There is huge debate currently surrounding the word ‘underground’ & its accuracy when discussing modern electronic music. There is a large cohort that believes ‘underground music’ is a utopia that only exists hazily in our memory. The introduction of the internet, music sharing platforms and low-cost travel has made electronic music more accessible than ever before. As with all things, change creates obstacles, with many people arguing modern electronic music lacks the hedonism, the spontaneity & the community spirit of early rave culture.
This weekend gone, hidden away at Capesthorne Hall was an underground movement that encapsulated everything dance music should stand for. Small, well-curated stages with powerful fine-tuned 7th Gen. Funktion Ones ensured crisp sound quality. Minimal, imaginative production was used to enhance the musical experience instead of creating a sideshow that so often dilutes the musical offering.
Any line up that possesses even one of Mathew Jonson, Shonky, Jeremy Underground, Margaret Dygas or dutch-duo Ingi Visions has the potential to be a mind-altering sonic experience. However, on the day each artist seemed compelled to push those either side on the bill to the limits of their capabilities. The Hide&Seek crowd not intent on merely witnessing the musical masterclass unfolding across the different stages ‘yipped’, ‘whistled’ and danced in a euphoric and united ecstasy we have only witnessed a handful of times. This energetic, willingness to dance is so rare it is usually only found in select venues such as Sub Club, The Cause, Warung Beach Club and the likes.
The Oxford dictionary defines the word, ‘underground’ as “a group or movement organized secretly to work against an existing regime.” It appears that You&Me has quite literally turned that definition into reality. So often events are missing a single ingredient that catapults their event from good to great. Rare is it for a festival to find that formula in their first 5 editions; however, You&me, the team behind Hide&Seek, has created what has the potential to become one of underground dance music’s most iconic events for years to come.