Spanish Creamfields Andalucia 06

The Creamfields festival started with the opening of the Cream club in Liverpool, back in 92. Since then, the brand Creamfields has exported the festival worldwide, in countries such as Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Japan, Peru, Argentina, Greece, New Zealand, the Philippines, Slovakia, Turkey, Egypt, Russia, Poland, the US and several European countries. Spain is one of them; more exactly the coast of Almeria, with Playa de Villaricos. One August the 12th, another Creamfields party monster took place, the third edition of Creamfields Andalucia.

Beat Factor had the opportunity to catch this year's Creamfields Andalucia festival, so these are the first impressions from what happened there. With an increasing number of visitors each year, this festival gained last year more than 20 000 party people and in 2006 the number was significantly bigger. The headline heroes were Pet Shop Boys, Miss Kittin, Dave Clarke, Carl Cox, Audio Bullys, Fisherspooner, and many others. At the camp site there were four stages: the San Miguel Stage featured Pet Shop Boys, Fischerspooner, Audio Bullys and Vitalic with live performances; at the Pepsi Stage Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke and Alex Under were just three of the artists included; the Speed Open Air stage consisted of Ricardo Villalobos, John Digweed, Roger Sanchez and Hernan Cattaneo amongst others, and finally, at the Lo.Li.Ta Stage was playing 2 Many DJs, Tiga, The MFA (for details see the entire line up).

The camp site and artists

We arrived at the camp site around 20 30, and after we picked up our passes, it took a while to decide where to go exactly. Finally, it was Ricardo Villalobos that we picked up first. It was 21 00 when he started to play, and at this momnet, the stage started to become more and more crowded. Ricardo began his set in his own personal way, with some minimal techno tracks, building up a perfect live session with each new tune. Amongst others, I remarked Adam Beyer's Stereotypes, track that I heard at least four times in that night. There has to be something special about it, since so many DJs are playing it. Villalobos was great, he seemed to be in a great shape, the crowd was really excited about his music and it was responding to his instant impulses. The two hours set warmed up the bouncers and many of them chose as the next artist either Fischerspooner, or Alex Under, this new minimalist and electronic super hero. Fischerspooner played live at the main stage, the San Miguel one, having an awesome performance. After a quick eye we moved to Alex Under and caught his full live act – in one word, the man behind CMIK Musik meant in that night overwhelming! Live samples, loops, a perfect and fresh sound, many unheard tracks, Alex was the perfect recipe for the bouncers that wanted to enjoy some good techno music; all controlled by two laptops, a mixer and decks. Those who caught him live surely can agree with this. It didn't miss some of his releases, such as his Collage EP or previous albums, like "Dispositivos De Mi Granja". Alex's twisted styles have been making furors in the last couple of years, not only on the Madrid dance music scene, but also worldwide, transporting his music on some of the hottest clubbing areas at the moment. He didn't disappoint at all, since everyone present there was enjoying the music and could see behind flashes and the multicolor lights a serious face, maybe a bit charged. It was fantastic how a calm guy like him could throw out such an amazing sound.

