Relocated to Zamárdi, B.my.Lake festival will kick off on August 19 with tight house beats through drum ‘n’ bass all the way to acid techno reminiscent of the nineties. The performers will include the drum ‘n’ bass chief of BBC Radio 1, several Glastonbury veterans and a special guest who’s simply known as the godfather of techno. Here are ten acts that make us super excited about one of the most important electronic music festivals of the year.
Richie Hawtin is one of the most prominent figures in the history of e-music, an innovative minimal techno artist inspiring and educating generations of electronic music buffs. Born in England and raised in Canada, his name has become associated with Berlin, the European techno capital, over the years. In the early nineties, he made a name for himself all over the world with music released under the names Plastikman and F.U.S.E. His signature style is a mix of the major classics of electronica and the traditional beats of the Detroit techno community. Wherever he goes, his immaculate sets, comprising his own mix series as well as material from his edgy albums, attract huge crowds.
Recognizable in a second, melodic, ice-cold – the music of Iceland’s GusGus is perhaps best described as techno and soul. The trio has gradually made their tunes more direct, generously packing them with grooves; no wonder that in 2007, after their time with 4AD, they were signed by Kompakt, one of the most notable dance music labels. The four albums they’ve published since are full of perfectly executed songs for the brain and the feet, which despite being full of emotions, will shackle you to the dance floor for sure. We wouldn’t be disappointed even if they only played their own tracks – all three of them have good taste and steady hands, so there’s no way their show will be a flop.
Having gone from being part of a duo to a solo project quite a few years ago, Cisco Ferreira, formerly of Jack Trax, will definitely give techno veterans a run for their money. He’s been considered one of the most progressive personalities of the genre since the nineties, and he’s more of a live act kind of guy, which makes every one of his performances a rather unique experience. And when we tell you that he’s the founder of Kombination Research, the label that has released a 12” by both Industrialyzer and Abstract Thought, there’ll be no doubt in your mind that you have to mark the gig of The Advent in the programme guide with a sharpie.
DC Breaks, that is, the duo of Dan Havers and Chris Page, is currently one of the acts to watch on the drum ‘n’ bass scene. Having learnt the tricks of the trade at the club nights of Renegade Hardware and RAM, the pair has gone from small clubs in Scotland to festivals such as Glastonbury, UKF and NASS, and they’ve been signed by none other than Andy C’s Ram Records. Anyone who knows the genre well will also know that low-key is not a term that suits the DC Breaks guys: instead they are about brutal club anthems bordering on hardcore like Shaman or Lock-In. They’ll probably show no mercy to the dance floor in Zamárdi either.
Berlin-based Irish producer and DJ Mano Le Tough has charmed everyone in the contemporary dance music community with a sound that has echoes of the bittersweet world of Innervisions and Buzzin Fly, Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal, the ever deeper, slightly folk-inspired and absolutely atmospheric melodies of Pemanent Vacation, and the modestly discoid house of Mirau, led by Tensnake. His first album (Changing Days, 2013) was compared to John Talabot’s ?IN by a critic of prominent electronic music mag Resident Advisor, while “all” Dixon expressed was his enthusiasm. He is quite the disc jockey, and the shore of Lake Balaton is a perfect backdrop for his style, so his show would be a shame to miss.
Born in Berlin, Fritz Kalkbrenner was bitten by the techno bug at the end of the nineties, and after a few years of partying and immersing himself in the local nightlife, he started making his own music. Those who remember the early days will perhaps recall encountering his voice on Forms & Shapes from 2003 or Sasha Funk’s Bravo. He rose to international fame with the track Sky and Sand he produced with his brother Paul Kalkbrenner for the movie Berlin Calling. Thankfully, he was quick to step out of the shadow of both the song and his older sibling, and he’s released club anthems, each better than the one before, ever since – you’ll definitely hear many of those at this year’s festival.
Ed Keeley (aka DJ Friction) is one of the big dogs of drum ‘n’ bass, the founder of Shogun Audio, one of the top labels of the genre, and also one of the most technically skilled DJs: he’ll use as many as three decks if that’s what the party needs. In light of all this, it’s not surprising that he is the drum ‘n’ bass chief of BBC Radio 1, who has two fingers on the vein of the genre at all times. Who would be a more suitable candidate for giving drum ‘n’ bass newbies a crash course at B.my.Lake while also keeping seasoned fans entertained?
Art Department is the “intellectual property” of Canadian techno/house legend Kenny Glasgow (Narcotic, Jinxx) and fellow Canadian colleague and No.19 label owner Jonny White, who shot to fame almost instantly when he started out. Kenny and Jonny have produced countless successful tracks over the years, and managed to write their names into the big book of the genre as forward-thinking and revolutionary musical innovators. Their sound has retained its novelty and futurism to this day, and their take on the genre is like no one else’s – and we haven’t even talked about their individual gigs yet.
Sven Vath is a legendary, trendsetting artist, who’s always capable of reinventing himself – he’s known as the godfather of techno all over the world. With a career spanning three decades, he has been to Hungary on several occasions, sweeping even the pickiest audience members off their feet with his marathon-length sets. His label Cocoon, founded in 2000, is known for releasing some of the most important and most excellent e-music tracks. His name is also associated with Sound Of Season, an event series that is instrumental in shaping the trends of the genre. Saying that the German DJ-producer is one of the main acts at B.my.Lake is by no means an exaggeration.
Even if the name of Jon Gooch doesn’t say anything to you, his alter egos, including Feed Me, Unicorn, Seventh Stitch or Spor, probably will. While the first three names are associated with bass heavy dance music and IDM, Spor is more about drum ‘n’ bass, the tougher, more brain-shattering kind. It all makes sense, as by his own admission, his main inspiration for starting his career were Bad Company, Hive and Ram Trilogy, and his first pieces were released by labels like Renegade Hardware, Evol Intent Recordings and Damaged Mindz. This year Jon brought out his first album called Caligo – several of the party anthems featured on the record will soon shake the Balaton shore.