This year’s Playground Festival brings together many of the godfathers/ innovators of house, techno and electro music alongside those making a significant rise on current underground scene to create a truly retrospective festival experience. Headliners LEFTFIELD, SQUAREPUSHER, GARY NUMAN, DIGITALISM, VITALIC and UNKLE’s JAMES LAVELLE, will be joined by a whole host of upcoming and respected talent as they all play under one roof at Brixton Academy on the 7th – 8th June.
Unparalleled in their status as one of the UK’s biggest electronic acts of all time, LEFTFIELD, join the Friday leg of the festival with a rare electronic dj performance. Their seminal debut album “Leftism” went platinum within a number of months of its 1995 release and earned a Mercury Music prize nomination later that year. The album is looked upon as a classic is regularly mentioned in music polls including Q Magazine that placed it 8th in their list of “The Greatest Albums Of All Time”.
While the Saturday, will be topped by contemporary experimental producer SQUAREPUSHER. This producer has redefined the spectacle of live performances. Using a giant screen, stage board and head-mask comprised of nothing but choreographed LEDs, Squarepusher’s live show now mirrors the incredible attention to detail he brings to his music, as well as highlighting the incredible technology it takes to be one of the world’s best producers.
Joining the list on the Saturday night will be legendary songwriter and innovator to electronic music GARY NUMAN. Since his groundbreaking work and named as one of the figureheads of the electronic movement in the late 70s and early 80s, Gary Numan has been a pioneer of forward-thinking electronic music and a living legend to the UK’s musical history. Since the release of his breakthrough track “Cars” in 1979, Numan has gone on to have a glittering career that still holds strong today. With every passing year, Gary Numan has kept true to himself by breaking barriers and creating diverse and interesting electronic music that wins him new fans every day.
Topping Friday’s bill will be the electronic duo DIGITALISM, making a very rare LIVE performance at Brixton Academy. Known for their breakthrough single “Pogo“, Digitalism have been a huge driving force in underground electronic music and their critically acclaimed live show is all part of why we wanted them at the top of the bill.
Joining Digitalism on the Friday will one of the founding members of alternative electronic duo UNKLE, JAMES LAVELLE is a true staple of the UK’s music scene. Forming the group, alongside DJ Shadow, in 1996, UNKLE are regarded as one of the most groundbreaking electronic groups the world has ever seen with their debut album “Psyence Fiction” regularly brought up as one of the greatest albums of all time.
French techno will also get its representation at this year’s festival with an incredible live performance from one of the country’s most formidable producers VITALIC. Since the release of his debut album “OK Cowboy“, Vitalic has proven to be one of the world’s leading beatmakers on the techno scene. From his early debut work with “La Rock 01” to his current heavyweight album “Rave Age“, Vitalic has never failed to bring the party atmosphere everywhere he goes and earned his place on this year’s bill.
As well as all the seminal talent joining us at this year’s Playground Festival, we will also be graced with the presence of groundbreaking electronic duo THEORB. Since the release of their incredible debut album “Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld” more than twenty years ago, The Orb have been one of the most innovative and awe-inspiring electronic outfit in recent times. The pair are currently working on a second collaborative album with dub legend Lee Scratch Perry and rumours have began to fly over a new tag-team with electronic hero and fellow Playground Festival performer John Foxx. Needless to say, The Orb’s performance will definitely come with surprises.
Joining Vitalic and Gary on the Saturday will be two of the founding fathers of the Detroit house and techno scene, DERRICK MAY and KEVIN SAUNDERSON who together reinvented the house sound in the 80s and have gone on to be two of the most respected tastemakers on the scene today.
We are also serving up German house duo BOOKA SHADE, who have been a staple of the world’s clubbing consciousness for more than a decade. Since the early 2000s, Booka Shade have been creating and pushing their sound through their self-conceived label Get Physical, resulting in four critically acclaimed albums with numerous singles and remixes to boot. After a 3 year absence, we welcome BOOKA SHADE back onto the UK live seen with open arms.
KAVINSKY will also be bringing his unique brand of 80s infused electro to the festival on the Friday night. After all the hype Kavinsky received from his contribution to the “Drive” soundtrack, the producer finally released his debut album “Outrun” this year. A retrospective look at what the producer has managed to achieve since his career began. While his fellow countrymen CASSIUS will join the French producer in what can only become a great union in the sounds of old and new French productions. Known for their anthems “Cassius 1999” and “Feeling For You“, Cassius’ inclusion on this bill will bring a cool dose of electro nostalgia to this year’s festivities.
JAMES ZABIELA also takes the reigns on the Friday night and has been one of the UK’s most praised DJs over the last decade. As a longstanding resident to the Renaissance label, Zabiela’s mixes and DJ sets are regarded amongst the highest and have seen this DJ progress to one of the highest names on today’s underground electronic music scene.
MODEL 500 has been the most successful pseudonym of American producer and originator of the Detroit techno scene, JUANATKINS. Atkins first began working as Model 500 in the mid 80s and went on to create the now legendary Metroplex label, home to the likes of Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, who will of course be joining us on the Saturday.
We complete the top of Saturday’s line up billing with some of the most inspiring and influential artists in the world. Including German-born PANTHA DU PRINCE, a staple of Europe’s ambient techno scene whose new collaborative album with The Bell Laboratory “Elements Of Light” is looking to be one of this year’s most anticipated new releases. JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS, the new project from original ULTRAVOX vocalist, John Foxx, joins him on the second day. This new project has seen a reinvention of John Foxx as he looks to continue the ground he covered with Ultravox, and bring it hurtling into the new millennium.
Also added to Saturday’s bill will be on of the founding members of electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, WOLFGANG FLUR. Flur left in the group in the mid 80s to pursue other projects that have seen the producer create a number of unique and diverse productions right up to the present day.
The Playground Festival will also host a huge array of talent across both nights including dance music royalty X-PRESS 2, talented DJ and producer BODDIKA, championed producer of the Numbers label DEADBOY, nostalgic RnB reinventor KRYSTAL KLEAR, ethereal beat producer LAPALUX and North American beatmaker TOKIMONSTA.
With NATHAN FAKE, LUKE VIBERT, CRAIG RICHARDS, LUKE SOLOMON, OM UNIT, NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS, OLUGBENGA, WILDKATS, WHYT NOYZ, MOLO, SEVERINO, DAN BEAUMONT, LUKE UNABOMBER, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, RYAN HEMSWORTH, DAKTYL, CHARLIE TRAPLIN, MAXX BAER and TEMPLA opening the festival for us across both days, the event promises to kick start the summer off with a bang (or beat?).
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