Another year of festivals are finally upon us, and kicking things off saw Annie Mac’s Lost & Found festival return to Malta for year five of their annual four day party. 2019 saw the return of their popular beach party, along with the usual action-packed pool & boat parties and of course the main nighttime shenanigans.
This year’s lineup welcomed many new faces who’ve been making noise across the dance music world, along with return performances from some of the festival’s favourites. Although it was hard to narrow it down to just five, here’s our top sets from the memorable 5th year anniversary.
For more information on the festival itself, including the venue, drink prices, and production check out our review from last year.
The Chicago born queen of house has had music running through her veins from an early age, surrounded by early influences of R&B and soul before discovering her love of the underground from life-long friend and mentor; Derrick Carter. After hearing nothing but good things, we were eager to see the revered selector in action first hand.
Following a disco-fuelled 90 minutes from Kystal Klear, Honey wasted no time in making her self known with a quick fire opening from Marco Lys’ “The Story Continues”. This soon became a theme for her set, as she seamlessly mixed in and out of energetic vocal house classics including Armand Van Helden’s remix of Sugar Is Sweeter & the original mix of Crystal Waters’ Gypsy Woman. Her infectious performance oozed a distinct warmth (something we needed after the earlier downpour of rain).
Skream (Open To Close)
A man who needs little introduction, the fan-favourite Oliver Jones aka Skream has become one of the industry’s greats through years of hard work and commitment to his beloved craft. Recent years has seen the DJ/producer on tour performing his Open To Close concept, where as the title suggests, he plays from the second the club opens until the dying moments of the night. This is arguably where Skream’s truly in his element, allowing him to work the room by delving deep into his musical archives.
His performance at Lost & Found demonstrated exactly that, pulling us from pillar to post, Skream genre-hopped from high paced hitters in the shape of Gary Beck ft Debra Debs – “Get Together”, before taking things all the way back to 1983 with New Order’s timeless classic “Blue Monday”. A hair-raising show from Skream, proving you don’t always need fancy production and a huge venue to make a quality party, just a dark room, a fun-loving crowd and a DJ who can take you journey into the world of music.
It wouldn’t be Lost & Found without their infamous pool parties. Set on the picturesque seafront at Cafe Del Mar, found the groovy sounds of Melé in charge of the beats for the final day of the festival. The tribal & percussion infused artist had just the tools to raise the crowd’s spirits, as we came to day four in need of an energy boost.
Showing off charismatic flair throughout, the likes of his own 2018 release on DFTD with Shovell, “Pasilda” was the perfect pick-me-up, as its instantly recognisable beat crept through the speakers whilst the sun beamed down. Partial to a classic, and keeping the atmosphere electric, Melé spun in Shakedown’s anthem “At Night” leaving Cafe Del Mar rocking with the entire venue singing along.
Enzo Siragusa b2b Archie Hamilton
Stepping up to The Palace stage on Sunday night were FUSE boss Enzo Siragusa and fellow label regular Archie Hamilton for a back-to-back special. The pair have nurtured their minimal sound over the last decade, leading to FUSE becoming one of the capital’s most popular parties in recent years.
With Enzo fresh off the back of his debut album release “A Decade Of Rave”, we couldn’t wait to hear his & Archie’s signature style in action. As expected, a standout moment came courtesy of the album, with “Rollin’ Riddim” making an emphatic appearance as the track’s distinct vocal and heavy bassline rumbled through the speakers, getting the seal of approval from the crowd. The groove-laden selections continued throughout their minimal masterclass, shifting the sound on the night and bringing a whole new element to the festival.
The Martinez Brothers
Closing the festival saw Bronx duo and Cuttin Headz head honchos; The Martinez Brothers in charge of The Palace. Orchestrating a closing set to remember, they quite simply had it all; from heavy rollers to hip hop laced beats and vocal classics.
Paying credit to their early musical influences, saw their own remix of Lil Yachty’s “SaintLaurentYSL” proving how to make a cross-genre belter. As we came deeper into their two hour lesson of musical genius, groovier sounds began to fill the air. The 1998 classic from house music legend Paul Johnson “The Hole Is Mine” sounding just as good all these years on, before a head-turning edit of Michael Jackson’s “In The Closet” left the crowd singing along into the final moments of the festival.
A memorable fifth instalment from Annie Mac’s Lost & Found, acting as the perfect kickstart to the festival season. Again curating a comprehensive lineup which brings a well balanced mix of in-demand artists and incredible niche talent, something which many festivals struggle to achieve. Unfortunate weather may have dampened the experience in parts, however the rain was soon forgotten once the rocket-fuelled sets were in motion. 8.5/10
Cover image : Matt Eachus