Despite a disastrous turn of events which led to the shutting down of their 2012 festival, Bloc relaunched with a vengeance in 2015, reclaiming their title as one of the UK’s leading electronic weekenders. Defined by its consistently amazing roster of DJs and producers within the umbrella of techno, electro and IDM, 2016 will be the final edition of the 10-year-old, 6,400-capacity event. Read on for our pick of this year’s bill.
In case you hadn’t gathered from her mantra “perfection is boring”, Helena Hauff is not one for convention. Characterised by acidic analogue synths and raw, chugging drums, her industrial productions throb with a wild eccentricity, likely nurtured during her residency at Hamburg’s cavernous Golden Pudel club. Aside from impressing with the idiosyncratic brilliance of her Werkdiscs debut Discreet Desires, Hauff’s roused many with her uncompromising DJ sets, which weld together fierce electro with outlandish 4/4 cuts. Fans of techno’s most weird and macabre: head to the front, and prepare for things to get dark.
When she’s not conjuring fantastical ambient soundscapes with James Ferraro and Daniel Lopatin, Ina Cube specialises in abstract, visceral electronica under her fittingly ethereal alias. First initiated into Steve Goodman’s Hyperdub family via her fantastical debut, the self-proclaimed “gear-freak” has grown her off-kilter productions into a strikingly original live set, as witnesses of her show at Hackney’s St John’s Church with Shackleton will confirm. Fronting the experimental end of Bloc’s eclectic roster, Cube’s slot at Saturday’s Bodyhammer showcase with Rodhad and Demdike Stare promises to be one to remember.
For those seeking respite from the relentless 4/4 rhythms inundating Butlins, Clifford Joseph Price should provide a more syncopated alternative. Claiming that music “saved [his] life”, the man behind 90s classic ‘Inner City Life’ left behind his difficult childhood to pioneer the revolutionary underground sound of jungle, inspiring a generation of drum & bass producers such as Dillinja and dBridge. After his recent MBE - awarded for his outstanding contribution to the British music industry - it’s only right that Goldie should lead the festival’s finale, closing the FACT stage on the final ever night of the festival.