of his sets, Faki was forced to consider variations in tone and style throughout.
Drawing inspiration from his performances as a DJ, he established the Figure imprint as a platform for his own work, including the club hits ‘My Black Sheep’ and ‘Odyssee II’ as well as remixes by like-minded artists. Then, following the launch of his own Podium club night, he started a sub-label of the same name, releasing productions by Raudive, Shinedoe, Tony Rhor and 2000 and One, amongst others.
Faki has since gone on to expand the boundaries of Figure, it’s now more stylistically varied and increasingly has released more material by other artists, including the likes of Radio Slave, Luke Slater, Chymera and Tony Lionni.
Though not quite an ‘overnight sensation’, this expression feels the most fitting way to describe DJ and producer Nina Kraviz’s rapid rise to stardom.
Growing up in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, Nina later moved to Moscow and gradually became more involved in the city’s club scene before first trying her hand at production, in 2008.
Her first single, ‘Voices’ was released on the Underground Quality label the following year and around the same time, she began making a name for herself as a DJ, playing in Moscow’s bars and clubs which eventually led to a two year, Friday night residency at Propoganda, one of Russia’s most respected clubs.
A further release on UQ, ‘The First Time’ EP followed with support from both DJs and press alike, before she had her breakthrough hit, ‘Pain in the Ass’ on the Rekids imprint, later collaborating with Efdemin and Sascha Funke and also remixing the likes of Okain and Anthony Collins.
On the back of her growing production output and the subsequent raising of her profile, Kraviz has gone on to notch up numerous DJ appearances, mixing her own unique, raw blend of house and techno at many of the world’s major clubs and last year, released her first, self-titled album for Rekids.
In 1990, Josh Wink met a kindred spirit in fellow Philadelphia DJ King Britt whose interests included rap and acid jazz. Pooling their interests and blending their differences, the pair worked together to produce E-Culture’s ‘Tribal Confusion’; released on New York label Strictly Rhythm and it marked both DJs as artists to watch.
After forming their Ovum Recordings label in 1994, Josh recorded the cult classic, ‘Liquid Summer’ before going onto release singles on the likes of R & S Records and XL Recordings. The following year, Wink became one of the first DJ/producer’s on the underground club scene to translate his hard work into mainstream success when he unleashed a string of classics including 'Don't Laugh'¸ 'I'm Ready' and 'Higher State of Consciousness' which topped charts worldwide.
Since then, he’s spent nearly two decades carving out a long-term music career, building on his early promise as a talented DJ involved in the early nineties American rave scene to become a globe-trotting DJ and talented producer.
Responsible for releasing nearly fifty singles, as well as five albums, he’s also worked on over two hundred remixes, for both mainstream and more underground artists alike, including Moby, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Steve Bug and Radio Slave.
Becoming a seminal force in the rise of instrumental hip-hop, the Beat Junkies have won numerous prestigious DJ battles and competitions; others in the crew include core member DJ Babu, Shortkut and D-Styles and both individually and as collective, those involved have featured alongside acts such as Jurassic 5, Cypress Hill and Dilated Peoples.
In addition to his numerous mixtapes and productions for Stones Throw, Now Again and the Sound Junkies labels, J. Rocc has been the DJ for Madlib’s live shows, was a member of Jaylib (Madlib & J Dilla) during the group’s live events and collaborated with Madlib on Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6: A Tribute to J Dilla.