This year, as the 10th Annual Gem and Jam Festival prepares to touchdown in Arizona – two extra special evenings of creativity and consciousness will be ushered in around California in celebration. On Thursday, January 14th and Friday, January 15th, the foremost artistic creators and psychedelic thinkers will join forces under one roof for two nights of epic proportion; first at San Francisco’s 1015 Folsom and then at the Belasco, located in the heart of Los Angeles.
From the moment the doors open, dancers, prancers and merrymakers alike will dive in feet first to the true ethos of the Gem and Jam Festival. A bohemian bazaar of vendors adorn the walls with finest wares, including some of the magnificent specimens you’ll find at the Gem show in Arizona, handmade festival wear and illuminated flow toys that they’ll be happy to show you the ropes on.
The multitude of music textures and performances are mirrored perfectly with live painting from the genius of visionary artists Alex Grey + Allyson Grey, among other local and festival circuit favorites like Sam Flores of Upper Playground, Amanda Sage, Gabriel Welch, Benedigital, Anthony Sirios West and Jef Logan. Visuals for the event will be done by none other than the esteemed Johnathan Singer of Tipper and Greatful Dead 50 fame.
Calling All DJs and ProducersThe team at RE:CREATION LA has an amazing opportunity for those that fancy themselves musical inclined. For your first chance at fifteen minutes of fame, Gem and Jam style playing alongside some of the most sought after names in the festival circuit.
The team at RE:CREATION LA will select their top 5 submissions to share for voting this weekend; the voting process begins Saturday, 1/9 at 12PM PST and will end Sunday at 12AM Midnight with the winner announced Monday Morning, 1/11.
Not in California? No problem! Colorado will be hosting it’s own Gem and Jam PreParty at the end of January with Exmag, Defunk, and Mikey Thunder on Thursday, 1/28 at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom with headlinres Jason Burruss and Sassfactory in Denver and 1/29 at Hodi’s Half Note in Fort Collins with headliners iLL Banks and Jason Burruss.
More Details HereFor more on the Gem and Jam Festival itself, head to their official website and social media channels:
The next generation of Electronic Music synthesizes the audio, visual and tactile elements into one musically inspired organism. It captivates each and every one of the senses without overstimulation, leaving each listener, dancer, hooper, light show artist inspired, engaged and wanting more. Sure, bass is beautiful and heavy hitting drops know just how to shake your soul to the core; but there’s something to be said for the empty space between the notes, a whimsical auditory adventure in Eastern Scales and stage performers oozing with professional energy. The next generation of EDM is already here – and it’s been waiting for you.
A triumverate of trippy, World Music inspired beats and elegant compositions – David Satori, Tommy Cappel and Zoe Jakes – Beats Antique has been crafting beats and captivating audiences since 2007. This past Autumn, they took North American by Storm for their Creature Carnival Tour, with Lafa Taylor, Simon Posford in a Shpongle DJ Set and ethereal, downtempo EDM guru Emancipator in tow. After a bevvy of successful stops, in November the tour drew to a poignant close at Los Angeles’ famed Shrine Exposition Hall. Host to raves like HARD 13 and How Sweet It Is, and shows from the likes of Q-Dance, Above & Beyond, Kaskade – The Shrinewas the perfect setting for the whimsical event, boasting a bevvy of beautiful beats. The night started off with Lafa Taylor on the mic and slowly shifted to a moody, melodic set from the Portland based producer Doug Appling with Ilya Goldberg getting down on the violin. Penultimate was none other than producer Simon Posford is a unique Shpongle DJ Set. Last time I was lucky enough to get my Shpongle on, he had the Shpongletron 3.0 and Zebbler by his side. Though the visual spectacle was subdued, the music was on point – as Shpongle proceeded to throw one hell of a party, giving new life to old tracks and some from his latest album the Museum of Consciousness ( though admittedly, most names are so obscure that I have issues remembering them)
Last, but most certainly not least, were Beats Antique – accompanied by a stellar performance troupe in exquisite costume. The Creature Carnival Tour was about More than a menagerie of musicians and expertly devised compositions, The Creature Carnival Tour was about the audience – the community – who come together with such poise and grace. Strangers become friends, flowing around each other and often – even with each other, as many had brought hoops, poi and the like as they let their freak flags fly with delight.
