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[The Audiofiles] Coachella 2k17: Choose Your Own Auditory Adventure

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Photo:// Daniel Zetterstrom for Do LaB

Over the last two decades, Coachella has transformed from a simple music festival to a cultural time capsule.  Between the LA Weekly ranked munchies to the immersive artistic experiences, and of course the exceptional musical talent – the Coachella Music and Arts Festival provides an adult playground while tickling the senses in all the right places.

In event, and in ethos, Coachella is an elite gathering of international tastemakers and up and coming West Coast talent, ranging from musicians and artists, to stage designers, lighting and sound techs, production managers and more.  The festival curates from the creme of the crop, and the energy surrounding the event is palpable as everyone is operating at their highest frequency. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. For two consecutive weekends, Coachella plays host to 125,000 domestic and international audiophiles, ten stages of music and around 200 musical acts spanning literally every genre, and then creating some live, over a 72 hour span. That’s just on site – so, if you found those numbers overwhelming, now – imagine being there.

That said, one of the many beautiful facets about Coachella is that it’s truly a choose your own adventure type festival, making the weekend anything you want to be. You can go to a punk show at the Sonora Stage one moment, then indulge your inner lyricist with Hip Hop artists from Travis Scott, Denzel Curry, Kendrick Lamar, and Schoolboy Q. Between the Heinekin Stage, Do LaB stage, Sahara Tent, Gobi and Yuma you can spend the weekend at a dance festival – wholeheartedly embracing the PLUR vibes that the event was made for. Or, you can only go to two days of the three day festival and spend the third having an actual vacation in Palm Springs, attend Desert X and come home revived for once instead of coming home burnt out. It can be a fashion show, a foodie’s wet dream or a family reunion, a chance for musical discovery and treasure trove of timeless favorites.  Sometimes it seems like the adventure chooses you, and not the other way around, but either way we all go in with one set of expectations and habitually have them slapped in the face, swirling at 180’s by the time we’re leaving.

The XX, Bon Iver and Bonobo were both gorgeous touches on the main stage, providing an oasis of calm in a colorful, and at times overwhelmingly overstimulating, storm; while in beautiful contrast, Kendrick Lamar closed the stage down on Sunday night, leaving the crowd with something to really think about. Per usual, the Sahara tent opened the doors to significantly more Rap and Hip Hop acts this year, once again providing a proper dance party with artists ranging from SNBRN, Galantis, DJ Khaled, Anna Lunoe, Gucci Mane, Autograf, GRYFFIN and more throwing down while keeping the energy up.

As with previous years, dance music has matriculated through the lineups on other stages beyond the Sahara. The Yuma provided a delightful disco den of deep, tech and progressive house with an internationally acclaimed roster of talent like Nora en Pure, Sasha, Tale of Us, Allison Swing, Dixon, Loco Dice, Hot Since 82, Four Tet-Daphni-Floating Points, and Maya Jane Coles.   Artists from Madeon x Porter Robinson, Justice, Tycho, Nicolas Jaar, What so Not, Jai Wolf, and Tourist were scattered from the Mainstage to the Gobi, and the Mojave to the Outdoor Theater. While the Heineken House and KROQ House both provided refreshing reposes from the rest of the grounds, with ample amounts of shade and air conditioning – two creature comforts that you have a hell of a lot more respect for after several days sweating to the beat in the desert. Last, but certainly not least, my home base and the place that always feels like a family reunion – the Do LaB stage.

As should be expected from Southern California’s premiere party planners, Do LaB’s stage designers outdid themselves with the construction of The Beacon, a bright and bold structure that will be coming with the crew to Lightning in a Bottle. Boasting a unique and expertly curated lineup for each weekend of Coachella, Do LaB’s stage is a wet, wild and whimsical artistic experience, fully equipped with dancing DJs, supersoakers, and high flying acrobatics; a festival within a festival, and a stage that’s a party within a party, quintessentially becoming a gateway drug to the beauty and beats of Lightning in a Bottle.

I think I’ve said this every year of Coachella, but kudos to the Do LaB for their impeccable bookings – perpetually and passionately giving us a birds eye view of the top acts in dance music.  If you’re in the mood for raw, upcoming talent – look no further than the first act each day: KNGSPRNGS, divaDanielle, Jonnie King, Oscure, Gone Gone Beyond and BOGL. Want a proper Sunday Funday dance party? Try the Desert Hearts squad on for size. And when it comes to big name artists, Do LaB provides an arena for artists to return to their roots – or just forge new ones, allowing for musical exploration and artistic experimentation.  For the first time since Chase & Status brought down the Sahara tent nearly a decade ago, Coachella had a true taste of Drum and Bass from Netsky and Liquid Stranger, oh – and then some guy named Skrillex showed up for a secret set and shut the place down, touching nearly every genre of music ever created and even creating a few new ones on the spot.  Other secret sets at Do LaB over the two weekends included Classixx, Richie Hawtin, Louis The Child, Rufus du Sol, Tycho and Autograf.

