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Modeselektor did their best to bring their usual carnaged mash-up of electro and hip-hop for one of the few live sets in the Bugged Out arena.
Sadly for all of Deboutonner’s rattley rumbles and the creepy bounce of Alter Ego’s Fuckingham Palace, the PA was noticeably turned down – strange, since they followed Hannah Holland’s stormer.
Realising the errors of their ways, Mr/Ms Soundperson allowed Crookers full dispensation of the PA. The Italian pair, famed for their trashy, crunky remix work and degree-level know-how in how to shake a room, proceeded to do so from well within the tent right through to those stamping their feet outside with an hour of headbending fuzzy whooshes, choppy dollops of scratching and unashamedly grimy cuts.
Brodinski got almost as many points for his smiley-faced dancing as he did for his DJ set in the Bugged Out tent. Save for an embarrassing disc skipping momment (which saw said CD quickly despatched into the crowd), the stylish Frenchman’s set was the perfect antidote to the weather outside the tent, and an Ibiza-like vibe spread through those present.
Over the years Of Montreal‘s Kevin Barnes has amassed enough material to play for a day, so cutting some of the instrumental noodlings might have been in order. But to do so would have stripped his band of one of its most identifiable characteristics. Sure, they have lyrics, but they are musicians first and foremost, expert at creating moods with instruments alone.
Even through the gloomy inside of the Adventures tent in the grumbling rain whilst playing a song called Run To Your Grave, The Mae Shi‘s set proper managed to channel some of their native California sunhine. Moments of Weezer-esque pop harmonies, which were plentiful, were sufficiently punctuated with spasmodic drumming and screaming to whip some enthusiastic revellers into frenzy, happily adding a fug of sweaty clamminess to the wet air.
Back at the main stage, and Les Savy Fav live shows don’t so much jump out at you as grab you by the collar, quite literally at times; something they could never achieve on record. This is almost solely due to the antics of burly bearded ursine front-man Tim Harrington. The longer things go on, the more outrageous Harrington gets: whether it’s stealing numerous umbrellas from the revellers at the front (doing us all a favour), sporting a false phallus, or sparking a mass stage invasion. It’s easy to forget there are four other members in the band as Les Savy Fav’s brand of turbo powered indie-rock really comes into its own in a setting like this.
Aesthetically, The Field aren’t much to look at: a guy hunched over a laptop, a lanky drummer forever staring to his left, and another bloke over a mixer; all three plonked on the far right of the main stage in lighting so low you wonder if someone forgot to switch them on. Then again, you aren’t really meant to watch The Field as Alel Willner’s mellowed, dreamy melodies entranced those gathered. Everyday’s loops of sparkling beeps and rushes encouraged more frantic brolly-toting eurphoria, whilst Over The Ice melted out to the tune of light rain, cool air and a smile to the heavens above, the whole moment mirroring The Field quite perfectly.
Feeling a tingle and our minimal thermometer rising, Foals, Fionn Regan and Simian Mobile Disco (of which more later) were never realistic contenders at this hour, so we hotfooted it over shortly into Richie Hawtin‘s two-hour headline set.
Expectations of minimalist overture were confounded by an all-encompassing mash-up which ticked every box required for a Saturday night. Hawtin, backed by director Ali Demirel’s transfixing meta-control visuals, was a genuine event, sweeping the landscape of the blond-coiffed technohead’s bible at every sleight of wrist and drop of shoulder: exhilirating, intense, trippy and suitably mindblowing.
Later, at the aftershow at The End, James Ford joined us for a wee boogie after Simian Mobile Disco’s raucous turn on the decks, during a second set of equally floor destroying mayhem from Crookers. Brodinski and the others would be back for more into the early hours, but pumpkinisation was by now setting in, and it was time to call an end to Field Day.
Field Day 2008 @ Victoria Park, London: Part 1
Field Day 2008 @ Victoria Park, London: Part 2
Preview: Field Day 2008