Fat Butcher's Photosonica
North London V-tard splicing beauty to the beats

BLOC 2009

aphextwinhecker2009Rolled in from sunny Butlins yesterday with an itchy chin from shaving in the Miami Vice porn ‘stache for Sunday night antics, tired eyes and sore shoulders (we need lighter batteries – if you’re reading this and you manufacture feather-light solid-state motorbike batteries, ring me now). Aphex Twin & Hecker had the crowd nibbling out of their fingers from the first beat on Saturday night, delivering a flawless set that drove light-speed rhythms through your soft tissues. The visuals veered from the sort of creepy facial distortion and sinister animalia you might expect for an afx show to rather shoddy, low-quality generica, but were obliterated by the amazing performer onstage; a girl laden down with speakers and screens until she was all but obscured by what must have been incredibly heavy AV stock. She appeared through the lasers and smoke and proceeded through the crowd, carrying the sound with her. There was a small child at the back of the stage dressed as Superman, but nobody else I talked to seems to remember that so maybe that was just an early figment of my senility.

Aphex Twin & Hecker BLOC 2009

Skream & Benga also came up with the goods; Midnight Request Line and In It For The Kill both sending the crowd into squealing euphorics – they sound great on your home speakers, but so much better when making your sternum rattle in the dark of a heaving throng. My chalet-mates Pikilipita, Julia and Prickimage took care of visual duties – footage here – both looking fantastic on the 4-screen set-up; three circular, one rectangle.

The first festival where I didn’t suffer ringing ears without plugs in… good accoustics, good cover from the elements, but not so much with having drinks taken off you every time you go in or out of a venue, not so much with organisation (when we got there it was as if they’d had no idea that 5,000 people with luggage were going to show up two coachloads at a time wanting to dump their stuff in a chalet and join the party, and queues were hectic, confused and interminable… ), but otherwise an excellent choice of venue for a brilliant lineup at a storming festival.

We took MOTH’s new swarm of hopped-up bugs all around the central Skyline venue and outside to mingle with the smokers and tokers…



An original series of animated insects, mantids, caterpillars and water beetles that we plan to take to more festivals over the summer. We had them crawling over the ceiling, flying round support beams and jamming in the shadows on Friday and Saturday night, riffing on the fancy dress theme and getting some enthusiastic feedback from wasted wellwishers and fello v-tards. Thanks to Kate for booking us, and to Ken for letting me blag dubstep DJ Slauka into Aphex without an all-access pass. See you all next year, don’t forget the bug powder ;0)

jamjar cinema

it was acceptable in the eighties.

3 Responses to “BLOC 2009”

  1. Oi that’s my old partner in crime who’s Aphex visuals your slaggin’ off.
    What was the generica?

    • Some of it was good, some of it was a bit low-res and a bit generic. The stuff I liked was more sinister and better quality res. Also it didn’t seem as synched to the music as would have befitted this sort of microprogrammed percussive music.

  2. niiice blog. A few of my classmates are vj’s. evil mind bending vjs. Those insects are so sweet. you should come to NZ and vj at phat10

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