Tag Archives: DirtyBird

[The Audiofiles] The Bird Is The Word: Dirtybird Campout Returns Oct 6-8

Standard

 

Spring has sprung throughout California, and now that CRSSD has kicked off Festival Season you best believe we’ll start swimming in salacious lineups any second now. The West Coast’s mecca for all things music, California has become a welcome breeding ground for newfangled festivals and novel, boutique festival events. Between tried and true favorites like Lightning in a Bottle and Desert Hearts to more intimate events like Lucidity Festival, Boogaloo, Woogie Weekend – festivals have popped up in every corner of Southern California, but none with the notoriety that Dirtybird Campout has to offer.

Nestled in the Live Oak Campgrounds where Lightning in a Bottle was once held, DBC combines festival, fun and friends for a hat trick weekend of musical bliss. This Fall, Dirtybird Campout returns for their third year running from October 6th through the 8th and they couldn’t be more excited. Earlybird Flash Sale happens June 17th at 10am PST.

This past year, the ringleader Claude VonStroke brought the homies Green Velvet, Marc Houle, Paranoid London, Machinedrum, Mr. Carmack, Catz ‘N Dogz, Tourist, Reggie Watts and of course the rest of the DIRTYBIRD family. Who will they bring this year? We’ll keep you posted!

Having festival FOMO from the last round? Reminisce and revel in the memories as you gear up for this year’s event!

<For more on the Dirtybird Campout, head to their socials –

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

[The Audiofiles] Dirtybird Campout Serves Up Salacious Phase 2 Lineup

Standard

How do YOU Dirtybird? This Fall, the Dirtybird Campout makes it’s triumphant return for it’s second annual romp in Silverado, California from October 7th through the 9th. It feels like it was just last week that their epic Phase 1 lineup was released with amazing Dirtybird labelmates, Internationally renowned artists and blossoming Domestic talent.

With Claude VonStroke’s hip hop alterego Barclay Crenshaw on the lineup, we were just waiting for them to announce the head honcho himself. Joining Claude on the decks are the esteemed Green Velvet, Justin Martin, Tourist, Ardalan, Justin Jay + Friends live and Will Clarke. As usual, the Dirtybird Campout isn’t showing all their cards at once – paving the way for at least one more epic lineup reveal before October hits.

Purchase Tickets Here
Though audiophiles and music fans flock to the Dirtybird Campout, festival highlights and standout memories truly encompass all parts of the event. This year, the Dirtybird squad has over 50 games up its sleeves for inspired and energized campers including moonlight capture the flag, karaoke, wood carving and even making root beer floats (or just beer floats if you swing that way). Each camper this year will be assigned a Team Color – and each team victory will put you closer to this year’s Ironbird Championship and of course, bragging rights.

But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for last minute additions, extra special guests and of course those epic camp activities that the DBC is so known and loved for. I’ll tell you one thing – our team? We’re excited. Stay up to date with the Dirtybird Crew for the latest and greatest on their label and this year’s Campout.

Website | Birdfeed | Merch | Facebook | Twitter

[The Audiofiles] Music Monday: Go One Deeper

Standard

I know Monday’s can hurt, but Music always helps!  My musical taste ebbs and flows like an irreverent tide – but lately I’ve been attracted to a deeper, darker side of ‘Deep House’; the kind of music you’d find at at DirtyBird BBQ, at an early morning yoga sesh at Lightning in a Bottle or in a dark warehouse at 3am with 300 of your newest, closest friends. Hailing from France, Shiba San is the latest in a slew of DirtyBird producers that just tickle my eardrums.  His heavy bass infused deep house is perfect; from the dancefloor to the car stereo and more, he intricately layers Hip Hop, House and a little bit of soul into a whole lot of fun.

And then the Robot Heart Community, known for their epic NYC parties and Burning Man Sound Camps, released a historic set from Above & Beyond that I get incredible FOMO over; yes, the rumors are true – my favorite trance triumverate put together a deep house ‘yoga set’ for Elena Brewer and the result is pure magic.

