27th August 2010

LED Festival Day 1, Victoria Park 27th August 2010

The inaugural London Electronic dance festival was always due a bumpy ride. It’s the same weekend as Notting Hill carnival, The Reading Festival and the established daddy of London festivals, SW4 in Clapham. So cancelling five acts including Axwell & Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia four days prior to the festival was never going to curry favour and as the social networking sites prove, people are not impressed.

This incident failed to prevent the crowd from having a good time, as true Brits; they kept calm and carried on.

With no information forthcoming on set times, it was a case of accidentally bumping into acts. So the main stage had Calvin Harris on hours before the set time stated,djing a mixture of his own tunes and the latest electro tracks, the best thing about his set was that he kept his mouth shut, mixing so many of his own tunes however is flagrant self onanism.

Belgian electro rock Soulwax were the heroes of the day. Resplendently dressed in turquoise suits they bashed out live versions of classics such as ‘E-Talking’ and ‘NY Excuse’ to an ecstatic crowd. They manage to merge Soulwax’s rockisms with 2 Many Djs’ harsh electronics with ease. The majority of these songs however are over five years old and with 2 Many Djs only knocking out a couple of mixes each year, putting these songs to rest and thrilling us with some new material is overdue.

The words ‘Featuring David Guetta’ are unavoidable in 2010; every auto-tuned r n b artist thinks by getting the French cheese master on board gives their music an element of underground cool, it doesn’t. Guetta does indeed have a knack, a knack for taking the very worst elements of trance, pop, r n b and techno, creating something bereft of musical integrity churned out from his hit house of crud.

Djing above the stage in a set up similar to that of Fatboy Slim, he rules the park with his limp electronic/ r n b hash. He manages to ruin all time club classic ‘Meet her at the love parade’ by mashing it up with his own Akon production ‘Sexy Bitch’, a tune so bad it reeks of 18 to 30 brain cell light lads out on the town. The lasers look cheaper than the ones used in Rooftop Gardens in Wakefield circa ’88 but maybe that retro look is what was intended, if it was it was spot on. The entire show is as cutting edge as an episode of Pete Waterman’s Hitman & Her show down Roxy’s in Milton Keynes, in fact, Guetta is nothing more than a one man Stock, Aitken & Waterman. His name may be synonymous with chart bound hits right now but like S/A/W, he will eventually be revealed as the dance floor charlatan he is.

Day two has a delectable line up of Aphex Twin, Goldfrapp, Friendly Fires and thereturn of Leftfield amongst others...

Chris Todd

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