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Undertone, Cardiff Sat 24 July Good club nights are built on solid foundations, usually a mix of tidy venue, like-minded folk and a dedica- tion to a music policy with some substance. System is one of two such nights launching over the summer – the other is to be known as Reboot – and both are which are to be pioneered by promoter and resident, David Jones [pictured], who plays out as J.L.D and has operated previous nights including Superchunk. “I’m running System on the principal of trying to introduce an alternative for Cardiff,” says David, “so have gone for mainly names who don’t currently play at any nights here. The idea is to bring a selection of residents from other nights around the country to play, and then move onto international names once we are fully established.” Playing the night’s inauguration are Paul Loraine (formerly of Bristol notability but now residing locally and with output on Soma and Four:Twenty), Andrew Powell (Technomafia) and Techgroove’s Sean Andrews. “Paul is one of the best warmup DJs I’ve seen and is becoming very successful with his productions,” says David, “having just realised on Tim Sheridan’s Veryverywrongindeed. We’ve also got Sean Andrews purely because I love the stuff he’s playing at the moment. I think there’s far too much of the same sort of music here at the moment so I’m hoping both nights will bring something different to the table.” The main musical focus of the night is to be all things techno, but with the emphasis on a back-to-ba- sics approach we can expect good quality electronic dance music in various guises. “System aims to move back to a time when nights were all about the music,” says Dave, “where DJs are booked because they make people dance, not because they sell tickets. A night where you go to listen to good music, not to show off your latest peacock haircut or your skin-tight pink t-shirt. A night where having a party is the number one priority. Get sweaty, get dirty, or get naked. We don’t care, just come and have one fucking good time!” Admission: £5/£3 b4 11.30 with NUS. Info: 07967 134086 RYAN HEEGER

FREEROTATION Baskerville Hall, Hay-On-Wye Fri 23-Sun 25 July Now in its fourth year, Freerotation continues to be probably the most popular underground small festival in Wales. The brainchild of Mindtours’ Suzybee and Steevio, the weekend offers four soundsy- tems for discerning clubbers in a country mansion surrounded by trimmed greenery. “The festival provides a platform for cutting-edge international electronic musicians and VJs from Wales to perform alongside their European counterparts,” says Suzanne ‘Suzybee’ Brady. “The idea behind the festival was hatched 10 years ago, when we moved the Mindtours record label from Newcastle to Powys. It became apparent that there was an incredible amount of talent in the electronic scene in mid and north-west Wales, and by a series of happy accidents and parties, we all coalesced into a homogenous scene.” This year, the line-up is as diverse and inspired as ever, with (among many oth- ers) DJ Bone, Wbeeza [pictured] and Sven Weisemann alongside residents including Move D, Soulphiction and Shackleton. There is also an outdoor rig for the first time. Other fringe attractions include an indoor swimming pool, saunas, a vegetar- ian cafe, a restaurant, a clothing market, a record fair and an art gallery.

The festival is sold out, and the organisers are at pains to stress that no one turns up hoping to pay on the door or blag a ticket.Tickets: £80 (sold out). Info: www. (RH)



Chicaboom @ Undertone, Cardiff Sat 10 July

In celebrating their second birthday tonight, Chicaboom have invited one of the UK’s most revered DJs and producers be- hind projects including Phlash & Friends, CoOp Club and the Restless Soul label. Phil Asher’s career started by accident when he covered for a DJ mate who needed to go for a slash at London’s Delirium night back at the dawn of house, a favour which subsequently led to book- ings of his own. Prior to that he had his dad’s record shop job to thank for the collection of newly released vinyl, includ- ing early Specials and ELO albums. Today he’s proud to reel off a list of forthcoming releases on Restless Soul. “It’s the current number one on Trax- source,” Phil tells us, “which is Kai Alce and myself featuring Kayenne on vocals. Next this month sees a new Bopstar re- lease called Nine and a new two-tracker by Aaron Ross. We should have a special vinyl release in a couple of weeks as well.” This will be his first visit to Cardiff and indeed Wales, so what can the Chicaboom faithful expect from his set at the night’s second birthday? “I’m really looking forward to it,” says Phil. “I guess you should expect soul-based dance music, generally accompanied by a 4/4 beat. I also always play classics. I’ve been collecting records for the last 30 years, so expect some when I come.” Admission: £7. Info: 07886 219208 (RH)

FLUX PAVILION Queens Hall, Narbeth Sat 17 July

Joshua Steele is a busy bloke. As well as pushing dubstep he also drums and sings for Towcester band Real Rabitzkin and has been known to dabble in drum‘n’bass and trip-hop. No doubt we can look forward to a set influenced by all these factors at The Queen’s Hall as his alter ego, Flux Pavilion.

“It’s all about the energy for me,” he says. “I spend quite a bit of time tailoring stuff to really work the floor. But the musical elements are probably most important to me to be honest. I’m a composer at heart that somehow stumbled into making loud, crazy dance music. I like working crowds up and seeing how far I can build it up before I can see people need to lie down. Then I bring it down and smash back in again. My sets fly all over the place really. I try not to stick to one sound for too long.” In co-founding Circus Records along with Doctor P and DJ Swan-E, the label has seen releases from them as well as Cookie Monsta and FuntCase. “We got some really wicked stuff coming up,” says Joshua. “The next vinyl we have is two tracks from Slum Dogz and they are amazing. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m doing a four-track EP due out later this year so I’ll be testing out some of those tracks.” Tickets: £8. Info: 01834 861212 (RH)

ED DAVENPORT Backroom @ The Vaults, Cardiff Bay Sat 31 July Since late last year, Backroom has become a staple of South Wales raving and rendered itself perhaps one of the most interesting nights in the whole of the UK. The casual observer might have assumed it to be an il- legal soiree, but it wasn’t. The team behind the nights colluded with Cardiff council to get a licence to host parties in the vaults of the unoccupied Natwest bank on Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, and when initial ven- tures went off, bookings went from strength to strength. Marcus Worgull, Todd Bodine and Derrick Carter have all been guests of honour; July is the first month featuring two Backroom bashes, with Mobilee Re- cords’ Anja Schneider (Sat 3) followed on the last day of the month by the hypnotic grooves of Ed Davenport. Following a familiar path, Ed made his name as a DJ in London before moving to Berlin about two years back. It’s fair to surmise that club culture in the German capital, where dark parties will likely pulse below ground as the sun rises above, has lent itself to the style of his mixes – subtle and full of minor detail, yet keen to main- tain the primal house thump. Accordingly, he’s had releases on some of the best house-cum-minimal imprints out there: Poker Flat, Liebe*Detail and District Of Corruption for three. Dave Little and Clare James will, as ever, offer additional lengthy sets as residents. Tickets: £8. Info: (NG)

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