[The Audiofiles] LIB ’14: Let The Beauty We Love Be What We Do

Standard

“Let the beauty you love be what you do;
There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the Earth”
Rumi

DJ Tennis at the Woogie

Dirt Devil Sized Woogies

Between the epic amounts of live music and menagerie of performers – from stilt walkers to fire dancers and back to the artists live painting  as part of The Do Art Foundation’s ‘Lightning in a Paintcan‘, the Lightning in a Bottle music festival has consistently and gracefully walked a thin line between Burning Man, where the festival draws it’s transformative inspiration, and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where The Do Lab’s been curating their own bass heavy, freak friendly stage for the past decade.  Originally held in the sprawling Live Oak Campground in Santa Barbara where Lucidity Festival has been located for the last several years, Lightning in a Bottle’s been jumping around Southern California from Oak Canyon Ranch in Silverado in ’10 to Lake Skinner in Winchester for last year’s festival – all in search of a location they can continue to call home; and with the new location situated halfway plush in the hills of Monterey County between their devoted underground music communities of the Bay Area and Los Angeles  – it feels like they’ve finally found it on the North Shore of Lake San Antonio.

This guy was doing it right.

As with any year, this location wasn’t without it’s challenges – this wasn’t a festival that happened to have a camping option, this was a pretty rough and rugged camping trip that seemed to organically create a music festival inside of itself; and unlike previous years, the camping was intertwined with the festival grounds.  So, whether this was your first LIB or your third – everyone was met with new environmental challenges. Some people came prepared to let loose at a festival for five days, and just happened set up some tents while they did it – others came prepared to really rough it and set up camp for the weekend and happened to enjoy a festival while doing so.

As we waited in line for the mass exodus on Monday afternoon, dirt stained smiles and glistening eyes gave away the Thursday crowd that’d planned for Lightning in a Bottle for months – alternatively, complaints of heat exhaustion, distances to the stages paired with an overall lack of filth emanated from attendants that showed up with a last minute ticket Saturday morning unprepared for the mayhem and the magic. From Thursday when the majority of campers arrived through Monday afternoon when the majority left, we dealt with a high of 100°, a low of 49° (thats more than a 50° shift) and winds of up to 34 mph. If you were there, take a moment and brush that dirt off your shoulders – because there’s an actual chance with all those dust storms and dirt devils that there’s just a little bit still left over somewhere from the weekend, no matter how many times you shower or do laundry.  For those of you that have attended Burning Man, you’re well aware that the weather conditions at Lightning in a Bottle are nothing to joke at – and are at par, if not slightly more intense than last year’s Playa conditions.

Though held at Lake San Antonio, the lake was dry and the lake beds were converted into expansive camping space as well as two renegade stages – The Ditch, and The Drift; the former of which was hosted by Distrikt and now has it’s own Facebook page and the later was basically in my front yard and hosted surprise sunrise sets from the Desert Dwellers and Random Rab.  And for those that are still feeling the hills in their legs and thighs – there’s another reason to pat yourself on the backs, earlier this month on the South Side of Lake San Antonio, the Wildflower Triathlon was held for it’s 32nd year in a row.
Formerly a Chumash Reservation, Lake San Antonio is currently 30 miles from both a Recruiting station as well as an Army Base. Unbeknownst to festival attendants, residents of Bradley were given free entrance to the festival so they could experience the event firsthand and jump to their own conclusions about our intentions.  The second night of the festival, a rugged older gentlemen with an adorably welcoming olive green yoda beanie stumbled into my campsite and sat down with my friends and I.  After a small and socially awkward conversation, we realized that not only was he a resident of Bradley – but a US Army Vet with a conservative viewpoint and at that very moment time – a staunch representation of the reason transformational festivals are so important:

Well, I showed up in my camouflage hunting cap but that felt so out of place, so after looking around at the vendors I found something I was excited to wear – I lean to the right, but I have some real right wing friends and I can’t wait to show it off around them.

I didn’t know people could be so wonderful.  Originally, I didn’t want the festival here because I thought it would be a group of ignorant kids trashing the environment.  ” He admitted, “But now that I’m here, I see people throwing away their trash and looking after one another. This is a special group of individuals. There’s amazing live music, and the art! There’s so much art being created and being explored; I hope they have LIB here again next year, but if they don’t – I still want to go, and I’ll even pay for it.”

