Review

Hideout Festival 2018

Another instalment of Hideout thrills hit Zrce Beach

Last month, Croatia’s leading electronic music festival returned to it’s spiritual home. Ready for it’s annual instalment of 5 days and 5 nights, bringing the biggest DJs in the dance scene to the island of Pag. Thousands of eager ravers descended onto Zrce Beach, where five of the world’s top rated venues were taken over for a week of rave paradise.

For more info on Hideout itself, including drink prices, production, sound and everything in-between, check out our review from Hideout 2017.

This year we caught some very special moments, including a challenge for the world’s biggest b2b performance, dance music’s wildest Australian DJ/producer and a duo with some of the quickest hands in the game.

DJ Sets

 

Fisher
The first official night of the festival had arrived and Fisher was headlining the main stage; Papaya from 1-2:30 – a set we were craving to see. Australian born Paul Fisher began his musical career six years ago, when he alongside Leigh Sedley formed the established duo; Cutsnake. Having both previously been pro WQS surfers, the pair grew a passion for underground music, leading to their introduction to the scene. After 5 years in the business Paul opted for a solo career, under the new alias of Fisher. His solo EP “Oi Oi” released on Dirtybird in June last year was an instant hit. “Ya Kiddin” became one of the most sought after tracks of the summer and slingshotted his career to underground stardom. Aside from his stand-out production, the artist has become commonly known for his energy, charisma and downright comical brilliance.

Taking over from warm up act Nicola Bear, the Aussie leaped towards the decks with enthusiasm, hugging Nicola as she stepped back to let the fish loose on the decks. Opening up with Erik Hagleton’s remix of Basement Jaxx’s “Jump N Shout” had the crowd doing just that, as the track’s massive train horn bellowed out of the venue’s powerful sound system. Determined to keep the energy flowing, Fisher dropped GW Harrison’s most recent floor shaker titled “Spaceman”. The powerful tech house drop sent the packed out Papaya into a frenzy. 

Having been one of the top dogs in the last year when it came to production, there was no doubt we’d hear some of Fisher’s own material. “Stop It”, “Crowd Control” and “Ya Didn’t” all featured during the performance, receiving a huge reaction from his fans. Aside from his widely known releases, we were also treated to some of his unreleased work. “I’m Losing It,” and “Shoes Come Off And The Freaks Come Out” being two memorable tracks, which will no doubt be played throughout the summer.  An unexpected highlight came from the artist jumping on the mic and belting out “There’s a rumour going round that we f**king love it!”. A top class performance, and certainly one to remember.


Jack Swift & Devstar – Kalypso
A duo who’ve regularly featured at Hideout since the festival began in 2011. During the past 8 years the double act have mastered their craft, leading to a residency with London heavyweights ABODE, and recently making their debut on the infamous Amnesia terrace. Hot off the plane from Ibiza, they closed proceedings at Kalypso on Monday night, with a b2b masterclass.

Renowned for delving deep into their musical archives and selecting records which span over the decades, the opening track “Burning” by MK was an instant crowd pleaser. With the venue beginning to pack out, Devstar span another house classic. This time Hot Since 82’s 2014 remix of “Bigger Than Prince”, leaving our heads bopping along to the iconic vocals. With their crowd now hooked, the technically gifted pair ran through the gears with their famous chop, cut and mix trickery. Blending various tracks together with ingenious loops, quick-fire wrist flicks and surely burning a hole in the cue button. A stand out moment came from Jack Swift playing an acapella of Ultra Nate’s “Free” over Cuartero’s stomping tech house track “Nosy Neighbours”. The unforgettable vocals echoed around the venue with every raver singing along, before the tech heavy drop erupted through the speakers – what a moment.

Gorgon City

After releasing their first singles in 2012; Kye Gibbon and Matt-Robson Scott, began their journey to the top. In the years that followed the two have grown to be come an influential and frequently charted double act. The release of their album “Sirens” in 2014 fired into the UK charts, with their track “Ready For Your Love” featuring MNEK reaching the number 4 spot.

Playing a prime time slot at Papaya, the duo curated a tracklist that had the venue dancing in high spirits throughout. A large assortment of tracks were featured, each bringing a different vibe to the beach club venue. Towards the beginning of the set saw Versus’s tech focused track “1988” mixed with an acapella of Eats Everything’s 2015 banger “Dancing”. The duo knew exactly how to work their crowd and keep them glued to the dance floor, featuring some of their own releases including “Real Life” and “Primal Call”. Two summer-time anthems which kept the atmosphere at an all time high.