Two years ago, there was a giant caterpillar that roamed the festival grounds, metamorphosing into a lovely, large butterfly.  That was amazing.  Last year, there were corporate hippos, which were not nearly as cool as the butterfly but art being art, whatever – I liked them a lot more than the giant chairs and lamps which made me feel like my name was Alice, I ate something and now I’m in Wonderland…but Wonderland is just an Outdoor Ikea; anyways.  This year…well, this year someone let Dr. Seuss’s dildo collection loose among the main stages and though it provided some laughable moments, I just wanted that damn beautiful butterfly back.

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Coachella and the Goldenvoice name have grown exponentially over the last decade: adding more days, stages and weekends. But this year, for the first time in a long time – the festival increased in capacity as well, adding 25% in ticketed attendance and finally feeling the growing pains.  As festival population increased, the local Coachella Valley population also exponentially increases – and at a faster rate, to boot: consider the percentage of friends who would come and not even attend the festival, additional amount of event workers to handle the new stages, paired with a gross increase in the amount of events that occur in tandem with the festival – Goldenvoice’s LED Pool Party, Desert X and the menagerie of private parties for and by the musicians.

To combat the population  growth, the grounds were expanded and pushed back – but I actually had no idea where three stages were the first day, because fuck a map apparently. Yes, there’s a lot of room for activities but Coachella might finally be at the point of too much room for activities, when you actually get FOMO mid-festival because you simply can’t experience everything.   Handling the growth of the festival from inside it became relatively manageable by the end, but what wasn’t manageable was the parking situation which became exponentially worse as attendees trickled in through Sunday: causing up to a 3 hour backup as reported by the Press-Enterprise.  And if you wanted to forgo day parking and try using Uber, who has been touted as a partner with the festival itself, users were charged a disgusting minimnum of $175 – sometimes upwards of $250 – due to surge pricing as reported by the LA Weekly.  These two factors alone were enough to drive a variety of non-camping festival attendants to either exit stage left early Sunday and forgo favorite acts from Kendrick Lamar to Galantis, or take to social media to rant and rave about their first world travesties.

The adventures we choose at Coachella forge the musically monumental paths of the weekend, but I think the real testament to Coachella are the adventures we choose after we leave – did we find ourselves wanting more of a specific artist or genre?  Have we been rock fans our whole lives and suddenly find our niche with Dubstep and Trap?  Do we enjoy witty lyricisms in music and have a new appreciation for the incredible hip hop artists that were featured at this years event?  Do we snag our ticket to Lightning in a Bottle immediately upon returning home to decompress because we feel like we’ve finally discovered a hub of technicolor creation that mirrors the kaleidoscopic nature of our soul?

Despite the gradients of heat waves we endured for over 72 hours, each and every festival attendant left Coachella left feeling emotionally recharged, refreshed and revived – even if our sore muscles felt anything but.  We laughed, danced and discovered – not just music, but the true nature of ourselves: that child who had been forced to grow up that we’ve been shoveling under 40 hour a week jobs, forgetting that there’s another part to our soul that has needs and wants to – and fun in the sun with like minded souls to amazing music that touches every subject and genre is a large part of that. The idea of festival is necessary, when the only difference a stranger and I might disagree on is what our favorite act was – not which way they voted.

Keep your eyes on The DJ List as we dish on our top acts, best musical discoveries from the weekend and so much more.  To keep up on all things Coachella and their content curators, follow the links below – and be sure to keep your eyes and ears open because tickets for next year’s gala featuring Beyonce will probably go on sale any moment now.

Coachella // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Goldenvoice //  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Do LaB // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

KROQ // Website | Facebook | Twitter

Photo:// Watchara for Do LaB

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[The Audiofiles] Lightning in a Bottle: A Journey to the Space Between the Sound

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A creatively curated three day adventure into a playground of house, bass and underground music equipped with immersive, thought provoking art – Lightning in a Bottle has had a special place in my heart for almost as long as I can remember.  When I went to school in Santa Barbara, I heard fantastical fables of a land so close, yet worlds away.  For my first few years in Los Angeles, I chased the dragon of a dream, coming in a day late and a wonderful weekend short. When Lightning hit Temecula’s Lake Skinner Recreational Area I finally dove in and experienced firsthand what was so highly revered about the event. Breathing in feelings like fresh air, I floated through the festival on Cloud 9 – forging bonds and breaking barriers, I reveled in my newfangled oneness with the world as I fell in love, over and over again on the grassy nooks and crannies of the grounds.  Watching as beautiful souls ordained in otherworldly outfits lost themselves to dance, I fell back in love with the moment.  Joining in, I could feel a shift in the senses, an emotional evolution mirrored with a social revolution, inspiring me to fall back in love with myself. As the festival  evolved,  I grew in tandem – learning to find my place within this novel conscious community as Lightning in a Bottle manifested from a boutique music festival to a staple of the West Coast’s festival scene.   Even with a migration to Bradley’s San Antonio Recreation Area, the magic was never lost – it was only magnified as serendipity met synchronicity.  Masquerading under moonlight, long lost and new found friends became family as we were initiated with glitter blessings and hugs, laughter and jubilation.