The Courtyard / Giggle Juice Cafe

The three main stages of the weekend – The Lightning Stage, The Bamboo Stage and The Woogie – each had such a unique feel and draw, which brought about three different types of musical crowds. Back at the road, back where the festival land starts is the Bamboo Stage – let’s think of this as your ‘One Night Stand’ or ‘Spring Fling’. You go there for a reason: you want to get your head warped and you feel an overwhelming urge to get hit with an epic bass drop; it hits hard, it’s sexy, it wobbles, shakes, can get sweet for a second but overall – the Bamboo stage is pure debauchery.

What So Not

 

 

Baauer

 

From the time Filabusta opened the stage at noon on Friday until the final set on Sunday, when The Gaslamp Killer gave everyone a lesson in Low End Theory as he hit them with the sound of an Earthquake – what happened at the Bamboo Stage was unprecedented, revolutionary and magical. Sunday afternoon was the hottest day of the festival both temperature wise (99) and musically.  From start to finish, the stage was stacked and hosted the surprise set of the whole weekendstarting with  Late Night Radio opening to a rapidly growing crowd.  There might be a limited dancing, but believe me, each and every last inch of shade was taken up by an eager crowd that didn’t care about a dancefloor.  Plantrae followed the only way he knew how, a melodic dubstep set layered with a live electric violin – the skills!   Other notable sets of the weekend came from What So Not, Cashmere Cat, who turned up the sexy on Saturday night, and Baauer who payed proper tribute to the Rap and Hip-Hop influences so readily heard in EDM.

 

Beats Antique Closing the Lightning Stage

The Lightning Stage is the ‘Long term, Serious Relationship’ stage: It’s moving, emotional, light hearted, romantic – but serious, committed (And if it’s Amon Tobin, it can be straight aggressive).  And just as anything emotionally important, the stage was tucked deep into the heart of the festival and was chalk full of emotionally moving music all weekend long.  Between amazing live experiences from Norwegian trio Kraak & Smaak, The Do Lab’s own Lucent Dossier Experience, Chet Faker and Phantogram as well as headlining sets from Gramatik and Gold Panda; each and every artist told a story, strung together beautifully and deliberately.

On Friday night, Moby threw a party straight out of a rave 5 years ago – as we shimmied up to the stage,  Infinity 2008 (Klauss Remix): Guru Josh Project: was blaring from the speakers – a bouncy, fun moment – but not what I had in mind when I chose LIB.  On Saturday, Amon Tobin threw an exceptionally well DJed party for himself and didn’t seem to mind that literally no one in the crowd was moving a muscle to the heavy, aggressive and industrial Drum & Bass tracks.  In contrast, The Polish Ambassador’s Sunset set on Friday night had everybody movin’ and groovin’ to his fresh beats, including the jumpsuited passe he habitually brings on stage with him and Beats Antique closed the festival with a visually stunning performance, getting the entire crowd – including local police officers – to get weird with friends and neighbors alike as they danced their cares away for one last night.

The Polish Ambassador at Sunset

Last but definitely not least, just a hop, skip and a jump across “The Ditch” – there’s that Woogie – your little sultry, sexy, little thing on the side where you go when you want to dance your cares away. From noon til midnight, Friday through Sunday, the Woogie was movin’ and groovin’ to deliciously deep house thanks to a brand new sound system from Pure Groove Audio.

Simian Mobile Disco holding down the Woogie

As the torch was passed from Los Angeles resident Tara Brooks to Maxxi Soundsystem and the bassline for ‘Regrets We Have No Use More’ came on, the dance floor exploded in energy; only to be topped by DJ Tennis, Damian Lazarus and the Dirtybird legend himself, Sir Claude VonStroke.  The jams continued into Sunday night where Lee Burridge played an All Day I Dream Set during the final sunrise and Simian Mobile Disco whipped up a seductive, old school set and reminded the crowd why they’re one of the best DJ duos in the business; simply put – if we ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’, they ‘Wake Up, Make Dope Music, Go To Sleep’

 

