Flangestock 2012

Once more, I find myself singing the praises of Flangestock, a small festival of friends held each year, somewhere in Suffolk.

To say we were blessed with the weather would be an understatement. Despite being a few weeks into September, the sun shone like it was mid-summer.  As the sun set on Saturday, the tent began to fill, as Ryu from Rockit Science performed a great warm up, teasing the crowd along to the point where The Plumps’ ‘Creepshow’ seemed a good starting point to me.

About the only part of my set I had planned was to lead with ‘Chariots Of Fire’ by Vangelis, seeing as how it was the year of London2012, but decided it might kill the crowd.  From then on, it was just a case of smacking them out and it went down really well.  So nice when people keep saying thank you for the set for hours after.

Following up on that night was Jung, who smashed it and the mighty collins303, who did another stellar trademark set full of 80′s love and vocals.  The crowd finished singing again.

Big love to all involved… the djs, the crowd and of course all those who helped organise, especially the one and only Emskina Flange.  What a host!

Here’s the recording of my set for your ears.  Until next year…?  Unless anyone else wants to book me. ;)

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Tracklist

Plump DJs – Creepshow [2004]
Kosheen – Catch (Decoder Vocal Remix) [2001]
Unknown – Orbootal [2003]
Stanton Warriors – Hope Time [2006]
Dopamine – Zoit [2005]
Ils – Music [2002]
Move Ya & Steve Lavers – Dopefreak [2004]
PMT – Gyromancer (Stanton Warriors Remix) [2005]
Karton – Spacetrip 82 (Beta Remix) [2009]
Freeland – We Want Your Soul [2003]
Koma & Bones – Questo E Sporco [2003]
Freestylers – Now Is The Time [2001]
The Breakfastaz – Kick It [2004]

And please ‘like’ shaman if you like. :)

My Favourite Things

So, after being asked to play at super-duper festival Flangestock on the strength of being called Flange before the London Flange and on condition that my DJ name would be PreFlange, I set about learning to DJ over the summer…

This is the result:

http://broken.me.uk/media/music/preflange-FS2011.mp3

The set is called “My Favourite Things” because it is basically made up of my favourite things – vocals and bass – and because I like singing!

Here is the track list:

  1. Where do I begin – Shirley Bassey and Away Team
  2. Dub be good to me – Beats International
  3. All Together Now – The Farm
  4. Single Ladies – Beyonce
  5. Hungry – Kosheen
  6. You Got the Love – Candi Staton
  7. Heaven – Emili Sande
  8. 99 Red Balloons – Nena

ENJOY!

Smashed It!

So, here we have it. The first mix I’ve released since 2007 and it’s a live one!

I was lucky enough to be asked to play at Flangestock this year, a small festival/ party with a group of friends on a campsite in Suffolk, that’s now into its 5th year. In many ways, this year was the best so far. It’s so great to spend the weekend with friends, new and old, and there’s a really special vibe there.

This year, my only plan for the set was to rip yet more vinyl and create a crate in serato with tunes from 2006 and earlier, mostly breaks, all breakbeat. On the day, I decided to deliver some classic, huge tunes of breaks legend and the reaction was fantastic. This music just has so much more to offer than the modern sound, helped along by the fact that some of these tunes are favourites amongst a crowd that follows breaks.

There were a few problems along the way, such as a recurring fluffy needle on one deck, but overall it all went pretty well, considering I’d never practiced this set before. Some things worked, some things just got crowbarred in, but I can safely say I’ve never had a reaction to a set, like the one I got that night.

It was so rewarding, and my appreciation goes out to all those that came and danced and cheered, to the producers who made this fantastic music way back when and most importantly of all, to Emskina Flange, who asked me to play.

The tracklist is in the image above.

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Flangestock 2010

So…  three weekends since Festinho and here I am gushing about another small, intimate and friendly festival.  This time it’s Flangestock, a private party on a campsite in Suffolk, put on by a good friend.

This is my third visit and it gets better every year.  This year it moved from its more usual date in May, to mid-September, but the weather behaved itself, putting August to shame.

Great people, a relaxed atmosphere and some fantastic music from the DJs set the scene for one of the parties of the year.

Bring on Flangestock 2011!

Here’s a set recorded last thing Friday night – Awe Soundsystem reunited for the evening.

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Festinho – Size Isn’t Everything

It’s been a few years since I went to a festival.  In fact, the last festival I attended was in 2006 – The Glade Festival, near Reading – which was my 4th visit in a row.  To be honest, I would probably have gone for the fifth year, had it not coincided with a friend’s wedding weekend, but the ever increasing size of the event (from 4-5K people in year one to closer to 15,000 by year 4!), combined with continued sound restriction problems that rather lessened the impact of the bass, was already starting to put me off.  It was still highly rated amongst people who came for the first time, but I found that special vibe I experienced in the first year harder and harder to find.

So it was a real blast from the past to experience Festinho last weekend, now in it’s 3rd year and still numbering less than 5,000 people.  What a breath of fresh air!  The location was fantastic.  The freedom from continual security checks and an apparent absence of crime waves made everyone feel relaxed and friendly.  I have to say, when I saw the line-up, I pretty much recognised none of them, but what I found there was a diverse and eclectic mix of music, incorporating bands and cabaret and DJ’s, that meant there was something for everyone.

Of the four small stages, the Clocktower and Woodland stage stood out for me, the latter located in a small clearing in some trees, giving the feel of the party times of days gone by.  Throughout the weekend, I found myself dancing to Hip Hop, Disco, Funk… anything with a beat, a world away from the world of breaks, where people stop dancing if anything lacking a breakbeat makes an appearance.  There’s no time to ponder the genre when everyone is smiling and laughing and having a good time is there?  You just get on with it and enjoy yourself.  And the eclecticism of the sets made it impossible to put any DJ into a box anyway.

There were two special sets that made my weekend.

The first was the Headset Disco, set in the courtyard of the Clocktower Stage.  Two DJs broadcasting to everyone on wireless headsets, giving you the chance to choose between them by switching channels.  It was great, with the silence to outside observers allowing the party to continue beyond the usual midnight cut-off point, until 2am.  Drum n Bass, Hip Hop and even a healthy smattering of Breakbeat filled my ears and I danced away in the gravel until the end of the night.  And when people wanted to talk to each other, no longer did they have to scream into each others ears above the music.  Because you can just remove your headset and have a decent chat.  So refreshing!

Finally, on Sunday night, AGT Rave Cru played on the Woodland Stage.   Every tune that came out of the speakers was a classic.  Higher State, Renegade Master, The Prodigy, Salt & Pepper. They covered it all, accompanied by the cheers of about 100-150 people, adorned in the glowing bracelets handed out at the start.  It was, quite literally, massive and brought about the end to one of the best weekends I’ve had in ages.

Of course, more than anything, it was the people who made it a really special event.  Everyone was so friendly and uninhibited that guards were down and friends were made.  In fact, the festival touched me so much, I decided that perhaps I might start practicing DJing again and come out of the apathetic retirement I seem to have found myself in.

So here’s to the next one.  It doesn’t need to be bigger.  Or better.  It’s pretty much fine as it is.

So shhhh!  Don’t tell anyone.  OK?  ;)