Category - Feature

Euphoria Music Festival Returns in 2017

Euphoria Music Festival 2017

Euphoria Music Festival, produced by Vivid Sound Entertainment, returns to Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas April 6-9, 2017. Euphoria 2017 will mark the fourth consecutive year at Carson Creek Ranch, and the sixth year overall for the event. Last year’s event saw a record-setting 50,000 fans in attendance, with musical acts such as Above & Beyond, Adventure Club, Bassnectar, Cherub, Crizzly, Dillon Francis, Eric Prydz, Pretty Lights, STS9, and more.

In response to fan feedback, the festival producers claim that they are improving the camping experience by making it easier to camp in groups, decreased wait times for entrance, and improved shuttle service. Additionally, Euphoria is continuing its partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful. The partnership is part of a green initiative titled “Ecophoria,” which aims to keep the area clean and green through river cleanups and additional programs that will be announced in the future.

A limited amount of Loyalty tickets will go on sale on Friday, August 12th at 10AM. A 3-Day general admission pass will cost $119, while a 3-Day pass with camping will cost $199. VIP “Fly Life” passes, which include preferred viewing areas, private bars, VIP restrooms and showers, concierge service, luggage drop off, and express entrance, start at $219 (without camping) or $349 with camping. The early entrance pass, which allows Wednesday access for up to 2500 fans, can be purchased for an additional $30. Additionally, financing options will be available for fans looking to pay for the ticket in installments.

Meet the Founders of Imagine Music Festival

Imagine Music Festival 2015

(pictured above, The Glitch Mob perform at Imagine Music Festival 2015)

Summer is in full swing and for music fans that also means Imagine Music Festival is just around the corner. Imagine Music Festival will be taking over the Atlanta Motor Way in Atlanta, GA August 26-28. The final lineup has been released and includes some big names like Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis, Excision, Steve Angello, Zeds Dead, The Disco Biscuits, Gramatik, Caspa B2B Rusko, The Bloody Beetroots, and many more artists. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, a range of options are available with General Admission tickets starting at $199 (plus taxes & fees).

Leading up to the festival, Dancebreak had the opportunity to talk to the founders of Iris Presents, Inc. and Imagine Music Festival, Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand. Continue reading below to get a look into what goes into planning Imagine Music Festival and what to expect at this year’s event. For clarity, Dancebreak comments are italicized, while responses from the founders are not.

You folks have been putting on events long before Imagine. How did you come to decide to create Imagine Music Festival?

We have been putting on events for over 20 years. The impetus behind creating Imagine started from a void of authenticity felt at other festivals. We felt that the experience was lacking and people were not being treated right.  For all of our events, our motto has always been “treat others as you would like them to treat you.” With this core value in mind, we sought to create a festival that was 100% customer-centric, maintained its integrity and had the thickest vibe possible.

Have either of you been involved with writing or creating music, or have you primarily been focused on putting on events?

Our primary focus is putting on events, however we also are passionate about helping develop local up and coming artists. By providing the highest quality production – our stage creates a platform like none other for local acts to practice and grow their fan base. We believe Atlanta has some of the best talent in the land and we are blessed to be able to showcase it.

What goes into creating something like Imagine? For patrons, it can seem like new festivals pop up rather quickly and without warning. What kind of work goes on behind the scenes leading up to a festival? How long was Imagine in the works before its debut?

A lot of blood, sweat, tears and more work than you can “imagine.”

What sets Imagine apart? Objectively speaking, it seems like you have gained quite a bit of recognition. But, at the ground level, what makes Imagine different? If you were to teleport someone to Imagine without telling them where they were, what sights and sounds would that person see that are unique to Imagine?

The biggest difference that you will feel is that we are one of the few remaining independent festivals. At Imagine you will experience a spectacle of aquatic themed performers; circus acts; transformational village; a colorful lineup with many gems to discover; and an incredibly positive vibe from both festival-goers and our staff.

Is IRIS primarily an Atlanta-based initiative? Are you involved with other events outside of the Atlanta area? If not, do you have aspirations to grow outside of the Atlanta area?

IRIS is currently based out of Atlanta, with most of our events happening in the area. We have been involved with almost every major EDM event to come through the city, since the nineties. It’s our home and therefore has been a great place for us to start. We are always looking for opportunities to expand and eventually would like to be an internationally recognized brand.

Are you primarily focused on dance music, or do you have other ventures unrelated to dance music that you’re involved in that you would like to share?

Our roots are in electronic music – it’s where we got our start and is what we know best. Music is always evolving however, and we will evolve with the music. That being said we have some other projects in the works that would open us up to experimenting with other genres and new experiences.

Dance music used to be more of a counterculture idea; the artists, patrons, and enthusiasts tended to be more on the fringe of what society considered “normal.” Yet these days, it’s everywhere. In your opinion, what caused that change? Did dance music become more “normal” or did society become more “weird?”

At its core, the scene was always about the music and gathering together for the music, the love, the party, and the knowledge. Dance music makes you feel good and creates an environment free of judgment where you could express yourself. I wouldn’t say that the participants were not normal, some were perhaps the most ordinary of people looking for an escape from their everyday lives. It’s hard not to like electronic music as it can be very uplifting. It was only a matter of time for the mass-market to catch on – we believe the internet and social media perhaps played the biggest role in lifting the music out of the underground. It simply became easier for more people to connect and share a common love for the music.

Has this changed the way you plan, promote, and throw events at all?

To keep some of our old school flavor, we still employ some traditional promotional methods, but Social Media sure has made getting the word out much easier.

What challenges has the commercialization of dance music presented for you guys? How have you benefited?

Most promoters will agree that skyrocketing DJ rates has created the biggest challenge for festivals. Now there is a larger market out there opening our events up to more people, but there is still a great deal of risk involved.

To wrap things up, can you comment on what patrons can expect for this year’s Imagine? What’s something that a returning Imagine fan can look forward to? What about someone who is coming to Imagine for the first time?

At the end of last year’s show, we took to the stage and promised everyone that things would only get bigger and better – and that still holds true. From a bigger lineup, more performers, more days, bigger venue with camping – there is a lot to look forward to this year. For someone coming to Imagine for the first time, we hope they feel the same energy and love that was felt by every first-timer before them.

Thank you for your time, we look forward to seeing you all at Imagine Music Festival this August!

Sunset Music Festival 2016: Artist Preview

Sunset Music Festival is just around the corner (make sure to get your tickets!) and with that in mind, we wanted to let our readers know of artists that we’re excited to see. This year’s lineup is pretty star-studded with the likes of The Chainsmokers, Jack U, Galantis, Hardwell, and other big names. However, we like to shed light on some of the lesser known artists that are busy making fresh waves in the ocean of music. If you don’t already know about these artists, make sure to keep an eye out for them as their following only gets larger.

Team EZY

LA-based Team EZY AKA Drew Gold spent the last five years touring with Skrillex in various management roles. His debut single (Pretty Bye Bye) released earlier this year was a collaboration with Skrillex. Now he’s starting his own artist venture and Sunset Music Festival is one of his first stops. His music style ranges from chill and liquid to hard and raw. The influence from Skrillex and OWSLA on his music style is evident, yet he still brings his own special touch that brings his bass music to life.

Lost Kings

This duo consisting of Robert Gainley and Dr. No have been blazing their trail through the dance music scene over the last year, most recently inking a deal with Spinnin’. These make some really fun music and seem like they really know how to have a good time on stage.

Jai Wolf

Jai Wolf has been making moves in the dance world lately, having done official work for Alesso, Dirty South, ODESZA, and more. His style brings in hip-hop, pop, and bass elements, resulting in some smooth and euphoric tunes that fill the room and capture the moment. His remixes of Miss U, Heroes, and Say My Name are all great examples of his ability to take a popular song and put his unique feel-good spin on it.

Vanic

British Columbia native Vanic AKA Jesse Hughes has been absolutely crushing the bass music scene. With a wide selection of originals and remixes, his style is a nice balance of rowdy and euphoric. Vanic knows how to bring the party atmosphere, so definitely check out his set at SMF!

Louis the Child

This duo hailing from Chicago says their goal is to make music that makes people happy. With releases on Skrillex’s label OWSLA, the two have enjoyed widespread critical acclaim with their single “It’s Strange” having been featured on popular radio shows like BBC and Triple J. The two set the atmosphere with their chill bass beats.

Bonus: Claude VonStroke

Ok, so Claude VonStroke is not up-and-coming by any means, but he really needed his own little shout-out. He has been a dominate force in the house music scene for over ten years. This is one of those artists that knows how to produce, but if you ask me, he really shines while on the decks. His technical skills when it comes to DJing will leave you floored. His set will undoubtedly get the feet moving!

p0gman Talks Dubstep & More in Interview

p0gman

Dancebreak recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dubstep legend p0gman. Hailing from Wolverhampton, UK, p0gman brought the bass to Electronic Tuesday at the Cervante Ballroom in Denver, CO.

Dancebreak commentary is in italics, while commentary from p0gman is in normal text.

Where did you just come from?

What I’ve been doing is spending all of my downtime in LA. I just did Boston, Detroit, here now, back to LA tomorrow, Friday I go to Bloomington, Saturday I go to New York, then I go to Toronto for a week, stay with some friends, then I play Toronto, Chicago, then I go home. It should have been a much longer tour, but we had some visa problems, I had to cancel seven shows, it was fucked, but at least it got sorted in the end.

How did you get into dubstep?

I used to be into death metal, I used to be in a death metal band for three years but the whole time my brothers and cousins were listening to garage music, drum and bass, stuff that I hated at first but the one thing that I really liked was bass lines. Then a couple years later, one of my friends came down, who was also in a death metal band, who was into dubstep, and he showed me “Diary of an Afro Warrior”  which was Benga’s first album (2008)… and then I was like, “what the fuck is this?” ‘Cause it was just all bass lines, so I really, really liked it. So I started to get into it more, then the band split up and I just wanted to carry on in music and I thought I could do something solo instead of carrying on in a band. I challenged dubstep and it flourished from there.

