Conceived by the guys behind Glastonbury’s famed Shangri –La area, the London Pleasure Gardens are the latest addition to the docklands and are now home to a series of striking, world-class cultural events. Next on the agenda is Bloc Weekender, the capital’s premier festival in independent electronica.
For two epic nights, the London Pleasure Gardens will play host to an incredible array of acts right slap bang in the middle of East London’s new Olympic-land. Yep, for this year’s Bloc outing, the organisers really have compiled an eye-popping line-up with Snoop Dogg, Orbital and Steve Reich to name but a few. In fact, it’s their biggest and most diverse line-up to date. True enough to the organisers’ statement, there’ll be something for everybody this weekend, from “mind-blowing audio-visual experiences” to the “unforgettable sunrises over the water” (Music shall be pulsing well into the wee hours with the festival’s 6am license- prepare for two long, but extremely fun nights).
With the festival’s new exotic location, perhaps what’s particularly lending itself perfectly to Bloc is the Pleasure Garden’s mix of land and water-based venues. On land, party in the 30m geodesic dome and the majestic Hub stage from Glastonbury; while on water, sample the delights in the Ableton Floating Cocktail bar or explore MS Stubnitz, an ex-communist deep-sea fishing visual turned moving platform for the sonic and visual arts. Naturally, expect the latter to be the most exciting venue Bloc has ever used.
There will also be awe-inspiring projections and installations making use of the brooding buildings that dominate the area. Match this with all of the above, and you’ve got all the ingredients for an atmospheric weekend wonder that’s certainly unmissable.
Since he garnered massive “One to Watch” acclaim back in 2011, James Blake has been rather busy. While touring the globe with his alluring post-dubstep ambient beats, he’s also made time to rustle up a side project, Harmonimix. At this year’s Bloc meanwhile, he’ll be touting his slick DJ set. Next up- a rather unexpected collaboration with US hip-hop maestro Lil Wayne…
Nicolas Jaar has a pretty impressive CV compared to most other 22 year olds. Though still enrolled in the US prestigious Brown University, he has already racked up eight EPs followed swiftly by the much-lauded 2011 debut LP, Space Is Only Noise. All this and still managing to cultivate collective Wolf +Lamb and his own label, Clown + Sunset. His music, vast soundscapes that imbue reinvented jazz tendencies fused with house-infused rhythms, should go down an absolute treat in the Pleasure Gardens this Friday.
Amon Tobin: ISAM
Since being signed to Ninja Records in 1996, musician come composer come producer Amon Tobin has been redefining the way the world hears electronica via his innovative audio manipulation techniques. From scoring movies and computer games, Amon Tobin is now brandishing his latest endeavor, ISAM. A 25-foot matrix of cubes transforming into a psychedelic whirl of colours and shapes; needless to say, the digital animation is a jaw-dropping visual accompaniment to Tobin’s already impressive noise.
Experimental multi-genre producer Flying Lotus has consistently been shunning convention in favour of a bold mash-up of beats that are as complex as they are infectious. Live, Flying Lotus apparently makes for a set worth seeing, with an on-stage swagger and persona that is as animated and addictive as his unique repertoire of melodic beats.
The mighty Orbital have long since established a reputation for themselves as the grandmasters of English Electronica. With their sweeping cinematic symphonies and unmistakable roof-raising rave anthems, the Main Arena shall no doubt be heaving this Saturday with revelers all vying to witness this legendary act.
Bloc Weekend 2012, 6-7 July, London Pleasure Gardens www.blocweekend.com
Words by Aideen Shannon