Best Kept Secret: Awards Edition | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Best Kept Secret 2015, Binkbeats

Best Kept Secret: Awards Edition, June 21st, 2015

Jun 23, 2015 Kindness Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

Last weekend, the third edition of Best Kept Secret went down in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands at the Beekse Bergen wild animal park. (Under the Radar’s only regret for the weekend? We didn’t actually see any animals. Tipsy music fans don’t count.) From good eats to even better music here are just a few of are favorite moments from the fest, presented—as per tradition—in awards form.

“What’s Dutch For Cool?” Award: Binkbeats

Binkbeats has already done a Boiler Room session—so it isn’t completely fair to say that the producer hasn’t been exported beyond his native Netherlands. But the Dutch musician took it up a notch with his Sunday afternoon performance incorporating a series of new toys (a slinky, a tiny fuzzed out television) into his percussive live set. Sure, he got his start covering other people, but expect to hear more of Binkbeats’ melodic, layered compositions soon. (While you’re waiting, be sure to revisit our live video of the man at work.)

Best Reason to Get Out Of Bed Award: Jonny Greenwood

Despite the fact I stayed until almost three the night before to catch Kiasmos (a decision I don’t regret in the slightest), I was back at the festival on Sunday to catch Jonny Greenwood’s 11am morning set. Despite the fact that he’s a Radiohead, the accomplished musician only performed to a small crowd. Greenwood took fans on a nu-classical journey, performing his own work from the There Will Be Blood score, Mica Levi’s “Love” from Beneath the Skin, and Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint.” He also got the crowd involved with a piece called “Self Portrait With Seven Fingers,” where viewers were invited to go to a website, and tap the screens of their phone to admit a tone that synced with the music. The chill-inducing results far-transcended normal festival fare.

The Two Hankies, Cry Yourself Silly Award: First Aid Kit

Did First Aid Kit’s set, which featured an Emmylou Harris cover, make anyone else cry? No? Okay good…me neither. Just checking.

Chow Down Award: Food (All of it)

I’ll readily admit that I’m the kind of dumb that regularly forgets to eat. This could explain why around 4pm at festivals I’m an emotional monster capable of only communicating in grizzly bear-style growls. (And by day three I probably smell like a wild beast as well.) Not so much at Best Kept Secret. Even before I got there, friends made it their mission to tell me just how good the food was. And they weren’t lying. From vegan gyros, to couscous, to something called the “over the top” waffle (there was ice cream—lots of it), I ate my fill, and, if we’re being honest, everyone else’s as well.

The Damn Son! Award: Future Islands

Look, you know Under the Radar loves Future Islands (and if you didn’t let this remind you). An amazing live band? Another killer show at Best Kept Secret? Yeah, this isn’t exactly shocking information. All we’re saying is that if this turns into the summer of Sam (and Will and Gerrit) we wouldn’t be angry in the slightest.

The Still Got it Prize: Jesus and Mary Chain (Second place award: Ride)

Reunion tour? Nostalgia Act? Please—Jesus and Mary Chain transcended all the labels on Friday night with their Psychocandy set. The guitars? Still loud. Jim Reid’s voice? Still an exercise in melodic sulk. Still vibrant, still fun, and still vital. (Second prize goes to Ride…because shoegaze. Festival coordinator Niels Aalbert showed up to their set in a Ride cycling jersey. Here’s hoping his mind was properly blown.)

The Seriously Best Kept Secret Award: Kindness

While headliner Noel Gallagher blew the minds of the Brit pop loving masses, a select few headed over to a side tent to watch British producer Kindness (a.k.a. Adam Bainbridge) perform. It was the Gallagher fans’ loss. From covering Blood Orange’s “Champagne Coast” and Mary J Blige’s “Real Love” to trotting out groove-filled cuts from his own two albums, Bainbridge constructed instantly fun, likeable set. Easy, considering the high level of musicality on stage. Here’s hoping he has a cogency plan in place—every single member of his band could easily go on to vibrant solo careers of their own.

The Second Place Country Award: United Kingdom

Best Kept Secret may be aimed at the Dutch, but the lineup skewed decidedly British. From headliners Noel Gallagher and The Libertines, to up and coming acts Wolf Alice, Eargulls, and Outfit, there were plenty of accents from the great island. Given that many of these acts have limited appeal stateside, or are or only starting their careers abroad, it was a great way to get a sense of what’s moving music fans from across the world.

The Dance it Out Award: Dan Deacon’s Festival Closing Dance Party

“It’s nice to see how many people hate alt-J,” joked Dan Deacon, gazing out at the crowd who had skipped the headliner’s set in favor of seeing him. The Baltimore-based musician didn’t disappoint, his electro noise pop and kid’s party planner persona guiding them through a series of increasing absurd dance challenges. By the end of the set, everyone was getting down and making new friends. Just the way every festival should end.




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