With Secret Garden Party only two months away, we've meticulously gone through the line-up and spotlighted five DJs you should be vibing to in Cambridgeshire this summer.
Words Liam Cattermole (@liam_cattermole)
Returning for the second time since a five-year hiatus, Secret Garden Party is built on a guiding principle of inclusivity. The boutique festival flag bearer has maintained its relevance for this reason, winning multiple awards and spearheading ideas that promote a progressive attitude towards British art and culture.
This year’s theme, ‘Episode XVII – A New Hope’, isn’t just a flippant Star Wars reference, or a tongue-in-cheek pledge to better toilet systems, but instead, a Declaration of Independence that personifies their commitment to being a force for good. In other words, the hedonistic weekender has committed 65% of its profits to a new Social Enterprise based model, providing frontline organisations that help disenfranchised individuals in the arts sector.
Set in Abbots Ripton’s idyllic grounds, SGP’s labyrinths of electronic music, cabaret, and queer culture encourage punters to get lost in the otherworldly chaos its programming promotes. 2023 will be headlined by British indie sleazers The Libertines, ‘90s techno pioneers Underworld, and internationally loved vibe makers Fat Freddy’s Drop. Leftfield, De La Sol, Biig Piig, and Lava La Rue are just a handful of names who also stand out.
Dig a little deeper, and there are plenty of DJs from Britain’s burgeoning underground music scenes appearing across the weekend. From the brain-rattling bass selections of Big Kani and Patrice to SUCHI’s global-minded blends, here are five of the finest DJs playing SGP this year.
Ticket info for Secret Garden Party 2023 can be found here.
Big Kani’s battle-ready bass selections have won him support from an illustrious list of DJs. With several releases on Loefah’s Swamp81 record label, the vibesman’s taste for sonorous dubstep will be perfect for SGP’s after-hours settings. There's something inherently hypnotic about Kani's productions, which permeates through his frequent sets across internet radio stations.
Playing across tempos and keeping audiences on their toes with unpredictable selections, Jay Carder has been throwing it down at parties in London for years. Since establishing herself on the national circuit, she’s played everywhere from Glastonbury to Gottwood, and with a virtuosic knowledge of dance music, her rise is seemingly inevitable. At the end of 2022, she released her first self-produced EP, and with early support from the likes of Bakey and Jossy Mitsu, she’s only adding more strings to her bow.
Oslo-born London-raised SUCHI is encompassing the sounds of her diasporic upbringing. Spanning percussive house, broken beat and everything in between, the Manchester native’s global-minded blends serve the expansive spectrum electronic music has become in 2023. Her debut EP, ‘Swift’, reached critical acclaim thanks to tastemakers like Mixmag and she's since dropped singles on Jamz Supernova’s Future Bounce.
Another Swamp81 affiliate known for his system-shaking selections, Patrice’s calculated blends make him a future British bass music flagbearer. Pushing sounds in disparate directions, the DJ incorporates grime and UK rap to provide a quintessentially UK angle in his sets, which paint a picture of the past, present and future of underground electronica.
Daughters of Frank
Daughters of Frank are the sisters spanning genre on their ‘Serenade’ Rinse FM show and in their cosmic club nights. Starting out in 2016 as the Sweet Lemonade sisters, the duo have since changed their name and mantra, committing to a range of sounds and scenes their previous project overlooked. From garage to groove and breaks to R&B, no stone is left unturned in the sets of Ruby and Lily.