For the fourth time in four years we are getting ready for the Best Kept Secret Festival in Hilvarenbeek! The festival is close in proximity and close to our hearts (aaw) so we were more than happy to pick nine things/artists we can't miss at this year's festival.
Vincent Koreman – artistic director
J Mascis is, has been and will still be one of the most influential songwriters of this and last century. There, I said it. Combined with Lou Barlow, the guy is totally unstoppable. Dinosaur JR invented Grunge and re-invented that Neil Young vocal sound. They are better than Nirvana, better than Pearl Jam. Those guys don’t even come close... We play shitloads of Dinosaur Jr at the office so I suspect the full Incubate crew will be front of the stage, first row. Smoking some joints and singing along and getting all emotional. So please don’t come bother us during this show. We will listen to your demo some other time ok? Now its time for Sludgefeast!
Sevn Alias is the best Dutch rapper out there at the moment. His grimey streetrap first got noticed (well.. by me…) on the Josylvio track ‘LE7NESH’. On some heavy duty ESKO beat, he delivered 16 hatefull bars about the popo. His voice sounds like a cross between Prodigy of Mobb Deep and Royce the 5’9. Dark, doomy, and street tough. His breakthrough track is the equally banging ‘Kifesh’, also powered by a hard hitting ESKO beat. This is the future of Dutch rap. Forget all these other kids, they are just playing. SEVN is the real deal. Next level.
Everybody that knows me, knows I’m a big big fan of the New York punk band Suicide. I love those guys. They are next to impossible to book, otherwise I would’ve done so already. Singer Alan Vega is not in good health, but Martin rev is still going strong. Their sound is powerful. Simple keyboard and drummachine sound, heavily distorted and confrontational vocals with a slapback delay. Well... Since your chances of ever seeing them live are pretty slim I can only suggest you go see MOON DUO. They sound like Suicide, but more on a weed vibe than on the 70’s heroin vibe that SUICIDE is on. Maybe its because they also use guitars, I dont know, but Moon Duo live is always top notch. Great songs, brought to you with a heavy propelled kraut rock drive. Motorik beat all the way. Good stuff!
Arthur Janssen – programmer
These Toronto-based musical wizards should've played BKS last year, but were unfortunately forced to cancel. Luckily the BKS bookingteam are a persistent bunch and booked them again for their 2016 edition. I was just checking out their Wikipedia page for fun facts and read that as of January this year, BBNG have added a saxophone player to their line-up. I'm curious how their new stuff as a four-piece will sound and hope they will play BKS with their new line-up, it'll be the best show of the festival, hands down.
A krautrock/psychedelica duo (third member Matt Williams left the band recently) founded by Geoff Barlow from Portishead (not to be confused with Lou Barlow from that other great band, Dinosaur JR). I have never seen BEAK> live myself and i'm really looking forward to finally doing so. Great trippy and experimental, yet danceable stuff!
London-via- Berlin band Ulrika Spacek are one of the more exciting acts that I've come across in the last few months. Well-written psych/krautrock with fuzzy riffs, groovy basslines and nice beautifully sung parts. Sounds like every great psychrock band ever but better. Apparently their latest album "The Album Paranoia" was written and recorded in the band's shared house in three days and three nights. I hope their show as BKS will be as magical as the recording process sounds.
Niek Nellen - marketing
Oneohtrix Point Never
Like all true artists the signature style of ONP is almost immediately recognizable. His last two albums belong in a museum, where the auditory experience should be best experienced by Japanese monkeys on heavy glue sniffing duty carrying cameras. Or something like that. It’s almost impossible to not devolve into weird metaphors when talking about Daniel Lopatin’s music, seeing as the soundscapes he creates in every song (and often destroys within seconds after giving them life) are stuff of nightmares and or dreams or something in between. Seeing him life will be crazy.
Bonus: ONP will be the last act to see at the festival. I can already imagine some of the weirded out faces who expect a dance set, especially after the (hopefuly cool) main-stage set by Jamie XX.
You wouldn’t think it when you see him in the wild, but Ryley Walker is one of the most charming stage presences ever. When I saw him live a year ago he was joking with a bunch of critical babyboomers on an island and he was funny as hell. Mac DeMarco eat your heart out. The music that Ryley Walker puts out with his band (who are also in Health&Beaty, who be played Incubate May edition –edit: sorry for the sneaky marketing) is almost otherworldly in its intricacy and sheer beauty. Can’t be missed.
I really want to rekindle my love with Explosions in the Sky, Beach House, Audacity and all the other good stuff on the festival (and I finally get to see Dinosaur Jr. / I’m so stoked) but I will never forget the broodjes kroket at the festival. I’ve had the pleasure of going to all BKS editions, and being able to go backstage twice (where there was catering available) but I’ve ever only eaten broodjes kroket. They are divine. Oh, and I hear there are numerous other delicious food providers. Broodje kroket till I die!
The Best Kept Secret will take place 17-19 june with Beck, Editors, Jamie xx, Wilco, Beach House & 90 other acts. Go to their website for the last tickets (they're almost sold-out)
Photo by: Nick Helderman