5 must-watch sets at Cosmic Roots Festival 2021

Cosmic Roots festival is set to make its return tomorrow, with music scheduled from Thursday afternoon to the early hours of Sunday morning. Read on for five artists we think could be worth checking out if you are one of the lucky ones heading to East Raynham, Norfolk this week.

Cosmic Roots Festival

Katiusha B2B Space Cadets

A couple of years ago, the honour of the Cosmic Roots closing set fell to the late, great Alex T – this year’s edition sees Katiusha and Space Cadets stepping up to the plate. The former is a Berlin-based selector with a current monthly show on Lichtenberg’s Cashmere radio, but in the past has played on Rinse, NTS, you name it. 

Meanwhile, Space Cadets is the musical partnership of best mates Adam Pits and Lisene, two of the brightest names on the UK underground. The pair boast a slew of releases on institutions such as Holding Hands and Banoffee Pies, whilst their own label On Rotation recently pressed Adam’s debut LP A Recurring Nature.

Adam Pits

The prospect of watching the three of them in harmony on Saturday night seems like a brilliant way to round off the festival.

Space Afrika

Manchester’s Space Afrika are a duo that seem to provoke a dizzying amount of musical comparisons. It is striking the number and style of artists mentioned in features written about Josh Reid and Joshua Inyang; Tricky, Burial, Actress, Cocteau Twins, even Salford’s very own Joy Division.

Space Afrika ©Timon Benson and Chloe Magdelaine

Honest Labour is their most recent album, released in August on Dais Records, and proof that far from being derivative of the names mentioned, they have carved out a unique sonic landscape for themselves. The record is a serious achievement.

Their live set at Cosmic Roots intrigues mainly because of when it sits in the programme. Early evening is a liminal time and it will be fascinating to see whether they opt to reflect the contemplative, melodic sounds of Honest Labour or something heavier and more intense.

Tony Neptune

Tony Neptune, otherwise known as Yuri (or Sam Jefferies to fellow earthlings), is a DJ, producer and visual artist hailing from Yorkshire. A longstanding member of the Dimensions DJ Directory, his other alias is a nod to Yuri Gargarin, the first human being to enter space back in 1961 and “the greatest explorer the world has ever known”.

Tony Neptune

His first EP arrived last year on Twelve Comets and features artwork of Gargarin that he painted himself – influenced by the storytelling aspects of early Detroit techno artists, Neptune wanted the record to tell a complete tale through the confluence of art, music and text.

If past sets are anything to go by, people can expect a varied selection from Neptune on Saturday night. As he takes Cosmic Roots into its final hours, don’t be surprised to hear the Leeds United fan dropping anything from new wave to electro to hip hop to… you get the idea.

Heels & Souls

What started off life as a fundraising party based in the capital has grown to become a reissue record label, as well as one of the most venerable DJ duos on the circuit. 

Heels & Souls

Heels & Souls’ Pat Forrester and Ben Croft have a history of prioritising smaller charities, local to the venues where their parties are thrown, and since they began have raised over £30,000 for organisations such as Key Changes, MAP Charity and Possible. Last year, their reissue of the glorious street soul classic Garden Of Life raised funds for the vital UK enterprise The Black Curriculum.

Charitable work aside, their set is not one to miss. If you happen to be stuck in London this weekend, they’re also playing at the Lion and Lamb on Friday night.

Kiara Scuro

Is there anywhere else you would rather be on Thursday night than watching Kiara Scuro kick off Cosmic Roots 2021? The Balamii residents play from 11pm and you wouldn’t bet against this being one of the most popular sets of the entire weekend. 

Their recent mix for Lobster Theremin showcases the kind of sound they have garnered acclaim for. Fresh from playing at Dimensions festival in Croatia last week, their blend of acid and techno will be the perfect soundtrack to a sweaty evening down at The Wormhole.

Cosmic Roots takes place at The Walled Garden from Thursday 9th September to Sunday 12 September. Final release tickets available here.

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