recently made it down to the final Bloc festival at Butlins, Minehead. Even after 9 years, the festival remains an enigma. Bloc is one of the few British festivals that manages to re-capture the sprit of the UKs early rave scene and mold it anew. It’s the only British festival that manages to pull a crowd that contains chin-stroking techno geeks, younger hedonists and those just there to dance. It’s the only festival where you can let loose to Space Dimension Controller in a pool, with a wave machine whilst cracking a tinny. There were a lot of things that made Bloc special, too many to mention here.

Here are some of our favourite picks from the festival:

Fatima Yamaha – Half Moon Rising

Fatima Yamaha’s live set was a fine example of how to craft danceable electro from innumerable synths and a single drum machine. Aside from the sets inevitable climax with ‘What’s A Girl To Do’ (which had strangers hugging in the crowd), Half Moon Rising provided another suitably euphoric moment during his hour-long set.

Muzik X-Press – X-Press 2

Played by Jaques Adda, founder of Leed’s Good Life, X Press 2 sent a small crowd of punters nuts at 3pm in the afternoon. This cut is a modern classic associated most with Ricardo Villalobos, who regularly plays it during his notorious marathon sets.

 Byron the Aquarius - Aquarian Voyage

DJ Bone headlined the Carrhart stage on Friday night and dropped this jazzy number. Bone’s party trick is having four decks running at once, but for this track he just let it play.


 Atoms For Peace – Default

Thom Yorke’s headline set was a master class in broody, indefinable electronic music. For the most part the crowd was static but for Default, a track from his super-group with Flea, the sea of bodies began to move.


 Eric Prydz – Opus (Four Tet Remix)

Of course, Four Tet dropped this. He also dropped It’s Only Real, Woo Riddim, Digital Arpegios, Rhythm and Gash, Flip Side and many, many other bangers. It was great.

 Vril – V5

Vril is one the less illusive members of the Giegling outfit. His set was full of clattering, minimal techno much like this track of his own, which he used to close the set.

Body Hammer – Strings of Life

Body Hammer’s set kept dancers going from 6am until 10am on Saturday and might have been the highlight of the festival for anyone that attended. ‘Strings of Life’ is a stone cold classic and received a raucous reaction when it was dropped circa 8am.


 Omar S – The Shit Baby

Notoriously grumpy, Omar was in good spirits as he shelled out his own distinct brand of jazz-infused house and techno on Sunday night. This extended techno and piano workout was a highlight of that set.


 Lil Silva – The Split 

DJ Deeon finally made it to the UK after all these years. His set bounced between jacking booty-house and, surprisingly, UK bass music. Lil Silva’s ‘The Split’ got a spin and the crowd, although a bit baffled, went crazy.

 Jared Wilson - Challenging Shadows

Motor City Drum Ensemble might be famed as a disco crate digger, but his tastes go wider than that. Wilson’s Challenging Shadows added a tougher, darker edge to his set.