Between all the award ceremonies and summer festival announcements these past few weeks, we’re feeling pretty jazzed about all the regulars we’ve been seeing in the circuit. Adding to the run of festival announcements is Georgia’s Counterpoint Festival, with headliners OutKast, Foster The People, and Pretty Lights, along with supporting acts Matt & Kim, Sleigh Bells, and many more in the 75+ act lineup. The three-day fest will take place in Rome, Georgia from April 25th-27th at Kingston Downs. Check out the full lineup below. (more…)
What motivates the most talented musicians in or outside of EDM? You know, the relentless excitement to wake up every morning to create a work of art. On average, the motivations behind this creativity derives from the desire to share musical knowledge, as well as to produce an emotional impact on the audience. Economically speaking, these things cannot be sold on the shelf in the form of a retail item, but they are services. Fortunately, the EDM community is acting as the engine driving the music industry from the late retail business model to the service oriented market of today. And not only that, some of their practices are 100% non-profit and 100% successful. There are many clues forecasting the direction of this artform, and it’s both exciting and reassuring to know it’s being done with positive motivations. Therefore, this issue of Electropolis commends the EDM artists that have proven philanthropy, selflessness and appreciation for the music lover to be lucrative paths to success.
Teaching the next generation of EDM artists, Deadmau5‘s record label, Mau5Trap, presented a live stream in partnership with Beatport on March 23. Hosted at Honor Roll Music, the stream for Mau5Hax lasted for nearly twelve hours as five young competition winners put their skills to the test”producing two songs under the guidance of Mau5 himself, Feed Me, Moguai and Kill The Noise. Fans watching the event from home had the chance to collaborate as well with the featured English rap group, Foreign Beggars, by posting their ideas for lyrical content on Facebook. By the end of the stream, two tracks were created “Titty Sprinkles” and “Fractals” which can be downloaded for free on Beatport.
Pretty Lights Music
Derek Vincent Smith a.k.a Pretty Lights is a real practitioner of “art for art’s sake.” His record label, Pretty Lights Music, has offered their music for free since its founding. Its business strategy is revenue maximization instead of profit and its goal is to give you the most thrilling EDM performance ever. Due to the success of his music and label, PLM has been able to sign artists such as the legendary Gramatik”offering the finest sample-based EDM music for, you guessed it…free.
Rusko Offers Remix Collection For Free
In December, Rusko released a precursor to his new album that dropped last month”Songs. The gift consisted of fourteen free remixes of various artists Rusko had done between 2006 and 2010. The album is a combination of officially released remixes, as well as some original un-mastered raw mixes. If you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, it’s available for on his official Web site.
More like this:
Do you get really ticked-off when that youngster in a souped-up Toyota comes rolling down the block and you can feel the ground shake long before you even see the headlights? So much bass being pumped from the car that you can see it dripping from the door hinges? If so, this edition of SoundTrax is not for you.
This is a driving playlist designed to make you groove and wiggle in your seat, not incite a Billy Joel sing-a-long. So crank your bass knob to eleven, throw your car in gear and buckle up¦it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
“We Can Make The World Stop” by The Glitch Mob
Glitch Mob popularized the style of melodic, downtempo, glitchy (duh!) bass music that works so well for this soundtrack, and you’ll hear their influence on a lot of the other songs. Let this track set the vibe for the playlist as you make your way to the open road.
“Defying Gravity” by Gramatik
Containing everything from horn samples, to bass-lines that would stump even the best upright players, Gramatik manages to merge jazz and swing sensibilities into a blisteringly bass heavy tune that is sure to get your head bobbing as you let your throttle open up on the highway.
“Groove Nasty” by Froland
Picking up the speed a bit now, OurStage’s Froland should get your blood pumping and senses tuned as you settle into the pace of traffic.
Friday held performances from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Matt & Kim, Atmosphere, Ray LaMontagne and Florence and the Machine. Despite the temperatures peaking the mid-90’s, My Morning Jacket‘s frontman Jim James took the stage for their 8pm set wearing a black coat and giant pair of white fake-fur boots, topped off with a red and white scarf. The Louisville rock band has had some legendary moments at Bonnaroo over the years, like the apocalyptic storm set in 2004 and a three-hour marathon of a show late-night in 2008. MMJ filled their first big stage set with a range of epic rock jams and mellower, down south tunes. Cellist Ben Sollee joined for “Smokin From Shootin” and the band expressed their appreciation, saying ” We’ve had our minds blown so many times at this festival, “and it’s an honor to be with you tonight.”
Headliners Arcade Fire continued their homage to suburban slums with a stage set up mirroring a drive-in theater, complete with previews (the trailer of 1979 teen-exploitation flick Over the Edge). The crowd danced to all the hits, including “We Used to Wait”, “Ready to Start”, “Month of May” and “All Cars Go”. After the phenomenal balloon drop at Coachella during their encore of “Wake Up”, the anticipation for something spectacular was thick. They gave “Wake Up” a break, introducing it into the encore as having been “written for rooms of twenty people”. While the party tricks were kept to a minimum, the ninety minute set was closed with “Sprawl II,” one of The Suburbs grooviest tracks, made for open air.
