On Saturday 19th September, Boxed Off is to make its emphatic debut, rounding off the Irish festival season as a welcome follow-up to June’s larger electronic event Celtronic, held in Derry. The dance-orientated one-dayer boasts a huge roster of household names, from Phantasy’s Daniel Avery and revered techno duo Dense & Pika, to up-and-coming local talent Breen. Fairyhouse Racecourse - home to the Irish Grand National - makes for a cinematic venue, and an ideal setting for the festival’s promised audio-visual installations.
The phrase “any publicity is good publicity” is pretty relevant when discussing Nina Kraviz. The Russian model-turned-producer’s appearance on that Resident Advisor video (dressed in nothing but some precariously-placed bath bubbles) sparked a trail of controversy, as she came under attack from critics who took exception to her sexualised persona. There’s no doubt that the one-time Jus’Ed-collaborator is bold, once telling Theo Parrish his set wasn’t up to scratch. When it comes to her impeccable DJ skills, however, Kraviz shows she’s got two feet firmly on the ground, and her esteemed catalogue of releases confirms her genuine musicality. Don’t miss her first Irish performance since headlining a spectacular show at District 8 on St. Patrick’s Day.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
The work of Greco Roman-signing Orlando Higginbottom reflects the imprint's mantra perfectly: “We make colourful music because we dance in the dark”. In all his feathery brilliance, TEED certainly seem a million miles away from his classically-trained, Oxbridge roots. This self-proclaimed tongue-in-cheek approach is embodied in the organic quality of his productions, which feel unperturbed by the “hypercool” scenes which he has openly avoided. What to expect from his DJ set? Past selections have included The 2 Bears’ ‘Bear Hug’ in amongst 80s classics and hedonistic dancefloor cuts - on a similar tip to his Crosstown Rebels mix. Expect a mixed bag, in the best possible sense.
If you’re after a DJ set where the tunes keep you well and truly anchored to the dancefloor, Detroit Swindle will provide. Contrary to what their pseudonym suggests, Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets are not from the motor city, but in their jazzy, off-kilter timbres and endorphin-inducing vocal cuts, they’ve got a pazzazz which Detroit veteran Derrick Carter would be proud of. The release of a full-length usually separates the wheat from the chaff where deep house acts are concerned, and sure enough, the Dutch duo’s debut delivered just as much spark as early bangers ‘Sometimes’ and ‘The Break Up’, which will likely be unleashed upon the crowd as the festival reaches its peak.