| 16 Jan 2022
Magnetic Fields Festival 2015

MUMBAI: Alsisar Mahal, the 17th century palace that is the venue for Magnetic Fields, reverberated with music from afternoon to dawn this past weekend.

Known for introducing the freshest sounds from India and around the globe, Magnetic Fields, a music and arts festival, in its third edition maintained the tag of curating an enviable line-up of incredible live acts like RATATAT, HVOB, Shigeto and Garden City Movement alongside some of the world’s best DJs and producers like DJ Koze, Hunee, Objekt, Mumdance and Palms Trax for an audience that had gathered in Alsisar from all corners of the world. The third edition, held from 18th to 20th December, saw the biggest turn out of attendees in its three years.

The festival was a sensorial delight: there were stargazing sessions on the palace rooftop, morning yoga sessions, art installations – including one by Shilo Shiv Suleman in collaboration with local artisans – dawn-breaking parties in the palace dungeon and gardens, a glitter tea party by the pool, henna in the lawns, chocolate tastings, the ever-popular treasure hunt with an attractive booty and festival must-haves like chicken tikka, waffles and wood-fired pizzas for the gourmand.

With acts like RATATAT, HVOB, Shigeto, DJ Koze, connoisseur selectors Hunee & Antal, DJs and producers like Objekt and Mumdance and Indian acts like Sulk Station, Peter Cat Recording Co, Nicholson and many others on the line-up, there was something to satiate every possible music taste. With only a stage running at a time, the festival gave a chance to people to immerse themselves fully into the experience that the festival offers, and extended sets at the Red Bull Music Academy North Stage offered artists to make bolder music choices. The visuals team of Aman Pablay, Oblique and VJ Zombie outdid themselves and came in for a special mention from fans and artists alike.

The festival also introduced to fans new-and-upcoming Indian talent like Kumail, who dropped his new album at the festival, the hip-hop tinged electronica of Sid Vashi and music from across the border as part of the Border Movement x Thump showcasing Pakistani music collective, Forever South. Rudoh, who couldn’t travel to the Magnetic Fields last year, made up for it by playing a blistering, bass-filled set by the pool, ably supported by TMPST. Indian producer _RHL kept things interesting with a footwork-tinged set.

While everyone had their favourite performances at the festival, each day brought new musical delights. The spotlight on Friday was stolen by Dutch duo, Hunee & Antal who set up a disco vibe and kept it going for more than two hours – they even dropped the yesteryear crossover, disco hit, Boom Boom. On Saturday, drummer and producer Shigeto left fans awestruck by his phenomenal show, and for many played THE set of the festival. American rocktronica band RATATAT, who released their fifth album, ‘Magnifieque’ earlier in the year, played to a packed stage and didn’t disappoint with their guitar histrionics. Over on the night stage, grime innovator Mumdance warmed up the crowd for Berlin-based techno genius Objekt, who played a heaving set. DJ Koze teased the packed palace courtyard with tracks that effortlessly flowed through different styles and genres.

Saturday was also the scheduled day for the Resident Advisor Underground, a secret party in the dungeon that featured Indian producer Soul Clap and Boston-based disco act Soul Clap and had people queuing up to get in.?

The highlight on Sunday featured the uber feel-good band from Israel, Garden City Movement and Austrian live act HVOB on the South Stage while on the North Stage super “selectah” Kutmah had everyone moving with his soul, hip-hop, bass-tinged set. The highlight of the weekend was yet to come – a five-hour set by India’s audiovisual act BLOT! in the palace garden saw the musical, magical weekend come to an end.