Friday, 29 June 2012

Bloc.2012 @ The London Pleasure Gardens (6th + 7th July 12)

After missing last years festival, as it clashed with our event in the Red Room at Cable, we was extremely pleased to hear that Bloc had firstly, shifted to London, and second, more importantly, had released the date early.

We’re in the middle of working out our plan for the festival so we thought we’d enlighten you on the decisions we’ve made. We’ve put together our intended POA, it may not necessarily turn out this way in practice, but we believe that having the best intentions at the start is a good idea.


Amon Tobin – Main Stage 21:00 to 22:30

We’ve been aware of his music for a while but it wasn’t until we watched this video of him performing his ‘ISAM Live’ show, at the Springfestival in Austria, earlier this that we realized this was something that had to been seen. By using a multidimensional 25’x14’x8’ screen to project visuals onto, he creates a truly 3D audio / visual experience.

What this video if you need any extra proof of just how incredible this is!

Shackleton – Resident Advisor Hub 22:00 to 23:00

Only onto our second step and already we’ve encountered a problem (this decision will be better made at the time.) Shackleton is a high priority. Our favourite from the selection of artists that spawned a tangent of bass music that evolved into an almost unrecognizable species from the commercial tripe you hear hammered over the commercial channels today. As part of the iconic ‘Skull Disco’ label, his name became known around to world to clubbers and music fans alike. His intricate marriage of brain melting basslines, unnerving percussion and trippy melodies makes for a life altering live show. His fabric 55 CD is still one of the biggest standouts from that incredible series.

Xhin – Resident Advisor Hub 23:00 to 00:00

Those who made it to either (or both) of the EarToGround Stroboscopic Artefacts showcases will know all about Xhin. Saying that so will all who’ve seen him anywhere else in the world, or those who’ve had the pleasure of listening to his album ‘Sword’ or any of his impressive releases on SA, CLR & Token to name a few. Probably Singapore’s best-known techno export, his ability to manipulate digital mixing technology, better than most we’ve seen try, taking tracks from all areas of electronic music and mashing them together to create a totally individual style of techno.

Sandwell District – Resident Advisor Hub 00:00 to 02:00

The Resident Advisor Hub again (the line up they’ve put together is genius) and Sandwell District! We’ve made no secret of our love for the collective headed up by Function and Regis. (There’s a very good reason why we picked them to be the headliner for our first event!) These boys have been there from the start, and it’s this hard graft which has afforded them their lofty position in today’s techno hall of fame. Whether it be at clubs like Berghain or fabric, infront of 1000’s at festivals or in a small club in the east end of London in front of 300 hungry techno fans (we’ve experienced them all), no one leaves disappointed.


Saturday is an all more difficult proposition for the discerning techno fan. There’s plenty more to cram in which unfortunately means plenty of clashes. The Resident Advisor Hub is again on top form but providing entertainment values that more than equal the dance music forum is the Plex vs Perc Trax showcase. The London promotion again joins forces with London’s best label to create quite a show. We caught up with label boss, Perc, to get his thoughts on the upcoming festival…

“Perc Trax has been organising and co-promoting showcases around the world for a few years now, but the Perc Trax arena at Bloc will be the label’s biggest event to date so it is fitting that it takes place in London and is in conjunction with Plex, undoubtedly one of London’s best techno promoters. Our area is an amazing circular space housed in what looks like half a golf-ball.

The line-up for the whole festival is excellent and I am overjoyed by who we have. Perc Trax and Plex have never just been purely about techno so to have Objekt and Cosmin TRG, both who display a strong bass music influence in their productions is vital. Add to that Lucy, Truss, myself, the Plex boys and of course our headliner Surgeon and we have a wide range of techno covered as well. After a lot of travelling recently this event feels like a real homecoming for me and for Perc Trax and I know that all the DJs involved are working hard right now to pull out something special on 7th July.”

