Saturday July 29th marked a turning point into new territory for Percolate; outdoor day parties. With artists, labels and promoters curating similar events across the country, Hard Life went to check out the experienced party starters making it their own. The reputable promoters brought together a number of the finest selectors into the Open Air maximising the opportunity of a no-creative-barrier festivity. In spite of the British weathers attempts to dampen spirits with all day rain, we saw true ravers display phenomenal spirit, as one attendee observed “Glastonbury had mud and flags, Percolate has rain and umbrellas… and probably better music”.

The larger of the two stages, The Face, acted as a techno heavyweight, acid-laced behemoth throughout the day, playing host to Objekt, Paranoid London (live), Scuba, DJ Koze and more. The Unit, the smaller sister stage, saw Saoirse and friends warmup for Sonja Moonear’s headline set. The Unit housed a striking and never before performed back to back from Leon Vynehall, Ryan Elliott and Evan Baggs. Both stages were equipped with d&b sound-systems planned and curated by RSH Audio to ensure clean, crisp audio across the site that did not disappoint. 

Scuba provided the most thoughtful set of the day sliding between musical genres and timeframes while remaining true to the hard kicks that have become synonymous with his sets in more recent years. His two hour exploration included the original mix of Camisra‘s 1998 hit ‘Let Me Show You’. The sample stating ‘I want to show you what I’m capable of’ seemed to come as much from Percolates successful endeavour in outdoor partying as much as it did from Scuba’s record bag.

The ‘honourable unsung hero’ award goes to Krywald & Farrer for their solid set reminiscent of the charm in simplicity that many seem to have forgotten. Their set provided no-nonsense, party-promising selections, from their renowned K&F Edits to currently on-trend lo-fi house to anthems including Chicago’s ‘Street Player’ that warmed up the crowd regardless of the weather. However, the buzz for most throughout the day was around DJ Koze’s set which did not disappoint as he moved vibes away from where the event had started with a clear separation in the music on each stage. It was as expected riveting, enhanced by Koze providing a tech heavy disco laced performance that drew both stages together for his headline set.

Except for a few logistical mishaps such as ATMs and directions from the stations Percolates first venture into solo outdoor events was a huge success. Hard Life is keen to see what they have in store for the next year.

Photo credit : Michael Njunge for Here & Now