It’s a mammoth line-up of today’s hottest acts in music, both big and small, and it drops THIS WEEKEND! Massive, well-established artists such as Leftfield, Fatboy Slim and Blondie headline the RockNess main stage this year, alongside up & coming favourites such as Friendly Fires, Plan B and Vampire Weekend, all against the stunning backdrop of one of Scotland’s must-see sights, the stunning Loch Ness.
But it’s all the action bubbling under the surface that Noiseporn is really interested in. Names on the drum & bass, techno, French house and electro scenes keep jumping out at me as I scour the lineup. Primarily a dance-music festival, but with the right amount of bands on the roster to break up the constant thump of kickdrums (which, don’t get me wrong, we can’t get enough of here at Noiseporn – we’re just thinking of those less bass-hungry than ourselves!), RockNess was started by Fatboy Slim in 2006 when he decided to move his Brighton Beach Party to the shores of Loch Ness. The idea clearly worked, as all 20,000 tickets sold out and one of the UK’s major festivals was born. Now it encompasses all the right elements – a simply beautiful location in the heart of rural Scotland, a dedicated 35,000-strong following of party-loving peeps, and arenas run by the pros themselves: Annie Mac is hosting a stage this year, as are the much-loved Radio Soulwax, with local Scottish stalwarts such as the Sub Club in Glasgow and Soma Recordings also hosting, bringing some of the best names in techno and electro to the fore, such as Aeroplane, Derrick May, Green Velvet and Silicone Soul. Boom!
So who will Noiseporn be checking out at this year’s RockNess festival?
LEFTFIELD (Main Stage, Saturday)
…obviously! This is one of the band’s first tour dates since their self-imposed four-year hiatus – Neil Barnes will appear on stage solo (minus Paul Daley) for one of the most anticipated stage appearances from any act in this year’s festival calendar. Shivers run down my spine at the prospect of hearing tunes such as “Melt” and “Original” on the main stage overlooking the loch, and I’m also hoping to hear “Swords” from the second album too – amongst many other classics, and maybe some new production bizness from the duo…
CLUB 75 (Annie Mac presents, Saturday)
What festival would be complete without a surprise collab act? And trust me, this one’s BIG. Take four massive French House acts and combine them in one monumental live project- meet Club 75, made up of Xavier de Rosnay (Justice), Cassius, DJ Mehdi and Busy P. The result can only be pure dancefloor devastation – right? You can watch them live in action at Coachella Festival in California
here – looks like it’s going off, but could this be a case of too may DJs? Only one way to find out – Noiseporn will certainly be there on Saturday at the Annie Mac Presents arena to get a slice of the action. So long as it doesn’t clash with Leftfield! You can download a few cheeky remixes of original tracks by these guys below, take a look…
VITALIC (Radio Soulwax, Saturday)
Vitalic’s album release in 2009 proved to me and everyone else I knew that the highly-prized vinyl cuts we bought in days gone by were not the end of the Vitalic legacy – perhaps only the beginning. Huge tunes such as “Poison Lips and “Second Lives” have been circling the blogs since the album “Flashmob” came out in September last year, and it’s a pleasure to see Vitalic moving from his signature dark electro/techno sound to a more cinematic style, lending itself perfectly to the remix: here are a few to chew on.
CRYSTAL CASTLES (Main Stage, Friday)
Crystal Castles have experienced a definite maturing of their sound with recent releases. “Baptism” is one we’re hoping to hear, with Alice Glass’s scream sunk back into the mix as if to play the part of an instrument, while “Celestica” has a softer, spacier vibe to it. The latter tune in particular has been picked up by hundreds of budding young remixers, and we featured a nice remix by Clockwork not all that long ago on the blog. I can’t wait to see what kind of live show these guys pull out of the bag – I’m expecting some kind of mammoth visual display and lots of chaos and noise on stage – with feedback and lo-fi beats aplenty. I’m hoping so, anyway. Here are a few more remixes for you to enjoy, all very different in style, as you’d expect from the sheer variety of original material produced by the band.
Crystal Castles – Empathy.mp3
Crystal Castles – Baptism.mp3 *low quality copy*
Crystal Castles – Suffocation (Memory Tapes Remix).mp3
Crystal Castles – Celestica (Professor Purple Remix).mp3
Crystal Castles – Celestica (Thurston Moore Remix).mp3
Crystal Castles – Vietnam (LightsoverLA Remix).mp3
AEROPLANE (Arcadia Afterburner, Sunday)
A Belgian duo, and new favourite of Noiseporn, these guys on their various remixes have really succeeded in securing their own sound – and it’s some of the happiest dance music I’ve heard in ages. With elements of vintage electro, indie and disco with a psychedelic twist, they transcend the darker side of dance music and present something truly uplifting for the soul. Below we have three remixes and one original track for you to download, only one in 320 unfortunately, but you can always go and browse their discography at Beatport if you like what you hear.
These highlights are only a tiny slice of the whole picture: these and so much more make up the bigger-than-ever line-up for RockNess this year. Check the line-up at the top for a fully comprehensive list of who’s playing on what day.
You can get yourself last-minute tickets for RockNess at the festival website RIGHT HERE!! Three-day camping tickets will set you back £159 inc. booking fee for the weekend, but trust me, this is definitely worth every penny – you can’t put a price on the good times! You can also purchase tickets by the day at outlets specified on the festival website.
I’ll be back after the event with some festival photos, some reviews of the best acts and maybe even some chatterings from backstage…. we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed on that one!