PREVIEWS: SW4 Festival – Part 1

Written by Andy Chandler from Hijacker Records, for GigSlutz.


So you like dance music? How does 80+ of the World’s leading DJs and live electronic acts, across two days in central London sound? Yeah I thought so – keep reading.

Over its 10 year London residency, South West Four has established itself as one of the major dance events in the UK calendar, and once again this year is a “who’s who” of electronic music. From the unstoppable Above and Beyond, to the tech sounds of Seth Troxler, from DnB king Andy C, to German house veterans Booka Shade. This is part 1 of our SW4 preview where we take a look at our picks for the Saturday’s events:


I’ve mentioned them already, but Saturday’s headliners ‘Above and Beyond’ are something of a force of nature. Many thought trance had its day already, but the number of die hard and emerging fans that continue to arrive in their droves for an A&B set is pretty spectacular. The fact that this is their only London festival appearance of 2014 means this will be a colossus crowd. So if you want to get close you better have elbows like needles to get through.

Supporting A&B on the Main Stage is a small army of superstar progressive house and trance DJs including Alesso, W&W, Fedde Le Grand, Arty and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano. However, my pick as the most exciting prospect for the Saturday comes in the form of Oliver Heldens. I featured Heldens’ instrumental “Gecko” as my February 2014 highlight, and it’s great to see him make a SW4 debut. And, against all my purist sensibilities, I’m completely into the new vocal version of Gecko (Overdrive) which I expect will be the crowd’s most anticipated drop. Also, look out for Danny Avilaand and New World Punx (Markus Schulz & Ferry Corsten)

If you don’t fancy the crash bang euphoria of the main stage, DJ Magazine will play host to a fine selection of underground house and techno, including the co-headline partnership of DC-10 favourite Loco Dice with Hot Creations boss Jamie Jones. Pavlov’s dogs come to mind as I think about how devastating this could be. I’m salivating.

This isn’t just a two trick pony stage though, as we are graced with sets from Berlin tastemakers Tale of Us and Ibiza favourites Paco Osuna and Robert Dietz. Throw in Tiga vs Audion and techno supergroup Better Lost Than Stupid (Matthias Tanzmann, Davide Squillace & Martin Buttrich) for good measure and you’ve got yourself a party!

Next up we have “Last Day On Earth Stage”, which in my opinion has the potential to be one of the most interesting lineups of the weekend. After the infamous “Last Night On Earth” at NYE, Sasha once again plays host to a collection of underground juicyness that will be simply unforgettable. The pick of the lot could be Paul Kalkbrenner. His reconstruction of tracks live (a small diversion away from the heavy loaded number of pure DJs on show), is pretty impressive and the music is subtle yet meaty. Very nice. A special mention should also go to Josh Wink, the versatile electronic legend, who will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of his seminal label Ovum Recordings.

Finally, if the underground sounds above don’t float your boat, or you’re looking for something a little more uplifting, the legendary Ministry of Sound is in full force. With a headline set from Markus Schulz, the scene is set for Trance to rule once again, giving an opportunity to the likes of John O’Callaghan, Cosmic Gate (ft Emma Hewitt) and Super8 & Tab to grab the crowd by the horns and lift those arms in the air.

In terms of a big day out, they don’t get much bigger, so make sure you have porridge for breakfast, as you’ll need an engine to plough through.

In our next preview, we’ll take a look at the slightly bass heavier Sunday and give you a lowdown of who will be making the most noise.

Andy Chandler

Andy Chandler

Hijacker Records is an independent, artist run record label in London and the founders of UV Festival. The main focus is to bring our love of electronic music to a wider audience whilst promoting and unearthing some amazing artists. The brainchild of EDM London producer Chopper, Manchester’s most brazenly populist indie-dance band Santiago Street Machine, and design guru (and brother of SSM front man) Ed Chandler, Hijacker Records is a creative collaboration between electronic music boffins and friends.
Andy Chandler

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