We explore this year’s Field Day, two weeks ahead of the event in Victoria Park.
Cai Trefor
12:27 24th May 2017

This year you can expect a lot of change to come from Field Day. The legendary London festival has undergone a revamp for its 11th year, moving away from experimenting with a three-day festival, and instead focusing on offering a tight one-day programme of music in a comfortable East London environment.

This year, some of the changes include the absence of the vast main stage. Replacing the open field will be a large hanger-like complex called ‘The Barn’. Though the reasons why this change has been made haven’t really been revealed, many think it could be to do with controlling sound levels at the festival. Whatever their reasons, the idea behind the hangar is to provide an environment electronic music at the festival, that really opens up the club experience into a universal super-club like space.

The festival remains at Victoria Park, and as with every year, celebrates an amalgamation of eclectic music from around the world. Celebrated at the festival this year, you’ll find music from the Middle East, music from across all cavities of electronic dance music from ambient and minimal right through to dancehall, and jazz and hip-hop in droves.

In the purpose-built barn, there will be music from Aphex Twin, Nina Kraviz, Nicolas Jaar, Jon Hopkins (DJ), Moderat, Marcel Dettmann, Dekmantel Soundsystem. We’ve been told to expect, “a state of the art high-powered sound system and one of the most technologically advanced lighting rigs around.”

Some might see these changes as big risks, with Field Day moving more and more to becoming an electronic orientated festival – others will see the festival as celebrating the diversity of different sounds available to Londoners at the minute.

As for bands, there’s plenty to get excited about. The highly-acclaimed Whitney are back in the UK, and may even possibly be debuting music from their second record, while Soundway Records have got the wildly diverse and experimental sounds of Flamingods on the bill.

The rest of the festival will remain as last year, with bands sharing a smattering of different stages across the site. We hope for the best from the festival, which has become an institution to London music. With the festival just two weeks away, things are starting to ramp up. We decided to put together a playlist to celebrate some of the most spectacular, different, and exciting music you’ll find on this year’s Field Day programme.

Line-up includes: Aphex Twin, Run The Jewels, Arab Strap, Death Grips, Flamingods, Nicolas Jaar, Nina Kraviz, Slowdive, Mura Masa, Abra, Clams Casino, Lasy Leshurr, Thee Oh Sees

Tickets are available here

Bands to get excited about:

Last year, Whitney released ‘Light upon the Lake’ on Secretly Canadian and reaped huge praise. Here was a record that celebrated a simple love for life on the move, released right at the heart of summer. But the record’s origins might not be what many might expect. Born out of early morning recording sessions in one of the deepest winters in Chicago history, the record is the tale of two musicians becoming friends over a guitar and lyric sheet.

With their show at Field Day, we can expect to hear new material, with the band out on tour a year after the record’s success. Their follow up is warmly awaited, and new music would be a wonderful surprise.

We saw Imarhan a couple of years ago, at Trans Musicales in Rennes, a festival known for picking bands that will find big careers in the next few years. They stuck out to us, because of their warm, ethereal energy. They were more passionate than any other band we watched all weekend, and had the crowd in a stir of dancing.

The music they make could be likened to Sub-Saharan sounds, but it feels rooted in a more urban culture than one chastised to the desert. It means the music they make is more soulful perhaps, less reflective than bands who exported from that part of the world, but all the more exciting to witness.

Fatima Yamaha
There’s been a lot of talk about the story behind Fatima Yamaha. Released first as an online experiment, ‘What’s A Girl To Do’ found second light in more recent years. The DJ behind the track, an Amsterdam-based producer called Bas Bron, is a furious user of pseudonyms – but at Field Day, he celebrates the Fatima name. Loved for its relaxed minimalism – seeing what a whole set of Fatima’s music holds, is something that intrigues us greatly.

With each record, Sinkane make a move forward in their experimental journey. There’s the first album, notably orientated towards space and travel, the second which was about looking for stability, and the third and most recent which finally feels like a record that celebrates a comfortable home space.

The music, though, has always been joyful. There’s an immediacy to the most recent record that gives it a real live energy – and with over 160 under their belts last year across 20 countries, it shows that the highlife, afro-rock, futurist sound projected by the band is worth talking about.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Kaitlyn’s music is built for experimentation. For her, it’s a loose synthesising of the synaesthesia she suffers listening to music – where sounds are rendered as colours. Render them however you want, this is music that will let you explore spaces.

Soundway Records have been key tastemakers when it comes to world music over the last five years. And with Flamingods, they celebrate a band that is more expressive and more diverse than anything they’ve signed before. Here, we have music inspired by sounds from Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan and Tanzania, playing on traditional instruments from the countries.

The band are writing and recording follow-up material at the minute – with the possibility some might make an appearance at the Field Day show. Speculation online, has talked about hte band launching themselves back into endless jams, making music in same exotic psychedelic way that made them so inspiring to listen to in the first place.

And an artist that needs no introduction..