Sitting humbly at the end of the festival period, Dimensions had been an avid talking point of the summer. Brought to you by bass and sound-system festival Outlook, Dimensions catered for ‘the deeper end of the electronic spectrum’. That quote has since become synonymous with what the festival has to offer, stripping back previous affairs to bring to the forefront the finest in house and techno. The line-up yielded a convergence of innovative and legendary acts, bringing king-pins such as Ben Klock, Moodymann and Theo Parrish alongside most of the game’s contemporary trendsetters to showcase their skills on the stunning Adriatic coast.
As facilities go, the yearlong campsite really makes a difference as friendly workers and a no nonsense cleaning team maintain a more than pleasant stay. The site itself is a pleasure to be in; a campsite situated on a stunning coastal location with sea-view tents and an abundance of shaded camping areas makes the days almost (still, not quite) as enjoyable as the nights. Despite being coined Outlook’s ‘little sister’, Dimensions embodies more of a refined older sibling, in keeping with its discerning music culture and diverse European crowd. This level of musical consciousness was captured within the festival and its audience, culminating in an atmosphere that was as focused as it was carefree. Going to the first year of a festival is in some cases a risk. In writing, Dimensions’ plan of restructuring a popular festival evokes echoes of Bloc’s recent demise that formed an uncomfortable illustration of how these things can end. That said, Dimensions executed with precision a resoundingly successful inaugural year.
Sporadic queuing shaped one of the only shortcomings of the weekend. Some of the biggest queues turned out for Nicolas Jaar, Moodymann and the Swamp 81 showcase and arena capacity meant, for some, missing the apex of the weekend. Crowd flow otherwise remained level and once inside the arena you began to venerate what the slightly arduous journey to Croatia was for. Enclosed within the depths of the fort, each stage holds its own unique infrastructure that remains incomparable within the festival and the world. The Moat was a particular favourite of the fort’s multiplicity of hidden treasures. Two stone walls of 5 metre height and 100 metre length are kitted out with speakers that encase the crowd whilst immersing them in sound. The rustic charm of the Ballroom played host to the festival’s rising talent with artists such as Kowton and South London Ordnance playing out to the open top circular room that was hidden from view and only reachable through a series of dusty connecting passageways. The engulfing sound of the Mungo’s Hi-Fi soundsystem filled the Mungo’s arena whilst it played host to dub master Mala along with the Hessle Audio and Swamp 81 showcases that both became all night spectaculars.
The main stage hosted many of the headline acts including Nicolas Jaar, Little Dragon and Mount Kimbie. The latter pleased crowds with stunning live renditions taken from their monumental debut album ‘Before I Move Off’ intertwined with some delectably ambient new material. Roman Flugel and Cassy’s late Friday night slots were well received along with Marcel Dettman and Ben Klock who took no prisoners with their back to back techno takeover on the Saturday. After rinsing the harder techno acts all weekend, Theo Parrish and Moodymann provided the perfect duo to conclude the festival. For those fortunate enough to be present for the Detroit auteur’s showcase, the master that is Kenny Dixon Jr. concluded in one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. Playing out the festival with his unique imprint on house and techno alongside that silky smooth voice and his Granddad on the phone from Detroit, it was a delightfully fitting end to proceedings.
All in all, the festival was far from belittled by the showmanship of its creator. Matching their stunning line up with faultless production, Dimensions took to the inimitable stage of Fort Punta Christo on what turned out to be a hugely successful opening weekend.
MOUNT KIMBIE @ DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL 2012
MOODYMANN @ DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL 2012
MARCEL DETTMANN vs BEN KLOCK @ DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL 2012