The following day, with the sun high in the sky and a calmness permeating the air, we headed down to the site in time to catch the One Taste Collective doing their thing on the main stage. The smooth and heartwarming vocals of Stac, the entertaining musings of John Berkavitch and the very soulful sounds of multi-instrumentalist Eska were a perfect accompaniment to the gorgeous scenery.
Towards the evening The Garden began to fill up as stragglers from the previous night, revitalized from their hangovers, appeared from all corners of the festival site and sauntered towards the main stage, I suspect in anticipation of Ghost Poet’s headline performance. I managed to catch up with the Cash and Carry Me Home singer for a brief interview a couple of hours before he stepped on stage, and you could tell simply by his excitement at being in the lovely Croatian sunshine that it was going to be a good one. I am told it was spectacular, with the crowd loving every minute of his live performance of tracks from the critically acclaimed Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam album.
Unfortunately at the time of Ghost Poet’s performance I had been blissfully sidetracked. Head down towards the pier, take a left, just right of the gourmet burger hut then through the trees, there’s a small arena tucked in the corner of the festival site, an inconspicuous portal into a marvelous world of bass heavy electronic grooves and head nodding beats. This was the pier stage. For lovers of the beats scene this was the place to be. DJ sets from the likes of Kutmah, Om Unit, KidKanevil and The Doctors Orders crew kept us bouncing and throwing elbows, arms flailing in the air like pincers on fighting crabs as we bounded around the sandy arena. The 2-step, The Shuffle, Gun Fingers, Grimey Face and some newly improvised dance moves to add to the repertoire, this was the spot for skanking.
Over the next couple of nights we spent many hours kicking up dust on the pier stage being hyped up by the Hoya-Hoya crew DJ’s Jon K, Illum Sphere and Jonny Dub. The Manchester based outfit looked like they were enjoying every minute of their sets along with hype-man Chunky who did an excellent job of keeping the crowd moving at all times. Along with Hoya Hoya, DJ sets from Kwes, Eliphino and Metronomy’s Olubenga, as well as my new favourite beats DJ, Kutmah, provided an eclectic but complimentary combination of bass heavy sounds from hiphop to house, funk, rare groove, and some indefinable sounds from the beats scene. From J-Dilla’s The Money, to Hudson Mohawke’s version of Ooops, to Daphni’s Ye Ye, every drop, every mix, and every improv freestyle verse from Broke N’ English hype man Strategy was special, and when he broke into a live version of his feature track Marka, we went f***** nuts!
The final main stage performance on the second day came from Alexander Nut. The Eglo Records label boss and Rinse FM DJ dropped a heavy combination of house, grooves and future sounds, and was joined on stage by label mates Olivier Daysoul and soul vocalist Fatima who performed some of their own live material including the uber-funky Hud-Mo produced Joy Fantastic. Fatima has been making big moves recently collaborating with the likes of Floating Points, Dam Funk and Dorian Concept, and with the rest of the Eglo crew, she rocked the crowd late into the night, and had everyone fully hyped up for the afterparty. Soundwave’s afterparties were held at outdoor club Barbarellas, which saw masses of festival-goers dancing till sunrise the next morning.