This is what we’re hoping Saturday looks like for us

Scion feat Tikiman – Bleep 21:30 – 23:00

Scion, consisting of Substance and Vainquer, were part of the legendary 90’s Berlin label, Chain Reaction. As a part of a hugely influential collection of labels and artists, including Maurizio, Basic Channel & Burial Mix, that created it’s own distinct dub techno sound. When Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald, aka Rhythm and Sound, joined forces with vocalist, Tikiman, the gap between the Jamaican dancehalls or the Berlin clubs was bridged. What followed was five 10” singles, which then became a showcase album on Burial Mix. These records still remain some of the most iconic dub techno records today. Although Ernestus and Von Oswald never performed live, they gave their blessing for Scion to build a set from the original works and keep the spirit of project alive and well.

Truss – Plex vs Perc Trax 22:30 – 23:30

The London based producer / DJ has been in fine form of late. His new release on Sigha’s Our Circula Sound label hit the shops in the last few weeks and has been storming up the Juno charts ever since. His no nonsense, forward thinking style is paving a very bright future ahead of him.

Lucy – Plex vs Perc Trax 23:30 – 00:30

Lucy is one of a number of Italian artists making big waves in the techno scene. Combining his early love for IDM with futuristic conceptual techno, his sets, like the output of his Stroboscopic Artefacts label, are unquestionably distinctive. His stand out sets at the EarToGround showcases and the infamous Jaded after parties only add further proof. However for Bloc, Lucy will be indulging his abstract side, as performs his experimental, non dancefloor orientated live set, which he debuted at the Club To Club opening ceremony, in Teatro Carignano, last year. We expect to this to be unmissable!

Monolake – Resident Advisor Hub 00:00 – 01:00

Robert Henke, aka Monolake, is another ‘been there, done it’ story. With early works on Berlin’s Chain Reaction label he helped build City’s dub techno legacy. Over time his sound evolved to incorporate anything from DnB to ambient. Henke was a leading figure in the development of Ableton as well as a musical inspiration to us all. We have a lot to thank him for.

He’ll be performing, alongside Tarik Barri on visuals, his Ghosts Surround Tour. We was lucky enough to catch this fully surround sound audio / visual experience earlier on this year and we’re struggling to think any other musical experiences that reach the heights that Henke did on that Thursday night at fabric. Before the start of the tour he released this little teaser video as a small portion of what to expect ….

Scuba – Resident Advisor Hub 01:00 – 02:15

Scuba, and his Hotflush label, have been steadily blurring the lines between techno and UK bass music so successfully, that he’s gone from performing on small pirate radio stations to the worlds biggest and best clubs and festivals.

A.T.O.L. – Resident Advisor Hub 02:15 – 04:30

Take two of our favourite techno artists in Marcel Dettmann and Shed, then add one of our favourite electronica act and what you get is some four pronged techno / electronica super group. Armed with a couple of turntables and a bunch of machines, the only thing you can expect from this practically unrehearsed onslaught is that it’s going to be something very special.

Jeff Mills – Main Arena 02:30 – 04:00

There’s not much more to be said about Jeff Mills, so we’ll just run over his highly documented credentials. The godfather of techno, a founder member of the infamous Underground Resistance Collective, a sci-fi fanatic that translates these futuristic visions into audible encounters. Whether working with a fully-fledged orchestra or in a DJ booth with an unimaginable amount of turntables, and his ultimate weapon of choice, Roland’s TR-909, there’s nothing ordinary about listening to a Jeff Mills performance.

Perc – Plex vs Perc Trax 03:30 – 04:30

While the dance music world has been overly concerned with trying to stay on top the crest of whichever wave is popular at the time, Perc has been quietly content getting on with his own thing. Refining his sonic assaults into an industrial stream of techno, which is imitated by more than a few, but rarely equaled. Perc’s subtle ability to intertwine powerful impacts with organic textures and endless amounts of jacking grooves, creates an honest reflection of the emotional connection he has with his music.

Surgeon – Plex vs Perc Trax 04:30 – 06:00

Surgeon is a pillar of UK techno. He just celebrated his 20th anniversary in the game earlier this year with a special set at James Ruskin’s Blueprint Records party, which we won’t be forgetting for quite sometime. His serious, cold face, demeanor only helps to encapsulate you more into the magic of his music. We couldn’t think of a better way to finish off one of the best things to happen to London in a very long time!

That pretty much concludes our roundup. The only think left for us to do it to tell those of you who don't have tickets to head over to the Bloc Website where you'll able to buy Friday, Saturday or full weekend passes.

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