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Since its inception, Lightning in a Bottle has been an artistic catalyst where personal growth and spiritual renewal unfold infinitely into themselves.  Senses stream towards overload as colors dance in time with elaborate harmonies emanating from every corner of the fields.  The weekend celebrates much more than musical talent and artistic prowess; it’s the reunion and synergy of souls energized by the sunshine and their dancing feet; it’s the church where we revere our minuscule yet infinite place on this rock that’s spinning through space while we’re born again through the bass; it’s the home away from home where we feel so very safe, and so very loved.  Over the last three years, for one spectacularly extra-special weekend – I felt the pull, heard the call and knew where I belonged so it should be no surprise that I found myself back there this past Memorial Day Weekend, for another journey down the rabbit hole.

But unlike previous years, it didn’t feel like I was supposed to be there – my energy wasn’t focused on a festival, it was focused on my family; my mind wasn’t lingering on lineups or salivating over set times.  For the last decade, I’ve found sanctity and solace in festivals and on the dancefloor – my sweat, my hips, my feet, my heart and soul, and sometimes even tears were taken by the beat, and eventually I had to wonder: with all that we give to these events, our emotions, our headspace, our physical body, our money, our sobriety – what exactly are we getting in return? In a 31 going on 13 moment, I called the only person who could make heads or tails of a spinning situation – my dad; and I caught myself…because who in their right mind would deprive themselves of beautiful experiences, wonderful vibes, fantastic people, ethereal music and an otherworldly weekend? Most certainly not I – so last minute packing became a thing once again while I mused about the upcoming adventure ahead.

Since leaving Temecula, Lightning has been on the Central California Coast in Bradley and now that the event has found a more permanent home, it’s grown roots – both with the outlying community over it’s Permaculture Awareness Day with The Polish Ambassador, as well as implementing permanent infrastructure within the park. Between the water stations and the bridges between areas, seasoned festies were overheard in galvanized conversation about what the very first year at the campgrounds was really like.  For the first time, the grounds opened on Wednesday for select ticketholders and offered an extra day to set up, get comfortable and explore many of the non-musically inclined opportunities that the festival has to offer participants.  Yes, the world that the Do LaB has created there has massive amounts of music for those that want it – but for others, the festival also has beautiful spaces between the notes and serene silence between the music; the moments and love experienced outside of the stages were tantamount to the lucid dreams and delectable drops created on the dancefloor. There’s something to be said for the experience when the music is turned off, and the community vibes are turned all the way on – each and every one of us was operating at the highest possible frequency, making connections, forging bonds and cataloging moments that last a lifetime.

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Rousing ourselves for an early rise on Friday morning, we left right on time – which for us is exactly an hour after we promised we’d have the car packed and be on the road.  Perfect. After meeting up with some friends along the way to trade stories and party favors, Danny and I were off, off and away – celebrating our fourth Lightning together and our three year anniversary of saying ‘I Love You’. After a quick entrance, which I can only assume is one of the few benefits of arriving almost a day after most participants, we were onto the next challenge – finding a camping spot.  With how much fun we had as just the two of us without a squad at Shambhala, we were excited to set up shop and create ‘Camp New Friends.‘  Claiming a site near the corner of Monkey Business and Croatia, we felt like it was left there just for us; as we began to set up our shade structure and tent – Danny took one look around and exclaimed to our neighbors, “Hey, you – yeah, we’re gonna become really good friends this weekend.”  And let me tell you, I love it when he’s right. Cody and Dane from the camp behind us had our backs with the tent, and while we were setting up our shade structure – it felt like parallel worlds collided:  slowly and sweetly, a couple waltzed up into our peripheral view.  Under his breath, Danny started stammering ‘That guy looks like Mickey….I can’t wait to tell Mickey that I met his doppelganger….’ until….we realized that the doppelganger was Mickey!  A well kept secret and wonderful trickery only became more meaningful when we realized how organically we had all just found each other.

As Danny gathered his camera gear to head out to a quick shoot for the LIB Promo Squad, my cell phone vibrated with a silent intensity. My step mom had been back on the East Coast for the last week helping with a family emergency, and I’d gotten to the point that seeing her on the caller ID was equally warming and disheartening.  A short breath and two words into the conversation, and I already knew the direction things were headed.  With a late stage cancer diagnosis, we knew my aunt’s prognosis was bleak – none the less we’d been hopeful; after all – she’d been stable, she’d been laughing, she’d been being; but now we knew, that whether it was an hour, day, or a week – that was unequivocally all she had.  Forgetting where I was for a second, I sank into my skin and the feelings I had before we left, quietly begging me to stay, latched back into me. How would you live your life if you knew your own expiration date? You would push, dare and defy your ego to grow instead of denying yourself of the will to live.

