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Field Maneuvers proved that the UK's rave spirit is alive and well

The small-scale festival was big in character

  • Words: Patrick Hinton | Photography: Jonny Pénzes Underhill
  • 16 September 2016
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1 Pearson Sound ‘XLB’

Pariah – Sputnik Dome, Friday

Field Maneuever’s smallest and most intense stage is the Sputnik Dome, a spherical enclosure that traps in heat and sound at ferocious levels. Ben Sims hosting a techno-fuelled Machine takeover inside it on Friday was a real baptism of fire and made it clear from the start that we were in for an explosive weekend. Pariah was the man responsible for our favourite set of the night, going strong on the party tunes and sending the dome into raptures. The pinnacle was reached with the dropping of Pearson Sound’s ‘XLB’, a surefire contender for track of the year. Its vortex of sharp percussion and gushing synths was matched in atmosphere by the swirling smoke and red lasers shooting across the tent wildly, inducing a mind-bending dance floor moment.

2 Justin Cudmore ‘Crystal’ (Mike Servito’s 730 Reshape)

Honey Soundsystem – Potala Palace, Friday

In what felt like a world away from Machine’s Sputnik Dome takeover, but was actually about five metres, Honey Soundsystem were in the Potala Palace laying down the type of spirited house grooves that have seen their reputation grow unchecked beyond San Francisco and across the world this year. The collective DJ, throw parties and run a label, and emphasised the quality of their 360 experience when drawing for Mike Servito’s 730 Reshape of Justin Cudmore’s ‘Crystal’ from the HNYTRX imprint. The record was pitched down slightly, giving it more of a swing and bringing sunny Bay Area vibes to a chilly English evening, added to by silhouettes of zealous dancers flashing across the colourful visual screens. As Honey Soundsystem closed out the night, their eclecticism shone through with forays down into acid chuggers and surges into unbridled euphoria with cuts such as Floorplan’s ‘Tell Me No Lie’. While Randomer went hammer and tongs next door, the set also highlighted the impressive diversity to be found across Field Maneuvers despite its size.

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