1883 Magazine
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Each year, the announcement of the Dimensions Festival line-up draws ooohs and aaahs from those who dig a little deeper into the world of electronic music. However, the 2018 schedule may have been their greatest achievement yet, bridging all generations of its history; from it’s foundations in the sounds of Kraftwerk, to the detroit electro pioneers they inspired, right through to the bleeding edge insanity of Volruptus, Jlin and more.

With so many rare appearances and in-demand acts, the hardest part of Dimensions is tearing yourself away from one set to go see another. But there wouldn’t be much point in bringing such a roster if the crowd can’t hear them play properly. Luckily the Dimensions team supplied the sound quality needed for artists to bring out the heavy artillery. Weighty Void Acoustics systems across many stages kept us locked in for hours on end. Even on the largest stage, The Clearing, the vast expanse was filled with enough bass to keep back-row chests rattling for standout headline sunrise sets from Avalon Emerson and Volvox. When the music takes hold so well, you have to take a moment to snap out of it and remember you are raving in a deep cavern of an ancient fortress or on the sands of Adriatic coast or tipsy topside out at sea on a boat called “Champagne”.

While there are still areas for improvement (the on-site food selection could do with some higher quality options) none of these issues detract from the overall experience of a unique weekend brimming with flashbulb moments. From Hunee’s sunset beach sing along to Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight, to Joey Rebelle dropping a ghetto bass remix of Spandau Ballet - True on her boat party gig. Dimensions Festival has undoubtedly maintained its position as one of Europe’s heavyweight champions in electronic music festivals. Here are our five biggest takeaways from the weekend.

 

Electro-Electro-ELECTRO

“Heleeena Hoff”

“Helena Haus”

“Hilina Hoof”

Her lovely name may have been bastardised beyond recognition by English tongues but it seemed so many people we spoke to were heading to Hauff’s boat party that we half-expected a P&O cruise liner to pull into the fort harbour. The old school Detroit electro sound had officially taken over at Fort Punta Christo and, wherever you were, you were no doubt going to hear some broken beat funk action. Highlights came from Detroit In Effect scratching and MCing like it was a 80’s warehouse party and the marathon of destruction by DJ Stingray, dropping the likes of Dave Clarke’s “Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted Part 2”.

 

The Chug

In complete rebellion against the speedy electro and breaks dominating SoundCloud tracklists everywhere, “The Chug” is a mysterious nickname for a style that has taken the blogosphere by storm for its rolling downtempo approach. We scampered back from our first boat party to hear the standard bearers for this style, Lena Willikens & Vladimir Ivkovic, in action. We were greeted with a crowd in the depths of the hypnotic, mechanical stomping of The Chug. It sounded earth shattering on the gargantuan Void system. We fell in love immediately. Onward we marched.

Talk of the Town

We were pleasantly surprised by how international the audience at Dimensions was, from a couple from the States discovering deeper sounds for the first time, to an Austrian couple determined to have Hunee play at their wedding (he politely declined). It was also a testament to the internet age that many were excited about the same new talents and the rare opportunity to see them, one in particular being Skee Mask. His slamming dub’ set in the SubDub Arena sounded like nothing else all weekend as the military grade Sinai Sound System stacks shook the Fort to its core. Blawan’s Potchla Vee sent us into overdrive.

Jumping on the Band-wagon

After a night of brain-melting techno, nothing has been proven more effective for soul restoration than basking on the beach like a bloated sea lion with the occasional dip into the still blue waters of the Adriatic. What’s more, the live music programming at Dimensions didn’t play second fiddle by any means, each day was filled with brilliant bands from a new wave of jazz, hiphop and RnB artists. Highlights came from the wild jazz energy of Ezra Collective, the Manchester soul of Children of Zeus and the silky smooth vocals of the very charming Fatima (how she hasn’t broken the big time yet we don’t know).

KRAFTWERK

Could anything be more life affirming for the electronic music nerd than seeing Kraftwerk? Many had waited decades for the opportunity so it’s no surprise the energy for the opening concert matched the swooning fandom of a One Direction show. The four robots from the future, but also the past, played a 3D audio-visual gig, glasses included, that alluded to visits from aliens to the very amphitheatre in which we sat. Happy music nerds as far as the eye can see.

Words by David March www.twitter.com/davidgmarch and Sam Jones
Register for next year: www.dimensionsfestival.com/
Follow Dimensions on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DimensionsFestival

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