Live Review: Let Them Eat Cake

3 January 2014 | 9:56 am | Emma Breheny

The diversity of electronic music showcased, coupled with an emphasis on providing a unique and comfortable festival experience, will ensure Let Them Eat Cake’s continued growth from year to year.

The second installment of boutique New Year's Day festival Let Them Eat Cake is surrounded by much excitement, with its stellar line-up, expansion to five stages and return to the suitably decadent Werribee Park. Despite the weather taking a turn for the worse, the crowds do not allow their enthusiasm to be dampened by sporadic downpours and chilly winds.

Colourful, costumed revellers slowly trickle in and ease into the day accompanied by the smooth sounds of Sean Deans. At The Castle stage, local DJ Kodiak Kid's impressive sampling incorporates music from many dance music genres including jungle, drum'n'bass and breaks. Most festival-goers get into their groove at the secluded Guillotine stage, where second act Andy Hart & Myles Mac have almost filled the forest glen dancefloor with their bass-heavy set offset by some killer vocal samples. Fleetwood Mac's Dreams chorus (“Thunder only happens when it's raining”) perfectly coincides with the deteriorating weather, bringing a smile to many faces during this set closer. Next up, Wolf & Lamb manage to keep people moving with a crowd-pleasing mix of disco, deep house and minimal tracks emanating from the rave cave-style stage.

Elsewhere, Dusky takes things up a notch with a set of bangers at the Resident Advisor-sponsored Bastille stage before Julio Bashmore delivers an impressive set that's unfortunately undermined by the wind. However, the man's ability to deconstruct a track and layer pure bass, harmony and rhythm elements together to create something startling and new is clear. The strong response from the crowd, particularly when a more minimal version of Battle For Middle You drops, is an exciting sign of the future success of this very talented producer.

Over at the honeycomb structure that is the Palace Of Versailles stage, Tokimonsta creates a more chilled-out vibe for an appreciative crowd who nod and sway along. However, technical difficulties and the thumping bass emanating from the Bicep boys cause a steady trickle of punters to desert the Brainfeeder producer in favour of dancefloors on offer elsewhere.

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Bicep's winning combination of house and techno, while much heavier than the duo's singles and EPs, seems to be exactly what the crowd is after. People find it hard to stay still, even when huddling undercover out of the rain. Soul Clap hold their own over at the much smaller Guillotine stage, playing a great selection of crowd-pleasers including '70s disco and soul samples. The more intimate atmosphere and consistently positive party vibe of each act make this the standout stage of the day.

Meanwhile, Floating Points opens his two-hour set with a nod to the past, spinning a feel-good selection of both classic and lesser-known soul music. This then gives way to some 4/4 techno, a surprising addition to the usually ambient producer's set. Later, he weaves in some garage sounds before moving onto some irresistibly fun disco – perfect for a crowd that is well and truly ready to get down. All in all, this is a seamless and very tasteful mix from one of the UK's most exciting producers.

Ear-melting bass from JPS pulls a serious crowd to the smaller Castle stage, where this producer's heavy drum'n'bass is best epitomised by one punter who wears a motorcycle helmet. Mark Pritchard maintains the energy with a fast-paced yet diverse set featuring a couple of new tracks ahead of what promises to be an exciting full-length release this year.

Stalwart DJ and producer James Holden's foray into a live set is well-received, although at this stage of the day it seems many people are just happy to keep moving. Regardless, the pulsating beat and wonky soundscapes are lapped up by what feels like the majority of festival-goers, decked out in rain ponchos and garbage bags. Simultaneously, a smattering of devoted fans swamp the tiny stage where Client Liaison perform. The local duo's frontman appears to be in his element, channelling cheesy '80s pop stars in a glitzy suit jacket while delivering a pitch-perfect (if uninspired) set of synth-pop.

Those looking for fun house cuts are indebted to Cyril Hahn, who delivers a shimmering set. This is punctuated by a couple of his hugely popular remixes including the masterful Say My Name by Destiny's Child. Despite this young DJ's mixing skills and irresistible tunes, he seems to lose a few people once the highly anticipated DJ Koze begins his set.

Closing the RA stage, DJ Koze takes a surprisingly long time to warm up. Due to poor mixing and moments of dead sound, this reviewer feels lost at some points. By the end, some sort of thread emerges from the many directions taken throughout this set; however, it's a long journey at the end of a long day.

Kode9 delivers a far more straightforward selection of techno, footwork and bass for a late-night crowd. It's a high-energy performance that leaves many exhilarated and wishing the next Let Them Eat Cake weren't a whole year away. The diversity of electronic music showcased, coupled with an emphasis on providing a unique and comfortable festival experience, will ensure Let Them Eat Cake's continued growth from year to year.