OUTLOOK FESTIVAL 2016: ONES TO WATCH
The Outlook 2016 line up is looking as strong as ever, covering dub, dubstep, reggae, grime, DnB and everything between. As with any line up with more than 10 names, set clashes are inevitable and painful decisions will have to be made. Do you see someone you know will tear it up or discover a new artist that could change your life? Unless you’re one of the “I just came to get twisted” types, you will most likely spend your evenings juggling perpetual DJ set FOMO and a loosening grip on your own cognitive function. Any attempts made at carefully crafting a timetable of your movements for the day become futile when you are 7 beers and a boat party deep.
Nevertheless, there are always those artists that above all odds you attempt to see, whether you have to drag yourself on all fours. Here’s a list of artists we’re looking forward to this year from legendary headliners to the fresh faces. Although we will probably only end up seeing a mere handful of them, after spending one night looking for lost friends and another passed out before sunset, it’s nice to dream…
From their hype-as-fuck Boiler Room debut, to a surprise appearance from Drake at their London gig, 2015 was the year of the Section Boyz.
Tracks: Lock Arf, Trappin Ain’t Dead.
Smooth South London soul. These sun-bleached grooves are made for recovery jamming on the beach in your shades, achieving little more than a tapping foot as you sip on a (probably warm) cider.
Tracks: Dubplate Special, Good Morning Peckham, Just Negotiate.
Manchester MC and DJ collective LEVELZ bring the madness whatever city they are in. Their sound is as multifaceted as the history of the hometown they represent and as a bunch of relentless lyricists they can spew at breakneck speeds or bring it back down over a hip hop instrumental for one of their banging cypher sets.
Tracks: LVL 07, LVL 09, any of their cypher sets on YouTube.
Real Detroit hip hop royalty over hazy J Dilla beats. Shit will get emotional when “Fall in Love” drops.
Tracks: Fall in Love, Raise it Up, Reunion, Tainted.
Bashment party starters, The Heatwave, know how to get the carnival energy going whether they’re playing a gleaming Croatian beach or a rainy street in Notting Hill. Their sound system roadblock approach makes them an essential edition to Outlook. Bring your whistles and flags and get ready to whine.
Tracks: An endless slew of Sean Paul mash-ups, Rihanna refixes and bashment dubplates. Check their Rinse FM show.
Kahn & Neek
When the proliferation of Dubstep faded out into EDM obscurity, its beating heart in Bristol kept the true sound alive. Artists like Kahn & Neek have stripped the grime and dubstep sounds back to their roots while taking them in an entirely fresh sounding direction.
Tracks: Percy, Play Your Corner Remix, Abattoir, Backchat, Chevy.
Another dubstep bass weight champion, Commodo has a knack for producing absolute face-melters. We can’t wait to see what weapons he draws for when in control of one of Outlook’s incredible sound systems.
Tracks: Shift ft JME, Bitchcraft, Fuck Mountain VIP.
This masked creature is one of the strangest characters in grime and road rap right now, but his bars about banging Nigella Lawson and driving on DMT are some of the darkest and most entertaining we’ve heard in a while.
Tracks: What’s My Name, Nigella, 6AM.
One of the lesser spotted faces of the new grime wave but certainly one to watch. His flows seamlessly blend classic roadman bars with Yu Gi Oh and Dragonball Z references. What more could you want.
Tracks: Naila, Spirit Bomb.
Dublin born Reijje Snow is a rapper on the rise that has got the blogosphere swooning again after a 2 year hiatus from music. If his new material is anything to go by, Snow is destined for big things.
Tracks: 1992, Snow, Blakkst Skn.
Whenever I read reports of people’s reflections on Outlooks gone by, Dub Smugglers Sound System are always the first mentioned. This can only mean one of two things – either they play at the optimum time just before people spiral into a blur of hazy amnesia-inducing hedonism or their brilliant sets are the perfect start and one of the most memorable of the week. I’m willing to bet it’s the second.
Tracks: Shine Eye Gal Remix, Rasta Praise Dub.
For more information and to purchase tickets click here.
Words by David March.