Rustic Abbots Ripton in Cambridge will be the setting for Gilles Peterson’s inaugural We Out Here Festival between August 15-18th. A celebration of UK club culture and its wider community, We Out Here showcases the prominent talents in both live and electronic music, culminating in an eclectic, cutting-edge odyssey of riotous live performance.
In between you can catch the Doc n’ Roll Film festival, screening a curated collection of award-winning music Documentaries, find your chakra in the Lemon Lounge for some morning Yoga or channel your inner artisan craftsman in an evening weave session. If that’s not enough culture for you, why not delve deep into some of the finest record collections in the world by mooching around the Near Mint Record Fair? But first and foremost, we are here for the visionary sonic manipulators and this is our guide of the best acts to catch at We Out Here festival.
1. Theo Parrish
A staple of dance music, Theo Parish has been creating progressive house for almost three decades, shapeshifting and ascending his way through trends and musical fads of the genre and utilising his razor-sharp ability to keep his listeners enthralled and challenged. Parrish’s unforgettable, dynamic sets forged his longevity and he is one of the few who has garnered the acclaim of his peers and an adoring, committed audience thirsty for more of his famous live offerings.
2. Awesome Tapes from Africa
Brian Shimkovitz, ATFA label founder and assiduous West African music collector brings his collages of Afrobeat, High Life, obscure Pop, Funk and Disco cuts to We Out Here. Shimkovitz mused his sound during an ethnomusicology scholarship spent in Ghana. Initially starting out as a blog and later transforming into a label, exposing African artistry to a new and youthful demographic. Now through his joyful, vitally exuberant DJ sets, Shimkovitz has moulded a set for aficionados yearning for some visceral, undiscovered, deepest of deep musical cuts and something fresh and energetic for casual listeners too.
3. Zara McFarlane
One of Britain’s foremost jazz singer-songwriters Zara McFarlane brings her unrivalled ability to seamlessly merge genres while honouring jazz in a freer more modern context. Be it in the vigorous Afro-Caribbean rhythms of Dub Reggae, Afro- Cuban or classic straight-ahead jazz, Mcfarlane will showcase the thriving, cultural hotpot of London’s jazz scene. Her band will likely consist of the finest the UK pool of Jazz musicians has to offer but her sophisticated, versatile vocal gravitas will steal the show.
4. The Comet Is Coming
The relentlessly innovative and celebrated saxophonist Shabaka Hitchings makes two appearances at We Out Here, the other with his political modern jazz outfit Sons of Kemet but for the sheer force of a musically apocalyptic event, The Comet is Coming is a no-brainer. Assuming the monikers of Danalogue The Conqueror A.K.A Dan Leavers(keys), Beatamax Killer A.K.A Max Hallett (drums) and Kings Shabaka A.K.A Shabaka Hutchings(sax) they perform electro Afro-futurist jazz, melded together with elements of psychedelic rock and Avant-Garde. Like their often-declared tagline suggests, “The Comet is Coming to shatter all illusions,” and after their robust live performances I am sure you will feel that it’s an appropriate statement.
As part of We Out Here Future Bubblers programme – a programme to break emergent talent, comes the burgeoning Ambient electronic duo, Congi. Fresh from the considerable acclaim of their most recent One of Us EP, Congi have carved themselves into the landscape of the UK and Europe’s underground scene and continue to gain notoriety for their substantial, innovative production skills and ever-growing discography.
Buy tickets to We Out Festival 2019 here.
Words: Matthew O’ Hare