Picks For 10th Instalment Of Electric Picnic

Electric Picnic makes its tenth appearance this weekend and it’s bigger than ever.

One weekend a year the Stradbally estate is transformed for the Electric Picnic festival and that pays Tomas Cosby’s bills for the rest of the year. The Picnic is a sell out in 2013 with 35,000 people reportedly descending on Stradbally over the weekend for a carnival that is much more than the sum of its big names. There are no controversial Killers in the line-up this year and the bill has the stamp of eclectic excellence that has brought EP from what was humble boutique beginnings in 2004 to its present position as the biggest festival in the country in 2013. Michael Franti put it succinctly saying that Electric Picnic managed to strike “the perfect balance of hedonism and social consciousness.”

Today FM cast a nostalgic glance over the last 9 years with some Electric Picnic history to whet the appetite. Yesterday, word came in that Cosby has signed on for 10 more years of the festival at Stradbally, which is good news for all.

Below I give some of my picks for the weekend; the clashes are difficult to navigate and the musical treats are endless so its in no way exhaustive but here is a selection to get you started or give the uninitiated a push in my direction.

Friday:

Friday morning the camp-site is scheduled to open at the earlier than usual time of 9am. This crazed hour is for the early birds, eager beavers and first settlers to lay claim to all important land for tented circles dictated along massive marquee lines. These will be the smug folk looking on from deck chairs with a can in hand as others haul their supplies by them tired having rushed in rush hour from work. They will laugh at your misfortune and the shrinking real estate for pegs as you seek out some remaining pastures but you’ll be grateful if these are your friends and they’ve reserved some tent space for you to join the circle.

Now that you’ve done your scouts’ duty for the year and quenched that tent-building thirst it’s time to venture into the arena.

Daithi – Body & Soul Stage: (19:00 – 19:30) – 

Giorgio Moroder – Electric Arena: (22:30 – 00:00)

Nile Rodgers is not the only one enjoying an Indian Summer off the back of Daft Punk’s new record. “Random Access Memories” is a homage to original disco sounds and none are more synonymous with the dancefloor than Giorgio Moroder. He was the sound of the future way back in the 70s past as he used the Moog synth to create a distinctive electronic beat that is now omnipresent in modern music. He produced records for Donna Summer and David Bowie and expect them to be dropped in to his set in the Electric Arena Tent. DJ-ing is new to him but it’ll nothing if not unique.

FatBoy Slim – Main Stage: (22:30 – 00:00)

One of the uncompromising greats returns to Electric Picnic having been part of that famous 2005 bill that launched the festival on a wave of critical acclaim. The clash with Giorgio Moroder is a toughie, this is the safe bet.

The question is can you dance like Christopher Walken?

Ben Klock – RBMA Wood Stage: (00:00 – 04:00)

The dancing is far from over on this powerhouse of a Friday. There is some heavy techno from Berlin producer to lose yourself into the wee hours and at some stage you’ll look around and realise the weekend is in full swing.

Some alternatives:

My Bloody Valentine – Main Stage: (21:00 – 22:00)  If you want rock over dance then check out MBV & their much lauded new album.

“Together Disco” – Trailer Park Stage: (00:00 – 04:00) For something a little less intense than Klock  and more of a festival bop head to the Trailer Park stage that is being run by Jerry Fish.

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Some direction

Saturday:

Cyril Hahn – Electric Arena: (17:30 – 18:30)

BBC Radio 6 Music’s Anne Mac has championed this Swiss producer’s remixes and for good reason.

Space Dimension Controller – Little Big Tent: (19:00 – 20:15)

Futuristic funk.

Hercules & Love Affair – Casa Bacardi: (20:00 – 21:30)

Casa Bacardi has evolved from humble tent beginnings into a veritable party Hacienda that has pumped great tunes into the ears of eager mojito drinkers for whole weekends. It will be rammed this year and you’ll find yourself here more often than not, some never leave, but try and make it coincide with this camp disco set.

Matthew E. White – Body & Soul Stage: (00:15 – 01:15)

This soulful giant comes from a music commune of sorts in Richmond, Virginia. I saw him in Whelan’s in January and it was special, his debut album “Big – Inner” (multiple puns there) is one of the best albums of the year and has survived sustained listening. The Body & Soul stage is made for this man and his full band. A must see.

Disclosure – Main Stage: (00:30 – 01:45)

You could say they’ve had a meteoric rise since they released “Settle” this year and that is emphasised by this headline slot on the main stage. This dance-pop album has captured a huge audience because it dips expertly into each genre and mixes that sound into vivacious, pulsating tunes that have resonated across dancefloors. The Lawrence brothers are certainly worth checking out but would they not have worked better in the Electric Arena?

Go deep into the forest.

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Get Motivated come Sunday

Sunday:

Dublin Gospel Choir – Main Stage: (13:00 – 14:00)

Go get your musical mass on and kick those hangovers for the final day – this is EP tradition.

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Electric Arena: (20:30 – 22:00)

One of the sets I’m most looking forward to. The ex-Talking Heads front man is music royalty at this stage but each of his collaborations have offered something new and interesting, this St. Vincent collaboration is funky and they also do Talking Heads’ numbers, what more could you ask for?

The Knife – Electric Arena: (22:30 – 00:00)

New album “Deep Cuts” is excellent. I’m excited to see these retro-electro heads, feast on ‘Heartbeats’.

 

Mano Le Tough – Little Big Tent: (23:00 – 00:00)

A Greystones native, Mano has been adopted by the Berlin scene and runs a monthly night called Passion Beat. His album “Changing Days” is rich and textured and one of the best house releases this year. It points to great things for this purveyor of ambient house.

 

(Very) Special guest/s – Body & Soul Stage: (01:30 – 02:30) – 

Off the back of a headline appearance on Friday night at Body & Soul James Murphy is rumoured for this “special guest” slot. This is further backed up by the fact that he has been announced for the Recession Session in the Sugar Club on Thursday night. This’ll be special in the natural amphitheatre stage; no better man to round off the weekend than ex-frontman of LCD Soundsystem. The band could be the soundtrack to EP and the noughties although his DJ sets tends to only tease the audience with intros of LCD hits before reverting to his newer productions.

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