Settling into our surroundings and cracking a cold beer as the sun descended from the sky, we were finally ready to head into the grounds. After wandering through Camp Altered States and catching up with friends over Mija’s basslines, we were off to catch  Big Gigantic on the Lightning Stage then slowly sauntered our way around towards the Woogie – I thought. The Favela Bar, which was once a smaller side stage had blossomed into a full on party brigade, fully equipped with all of the bass and all the vibes.  The music in there was so good that I could have easily forgotten about the Woogie itself.  Taking a break from the massive crowds, we found ourselves on a seemingly spiritual pathway to the Do Art’s artistic arena.

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After spending a solemn moment reflecting on what turned out to be my favorite piece of art at the festival -the powerful and poignant depth of this cascading collection of twisted wood and tangled emotions, we stumbled right into the delicate and deliberate strokes of Negne Mwuara‘s mural from this last Coachella. One of the pinnacles of the event for me has been the live art on the grounds, in between the trees and near the stages but this year it felt more scarce and hard to come by. Taking a lengthy lap between the easels, we literally walked right into our camp neighbors as we were exiting towards the Woogie’s booming techno vibes.

Delectable cucumber jalapeno margarita in hand, we wound our way around the Woogie’s dancefloor – trying to come to a conclusion on how we actually felt about the new stage design.  The treehouse DJ booth and whimsical color creations that oscillated like sound waves towards the sky, two facets of the festival that I thought were an iconic staple, were missing and replaced by industrial, neon piping which made me feel more like I was at a warehouse party in a technicolor boiler room than prancing in a magical forest among the faeries.  In the mood for the less traveled path, we headed around the back of the stage, down the abyss into the Grand Artique, cartwheeling into the emotive, instrumentation of LAPA.  Truth be told, for the first few minutes we weren’t sure who we were seeing – but we knew it made us feel a lot better after collectively missing Emancipator Ensemble; and then after a few minutes, we realized it kind of was Emancipator – it was Ilya Goldberg, Emancipator’s violinist, giving the most intimate of performances in a magical location. Heading back across the expansive grounds to our tent, pockets of after parties popped into existence – but none with the eclectic talent, lasting power or super awesome disco ball of Camp Altered States.

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The next morning, thousands of house heads and festival lovers flocked to The Woogie for a beautiful tribute to the musical legend of Pumpkin.  The hearts in our community have weighed heavy since his passing, and for really the first time since – the entire LIB community was together to celebrate the life he led, and the life he had inspired within all of us. Per usual, the heat beat its way into every daytime activity, making it necessary to have a water bottle in hand, a bandanna around your neck and a mister or fan in the friend group.  Taking our leisurely time, we meandered across the grounds to the food court near the Pagoda Bar to level up on some food.  Unlike previous years of LIB, the vendors this week had more to offer than just vegan and vegetarian offerings and we were  excited taking full advantage of the situation and then head back to the sanctity of the campsite.    Two days into LIB, and we’d already overused our joke about “Camping in a Bottle 2016” – there were literally some moments that it just seemed too hot to do stuff; blame it on our age, blame it on our psyches or willingness, but mostly blame it on the heat – all we could seem to do was sit around camp and share stories in the shade, which is an honest highlight of my weekend.

Saturday night we were on a mission, and found a perfect place to plant ourselves for the Lucent Dossier Experience.  Transfixed in the moment, the crowd almost ceased to dance, move or breathe until the tantalizing performance came to an emotive close – only to erupt in jubilant cheer.  As we sat on the ground, patently waiting for the Jamie XX to take the stage we found ourselves involved with what I still consider one of the most impressive glow stick ropes of all time.

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It started small, with our neighbors sitting in front of us gleefully funneling the pieces down a supply chain of silliness and we couldn’t help but join in once the chain reached us.  Once the people around us realized what was happening, it felt like all hands on deck as the glowing snake wrapped itself from the lighting booth and up to the front row – and back again before the start of the set.  I wasn’t familiar with Jamie XX before his set but I’ve easily been converted into a believer after watching him effortlessly move between three different equipment set ups and what sounded like all of genres: disco, house, funk, industrial, and some groovy warehouse tracks with heavy bass that were unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  We felt the pull of the mindwarping, brain melting bass coming from Minnesota and G Jones B2B set at the Thunder Stage but after a few tracks, found ourselves back at the Lightning for the genius that is Jamie XX to finish our night.