One thing I found – even though my days and nights were packed with activity, I felt like I both saw it all and saw absolutely nothing of the camp grounds.  On the first night during Ryan Hemsworth’s set at the Bamboo Stage, we jumped on the shuttle to Camp 13 (The RV Camp), because….well….just because – and it let us see just how expansive the festival grounds really were; absolutely astounding.If you had time between sets, you could wander into the vendor area to ease your hunger pains or get your fix of adorable festival worthy gear including Spirit Hoods, Jammy Packs, Electro Fur and amazing jewelry from the team at Third Eye Pinecones. As far as food was concerned, it’s a camping trip – so it’s always recommended to bring your own.  That said, the event offered some amazing food options ranging from Vegan to Vegetarian, and even Pescetarian if you were lucky enough to find the mouth watering sushi.  Between the breakfast burritos, seaweed salad, pizza fresh from the Do Lab’s Dough Lab that I’d gladly purchase any day of the week and smoothies – you could have your cake and eat it, too.  I’m all for conscious eating, so this was a great time to actively engage in the practice – but at the end of the trip, all I could think about was bacon.  Next year, if my camp plans a little better – we’ll just bring our own bacon, cook it – and add it to the breakfast burrito; hunger problem, solved.

Though it wasn’t as heavily advertised as the main lineup, other stages boasted smaller, but equally talented musical acts. San Francisco’s Silent Frisco hosted an after hours silent disco for the event once the main stage music had ended. San Diego’s Vokab Company and The Herbert Bail Orchestra wowed The Grand Artique – another alternative source of music for the weekend.  One wandering through the area was enough to delight and amuse the festival at large – with a mock election for Mayor, and a hidden speakeasy with some deliciously free pickle bottoms if you happened to know the password, or Joaquin Murrietta.

During the day, The Temple hosted talks from Bashar and Lucent Dossier Experience creator and Lightning in a Bottle co-founder Dream Rockwell.  Author Daniel Pinchbeck spoke on his book ‘Breaking Open The Head’ – a personal favorite’, Moby gave his thoughts on art as therapy and Youtube creator Chad Hurley divulged his secret recipe for following your dreams. Each night after the speeches were over, the venue hosted music – Wildlight – the emotive sideproject from The Polish Ambassador and Ayla Nereo – wowed the crowd early Saturday morning.  Sunday evening the was curated by up and coming Los Angeles locals, The Luminaries who brought in The Human Experience to close with a moving set on Sunday morning.

Wildlight at The Temple

 

Beyond the large, ornate and often fire engulfed art sculptures – thanks to The Do Art Foundation, easels scattered throughout Lake San Antonio filled with color as the festival grounds filled with happy campers.  A menagerie of local artists, including Vyal, Andrew Knights, Anthony West and Max Neutra, used inspiration from the festival to create paintings displayed at a showcase Sunday night of the festival, fully equipped with a silent auction. All proceeds go directly to the artists and a small percentage will go to supporting the public arts through the foundation, run by The Do Lab.

“This was my second year live painting at LIB and once again I was blown away by the amount of love and dedication that goes into LIB. Painting at LIB allows me to paint in a wonderful setting, converse with strangers about a variety of subjects and consequently feel true connectedness, spirituality and healing. When I paint I try to put the feeling of the music or talk into my work! Last year my painting evolved with the music I heard from the two stages I was I between. This year I positioned myself by the temple of consciousness and my painting slowly evolved into a psychedelic mandala! My surroundings inspire the direction of my work! I love how LIB allows me to push my work into new frontiers. The energy at the festival is my souls food!” – Andrew Knights

20140529-225333-82413150.jpg

Andrew Knghts with wife Amanda by his finished masterpiece

On Monday afternoon, as the temperature crawled past 100 – and everyone, for lack of a better term, was miserable.  As I looked around, I thought of everything  could do – I asked the Do Lab to turn the hoses back on, but they were busy – and rightfully so – trying to delicately tear down the Woogie. So I did the only thing that came to mind – grabbed a friend, unloaded squirt guns from our luggage, reloaded them with water and aimed them at the three hour line waiting for a shuttle that felt like it would never come.  Slowly, a collection of unspoken frustrated faces instantly lit up with excitement as they were drenched with some of the free water that was provided to the camps all weekend. A two person team became an eight person army, filling misters and hoses – bringing about smiles and laughs, camaraderie and community.

