It was no less than Pablo Picasso who said that, “good artists copy but great artists steal”. Although at the time of uttering those words House music bootlegs of RnB anthems were yet to even appear on the horizon, we feel confident that the Spanish master would heartily approve of Swiss producer Cyril Hahn‘s route to the top. Hahn made his name with a few personally uploaded edits back in 2012, the most notable being a pitched down rework of Destiny Child’s classic ‘Say My Name’. Infectiously groovy yet subtle, his version has had nearly 13 million YouTube views and received kudos from the likes of Annie Mac and The XX.
Bores might trot out tired arguments about authenticity and say what Hahn does means he’s not a ‘real’ artist, but there’s a particular kind of genius to what he does. His original ‘Voices’ EP out last year on PMR proved his talent for arranging harmonies and melodies to be no for real, with the trio of vocalists featured all on fine form. Hahn’s instrumentals meanwhile, toe the line between Pop and House, finding a sweet spot between both styles that many producers spend their entire career’s searching for.
Unsurprisingly an in demand remixer, Solange, Sigur Ros and HAIM have already enlisted the now Vancouver based artist to rejig their singles. Accessible yet considered and unique, these versions all bear the trademark Cyril Hahn style – a quite brilliant form of musical thievery that marks him out as one of the most exciting talents of recent years. Catch him on Sunday…
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Cyril Hahn plays Everywhere Festival in Nottingham on Bank Holiday Sunday May 3rd, 2015.
Before Disclosure had ever sold out arenas across America, before Rudimental had sound-tracked every sporting montage on television, and before Skream was the toast of Radio 1, there was Wookie. An innovator across a number of genres, the Londoner got his break way back in 1991 when he began working as a producer for Reggae artist Wayne Marshall. He’d later go on to work for British pioneers Soul II Soul, before focusing more full on his solo productions towards the turn of the millennium.
From 1999 to 2001, he was in the midst of a creative purple patch which saw the cornerstones of the hugely influential ‘Wookie sound’ laid down. Tracks like ‘Scrappy’ and former Top 10 hit ‘Battle’ featured carefully applied licks of Rhodes and soulful harmonies atop Bass that packed genuine force – a timeless case of pairing the rough with the smooth. His remixes have also been equally beloved over the years, with his version of Sia’s ‘Little Men’ a staple of UKG raves since the moment it was released.
After a brief hiatus, Wookie was back in 2012 – instantly piling up remixes for the superstars like Bobby Womack, Disclosure and Usher alongside brand new original material. Not about to enter the ‘lifetime achievement’ stretch of his career by any means, Wookie is in the unique position of being both a respected veteran – receiving deserved praise from the younger generation, and a vital contributor to the scene.
DJ’ing now for the first time in his career, Wookie has graced the finest clubs in the world – playing the likes of Berghain, fabric and Warehouse Project in recent years. Set to bring a taste of the present, past and future, you’d do well to make sure you catch him on Sunday…
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Wookie plays Everywhere Festival in Nottingham on Bank Holiday Sunday May 3rd, 2015.
Born from eclecticism, House music is often best understood by those who come at it from the outside. A video game loving Hardcore fan, Leon Vynehall wasn’t born in the middle of the dancefloor, and he didn’t start DJ’ing before he could walk – like some of today’s House demigods would have you believe of them. Rather the softly spoken and considered Vynehall’s ascent has been modest – yet impressively convincing all the same.
Debuting on now sadly defunct Brigthon crew Well Rounded Housing Project back in 2012, Vynehall made a strong early impression – conveying a level of comfort in his own sonic skin befitting of an infinitely more experienced producer. Rich chords, rugged drums and sparingly placed samples were Vynehall’s early calling cards, as he racked up more acclaim with each passing release. The one-two punch of ‘Brother/Sister’ for Will Saul’s AUS finally saw him communicate his idiosyncrasies on a grand scale, with a pair of tracks that distinguished themselves as they worked the floor.
Despite overseeing a consistently strong output from the get-go, Vynehall’s undoubted watershed moment came last year with the release of his EP cum mini album ‘Music For The Uninvited’. Here with more space to work than ever before, we got to witness the beauty and depth of his artistic personality – from the wide eyed string swoon of ‘Be Brave, Clench Fists’, to the Zelda inspired wonderment of ‘Inside The Deku Tree’. Displaying a breadth of influence that informs all the best House music, the release also saw Vynehall make respectful nods to the genre’s origins as a refuge for the oppressed with both the title and some carefully chosen samples.