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Both a festival and a nature adventure, Lightning in a Bottle was rich with reasons to ditch the cell phone and live in the moment, harmonize on your serendipity when you find long lost squad members and create new bonds when you can’t. And for the most part, I’d left my phone on airplane mode all weekend less talking to my parents when we set up shop on Friday, but Sunday I had a gut feeling that never left, and a last text to reaffirm my unfortunate suspicions – it was Sandy’s final night, and full of light and love, her life’s candle was snuffed out as her soul dissolved back into the collective unconscious.  

With little sleep in our veins, the whole camp was up and at’em early on Sunday morning, and with good cause – with all of our powers combined, we pulled off some epic bacon bagel sandwiches and finally had a family meal in the shade as we geared up for our last hurrah. Gathering our bearings, we were excited for a day outing with just a little less heat.  Making last minute wardrobe changes in the middle of a champagne campaign, I mused about the circumstances that brought us together and the friendships that we’d curated. And for the first time all weekend, all the camps that we’d bonded with were making it out to the dancefloor together; five camps that had fused into one – ten life trajectories that were tangled in all the right places for one a beautiful weekend.

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Dancing our way over to the Russ Liquid Test, the beat controlled my body as I giggled and grooved to this modern day jazz experiment, a funky side project that was perfect for my Sunday Funday get down. We ebbed over to the ethereal temple built from cans and upcycled materials and took in the final sunset while Desert Dwellers effused a tantalizing, tribal set that sent waves of euphoria through my veins.  Drinking in the moment, and a tasty margarita, our inner spirit animals came loose one last time, howling in delight as the sun made it’s last LIB descent, pulling a curtain of galaxies closely behind her.

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After a quick rendez-vous at the camp site, we gathered our squad for one final hurrah as we tromped through the festival grounds.  We drank from a giant spoon as we gleefully gallivanted  over to cacophony of carins in the shadow of the Ferris Wheel. Heading to the Favela Bar, B.R.E.E.D.’s tantalizing brand hip shaking, booty popping, soul writhing bass music was calling us and made it was easy to forget that anyone else was playing, let alone Mr. Carmack and Moderat.

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One of the only sets that caught my squads’ attention for it’s entire duration, B.R.E.E.D. had the entire side stage engulfed in the masterful, musical moment.  A perfect segue to closing the festival out with pantyraid on the Thunder Stage.

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Over the last decade, Lightning in a Bottle has evolved from a benevolent birthday celebration to a 20,000 person festival and growing. As long as the Do LaB has operated their stage at Coachella, there has been a technicolor wormhole that sieves rave babies and bros towards LIB.  In turn, the festival as no choice but to grow at an exponential level – and with those growth spurts come growing pains.  Now featuring a sold out crowd, almost every space feels cramped for the night time sets as stages filled with neon totems that in mass essentially block the stage. Within the five or six weeks between the two festivals, it feels near impossible to inform thousands of fist pumping, neon Sparkle Ponies on the ethos of LIB’s ‘Pack in – pack out’ and ‘Leave it better, leave it beautiful’ mentalities though they’re certainly hit over the head with reminders to buy their ticket and take the ride.  Beach cleanups pair up nicely with events they’ve paired up with like Subtract On The Pier while block parties and BBQs with street cleanups, and I believe there are ways to implement their green mentalities year round and in their home communities of Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. But a place to buy extra trash bags, or a location to collect recycling and donate funds to the community or back into the event are also viable options albeit outside of the original ethos of the event.

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The magic and music of Lightning in a Bottle will always pull an esteemed crowd of audiophiles and art fanatics, merry makers and music lovers, festival families, LIB virgins and seasoned veterans – all coming together to celebrate this thing called life.  Put together with love and passion by the team at the Do LaB, this year’s festival boasted an immaculate range of talent and a community thirsty for Lightning’s transformative power. If you couldn’t get enough of the Do LaB crew at LIB, try out their Summer sister festival – Woogie Weekend just a few days away!  Soak in the sunshine while you bounce around to International House legends and locally loved Techno talent.

Tickets for Woogie Weekend are still available here.

For more on Lightning in a Bottle and the Do LaB, connect with them on their socials:

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

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

All photography courtesy of Daniel Leist Photography

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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[The Audiofiles] Dive Down the Rabbit Hole at Beyond Wonderland

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One day in 2006, a wide eyed, wanderlust fueled, dream weaving music maven was thrust into the world of electric skies and daisies, unabashed personalities paired with unapologetic beauty, a mixture of hefty bass and ethereal trance with what felt like an unlimited supply of good vibes and good times.  Now, a decade later – the young woman that evolved from the chaos of the last few years will be entering a new adventure: diving down Insomniac’s fabled rabbit hole and into my first Beyond Wonderland.

