The annual Bloc festival returns in 2011 with arguably its strongest ever line-up, with further additions still to be announced. It all goes down at the Butlins holiday resort in Minehead, UK, on the weekend of March 11-13.

The biggest draw for many will be Aphex Twin. Richard D. James is no stranger to the festival, but the last time he played there – in 2009 – was as part of a noise-centric collaborative duo with Florian Hecker. His 2010 appearance will be to perform a solo A/V set, and with the first “proper” Aphex album since Drukqs expected to see release in the near future, the set will be even more hotly anticipated than usual.

No less enticing for is the scheduled appearance from LFO, with founder member Mark Bell playing solo for the first time in three years. Though Bell continues to actively collaborate and perform with Björk, his recorded work as LFO has been scant since 2004-2005, when he surfaced for a split 12″ of archival tracks with AFX and remixed !!!’s ‘Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story)’. LFO were one of Warp’s earliest signings, helping define the Sheffield bleep ‘n bass sound and producing one of the most iconic tracks (‘LFO’) and one of the most engrossing albums (Frequencies) of the rave era.

There’s a live performance from Dopplereffekt, the exploratory electro project of former Drexciya man Gerald ‘Heinrich Mueller’ Donald. Big-room techno/electro perennial Vitalic is also on board, as is Modeselektor and Apparat’s festival-savvy Moderat collaboration, with straight-up house and techno promised from Claude Von Stroke and Visionquest’s Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss and Shaun Reeves, not to mention uncategorisable italo derivations from Black Devil Disco Club. Garage and dubstep fiends will be appeased by appearances from Joy Orbison and Digital Mystikz. Beardyman is signed up as well.

Four Tet, seemingly more popular right now than ever, will make the trip down to Butlin’s, as will Shackleton, Pinch, Untold and DJ Pete (Substance / Chain Reaction).

Mary Anne Hobbs will be spinning herself and hosting her own stage, with Roska, Al Tourettes, L-Vis 1990 and Addison Groove. repping the frontline of UK bass-driven house. Tourettes is production partner of Appleblim and is responsible for classy productions on Apple Pips and Aus Music, while his fellow Bristolian Addison Groove – AKA Headhunter – scored a huge underground hit earlier this year with the juke-inspired ‘Footcrab’. L-Vis 1990 is one of the brains behind Night Slugs, and Roska is perhaps the most infamous and far-roaming of all producers to have come out of the UK funky explosion.

Resident Advisor are hosting a showcase manned by Will Saul, Space Dimension Controller, Soul Clap and Floating Points, while electro nuts Bodyhammer bring Orgue Electronique and Legowelt. Other notable acts announced so far Alva Noto (Raster-Noton), Toddla T, Speedy J, Matthew Dear, Drop The Lime, B12, Posthuman, Jimmy Edgar, Daedelus, Venetian Snares, Ancient Methods, Silent Servant, A Guy Called Gerald, Magnetic Man, The Advent, Oscar Mulero, Billy Nasty, Iration Steppaz, Gentlemen’s Dub Club, Top Cat, Kenny Ken, Datasette, The Village Orchestra and Plex DJs.

But wait! There’s more!

Booty legend DJ Funk [pictured] will fly over to play what will doubtless be one of the festival’s most high-octane and entertaining sets, and Jamie xx will surf in on the sizeable hype wave generated by his Gil-Scott Heron remix album and imminent release on Numbers. Jamie is in fact headlining a Numbers showcase also set to feature Rustie, SBTRKT and Numbers DJs.

Bleep’s stage will feature Detroit house cub Kyle Hall, Border Community’s Luke Abbott and experimental bass perennial Boxcutter, but it’s Modeselektor who are really bringing out the big guns – their Modeselektion features  Ramadanman, Ikonika, Apparat and Ben Klock.

Laurent Garnier will close the festival with a full live set: the LBS project.

Further information and tickets here.



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