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Weekend Primer #105

15 things to talk about on the smoking terrace

2018 Feb 02     
2 Bit Thugs

This week: Outlook, Houghton, DJ Tango RIP, Kraftwerk, Hannah Wants, Armin Van Buuren, Deetron, Pleasurekraft, Behringer, Printworks and much, much more...

1. The line-up was announced this week for the 2018 Outlook Festival in Croatia. The bass music festival's eight stages in an ancient fortress will this year play host to Andy C, Wiley, Dillinja, Doc Scott, AJ Tracey, J Hus, Lady Leshurr [pictured]Digital Mystikz, Deep Medi, Bonobo, Randall, Storm, Madam X, Kahn & Neek, Noisia and many more on 5-9 September, with plenty more names still TBA.

2. In far less happy bass music news, the world of D&B said a sad farewell this week to jungle pioneer DJ Tango (real name Jamie Giltrap), who has passed away. Known for his work in the genre's earliest days with the likes of DJ SS, Top Buzz, Randall and - most notably - Ratty, he had spent most of the years since the turn of the millennium working as a chef before returning to production in 2015.

3. The 2018 GRAMMY Awards ceremony took place in New York last weekend, with Kraftwerk's 3-D The Catalogue winning the Best Dance/Electronic Album award, LCD Soundsystem winning Best Dance Recording with Tonite and Latroit triumphant in the Best Remixed Recording category for his take on Depeche Mode's You Move. The Weeknd took home the gong for Best Urban Contemporary Album, while Best Rap Album went to Kendrick Lamar for Damn and Best Reggae Album went to Damian Marley for Stony Hill.

4. The next installment in the long-running DJ-Kicks series will come from Swiss techno veteran Deetron. His 34-track selection includes cuts from the likes of Carl Craig, Ron Trent & Chez Damier, Tony Allen, Black Dog, Floorplan, Derrick May, Burnt Friedman, Morgan Geist and Radio Slave, and is out on !K7 on 9 March.

5. Other new and upcoming releases to look out for include: new long-players from Pleasurekraft (Friends, Lovers & Other Constellations, Kraftek, 23 Feb) and Above & Beyond (Common Ground, Anjunabeats, out now); a 10th-anniversary compilation from bass music label Night Slugs (Allstars X, Night Slugs, March); and no less than four new Ricardo Villalobos remixes of Phuture's rave-era classic We Are Phuture (Get Physical, 1 March).

6. Outlook weren't the only festival announcing their line-up this week - in fact there were bloody loads of 'em. Here in the UK, the Craig Richards-curated Houghton Festival (9-12 August, Norfolk) has Ben UFO, Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, Magda, Shanti Celeste, Midland, Roman Flügel, Joy Orbison, Andrew Weatherall, Pearson Sound, Mathew Jonson, Horse Meat Disco and many more, while Arcadia's 10th birthday event at London's Olympic Park on 5-6 May boasts Leftfield, Sven Väth, Rudimental, Noisia, Boys Noize, Groove Armada and Preditah.

7. Sticking with UK festivals, Armand Van Helden, Dillon Francis and Hannah Wants join a long list of big-name EDM and pop stars at SW4 on 25-26 August, while Chemical Brothers have been confirmed as co-headliners for this year's Bluedot at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire on 20-22 July, with Roni Size, Booka Shade, Adrian Sherwood, Gilles Peterson and The Orb also on the bill. And Freerotation once more take over Baskerville Hall in Powys, Wales on 6-9 July, bringing Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, Peverelist, Surgeon and Burnt Friedman with them.

8. Over in Europe, Adam Beyer, Underworld, Todd Terry, Rødhåd, Pan-Pot, Âme and Armand Van Helden have been added to the line-up for Tomorrowland in Belgium (20-22 and 27-29 July). Attractions at Primavera Sound in Barcelona (28 May- 3 June) include Björk, The Black Madonna, Floating Points, Four Tet, Peggy Gou, Shanti Celeste and Hunee, while Portugal's Neopop (9-11 August) will welcome Jeff Mills, Solomun, Nastia, Josh Wink, KiNK, Rebekah, Ben Klock and many more. Also in Portugal, Lisboa Electronica in April will feature the likes of Nina Kraviz, Helena Hauff, Robin Ordell, Sonja Moonear and Legowelt, while over on the far side of the continent in Poland, local heroes Catz N Dogz launch a new eco-friendly one-dayer called Wooded City on 23 June, with guests including Answer Code Request and Berghain's Ryan Elliot.

9. Lastly on the festivals tip, Ultra Resistance in Miami (23-25 March) has Carl Cox, Dubfire B2B Nicole Moudaber B2B Paco Osuna, Sasha, Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati, Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones, J.E.S.u.S and more, while Panorama in New York (27-29 June) can boast The xx, Moodymann, Helena Hauff, Shanti Celeste, Floating Points, Mount Kimbie, Bicep and Mall Grab - not to mention headliners The Weeknd and Janet Jackson.

10. Moving on to club news, and London's newest megaclub Printworks aren't sitting on their laurels - they're set to open a second, 3,000-capacity space in March, though it's understood it'll mainly be used for live gigs. Elsewhere in the UK capital, new Wapping spot E1's line-up for February and March includes the likes of Joey Negro, Moodymann, Stephan Bodzin, Sven Väth and Fritz Kalkbrenner, while fabric's Easter weekend shenanigans (29-31 March) will be soundtracked by, among others, John Digweed, Marc Romboy, Guy J, London Elektricity, Logistics, Nu:Tone and Jeff Mills.

11. Over in Ibiza, the big news this week was Cocoon's shock move to Pacha, after having made Amnesia their home for the past 18 years. No line-ups yet, but it will still be a Monday night affair. Meanwhile Hï Ibiza have confirmed the return of Black Coffee for a second summer-long residency, starting on 26 May.

12. Is it just us, or are new synthesizers arriving on the scene at a faster rate than ever? New noise machines announced this week included the Neutron from Behringer (a semi-modular analogue affair, price/release date TBC), the semi-modular Eurorack format Delta Cep A from Radikal Technologies (June, $999), the monophonic Microvolt 3900 from Pittsburgh Modular (May, $629) and a brace of new metal-clad Pocket Operator synths from Teenage Engineering, PO-35 Speak and PO-33 KO! (both available now at a modest £85 apiece).

13. In EDM corner... Calvin Harris has renewed his contract with Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, extending his residency until 2020 and netting him a reported £200M; Eric Prydz is launching a new live holographic extravaganza called HOLO for 2018; and Armin Van Buuren officially became the first DJ ever to play upside down this week, when he performed inside a custom-built rotating DJ booth at Rotterdam's Vrienden van Amstel festival.

14. Just a quick reminder that Hannah Wants' UK club tour kicks off at Electric Brixton in London on Saturday. The tour will then move on to Glasgow (10 Feb), Belfast (17 Feb), Dublin (18 Feb and yes, we know that's not in the UK!), Newcastle (24 Feb), Leeds (25 Feb), Cardiff (3 March), Bournemouth (4 Mar) and Bristol (10 Mar).

15. Finally, Brighton is the place to be for wax lovers on 15-16 May, as the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel hosts the first-ever Vinyl World Congress. There'll be stands from pressing plants and cutting lathe manufacturers keen to sell their wares to labels that are reopening (or starting up) their vinyl arms, while all the major labels will be in attendance as well as the likes of XL, PIAS, Cooking Vinyl and various music industry bodies such as the BPI and AIM. A Japanese event will follow in October, with a Brazilian conference to follow in 2019.