Returning for it’s 6th year,  Beyond Wonderland and it’s headliners return to the San Manuel Amphitheater and Grounds in San Bernadino, California for an epic adventure into the heart of dance music. Between the interactive art installations, costumed creatives roaming the grounds, free hydration stations and an incredible array of performers on four stages spread out among the grounds – Beyond Wonderland has something special up it’s sleeve for all in attendance.I can tell you right now that my Trance Arms are ready and roaring to go for the Outer Realm hosted by Dreamstate where FERRY CORSTEN will finally debut his live GOURYELLA set on Friday, and then I’ll be right back again the next night for some Bass and booty shaking with DOCTOR P and DELTA HEAVY. Check the set times (and potential conflicts!) below.

Even though Insomniac’s events were where I evolved into the audiophile I am today, I actually haven’t been back to San Bernadino since How Sweet It Is 2009 – when HSII still existed; and I haven’t been to an Insomniac festival since their first EDC in Las Vegas back in 2011. I can’t wait to be back, back with my neon brothers and sisters in a vibrant setting surrounded by fantastic music.

In the past few years, Insomniac has paved the way for some festivals to transform into camping utopia’s for festival squadrons from near and far – this year at Beyond Wonderland is no different! Dare to dream and wish upon a star in the decorated nooks and crannies of the campground, including access to morning yoga and a Silent Disco.

To enter the camping areas, you must have a valid festival ticket and be over 18. The tent areas measure 10′ by 10′ and there is a maximum of 5 party people per tent. Though you can park remotely and walk in, note that there’s a free lot specifically for tent camping purposes and the lot is limited to 1 car per tent spot.

“These Wonderland events were born and raised in Southern California, and so much of their unique style is inspired by the Headliners who attend them…the magical spirit of our Headliners continues to make Beyond Wonderland a special experience.”Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac.

Feeling the festival FOMO yet? Don’t fret, there’s still time to join in the fun!

Purchase Tickets Here | RSVP on Facebook and bring the squad!

For more details, follow Beyond Wonderland and Insomniac Events on their socials –

Beyond Wonderland: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Insomniac Events: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

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Article cross published on The DJ List – and stay tuned for a full recap and a plethora of pictures from my fantastic fiance 🙂

[The Audiofiles] Rain Man Sets Solo Career Ablaze with Debut Track ‘Visionary’ Featuring Sirah

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After setting the internet ablaze last year after leaving the talented dupstep triumvirate of Krewella, we’ve all been (im)patiently for Rain Man to come through with a solo career. The brains behind the bass and the passionate producer of the bunch, Rain Man more than made a name for himself behind the decks of Krewella and now he’s stepping out into his own spotlight. On March 29th, he’ll be kicking off a series of solo shows in Miami and now he’s rousing interest and ruffling feathers with his first single – ‘Visionary’, featuring Sirah of Skrillex and Alvin Risk fame.

Out today on Buygore Records, “Visionary” is the track we’ve wanted for the last year and simply haven’t gotten. Between the booming bass and seductive vocals, it’s easy to forget you’re not listening to a Krewella track; flip your script and remember who crafted those crushing beats and you’ll be singing a different tune. The track comes to life with the rumble of a Reggae infused Dubstep track, with delicately layered lyrics over crushing basslines – perfect for all hours at your favorite dance hall.

“The lyrics for visionary are super dark. Basically I’m talking about the decision every artist needs to make, where you either stay true to what you believe in or you bend your art to fit in a lane. I make my own lane,” – Sirah

Rain Man kicks off his solo tour in Miami at the Buygore Pool Party on 3/29, with stops in Chicago, New York’s Webster Hall and Avalon in Los Angeles on 4/17.

Purchase “Visionary” on Beatport

For more information on Rain Man, head to his socials –

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud| Facebookrain

Article Cross Posted in The DJ List

[The Audiofiles] With ‘Caligo’, Spor Returns With A Vengeance

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When artists adopt a moniker, time and success collaborate to solidify their sound – and sometimes, their creative split personalities surface and separate. Armin releases tracks with the alias Gaia, Ferry Corsten produces under System F, Avicii has even remixed himself as Tim Berg. However, for all three of these artists – they’re still producing music under the same umbrella genres of Trance and House. What I find novel and genius, are artists who successfully span through multiple genres, diving feet first into the ocean of musical genius. Hailing from the UK, DJ and Producer Jon Gooch is precisely one of those artists.

For the last few years, he’s been wowing audiences as Electro House phenom Feed Me on Deadmau5’s Mau5trap Records, fully equipped ‘With Teeth’ at times for a kickass stage presence while dolling out delicious drops. But before the time of Feed Me, there was Spor – and Spor has a special place in my heart. Blowing up as Feed Me around 2011, Gooch has been relatively silent as Spor since 2012 – however, most of his success came as Spor from 2005 until his sonic shift. When I saw him at The Music Box in 2011, one of my good friends caught a shirt that he threw off stage – when we awkwardly approached the stage to ask him to sign it, and then fan-girl over his music a bit – I asked if he was ever going to produce or tour as Spor again and a grin washed over his face. Hopefully soon…, he trailed off.

