Follow the groove and it will lead you straight to Victoria Park next month for the legendary Lovebox festival.
The line-up for the July 15th and 16th extravaganza boasts some truly ferocious names, such as the return of LCD Soundsystem, Ricardo Villalobos and hip hop festival favourites Run the Jewels. But the Hackney-based party also features some of the biggest names in London’s grime and DJ scene, such as Kano, Stormzy and Hannah Wants.
Given that the weekend was formed back in 2002 by Groove Armada it’s no surprise that the emphasis is still on brutal beats and killer hooks. After all, it was always supposed to be something different in London’s music scene, something more exciting…
It started with a box of records and a pack of heart-shaped Post-It notes. Their record box became the ‘Lovebox’. That became an album. Then the first party was thrown in an old strip club off Tottenham Court Road. A residency at 93 Feet East followed, even later a stint in Ladbroke Grove. Fast forward a bit to the duo hosting a one-day special on Clapham Common for 10,000 people. The year after was 20,000. Then in 2005, Lovebox moved to Victoria Park and spread itself over two days.
Thankfully, this year’s festival is no different as it continues its bold search for unusual talent and lethal grooves. And if peering deep into the future of music is your thing, look no further than the Bandstand and one of the jewels in the festival’s crown, The Comet Is Coming.
Dropping their powerful debut album in April – Channel the Spirits – on The Leaf Label, it blazed a streak of phosphorescent beauty across the night sky. Thanks to scorching British tenor sax player Shabaka Hutchings, drummer Max Hallett and synth player Dan Leavers, the group has created a forward-thinking and pulsating take on cosmic rock and astral jazz.
They’ve been compared to the lovechild of Sun Ra, Funkadelic and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop – with an extraordinary urge to party. And ahead of their appearance on Lovebox’s Bandstand over the festival weekend, we asked the London trio to name the five favourite tunes that rock their celestial bodies. The resulting answers were predictably far out…
Spoek Mathambo – Control
SHABAKA: Kodwo Eshun has described Afrofuturism as a poetic-isation of the past. A past that comes loaded with stigmas and fetishised notions of ‘African culture’. The act of unravelling the terms by which we view this culture is the first step in gathering the agency necessary to learn from it and apply its wisdom to our contemporary experience. This video is all that…
Robert Wyatt – Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road (Rock Bottom)
MAX: This is the music I think they should play when I die and go to heaven, kind of has a scary bliss. Really like it when the track starts going backwards.
Zac Hill – Practising
MAX: One of the most important alternative drummers; this man plays the drums like a tsunami – think punk gospel chops on acid.
Pharaoh Sanders – In a Tunnel
DAN: Pharoah Sanders is a king of sax. He was named ‘Pharoah’ by Sun Ra. He has an extraordinary ability to channel emotion and feeling through his music. This killer version of Kazuko is played in a tunnel near the Golden Gate Bridge with a harmonium player.
Flamingods – Rhama
DAN: I just finished working on this drippingly lysergic album for Flamingods, co-producing with my man Capitol K. These are a group of psychedelic badasses from Bahrain, who when playing live really go into a deep meditative trance. Watch out for when this drops this summer on Soundway Records.