Choosing to focus on a more uplifting track selection nearer the closing moments of their set, the London based artists mixed Krystal Klear’s nu-disco wonder “Neutron Dance” into the blend. The 1980’s styled sound and upbeat rhythm sparked an electric vibe throughout the club, as the crowd cheered along.


Paradise Pool Party – Papaya
Tuesday’s daytime shenanigans brought Jamie Jones’s brand; Paradise to Zrce Beach. Among the lineup saw Mark Jenkyns, Richy Ahmed, Patrick Topping and of course Jamie himself providing the soundtrack to the day. With the excessive wind from the previous night now passed, the hot Croatian sun was gazing across Zrce in preparation for a day of Paradise.

Entering the venue during Mark Jenkyn’s set, Papaya was already beginning to fill during the well-paced warm up performance. With the arrival Richy Ahmed, the mood dove into an acid house vibe, with tracks such as Darren Emerson’s “Deadlock” and “Mancmania” by Granary12. Nearing the end of his set, Richy opted for Devstar’s new summer anthem “Take Control”. The uplifting vocals and chunky piano drop set the tone for the day.

Taking over from Richy was Paradise’s main man and lead orchestrator; Jamie Jones. Going for his usual funky, poppy styled selection, The Welsh star selected “Time To Feel The Rhythm” by How II House and “No Worries” by Butch, leaving the crowd cheering from the get-go. Closing the show was Newcastle born Paradise regular Patrick Topping, who’s reputation over the last few years has blown through the roof. Opening up with a rolling tribal drum track switched up the vibe, receiving an emphatic reaction from the venue, which was now filled wall to wall. Making sure to follow his style of eccentric rhythms and hard-hitting basslines, the tech house wizard maintained a high pace right to the closing moments.

The 2017 summer phenomenon “Be Sharp Say Nowt,” went down a treat, leaving us all gasping for breath after belting out the vocals. Soon after saw his recent remix Calvin Harris & Dua Lupa’s number one UK chart killer; “One Kiss.” The ingenious production is a prime example of how a commercial chart song can be transformed into an underground acid-toned banger. With the day drawing to a close, the sun beginning to set, Patty T closed the day off in style with Elliot Adamson’s Eacapella of Mall Grab’s “Feel Good House”. The up-beat house record has been a favourite during Patrick’s sets over the past year, and after the venue erupted in cheers, it’s clear to see why.


CamelPhat b2b Mall Grab b2b Eli Brown b2b Latmun b2b Solardo

Yes, we know – what a surprise treat this was. Not a word needs to be said for you to guess this was something special. Solardo’s James stepping up alongside CamelPhat was enough to catch our attention, not long after Mall Grab showed up and before you could say “corr, what a banger!”,  they’d all set up camp behind the decks! Between them built an incredbile atmosphere inside Kalypso, each adding their own signature track selections and individual flair to the performance.

Solardo’s first order of the night came from an unreleased re-work of Cassius’s “Sound of Violence”. The looping vocals captivated the crowd, with a funky house drop adding the icing on the cake. Shortly after saw another new unreleased gem, this time from CamelPhat titled “Johnny Depp”; a high paced tech house belter, which will soon be doing the rounds on the scene. The addition of Mall Grab instantly turned things darker, with Mark Broom’s hypnotic “Loop 132” adding some heavier sounds to the night. Latmun then followed where Mall grab left off; opting for Nicole Moudaber’s remix of “Giv Me Luv” sent shivers down our spines, as the eery build up led to a thumping techno drop.

Pro-ject Pool Party
Another notable party came from Hideout club partners Pro-ject. Their resident DJ pool party showcase had us grooving till the sun began to set on the festival’s final day. Jam-packed with feel-good house both old and new, the three DJs Sebastian, Huff and Jay Newman kept their crowd locked to Euphoria’s open-air beach settings.

Overall

Another year of thrills, surprises and magical moments at Hideout Festival. The inclusion of various other genres in recent years has only increased the festival’s popularity, however some could argue that the introduction of a genre mix has had an impact on the atmosphere and vibe surrounding the event. Nevertheless, the consistent big line ups, world class venues and picturesque beach settings are enough to keep you engulfed in the Hideout bubble. if you haven’t already been, it’s definitely one for your bucket list. 8/10

 

Image credit
Luke Dyson