I crave the complexities in composition; harmony and resolution are wonderful, don’t get me wrong – but without dissonance, empty space between notes and off-putting chords – those musical elements aren’t nearly as sweet. A dark, brooding, industrial sound at time, Spor fell to the backburner as Feed Me gained notoriety in the public eye. So, when I found out that there was a new Spor album coming out I cranked up my speakers, cleared some room in the apartment to mosh and was delighted by the fierce beats that came out of my system.

Track Listing
1. Your Murmuring Chasms
2. Arms House
3. Always Right Never Left
4. Empire ft James Hadouken!
5. Like Clockwork
6. Blueroom
7. Strange Heart
8. As I Need You (featuring Tasha Baxter)
9. Full Colour
10. If You Cry
11. Our Space
12. Coconut
13. The Hole Where Your House Was
14. Unreleased Material (Caligo Sketchbook Mix)
15. Methods
16. 10,000
17. Nachtwerk
18. Republic
19. Red Panda (2 Am Minimal Mix)

A fusion of Heavy Metal Rock, riddled with Hip Hop inspired lyrics over an energetic drumstep backbeat, Spor’s new album Caligo is everything I’ve wanted from an artist. Effortlessly blending industrial basslines with high octane guitar riffs and the occasional ethereal vocal sample – like in “Your Murmuring Chasms”, the new Spor sound sporadically oozes out hints of Feed Me while reminding you that it’s anything but. From start to finish, this album is an absolute must listen; and I’m left with only one question – does this mean we’ll be seeing a Spor Live Band touring anytime soon?

In the wake of Caligo leaking, you can now grab your own copy as a BitTorrent Bundle right here.

For more on the new album or Spor as an artist, take a gander at his Reddit AMA from yesterday or visit his socials –

Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

[The Audiofiles / Music Monday ] Keepin’ It Moving

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In standard, normal, everyday time it’s really only been a week since I’ve been home from Lightning in a Bottle but truth be told it feels like another century ago; another me ago, even.  If you want to get down to brass tax – yes, in all honesty the weekend was absolutely transformational, mercurial and magical all at the same time.  I’ve spent the past week in a solid state of reflection about life, the universe…and literally anything and everything under the sun.

My love; my life.

Part of the reason Lightning in a Bottle was such a big deal for me emotionally was that it represented multiple turning points in my life.  First and foremost, back in 2010 I actually had a ticket for LiB – but because I was just diagnosed with Vasovagal Syncope  I sold my ticket to get my health back on track.  The year after, in 2011, was my best friend’s bachelorette party in Vegas and there was no way in hell I was missing that – so this year, my adventures to and at LiB seemed more than necessary and slightly overdue.  Then mix in equal parts falling in love with my boyfriend while two of my best girl friends leave LA for Montreal and Boston respectively, and I had a whole mess of a machine to figure out for myself. Phaedra and Jessica represent two different worlds of friendships to me, but are equally loyal and loving friends; it was a blessing to have them get to know each other last summer and as people have always said – how lovely it is that I’ve met two souls who make saying goodbye so difficult.

It’s not that I define myself by the friendships I keep, but I place a lot of value on their opinions and moral codes; then again, shouldn’t we all?  In the absence of both of them I’ve been doing some soul searching and emotional wandering with this mantra in mind: we’re all cups, full to the brim of emotion and with each interaction with others we’re constantly tipping out our emotions and being refilled by the thoughts and feelings of others; I’ve come out of my shell within the last two years and maybe the shape of my cup has shifted, or I’ve switched from still to bubbling water.  Either way, I’ve watched myself grow – mature – evolve – and I simply don’t have the same needs, nor the same amounts of patience, that I used to have.  Meaning a lot of introspection into what it means for me to both have a friend and be one.

Besides taking time to detox and emotionally decompress, this past week has been about intertwining friend groups and developing the framework for future plans and ideas.  Simply put, every since LiB there’s been a sense of passion, dedication, creativity and urgency from my group of friends – business plans, life goals, trajectory altering decisions – they’re being made en masse and I couldn’t be more impressed.  As my boyfriend put it – they didn’t call it the ‘Maybe Lab’ and they don’t call it the ‘Do Lab’ for nothing; we can’t wait to see what’s possible when we put our minds together for something positive!

Besides the introspection, we did manage to have a bit of fun over the past week:  last Thursday I discovered that one our of favorite DJs and Producers – Pretty Lights – was playing a free show at the Amoeba records in Hollywood so I went with a few of my guy friends and had an absolute blast! He even freestyled for us – so legit.

Pretty Lights gettin’ funky

And now, for the next two weeks, I’ll be doing absolutely as little as possible as I get ready for the ruckus and shenanigans of Hard Summer!  Just because I’m not out and about prancing to the beat doesn’t mean I feel like sitting still – so here are some jams to help you get through your Monday – your week – your whatthehellever – just dance!

