Dummy picks the must-see bands and very best DJs heading to Grand Halle de la Villette next week.
Charged with opening the festival proper on Thursday, London-based HÆLOS will bring their soulful harmonies and smoky arrangements to a stage purpose-built for their eerie atmospherics. The Matador-signed trio released the solid ‘Earth Not Above’ EP back in June and followed the debut with a novel cover of the Beloved’s 1989 acid house anthem The Sun Rising.
For those uninitiated, HÆLOS’ sound is almost downtempo, urban pop, with its sensibilities created from percussive and electronic elements that bring to mind a hybrid of gospel and trip-hop.
Aside from Rhye, Dan Bejar’s Destroyer performance may just be the grandest, most opulent set taking place over the weekend. Arriving in Europe in time for ‘Poison Season’, the swinging pomp of Dream Lover should be a welcome opening celebration direct from a New York block party to the streets of Paris. After heavily touring previous album ‘Kaputt’, it will be intriguing to see how Bejar and his group translate the elegant, orchestral sway of ‘Poison Season’ from record to performance. Expect fanfare and possibly conga-lines.
Read our recent interview with Destroyer here.
It’s anybody's guess what kind of mood Bradford Cox will be in, or what to expect from the Atlanta quartet Deerhunter, who play the penultimate set of the opening night. This week, Cox played a security guard at a show in California - separating a fight between two punters while the group tried to play through Take Care. Hopefully, there won't be a repeat of that, but it will be good to know that we’re in safe hands as Cox et al play through their latest album ‘Fading Frontier’, released last week on mainstay label 4AD.
With their methodical approach to instrumentation and composition, anyone who has been witness to Battles’ live spectacles can attest that no two shows are quite the same. That’s why many people call Battles a “must-see” act: their uniqueness on record (if it doesn’t register with you then) when translated live more often than not makes their documents pales in comparison. With powerhouse drummer John Stanier, and virtuosos Ian Williams and Dave Konopka, recent album ‘La Di Da Di’ proved that vocals aren’t exactly necessary for the trio to express themselves. Expect their “talking” to be done with blood, sweat, and tears.
Read our recent interview with Battles here.
As disappointing as it is that Bjork pulled out, you can hardly be dissatisfied with the replacement being someone of equal stature and influence. Yorke will be taking a break from the recording of Radiohead’s upcoming ninth album to support his 2014 surprise album ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’, playing just before collaborator and friend Four Tet on Friday evening. Following a shambolic, surprise appearance at this year’s Latitude Festival, there’s a sense that Yorke has something to prove now that time and preparation are on his side.
With Yorke playing before him, the opportunity and idea of some possible collaboration between these two minds is one of high prospect. Live sets by Keiran Hebden are rarer than his appearances on decks these days, and with the latest album ‘Morning/Evening’ still in view, there could be room for a lot of trips during his headline set.
Back at the festival for the second time since its inception, assume that moving into Saturday morning everything (and everyone) will be ecstatic.
One of the rising stars in the U.K. at the minute, London-based singer-songwriter NAO will play on the final day, warming up for her first U.K. tour in December. The neo-soul sensation just aired her latest single Bad Blood (no, not another Taylor Swift cover), following the release of her much loved EP ‘February ’15’.
With a triumphant Glastonbury appearance already under her belt, NAO's first performance outside of British shores, her sequencer free, broodingly profound pop should kick-start the soundtrack for an eventful closing day.
This is where the party starts. Over the course of the a year, Run The Jewels has become the leading voice of socio-political concerns both in their astounding album ‘Run The Jewels’ and through the many media appearances, op-eds, and rallying calls of member Killer Mike. There’s nothing subtle about Run The Jewels’ agenda to be “your fantasy utopian representation of race relations in the world,” but when they’re not assaulting your ears, they’re showing their humorous side with a cat-remix album.
With Killer Mike’s arm now fully healed (he did seem a little inhibited at this year’s Field Day festival), El-P and he will go out with a bang on what’s part of a victory lap for a momentous year.
Last month, we were privy to watching Ross Birchard blast his way through a high-octane set at Red Bull’s #FutureUnderground event in Islington Green, riding on the back of his new album ‘Lantern’. Going into the wee hours of Sunday, hedonism and able-boxiness will be required. HudMo’s appearance will likely be the same set-up to his London event, with an RBMA co-hosted early morning after party coming before the festival’s final act Laurent Garnier. If Birchard is feeling as generous as he did in September, there could be room for some surprise guests joining him.
Read our recent interview with Hudson Mohawke here.
Sharing a mammoth long set between them, two of modern music’s finest DJs and producers will keep the tempo kicking as the penultimate performers of the festival on Saturday night. There’s still no follow-up to John Talabot’s 2012 debut ‘ƒin’, but it will be other people’s poetry that the German veteran and Spanish wunderkid will stick to before handing the reigns to the inimitable Laurent Garnier. In case you missed it, check out our recent feature with Flügel as he picks out his favourite tracks from his native city Frankfurt.
Pitchfork Paris returns to the city’s Grande Halle de La Villette next week, hosting their annual event from October 29-31. For the fourth instalment of the website’s European festival, Beach House, Four Tet, and Ratatat handle headlining the event, playing alongside Dummy favourites Nao, Hudson Mohawke, Battles, and Thom Yorke, who was drafted in to replace Bjork, who sadly pulled out.
As well as being located indoors (a former abattoir, no less), one of the appeals of the festival is the structure of set times. With no clashes in sight, as such, we've put together a guide to a few of the essential artists that you might want to check out over the weekend. If you’re at the festival early, then see LA Priest, Empress Of, and Moses Sumney play the official opening party on Tuesday, October 27th (details here). For further details and set times of all the performers, head to the official Pitchfork Paris Festival website and check out our Spotify playlist of all the acts featured below.