Field Day 2013
I’ve been saying this for a while, but I’ll say it again… NYD is the new NYE. Namely, Field Day is where it’s at. There’s no endless queues for drinks, overrated club nights or unfulfilled hopes. It is what it is. Unapologetically; the day after.
There’s something very special about a day party, and waking up at 7am to have breakfast over a bottle of Veuve is definitely a favourite pastime of mine. It was a well strategized move and by the time I rolled up to the Domain at 12 I was already a certified liability.
I love those first few hours of a festival where everything is sunny and new and just perfectly fuzzy. As I skipped around the wonderfully fresh Domain and enjoyed the smooth, minimally sexy Le Brond set I imagined that this was where the Field Day idea was conceptualized; empty fields, a new year, the path not yet travelled and the many adventures that lie ahead. Wordlife opened the Centre Field stage and i got all patriotic as they reasserted boldly that Aussies can make Techno. Although it was early the boys did a solid job of getting the party started with their characteristically heavily slanted, dirty, big techno jabs.
Its no surprise that when Maya Jane Coles played on the Left Field stage I was as front left as could be and most likely throwing out the odd marriage proposal. Given that she played fairly early in the day; at 2.30 her set was fairly cruisy but her honey dipped techno brought about a lovely smooth transition into the later afternoon.
Despite my unwavering adoration of Booka Shade they have previously managed to evade me and I was yet to see them play. The Booka boys generally play a DJ set at festivals so the fact that they were playing live made their set just that touch more special. Listening to Booka always causes me to become completely emerged and immersed in a musical moment and today was no exception. I’ve often struggled to comprehend how, despite not using lyrics in their music, (or very infrequently) they manage to so successfully create precise images via seemingly disconnected but amazingly fluid sounds. (and herein, children, lies the beauty of techno!) Fuck me, In White Rooms sounds like exactly that; a White Room, and Body Language causes a physical reaction so strong that even the Queen would find her hips disobeying her and wobbling around with an untapped elasticity.
One of my favourite aspects of Field Day is that it caters to every mood, yes it’s a day brimming with party vibes but it’s not overpopulated by fluro wearing festival fuckwits and at any moment of the day you can choose to opt out. It’s not impossible to get to the bathroom or to queue for drinks and there’s plenty of lush patches of grass to lie under and gaze into the thick emerald canopies of the Domain. I’ve spent many a euphoric moment doing just that; hashing out new years resolutions or summarizing the year past. Naysayer & Gilsun provided the perfect atmosphere for said activities with their multifaceted, blissful Electronica in the early afternoon. After making enough sunlight filled hexagonal finger shapes and throwing my whole body into their deeply ambient but gorgeously bassy tunes I was satisfied that I’d had my poignant moment for the day and picked up my party hat once more.
Of course Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs was a popular pick of the day and pleased the crowd endlessly with dancey feet moving tunes. I cursed his young talent and whipped around to Left Field, popping into AraabMuzik who played a shit hot, delightfully heavy Electronica and Hip Hop inspired set.
In the late afternoon I somehow ended up lost back at Centre Field whilst having one of those ‘no YOU meet ME here’ moments and accidentally got involved in the Hot Chip set. Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of UK outfit Hot Chip (I do really like The 2 Bears though!) so hadn’t put them on my list of things to do. However, it was a happy accident and they really impressed me. I stand corrected Hot Chip, you made me smiiiiiiiile! Just as party boy Adrian Lux started playing and I caught myself humming “we don’t sleep when the sun does dowwwwwn” I bounced off to re-immerse myself deeply in dirty, big, techno beats for both Danny Daze and Scuba’s sets. Scuba I’d never heard play live before and whilst he didn’t play much of his own music and claimed that he was pretty knackered by the time he reached Sydney for Field Day was definitely high on my list of most memorable artists. I can’t remember whether I wet my pants or climbed a tree when he dropped in a Julio Bashmore track but it made it all the more sweet. Apart from the sheer quality of tunes it was awesome to be among such a passionate crowd for these sets.. you know when lesser known (to Australian audiences) Techno artists play here that you only have serious fans in your company. No fuckwittage, just sweat, smiles and the odd grindage. Lovely.
Before the final set for the day I cruised by Cassian, another Aussie golden export, who, signed to Modular People is really good at making people dance. Seeing the new year in doing just that I’m absolutely certain that 2013 will see him reaping in fans and musical love aplenty.
The end of the day for me was at SBTRKT, who unsurprisingly brought the festival to spectacular close. To think, Australia was barely aware of the enigmatic man behind the mask last year and he was now closing one of the year’s biggest festivals. SBTRKT was flanked by his own percussionists and long time collaborator Sampha who delivered the live synths and vocals for a very involved highly energetic set. Just as crowd pleaser Wildfire played I was thrilled to be launched up on someones shoulders where I stayed bouncing uncontrollably and singing along, changing the lyrics to ‘wild chiiiiiiiiiiild’ (oh jess you are so WITTTTTY!) whilst throwing some airborn shapes. SBTRKT kindly delayed the inevitable sadness that was about to set in when we realised it was all over by inviting Disclosure onto the stage with him for one last final,banging encore. I crossed my fingers and secretly hoped that magically we’d all be whisked into a time machine and could do Field Day all over again, (75 times!!) but sadly…the end was very fucking nigh and it was time to start counting down the days, crossing off the resolutions and immersing ourselves in tunes until Field Day 2014 was upon us.
As I meandered through the Domain, stopping for a fresh coconut (ooooh laa laaaaah) I summized that it was the best Field Day EVER. But that’s what I say every year.
Kudos to you Fuzzy for ringing in 2013 with such a pleasurable day and a showcase of unsurpassable talent.
Words – The Other Jess
All photos with thanks from Fuzzy.