Boardmasters 2018: 10 essential acts you have to catch
Cornwall's annual party on the shore returns in two weeks, taking over Fistral Beach from Wednesday 8th to Sunday 12th August, and we can almost feel the sea breeze and beats in the air already...
This year's Boardmasters looks set to be the finest yet, a celebration of all things surf, sun (assuming the UK heatwave continues) and serious tunes, packing a mammoth bill of names in its suitcase. We've gone through the line-up and come up with just 10 artists you've got to catch if you're heading down. You can see the full list of who's playing here. Without further ado, then...
The Chemical Brothers
We might be stating the obvious, but Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, AKA The Chemical Brothers, are amongst the greatest dance acts the world has ever seen. Renowned for their audio and visual assaults, if the new material we got hold of in June is much to go by this should be a sensory whirlwind. Again.
Among the most vital names in the scene at the moment, DJ Mag Best of British winner Or:la will be familiar to our UK readers for good reason. Just as adept hammering out acid and techno as she is unleashing otherworldly synth sounds and worldly percussion, the only thing predictable about this DJ is her impeccable taste and skill...
Frankfurt's finest should need no intro given their back catalogue of tech on the much-lauded Get Physical imprint stretches back to 2004, and that DJ Kicks mix they put together in 2007 remains one of the most varied and innovative in the series, marking the pair out as both studio and booth masters.
DJ Zinc b2b MJ Cole
Two pioneers of British broken beats, the producers respectively behind UKG anthem 'Sincere' and jungle-hip hop fusion bomb 'Super Sharp Shooter', MJ Cole and DJ Zinc (pictured), promise much from their shared time on stage considering how good last year's monster collaboration, 'Interbass', was.
Their 17 Steps tour— which took them to 17 UK cities earlier this year— cemented Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman's reputation as producers of impeccably produced, deep house fit a club environment. Let's just leave it at that.
Trance Wax (Ejeca)
Ejeca's trance project continues to go from strength to strength. Resurrecting classics like Mauro Picotto's 'I Feel Love' and 'Sky Dive' by Freefall, and adding a hefty twist, Ejeca is reviving the trance sounds that once fuelled cyberkids of old and gifting them to today's techier troops.
Anyone who kicked their career off as one of the main proponents of dubstep before heading out to explore a wider variety of electronic rhythms — often playing all night uninterrupted— is a winner in our eyes. A genuine titan of UK dance music.
DJ, BBC Radio 1 mainstay, tastemaker, Annie Mac is known for many things. Her tireless work in breaking new talent and giving dancers a broad range of fresh cuts to get loose to makes her set at Boardmasters one of the most essential of the whole festival.
Bicep (DJ set)
Although their own production work has catapulted them to A-list status, Bicep's abilities when it comes to playing other people's records cannot be understated. Muscular but resolutely bouncy cuts and break-laden beauties, whatever label you opt for it doesn't change the fact they always deliver.
A true originator when it comes to the art of turntablism, Flash has been cutting, chopping, juggling, delivering 'The Message' and dropping 'White Lines' since 1976. With that in mind, anyone who knows what 1s and 2s means should pay some get down and watch a master at work at Boardmasters.
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