Think Alice in Wonderland…in a 17th Century palace in the middle of the desert in Rajasthan. Cue background score, swinging from eclectic electronica to grime bass to modal and free jazz. And that only just begins to describe the experience that is Magnetic Fields. Started 3 years ago, this little community of festival lovers has now grown to form a village amidst the dunes of the desert, with the Alisar Mahal standing the test of time, inviting you into its lair of surrealism.
Every year, we leave thinking it can’t get better than this. And then it does. This year’s Magnetic Fields 2016 lineup is one for the books, and they’ve only just released the first wave of artists. London based neuroscientist, producer and DJ Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points has us gunning for this line up. With his strictly vinyl club sessions ranging from house, techno, soul and disco, Floating Points has earned respect from a number of his contemporaries. In November 2015, he released his debut studio Album, Elaenia to much critical acclaim, putting him at the very top of our list. Also on the Red Bull Music Academy North Stage lineup is Roman Flügel, one of the biggest names in the German electronic music scene, right from the 90’s. He flits through many styles – from ambient/idm to techno, electro and leftfield – you can’t help but vibe.
The South Stage will stand ground for Prateek Kuhad, dreamy psychedelia band Begum and electronica act Nikhil Narendra and Shreyas Dipali. Experimental electronica artist Daisuke Tanabe, a live show from percussionist and jazz composer Sarathy Korwar who will perform his debut album Day to Day (in which sidi chants meet jazz), and the newly buit BFR Soundsystem to kick off the Desert Disco are all on the cards.
One of the best parts of the festival are the secret after parties – hush-hush gigs in tight-lipped locations that stretch into the wee hours of the morning, shrouded in the desert mist. This year, Livin’ Proof, London’s premier hip-hop collective is taking over for one of the nights. The collective is represented by Khalil and Raji Rags – head of music at the global broadcasting platform, Boiler room. This is a big one.
This year’s theme is Navigation – meandering through space and time with knowledge from ancient astronomers, alchemists and mystics of all sorts. If you’ve got creative ideas to use this theme to engage with the festival, you could even navigate through the desert for free! If this has you feeling the feels, get your boots on and book your tickets yesterday.
Feature image via Mixmag
Words: Tansha Vohra