At 1:30 AM it was time to get gangster with Lil Wayne, who was wearing zebra pants and a backpack and thanked fans for sticking by him. What started strong got a little weird in the middle when it slowed down in order to plug some friends o’ Weezy. Still, I have never seen to many white kids get down, so a good time was had by all.
An hour later, Centerroo was just as packed as it had been at 6:00 PM, and people buzzed from tent to tent checking out LATE late night sets courtesy of Pretty Lights (“awesome”) Ratatat (“too crowded”) and Shpongle, a light show extravaganza who’s name had been on everyone’s tongue, presumably because of the name, but no one seemed to know anything about.
Saturday started out with some attitude as we went to cheer on OurStage artist Lelia Broussard as she competed for the cover of Rolling Stone. Decked out in face paint, she rocked songs about hipster bitches and sad robots to a slew of fans who showed their support with their own face paint.
Chiddy Bang took the stage just as the sun really started beating down. The Guinness World Record holders (for longest freestyle rap”over nine hours!) took freestyle suggestions from the audience and closed with the anthemic “Opposite of Adults”. Alison Krauss‘ soothing voice brought some relief to a crowd relaxing on the lawn in the afternoon. Together with her bluegrass band Union Station, she lulled fans with songs Restless and Miles to Go, off the band’s 2011 Paper Airplane.
Portugal, the Man, Amos Lee and Wiz Khalifa brought the hip quotient to the afternoon, with one Wiz goer overheard saying that it was the best set so far. Current girlfriend(and Kanye ex) Amber Rose looked on from the side of the stage as he performed tracks like “B.A.R.,” “Cabin Fever,” “The Race,” “Wake Up,” “In the Cut,” with eyes past the point of glassy.
Mumford and Sons stole the show Saturday afternoon, making the leap from afternoon tent to evening stage since last year. There are so many more of you than there were last year keyboardist Ben Lovett told the swelling crowd, which included Ron Jeremy, Zach Braff, and American Idol cast-off David Archuletta, a very real truth when taking into account the fifty or so fans in attendance just last summer. Mumford performed all the hits off 2009’s triumphant Sigh No More, but also introduced three new songs inspired in part by Tennessee itself, and promised their new album would be done by year’s end. Joined by members of Old Crow Medicine Show, who Mumford joined onstage for their finale hours earlier, Harris,and Jerry Douglas, the group encored with “Amazing Grace”. The stage resembled a back yard hill billy party as the Sons belted out all too relevant lyrics about being “found”.
Tens of thousands of fans packed into the main stage for what would turn into one of the most memorable performances of the weekend. While The Black Keys put on a set comprised mostly of last year’s breakout Brothers, Daniel Kolitz (Prefix magazine) remarked “Bonnaroo could have easily been 1968: their proudly analog jams make almost no concessions to the last thirty years of music. Described as “super sized and stunning” it was the perfect music to watch the sun set to.
Eminem took the stage for his first performance of the year in support of Recovery, but catered to his fans by playing tons of hits from years past including “Stan” and “The Real Slim Shady”. His performance was purely triumphant, pounding energy into the stage with determination and grit, proving that he does in fact have the steel to perform in a festival setting. Encoring with the mega hit “Lose Yourself”, Em humbly thanked his fans before walking off. Everybody here tonight, he said, I just wanna say thank you for sticking by me and not giving up on me.
Late night dancing entertainment was provided by New York rockers Scissor Sisters, jam staples String Cheese Incident, DJ Girl Talk and traveling gypsies Gogol Bordello. Fans poured themselves into their tents well after the sun came up.
In writing last week’s post, Top 5 Trends of 2010 Festivals, it occurred to me that there is, in fact, a festival that tends to shun festival norms and take on a completely different outlook than any other festival. As we’ve discussed before, festivals are now promoting progressive ideals regarding society and environment, “going green” or featuring slews of grassroots campaigners for a plethora of causes in an effort to appeal to a broader audience.
Today, the Camp Bisco festival kicks off its 9th year in Mariaville, New York. The psychedelic spawn of The Disco Biscuits, the festival has grown to feature over 50 bands on 4 stages. And while Camp Bisco has in the past featured a smattering of extra-musical activities aiming attention at assorted social issues, the primary focus of the trance-heavy fest seems to be first and foremost the pursuit of immediate self-satisfaction. No helpful recycling representatives, green-themed concession stands or over enthusiastic speakers preaching the long term goals of our idealistic youth. (Though, let it be known that “This year we’re making a commitment, along with our attendees, to keep our festival grounds beautiful through recycling and waste reduction programs.”)
Camp Bisco places severe emphasis on living in the moment and just having a damn good time, something that seems like it should be the forefront of a festival’s goals. After all, there’s not much you can control in the outside world when you’re camping next to your car for 3 days”cell-less, WiFi-less and shower-less. Focusing on the greater good is important, but Bisco highlights the importance of “here and now,” and recognizes that despite the economic or environmental climate, we have to continue to live our lives to the fullest by embracing the present.
Camp Bisco starts today (July 15th) and goes on through Saturday (July 17th). The festival will feature three shows by founding fathers, The Disco Biscuits, as well as performances from LCD Soundsystem, Pretty Lights, Thievery Corporation, The New Deal, Big Gigantic, Wu Massacre (Method Man, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon), Ween, Girl Talk and Break Science with special guests Talib Kweli and David Murphy (STS9), among others. For more info check out their site.