Did you teach yourself?

No, I went to uni for five years. I started to self teach myself, but then, it was kinda like, I was doing things that kinda sounded good and I was so wrong, so I went to uni to get the technical side of everything, I studied Music Tech at uni. I came out of uni and got signed to a label, the last four years has been up and up!

How long have you been producing?

I started in late 2010. Made an EP in 2011, that’s when I found my sound. So six years, time is flying!

When you found your sound was it [an ah-ha moment?]

I was really into the deeper side from listening to Benga and stuff like that, and then SkreamMalaHorsepower, all the originals. That was all the heavy stuff that I was really about. Then Caspa and Rusko released Fabriclive.37 (2008), then I was like “Shit, this is the sort of music I want to make!” But I still wanted to [meet] kind of in the middle. So that was where that wobbly sound kind of came. Then just kept pushing it from there. My sound has evolved a lot now, it’s a lot heavier than it used to be, but I still got that P0gman sound. No matter how heavy I go, people still know it’s P0gman. I am still trying to evolve with the sound because I want to keep relevant to trends and stuff like that, so I try to keep it as fresh as I can.

Do you find it difficult to keep up with the trends?

New styles are coming out all the time, there are certain things that hit me, and I’m like, “that’s sick! That’s where I want to take my sound but keep my element.” The sound that’s the rage at the moment is that Never Say Die sort of sound, so I am reeaaally about that. Disciple are really pushing it as well, and I have had relations with both of those guys, so they are supporting what we’re doing as well. Trying to take it to that next level. So, yea, Never Say Die is a big influence at the moment. All those guys are just fucking killing it.

How did you come up with your name?

After I made my first song, I was sitting around with one of my oldest friends, and if I was going to start producing I needed a name. I wanted to have something that was not so serious but not so stupid at the same time. Do you remember pogs (aka milk caps game)? I just loved pogs, as a kid, so I said fuck, I’ll be called “p0gman,” the character was called pogman, and so I’ll probably get sued one day, until then it’s ok… I put a number in it for some reason, because it was cool.

We recently just rebranded everything, that went really good [sic]. (The number 0 has been modified with a large “X” overlaid on top). I got myself a new manager about eight months back, and that guy’s killing it as well, so it’s really good. The zero thing ended up paying off.

Is there a particular track that makes your set or do you feel that there is a particular influence in your set?

Well, the thing I have tried to do on this tour, is because obviously I am really enjoying that new sort of sound, the Never Say Die stuff. A few years ago I wouldn’t have really played that stuff because it was too heavy for my style. But now, on this tour what I’ve tried to do on this tracklist is from straight down to the old school riddimy sound that I use to make straight through Skrillex [and new released] tracks, just trying to cover the whole board. I am really enjoying it ’cause I think as dubstep has come along, it’s become much more energetic. So you need to keep that energy in longer sets and that’s where that new sort of style helps because it’s energetic as fuck.

There’s really not one sort of track, maybe the one I enjoy playing the most is “Wooboost” by Rusko, I fuckin love playing that track ’cause you can play it anywhere in the world and people just know it straight away, it’s nice to just put a little bit of that old school back in there… especially somewhere in Denver where I know, for a fact, every single person in the crowd is going to know that track.

What is your favorite venue or festival you have played at so far?

I played at Rampage in Belgium last year and that was fucking unbelievable, that was crazy. But I am also into the small intimate sort of venue, that’s why I really like Webster in New York, it’s got a nice crowd, Denver’s exactly the same. The reason I like these sort of crowds is that you guys are here to listen to the music and that’s what good about it, they really appreciate it. Sometimes it’s better to play to 200 people opposed to 2,000 people because I would rather play to 200 people where every single person is enjoying it, than 2,000 where you have people [completely immersed in the music] up front and the rest of the crowd is dormant. One of my favorites in the whole world is Perth, in Australia. I played a show at a place called Bassment, that was actually where I met my manager. It’s fucking unbelievable. There’s like 1,500-2,000 people there, but they are all about the music, so it’s like an intimate show on a bigger level. It’s fucking amazing, so sick. There are lots of places, the first time I played in LA, in Hollywood, it was my biggest show and it blew me away. As long as people are enjoying the show, I don’t care where I am playing to be honest.

Do you have a piece of advice you would give producers?

