With this year's edition of Bestival just one month away, I thought the time might be right to share some of the acts I'm looking forward to the most. From pop superstars and grime royalty to cult bands and the finest underground DJs, it's true that the festival has something for everyone. And with this year's tantalizing fancy dress theme - 'The Future Is Here' - no doubt production levels will up their game yet again. See you on the ferry.
Having played Bestival more times than any other band, Hot Chip have been given the honour of headlining the Big Top on the opening night. Over the course of six albums, the group have slowly cemented themselves as Britain's finest electronic pop act since New Order. I'm firmly of the opinion that their consistency is the only thing holding them back from being recognised as such - basically, we're lucky to have them.
The Black Madonna
Possibly my favourite DJ in the world right now, the Smart bar resident has seen her star soar in the last year. Powered by her thrillingly intuitive ability to connect with a crowd, her sets are a glorious love letter to house and techno. Plus she's principled and outspoken on the issues that matter in a scene where most artists - at best - would rather stay quiet. Dance music needs DJs like The Black Madonna.
This one should be a riot. As part of the 'World of Rave', hardcore pranksters Altern-8 will be playing a special DJ set, alongside rave heroes Slipmatt, Jermoe Hill and Billy Daniel Bunter. With their seminal '92 album Full On Mask Hysteria being given the deluxe reissue treatment next month, it's the perfect time to (re)accquaint yourself with the cult duo's madcap approach to dance music, and of course their trademark hazmat suits.
As usual, the lineup of of MCs that Wiley has assembled under the Eskimo Dance banner is an embarrassment of riches. From scene legends like Newham Generals and P Money to newcomers Jammz and AJ Tracey and even trap dons Fekky and Section Boyz, this showcase is bound to be one of the best sets of the weekend.
She may only be 21, but Amy Becker has already established herself as one of the most exciting DJs on the circuit. Specialising in grime and experimental club, but drawing deep from every facet of UK bass culture, her selections are rarely less than impeccable, and her energy infectious. Her talents as a curator were in full evidence on a recent 12" featuring contributions from the likes of DVA and Logos.
Having delivered one of my favourite sets of the year so far at the inaugural Peckham Rye Festival, K2RAH is seriously high on my list of DJs to catch at Bestival. The So Future founder's inclusive and forward-thinking sets span everything from hip-hop and R&B to Jersey club. You'll be glad you took my advice when she takes to the decks.
If there was a grime producer of the year award, Spyro would be wearing the laurels, no question. 'Side By Side', 'Mud', 'Toppa Top' - it seems like all the best tunes doing the rounds are tagged with the inescapable "Sounds of the Sir!" His DJ sets are just as high octane as his productions, so expect serious vibes and a crate full of exclusive dubs.
The Chuckle Brothers
No justification needed really.
Bestival 2016 takes place 8-11 Sept on the Isle of Wight, and you can buy tickets here.
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