Saturday 17 March 2007

Future Music Festival

I must admit I was a bit dubious when I first heard about the Future Music Festival. Dance music festivals organised by out-of-towners tend not to do as well as our home grown shows like Enchanted and Stardust. People not from Adelaide tend not to recognise Adelaide’s fickle musical nature.

There were quite a few attractive women

Sure, the line up was huge, but other events, Two Tribes for example, had impressive line ups and yet never attracted too many people in Adelaide. Add the fact that it was on the same weekend as the Fringe Opening and Womad, and one could be excused for thinking that it might not do as well as it would in other states.

However, I am more than happy to report that Future Music Festival was an absolute success. The set up at the Garden of Unearthly delights was excellent, one of the best set ups I’ve experienced in Adelaide. I’ve heard varying reports about the numbers, from between 4 and 6,000 people, but the place was busy and bumping from the moment I got there. There was even a line up to get media passes!

MC Conrad

First up was dnb maestro LTJ Bukem, and there is nothing better than listening to MC Conrad’s dulcet tones wax poetically over Bukem’s cruisy dnb on a nice, sunny day. Although Bukem’s label Good Looking Records hasn’t released an album in years, Bukem plays new stuff unlike any other dnb DJ on the scene today. The crowd were really enjoying it, with most dancing on the slight incline of the park, and a few kicking back under the shade.

MPK & Patch

Being a breaks lover, I spent the rest of my time in the So Co Cargo area. Patch and MPK played a wicked set of harder dancefloor dnb to an eager home crowd, playing Pendulum and other crowd favourites; although I thought it was unfortunate that the only 2 dnb acts on for the day clashed.

Ali B

Ali B stepped up, and started playing some bass heavy breaks. He had some sound problems, apparently his monitor wasn’t working too well, but that had little effect on his mixing. I didn’t know many of the tunes, although I spotted some Stanton Warriors, Bassbin Twins and Drumattical Twins in there. Towards the end of his set he got a little funky, playing Slyde amongst others, and this seemed to fill the room a little more.


JDS stepped up next, and I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not a fan of his signature tune ‘Purple Funky Monkey’, but his set consisted of much harder, more dancefloor breaks orientated tracks that just grooved along. If I knew only a few of Ali B’s tracks, I knew even less of JDS, but that doesn’t bother me and didn’t seem to bother the crowd either. I’d much rather hear new music and find out what it is after the fact.

Princess Superstar

During this time I wandered about, and caught a bit of Princess Superstar on another stage. I actually enjoyed what I heard her play, but I’m sure I heard one of the tunes she played at least 3 times on that stage during the entire day as I wandered past. Maybe I’m just getting old and it’s all starting to sound the same to me.

Rex The Dog

Much to my disappointment, Rex The Dog wasn’t a synthesizer playing German shepherd, but instead a rather first-class (but merely human) performer playing on synths and turntables. He played lots of really cool, techno-electro breakbeat driven stuff which the crowd really got behind. Chris Lake followed and there was barely breathing space in the small So Co Cargo area, but that made Chris’s bump and grind techno funk even more enjoyable.

Chris Lake

But if there was a crowd for Chris Lake, there was a horde for Carl Cox! One of the biggest names in dance music for the last 10 years, Cox always goes off in Adelaide and this was no different. Playing off a Mac notebook on what I assume was either Serato or Final Scratch, the big man of the music scene simply smashed it!

Carl Cox

I was simply too smashed to continue the night (I had been at Womad all weekend too) but the Future Music Festival was a huge success, and the promoters did an amazing job. The sound was clear and crisp wherever you were, and although there were many people, it never felt claustrophobic. I look forward to next years event!

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