Model 500 deliver an outstanding performance at BLOC

BLOC Weekend 2010 review

published: Thu 18th Mar 2010

Butlins @ Minehead

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th March 2010
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
standard apartment £140 per person - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Thu 11th Mar 2010

Grandmaster Flash takes us through a hip hop journey in centre: BLOC. Sugar Hill Gang, KRS 1, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and the other usual suspects get an airing. Not limiting his set to one era he takes us from the 70's right up to the present day. The crowd love it and it's definitely one of the better atmospheres all weekend, only slightly tarnished by Grandmaster Flashes' need to keep shouting about how great he is at every opportunity. Immodesty aside, this was pretty great.

Bloc Weekend received two new venues this year. Pub: Bloc and the Fenchurch Dome. Pub: Bloc was more for pre rave pints than anything, but a welcome addition to the weekend for people to get some Dutch courage before facing the full on rave onslaught. The Fenchurch Dome was described as "an awe-inspiring audio-visual experience like no other. Best described as a cross between a four-to-the-floor club and a planetarium, the panoramic projection installation allows lucky BLOC'ers to stand inside the VJ's three dimensional vision, watching a virtual reality being created totally live and in 360 degrees overhead and all the while losing themselves entirely to the sounds of the future."

It is quite a sight to see and the music in there throughout the weekend was top drawer. Luke's Anger, and Billy Nasty prove to be two of the highlights on the Saturday night in there. The only problem with it, is that it's tiny and only fits around a crowd of a 100, queuing seemed a common occurrence throughout the weekend outside the dome and when it was packed it was an actual sweatbox, so any extended periods of time in their we’re at times uncomfortable.

Flying Lotus takes the reins after Rob Hall's delightful onslaught in red: BLOC. FlyLo plays a set that largely stays faithful to the sound that has seen him rise to success in a few short years. Hip hop, soul, funk, dub step and more are mixed up to create his inimitable style. A much needed tonic to some of the souless dubstep found in other arenas throughout the weekend. FlyLo makes music that is as much for your mind, as it is your body and soul. This doesn't stop him rinsing out some goofy numbers that can't help but tear through your body as your standing there and leave you with a great big grin.

I decide to keep it on a hip hop vibe and check out hip hop stalwarts Anti-Pop Consortium who have been regarded as innovators since their debut LP 'Tragic Epilogue' a band who have fans from the b-boy purists to the indie kids to the IDM chin strokers. I decide to check them out to see what the fuss is about. What is quickly apparent is that the atmosphere is almost eerily silent and the music isn't much better. After a few tracks and no change in atmosphere or quality of music I decide to leave quickly before my buzz is completely killed for the night.

I make my way over to another of Saturday night's headliners – Autechre who play to a packed red: BLOC arena. The music lacks any sort of decipherable beat or flow and to this reviewer, it just sounds like one irritating noise after the other. This is to be expected from a group who have made arguably the most experimental electronic music in the course of the past three decades, a group whose music divides opinions within the electronic community like no other. Not my thing at all, but for every person at BLOC who couldn't stand it, you'll find one who found it to be the highlight of their weekend.

The night is saved by Model 500 who are on centre: BLOC – comprised of Juan Atkins, 'Mad' Mike Banks, and DJ Skurge. We are talking the crème de la crème of techno on stage to deliver their own unique brand of cosmic funk futuristic techno. People dancing everywhere with big smiles on their faces including Model 500 themselves, you can't help but feel you're in some sort of strange and wonderful remake of Blade Runner when listening to this. 'The Future' and 'Night Drive' are just some of the stand outs on one of the best performances of the weekend.
review by: Paul Mullin

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th March 2010
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
standard apartment £140 per person - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Thu 11th Mar 2010


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