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Farmfest 2017 – Nextfest Preview

Sometimes we wonder how festivals do what they do. Farm Festival in Somerset is one such event, as they have seemingly pulled together a raft of the most incredible underground artists imaginable to make up their overflowing roster for the two days over which the festival is run.

The headliners are off the scale, as organisers are bringing Squarepusher‘s band, Shobaleader One, to Gilcombe Farm. Having recently dropped a new album, Elektrac, containing ‘full band’ versions of some of Squarepusher‘s most prominent classics, including Journey to Reedham and Iambic 5 Poetry, expect furious finger work from the quartet.

The four piece, made up of Squarepusher himself, as well as three other instrumentalists – Strobe Nazard, Arg Nution, and Company Laser – have been reinterpreting ‘Pusher tracks with a significantly more ‘jazz-funk’ feel. Well worth checking out.

Photo: Alex Rawson, FarmFest 2016

Your Saturday headliner is none other than fitness witnesser, Roots Manuva. The Witness (One Hope) producer has got to be, by a country mile, one of the most well-known artists to come out of the UK hip-hop scene. Since he made his debut back in 1994, Manuva has been bowling listeners over with his inimitable style and thoughtful lyrics. You’d be mental to miss out on him.

Of the other acts we definitely recommend, we would certainly be including Actress. The Wolverhampton artist records music in several styles but is mainly associated with techno and experimental sounds. His most recent outing, AZD, was released on the venerated electronic label, Ninja Tune.

The fantastic thing about Actress is that it is difficult to know what to expect from his live performances. It is this uncertainty that makes his gigs as interesting and exciting as they are. You should absolutely head down and see what his sound is all about. Actress plays on the Saturday of the festival weekend.

Photo: Alex Rawson, FarmFest 2016

Friday will also see Scouser-by-proxy, Or:la taking to the decks. One of the most unassuming individuals on the underground techno scene, Or:la has been making ever-growing waves for some time now. The success of her Mein Nacht night, which takes place in Liverpool every so often, as well as her regular sold-out shows, has garnered her some very well-deserved critical acclaim.

Or:la has been seen collaborating with all sorts of prominent artists, including Hotflush‘s Scuba, who released her single UK Lonely, as well as appearing back to back with her at Mixmag‘s The Lab LDN. Despite her reserved demeanour, expect her set to blow your socks off.

We could go on (and on and on) about the amazing line-up Farmfest has curated, but we’ll let you find out for yourself when you get there. This is probably one of the best value festivals we have seen on this season’s circuit. The bang you are getting for your buck is nothing short of extraordinary, and if you managed to secure some tickets, then you’re one lucky, lucky person. Enjoy!

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