For five days – we camped under stars and a clear sky, told our darkest secrets to strangers and our deepest dreams to friends, laughed at the sight of bubbles and cried when we ran into an unexpected friend. We’ll always light up when ever we hear the words ‘Woogie’, ‘Drift Party’ or ‘Picklebacks’ and howling as the sun goes down might become second nature.  We weathered dust storms and heat waves with smiles on our faces and a bounce in our step.  Whether we met or not, if you were at Lightning in a Bottle – we’re forever bonded by this event.

As we left our beautiful, blissful weekend to returned to reality Monday evening, we were all confronted with current, tragic events in Santa Barbara.  For those of you that are new to the LIB Family, the festival community and the and Santa Barbara are incredibly close knit –  the Live Oak Campground where Lucidity Festival was held this past year played host to Lightning in a Bottle back from ’06 to ’08.  This past weekend was a beautiful, necessary and touching reminder that humanity at its core is wonderful, creative, giving and ever evolving. We build communities and families together, we help our weak and empower our strong. we dance with friends and laugh with strangers, we battle the elements and wish on stars.

We aren’t trying to say that it was the perfect conditions for the festival, but I’d like to argue that it was the perfect storm. The dry lake beds were more than we bargained for, but where some people lamented the exercise – others gleefully ran across, some holding hands, others  balancing ornate sculptures on their chins or giving their friends a piggy back ride – and some of us, including myself, had dance parties in the middle of the ditch and made new friends.  We’re a problem solving community that works together, in the moment, to find the best solution.  We’re strong, charismatic, energetic and whimsical with a lead by example attitude where no stranger is left behind.  Strangers instantly evolve into a camp, a tribe – a family.  People watch out for each other with flashlights, buy two drinks instead of one because they know if they’re thirsty – someone else has to be, too.

Every single person at Lightning in a Bottle – from your best friend to your camp neighbors, stilt walkers to the burlesque show at Amori’s Casino, the painters from ‘Lightning in a Pantcan’, costumed actors who stayed in character all weekend and the musicians themselves – each and every individual has a unique gift to share with the world. And we’ve proudly staked our claim as an empathetic band of weird and wacky humans just itching for our chance to give back.

As with any collective, as humans – we’re only as strong as our weaknesses; the time is now to explore your gifts and give back to the community that’s provided your personal inspiration.  It’s not the ‘Maybe Lab’ – it’s the Do Lab; do it with love, and do it now – there’s a whole family of people that can’t wait to see what happens next.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead

 

Sunrise Set: Desert Dwellers with some Ditch Dwellers

Speakeasy!

My Loves

 

Hosed Down during Plantrae

A huge thank you to The Do Lab, The Confluence, the Do Art Foundation and the extended Lightning in a Bottle family for such a  beautiful weekend. For every dollar donated to the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, The Do Lab will match the donation.  Please visit The Chumash Sanctuary Website for more information.

Lightning in a Bottle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

The Do Lab: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Youtube

Photography Credit: Daniel Leist

[The Audiofiles] Required Listening for Lightning in a Bottle ’14

Standard

20140506-104041.jpg

 

I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning with a huge bounce in my step and a smile on my face; why, you ask? Because I can count down the days until Lightning in a Bottle on my fingers and toes! As of today, there are only 15 days left until my favorite music festival; 15 days until I leave the ‘real world’ of Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 jobs that leave us yearning for some semblance of self satisfaction; 15 days until I cruise up to the San Antonio Camp Grounds up on the Central Coast of California for a weekend of fun, sun, beautiful people and wonderful vibes.  After last year’s amazing experience at Lightning in a Bottle, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to cover the event for The DJ List and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  So, with 15 days left until the big weekend – I give you the 15 acts you have  to see.

 

20140506-093347.jpg

Back when I first set eyes on the LIB’14 flyer, I recognized less than half of the artists on the bill – which is better than last year’s lineup, where I probably knew about a third of the acts pre-festival.  In an effort to educate my eardrums, I decided to start from the bottom right corner where the lesser known acts resided and work my way up to the top where mainstream headliners like MobyPhantogram and Little Dragon sit comfortably. Beyond the fact my taste in music has evolved over the last year, what I realized while winding myself through the lineup is that there’s just so much good music out there to discover for everyone.  From Goa and Psy-Trance to Ambient Chillscapes, Glitchy Dubstep to Liquid Drum and Bass, and Funky Deep House to Nu-Disco Soul Music – this year’s lineup for Lightning in a Bottle absolutely has something for everyone’s taste in music.


