When our friends at Pitch & Sync invited us to attend Field Day 2017 a few weeks prior, I couldn’t be more excited. Not only are they great at discovering new and alternative music, they also have a great understanding of what music does for emotive advertising. So, it comes as no surprise that they were going to collaborate with - literally one of the best alternative music festivals in the world - Field Day for their 10th anniversary. Here’s to 10 amazing years of music discovery, production and helping us create iconic advertising - Thank you P&S.
Music is that piece of disruption that has been around for as long as man could walk on two legs. It’s emotions, imagination and storytelling wrapped in a beautiful and sometimes jarring product. Field Day made me acutely aware of this. Imagine advertising evolving into a products that don’t just try desperately to sell fish burgers to families via death, but, weaves a narrative using emotive music that strengthens the idea - John Lewis’s “Bear and Hare” - we’ve done it and can do even better and Field Day made me a believer again.
The highlights from this year’s Field Day includes discovering the new and the unique, while, rediscovering the avant-garde or punk spirit of music.
HAELOS brought me on a Journey that Saturday afternoon. Their music is a touch of ambient coupled with riveting lyrics and a sick electronic vibe, which got people dancing and fixated on their performance. My favourites were “Pray” and “Full Circle”, which transported me to a whole other dimension. Haelos forces you to be moved and to move, their excellent vocals and the unique sense of rhythm pulsates within you, leaving you transfixed.
The amazing vibe and atmosphere reiterated a spirit of community, as thousands of like-minded sound voyagers descended on Victoria Park the acts only got better as the day progressed.
Katlyn Aurelia Smith’s set at the Resident Advisory employs the Buchla 100 Synthesiser as the mode to create mind blowing sound compositions. These magical soundscapes are not just ambient sound but have a very (ironically) organic feel to them. Walking into that tent brought out the goose pimples and left my companion in tears as her sounds baptised her captive audience over and over again. Smith brought us to another world, a safe place which was strangely familiar yet incredibly alien. Have a listen to her on Spotify, you’ll get my drift.
There’s something amazingly cinematic with Tom Demac’s set. I felt myself transform into a 16mm camera as I walked into the tent, my lenses were left to capture a narrative within the faces of the people around me. You’ll find yourself bobbing, almost as if his music as a beckoned every molecule within your person to respond. There’s a no turning back from Tom Demac, just set yourself free. The voyage is an epic one.
Get your fix of the strange and yet totally sexy KODE9. There’s no doubt his work has a sense of experimentation, exploration and is almost akin to Marmite. It isn’t for everyone. There is a sense of the predator and prey complex. By that, I mean, Kode9 is at the helm of this dramatic stage and we are both accomplices to his music as are willing to prey to being tortured, embraced and seduced into his world. There’s a really no good way to describe his work, it’s really a revolutionary sound that you should dive in head first. Be bold, do KODE9.
Field Day is a sprawling Eden of music. There was no physical way of being in two places at the same time but your spirit could go insane from trying. For the rest of the festival, I made the conscious decision to base myself at the Barn in anticipation for Aphex Twin later that night. There I got to experience music that evoked something I thought I lost when I left Germany two years ago.
Moderat and Jon Hopkins did not disappoint. They each stirred all the “feels” within me, soon I was reliving my club days in Berlin and Stuttgart, where we would discover electronic parties behind disused wardrobes or dance till brunch on any given weekend. As soon as I closed my eyes and surrendered, I woke up drenched from head to toe in bliss I could only describe as a magical high.
Alas, discovering Nina Kraviz was a perhaps another highlight of the festival. This trained dentist turned producer, singer and DJ not only got the crowd dancing but made us hungry for more. It seemed like we never wanted her to leave. Over the past years, the electronic scene has seen an influx of downright awesome female DJs who are not only breaking down the gender stereotypes in the scene but truly crushing it on dance floors across the globe. Perhaps, we could take a lesson or two on diversity from the electronic music scene.
By nightfall, I was thoroughly knackered from the sensorial overload at the festival. But, it was time to witness the genius that was Aphex Twin. As I write this, I am truly lost for words, where do I start or where should I start?
That night at Field Day, it was like being a 6-year-old again, this time, I was captivated. His visuals were a genius - made up of live feed images of the audience warped on a screen into shapes and colours. The light show that ensued felt like we were, and there were thousands of us - in a postmodern science fiction fantasy, it was cosmic and transformative. Suddenly, strangers were close friends jumping with every beat. This was a tribal call for those who believe in the punk spirit of music, the wild and universal language of electronic music was never more present. The set lasted for about two hours, and it was the most epic experience I’ve had to date. If you don’t believe me, watch this:
To describe the experience at Field Day as memorable is perhaps doing it no justice. I have found my tribe, albeit, it’s a tribe of about 10000 people, who seek out the weird and beautiful in alternative music. Thanks to Pitch & Sync and their continued support to help surface alternative music, we in the advertising industry can help create culturally unique and signature pieces of work that would not only move but entertain our audiences giving our clients a pronounced point of view. They go the extra mile to send you 5 of the freshest and best alternative tracks straight to your inbox every Monday, so if I were you I’d email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow them on Spotify here.
Hopefully, we’ll bump into each other at next year’s Field Day. But, till then, may the tunes be with you.