1 Ata Kak 'Daa Nyinaa'
Awesome Tapes From Africa - Beach 2, Thursday
Most DJ aliases can be mind-boggling and leave us asking just how they came up with it. The reason behind Brian Shimkovitz's Awesome Tapes From Africa title is pretty simple, though. The ethnomusicologist travels to Africa to trawl market stalls in search of cassettes and the ones he finds and releases on his label tend to be pretty awesome. Ghanaian musician Ata Kak's album 'Obaa Sima' originally came out in 1994, but ATFA rereleased it on vinyl, MP3 and limited edition tape last year. Mixmag office plays led to staff pulling out some pretty bonkers dancing to match the equally outrageous music. The way it enlightened Mixmag HQ meant ATFA's slot on the first night of the festival was a must-see. He played for three hours (we only caught the last one), lashing out a series of hyperactive African cuts as he stood high in the booth overlooking the cabin-like dancefloor and red-lit water. Right towards the end he dropped Ata Kak's 'Daa Nyinaa' and the track's absolutely off-kilter vocals sent the place into a frenzy. Funnily enough, it's the same track we were having a mad one to in our apartment before we hit the festival.
2 Charlie 'Spacer Woman'
Interstellar Funk - Voodoo, Thursday
The Voodoo stage had the best soundsystem of the festival, hands down. Two stacks of Funktion One speakers flanked the DJ booth and pumped out incredibly crispy audio that had us nodding our heads in approval for the entirety of the festival. It was real special at night: sleazy red lights illuminating the mass of bodies and machine smoke sneaking through the bundle of trees acting as an arena border. Amsterdam pair Tape DJs who, admittedly, we didn't know much about, had already wowed us with powerhouse cuts like 'Without' by Kenny Larkin's Yennek alias, so Interstellar Funk had somewhat of a contest to trump that. His name hints at the type of cosmic cuts he digs out from the galaxy and there was one that really stood out and, for a few minutes, made us feel like we were in some outer techno world: 'Spacer Woman' by Charlie. Proper weirdo 80s electro and, strangely enough, just as you'd imagine interstellar funk to sound.