Malta, the British island out in the Mediterranean Sea, has become one of Europe's hottest holiday destinations. And it seems music festivals are catching on. Glitch, a house and techno festival, is back on the island this September to take advantage of the beautiful setting.
Ahead of the festival, we caught up with three local DJs on the lineup to find out more about the island, the amazing weather, the great food, and hear their best tips for getting the best out of our trip.
How excited are you to be playing Glitch Festival this year?
Jupiter Jax: Really pumped up for this edition! So many artists that are of inspiration to me in different ways. The atmosphere last year was incredible, and I have a feeling that this year it will be even better.
Cain: Although I have also played at the first edition of Glitch Festival, I must admit this year is a bit more exciting for me. I’m saying this because last year I had the chance to explore a different side of my collection which was a bit more on the minimal side of things – playing a daytime set. Don't get me wrong I enjoy this from time to time and that’s exactly why I did it, but for me nothing compares to playing techno in the night time.
Hail Blk: Really excited to be honest, I will have the chance to perform a live set with some of the most recent material I have been working on. It will be quite an experience for sure.
Is there anyone on the lineup that has inspired you?
JJ: Indeed, and that’s Legowelt. I was around 16 years old when I discovered his Pimpshifter release. It was such a weird and unique feeling. The music sounded so different to anything else, yet it instantly resonated with me so much. His sounds also got me into buying some analog synths and it all took off from there. I think the soundtracks to my late-teens to early 20s were pretty much Legowelt all-round. I still find inspiration through him to this day, be it through his track selection in mixes, his new music, or just the fact that he never rode any fads, and kept doing what he was doing throughout all these years.
C: If I had to pick one it would definitely be Mr. G. I'm quite a big fan of the earlier techno sound, by earlier I mean 90's stuff. Although he isn't playing/producing that style anymore, he sure as hell knows how to get everyone moving while keeping everything sounding interesting. Having such a legendary figure playing here is always exciting, especially when I'm on the same line-up. For those who are not aware Mr. G (Colin) formed a part of The Advent (Cisco & Colin) up until the year 1999. The Advent is now a solo project run by Cisco Ferreira which is still an inspiration for me after all these years. Soon after, Colin started the Phoenix G Label, where both Colin and Cisco released the first six records together as G Flame & Mr.G.
HB: Well I'm really into most of the artists on the lineup but if I had to pick one it would be Dax J. He has been growing really strong musically these past years. I really like the energy he puts in his productions and his DJ sets deliver a really energetic flow with a really good combination of various elements which reflect his influences.
What do you think the festival brings to Malta?
JJ: For some, it brings an alternative to the more mainstream music that they are generally exposed to in festivals here. For others, it is a big-stage extension of the music that they have listened to in some parts of the club scene in Malta. Particularly that scene which emanated from Liquid Club where the promoters of the Glitch itself have been organising events for more than a decade. Either way, it's a breath of fresh air for this island.
C: Glitch is something special being it's the only festival of its kind. By this I mean that most festivals happening here on the island are quite commercial and tend not to be to my enjoyment. It's set a staple for the crowd that enjoys the intimate club atmosphere but on a larger scale.
HB: The festival itself is a really good combination of music quality and professionalism. It brings the opportunity for the clubber to experience something that is out of the commercial bubble that most of the festivals on this island are trapped in.
What are your favourite things about your home country?
JJ: Family, friends, sunsets, local bread. Not sure in which order though.
C: Although being quite small it has its perks. Everything is literally minutes away, you can cross the whole island in 35 minutes without traffic more or less. The climate is the best, we have 300+ days of sunshine in a year – that can't be wrong anywhere! One must also mention the humble people around the island, everyone is so friendly and ready to help out if necessary.
With regards to nightlife, from my perspective I can safely say that we always try to push things forward and it would not be possible without the amazing local following we have which always creates an amazing atmosphere every time.
HB: The weather is mostly sunny throughout the year, we have lots of beaches and the sea is amazing. From a nightlife point of view we have a good and strong electronic music scene, with lots of high quality events all year long.
What should we check out while we're on the island?
JJ: Check out a couple of the beaches – unless you can wake up really early, best time to head there is around 6pm. This time the beaches have started to empty, and the sweltering heat starts to die out too. Make sure to check out the old capital Mdina and have a stroll around Valletta at night.
C: I would definitely recommend visiting the sister islands of Gozo and Comino. They are both fairly accessible by a short ferry ride. And if you thought Malta had it easy and laid back, you will definitely think again after a visit to Gozo! There are also a few other cool places like Anchor Bay (Popeye Village) and Selmun. But my biggest recommendation has to be the cliffs. It’s one of those places where on a personal level I feel that I can escape from all the busy stuff that is going around and be totally relaxed.
If record digging is your thing I highly suggest visiting Sunset Records in Sliema, they have quite an interesting catalogue which includes also a good section by local artists and labels. I’m sure you’ll find something to get you going.
HB: Depends on what one is into, there are some good historical places here one can check out, also the islands of Gozo and Comino are a good choice for relaxing and we have lots of great beaches and country side for walks.
Any food and drink we should definitely try?
JJ: For food try the Maltese ftira in a local café/restaurant usually found in town centres. Or even better, grab one to go and enjoy it on the beach. Probably because of nostalgic reasons for me, but the taste really changes when having it in this scenario!
C: There's quite a few things you can try actually. The fish is always amazing, I mean how can it not be we are in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. If you are into meat there are quite a few traditional plates you can find in many restaurants. Some quick snacks include: Cheese cakes (pastizzi) – a pastry filled with either ricotta cheese or peas and twistees - a rice based snack with cheese flavour. As far as drinks go only two come to mind: Cisk – which is the favourite beer of both locals and tourists and Kinnie – a non-alcoholic beverage made from bitter oranges and wormwood herb extract.
HB: I would definitely recommend a couple of dishes such as the rabbit stew, horse meat, snails, Maltese sausage (filled with pepper).
Also the imqaret and pasitzzi (cheese cakes) are kind of a delicious snack here too. Last but not least the local beer Cisk is a must to try.
What are your top tips for getting the most out of our trip to Glitch and Malta?
JJ: Just come here ready to get soaked into the lazy summer feeling and enjoy yourselves! Malta is small enough that you don't need a lot of planning before hand and you can play it by ear. Maybe a day on the beach, quick shower then head towards Glitch for some sunset sets!
C: For Glitch I would suggest getting there as early as possible. The day time part of the festival is as special as the night-time experience. As for Malta – roam around beyond the suggestions in the tourist guides. It's a very small island with a lot to offer both if you like exploring or just chilling, walk around and let the Mediterranean lifestyle take over. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost!
HB: In regards to the festival, be there as early as possible. There is a well balanced lineup, so it's convenient that one enjoys the festival from its early hours.
As to the island, just roam around, chill out, check the beaches out, have some fun, relax... it will be all good.
More like this: