Electric Picnic’s 2018 lineup has begun and it’s shaping up for Stradbally for August 31st to September 2nd this year.
Cigarettes After Sex
Gang Of Youths
No David Byrne or Lorde or Arctic Monkeys there as may be expected. It’s a festival lineup that reflects where Longitude was at a couple of years ago, with little room for a big heritage act (do Garbage or N.E.R.D. count?).
So far, the festival has confirmed that Red Bull, Three, Heineken, Bacardi, Electric Ireland and Just Eat area are back. No word on Body & Soul or other Voices yet but Mindfield, Trailer Park, Salty Dog, Jerry Fish Sideshow, Trenchtown, Comedy, Theatre of Food, Hazel Wood, Anachronica, Transmission and Global Green will return.
Electric Picnic festival director Melvin Benn are is also introducing the Rebalance programme to the festival which will aim to to redress the gender balance of music festivals after a lot of criticism was drawn last year for the lack of female representation.
So far that means for early campers on Thursday night there will be an all-female comedy night curated by Emily O’Callaghan. AE MAK were recently part of the Rebalance programme which offers female musicians studio and costs covered and more along with festival slots. So expect more of that to come.
French production and visual duo Guillaume and Jonathan Alric aka The Blaze made a splash with the best music videos of last year and some deeply affecting emotionally-charged electronic music.
‘Heaven’ the last track on their debut EP, has received the video treatment and it’s another warm and tender narrative of family and community in a utopian-like day in the sunshine.
The Blaze Festival Dates
April 13th – COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL – Palms Springs (US) April 20th – COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL – Palms Springs (US) June 2nd – PRIMAVERA – Barcelona (ES) June 10th – PARKLIFE – Manchester (UK) June 28 – GAROROCK – Marmande (FR) June 30th – EUROPAVOX – Clermont-Ferrand (FR) July 4th – ROSKILDE FESTIVAL- Roskilde (DK) July 7th – MAIN SQUARE FESTIVAL – Arras (FR) July 13th – LOVEBOX FESTIVAL – London (UK) July 14th – MELT – Berlin (DE) July 20th – ART SONIC – Briouze (FR) July 21st – LOLLAPOLLOZA FESTIVAL – Paris (FR) July 22nd – VIEILLES CHARRUES – Carhaix (FR) August 19th – DOCKVILLE FESTIVAL – Hamburg (DE) August 24th – LEEDS & READING – Reading (UK) August 25th – LEEDS & READING – Leeds (UK)
There’s something truly special going on with The Blaze.
It’s about time too. We were due an artist or two artists in this case, who was equally involved in the visual as well as the music and The Blaze feels one of the most complete and cinematic examples of that yet.
The French producers and directors got themselves noticed with ‘Virile’, a soulful electronic cut that was accompanied by a video of two men dancing in a room of a high-rise in the Parisian banlieue. The clip sings with a realness of platonic and a romantic love – a close intimacy that two people share, could be lovers, could be best friends.
Nearly a year on and The Blaze have produced something even more wonderful with ‘Terrority’. Beginning again with ambiguity, family members of all generations embrace. It’s not clear if there are tears at first, until smiles are revealed, this is an emotional celebration – a homecoming to Algiers, set to a song that is a gentle cross between the soul of Jungle and Chemical Brothers’ ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’.
The video depicts freedom and comforting relief. The powerful protagonist, having returned home, demonstrates his boxing masculinity to some local lads as cleverly choreographed punches are thrown to the ping of a synth line. A music-soundtracked rooftop scene is the source of sweet release, and the older, driven brother or cousin uses his alpha-male stature in a tender and loving way to the youngest in his neighbourhood. This is stunning 21st century music work.
Both these videos lift the songs in unexpected ways, raising their stature and existing on par with the songs.