Naked City is the newest London day festival that aims to shift the focus away from the hyped-up headliners doing the festival circuit each year.
Taking place in South London’s Beckenham Place Park, Naked City has instead filled its line-up with homegrown artists who have honed their skills in the eclectic and vibrant UK underground music scene, as well as exciting international acts that are masters in their field.
Run by ever fearless promotion outfit Krankbrother, Naked City promises to be a day to remember. Here are seven acts you need to see there.
Based in London, Afriquoi comprises members from Africa, the Carribean and the UK. The supergroup combine African musical traditions with electronic genres like dubstep and house to create a unique version of dance music that spans continents.
Combining synth experiments with otherworldly vocals and improvised saxophone lines, Laura Misch is a musical force to be reckoned with. Often performing solo with nothing but the help of some loop pedals and multiple synths, she is not to be missed.
Mafalda is one of the most daring and eclectic selectors around. Frequently mixing Brazilian groove with free jazz then straight into classic soul on her regular NTS show, she is an expert at reading the room whilst educating her audience.
The legend of Ata Kak became far more widely known after a short Red Bull documentary came out in 2017, documenting Awesome Tapes From Africa’s quest to find the elusive musician. Combining elements of Ghanian highlife, hip hop, reggae, dancehall and rap, Ata Kak’s ‘Obaa Sima’ album has become legendary among crate diggers. Better catch him quick.
Neneh Cherry’s ever-changing sound moves from trip hop to dub in the same breath, and her 2018 album ‘Broken Politics’ was produced by Four Tet. Rising to prominence in the post punk era, Cherry has a longevity and shapeshifting quality in her music that touches the nerve of each decade she enters.
The Nottingham-based East Londoner’s star is in ascendance as of late. Wooing the likes of Gilles Peterson and garnering widespread radio play with her debut EP ‘Black Moon’, Lacey’s softly crooned lyrics are set to a gentle jazz backing that wouldn’t be out of place in a smokey Parisian jazz bar in the 60s.
Moses Boyd captures the essence of living in South London through his experimental jazz. His debut album ‘Displaced Diaspora’ paints such relatable vignettes as being ‘Marooned in S.E.6’ or fighting your way through Peckham Rye station at ‘Rush Hour’. Boyd’s brand of nu-jazz is one that’s helping to bring jazz back to the masses.
Jemima Skala is a freelance journalist, follow her on Twitter
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