By Dr. Joseph
Ahead of this years Field Maneuvers Festival (Sept 1st-3rd), which has less than 40 tickets remaining, Backdrop resident Dr. Joseph dug through our BackdropLive archives to highlight five acts we know for absolute certain are going to delight, challenge and inspire. We have actually not seen many festival lineups programmed with such quality, perhaps only Freerotation Festival could rival it for intimacy and exceptional curation, so picking just five was impossible, this is just a preview of a whole array of talent! (Full disclosure…myself (Dr. Joseph) & Simon have been invited to play Jane Fitz & Jade Seattle’s Field Moves Tent this year. We are incredibly excited, proud and humbled to be joining such a lineup and festival).
JANE FITZ & JADE SEATTLE (NIGHT MOVES)
Needling little introduction to those in the know, Jane Fitz & Jade Seattle’s Night Moves is a favourite party for so many. They too, are many people’s favourite DJ’s. Jane has kindly played with us at Backdrop on an annual basis for the last two years. We are incredibly proud to have hosted her Newcastle debut, which without a shadow of a doubt was a turning point for us as a party, a collective, as DJ’s, as ravers and as music lovers. She has since inspired us to remain bold with our bookings, dig harder for records and to make sure we keep enjoying what we do. No other act has garnered such immediate affection from our crowd, with us repeatedly being asked by our crowd to bring her back up North (which we are working on by the way). Having seen her play Backdrop twice, the late Dance Tunnel, Freerotation Festival and more, we cannot wait for our first true Night Moves Experience alongside Jade Seattle. Jade is equally one of the most skilled and versatile DJ’s you will dance to, exemplified by an uncanny ability to delve into different genre’s effortlessly. With previous sets at Field Maneuevers taking in garage and drum and bass, she is one of our most anticipated acts for sure.
A recent Resident Advisor article reviewing Nachtdigital rightly picked up on their performance as a highlight of the entire festival. “They built it up until a solid sea of ravers—some brandishing lightsabers, others twirling umbrellas—were cutting hard shapes to their sparkling percussion, blissful melodies and insanely agile basslines. Fitz, when she wasn’t on the decks, smiled uncontrollably, her lips and fingers miming in time with the music. Jaime Read’s “Life In The Sea” and Elements Of Life’s “Dark Intervals” were just two of dozens of killer highlights. Usually when the lights go up, there’s a jab of relief to soften the disappointment, but this time I wished they could roll on forever. ”
For her RA Podcast Jane sums up the magic of Night Moves better than we could…”A combination of good people and free vibes. Since we started the party, I’m not understating it when I say it has developed into a real community. Our crowd are amazing and really loyal. When we started we concentrated on building a crowd first, that was our intention, so that we would be making something that people could feel part of and look forward to and contribute to. It has outstripped our expectations in so many ways. Because of the trust that the people who come to Night Moves (and Day Moves) put in us, we have no pressure—we can book exactly who we want, which means even if you aren’t familiar with the guest, you know they’ll deliver. There aren’t many parties that have that freedom, so even though we made it that way, we are grateful for the opportunity to do that. ”
Here is a photo of Jane enjoying the passionate crowd at Backdrop two years ago.
CARL H (ANIMALS ON PSYCHEDELICS)
Carl H is the sort of DJ you remember dancing to for years to come, if not forever. Honing a distinctly recognisable sound, yet managing to play across the electronic spectrum, is surely the aim of so many DJ’s. Few achieve it with such finesse as Carl H, taking in weird, wonderful, rare and unheard of gems ranging right across house, techno, electro, rave, acid and everything else in-between. We speak from experience, having had him headline our Northern Electric Festival showcase in Newcastle where he threw our crowd into a frenzy. Few have provoked (perhaps only Jane similarly) such a strong passionate response from our crowd who were noticeably riotous by the end of his set. At Field Maneuevers he will play alongside JanE Fitz and John Hanley as Normal Behaviour. Check his BackdropLive podcast and interview here.
Also check the first two releases on his Animals on Psychedelics label here: “Through a combination of name, artwork and musical output, Animals On Psychedelics focuses on the more tripped out, spacey side of electronic music. The label’s debut release is a two-track EP from London duo Invisible Menders, otherwise known as Dom Ahtuam & Jane Fitz, who have also released on Porn Wax and BOE Recordings…Miro opens up (the second release’) proceedings with “This Is Not Butter Carolin”, a twinkling roller with subtle disco undertones and a cheeky nod to electro rubbed into the rhythm. So far, so psychedelic. “Creamy Dreams” is no slouch in the cosmic department either, loaded with bubbling arpeggios aimed skywards and using a sprightly set of drums to help the mellifluous tones along.
BEN BOE (BOE RECORDINGS/FOR THOSE THAT KNOE)
“DJ, producer, record label owner (twice over) – Ben’s managed to leave a comprehensive mark on the music we love, and managed to do so without a compromise in quality in any of his fields. Beginning his first record label, Boe Recordings, in 2007, Ben established the label as an underground stronghold, with an uncompromising attention to detail and clearly discernible aesthetic. Releases from the likes of KiNK, Leif, Anaxander and John Shima show a pedigree to be respected, and many of these records I personally own, love, and play at Backdrop. Ben’s second label, For Those That Knoe, was established in 2013, serving as an outlet for forgotten or unreleased gems from unsung heroes of the house and techno world – Derek Carr and Casy Tucker to name a couple – and maintains the same high level set by Boe Recordings.
Besides running two labels Ben has also managed to amass an amazing collection of modern rhythm boxes, legacy synthesisers and samplers and dusty 12 bit effects units, releasing seamless records on the likes of highly selective labels like Contrast Wax. As if this wasn’t enough, 20 years plus of DJ experience have led us to the moment that Ben has created this absolutely stunning mix for us all – truly a feast for the ears and mind. I was also delighted to find that Dr. Joseph and I would be sharing the stage with Ben at Jane Fitz’ Field Moves Tent at Field Maneuvers. Excited doesn’t come close, and after strapping in for this mix, seeing Ben spin is an absolute priority for me!” (Simon Leeks). Read the rest of the interview with ben to accompany his below podcast, here.
ALEX DOWNEY (THIRD EAR/FREEROTATION)
We had the good fortune of cathing Alex Downey for the first time ever at this years Freerotation Festival. It was an inspiring and humbling experience. I cannot recall being quite so mindblown ever before within the first few minutes of a set (and this was on arrival right after a five hour drive down from Newcastle, so I was sober as a judge!). Check his recent xlr8r feature here where they are streaming this very special set and also speak with the man himself. His set in the Field Moves tent is sure to be a highlight of your musical lives!
” “There’s only a handful of DJ’s I’ve ever heard who are naturally gifted, and Alex Downey is one of them,” says techno don Ben Sims at whose Split/Balance nights Downey has regularly played.” Read the rest of the XLR8R feature here.
NICK HÖPPNER (OSTGUT TON)
Having enjoyed a masterclass in house, techno & even some garage a couple of years ago in Newcastle, we are really excited to see what Nick brings to this years festival. As the Ostgut Ton boss for many years, his musical knowledge is encyclopaedic. As Panorama Bar resident, his DJ technique and ability is of course exceptional. Combine these two curcial factors with years reading dancefloors and sending them into a frenzy the world over, not many rival Nick. His latest album “Work” joins his debut “Folk” as testament to his production prowess alongside his skills as a selector.