11.9.12

Preview: Underground Music Festival, U.K.


When one is trying to choose from the endless selection of electronic music festivals that take place in Berlin-Brandenburg each year, it's easy to forget that the city does not actually own the patent on cheap, anything-goes, 72-hour techno expeditions to the Champs D'Elirium. I was reminded of that fact last week, when I found an ad for the Underground Music Festival taking place in Sussex next weekend. Shame I can't be there.

Despite having one of the least aesthetic acronyms of all times, UMF promises to deliver roughly seven parties' worth of crusty chaos for the price of about three London club tickets. But unlike a London club, the £60.00 entry fee includes accommodation (on-site camping if booked in advance) as well whatever food and drink you can smuggle in from Netto (yes, Netto exists in the UK as well, never fear).

The names on the extensive line-up of performers and DJS make up a mini who's-who of underground festival and free party faces from around the U.K. And this time, they're armed with a license. That means there'll be no awkward, pitched battles with the Old Bill to lower the tone. I guess that means the punters will have to find some other way to lower it. Well, challenge accepted!

The UMF line-up runs the gamut from punk and dubstep to jungle and ska; from ambient chillout to acid techno, gabba and even trance... yes, trance. It's a varied sonic palette of underground styles will invariably swirl together into a tie-dyed kaleidescope by the end of the weekend. There are dozens of acts listed from the UK underground; just have a look at the full line up on the Facebook event page to see if any of them ring a bell for you. Some of those that I recognized were:

* Acid techno producer and self-described "techno terrorist" Rowland the Bastard

* Jerome Hill (pictured right) of Don't Records, a label which "has been fighting against the blandness and sheep mentality that pollutes the techno scene". That's the spirit! Jerome has also played to devoted fans at Berlin clubs Tresor and Salon Zur Wilden Renate, this past year.

* Jamie C, who is the author of some very energetic mixes, all of which can (and should) be downloaded for free from Partyvibe.com

* Dogshite, a punk band composed of Guy McGaffer (of RAW), Chris Liberator (of lord-only-knows how many labels) and his wife Carmel, who will also spin as DJ Tiddles.

* Steve Bedlam of veteran free party sound system, Bedlam

* Stinky Pink DJ's like DJ Mobius who has this to say about his past gigs: "I’ve been to parties in the most amazing places: big, small, hot and cold, warehouses, arches, cinemas, bingo halls, underground car parks, factories, show rooms, pubs. I even played in a walk-in refrigerator once!" Yep, that all sounds familiar...

* DJ Zebedee from Stay Up Forever records (pictured left)

On the off chance that some of you actually make it there, please bear this in mind: UMF is not going to be the kind of place that one goes to show off one's haute couture and capture one's Facebook moments for posterity. Rather, it will be a place for one to drop one's IPhone in the mud, swap one's shoes for beer, lose one's tent and still come home smiling (I may be speaking from experience when I say that). Actually, just thinking about it makes me homesick for England!

Festival details and tickets can be found here

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, streetart, left-wing activism, social media trends and green issues. Other publications that I have written for include: Urban Challenger Blog, Siegesaeule, Shlur, Alternative Berlin, Sensanostra.