The light at the end of the tunnel. Christmas, New Year, all that carry-on – and the financial black hole that occupancies them – are disappearing over the horizon. All those bores who subscribed to Dry January have come crawling out of the woodwork, and pay-day has finally arrived after what seemed like an eternity. Festival season still seems an age away. And truth be told, the worst of the weather is yet to come. Usually the Bugged Out Weekender provides an island of hope at this darkest time of year. Alas, not this year.
But there is still hope. On 11th March, Nic Fanciulli throws the third edition of his Winter Social festival – the eighth UK edition of the festival overall. Once again taking place at the Kent County Showground in Detling. Here we take a look at the sets we’re most looking forward to!
Tim Green is no stranger to Kent crowds. His infamous Bedlam parties held at Fort Horsted – a 19th century fortress – are the stuff of local folklore. If there’s a better venue to host a Halloween party, then we’re yet to find it! Last year, his Among Wolves EP on Cocoon marked a trilogy of releases on the renowned techno imprint. It is a club brand he is increasingly synonymous with. Touring with them from Europe to the States, including a debut set at Amnesia Ibiza during their 2017 campaign on the island.
But it was Get Physical selecting Tim to mix the 18th edition of their acclaimed Body Language series which was by far his biggest accolade of 2016. As if that wasn’t enough, he still found time to run his own Disc Over Music label. DJing. Producing. Remixing. Tim Green is an all-rounder in the truest sense of the word. And on home soil we expect him to bring his A-game to Kent County Showground.
When it comes to techno, the Kent countryside probably isn’t the first image which springs to mind. Yet one local DJ/producer is making waves. Paul is a true student of the game. His dedication and passion for music radiates, having spent years forging a distinct signature sound which sits somewhere between minimal and rolling techno. With releases on refused. and Minihard already to his name, the future is looking bright. Alongside brother Si, he runs burgeoning label, Bunkerbound. Already a successful party series, the label is readying its first release later this year.
Paul & Si aren’t the only local talents on the bill. There’s also sets from Kinky Malinki regular Micky Crist, Retox party-starter Deano Corona and Benny Ataari – who was recently given the honour of closing Abode-offspring, HotBed.
Ivan Kutz first came to the attention of Kent’s audience with regular appearances at local clubnight extraño. But it was in Glasgow notorious underground scene where he made a name for himself. Before his break he honed his craft in the untrendy, satellite districts of the city like Paisley & Johnstone. Nowadays, he is likely to be found on the line-up at SWG3 or Sub Club. Often taking inspiration from the urban sprawl surrounding him, most evident in the name of his own party series: Platform 18.
For a city that has produced some of techno’s leading global luminaries: Slam, Kevin McKay, Optimo, Gary Beck; Kutz represents the next generation in a rich lineage. It’s often said nobody can party like the Glaswegians, and we’re expecting nothing less on March 11th!
After his frolics in the Barn arena last summer, everybody’s favourite Bristolian is returning to Kent County Showground this March. In the past we have referred to him as the MVP of house music. There just aren’t enough superlatives available – Dan Pearce AKA Eats Everything is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether he is DJing in obscure places like a double-decker bus, a chip shop, a village hall or as part of all-star quartet J.E.S.u.S. somewhere off the Adriatic coast, Eats is rarely off form.
People are still talking about his B2B with Yousef from last year’s Winter Social some 11-months on. He’s even gone and bagged himself a well-deserved monthly slot on Radio 1’s Residents show. His Edible imprint keeps growing in stature, and it’s Podible off-shot is one of our go-to places for discovering new music. It’s no wonder he keeps getting invited back to Kent time and time again. Dan Pearce is larger than life. And his set on 11th March will be super-sized! That we are certain.
Whilst the earlier choices in this list may have focused on acts lesser known to a wider audience, we couldn’t complete this list without including Papa Techno himself: Sven Väth. The phrase ‘Legend’ gets bandied about all too often in this industry. But Sven lives the legend. Whilst other parties have come-and-gone, Cocoon celebrated 17 consecutive years in Ibiza last year. It is the original underground techno party. While many of its former residents (Carola, Hawtin, Loco Dice, Luciano) have long since flown the nest and now host their own parties, Cocoon has remained the one constant. Seeing off challenger after challenger to their throne.
Nowadays, the consensus is that you can no longer break a record in Ibiza. Whilst generally that may indeed be the case; if ever there were an exception to the rule, Sven Väth is it. Just take a look at the tracks he has championed in past seasons: Luca Ballerini’s ‘Impressions of a Dawn’, Frankey & Sandrino’s ‘Acamar’, Konstanin Sibold’s ‘Mutter’, David August ‘Epikur’. The list is endless, and underlines his skill as a tastemaker. And that’s before we’ve even discussed his own phenomenal output. This will mark Väth’s first appearance at the festival – something long-time attendees have been calling for. We cannot wait until the maestro brings his stack of vinyl to the Techno Barn.
The Winter Social takes place on Saturday 11th March at Kent County Showground, near Maidstone. Final release tickets are on sale now and available here: http://tinyurl.com/gte262m