With one of its most exciting lineups yet, Gottwood Festival returns this summer to the gorgeous green woodlands of the Carreglwyd Estate, in picturesque coastal north-west Wales, for another weekend of all inclusive, glitter filled, summer electronic vibes.
From this stellar selection, here are just 5 acts you’d be a fool to miss out on in 2018.
1. Avalon Emerson
From the vast deserts of Arizona, futurist techno producer Avalon Emerson, since her relocation to Berlin in 2015, has taken the electronic music world by storm. With releases on ‘Spring Theory’, ‘Spectral Sound’ and Dresdon based ‘Shtum’ label, Emerson has quickly become a household name on the international techno circuit. It has been through Nic Tasker’s ‘Whities’ Label however that Emerson has truly established herself as a sonic pioneer in the dance music world. Raw and intense, Emerson’s releases on ‘Whities’ Label chime chords of unmistakable fond nostalgia whilst ploughing forward at breakneck speed into a futuristic, unpredictable and boundless sonic playground. What with “Whities 013” marked by many as one of the best singles of 2017 she will undoubtedly be one the most anticipated acts to take to the stage this Gottwood.
2. DMX Krew
Famously un-famous, DMX Krew is one of the countless aliases used by Edward Upton, a hugely exploratory and elusive producer whose music defies categorisation or genre classification. With over 50 releases over a 25 year career, Upton is surely one of the most productive electronic artists still making music today. Most notably, Upton was a key contributing artist during the heyday of Aphex Twin’s ‘Rephlex’ label in the late 90s. For this rare UK festival appearance it is impossible to speculate what to expect from this prolific and secretive artist. However, whether it be quirky ’90s pop or distorted synth soundscapes, you can be sure that this performance will not be quite like anything you see all weekend.
3. Special Request
You might have noticed Gottwood bagged themselves two artists for the price of one this year with one of Yorkshire’s finest, Paul Woolford, billed both as himself and his grittier alias Special Request. Inspired by the sounds he heard on pirate radio as a child, this alias of Woolford’s ventures through breakbeat techno and drum’n’bass but is also inspired by jungle and hardcore rave style beats. Woolford’s latest album, ‘Belief System’, released last year, showcased some of his greatest work yet as a producer and demonstrated an astonishing mastery of synth based, bass heavy mixdowns. Expect to be transported from soulful liquidy two-step to aggressive bass driven broken beat anthems in a matter of moments. If you’re looking for something tough, messy and hardcore with oodles of spinback you’re in safe hands with Special Request.
4. Rival Consoles
Ryan West’s most successful moniker, Rival Consoles, will be joining the Gottwood roster, off the back of the success of his 2018 album ‘Persona’, for a live show this summer. West was the first artist to be signed to Robert Rath’s avant-garde record label, ‘Erased Tapes’, in 2007. Since then West has grown from strength to strength, drawing inspiration from the likes of Jon Hopkins, Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick and Olafur Arnolds. West’s latest album offered up not only a sophisticated montage of the thoughtful electronica of his contemporaries but a distinctly original, forward thinking and organic concept album. West famously brings a bespoke audio-visual production to his performances and has been invited to perform at venues such as the Tate, the V&A Museum and Berghain’s Pop-Kultur Festival. Consistently epic, euphoric and introspective, Rival Consoles will be bringing the wow factor to Gottwood this year.
Manchester born, London based house DJ, Willow, is Gottwood’s own little pride and joy. The story goes that Move D poked his head into a tent at Gottwood 2015 where Willow was blasting out “Feel Me”, a little deep house banger, and was blown away. Move D, who will also be joining this summer’s lineup, proceeded to become her personal champion, playing out said tune on his boiler room and his Fabric mix later that year, and crucially persuading Lowtec to sign her to his label ‘Workshop’. Following these events Willow’s career skyrocketed and she received international recognition following her explosive release ‘Workshop 23’ in 2016. To call Willow a ‘house DJ’ is disingenuous as her sets are always infused with hip hop and trip hop and various other far reaching influences. 3 years down the line, Willow returns to Gottwood, a place which will always have a special place in her heart, as one of the most exciting, up and coming talents in her scene.
Obviously this is far from an exhaustive list; ‘Hessle Audio’ co-founder Ben UFO graces every stage that he walks upon, San Proper and Palms Trax will be sure to be keeping the sun shining with infectious funk, soul and summer grooves as always, and Madchester legend Andrew Weatherall, back from the era of Chemical Brothers, Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, and New Order, is sure to deliver something as exceptional and nostalgic as only a man of his experience possibly could.
All in all it’s shaping up to be another stunning weekend hosted by the Gottwood family. Bring on the good times.
Gottwood Festival 2018 takes place at Carreglwyd, Llanfaethlu between June 7 – 10.
Final tickets available here.
Words: Oscar Lister