After LCD Soundsystem and Die Antwoord pulled out, things were looking a little shaky for Clockenflap this year. But no one needed to worry about substandard substitutions: the organisers pulled it out of the bag and booked the dynamic rapper MIA and legendary electro duo The Chemical Brothers who, together with artists like Sigur Ros, Cheer Chen and Foals, will give the Central event a heavy dose of star power. With the festival less than three weeks away, it’s time take to take a look at a fighting fit line-up of classic acts, brand new gems, and eclectic sounds both home-grown and international.
Who? Acclaimed multimillion-selling British rapper and Sri Lankan Tamil activist with a penchant for heavy bass and south Asian samples. The outspoken MIA became world famous after songs from her 2007 album Kala were featured on the soundtrack of the film Slumdog Millionaire. Expect eccentric outfits, mind-blowing visuals and a dash of trademark rebelliousness.
For fans of: Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj, Lily Allen, Grimes
Listen: Paper Planes, Freedun (feat. Zayn), Bad Girls
When? Headlining the Harbourflap Stage at 9.15pm on Saturday night.
Who? Electro-duo fusing dance, rock and rap into an explosion off riffs, samples, catchy vocal hooks, and bass that hits like a tonne of bricks. The enigmatic British pair contributed their signature sound to the Hanna movie soundtrack and are famed for their intense energy.
For fans of: The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Daft Punk, Gorillaz
Listen: Go, Hey Boy Hey Girl, Galvanize
When? Headlining the Harbourflap Stage at 9.15pm on Sunday night.
Who? Uber laidback reggae six-piece singing in Cantonese with lots of “woy-oy-oys” and guitar reverb.
For fans of: Magic!, Dre Island, Etana
Listen: Jah Know Star, Sensi Sensi, Lion Rock Steady
When? Saturday, on the FWD Stage at 1.30pm.
Who? Platinum-selling British indie trio. Emotive, electronica-tinged pop defined by ambient sounds, classical elements, and the powerful voice of lead singer Hannah Reid.
For fans of: St Vincent, The xx, James Bay, Florence and the Machine
Listen: Wasting My Young Years, Hey Now, Strong
When? Saturday, on the Harbourflap Stage at 7.15pm.
Who? Mando/Canto-electro-folk singer-songwriter, formerly of at17 and Eason Chan’s band. Loo makes her return to Clockenflap.
For fans of:
Listen: Summer of Love, 發抖, 卡嚓,
When? Friday, on the Harbourflap Stage at 7.15pm.
Who? British indie-folk singer-songwriter and former Bombay Bicycle Club backing singer.
For fans of: Bombay Bicycle Club, Laura Marling, Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka
Listen: Our Eyes, Shiver, Scar
When? Sunday, 3.30pm on the Fwd Stage.
Who? Emotionally affecting ambient post-rock from Indonesia using layered vocals and guitar effects to build colossal walls of sound.
For fans of: Deerhoof, Sigur Ros, Mogwai
Listen: Empati Tamako, Zamanm, Zaman, Saija
When? Saturday, 8.15pm on the Kef Stage
* Warning: This video may cause seizures in those with photosensitive epilepsy.
Clockenflap runs from Nov 25-27. Discount tickets (HK$980 for the weekend) are available to under-18s and full-time students until the day before the festival, while general admission tickets will increase in price from Nov 10. Here is everything you need to know about this year's Clockenflap!