With ‘Music For The Uninvited’ earning him his first taste of mainstream attention, Vynehall has been careful to keep both his feet firmly on the ground. Quick to follow that release up with rolling piano induced emotion of ‘Butterflies’, he clearly knows better than to switch things to autopilot – whether as a producer or as a DJ. Catch him in the booth these days and he’s just as likely to take a left turn into dusty free Jazz as he is to drop a head nodder from one of his contemporaries, pulling off both with ease. Assured yet humble, individual yet winningly accessible, Leon Vynehall is here to stay.
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Leon Vynehall plays Everywhere Festival in Nottingham on Bank Holiday Sunday May 3rd, 2015.
You could hear music journo clichés like ‘meteoric’ and ‘overnight’ used to describe Hot Since 82’s rapid rise to the top and roll your eyes, but that wouldn’t stop them from being true. Simply put, there’s not many other words that do justice for an artist who went from unknown to headliner in what seemed very much blink of an eye. As with most seemingly rapid fire ascents to the top however, it was built on a foundation of passion, determination and years of hard graft.
Born Darren Padley in Barnsley, the eventual House music superstar had a relatively modest beginning growing up with his three brothers and one sister in the town’s Athersley Council Estate. There the relentless and diverse barrage of music emanating from his sibling’s rooms would inspire his eclecticism – whilst weekends spent with his dad fitting massive soundsystems on VW Beetles gave him a tolerance for loud bass that would hold him in good stead later on. He predictably became enraptured with dancefloor culture as soon as he was old enough to sneak into clubs, and quickly began DJ’ing. A natural on the 1’s and 2’s, Padley would quickly become a selector of some repute in his local area, and by 2006 word of his talents had traveled to Ibiza – where he earned a residency at Cream under the banner of Leeds club Glasshouse.
A party staple and a frequent visitor to the White Isle in the following years, he gradually became disillusioned with the more classic House sound that he’d been so enamoured with in his youth. Briefly abandoning DJ’ing and production, it took an inspirational trip out to the heaving dancefloors of Leeds in 2010 to get him back in his groove. Returning to Ibiza a year later, a chance power outage at an after party led to Padley hijacking the soundsystem and playing what would become ‘Let It Ride’ to an enthusiastic crowd. With that tune quickly landing at number 3 on Beatport’s Deep House charts, ‘Hot Since 82′ as we now know it was born.
In the intervening four years Padley’s instantly recognisable brand of muscular, lazer focused Tech-House has seen him pick up plaudits faster than we’ve been able to keep track of. The cover of Mixmag, the Essential Mix, the pinnacle of the Beatport Chart, sell out American tours, a groundbreaking debut album, and his own label have all been taken comfortably in his stride. Always about the music first and foremost, however lofty his career gets, you can always be sure to find Hot Since 82 with his feet firmly on the ground and a smile on his face.
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Hot Since 82 plays Everywhere Festival in Nottingham on Bank Holiday Sunday May 3rd, 2015.
In a scene where authenticity is paramount, few are more ‘real’ than Newham Generals. As a particularly memorable bar from long time fan favourite ‘Violence’ asserts, the tag team of Footsie and D Double E were indeed, “born and raised in the gutter”, with their East London birthplace of Newham remaining one of the capital’s most deprived boroughs even after being vapidly showered with Olympics money in 2012. Whilst Grime may be flirting with mainstream success ever thanks to Kanye co-signs and lofty chart positioning, there’s never any danger that the pair will forget their roots, with Footsie often proclaiming Ghetto Life to be, “no more than a walk to the shop away”.
Individually, Footsie and D Double have roots in British Urban Music that extend beyond Grime and into its foundations – with both cutting their teeth MC’ing over Jungle riddims during the halcyon days of pirate radio. It was during this time that they honed rapid fire deliveries and punch line laden flows that would help them work crowds into a frenzy years later. Meeting each other through radio, they would go on to be integral members of the legendary N.A.S.T.Y crew stable – a group which also served as an early home for the likes of Jammer and Kano. N.A.S.T.Y’s time together would ultimately be short lived and end controversially, but like many of the other members, the pair would go on to bigger and brighter things.
Idolised by Dizzee Rascal as a youth, Footsie and D Double E – now working in tandem as Newham Generals, got their big break when they signed to his Dirtee Stank label. The support of Grime’s biggest break out star saw them cross over to audiences they might never have reached to play venues around the world, whilst also dropping an acclaimed LP in the shape of 2009’s ‘Generally Speaking’. With a steady stream of material flowing ever since, the ever hungry duo have never stopped coming with their winning mix of rave energy, cheeky humour and East London street smarts. See what the fuss is about at EVERYWHERE.
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Newham Generals play Everywhere Festival in Nottingham on Bank Holiday Sunday May 3rd, 2015.