Found Festival Returns For Its Fourth Helping
A week after Rinse FM and Born and Bred combined for a successful underground music festival in Haggerston Park, Hackney, its sister event is preparing for its fourth incarnation. This year’s Found Festival is its biggest edition yet with six stages gracing Brixton’s Brockwell Park, sporting House, Techno and Disco with everything in between. Fairly unusually for a festival of this size, each stage has its own accompanying association from the music industry, including XLR8R, FACT Magazine and i-D mix. The organisers have explained this move as part of its drive for ‘authenticity’. This is an extremely welcome and perhaps overlooked move. Recent years have seen festivals growing enormously in popularity, with hundreds popping up in a small space of time. Although many are an absolute labour of love, there exist those on the flipside, more commercially oriented and lacking in a real theme, direction or even purpose. These events have become worryingly frequent, a kind-of expression of culture without the culture; a hollow representation of the artists booked to play them. Found, starting out in 2011 as a series of nights in Vauxhall unearthing Chicago House and Detroit Techno for a new generation of clubbers, certainly can’t be accused of putting on the festival as a money spinner, especially with its carefully considered line-up that combines old and new.
After a brief hiatus to Hackney, 2016’s Found Festival returns to Brockwell Park in Brixton, an apt choice considering the frequent charges of gentrification made by observers and residents of the area. The opening of a Champagne and Cheese bar in Brixton’s historic market particularly raised eyebrows, but although some venues have shut down, the area is still a vibrant night-time hub. Of particular joy to Techno fans was the replacement of the much loved Plan-B with Phonox, a club more closely oriented around the genre than its predecessor, and one which has already hosted some impressive lineups. Found Festival also goes some way to dampen the disappointment that followed the announcement that the Brixton Splash Carnival would be cancelled this year.
Below is a look at our top picks of the festival’s most exciting acts. House & Techno is very much the order of the day, currently enjoying a spike in popularity that’s resulted in a flurry of new releases and artists. Top of our list is Kerri ‘Kaoz’ Chandler, one of Deep Houses’ originators and pioneer of the genre since the early 1990s. Born in New Jersey to a family of Jazz musicians, from an early age Chandler took musical inspiration from those closest to him, and the music they performed and listened to. His 4/4 beats are covered with innovative samples, many uniquely obtained from his experimentation with technology. This method has been a lifelong musical fascination, but Chandler doesn’t see his electronic methods as making his music any less soulful or expressive as that of his parents. Be sure to expect an expansive set that incorporates the many caveats of his genre.
Of equally high pedigree is Derrick May, a man given a third of the responsibility for the creation of Detroit Techno. Born in Detroit, but moving to a nearby suburb at a young age, May became friends with two other Techno greats, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins, two of the few fellow African American students at their school. The trio have since been dubbed the Belleville three after the name of the suburb they all inhabited. May had made waves alongside his friends during the 1980s, particularly with the song ‘Strings of Life’, which earned him a tour of England, almost unheard of for a Techno artist at that time. May took an unexplained musical sabbatical during the 1990s when the scene was really taking off, but has returned doing what he does best. He still lives in Detroit, despite the financial meltdown the city has been going through and the mass exodus that has accompanied it. In an interview with The Guardian in 2013, when asked why he remained when so many had left he answered, ‘it’s home’, and that it was his duty to try and re-establish the infamous creative class which once inhabited the city.
The Found stage also hosts the Menendez Brothers and British House powerhouse Leon Vynehall, made popular through his hit ‘It’s Just (House of Dupree)’, and whose new EP Rojus (Designed to Dance) was released in April to a very positive reception. The Brighton DJ/producer is sure to attract one of the largest crowds. The Menendez Brothers have the most interesting back story of anyone at the festival. The brothers were living as orphans on the streets in the Putumayo region of Colombia, stealing food to stay alive. When a Pioneer shop opened in their city, the two stole all the DJing equipment from the store and began their successful careers, even once performing privately for the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Headlining the Find Me In The Dark stage, in association with FACT Magazine, is Trade. The duo is a combination of South Yorkshireman Jamie Roberts, better known as Blawan, and his 45 year old counterpart and Techno aficionado Surgeon. The seemingly unlikely pairing got together in 2013 after Surgeon, who had been producing and DJing since the early 1990s, noticed the waves that the young Blawan was making in the Manchester Techno scene. Despite their almost opposing styles, with Surgeon preferring a softer approach and Blawan much harsher sounds, the two combine to occupy an ambient middle ground.
Our final top pick comes straight from Berlin’s industrial Techno scene. The German producer Rødhåd describes his music as ‘deep, powerful and melancholic’, styled around the theme on which he named his label, Dystopian. Having held a series of successful free Techno parties in the outskirts of the city, Rødhåd cut his teeth on the unforgiving Berlin circuit before a rapid rise to notoriety forced him to quit his job at an architecture firm and focus on his musical career. Rødhåd has commented on the importance of his surroundings to his music, and his interest in architecture particularly resonating through his music. His individual style and unique twist on a well-rehearsed theme that earned him plaudits from Ben Klock to Marcel Dettmann is not to be missed.
For the full line-up and tickets to the event, visit http://foundfestival.com/.
For tickets to the after party, which features a Kerri Chandler and Leon Vynheall b2b, visit https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?828919.