 

20140506-104047.jpg

Late Night Radio: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

When I started rummaging through the line-up, I had no idea that my plan to make it from bottom to top in a day at the office would be thwarted.  Not by the fact I had a meeting, or a heavy workload – but because third from the bottom is Late Night Radio and once I started listening, I simply couldn’t stop.  Even though my heart has found it’s way into an EDM groove over course of the past decade, Hip-Hop and Rap have a way of speaking directly to my soul – and that bassline, oh, that bassline – it most certainly was the gateway drug that converted me to Electronic Music.  So, when I started grooving to the Vinyl Restoration series from LNR –  I was absolutely sold.  Known to friends as Alex Medellin, LNR effortlessly blends ambient Electronic instrumentals with a Neo-soul, Hip-Hop groove – and the result is absolutely insatiable.  Hands down, he’s my #1 Must See at LIB.

TouristWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

Admittedly, I’m a sucker for remixes – reworks, really – if you want to get down to brass tax. There’s a guy on Soundcloud who goes by Virgin Magnetic Material and he’s known for his masterful mix downs of hit songs. My first Tourist track reminds me of VMM in the best of all possible ways – it was ‘Your Girl’, a rework of the 90’s song from Aaliyah. The more I tore into his discography, the more I fell in lust with his downtempo, melodic and sometimes eerie, Deep House vibe. One of my personal favorites right now is ‘I Can’t Keep Up’ featuring the vocal stylings of Will Heard; it’s absolutely breathtaking.

The Polish Ambassador: : Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

WildlightFacebook | Soundcloud | The DJ List

Even though TPA is half of Wildlight, it’s difficult to put them into the same category of music – unless that category is called: awesome.  The Polish Ambassador excells at working the festival crowd and has made a name for himself through his funky fresh remixes of jams like ‘No Diggity’ and ‘Girl Control’; Wildlight, on the otherhand, is a side project with the amazingly talented Ayla Nereo that fuses her ethereal voice with earthy instrumentals, creating what I can only describe as World Music that your parents could appreciate.  They’re two drastically different sounds, but they’re equally moving – and I highly recommend catching both.

 

20140506-104053.jpg

Lee BurridgeWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud| The DJ List

Ask anyone who’s attended any All Day I Dream event, and they’ll all gush the same thing: Lee Burridge is an expert at throwing day parties.  From the beautiful vibes his smile elicits, his “Get Weird” attitude, right on to the lovely house grooves coming off the decks – Lee’s Sunday set will undoubtedly attract all of the Deep House fanatics at LIB.

Slow MagicWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

My first Slow Magic discovery was the song ‘Youth Group’ – a synth heavy, melodic anthem that makes you want to stomp around. Since then, I’ve been dabbling in all things SM and it’s been getting me really amped for their set!

Maxxi Soundsystem: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

A few Summers ago, I had what I’d like to call a ‘Love Affair’ with Deep House. It was perfect for lazy Summer days by the pool where you didn’t want to move an inch, or lazy Sunday afternoons where you were soaking in memories of the weekend. But at the time, what Deep House didn’t do for me was move my body. Thank goodness my friends introduced me to Maxxi Soundsystem. Their music is an infectious, rumbling journey into the melodic side of deep house – trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed.

20140506-104106.jpg

Random RabWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

Back a few months ago at King King, I got my first introduction to Random Rab and immediately, I was hooked. Most music – I can describe fairly well, but Random Rab provides almost meditative, downtempo soundscapes that you can drift into a daydream with.

