The AIAIAI Guide to Roskilde 2012

by Ulrik

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There’s no getting around it. It was inevitable. Unavoidable, even. We had to do it. And so it hath transpired that we made a guide to this year’s musical essentials. Lock up your daughters, it’s the AIAIAI guide to Roskilde 2012!

Some hold it in an unreasonably high regard. Others reminisce over the days of yore when the long-since canonized monsters of rock lay to waste the Orange Stage. There are those who just want bass. And others who plan to take hits from the bong and stay in one place.

That was a bit of impromptu poetry for you and if you don’t like it, blame it on that euphoria-inducing, self-contained space known as the Roskilde Festival where we’ve just spent a pleasant few hours selling headphones to people with a drunkenly confused yet loved-up look on their face. Needless to say, this necessitated half-assed rhyming.

Anyways. Standing in the AIAIAI booth, amidst all the slurred speech, cut-off denim shorts and wasted naked people, we realized that we needed to service the people. A guide that sets you up with the tightest ish all night long is what you need, and, damnit, we will not rest until it’s finished, uploaded and ready for your inspection.

In that spirit of diligent vigilance, we guide you through the finest, the bravest and the best in this year’s line up. Godspeed, Roskilde revelers, may your journey be hard, fast and mind-altering.

Thursday:

If there was ever a good excuse for submerging yourself in alcohol and not caring about tomorrow, Thursday’s programme at Roskilde would most certainly qualify. First off we have the much-hyped Araabmuzik whose MPC-powered 21st century, hip hop jamz should set quite a few asses on fire in the Apollo tent.

After head-nodding relentlessly for an hour, it’s time to get busy to the sounds of Django Django’s inimitable brand of organic/electronic, uptempo psychedelia.

Why not head over and catch an indie break with The Shins, the band you can always rely on for affecting substance?

Then, my friends, it’s time to get into the raving spirit of ’91 as Lone takes the stage over at the Apollo tent. This could very well be full-on amazing. If the sun is shining, the crowd is up for it and Lone hits his stride, it ought to be those shows that you’ll remember in 10 years.

By now you should be ready to get your dance moves on. If not, Martyn’s superior brand of tight & tasteful, progressive dance music should set even the most hardened doers of the standing still very straight. Expect limited edition Nikes and 5 panel caps in the crowd as the flying Dutchman of post-dubstep guides you though his irresistible steez.

Whoah, almost forgot that The Cure are on the bill! The Cure! Don’t forget your face paint and androgynous goth demeanor:

Time for a little break, you say? No offense, but that’s the stupidest thing we’ve ever heard. The almighty Modeselektor are playing and according to (semi) reliable sources they blew away the Sonar festival. Only an ignoramus of epic proportions would miss this eclectisist, bassy bash of the beats.

And now we find ourselves at a veritable at a crossroads. Some will want to go see hip hop’s latest saviour, the self-proclaimed ‘pretty motherfucker’ AKA the rising star of purple drank , A$AP Rocky.

And the sensitive souls among you will make your way to the Gloria stage where Seattle’s finest piano balladeer will treat you to his lauded hymns of joy and sadness.

Last year’s Janelle Monae concert was proclaimed: ‘ a breathtaking tour de force through afro-american music past and present’, or something to that effect. However, when the AIAIAI crew checked her out at Helsinki’s Flow Festival, it was anything but spectacular. Actually it felt a little flat. This is why we’re not really sure if we can recommend this gig, even though we probably should. But to be totally honest with you, by this time you’ll probably find the AIAIAI crew in the media wanker bar as 50/50 a chance of a great show are bad odds when you’re cynical and old.

Friday:

Phew, what a Thursday, eh? Actually what the hell am I talking about. It hasn’t even happened yet! Is the festival spirit causing time travel? Fuck knows. What we do know, however, is that Friday’s line up is a little slim pickings-y. At least compared to that supernova of a Thursday. Still, if you go see the ‘underground soul punks’ from the Gossip led by rock n roll it-girl Beth Ditto, you’re off to a good start.

And you could do a lot worse than to catch Copenhagen’s finest purveyors of dark melancholy, the one and only I Got You on Tape over at the Arena Stage.

We have no beef with Jack White. And on this very Friday we might even drag our asses over to see his intimidatingly proficient guitar playing live. Even if he is beginning to border ever so slightly on dad rock.

