Forget debating the relative merits of headliners Elton John, Guns N' Roses and Arctic Monkeys: the issue that was exercising the minds of electronic musicians over Glastonbury weekend was Fred again.. seemingly shifting pad-based allegiances from NI’s Maschine+ to Akai’s MPC Live II.
Fred again.. has been one of the more notable Maschine users over the past few years, and a clip of him jamming on NI’s hardware in front of Zane Lowe has racked up serious numbers of views. “So it's like an MPC but a modern one,” he told the Apple Music DJ by way of explanation.
His much-viewed Boiler Room set involved a lot of pad-bashing on a Maschine+, too.
But wait, because Akai Pro itself sells its own “modern” MPCs, and at Glastonbury, Fred was clearly using one - the MPC Live II. Whether this indicates a permanent shift away from Maschine remains to be seen, but it certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Fred again..’s Friday night set had been eagerly anticipated, and despite playing on The Other Stage (as opposed to the main, Pyramid Stage) he drew a huge, warmly appreciative crowd. In fact, by the end, it was clear that the Brian Eno-endorsed artist was enjoying himself so much that he didn’t want to leave.