EDC 2013 London Review – Ft Nervo, Jaguar Skills and Idris Elba – Part 1

Posted on 24 July 2013
By Martin Higgins
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Just as the Royal umbilical chord of our future king has been cut, some other Royal dynasty announced itself on British shores for the first time this week, and did so with the same level of pomp and circumstance…

– Just with more fireworks and lasers.

Yes, Electric Daisy Carnival 2013 took over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday and royally smashed it, surpassing all expectations in the build up.

Entering the site, the sheer scale of the assembly appears in all its snaking glory; from highways of gourmet food stalls and a miscellany of different walking attractions to enjoy on the way to your favourite tent.

These included carnival rides, roaming circus shows, games and fancy dress, so there was something there for everyone.

There was even a vertigo-inducing zip-wire ride near the Velodrome for the daredevils in attendance, or as we like to call them, nutters.

The festivities featured over 30 musical acts across 5 stages on the day, so again more than enough to chew over. Even if there were some inevitable clashes it didn’t matter.

It was the perfect prelude to Creamfields 2013 (www.creamfields.com), which is coming around the track very soon and has outlined some equally ambitious plans for this year’s event, both in terms of line-up and visual delights. Not one to be missed.

But here at EDC colour was as important to the drama as the music.

Take the fantastic swinging “Electric Daisy” installation by artist Poetic Kinetics, a 100-foot lit, articulated and moving flower head which lurched above the main stage like a crane, bewildering the crowd below.

The floor itself was decked in luminous orange and green astro turf as far as the eye could see, leading the gaze to the enormous main stage.

This was the piece de résistance and was equipped with more gadgets than a James Bond film – ready to push the limits of hi-tech lightshows by the gigawatt.

It also had some hugely impressive screens fitted on either side, with enormous panoramic LCD lights for the all-important close-ups of the DJs.

First on the bill on the mainstage was Nervo, and there has been hype building around this Australian sister duo since their early teens, when they chose a career in the production of dance music over potential modelling contracts.

Good job they did, because their talents and enthusiasm for pulsating house suffuses every track they play together, and their set demonstrated perfectly their full palette of DJ’ing tools.

The crowd was in fine fettle by this point, dancing to hits like You’re Gonna Love Again and Feel Like Home, many on the shoulders of their friends and loved ones.

After first impressions were over and done with, it was over to the North Park, for a deeper exploration into the unknown, over the beautiful bridges, where the heady sounds of Dub Step, techno and a blend of strange fancies filled the air.

We found Goldie was in attendance at Mistajam’s bassPOD tent where he was pushing his hectic beats to their absolute zenith, while MC GQ was spitting bars over his punishing, high-tempo bangers.

This kind of music is morale boosting, full of energy, and GQ was suitably uplifted, dissecting the beat with fierce bars and shouting: “This one is nastyyyyy!!!” at the breakdowns.

In the background meanwhile, these swirling red discs of light hypnotized the masses. This furore of colour and sound was an intoxicating mix.

It was time for the MC to introduce the next act, Caspa, and he warned the crowd in advance: “He’s gonna rock out the beat like Coronation Street”.

Caspa emerged to the sound of his archetypal dark dub-step, with elements of The Specials thrown in for good measure. But Where’s My Money blew the roof off.

Then it was over to Cosmic Meadow tent where Idris Elba, the star of Luther and the man set to play South Africa’s most famous son, Madiba, in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, was playing his stylish tunes.

It turns out he has a number of strings to his bow and is a successful DJ away from the silver screen.

He is even doing a stint in dance Mecca Ibiza this summer, alongside Example at Ibiza Rocks!

Hardwell was coming up on the main stage and after a brisk stroll his distinctive tunes became audible.

He immediately cut into a remix of Smells Like Teen Spirit, the Grunge anthem of the 90s and Nirvana’s greatest contribution to pop culture, and it sounded great behind his mix.

More of the same later on from the masked Jaguar Skills, who was mixing Sub Focus tracks in a decadent mishmash of styles.

The Specials got another run out this time with A Message to Rudi.

But that was only the beginning of the frivolity, later on in the evening contained the biggest light displays, fireworks, pyrotechnics, stunts and visual tricks you can imagine, including sets by Alesso, Avicii and Tiesto.

Read the second part of this review here…


Words by Martin Higgins www.mhfreelance.co.uk