When I was telling guys at the clinic earlier, a big thing that changed my outlook on everything was I would work on a tune and get to a point where I fucking hated it ’cause I would listen to it so much. Then something clicked in my head, I was like, “well, I’ve listen to it for days, but nobody else in the whole world has heard this song.” So I started getting to the point where I was putting it on my Soundcloud to see what the reaction was like. Some of the songs that I didn’t necessarily think would do that well, ended up doing really fucking really, really well, so I think you really need to believe in what you’re doing. The beauty of music is that it is not wrong or right, just do what the fuck you want to do, and believe in what you want to put out. Don’t be worried to put something out if it’s a bit different because it could open a whole new fanbase that never liked you before. If you’ve got true fans as well, they will stick by you with whatever you do. Just keep pushing, keep fucking exploring the sound and everything, don’t worry about not putting something out because only a few people might like it, because yes, 10 people might think this is a bit different, but 100 people might think “this is fuckin sick!”

Sub.mission’s mission statement is to “move people through music not hype,” what is your mission?

My ultimate standard for everything is, if you believe [in yourself], you can get it no matter what. That’s what I did all the way through. I always said from day one, I am going to be on the big stage one day and I am going to be pushing my own records and it’s gonna happen. But I think if you’ve got enough passion and enough belief in yourself, you’ll fuckin do it, no matter what anybody tells you. If somebody tells you, you’re shitty, don’t even listen to that. That’s in any walk of life.

I tell myself every year, I set myself goals on what I want to achieve that year, sometimes it doesn’t happen, sometimes it does and you just gotta keep pursuing, to not be scared; just take a leap into something that you may not be that comfortable with. If you think it is going to progress you in the right way, then do it, definitely, fuck yea.

https://pro.beatport.com/artist/p0gman/195995/tracks

Panorama Music, Art, & Technology Festival 2016

Panorama Festival

The inaugural Panorama Music, Art, & Technology Festival makes its debut July 22-24 2016 at Randall’s Island Park, New York City (which is also home to the annual Electric Zoo and Governor’s Ball festivals). Expectations should be high, given that the event is presented by the same people behind Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, a national icon for festivals in the US. The lineup includes a diverse selection of Hip Hop, R&B, Dance, Music, Rock, and Indie Music, with artists like Arcade Fire, Major Lazer, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Classixx, Jai Wolf, AlunaGeorge, Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky, and many more.

In addition to the music and art installations, the festival’s media company, The Verge, have put together Future Lab, “an interactive, experiential installation that explores the possibilities of music and technology.” Tickets are already on sale with 3-day General Admission tickets going for $369 (fees included). VIP tickets are available for $769 (fees included), while limited General Admission single-day tickets are going for $125 (fees included). Make sure to check out the information page for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, travel information, rules, and more.

Euphoria Music Festival 2016: Lineup & Info

Euphoria Music Festival 2016 Lineup

Euphoria Music Festival returns to Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas for its 5th year. The event takes place from April 7th-10th and features artists like The Polish Ambassador, Bassnectar, Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond, Cherub, Dillon Francis, STS9, Jai Wolf, SNBRN, Wave Racer, Autograf, Break Science, GRiZ, Lettuce, Shiba San, The Motet, and many more.

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A range of ticket options are still available, including 3-day GA tickets ($159 + fees), 3-day VIP tickets ($249 + fees), single day tickets ($54 + fees). Unfortunately, GA camping tickets are currently sold out. There are other amenities available including tent and RV rentals and locker rentals.

Euphoria is an all-ages event. Children under 12 will receive free admission. Minors under 18 need to be accompanied by a legal guardian. For more information about Euphoria, make sure to check out the FAQ and travel information pages.

Okeechobee Music Festival is Here to Stay

Okeechobee Music Festival

Earlier this month, Okeechobee County hosted the inaugural Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival at Sunshine Grove. Fans that followed the coverage leading up to the festival would probably agree that there was a lot of hype to live up to. Before anyone knew much about Okeechobee, the festival was being promoted as a Coachella or Bonnaroo of sorts for Florida and the South East. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider that Paul Peck, a co-founder of Okeechobee Music Festival, is also credited as one of the masterminds behind Bonnaroo Music Festival. Comparing a first-time festival to well-established festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo certainly sets the bar high. If anyone had any doubts about whether or not Okeechobee would live up to the hype, I’m sure those doubts were long gone by the end of the weekend. The reaction from fans was one of resounding success. The first Okeechobee Music Festival was a smashing success and it’s here to stay.

The weekend kicked off on the night of Thursday, March 3, with Miami Beach High School’s marching jazz band kicking off a parade around the festival grounds. Thursday night was largely limited to small and local music acts, as headliners were booked specifically for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. Starting the festival with a local high school jazz band is an example of the great lengths that Paul Peck and crew took to curate an original festival—one that brings in big headliners like Mumford & Sons, Bassnectar, and Kendrick Lamar, while simultaneously enlisting the support of local musicians and artists. From the moment that I first arrived, it was very clear to me that Okeechobee was a festival created by musicians and artists for music and art enthusiasts. There were no cheap gimmicks, just a whole lot of passion, hard work, art and music. That notion becomes even clearer when you read about Paul Peck’s goals and ambitions, and what it takes to create a collaborative music festival.

