DJs dominate with 'bangers' at Rock Ness

Rock Ness 2010 review

published: Thu 17th Jun 2010


Friday 11th to Sunday 13th June 2010
Loch Ness, Scotland, Scotland MAP
£149 for 3 days with camping
last updated: Wed 24th Nov 2010

The second day was meant to really be about two things. To a lesser extent is was England's first World Cup game, which saw a huge number of USA flags being worn, and definitely creating a great atmosphere, but also about two very rare performances from both Leftfield, and Aphex Twin.

However, the day was ruled by some of the finest electro DJs around today, and Leftfield, who I found to be disappointing, were completely overshadowed by the French collective, Club 75.

Bringing together some of the most influential electronic artists in recent years, Busy P, head of the Ed Banger record label, and former Daft Punk manager, teams up with DJ Mehdi, Xavier de Rosnay of Justice as well as Philippe Zdar of Cassius; a real all star collective of DJs.

Unsurprisingly, their set was a mammoth one, playing for a total of 4 hours, and there wasn't a minute of it where I wasn't entertained. Taking the audience almost on a trip, starting off with some minimal electro and techno bass songs in the first hour, before building up to playing the 'bangers', with songs by Justice and Daft Punk seeing the place go wild. Although seemingly a case of too many DJs, this certainly wasn't the case, with the four of them knowing exactly what to play and when to play to create a great festival headline set.

However, a set from the Soulwax brothers Stephen and David, under the DJ alias, 2manydjs, was definitely a difficult one to follow on from. Playing on the main stage as they were originally meant to be doing a full band performance, the duo played the perfect festival set, bringing together a real mash-up of genres and popular songs, with 'Love is in the Air', 'I Feel Love' and 'Rock the Casbah' all showing the diversity of the set, especially when played up against songs from Zombie Nation, Mr. Oizo and Dance Area.

Having done for this many years, the experience the duo have gained definitely shone through in their set, knowing exactly what a festival audience need to hear to get them in the party mood, and with a fantastic visual backdrop as well, the 2manydjs set was a definite highlight, and a great warm-up for their full band set closing the festival.

However, before them on the main stage was Plan B, the former grime rapper from London, now taking a soul edge to his music, seemingly taking a similar route to that of Amy Winehouse.

With him and his arriving on stage in sharp suits, and a new polished sound, the whole thing seems to be all so rehearsed, and his new song style really sounds like the weak soul music that Winehouse made popular only a few years ago.

Certainly popular, no doubt helped by massive press and radio coverage, Plan B attracts a big audience at the festival, and songs such as 'Stay Too Long', with a really weak soul beat, but catchy pop chorus go down really well with the audience here to see him, but for me it seems that it's all just for money and I can't get away from that, as even he doesn't seem to really get into it and enjoy the set or the experience.

This wasn't the case for Hamburg born DJ Boys Noize however, who, as he played his 90 minute set, would not stop dancing a long and allowing himself to really get into the atmosphere.

Bringing together a mix of minimal electro, combined with bigger electro 'bangers', a sound he played a big part in making only a few years ago, and with the audience streaming to get into the tent, his late afternoon set definitely proved popular.

With songs such as 'Bangkok' by Toris, and a whole host of songs from his own label's acts such as DIM all going do very well, his set was brought all the right things together, and before the likes of 2manydjs and Club 75 showed that Boys Noize is still a force with the very best.

Following on from Boys Noize, and completing the stellar line-up of DJs on the second day was Annie Mac, the Radio 1 DJ, whose Friday night show is increasingly popular, and again, this meant large numbers for her set which saw he bring together a real mash-up of styles including dubstep, drum and bass, electro and even hip-hop as she warmed up the audience nicely before Club 75.

However, the most exciting performance of the day as Aphex Twin, who, having rarely made any live appearances in a long time, had a criminally small number of people watching him, with many choosing the football over his incredible live set.

Starting off his a blaze of light and distorted computerized guitars, Richard James then launched into his brand of off the beat minimal electronica, and with a more than surreal visual show behind him, everything was in place for a typically moving, and even abnormal, performance, that was definitely an experience. With songs such as the popular 'Windowlicker' gaining the biggest cheer, it becomes clear as to why he doesnÂ’t take his Aphex Twin show out live too often, and that reason is because every time he does, it's a really special experience.

Aphex Twin
review by: Anthony Hetherington

photos by: Chris Mathews

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th June 2010
Loch Ness, Scotland, Scotland MAP
£149 for 3 days with camping
last updated: Wed 24th Nov 2010

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