We went to the stunning UK festival and recorded the sights and sounds, including mixes from Andrew Weatherall, Jane Fitz and Move D.
The real draw though is the location. The country house's garden is the perfect setting for this kind of festival. Crowds of smiling faces relax to vintage soul tracks by the lake while a family dog runs around chasing a balloon; later, everyone moves to their stage of choice among the immaculately decorated woodlands. You can, and most likely will, go hard at Gottwood. But the gorgeous scenery and positive people around you will nevertheless make you feel like you've been on a proper holiday.
We took in some of the sights and sounds of Gottwood 2016, which you can find below.
This is pretty ideal, right? It's 4 PM on Saturday afternoon at a four-day festival. Energy levels are beginning to sag. You're itching to build momentum for the night ahead. Then, up steps Andrew Weatherall with a Love From Outer Space set, in which he slowly and soothingly builds a vibe, taking you from hesitant to hedonistic in 90 minutes.
Some six hours later, back on the Trigon stage, DJ Deep had grabbed the baton and was running with it. The bookends of his set were pretty cuddly—he began with his and Roman Poncet's sunny remix of St Germain and finished with Sterac's blissful "Osirion." But what came in between was quite different, a taut techno session that spanned moods and eras.
Jane Fitz played the 2011 Dorisburg track "Tundra" around the middle of her Sunday night set at the Treehouse. We're mentioning this because "Tundra" does a nice job of illustrating Fitz's sound, a sound that's seen her international bookings grow substantially over the past couple years. The track rolls and bubbles and fizzes, its groove locking you completely to the floor without being flashy about it.
Gottwood does a great job of keeping people on their toes. If you were walking past the Barn on Saturday night you might have wondered what the F was going on, but you may have got involved all the same. These days Sabre, Stray and Halogenix are pushing a sound that you couldn't accurately describe as drum & bass, hip-hop or bass music—it might be better to simply say that it's an exhilarating mess.
Max Graef & Glenn Astro
Max Graef and Glenn Astro were also unpredictable, albeit in a totally different way. This was true of most the acts at the Lawn on Saturday, a schedule that included Awesome Tapes From Africa, Psychemagik and a set from Graef's band, all of whom shared a sense of warmth and vitality. In the middle of all this, Graef and Astro DJ'd back-to-back for an hour and gave people plenty of different ways to get down.
This year's Gottwood could almost have been renamed Gottwood 2016 With Move D. The German artist played three times across the weekend and hosted a wine bar at Ruffy's Lab. This set, though, was the centerpiece, an almost four-hour session to close out Secretsundaze's takeover of the Curve. It had all of the ingredients we've come to know and love about David Moufang's sets: fun, infectious, a little bit ramshackle and always memorable. (Consider the occasional needle skips in this recording as part of the experience.)