Ten Artists to Watch at South West Four 2018
Clapham Common‘s South West Four festival, or SW4 as it is more readily known, is set to hit London on 25th and 26th August for a monster celebration of electronic and urban music. The festival started waaaaay back in 2001, and has gone from strength-to-strength since. This year illustrates such a fact, as some of the biggest names on the EDM scene will be joined by a selection of underground artists covering dnb, house, techno and more.
Here, in no particular order, are the ten artists we highly recommend you get a load of at this year’s SW4…
Croydon grime artist Nadia Rose is set to play the CAPITAL FM MAIN STAGE on Saturday, quite the accolade for a rapper who is only 18 months into her professional career. That isn’t to say the slot is underserved, of course. Rose‘s style is a maelstrom of intelligent lyrical content, with a delivery beyond her years; one that can skillfully flip from low-slung to tommy-gun in a breath. Check out the video for her track Skwod, above, if you want an example. Leshurr, look out.
Eli and Fur
Production and DJ duo, Eli and Fur, know how to slather their sets in funk, with tech-house and techno being the way forward for these two. They played at the fezzie last year and clearly went down well, as they have been invited back for another stint behind the wheels. No surprise, as the two will craft an energetic set over on the MK PRESENTS ‘AREA 10’ IN ASSOCIATION WITH SELECTED stage.
We first cottoned onto Madam X back in 2016, when she dropped a sumptuous mix for Boiler Room Bristol. Having followed her steadily since, we can guarantee that there will be people scraping their own brain particulate up off the floor, as the young producer will be blowing minds left, right, and centre. Her bass-heavy DJ style straddles the space between dubstep’s dark roots, breakbeat’s skittering percussive offerings, house music’s chunkier side, and all-out party music. Doesn’t really matter what style she plays, she’s a top selecta and make no mistake. Get on it.
The Heatwave B2B Dre Skull
If a dancehall ting is on the list for your SW4 experience, then we definitely suggest checking out two of the most forward-thinking acts on the contemporary dancehall scene. The Heatwave will undoubtedly be bringing you their inimitable carnival-style bashment fire, which will only be blazed further by Mixpak-stable favourite, Dre Skull. Honestly, this is a killer artistic pairing, and we urge you to go and check out what is on offer from this cataclysmic meeting of minds.
Singer-songwriter Sinead Harnett won’t have to travel too far to perform at SW4, given that she’s from the Big Smoke anyway. The rising R&B star has featured alongside Disclosure and worked with Wiley on his Walk Away single, but you’ll get the chance to see what the young soulstress has to offer from her own back catalogue, as she appears on the main stage on Saturday. Her most recent track, Body, is a tale with melancholy in spades.
Bassline’s hottest property, Holy Goof, will be bringing an array of shwengin’ dancefloor weapons with him to 2018’s SW4 edition. The young producer turned heads 360º when he appeared on Boiler Room at the start of 2017. His blend of bassline and garage makes for a high-energy, foundation-shaking bounce-off and we know our readers will be rinsing it harder than the white goods section of Curry’s when Goof takes to the decks.
Toddla T b2b Redlight
More bass music, this time in the form of Sheffield’s Toddla T and Bristol’s Redlight, who will be appearing together with a very special b2b set. Somehow, SW4 have managed to overlook Toddla up to now, which is crazy, so it is great to see his name on a line-up that represents the music he has helped to popularise. We caught a bit of Redlight at Beat-Herder recently, and he packed the arena out there. This will be BIG.
On a house tip, you won’t get much bumpier than Bristolian duo, Icarus. They will be performing a rare live set, so you can expect to hear music that has been influenced by some of house music’s greats. Fatty basslines and energetic percussion will be the order of the day, as the two set the Indian-summer into full swing with their infectious grooves and vocal hooks. These should definitely not be missed.
Drum and bass royalty doesn’t come much more regal than Mr Size himself. Bringing his New Forms live show to SW4, the master of the genre will be illustrating exactly why he’s been at the top of the dnb game for over two decades. The fully refurbished New Forms live show celebrates twenty years since the birth of the monumental album, which still sounds fresh to this day. Plus, Roni Size once complemented this writer on his headwear, so we couldn’t not return the favour, really.
Nora En Pure
Euphoria is high on the list of emotions when Nora En Pure takes to the decks. You only have to listen to her recent set at Tomorrowland to know that the young DJ understands just how to whip a crowd up into a frenzy. Deep, emotive, and, most importantly, bass-heavy, the South African will certifiably have you mesmerised at SW4. Don’t miss out on her performance, as she will certainly make sure you’ve sweated it out good and proper.