One of the unique aspects of Okeechobee was the PoWow!. The PoWow! is a superstar collaboration that’s exclusive to Okeechobee. A host of talented artists from a range of genres share one of the main stages to create a special experience. This year, the PoWow! featured Miguel, Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Hall & Oates, Skrillex (performing on the guitar), and many more. Similarly, although not listed as an official PoWow!, the last night saw Mumford & Sons share the stage with The Avett Brothers, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. That collaborative mentality is so important because it highlights a critical aspect that a festival should celebrate: inclusivity. There are a number of festivals that attract tens of thousands of patrons and have great monetary success, but can feel insincere due to the emphasis placed on headliners and big ticket artists. Okeechobee felt very different; instead of focusing on individuals, it focused on the group experience, which is what festivals are really all about: sharing a weekend of music, dancing, and art with incredible people.

In addition to the music collaboration, there was a significant emphasis on the art experience. Okeechobee had a number of different themed stages and art installations: The Grove (main stage area), Aquachobee Beach, Yogachobee, ChobeeWobee Village, Jungle 51, Natarja Torana, and more. Of the themed areas, Jungle 51 was one of the most mesmerizing. Jungle 51 was located in the middle of a palm tree forest. A stage at the back of the forest was complemented by a crashed UFO and generous amounts of fog, lasers, and lights. Jungle 51 featured 12 hours of music per day: from 9PM to 9AM, every day. This is where the house and techno lovers would go to dance until the early hours of the morning. The non-stop music combined with the unique lighting created an atmosphere that allowed patrons to get lost in the music for hours.

The Natarja Torana stage also played a special role during the weekend, as the structure was built with help from Dancebreak contributors, as previously noted. The Natarja Torana stage was located near Aquachobee Beach, giving patrons the opportunity to stop and dance or just listen as they passed by.

After an experience like Okeechobee, it can be difficult to try to put together a list of top performances at the festival. The music was so carefully curated; many of the artists put on spectacular performances. Robert Plant brought some good old nostalgic classic rock. Medicine for the People brought the musical medicine. Bassnectar, per usual, got the crowd rowdy, as did RL Grime and Kill the Noise (who also decided to Rick Roll everyone). Classixx presented a smooth exploration of retro-sounding Nu Disco music. Lettuce and Lotus brought the jams, while Big Gigantic fused heavy-hitting dubstep with their usual jazz-infused music. Big Wild brought a dynamic performance with a range of different percussion instruments (check back here soon for our follow-up interview with Big Wild). Bonobo crafted an artful set that coincided with the setting sun. Big Grams provided an eclectic mix of hip hop and vocals. Personally, my favorite moment of the weekend was when Odesza rocked the crowd with cerebrally blissful music, followed up by the outstanding closing ceremony with Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Tom Morello (who absolutely shredded on the guitar), and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Overall, there was little to complain about at Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. From my experience, it was one of the most professional and well-organized festivals that I have been to. The festival suffered from some of the normal festival madness, like long waits for showers and the general store (at peak hours) and long wait times to leave the festival at the end of the weekend; all issues that are not unique to Okeechobee. Perhaps one of the only warranted gripes was the size of the stages. Okeechobee could certainly benefit from larger stages to accommodate a larger crowd next year, especially if they plan on growing. It certainly will be necessary, as I can only imagine that Okeechobee will have tremendous growth as word gets out of this incredible experience. Thank you Okeechobee and Okeechobeings, we hope to see you all next year!

Make sure to check out our photos from Okeechobee on our Facebook page!

Okeechobee 2016: Artist Preview

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival is just days away, so we wanted to give you a heads up for artists that we’re looking forward to seeing next week. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, make sure to take a look at the options so you don’t miss out. Also be sure to check out the full schedule so that you can plan ahead and catch all of your favorite artists.

When I first heard that a festival was coming to Okeechobee in 2016, I was curious, but hesitant. Long before any details were released, the festival was advertised as being comparable to Coachella or Bonnaroo. Combine that with the close proximity to my home, and I should have been much more excited. In fact, five years ago I would have been elated at the prospect of a festival in my backyard that’s comparable to two of the oldest and most respected mega festivals in the US. However, it’s 2016 and the reality is that the festival scene has become so saturated that it takes a lot more to get fans excited for a new festival, when fans already have a plethora to choose from. As details started to trickle to the public, my doubts about the festival slowly started eroding. What started as a solid first wave lineup only got better as the host announced more artists and revealed details about the venue. It became clear that Okeechobee was not set to be just another festival. We previously covered some of the sights to look forward to at Okeechobee, now let’s get down to the sounds to look forward to.

One of the aspects I am most excited for with Okeechobee is the diversity in music. My music preferences are slanted towards electronic genres, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating diversity in music. The first festival I ever went to was Camp Bisco and I fell in love with Bisco at the time. The appreciation of musical diversity that I experienced at Bisco is something that has stuck with me. As I mentioned, there’s no shortage of festivals for fans to choose from; it becomes very easy to find an event that heavily caters towards a specific genre. What’s harder is finding a festival that brings in the big headliners, while maintaining an eclectic mix of genres and artists. Enter Okeechobee.