Last night, Hollywood went Hollyweird as Avalon Nightclub opened their doors to Shpongle, Desert Dwellers and San Diego’s Vokab Kompany; all thanks to the Do Lab, one of my all time favorite production companies – not to mention, the brainiacs behind my favorite festival, Lightning in a Bottle! At a show like last night’s – costume’s aren’t just welcome, they’re encouraged – and beyond being part of the Hippie Olympics, last night was full of friendly faces, new and old, all getting down to the psytrance sounds. It was absolutely beautiful and I’m so glad I could share the night with my friends! For the ‘Museum of Consciousness’ tour, Shpongle had visual team at Zebbler Studios create their second version of the ‘Shpongletron’, an ever changing, 3D, 3 story, projection mapped stage that evolves and manifests itself through amazing colors, flashing lights, sound reactive elements and all around trippy imagery throughout the evening; overall, this is the third version , dubbed Shpongletron 3.0. Today, Shpongle is cruising up the California coast to San Francisco and Arcata, then the tour will be making stops in Portland and Seattle before venturing off into the Mid-West. If you have a hankering for a good time, great people and fantastic music – check this tour our, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
One of my life mottoes is ‘Never a Dull Moment‘, and this definitely translates over to my taste in music. There’s nothing I detest more than the hum-drum boredom that comes hand in hand repetition, simplicity and redundancy across a song, album or a career and because of this – I’ve single-handedly ruined songs for myself by overplaying them in an incredibly short amount of time. I feel the pull of non-Western scales and non-Traditional forms of music like Tipper, Culprate and Shpongle; in moderation, I even find dissonance comforting. As with everything else in my world, layers of complexity compel me to discover about a person – and doubly so for an artist.
When I discovered Flume a few months back, the depths of his talent still escaped me – but now, I find myself impatiently waiting to see new tricks this 22 year old phenom from Australia has in store for the world. Between his bewitching, glitch infused electronic basslines, poignant lyricists and downtempo soundscapes, Flume continually pushes boundaries blurs the lines between musical genres to create what I think of as Future Music, and sits plush in the middle of a Venn Diagram with Griz and Gramatik on one side and Emancipator and Bonobo on the other. Last year, there were two huge releases from Flume – his self titled, debut album as well as the ‘Drop the Game’ EP with Chet Faker. And thanks to Hypem, I’m finding unreleased mixes hidden deep in the interwebs from back in 2012 that I’m simply falling head over heals with.
The original version of ‘Hyperparadise’ is from Hermitude, an Australian group with roots in both hip-hop and electronica, and came out back in ’12.
Between the tropical sound of the steel drums, a wobbling deep house bass line and seductive breakdown – it’s easy to see why Flume chose this track to chop up and break down in a way only he knows how.
Finally, GANZ got his little fingers on the single during a remix competition and crafted what I firmly believe is one of the best songs of the past year. His rework of Flume’s remix embellishes all the glitches I love, and infuses it with a trip-hop sound meant for bumping at loud volumes.
Looking back at my posts from the last year, one that stands out the most to be is my 2012 Year in Musical Review. Partially, because it’s catalyzed my writing career on multiple fronts – but mostly because music, especially kickass live music, is something I truly care about to my core. Music influences our moods, our personalities and even our daily interactions. Unless there’s something highly important and technical that I have a deadline for, I’m literally submersed in music 24/7 – from the time my alarm and I wake up, to my morning runs, to the drive to work, you get the picture: I more or less have provided myself with a soundtrack to my life. With my attention span as short as it is (…squirrel!…), I constantly refresh my collection of original jams, remixes and singles and try to take in as much live music as I can.
I’ve been leafing through the ticket stubs and reminiscing about the excellent year in music that I just had. From attempting to co-start a music forum site and to with The DJ List, my daily extra-curricular activities have always circled around new music, fresh artists and the latest and greatest they have to offer. Somehow, even though I’ve managed to be busier than I’ve ever been I’ve definitely managed to fit in some quality R&R (Rave & Relaxation) into the mix. So, without further ado – here are my musical musings for 2013; enjoy!
Truth be told, I’m sitting here trying my hardest to even place Cosmic Gate in second place because Above & Beyond’s sunset at Avila Beach was just so spectacular! It was a small crowd with unexpected surprises in store for everyone in my friend group – we each found someone at the event from out of town (LA, Riverside and SF) that we didn’t know was in attendance and were all simply wowed by the musical prowess the group possesses. But Cosmic Gate is not a team to be underestimated, during the live show they brought out my favorite pixie blonde vocalist, Emma Hewitt, and Jonathan Mendelson who gave a phenomenal first live vocal performance during Nic Chagall’s ‘This Moment’.
