With one of the biggest line-ups to date, UK electronic music festival Bloc this year sees the likes of Aphex Twin, Four Tet, Drop The Lime, Toddla T and stages from Mary Anne Hobbs presenting L-Vis 1990, Roska, and Addison Groove. With dozens of the UK's biggest promoters/nights involved - Venetian Snares, Daedelus, Jimmy Edgar, Joy Orbison, and Shackleton will be in tow, whilst a Resident Advisor stage invites Soul Clap, Floating Points, Will Saul and Space Dimension Controller to bring the Butlins ceilings down. We speak those behind the Plex stage, founded by James Tec, Luke Handsfree and Tom Strepsil, who've long been the pioneers of experimental electronic sound in the UK, having brought over the likes of Surgeon, Sigha and Sandwell District to their monthly night at Corsica Studios.
Dazed Digital: What is it that links the Plex artists together?
James Tec: One trait that I think links those that have performed at Plex is the way their music approaches you. Although in our home lives we listen to everything from Schubert to DJ SS, when we're out at a club we want someone playing that will literally render us incapable of standing still. I think many promotions in London simply put on music they feel is a safe bet in terms of crowd pull, we try to pull in the crowd by exposing them to artists they may not have seen before and more importantly see them play within an environment that suits their music. It's a risky attitude to adopt, but it's one we've stuck with since we started out.
DD: Have you guys played Bloc before? If so, what brings you back each year?
James Tec: We did a small Plex showcase at the very first Bloc way back in 2007 after we had just started up the club night. I've played at every Bloc thus far apart from last year and usually play at their launch parties they do leading up to the festival, a Bloc resident of sorts I guess. We just love the festival, for us it's the best electronic music event in the UK and I think where it wins is that it doesn't rely upon gimmicks and trends to sell itself.
DD: Who are you most looking forward to seeing out at Bloc?
James Tec: We're all looking forward to seeing Ancient Methods play again after their incredible set at Plex the other week and TVO & Datassette deliver really interesting live sets too. Our good friend from Malta Jamez is a great DJ, so well worth checking out when he hits the decks. As for the rest of the festival we can't wait for LFO's live set either as Mark Bell has played a major role in the music we all grew up listening too and always delivers! Dopplereffekt who played for us two years ago will be seriously immense and The Subloaded & Overkill showcases will be well worth checking out.
DD: What can we expect from the Plex stage?
James Tec: Heavyweight business! It's Plex's M.O. to bring a proper rave so don't expect punches to be pulled. Silent Servant is on fire at the moment and will no doubt be taking us very deep. What we've heard of Datassette's brand new show is sounding delightfully intricate and off-kilter, so expect the unexpected there. Ancient Methods were standout performers at our last club night with industrial Berlin heaviness, whilst our Maltese cohort Jamez and the Plex residents will be closing the morning off.
DD: Asides from the fest, what’s next in store for the night/collective?
James Tec: We're looking at doing a couple of smaller suPLEX parties in May/June and we're back at Corsica in July with another big line-up planned. The suPLEX parties give us a chance to concentrate solely on one room with maybe two headline acts performing. October will see us celebrate our fifth anniversary so 2011 is already looking busy and we have a number of other things in the pipeline too so stay tuned.
Follow Flora Yin-Wong on Twitter here @petitflo