Okeechobee has its share of festival headliners that are no strangers to the festival circuit: Mumford & Sons, Bassnectar, Skrillex, etc. I’m here to shed some light on some of the artists that aren’t necessarily on everyone’s immediate radar.

ODESZA

Ok, maybe ODESZA was already on your radar, but that’s a primary reason why I’m including them: ODESZA has been on my radar for far too long, without having the opportunity to see them live. ODESZA is an electronic duo hailing from Seattle, Washington. Their music is dynamic and eludes genre labels for that reason: Electronica, Indie, however you want to label it. Their music is often heavy on percussion and synthesizers, producing a euphoric and uplifting sound.

Big Wild

Big Wild is fresh off GRiZ’s 2015 tour as a supporting act. I guess you could say it was successful, because he’s already booked a headlining 2016 spring tour, with Okeechobee as his first stop. Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Big Wild produces some percussion-heavy music. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Jackson Stell, AKA Big Wild, is on the same list as ODESZA, given that the two acts are frequently compared by fans. It’s clear that Big Wild’s career is just taking off; you won’t want to miss this up-and-coming artist! Take note: Big Wild is scheduled to play Thursday night, which means that only patrons with a 4-day pass will be able to see his performance.

Big Grams (Big Boi + Phantogram)

I previously mentioned musical diversity as a motivating factor for my excitement for Okeechobee. Big Grams seems to embody this. Hip-hop legend Big Boi (half of Outkast) and electronic rock duo Phantogram seem like an unlikely combination of genres, yet the two acts combined make for some smooth listening. This is also one of those acts that puts on a select number of performances every year, making their Okeechobee performance that much more special.

RL Grime

RL Grime is no stranger to the festival circuit, surely due to his ability to command a crowd with his DJing skills, while also pumping out great polished productions. DJing and producing are very different skill sets, but out of necessity, producers have been forced to learn DJing and DJs have been forced to learn producing in order to stay relevant. Mastery of one skill does not necessarily translate to proficiency of the other. RL Grime, however, is one of those guys who has mastered both, which is one of the reasons why his shows are so much fun: he has a strong catalogue of originals and remixes, but is also able to seamlessly weave in other music. His ability to move between genres and tempos is impressive and makes for some engaging live performances.

Tom Morello (and Bassnectar? Or Skrillex?)

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine guitarist) was a late addition to the Okeechobee lineup and I couldn’t be more thrilled. He’s officially slated to perform a PoWoW with Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. That in itself will be a great performance, but what I’m really hopeful for is a performance with Bassnectar. Ever since Lorin Ashton (AKA Bassnectar) revealed last year that Morello had been working on electronic music projects with Knife Party, Bassnectar, and Skrillex, I’ve been praying for a Morello & Bassnectar performance. Seeing as Skrillex and Bassnectar, two artists that have previously worked in the studio with Morello, are booked for Okeechobee, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suspect that Morello might jump on stage with Bassnectar, Skrillex, or both. This is pure speculation and nothing official has been announced, but stranger things have happened.

Bonus: Nataraja Torana Stage

The Nataraja Torana Stage is an art installation stage located next to Aquachobee Beach and the Big Wheel (Ferris Wheel). I have to give a shout out, because it will feature some performances from Dancebreak contributors. Keep an eye out for:

Holyman

DropkicK

Bonesaw

Lukie Bee

An Interview with MARTyPARTy

Recently at Imagine Music Festival, Dancebreak had a chance to sit down with bass slangin South African goofball, MARTyPARTy. Fresh after his killer after-party set the night before and right before his daytime set, we had a chance to ask the man himself a few questions about himself and his music.

DB: We saw you at Electric Forest and you fucking crushed it. Was that your first time playing at Electric Forest and how was your experience?

MP: I arrived and my manager had rolled me a joint. We got stoned and rolled up to the [Jubilee] tent, and I had no idea where I was. I just got off the plane and was like ‘I dunno where I am’. I didn’t know what gig I was playing or what to expect. My manager was like ok let’s go and I was just like “fine okay let’s go play for this little hippie camp or whatever’ and when I walked out it was a GIANT purple fucking tent! And I’m a purple guy! So I was like is this a joke? So I went in and it was the most giant sound system I ever saw. There were like five people there. I started it up and it was the weirdest empty sound but then everyone started coming down that hill. By like the 5th song, that place was fucking packed. That place was packed for an hour. The production was insane.

DB: You said you’re a ‘purple guy’. What’s the origin of that?

MP: I mean, I dunno. I don’t know if it’s purple anymore. Everything’s just a movement for me. Now its red.

DB: Now it’s red?

MP: Yeah it’s my color.

DB: What type of mentality are you usually in when you write music?

MP: I like having fun with my music. I don’t like my music to get serious and all deep. I’ll listen to other people’s deep music. If I make deep music it takes me to sad times in my life, it brings it there, to my house. I’d rather make it lively and happy because I’m more that kind of guy when I’m hangin in my house or whatever. I make a song cause I’m like ‘WOO!! I just washed my car! I feel good! Let’s go make some music! Smoke weed’ ya know.

