Preview: Bloc Festival
Saddling up for this weekend's rebooted electronic music bonanza
Words James Ubaghs
The overall prognostic for summer festivals seems a glum one, but the organisers of Bloc clearly missed the memo. The electronic music festival was good in its previous guises, but for its 2012 edition they’ve clearly aimed for something more ambitious, and they’ve brought a venue and mindboggling line-up to match. Forget your Olympics and your Gary Barlow-orchestrated odes to deference and social hierarchy — this is the one 2012 calendar event to really blow your lid over.
The bill features more legendary producers and shit-hot up-and-comers then you can shake a sweaty, euphoric fist at: Orbital, Richie Hawtin, Amon Tobin, Gary Numan, Steve Reich, Ricardo Villalobos, Flying Lotus, Jeff Mills, Squarepusher, Doom, Nicolas Jaar, Carl Craig-69, Scuba, Four Tet, Levon Vincent, Hudson Mohawke, Martyn, Actress, Shackleton, Hype Williams, Digital Mystikz, Kode9, Loefah, Addison Groove, Cooly G, Space Dimension Controller, Oneohtrix Point Never, Ikonika, Untold, Byetone, Boddika, Perc, Objekt, and an unlikely appearance from the estimable Mr Snoop Dogg.
To single out highlights from that line-up seems damn-near perverse, but suffice to say there isn’t a single Deadmau5 or Rusko to foul up the proceedings. The only downside will be figuring out how to catch as much of it as possible, which is probably going to take some military-grade planning on our part.
The festival is taking place on Friday and Saturday this week (June 6/7) at the London Pleasure Gardens, a recently developed area which has taken disused and decayed urban dockland and turned it into a great big performance space. And there’s still a monumental, derelict mill looming over the area that’ll be lit up to add the appropriate visual sternness to the musical proceedings. You could have an indulgent postmodern field day in analysing the social significance of dancing to Richie Hawtin in sight of a gutted concrete mill lit up like a Christmas tree, but thankfully we’re not awful human beings so we won’t subject you to that.
As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve also rented out a former East German deep sea fishing vessel and converted it into a performance space, which is just the proverbial ex-communist cherry to top it all off. In short: everything about this festival has us giddy like schoolchildren. Tickets are tickets are still available from the website, so if you’re even remotely close to London you should seriously consider getting on that pronto if you haven’t already done so.
To get you in the mood, here’s a recently uploaded video of German producer Apparat talking about some of his musical influences ahead of the festival.