Midas, the Ancient Greek king, is generally regarded as an allegory for the plight of wealth. However, after seeing the light, Midas became a follower of Pan, the lascivious, cloven-hoofed god of goat-herders, fittingly part of Dionysus’ retinue, who was worshipped as the promiscuous god of the wilderness and ecstatic music, and as the instigator of panic and madness. And so it was in a flash of recalcitrant folly that Midas alone took sides with Pan, after having stepped-in to arbitrate a musical contest between the latter and Apollo, god of the arts, poetry, and moderation.
What a rich and perfect parable this is for the club music of today, torn as it is between the demands of the market place, the thrill of sensory overload, and illuminating idiosyncrasy. How this applies to Simian Mobile Disco and Skream, who understand better than most acts how to harness the emotions of the crowd and create fantastic hands-in-the-air moments, or to the work of Anika and DJ Sotofett, who despite their supposedly rational approach to music still manage to conjure cathartic mayhem, is best left to you to discover.
King Midas, by the way, emerged from this divine contest wearing a pair of donkey’s ears – Apollo’s curse for defying him - which became the mark of both the deaf critic and, more importantly here, any rebel who refuses to be patronised. Midas’s attempt to hide his ears apparently gave rise to the Phrygian “liberty cap”, a symbol of emancipation and the pursuit of liberty, that also serves as the anarchic Mr Punch’s most emblematic garment.
Some or all of this night's performances will be streamed live via Red Bull Music Academy Radio.
Anika was discovered by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow during his search for a new singer for his new band BEAK>. Barlow and his band produced her debut album (Stones Throw, 2010) only one week after their initial meeting, which immediately lead to Anika’s description as “a modern-day Nico”.
Croydon’s Skream is one of UK bass music’s busiest, most prominent producers and has been credited with breaking dubstep into the mainstream. He has a long history with MC Sgt Pokes, the voice of the legendary DMZ clubnights in Brixton and co-operator of the DMZ label.
Greco-Roman is a collective of musicians, DJs, and artists on the Berlin-London axis who throw speakeasy parties, run an eclectic record label, and DJ together as a Soundsystem, making colourful music, because they dance in the dark.
DJ Sotofett is, together with his brother DJ Fett Burger, one of the minds behind the strange and wonderful Sex Tags Mania label universe, with a taste for equally strange and wonderful DJ sets.