DB: So how would you describe the MartyParty experience?

MP: I think, you know there’s nobody else really doing what I do. I’m a really big fan of myself and I never really know what to expect when I get on stage. If anything, I’m dancing. I don’t really see a lot of people dancing these days just a lot of swaying back and forth. But yeah so I try to bring a lot of unique sounds, add a lot of interesting noise, and then the drops. Crazy dubstep. Weird crazy shit. So yeah, that’s the vibe.

DB: Hell yeah man. And you crush it at making that vibe.

MP: I’ve never heard anyone say it so well. I crush it at making that vibe, I like that.

DB: Does living in Florida influence the kind of music you make?

MP: Yeah man Florida’s all about their tropical music vibe, together with bass. I’m trying to get back to that. You’ll just be jamming out on the beach and some guy in the white supremacy and a four-wheel drive barrels past and you’re just like ‘whoa! You got to chill!’ It’s just so weird.

DB: So can you walk me through your live setup? When you’re performing live what do you have going on up there?

MP: I make all my tracks in Ableton. When I’m writing the tune I have maybe 20 to 30 tracks that I need to mix together. Then I edit the tune and render it. Then I load the full song into Ableton, all my tracks, hip hop acapellas, some one shot samples, some lazers, then I load it all onto a Trigger Finger so I can trigger them as I go. I keep just loading my new shit into the template and go. When I’m djing I use filters a lot. Throw in some acappellas. Give it a hip hop vibe. When I’m mixing songs I always just rely on my ears. I always test my songs on a bunch of different systems, like my Bluetooth speaker when I’m at the beach. I always ask myself “what does it REALLY sound like”. If it sounds good on my little Bluetooth speaker I know it’s done. I really aim for a full sound. It’s always full. When I’m writing music sometimes I feel like I’m getting really weird in a lab. Full experimentation.

DB: Occasionally you’ll link up with Ooah of The Glitch Mob and play as PantyRaid, how’s that going?

MP: Good man. He was here yesterday, we hung out on his bus, he came to my show.

DB: I was half expecting him to come out during the after-party for a surprise PantyRaid set.

MP: Yeah he was there and I was like “stand up!” and he was like nah cause he’s with the Glitch Mob you know? He doesn’t want to confuse people. He’s on the Glitch Mob tour right now. We’re like ‘whatever’ cause were just dudes you know? We don’t really care but you got to please the crowd dynamic. This music scene is like a giant ship. Even when you pump the brakes it takes twenty years for change to happen. So you can’t really influence it that much you just got to go along with the biggest swell. With yourself, with your own character, but it’s gonna take a long time. We want to do PantyRaid next year, but we want it to be a special thing. When you buy a ticket we want you to be stoked. We don’t people to be like ‘should we go? I dunno.’ We want people to be like ‘DAMMN LETS GO!’.

DB: So what’s in the future for MartyParty?

MP: I think I want to open a club in Miami sometime next year. I’m probably going to play every week, with guests. I’m going to have everyone play with me. It’s gonna be some real shit.

Until next time MARTyPARTy!

Imagine Music Festival 2015: The Aftermath

Imagine 2015

The weekend of August 30th and 31st has come and went and the second annual Imagine Music Festival is officially in the books, and what a weekend it was. There was incredible music, amazing vibes, tons of friendship and good times were had by all. I was curious to see how the festival would handle the increase in the crowd’s size that would be inevitable as a result of the stacked lineup, and as a whole it was handled very well. I’ll review all the acts I saw over the course of the weekend as well as the positives and negatives of the festival I experienced (not that there were many negatives but there were a few).

First off a disclaimer to all those reading this: I am a bass head to the core. I live for those gnarly crushing bass lines that smack you in the chest and make your face contort as if it were hit by a sledgehammer. I live for unique and original sounds, concepts, and rhythmic patterns, anything that catches me off guard and keeps me on my toes. So with every festival I attend that’s what I hunt for. If you’re looking for reviews of Morgan Page or Dada Life you can just stop reading this article now. I respect house artists and what they do, but I can listen to approximately 6 seconds of four on the floor music until I’m too bored to deal with it. SO without further ado, my weekend went a little something like this:

We arrived at the festival just in time to catch the up-and-coming melodic bass producer Illenium. I had heard some good things about the young gun so I thought I’d check him out. He wasn’t disappointing necessarily but I was very far from impressed. The all too familiar major chord progressions over basic bass lines left much to be desired. His tunes were pretty, sure, but he didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. Using a drum pad to add some percussive elements to his set was a nice touch, but it wasn’t enough to make it memorable. Followed by Illenium was the trap king Buku. Having opened for Buku myself as well as seeing him at last year’s Imagine Festival, his sound was very familiar to me, yet still very get-down worthy. His fat beats and fun synth lines always make Buku shows a good time and I was not disappointed with what he brought to the table, despite it being an early set.

