The line up at this year’s Field Maneuvers, a small three day party known for its family feel, will leave most ravers spoilt for choice. Fortunately for them, deciding who to see at a festival is by no means an exact science. In fact, when you’re at the whim of friends, each with competing interests and tastes, best-laid plans are often better abandoned in favour of keeping the group together.
Festivals, especially one like Field Maneuvers, are all about happy accidents – and if you’re lucky, the sets you stumble into might far exceed those you planned to see. So if you’re heading to FM 2018 later this month, you could do worse than catching the five artists listed below. But even if you missed all of them, you’d still have your choice of another 60+ underground heroes to catch instead.
1. Andy Blake
With World Underground, Joe Hart and Andy Blake reminded London clubbers that parties are about far more than gawping at who’s behind the decks. They let the music do the talking: by being bold enough to conceal the DJ behind a curtain, WU ensured that the dancefloor was for dancers to dance on, pure and simple.
As a solo DJ, Andy Blake brings this same dedication to the dancer on the dancefloor. And with a record bag deeper than the Rotherhithe tunnel, you can expect to hear plenty of tracks you’ve never heard before. For the uninitiated, this 2008 mix from Andy’s Dissident Records days has stood the test of time, and makes for as good an introduction as any. Alternatively, tuck into his live mix at Resident Advisor’s London headquarters above.
From working the door at Dance Tunnel to playing the club’s closing party, iona has ample experience on both sides of the DJ booth. A stalwart of the London circuit, she keeps dancers moving every weekend, and has performed at just about every decent venue in the city.
For a taste of iona’s style, check out her Hyponik mix from earlier month. Or even better, her meme-tastic Instagram feed.
3. Ivan Smagghe
Whether you pronounce his last name “Smaggy” or “Smaag”, the ever versatile Ivan Smagghe has been plugging away for over 20 years now, turning his hand to an astonishingly diverse range of projects. He’s a fervent collaborator: regularly teaming up with brother in weirdness Andrew Weatherall, fellow Frenchman Tim Paris, as It’s a Fine Line, and composer Rupert Cross, as Smagghe and Cross.
Smagghe flaunts his offbeat selections on the monthly Channelling show on NTS Radio, alongside yet another partner in crime, brum techno wizard Nathan Gregory Wilkins. It takes a special kind of Frenchman to settle in London – and after a good number of years in the city, Smagghe knows it better than some locals. To hear him weigh in on the changing face of London’s nightlife (and hear “Walthamstow” and “Lewisham” said in a French accent) check out this fascinating RA Exchange interview.
As the saying goes, three DJ are better than two. Housework residents Golesworthy, Shanti Celeste and Gramrcy, hardly need an introduction. The trio, along with Daisy Moon, all established DJs in their own right, have been responsible for bringing both emerging talent and global heavyweights to Bristol for several years now, more recently taking their party of the same name to Berlin.
By all accounts, Shanti Celeste and Golesworthy’s set was a highlight of Field Maneuvers 2017, so attendees of this year’s festival are no doubt in for a treat. To save you sifting through the Internet, try Shanti’s mix for Dekmantel, Gramrcy’s mix for Uncanny Valley and this immersive, ambient mix from Golesworthy for good measure.
With a style that’s equal parts soft, loose and crunchy, Powder is as an apt name for the Japanese DJ and producer otherwise known as Moko Shibata. Powder’s music career kicked off while working at an electronics company in Tokyo, where she sought refuge in her makeshift home studio after long days in the office. Judging by her packed booking schedule, it looks like Powder’s since ditched the day job, now free to provide ever more dancers with her blend of sparse ambient, plush house and acid wobbles.
For an introduction to Powder, check out her latest Beats in Space mix, her two releases on DJ Samo’s Born Free Records and her EP for Cocktail D’Amore.
Field Maneuvers takes place Aug 31 – Sep 3.
More info and tickets here.
Words: Isaac Rangaswami
Featured Image: Cedric Diradourian