“I keep it playin’ while some choose to play it safe…”
As I cruised through the lineup for Lightning in a Bottle, a wave of confusion washed over my body – I recognized about two thirds of the entire line-up but the closer I got to the bottom of the bill, the more questions I had: who are you, how did you get here and can you move my head, heart and / or feet? Moby, Phantogram and Little Dragon grace the topline and rightfully so – they’re household names that you actually have the chance of hearing on mainstream radio. Then you work downwards: Amon Tobin, Gold Panda, Simian Mobile Disco, Beats Antique, Gramatik, Chet Faker, Thomas Jack, Random Rab, Desert Dwellers; those names might cause some to scratch their heads, but if you’ve been on the outskirts of indie electro or in the electronic underground – they’re just as familiar, if not more so than the latest work from the ‘headliners’.
Slowly but surely, I’ve been chronicling the artists starting from the bottom right corner and heading up that bright headline of familiar faces. Over the past few years, this process has become more of a tradition – starting with my first Coachella and leading me here – to my second Lightning in a Bottle experience. And now that I’ve gotten aquanited with some of the lesser known acts, let me just ooze with excitement for a second: between the world music out of Natasha Kmeto, the delightful deep house grooves of Marley Carroll and the groovy, jam-band Plantrae – the bottom of the lineup has just as much, if not more talent than the top. And of course, I already have a steady list of favorite artists that I’m delighted to be sharing with the world. The cherry on top of my ice cream sundae is that two artists that I’ve featured in my Rising Star Spotlight series made the line-up – Thomas Jack and Flume, who’ll be performing as half of the duo What So Not.
The original plan was to meander through the artists repository on Soundcloud and throw a few tracks into my LIB Prep Playlist; but then, I put on The Polish Ambassador – and somewhere between the one woman dance party that started in my living room, rocking out in the car and then sharing my favorite jams with my friends, I’d realized that I’d been on a 2 hour kick and wasn’t planning on coming out of it anytime soon. From the funky soul grooves to the ambient, ethereal soundscapes, The Polish Ambassador has effortlessly and successfully crafted music for any occasion. My current favorite called ‘Girl Control’; it’s an oldie, but a goodie – and I’ll bet your bottom dollar you won’t stop booty shakin’ til its over.
As the festival gets closer, I’ll be shining the spotlight on the artists, entertainment, live talks and music that will be filling the hills of the San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, CA. I can’t wait to share what makes this festival so amazing with everyone, and hopefully I’ll be seeing your beautiful faces in the mountains!