Then came iLL.Gates vs. KJ Sawka and this is where it starts getting real good. ill.Gates kicked things off with the most absurd mash up I’ve ever heard of, his tune I’m Eel, Ice by Corporate, and a slew of other epic bangers perfectly stitched together to make everyone in the crowd effectively lose their shit. ill.Gates continued to bring massive amounts of heat including his super epic remix of Monkey Crunk by Opiuo, as well as some unreleased bangers that left multiple faces lying in a puddle on the floor. KJ Sawka was decent but trying to battle ill.Gates is like trying to battle Yoda in a light saber battle, you just stand no chance. ill.Gates is a certified Ableton instructor, mentor to Bassnectar, conductor of the fattest beats, and just an overall genius. KJ Sawka is an incredible drummer and as a member of Destroid is the single greatest at what he does, but directly next to ill.Gates his set seemed sloppy and unimpressive. Had he been his own separate set he would have been more appreciated for what he was doing, but side by side with the Phat Conductor just left me feeling like I wanted an all ill.Gates set and KJ Sawka should stick to what he’s best at which is being an epic drummer.

G Jones was nothing short of epic. He was one of my top acts to see and not only did he meet my expectations, he surpassed them. Hearing G Jones on a great sound system really allowed appreciating the genius of the young producer. You could really hear every subtle detail in his productions, the epic vocal panning, and experimentations with reverbs, crazy delays. Despite the speakers only being in front of us, it sounded like his music was coming from every direction. Listening from the mindset of a fellow producer, it really felt like getting to hear a master at work. The future is incredibly bright for G Jones and I can’t wait to see him again. Following G Jones was the always-incredible Griz. With the sun setting in the background lighting up the sky a brilliant orange hue, the moment couldn’t have been more perfect. Griz played the perfect collection of soulful sax-filled tunes and crushing bass bangers that had everyone in the crowd getting their boogie on. It was one of the more magical moments that life has to offer and it was amazing to share it with so many other people.

After Griz ended we made our way over to Shpongle, mostly just in anticipation of Tipper. Despite never really knowing what exactly is going on during a Shpongle set, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The lasers on the Amazonia stage were on point and watching how different people dance to Shpongle is massively entertaining. As Shpongle was coming to a close we steadily crept into an ideal spot for Tipper and Android Jones. If you’ve never heard Tipper’s music on a great sound system before, it’s something you should do if you ever get the opportunity. I truly believe everyone should attend at least one Tipper set in his or her life if anything to appreciate the genius that is Dave Tipper. The man is the king of glitch hop, a sonic wizard. The dude makes sounds that are so out of this world and hearing them on a big sound system really accents all the subtle details that makes his music what it is. Android Jones’ visuals were nothing short of incredible. The man is a true artist and it was a distinct honor to get to experience the combined genius of Tipper and Android Jones to close out day one of the festival.

Continued below.

 

Day 2 for us started with the representatives from the Pretty Lights Music label Eliot Lipp and Paul Basic. Both playing their signature hip hop beats and original music, which was a great way to get day two started. After Paul Basic, we left for our interview with MartyParty (full interview to come soon) and then rejoined the festivities. Here is one of the few moments in which Imagine could have done better. Lil Jon had to cancel his set due to health concerns and as a result all of the sets on the Oceania stage were moved back an hour and there was no notice whatsoever. There was no email or announcement of any kind informing the patrons of the schedule change and as a result there was massive amounts of confusion. We were very excited to see 12th Planet but thanks to the unannounced schedule his set was moved to the same time as MartyParty’s so we had to skip 12th Planet. Luckily he played at the afterparty so it actually worked out. MartyParty’s set was a great time, playing some of his signature tunes like Greedy and V8 and just slamming the crowd with his crushing bass lines.

Once MartyParty had finished playing he came out into the crowd and jammed out to Papadosio with us. Papadosio absolutely crushed their set. I have seen them a few times before but this was definitely the best Papadosio set I have seen to date. They debuted one of their new songs for us and it was absolutely incredible. I highly recommend seeing Papadosio if you get the chance. Crizzly absolutely blew me away. Another act I’ve seen a few times before but also the best time I’ve seen him. Something about Imagine Festival brings out the best in artists I guess. His mixing skills were so on point and the transitions were flawless. His blend of hip hop and grimy dubstep is unique and satisfying to a wide range of people. Datsik brought the heat too, playing banger after banger to close out the festival. With fireworks shooting off from the main stage and Datsik hitting us with wave after wave of heavy bass music, it was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

The only other negative note I have is that the festival ran out of water towards the end of the second day, which obviously posed a huge safety hazard for those in attendance. Hydration is incredibly important and not having water available exposes the festival to potential lawsuits if anyone were to suffer dehydration to the point where hospitalization was necessary. So for next year as long as they ensure they have enough water for everyone and keep those in attendance well informed of any changes in the schedule, I think they’ll have a perfect festival on their hands.