This year The Social Festival has outdone itself with a line up that rivals all other underground dance festivals of its kind in the UK. With 4 stages spread over the expanse of Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent, The Social will be bringing close to 30 DJs to party through the day and evening as Nic Fanciulli’s Saved Records forwards what they started back in 2013. The Meadow, Barn, Social Club and Bamboo Village will each play host to their own specially curated line-ups, with our 5 unmissable highlights listed here.
Richie Hawtin has recently been awarded a doctorate for his contributions to electronic music and its no surprise as you look at his rich history as one of the most prolific techno DJs in the world. Hailing from Canada, but born in the UK, Hawtin has won an array of awards and is the spearhead behind one of the most forward thinking music labels of the past two decades, Minus. Aside from Richie’s career path as a label owner, teacher and even Sake connoisseur, he is fore mostly a DJ and one who is respected all over for his regularly extended performances that hold enormous energy. Although he has been seen having a little too much fun with CDJs at Amnesia and monitor speakers at Time Warp, it is undeniable that Richie is one of the most mature and educated faces in electronic music and here he will no doubt put in a show stopping performance.
Another dance music veteran who will be appearing at The Social this year is Sasha, who shot to stardom in the early 90s after having been a prolific DJ in the acid house era. The EmFire label and his partnership with John Digweed were two of the main ventures during the 90s, with his second label Last Night on Earth and his innovative Involver compilations proving to spearhead some of today’s hottest styles of house music. Sasha’s performances are hugely broad, with pop remixes and edits weaved in between progressive house and harder edged music bridging on techno. Sasha, as well as Richie are no doubt two of the most revered DJs in the business, so to be able to see them both at the same festival is an opportunity that can’t be passed up.
Germany is known for being the nucleus of techno music in Europe, with countless old school greats coming out of Berlin and Frankfurt, where Robert Johnson, Berghain and Watergate all reside. DJ Koze is cemented amongst the most notorious music producers in Germany, having been voted DJ Of The Year for 6 consecutive years by SPEX. Koze hails from Hamburg and began his music career as a hip-hop DJ, gaining unique skills that pipped him as the runner up at the DMC championships a few years ago. Ever experimental and captivating, Koze intertwines his hop-hop DJing skills with his live house and disco building blocks, the style of which can be heard on his critically acclaimed debut album We Love Music.
Four Tet may be one of the anomalies amongst the flurry of techno DJs on this list, however his presence on our must see list for The Social 2015 is definitely a warranted one. Kieran Hebden is a prominent remixer as well as a producer of his own original material under the rouses Four Tet and more recently, Percussions. His remixes have been for the likes of Bonobo, Radiohead, Matt Dear, The XX, Foals and Aphex Twin to name a few, with many of these turning rock and indie hits into tracks aimed for the dance floor. Four Tet’s most recent album Morning/Evening hit the shelves last month and was released to critical acclaim, a feat similar to that of his previous seven. Four Tet is a broad performer and will no doubt bring together elements from both his monikers, so expect recognisable vocals paired with perfected dance floor grooves.
Dubfire is known for his show stopping solo performances and for being one half of the world dominating, Grammy winning dance duo Deep Dish. Although the two monikers have innately different styles, they have both brought out undeniably danceable music, notably Deep Dish classics like Flashdance and Say Hello. At The Social however, under his Dubfire alias, you will struggle to find catchy sing-along tunes and happy house chords, as he will be presenting one of his signature techno assaults as a stalwart of the underground scene. Prominently playing on Traktor, Dubfire is able to create his own builds and climaxes, with some of his most seminal sets being heard at DC-10 Ibiza and Row 14 in Barcelona. Dubfire is also the head honcho behind the minimal techno label SCI+TEC, which has been a forward thinking imprint in the scene since its inception in 2007.
Words by Josh Plews
Images courtesy of The Social, Richie Hawtin and beatport