All Tomorrow’s Parties: Nightmare Before Christmas

Taking place at Butlins in Minehead, All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP) have just about completed the lineup for Nightmare Before Xmas. The three day festival is curated day by day by Les Savy Fair (Friday the 9th), Battles (Saturday the 10th) and Caribou (Sunday the 11th); if it was a competition then Battles would be winning hands down.

Unfortunately though it’s not the type of event where the winners eat the losers. As usual here’s our top 5 picks from the lineup thus far. The (dodgy) bios are mostly taken from the ATP festival site – – where you can also find out all the necessaries about buying tickets, complete lineups, booking accommodation etc.

We’re hoping to be there holding it down for photos and reviews as it goes along, we’ll keep you updated.


From the infinite beyond they came. The ones who had their fill of programmed music designed to do nothing beyond drug the masses with sounds designed to block the flow of rational thought. The Interstellar Fugitives were and are a collective of musically minded individuals who come together under the banner of Underground Resistance, each individual interpreting what a particular musical concept means for himself and expressing that.

Their first project explored genetics and memetics, and introduced the concept of the R-1, a gene (or perhaps “meme”) that was at the root of an individual’s ability to resist when everything says to comply. Adopting code names, the Fugitives would record and perform under those names. Some, like Mad Mike, Drexciya and the Suburban Knight were already known to fans of UR. Others, like the Aztec Mystic and the Chameleon had recorded with UR under different names in the past. Some were new figures, like the Deacon and Perception.

Their second project examined the relation between Chaos and Order and how just as the creation of Order from Chaos can be a good thing, Chaos bringing on the Destruction of Order can be just as potent a force of good.

Again, the Interstellar Fugitive projects are bound by a common theme, with each member finding their own expression often collaborating with each other to create a sum much greater than its parts.


Washed Out is Ernest Greene, a young guy from Georgia (via South Carolina) who makes bedroom synthpop that sounds blurred and woozily evocative, like someone smeared Vaseline all over an early OMD demo tape, then stayed up all night trying to recreate what they heard.


Spawned from the urge to do something apart from his post-rock band Fridge, Kieran Hebden’s Four Tet project balances organic and programmed sounds. Eager to experiment, Hebden bought a computer and began collecting drum and sound samples. Though his tracks sounded contrary, Hebden produced them all in his flat using only his computer to loop, slice, and paste downloaded samples and rhythms. His first full-length was 1999’s Dialogue, which was noticed by experimental dub pioneer Pole (Stefan Betke). Hebden retained Four Tet as a side project, however, and released subsequent records Pause (2001) and Rounds (2003) through Domino. The No More Mosquitoes EP and the “My Angel Rocks Back and Forth” single preceded the 2005 release of Everything Ecstatic. 

In 2006, Hebden put together two compilations of some of his favorite tracks, LateNightTales and DJ-Kicks, as well as Everything Ecstatic Films & Part 2. The two-disc Remixes was also compiled and released that year, as were two volumes of his Exchange Session project with jazz drummer Steve Reid. These two volumes found Hebden working under his proper name for a change. This trend continued when their third collaboration, Tongues, arrived in 2007. 

The four-track Ringer, issued the following year, was the first Four Tet release in over four years, and it was trailed by the critically adored full-length There Is Love in You in early 2010.


Gétatchèw Mèkurya is an Ethiopian jazz saxophonist, who began his musical studies on traditional Ethiopian instruments such as the krar and the messengo, and later moved on to the saxophone and the clarinet. With the album Negus of Ethiopian Sax (since re-released as part of the Ethiopiques CD series), Mekurya became known as internationally as one of the most important proponents of Ethio-jazz.

The album Negus of Ethiopian Sax caught the ears of Dutch avant-garde/punk band The Ex who invited the septuagenarian sax player to perform at their 25th anniversary show in Amsterdam. In turn, Mèkurya asked The Ex to be the backup band for his 2006 album, Moa Anbessa. The Ex and Mèkurya toured The Netherlands, Belgium and France together in 2006 and 2007.


Theo Parrish began spinning and producing tracks in 1986, at the age of thirteen… After graduating from the Academy for the Arts, he received a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute where his interest in music was taken to a new level through his study of sculpture. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from KCAI with a concentration in Sound Sculpture, a form of orchestration using live instruments, looped recordings, the human voice, and numerous other sound generating devices.

While in Kansas City, Theo continued to impact and be impacted by dance music, helping to bring a dormant underground music scene to life. In 1994, Theo Parrish moved to Michigan where he became heavily involved in Detroit’s underground music scene. Producing music and delivering his unique and dynamic sets in venues throughout the Detroit and surrounding areas, as well as abroad he has gained the attention and respect of DJs, producers, listeners and dancers worldwide.