Best D&B show: Modestep at the Nokia Club, High Contrast w. Camo & Krooked at Dim Mak Studios
Best Deep / Tech House Show: Kaskade @ Focus OC’s 10 Year Anniversary
Best Progressive House Show:Eric Prydz / Pryda / Cirez D @ Create
Best Electro House Show: Gareth Emery @ XIV
Best Festival: Lightning in a Bottle
For the last six or seven years I’ve been a self-professed seasoned festival go-er and have a host of Insomniac, HARD and GoVentures events under my EDM belt (almost 40 if you want to get specific), but truth be told last year I only attended three festivals, one of them being Sea of Dreams on NYE. For as much as the lineup to HARD Summer thrilled my pants off, the event didn’t…however, Lightning in a Bottle and Sea of Dreams surely did. Each was musically right in their own right but on a more personal level, I truly felt bonded to the community that LIB and Burning Man cultivates and have actively been seeking out similar events ever since.
Best Festival Set:Keys n Krates, Dillon Francis, Alex Metric ((HARD Summer)) HeRObust, Pumpkin, Rusko, The Polish Ambassador, Odeza, Andreilien ((LIB)), LowRIDERz, A-Trak, Thievery Corporation ((Sea of Dreams))
Best Venue: Sea of Dreams @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium | NYE was one of the most amazing musical experiences I’ve ever had, everything about the night was golden and a lot of that is due to the venue and soundsystem that came with it; top notch.
Weird but Rad Venue: Lightning in a Bottle @ Lake Skinner, Temecula, CA | I was tempted to give LIB the gold star for ‘Best Venue’ but after the all of the shenanigans with the county and residents of Riverside, I’ll wait until next year to grant the festival that award. Basically, I want to see it shine in all of its glory; not just in my personal experiences but for the greater community in attendance as well.
Best Pool Party: Daylight
Best Party:Sea of Dreams
Best Up and Coming Venue:Sound in Hollywood
Favorite Reopened Venue: Create (previously, known as Vanguard)
Best Crowd: DoLab shows –Avalon | If you only remember one thing about the music scene in LA, let it be this: the Do Lab will always do you right. I always look forward to the art infused musical events they throw. Whether they’re at the Nokia Club, King King or out in the middle of nowhere Riverside – they make sure to cater to all of your senses and the people who show up are some of the nicest friends you hadn’t met you.
Douche-iest Crowd: XIV by Hyde, Greystone Manor, Sutra | I still hold by last year’s statement about Sutra, but now that I’ve finally attended events at Greystone and XIV I can easily bump those two to the top of the list. Maybe it goes hand-in-hand with my appetite for all things Do Lab and underground, but I can’t wrap my head around wearing 3″+ heals to a club and cozy-ing up to people just snag an extra drink (or five). I prefer the let-your-freak-flag-fly mentality of other events and prefer stomping around in flats to trying to maintain a proper demeanor in an outfit that’s definitely not meant for dancing.
Best Lasers:Create and Exchange have most definitely stepped their laser game up in the last year, far surpassing anything that Avalon has ever done (sorry guys – not knocking the place (it’s still rad!) but it’s true).
Ferry Corsten @ Exchange Hit us with those laser beams *pew pew pew*
Favorite Set/Act of 2013: Above & Beyond in Avila Beach
Best Surprise of 2013: Crywolf, Mitis, Kill Paris, Disclosure, Keys n Krates, Flume
So Glad I (Re-)Discovered: Bonobo, Emancipator, Shpongle, The Magician,
Remixes So Nicely: SubFocus, Flume
Best Remix-er: Boy Noize, Dillon Francis, Cazzette
Favorite Vocalists: Jonathan Mendelson, Alex Clare, Annabel Englund, MNEK, Chet Faker, Florence Welch, Emma Hewitt
Most Disappointing: Daft Punk everything; maybe because it was directly juxtaposed to Keys’n’Krates with their live instruments, but Duke Dumont was also pretty underwhelming live and looked like he was just pressing a button; last but not least, Cedric Gervais did absolutely nothing for me.
Vocalists Who Shouldn’t Perform Live with DJs: Danny Brown
People Who Should Be Reminded They’re Not DJs: Will.i.Am, Paris Hilton
My Top 10 Songs of the Year
Depeche Mode – Soothe My Soul (Steve Angello + Jaques Lu Cont Remix)
Darkside – Papertrails
Oliver – Night is On My Mind (Dillon Francis Remix)
Disclosure – You & Me (Baauer Remix)
Seven Lions + Myon & Shane 54 – Strangers
Minnesota – Stardust Redux (Crywolf Remix)
Maya Jane Coles ft Karin Park – Everything
Thomas Jack – Booka Shake
Flume ft Freddie Gibbs – Holdin’ On (LKids Remix)
Lane 8 – Be Mine
Mat Zo – Lucid Dreams – (M Machine Remix) [runner up]
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