It was the end of summer 2014. My girlfriend and I had the privilege of attending Electric Forest and the Hudson (Mudson) Project over the course of those summer months. Eforest was nothing short of magical and the Hudson Project was awesome while it lasted. But the start of the new semester was right around the corner and we weren’t going to let the summer conclude without one more bass- filled hoorah. Scouring the Internet for our next musical adventure, we came across Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta. The lineup looked decent enough. Destroid, ill. Gates, Caspa, Minnesota, at less than a hundred bucks a ticket, we were sold.
The end of August rolls around, we pack up the car and head towards Atlanta. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, coming off of two camping festivals out in the middle of nowhere to a two-day non-camping festival in the heart of a major city. I knew the vibe was going to be different but that didn’t matter as long as the music was good. The schedule had been released; we knew the artists we wanted to see and left some room to discover new ones. August 30th had arrived. It was the first day of the festival and we couldn’t have been more stoked.
Immediately upon entering the festival I was impressed. Sporting a magical underwater theme on all the stages, it was apparent the Iris team had put tons of thought and time into the preparation of the festival. The stage designs were beautiful, the sound system was on point, and the weather was beautiful (at first). Walking around the festival grounds, smiling faces and dancing people everywhere set the tone for a great day. There were some incredible acts on the first day as Phutureprimitive and Colorado natives Unlimited Aspect (a combined force of Unlimited Gravity and Project Aspect) who blew us away.
Day two proved to be just as much fun with the exception of a debilitating rain storm which cut Wick-It The Instigators set short much to our disappointment, cause the dude was CRUSHING it. Despite the rain delay, epic artists like Minnesota and Caspa quickly brought us right back to rage mode. Imagine Festival last year was nothing short of incredible and we bought our tickets for this year’s event as soon as they came out. Little did we know that Imagine would step their game up about twelve notches.
As incredible as last years lineup was, THIS year blows last years out of the water. Like seriously Iris, you guys really outdid yourself. This lineup is absolutely STACKED and I could not be more excited for the festivities. So in order to deal with my growing level of excitement, I have compiled my personal list of my top 5 artists at Imagine this year that I’m super psyched to see.
This selection is entirely biased. Griz is my all time favorite. I’ll admit it. Despite having seen him several times, the Detroit native turned Colorado resident brings some next level awesome every time he steps on stage. His unique and original blend of funk infused bass music is unrivaled. The sound design of his bass elements combined with the absolute shredding on the saxophone leads to the most boogie-filled groovetastical dance floor extravaganza the likes have never been seen. Throwing in crowd-pleasing sing-alongs along with his funky filled creations leads to one of the most dynamic, nonstop fun sets in the electronic music world today.
This South African native BLEW MY MIND at Electric Forest. It’s funny because you think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. As half of PantyRaid, I was familiar with the name MartyParty and his work as part of PantyRaid but I had no idea what to expect when I saw him live. On the first day of Electric Forest we went to check out his set more out of curiosity than anything and oh. my. God. This guy blew my face off. His own self-proclaimed “weird music” thundered from the sound system, engulfing everyone present in enormous amounts of sub bass and ridiculous bass lines. His music gets down and dirty and he’s got the dance moves to go along with it. I was lucky enough to secure an interview with MartyParty at Imagine (time permitting) so stay tuned here for some words with the man himself after the festival.
This is a new artist for me to see. For years I’ve wanted to see G Jones and literally EVERY person I’ve talked too who’s seen him has said his set is not to be missed. I haven’t had the opportunity to see him until now and I can’t wait. Known for his weird, glitchy beats, G Jones has been slaying festivals everywhere. With a recent release with Bassnectar and new side project with DJ Shadow, it seems G Jones is unstoppable. I’ve heard a lot of hype about this young festival slayer and I’m psyched to heard what all the hype is about.
Tipper w/Android Jones
After having his set brutally torn from me at the Mudson Project, there’s been a hole in my soul that hasn’t been able to be filled until I see Tipper. It was going to be my first time and the extreme excitement followed by crushing disappointment (and rain) was almost too much to handle. But then Imagine Fest came to the rescue, booking Tipper with his INSANE visual artist Android Jones. The king of glitch is sure to take us all on a crazy trip to holy shitsville and my excitement level is quite high.
iLL Gates v.s. KJ Sawka
This one should definitely be interesting. The two Ableton wizards have been on tour together doing head to head MIDI fighter battles. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, essentially they will be performing by finger drumming (or stick drumming) on what I assume is a clip launcher of some sort such as a MIDI fighter or other type of Launchpad. I can’t confirm the details but I imagine they will take turns composing or performing songs live on the spot, putting their finger drumming skills to the test. This type of performance is unique and I’m excited to hear it in action.