London's busy August bank holiday weekend got even busier this year with the arrival of the London Electronic Dance Festival organised by clubbing brand Cream and bringing together some of the finest acts over two days in the East End's Victoria Park. Although hampered by a reduced line-up rumoured to have been affected by poor ticket sales, the performances of acts including The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Tiga and electronica legend Aphex Twin ensured it was a debut which would be welcomed back next year.
The first day of LED Festival sadly lacked the Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso as well as Ocelot and AN21, but the reduced event of one outdoor main stage and a tented Turbo Arena was giving dance fans plenty to get excited about on arrival. In the Turbo Arena Zombie Nation were revving the crowd up with their classic "Kernkraft 440", holding off on the hook to enable the bubbling electro bass to sustain anticipation before the drop. It proved ideal for getting the tent jumping late afternoon, though I headed to the main stage to see how Calvin Harris was getting on.
A five-minute mash up of hardcore including Altern8's "Frequency" was a delight.
The second day of LED Festival saw the two stages adopt different themes. The Turbo Arena was taken over by Radio One's Annie Mac for a host of dubstep, grime, drum & bass and headed up by the forward-thinking beats of Aphex Twin while the main stage focused on live acts. Crack house purveyor Zinc together with drum & bass favourites Shy FX and Sub Focus got the day off to a blistering start as the sun shone down while over on the main stage South African hip hop act Die Antwoord opened with their biggest hit "Enter the Ninja" marked by fans flocking to sing-along to the annoyingly catchy chorus. Famed for their Zef style of modern and trashy elements that includes out-of-date, discarded cultural elements, Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek donned Pokemon outfits at one point for comic effect emphasising their shotgun delivery over scattered beats. Equally perplexing and engrossing, Die Antwoord may not be everyone's taste but you can't fault them for giving their all on-stage - the exact opposite to Professor Green's more commercial hip hop offering on Annie Mac's stage.
Aphex Twin had everyone talking as they left.