By Tom Belte
It’s Bloc Weekend folks, but not as we know it. Bloc ticket holders are likely sweating with eagerness and excitement as they pour over a line up that looks to be the biggest of the festival’s history. This time, Bloc are retiring from the chalets of the Minehead Butlins, instead offering two days of unadulterated pleasure-seeking slap bang in the heart of Olympic London at the London Pleasure Gardens.
“Expect the unexpected” is the would-be motto of the weekend: naturally, Bloc have pulled it out of the big rave bag, offering attendees the chance to immerse themselves in the world of future clubbing. Most impressively, MS Stubnitz (or Motor Ship Stubnitz, an ex-communist deep-sea fishing vessel which belonged to The German Democratic Republic prior to the end of communism) has dropped its anchor at the festival, and in doing so will provide an industrial auditory-optical venue like no other. Inside, the likes of the much lauded Boiler Room will be showcasing the extraordinary talents of DJs such as Hudson Mohawke, Pinch, Boddika and Loefah.
If you’re a regular Bloc attendee, 2012′s list of acts might not come as such a surprise – but although a line-up of this calibre is standard issue from Bloc, it’s exciting stuff for any attendee. Both old and new fans of the festival will be lapping up artists as diverse as Steve Reich, James Blake, Snoop Dogg, Nicolas Jaar, Orbital, Flying Lotus, Richie Hawtin and Gary Numan, who will feature alongside underground DJs such as Levon Vincent, Surgeon, Addison Groove, Jeff Mills and Ricardo Villalobos, all of whom will appear as part of showcases from progressive underground labels such as Hyperdub, Numbers and Swamp81. Quality electronic music being the clear concept behind the festival, venues will be astutely designed with good audio resonance in mind, by means of chic draping, echo proofing and high specification sound systems.
Buckle in, get ready to apply your bass face, and immerse yourself in some of the best of the best (big and small) of independent electronic underground music. UK clubbing history is nostalgically peppered with stories of days and mornings of dancing in fields, warehouses and life changing club experiences. Now Bloc goers will bare witness whilst also being part of their own bit of history, perhaps even dancing in a boat, sweating it out in front of the cream of the music crop whilst being part of a post-millennium clubbing and festival experience like no other. With all of this in mind, we’ll see you down the front.