Kraak & SmaakWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

I have an incredibly vivid memory from How Sweet It Is ’09 – Fedde Le Grande was headlining the Main Stage, but because of capacity issues – officers on horseback ushered us away from the main tent and told us to find another stage. Keep in mind, this is when I was firmly planted in Electro House and Progressive Trance – and the thought of going to the Neon Gardens or Bass Pod at the time almost terrified me. Immediately, some fast friends of ours noticed our shift in mood and announced that they were going to introduce is to something magical and mindblowing. As we shuffled into an almost empty tent, our ears were full of live instruments and MCs – it was all so brand new, so exciting and so beautiful. Between SHY FX, Booka Shade and Kraak & Smaak – I was introduced to so much good music that night that’s since then, heavily influenced my life. Their epic hit ‘Squeeze Me’ gives me goosebumps to this day; I can’t wait to see K&S again now that I’m familiar with their catalog.

Desert DwellersWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

If you’re opening for Shpongle, chances are – your music is insanely progressive. When Shpongle graced the stage at Avalon last month, they brought friends and fellow Goa/Psy Trance aficionados Desert Dwellers with them as their opening act and it was absolutely perfect. Slightly more downtempo than Shpongle, DD creates gorgeous ambient soundscapes that you can effortlessly lose yourself in but with just enough bass and harmony where you can dance to your heart’s content.

 

20140506-104120.jpg

PumpkinFacebook | Twitter | Soundcloud |The DJ List

Hands down, Pumpkin was one of my top five sets from last year. I have to hand it to the Gent, he really knows how to get the crowd movin’ to the music. A Los Angeles local, Pumpkin’s been in high demand within the festival circuit at Coachella, Sea of Dreams as well as Lightning in a Bottle over the years. Just take a five minute peak into his set at LIB and you’ll more than see why!

Dimond SaintsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

Dimond Saints is the brain child of Trip-Hop phenom An-Ten-Nae & friend ReLeece. For the last few months, they’ve been pushing hit after hit out to the Hypem charts and I’m really diggin’ what I’m hearing them put down. An-Ten-Nae threw down one hell of a set at Sea of Dreams as LowRiderz with Laura Low and has more then proved himself as a versatile artist and producer. He’s definitely going to be one to watch over the next few years.

ThriftworksWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

The first time I heard of Thriftworks was through the Sea of Dreams lineup, and now I just can’t get enough of him. Somewhere in between the down-tempo Glitches and Trip-Hop beats, I lose myself in the music; some Thriftworks in the afternoon sun sounds simply perfect.

20140506-104113.jpg

Claude VonStrokeWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

One thing’s for sure – there ain’t no party like a Dirty Bird party, cause a Dirty Bird party don’t stop! On NYE at Sea of Dreams, I saw Worthy and J.Phlip hold it down for the Dirty Bird crew – and now, I’m excited to see the Big Papa of the crew back on the decks! I saw him at Avalon back in ’12 and I’ve been itching to see him ever since. J.Phlip will also be in attendance for LIB, fingers crossed we’ll see some back to back Dirty Bird action goin’ down at the Woogie stage!

Beats AntiqueWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | The DJ List

The first time I saw Beats Antique was back in ’08 when they opened for Bassnectar at the El Ray; that was right around the time that my mind was expanding exponentially with new music. No longer was it just House and Trance for me; all of a sudden – there were new, glitchier, funkier, grimier, more industrial sounds to explore – and Beats Antique was my first real introduction to them. At the time, I called it ‘great music to ride a horse to’ and while slightly ignorant, I still hold to my statement; Beats Antique elicits a bohemian bazaar feeling that immediately transports me back hundreds of years with their ‘World Music’ inspired sounds.

Tickets for Lightning in a Bottle are selling like hot cakes, so be sure to get yours now before they’re sold out – this is one weekend you don’t want to miss out on; trust me, I’m a festie.

20140506-104059.jpg

 

 

 

[The Audiofiles] Dive Into a Sea of Dreams

Standard

Enjoying the festivities around the corner from my apartment at The Grove =)

When the holidays approach, there’s essentially one thing on every Audiofile’s mind: New Years Eve!  And then, of course, there are the quintessential questions that go along with it – what city to venture off to, what festival to attend, who to go with and last but most definitely not least, which sets to listen to and which you’re okay missing.

Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s a ton of planning that goes into celebrating the beginning of the New Year and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a new-found appreciation for it because for my first three years in Los Angeles, my NYE plans were non-existent and I was more or less okay with being a recluse.  Which, after two years of going to Together As One and several years of simultaneously celebrating my best friend’s birthday with the coming of the New Year, was definitely not in my character – but neither were the circumstances in my life

Thankfully, 2011 was a year of change and evolution for me and I haven’t looked back since.  The year before, I dove into Together As One head first and without a safety net – I’m guessing that sounds slightly strange for those of you that have been following my adventures and incredibly bizarre for those of you that know me personally, but if you will – hear me out.  After going through four crazy months of reconciling an ex’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder I was on the hunt for myself again and New Years Eve gave birth to a version of myself that I’ve been waiting for.

Next Tuesday from 9pm to 4am, Sea of Dreams will take over Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for an evening of positive energy, creativity, vibrancy and connection. Created by the creative geniuses at AnonEvents and thrown by the good people at Sunset Productions and Another Planet Entertainment, Sea of Dreams is now in it’s 11th year in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The event itself is a menagerie of high end performance art, stunning live musical acts, an extravagant ambiance and breathtaking decorations fit for Burning Man.  And to top it off, the community surrounding the event is as rich and vibrant as the festivities themselves.

Photo: MKGraph

In the past, headlining acts have included crowd-favorites like Bassnectar, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Ghostland Observatory, Beats Antique, Adam Freeland, Tipper and FreqNasty – just to name a few; and this year’s lineup is definitely one to compete with!  In the past, the musical talent has fallen more on the experimental side – as you can see above; but, as times are a changing – so are the musical acts and the community around them, and it shows just how big the event has gotten with the unexpected addition of mainstream EDM acts like A-Trak and Dillon Francis.  Now, don’t get it twisted – I love them; I just didn’t expect to see them sitting on a line-up next to Emancipator and LowRIDERz. There’s nothing quite like getting myself musically ready for the event, so I’m pleased to announce this year’s lineup along with some required listening for the night’s festivities – enjoy, because I know I will!

Thievery Corporation

Hailing from DC, Thievery Corporation have been expertly meshing the musical elements of reggae, dub and acid jazz with Indian, Middle Eastern and Brazilian sounds to produce some of the best downtempo electronic music around since ’95.  I don’t know how it took me so long to appreciate their stylistic differences, but they’re refreshing to listen to – especially with all of the redundant EDM on the scene these days.

Little Dragon

Though they were formed in ’96, it wasn’t until the past year that Little Dragon migrated from an indie-electro, trip-hop Swedish trifecta into a hat-trick of musical geniuses appreciated the world over.

Photo: MK Graphy

Shpongle

A-Trak

When he’s not spinning next to Armand van Helden in Duck Sauce or getting into some family values with his brother, who just happens to be half of the indie-electro band Chromeo, A-Trak is handing out hit after hit on his Fools Gold Record Label. His style sits delightfully between bouncy Eletro-house beats and bass heavy Hip-Hop and after becoming the first DJ to win three major DJ competition titles (DMC, ITF and Vestax) as well as the first DJ to win five World Championships, he’s definitely one to be reckoned with.

Dillon Francis

Hailed as the creator of Moombhaton (The BPM of Dubstep, but cut in half) – Dillon Francis has etched a permanent position as the class clown of EDM.  But don’t let his affinity of cats, Taco Bell or his alter-ego DJ Hanzel fool you, Dillon Francis knows how to throw a party and in the past two years of seeing him perform, he has yet to disappoint.  To boot, he stands as one of the few DJs and Producers that I’m simply itching to be best friends and have kitty play-dates with.

Emancipator

Hands down, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere that Emancipator creates with his music.  Originally from Portland, Oregon – Emancipator submerses the listener in a musical experience rich with live instruments and pulsing harmonies.

LowRIDERz (Laura Low & An-Ten-Nae)

Rob Garza (of Thievery Corp.)

Minnesota

Photo: MKGraph

We have three members of Claude VonStroke’s DirtyBird crew coming through –

J.Phlip

Worthy

Christian Martin

Thriftworks

And rounding out the lineup are SambaDrop, Nolan Gray, Jocelyn, Dax Lee.  With only five days left in 2013, do you know where you’ll be when the ball drops??

Photo: MKGraph