Hidden in the depths of Lincoln, for one weekend only, lies an event far more immersive than many on the British calendar year. Lost Village’s unique concoction of thumping techno, delirious disco and elusive electronica is not only mind bogglingly fun to bop to, but completely different to anything we had heard at a festival prior to entering It’s gates.
Drum and Bass has been our choice genre of DJ-lead music for years, brainwashing my mates and I to possess a snobbish attitude towards tech associated scenes. This started to unravel a few months prior to getting among the vibes of Lost Village; a few Mall Grab, Bicep and Peggy Gou Boileroom sets proving too brilliant to go unnoticed. From the minute we heard the meticulous mixing of Todd Terje on the Thursday, who apparently looks like my Dad and you can decide for yourselves below, we knew our minds would be very different towards the slower tempo techno offers after the festival.
With the weather abnormally perfect in Britain, it was a relief that 90% of the grounds was engulfed in the canopies of England’s secluded woodland. Skanking in decrepit pieces of aeroplane, on top of suspended Cadillacs, and for the occasional reveller, up the forest’s trees, wasn’t the sweaty experience people would get in the dusty tents of events like Reading and Leeds. This became our daily morning routine, venturing into the woods and finding DJs who got our groove on at any one of the stages: the airbase, hidden cabin and junkyard became recurring destinations for us all.
Peggy Gou came out to a packed audience on the Friday, all of whom chanted her name with the cult-like passion football fans possess on match-days; the sheer variety of music she guides people through is enviable for energy DJ, as she digs out musical artefacts from across the globe. It was nice to hear her mix in ‘Starry Night’ too, a euphoric tune that embodies her versatile style and instinctively tropical vibe. In contrary to the more disco driven techno of Gou, but by no means less captivating, Bicep stunned fans with a trancy two hour set, chopping between personal hits like ‘Glue’ and their legendary Four Tet remixed ‘Opal’, which caused some devout fans to scramble on the shoulders of their friends for an emotional segment of the Belfast boy’s performance.
Recovering from such a night would have proved difficult, if we weren’t treated to some more forest antics; one DJ, who I have absolutely no idea of the name of, managed to perform a scintillating mix of classics like ‘Voodoo Ray’, by Gerald Simpson, and ‘Blue Monday’, by New Order. With the air full of nostalgia, we headed to see chaos in the CBD, which unexpectedly became one of the sets of the weekend. It would have been rude to not pop our heads into Milton Jones’ comedy headline show too; he had us in stitches before we dashed to the junkyard for the New Zealander’s set. Prior to Lost Village, not many of us had heard of Chaos in the CBD. ‘Midnight in Peckham’, a tune on up and coming Jazz/alternative label Rhythm Section, was all any of us knew; their set knocked our white nike socks off - it felt as if we were in Trainspotting, raving away with buzzcuts and string vests to thrashing bass and acid house.
DJ, radio host and Red Dwarf star Craig Charles kicked off our final day of Lost Village. The radio 6 presenter is an absolute nutter behind the decks, shepherding punters on a pilgrimage of funk and soul. repeatedly, the multi-talented man bellowed “when I say Stevie, I’m playing fucking Stevie”, sending cheers throughout the audience, which harmonised simultaneously with the riff of ‘Superstitious’, and the various other seminal tunes he mixed together. The vibes he brought were infectious; for two hours no one stopped moving, and it was an oddly welcoming warm up for his successor to the stage: Slowthai.
Somehow, the Northamptoner’s performance was even better than at Boomtown - he relished the opportunity to entertain an unusual mix of dreadlocked hippies, middle aged men in straw hats, and techno heads who all looked like David Beckham in the 90s. five minutes prior to coming on, the stage was barely full. By the end, the moshes were as intense, if not even more so, than you’d expect; with Kwes Darko and the rest of Thai’s crew serenading the crowd into lawless anarchy. That Darko produced Denzel collab needs to come out soon, if you haven’t heard the future hit, then you can see a snippet below.
Some of us had the luck of bumping into Slowthai too; he was as calm as you’d expect, and had the decency to stop for a chat and a picture. Clutching onto a Becks and a hot dog, a much needed combo after such a hectic summer of touring, he wondered off in his incredibly hard needles tracksuit bottoms and causal North Face anorak. Star struck, we all bounded to our camp, but realised the Mercury nominated artist was off to see Berlin duo Modeselektor. Tyron Frampton (real name) has a pretty bloody good taste in music, so we figured that they would be well worth visiting when we got back. The former Flohio and Thom Yorke collaborators blew us away with their gaba infused techno and hypnotic trap - and got us hyped up for the final 4 hours of the festival.
The theatrical nature of Lost Village was brought to life in the closing ceremony, encouraging abnormality through tribalism and circus performance. It was a nice way to wind down after the carnage Thai ignited hours before, and set the tone for Jon Hopkins. The producer, who concluded our festival, headlined our favourite stage ‘the airbase’ for a mix rich in acid house and ambient electronica. It was a truly mesmerising was to end Lost Village, which we will be reminiscing about for quite sometime.