Octagon Court

Occasional contributor to The Line Of Best Fit, John Brainlove talks through last weekend’s Brainlove Festival – now a much loved annual event held at the Brixton Windmill. With photographs by Sonny Malhotra.

Brainlove Festival is one of my highlights of the year, without fail. Everyone on the label (who’s able) comes together for an epic celebration of all the magical music we put out, with a range of weird and wonderful guests that we find on our travels. This year, the headliner was Meursault from Edinburgh – Neil Pennycook’s huge voice and their mixture of spluttering electronics and stadium-sized guitars makes them an intense and brilliant spectacle. Napoleon IIIrd playing his acclaimed album Christiania from beginning to end, with Nestor from Sky Larkin on drums. Pagan Wanderer Lu unveiled an set of mostly new material, peppered with gems from 2010′s European Monsoon. Out in the garden, Mat Riviere’s band Twany Owl were like an updated, better, English Strokes; Rob St John was stunning, hovering somewhere between Nick Drake and Mark Kozelek, and Brainlove’s latest signing David Thomas Broughton kept the audience spellbound as the sun fell. International guests this year were the frenzied, pulsing art-kraut-jazz-techno-improv of Estonian ensemble Kreatiivmootor and the dextrous multi-instrumental tightrope-walker Multiphonic Rodent – like Stereolab compressed into one man and taught loops by Owen Pallett.

Sonny Malhotra photographs every year, and it wouldn’t be the same without him there. His photographs do justice to the visuals, mixed live by Broken Pixel, and the beautiful decor by Kate Woodfield.

Thanks to everyone who was involved, and maybe we’ll see you there next year!

John Brainlove




Mat Riviere

Tawny Owl

Pagan Wanderer Lu

Snorri Helgason

Bear Driver

Multiphonic Rodent

David Thomas Broughton


Napoleon IIIr