With August's festival calendar seemingly busier than any other month, those of us with a persuasion to stand in a field watching live music are spoilt for choice. While V Festival might be the most corporate and therefore populist, the more discerning fan of both music and the arts in general would probably be found elsewhere. Such as Green Man for instance. Situated on the Glanusk Park estate in Crickhowell to the eastern point of the Brecon Beacons, it prides itself on being one of the most unique festivals around. Having grown from a capacity of just 300 people when it started in 2003 to the 20,000 revellers here to party this weekend, it's become a festival season highlight even with such a saturated market.
What also sets it apart is the stellar line-up organisers Fiona Stewart and Ben Coleman regularly pull out of the bag, and this year's edition was no exception. With the "sold out" signs hoisted long before this weekend, its reputation for putting quality control first speaks for itself. While its picturesque setting and heavy focus on locally sourced organic produce also render it a cut above the standard festival fare of greasy burgers and warm Carling where daily nourishment is concerned.
Indeed, the only thing that cannot be guaranteed is the weather but then this is the British summer time, right? Right. So without further ado, having acquired our passes and pitched up, Contactmusic are immediately drawn to the impressive bill taking place on the Far Out Stage this Thursday evening. Flamingods experimental take on psychedelic world music and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's full throttle sonic assault prove to be particular highlights. So much in fact that headliners Wild Beasts actually seem unsure about following either act on stage and play a surprisingly muted set of material mostly lifted from new record 'Boy King' instead.
Continue reading: Green Man 2016 - Live Review
Thursday: As you walk the steady incline up to the festival site, chatter sparks from all directions from your fellow festival-goers as you reach the first gate to pass through. Swallowed by the atmosphere, you briefly snap out of your daze and remind yourself that you're surrounded by your friends equally happy to be reunited together.
Todd Terje is on in 20 minutes at the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System stage. Inhaling from my cigarette I look up and see a small stage to my left but more impressively, the Parc Del Forum at large. It's a beautiful structure which dominates the immediate skyline, towering over the site and its weekend habitants with the Mediterranean ocean stretching out behind it. You're at Primavera Sound - and trust me when I say that it's one of the best festivals you can experience on this side of the Atlantic.
We enter the Sound System Stage and I immediately notice that the speakers are ridiculously crisp. With Terje about to start, we queue up for some incredibly boozy mojitos and caipirinhas and head over to the tent which is already packed at 4pm. He is warmly welcomed onto the stage by a happy-go-lucky crowd as he punches into his much loved disco-revivalism, fiddles with classics and modern tracks alike as well as throwing in a couple of his much beloved hits.
Continue reading: Primavera Sound Festival - Live Review
Battles' new remix album Dross Glop is, in essence, a victory lap. Its source material, the extravagant math-rock whirligig Gloss Drop, was one the best albums released in 2011. The folks who have agreed to play with that material include Kode9, Shabazz Palaces and Boredoms' Yamantaka Eye - some of the most interesting and forward-thinking people making music right now. Not only are they talented, they have their own extremely distinctive aesthetics and, listening to them twist and reshape Gloss Drop tracks so that they resemble something that might crop up on one of their own albums, is, at times, a fascinating experience.
Continue reading: Battles, Dross Glop Remixes Album Review