Through times of greatness and times of strife, moments of genius and seconds of insanity – the most bonding force we have is music. Sound, purported by old Native American tribes is the glue truly holds the universe together on vibratory strings, sonic spiderwebs and fractaling frequencies – and modern day scientists now understand it, the universe was propelled apart in an equidistant motion by intense vibratory sound waves after the Big Bang. As socio-economic boundaries are broken down while far reaching forms of social media are on the rise, it makes all too much sense that music has become the bonding factor of my generation. Humans are a tribal bunch, we naturally congregate around those who share similar values, morals, senses of humor – and what better litmus test of a personable friendship than full immersion into festival culture? Festival Culture. It’s where people hug instead of shake hands, strangers are simply friends whom you haven’t met, clothing more resembles costumes and the community itself is a giant support system and music is our religion.
Just the other weekend, some of Southern California’s biggest fans in Bass Music – including my group of pretty party personalities – descended upon The Fonda Theater for a night where consciousness and creativity collided in a spectacle of audio-visual delight. The evening featured a wonderful cross section of community, music, culture and art sponsored by Euphonic Conceptions, In The Loop and The Do Lab as the upstairs area manifested into a Burning Man-esque vendor bazaar, hosted by Los Angeles’ own Grateful Generation. The night featuring booths from local vendors of permaculture, art, essential oils, gems, jewlery and costumes like K’ulu Misk’i, Lunavore Designs, Mostly Minerals, vibrant long exposure photography by Harmonic Light so much more entrenched in momentary lush surroundings.
With Jonathan Singer setting a vibrantly trippy visual mood, Soulular set the tone for the evening with a stellar opening set as live visual artists Sam Flores, Amanda Sage, and Alex + Allyson Grey got down on live paintings much to the crowd’s delight. Desert Dwellers followed with a downtempo ‘World Bass’ set, followed by the convoluted, glitchy dubstep sounds of Thriftworks, who got the crowd in a frenzy; the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae being an unexpected appearance by Russ Liquid on the Trumpet, eventually ebbing into Russ Liquid‘s flow. My first Random Rab experience was last Summer for a sunrise set at Lightning in a Bottle, so I had little to no idea of the musical prowess he had in store for the evening. For almost two hours, the entire arena was transfixed to the sounds and visuals stemming from the Entheon Stage as we were swept down a rabbit hole of music and wonder.
From start to finish, the evening was swimming with fantastic company, boasting the best of their personalities while getting down in their most exuberant, colorful and quirky duds. It was beautiful to watch the paintings manifest as each musician, one by one graced the epic Entheon Altar DJ Booth, a 3D printout of the official Entheon structure modeled by digital sculptor Ryan Tottle, who made an appearance for the evening. Crowdfunded through Kickstarter and lovely backers of the arts, the official Entheon building will play host to Alex Grey’s incredible, immersive art at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York, known to most as CoSM. And the stage is most certainly set for the official Gem & Jam Festival, happening in Tucson, Arizona from February 6-9
As the Official Gem and Jam Festival Gets Closer, the Pre Parties continue heating up across the West Coast. This coming Friday, Gem & Jam will be getting groovy with Vibesquad in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as Flagstaff, Arizona with Kaminanda, and Safi’s Lab. On Saturday. Pumpkin and Late Night Radio bring the funk to Austin for the official Texas PreParty. Last but definitely not least, don’t forget about the grand finale – the Gem & Jam Festival itself! Thrown in conjunction with Infinite Music, Euphonic Conceptions, New Earth MuZiQ and Challenger – the Gem and Jam Festival is reaching a historic 9th year and can’t wait to celebrate with you.
Set in conjunction with one of the world’s best gem shows, for three days and nights, the air of Tucson will be vibrant with Glitchy, Dubby, Wobbly and downright Trippy West Coast Bass and Jam Music sounds of renowned producers and astounding musicians like Random Rab, Desert Dwellers, Pumpkin, Late Night Radio, Emancipator Ensemble and Thriftworks. With hip-hop influenced acts like Ill-esha and Amp Live from Zion I, there’s a bit of something for everyone in your crew. While they’ve got your feet moving and your soul grooving, let your mind wander and eyes roam the grounds with astounding live art to match from the likes of Amanda Sage, Xavi, the Welch Brothers, Benedigital and of course – Alex
and Allyson Grey, founders of the fabled Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Come and witness the influence the cross section of artistic prowess and musical genius, as performance art of all shapes and sizes influences each other over the weekend. With a healthy dose of intelligent dance music and mindboggling artwork, the weekend will truly appeal to all of the senses, maybe even your 6th.
Our entire photo gallery can be found here on The DJ List.
For more details on the festival itself, read on after the event photos