After Alex Under's live performance, at the same stage came Jeff Mills, a controversal and sophisticated techno master. I couldn't realize if he was angry or this is how he reacts always when playing. Not a single smile or a hello to the crowd - he was like stone, cold and serious. Jeff began with techno music, and after a few technical glitches he sparked off with some massive techno beats, perfectly calculated. At a given moment there were three tracks live in the same time. I would say that Jeff's mixing technique was not the best, at least in the first part of his two hour set, but it was more than acceptable. But when he came at the decks, there was so crowded, that later it took us more than 20 minutes to go away and see John Digweed at the Speed Open Air stage, where previously played Villalobos. We caught a monotone Diggers style, including some outdated progressive house with glimpse of electro; the public reaction was not as great as I was expecting, but seeing at the decks the old and good John Digweed gave me a better feeling. Very well disposed, he played for two hours various styles, including tech-house, progressive house with vocals and electro, this time less minimal, but more techno. Spanish people like to get naked - because it was so warm, even if it was night, many bouncers throw away their t-shirts and even though it was a friendly atmosphere. The next artists that everyone was so exciting about seeing were Audio Bullys who came in a little delay. Bang bang, I shot you down! was the very first start of their live performance. With a new album out called Generation, Simon Franks and Tom Dinsdale made a great show, Tom playing live and the other one, Simon, "singing" - Simon is also the vocalist of the London house duo. Before them, Pet Shop Boys had an extraordinary live act, including their own dancers and visuals. Looks like the San Miguel stage offered the best known bands and artists, in order to gain the biggest number of participants. The stages were not that far one to other, you could reach easily to each stage, but because of the increased number of people, it could take you a while. After Vitalic, present at the festival with a live performance, Miss Kittin arrived at the decks and played only on CDs, since she excuses herself for losing her vinyl luggage at the airport. Even though, she had e great live set, including live vocals and great tracks, starting from techno to electro and house. Once again I felt older hits are great at the festivals, such as Rex the Dog's remix for Depeche Mode's track Photographic. During her performance everyone was raising the hands, screaming and smiling - it was such a fantastic view, seeing thousands of hand raised, thousands of people bouncing at unison and with the flashes on their eyes. One memorable set and appearance I think it was Dave Clarke, a rough techno mastermind. Basically it was all energy in his set - drums, speeded kicks with tough bass lines, a session filled up with effects and scratches, samples and loops. Dave was in a perfect shape; he offered promo CDs to the crowd and applauded together with them. At 5 AM Dave entered very dynamic, compiling a live set that only he could do it that way. He threw away to the public more than ten CDs and then he got back at the decks to play techno music. If you haven't heard this prodigy yet, make yourselves a big favor and see him - it's impossible for techno lovers not to be satisfied! At such a high speed, the tracks were flowing one by one and basically people couldn't do much more than shaking their heads and raising the hands. A unique and diversified style, filled up with dynamism and energy, new and old, always unpredictable and spontaneous, Dave Clarke couldn't resist even for two minutes not to improvise something to his set - a loop, an effect, a scratch.

Another big name who knows how to make people dance anyhow, it's Carl Cox, featured as the second name at Creamfields Andalucia. Carl Cox played from 6 AM until closing at the San Miguel Stage, the most important stage as I said before. His set fluctuated from house to techno and electro with a personal powerful Cox imprint upon it. His session caught the sunrise and was finished around 8 AM. People weren't tired at all, maybe a bit sleepy, but still dancing and screaming - and Carl knows how to deal with these hours. The energetic music alongside with the sunrise was making a great view and was giving an exceptional feeling to the bouncers. He saluted the crowd, doing a great job as an MC as well as a DJ; we might say, yes, because this is Carl Cox, one of the best entertainers and DJs. The Pepsi Stage ended their lineup with a Barcelona based DJ and producer, best known for his productions released on Carl Cox' record label Intec Records - this was Christian Smith, the man from Tronic Music. Christian played from 7 AM until closing, composing a techno and electro set. He is the last DJ that closed the entire Creamfields festival, since all the people moved from the other stages to this one where he was playing, the Pepsi Stage. We couldn't reach to much time at Lo.Li.Ta Stage, since there was too crowded in there. This stage was composed from a huge tent, so the sound was the best inside here, since there was no wind; if you could deal with the heat, anything else was great.

Advantages / Disadvantages

The festival had one of the best locations, because there is nothing great than dancing at the coast of Mediterranean Sea. Everything was organized in a professional way; the organizers took care of every little detail. The press area was very nice arranged, the public toilets were clean as much as can be after more than 20 000 people use it, the line up was very diversified in order to satisfy every participant, even if it was a techno lover, a minimal maniac, a Pet Shop Boys & Fisherspooner fan, or just electronic music bouncer; the balance was very well equilibrated. The show light was a spectacle on every stage, as well as the flashes with dense smoke. The sound system was the best at the Speed Open Air and San Miguel Stage, also in the tent of Lo.Li.Ta Stage. Something better could have been done about it at the Pepsi Stage, but we can't complain about it. I would say a disadvantage was the division of the artists in four different stages, so it was basically impossible to catch each artist in the same time. The hours between the shows should have been delayed a bit, so that each artist that approaches a certain style could have been seen. But that wouldn't matter that much, because in dance music there are always alternatives.

Conclusions

Spain has a great public, no matter if you go for clubbing in Madrid, Barcelona or big festivals such as this one. First time to Creamfields Andalucia and deeply impressed. In only one day, with the help of Sinnamon Promotions, a big festival took place in one of the wildest places in Spain, the Almeria coast. Arrived at its third edition, the festival respects all the way the entire Creamfields brand which consists of a company that promotes festivals and events, a record label, a booking agency, a radio station, a merchandising firm and TV production company. A thumb up for the great organization taking in consideration every detail, for the interesting line up, for the location, and not least for the crowd.

For many details about the festival: www.creamfields-andalucia.com

Spanish Creamfields Andalucia 06
PUBLISHED

August 16, 2006 at 10:19 PM CEST

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