Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Yes, it’s Bangface -a strange visitor from the planet Electrowerkz. It came to Cornwall, planet earth, bringing the sounds of the future from the furthest reaches of the galaxy. Far beyond the comprehension of mortal men, the Superbang wages a never ending DJ battle against the forces of commercial dance music by summoning the power of amens, gabba kicks and 303s. Their leaders are St Acid, a one-man junglistic flying DJ machine, and his sidekick, Aaron â€œthe Giantâ€ Funk and Richard â€œAnalordâ€ James.
After an insanely long drive from the four corners of the UK (not to mention those who had made the journey from San Francisco, Finland and Malta!), the hard crew had barely time to settle into their caravans before the madness began. Friday night saw Techno veterans share a line-up with the new breed of filth-merchant upstarts. We had Squire of Gothos, Egyptian Lover, 2562, Dave Clarke, SL2 and Tim Exile sharing a bill together. But it was the ginger behemoth of Breakcore, the ubiquitous Mr Snares who pulled the biggest crowd of the night.
Saturday’s beach party was a gloriously memorable, if short-lived affair. Mark Archer kicked off the party at 1pm with some stupendously squelchy acid house. 2 Bad Mice and Ceephax followed and the beach got packed with Bangfacers and locals getting into the spirit together. The tide prematurely came in around 3pm, so the rave was moved indoors and the beach was evacuated. It’s not at every rave you see the the RNLI save party-goers from getting stranded on the rocks, see lifeguards bellow ‘put some clothes on and have some respect’ over the tannoy or see random passing grannies and children dancing to Ceephax Acid Crew. It really happened.
The stragglers eventually made it back to Travelgue in one piece and were treated to a night of seriously forward-thinking stuff at the Rephlex Records 21st birthday party in the Face Room. DMX Krew defied expectations by banging out some boshin’ UK Techno and Wisp proved he is much more than the Aphex clone he some take him to be. Props also go to Alekski Perala, who played a set of 180bpm acid-tinged electronica that could best be described as ‘trancey’ if that word hadn’t been stolen by the forces of dance music evil in the 1990s.
Saturday night saw Monster Zoku Onsomb thrash their vocoder to within an inch of its life, accompanied by Mr Blobby and a troupe of go-go dancers. That bloke from Slipknot hammered out some very silly Speedcore and 808 State (with full live band!) rocked the party hard. Bangface wouldn’t be Bangface without the requisite Gabba smash up and Saturday night also saw hardcrew heroes Current Value and Hellfish & Producer bring the bambambam to the Bang room. Fierce.
The first act I saw on a rather lazy Sunday for me was the excellent 0=0, followed by Misty Conditions, who mixed up Juke and Jungle to make a next-level brew of spikey 808s, rapid-fire percussion and dark-as-hell bass.
Pierre Bastien managed to blow minds aplenty with his brand of musique concrÃ¨te which involved playing a clockwork device with tiny cogs and windmills and little turny clacky things, and sampling himself blowing into a trumpet made of water. Chin-stroke-tastic! DJ Yoda followed and took the ‘doing stuff with machines’ vibe in a whole new direction with a superlative set of cut ‘n’ paste postmodern turntablism.
â€¦ and so finally we came to Aphex Twin. It was the headliner that the hardcrew had waited years to see, finally gracing Bangface. The stuff that hardcrew wet dreams are made of… Richard D. James finally took to the Bangface stage at 11pm on the Sunday night and promptly crashed the Â£30,000 multimedia set up he’d bought for the occasion. After a 15-minute reboot, during which quite a few tired ravers left the Bang room, wondering if the silence was all some kind of sick Aphex Twin joke, the music resumed and we were treated to a set of breakneck fast-melodic- intelligent-yet-banging tunes which screamed â€œAphex!â€. The set culminated in a 10-minute soundscape of distortion and noise so horrifying it put the heeby jeebies up many a weary raver. Job well done!
…and so the last of the last of the inflatables were released, St Acid took to the stage and another Bangface weekender went out in style. Was it worth the 6-hour drive? Did Aphex smash it? Was the beach party any good? Was the new site better than the old one? Did Normski get spannered? Do you really need to ask? Never doubt the powers of Superbang!