Kasper has been playing a lot of Niki and The Dove at the office making us that little bit more susceptible to their impeccably crafted, warm synth pop.

And speaking of Kasper: yesterday he played an insane marathon gig at the camping area. 24 hours from sunset to sunset, as they say in Spleen United. On Friday night they’ll be playing yet again and you should of course go and check their spectacular live show, which has been engineered by the equally amazing Dark Matters crew. Provided that they’re still alive, you must go forth and rock out.

If you’re still alive at 3.00 ‘o clock on Saturday morning, there’s only one way to put the night out of its misery and that’s by catching Daniel Lopatin AKA Oneohtrix Point Never. When you think about it, 3.00 ‘o clock might be the perfect time for this kind of music, so you’ll just have to stay awake.

Saturday

Cerebral Ballzy at 12.00 in the morning. Is this a joke? If you’re awake, go see them. If only because their core audience won’t be getting up until 5 meaning that the tent will be empty and they need your support.

And Julia Holter at 1 in the afternoon? Roskilde People, please up your game a little. We realize that someone has to play at that time, but mind music for drunk hobbits and neurotic elves should be placed at dusk when it comes into its own.

Now you have a couple of hours. Use them wisely. By drinking and engaging in merry banter. Then it’s time to see the South African, Spoek Mathambo, whose evil ‘township tech’ will get your Saturday into gear.

And Tune-yards AKA hipster’s delight are always worth a watch.

If you think Drum n Bass is for people who never left the 90s…you’re sort of right. But that shouldn’t deter you from going to see Rockwell who does D&B that little bit tighter than the rest.

What’s more, even though all the bitter, ageing music critics in Denmark are currently going ‘I told you so’ when Roskilde put Bruce on the bill after last year's misplaced criticism, we will most likely be at the Orange Stage to see Bruce Springsteen. In the end, you can’t fuck with The Boss.

And now for something completely different: British bass music in the shape of Addison Groove who will in all likelihood deliver the perfect antidote to the Bruce’s, sentimental old people rock.

Yet another switch in mood and tempo as Bon Iver, the man with the impossibly earnest falsetto who it’s easy to ridicule but even easier to just plain like, takes the stage at the Arena tent.

Mew or Paul Kalkbrenner? Grandiose, Danish prog or German techno? That has to be Mew. Of course, we’re a little biased as Mew’s show in 2003 at 2.00 in the morning is one of THE best shows we’ve ever seen. More of the same, please.

We can’t not recommend Specktors as we know them and they’re pretty good to boot. Plus, it wouldn’t be an AIAIAI guide without name-dropping and nepotism. So get the eff down with Specktors on Saturday night.

Sunday:

Have you showered yet? If not, we suggest you skip it. There’s one day left and if you’ve given off ungodly body odor thus far you might as well just go for the whole nine yards.

At 4 in the afternoon, you know where to go. If you don’t we’ll tell you. The great Korralreven are playing and they request your hungover presence at the Apollo tent.

Okay, enough with all this bleepy, jangly, indie-nonsense. It’s time to rock out and Machinehead are there to make that happen for you.

Woops, I spoke to soon. There’s more bleepy nonsense to be seen. Except, it’s not nonsense, it’s Africa Hitech.

Friendly Fires are 30 minutes later if you can make that.

Fancy seeing a blind couple from Ghana getting fresh with shiny outfits? We thought you might. We know you know what’s going on. Sorry, it won’t happen again.

Get a move on, son, because you need to hurry over to see the Brooklyn-based synth wizards known as Blondes right NOW.

And then it’s Santigold 30 minutes later. Effing hell. A little break would be nice?

But, as the saying goes, ‘there’s no rest for the wicked’. It’s probably the inventor of that saying who placed Shlohmo 30 minutes after Santigold, so that he could annoy the wicked.

You’re now so tired, emotional and sentimentally inclined that there’s only one thing for it: the life-affirming, uplifting spectacle that is Björk. If there was ever a better way to see out the festival, we’d like to hear it.

Man, that was one long-ass haul. I’m getting tired just from typing in it and concurrently dreading what the actual IRL life consequences of witnessing this intense musical free-for-all will be. Then again, how can it be anything but delightful? If you pace yourself, things should be A-ok.

See you on the other side of Roskilde – and have an amazing summer!