Tracklist:

  1. TJR – Whats Up Suckaz
  2. Disclosure – F For You (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Remix)
  3. Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem (Dead Battery Remix)
  4. Major Lazer – Get Free (Ft. Amber Coffman) (Andy C Remix)
  5. Fatboy Slim & Riva Starr – Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat
  6. Sound Remedy – Chiaroscuro (Original Mix)
  7. Boys Noize – Starwin
  8. Diplo ft. Mike Posner, Boax van de Beatz, RiFF RAFF – CROWN
  9. Mounties – Headphones (Sleepy Tom Remix)
  10. Neon Jungle – Trouble (Monsieur Adi Remix)
  11. Foreigner – Cold as Ice (A.Skillz & Nick Thayer Bootleg Remix)
  12. Major Lazer – Bubble Butt (It’s The Kue Remix!)
  13. Gareth Emery & Krewella – Lights and Thunder
  14. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Kinetik Groove Remix)
  15. HeRobust x gLAdiator – We Are
  16. Rusko – Lift Me up
  17. Deadmau5 – Suckfest 9001
  18. Knife Party – LRAD (Erotic Cafe Remix)
  19. Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – Thinking About You (Laidback Luke Remix)
  20. Krewella – Live for the Night
  21. Sleepy Tom – Let It Go
  22. Tommy Trash vs A Trak – Tuna Truffle (Tommy Trash Coachella Snack)
  23. Matthew Koma – One Night (Vicetone Remix)
  24. Smallpools – Dreaming (The Chainsmokers Remix)
  25. Capital Cities – Safe & Sound (Panic City Remix)

The Audiofiles: Manic Monday – No Gloom in My June

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“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” ― Oscar Wilde

Though I’m sure my parents would readily disagree with this statement – I don’t consider myself much of a whiner or a complainer; the fact of the matter is that I’m an only child – and twice over at that with divorced parents.  But that’s totally a story for another day – bottom line: the only type of wine I like comes in a glass and is paired with cheese.  That said – BLAAARG: <y Aunt has been at Mass-Gen with some rare, tropical illness that no one’s ever heard of or knows how to treat and – this isn’t me exaggerating to get my point across, or get your sympathy – she would’ve died last week if it weren’t for the quick thinking and overwhelming concern from a family friend. When ten of the best specialists in the world are running around like chickens with their heads cut off asking for “Dr.House” you know you’re in for a hell of a ride; thankfully, my family is rock solid and we’re sending all of our energy to get her better. To boot,  I’ve had a whale of a time dealing with a misanthropic apartment “manager” on various different issues and it literally makes my head want to explode and implode simultaneously. So this is me; trying to be calm, content and in the present.  This is me being constructive and moving forward.  And this is me, understanding that I can only control what is in my power; the universe has it’s own plan for all of us. 

So, that being said – I’ve been in search of an escape.  Most people view escapism as something external: somewhere you go or a new place to rest your existence.  But, why limit yourself?  To escape is to literally break free of confinement, control and convention – did you ever stop and think that all those mechanisms exist in your mind?  This weekend ended up being about an internal escape, a sort of manifest-destiny of the mind of you will.  I had great company, good food, roamed the streets in the sunshine and had at least 8 hours of sleep each night; suffice it to say, I forgot how amazing detoxing can be! But now that we’re here – at Monday – again, I need something to pick me up. I was diagnosed with a fainting disorder a few years ago so with no caffeine in my diet, I leave it up to music to soothe my soul – here are some of my go-to, feel-good jams that make you just want to dance, love and break things (in the best of ways, of course!).  Enjoy, and I hope your Monday is just as manic as you need it to be.

 

Playlist:

  1. Depeche Mode – Soothe My Soul (Steve Angello & Jaques Lu Cont Remix)
  2. Empire of the Sun – Alive (Zedd Remix)
  3. SubFocus ft Alex Clare – Endorphins (Tommy Trash Remix)
  4. Above & Beyond – Walter White
  5. Disclosure ft Eliza Doolittle – You & Me (Baauer Remix)
  6. The Partysquad – Lighterman (Krafty Kuts Skank Remix)
  7. MitiS ft Collin McLoughlin – Born
  8. J Majik & Wickaman – Life Me Up
  9. Duke Dumont – Lean N Bounce
  10. Armin van Buuren ft Trevor Guthrie – This Is What It Feels Like (W&W Remix)
  11. Maison & Dragen – Wet Dreams
  12. Hard Rock Sofa & Dirty Shade – Collapsar
  13. Submatik – Stories Can Wait
  14. Will Sparks – Ah Yeah (TJR Edit)
  15. Wallpaper. – Good 4 It (Laidback Luke Goes Melbourne Vocal Mix)
  16. Benga – Midnight
  17. Oliver – MYB
  18. Sleepy Tom – Hit Em
  19. Skrillex ft Alvin Risk – Imma Try It Out