Sonic Bloom 2014-American Safari Ranch
My favorite part about music festivals is discovering new artists to incorporate into my daily repertoire of jams. While I was beyond stoked for some of my highly anticipated favorites like Opiuo, the reigning king of future funk, Kalya Scintilla’s sweaty tribal inspired bass, or Tipper’s careful dissection and rearrangement of the contents of my brain with the scratching mastery of a surgeon, these were all very predictable (and immensely enjoyed) highlights of my weekend. My most authentic musical experiences of Sonic Bloom came from the unexpected sets and unfamiliar artists that I have not had the chance to fully explore and appreciate. Whether the artists were newer cats on the scene or seasoned veterans to which I simply hadn’t yet been exposed, I came back from Bloom with an inspired and expanded understanding of some of the dopest jams to ever rattle my eardrums.
1. Mr. Bill
Okay, Mr. Bill is certainly no newcomer on the scene. Prior to Bloom I was familiar with Mr. Bill’s status as a veteran of the rich Australian glitch movement. My expectations were absolutely blown out of the water after, what was easily, my favorite set of the weekend. Late Sunday night in the middle of the dusty and heavy vibin’ coDome audience, I found myself wondering how something so unconventionally melodic can get a crowd moving so hard. Mr. Bill’s heavy bass lines, break beat switches and a cornucopia of strange tunes and tones meld together into an unpredictably perfect stew of glitch perfection.
Mr. Bill will be holding down the Souls Rising EDM stage at Arise Music Festival August 8-10th this year in Loveland, CO for what will surely be another set not to miss.
2. The Librarian
I took a leap of faith on Friday night as we left Tipper’s downtempo set in search of something to get my booty shaking a bit more. We encountered what I quickly realized to be one of the baddest bitches of bass, Andrea Graham, throwing down a super sexy low-end set that had me floating on a cloud of sweet, sweet ghetto booty bass. The Librarian’s nuanced, sexy bass stood out from the overtly raw and in your face bass that tends to dominate the scene. Her riddim inspired jams and seriously hard drops that got the crowd moving for one of the greatest booty bass grooves of the weekend.
The Librarian is also a founding organizer of Bass Coast and will be playing this August 1-4th in Merritt, British Columbia.
If you know me, you know that I am a serious sucker for smooth psychedelic dubby sounds that seem more likely to be alien transmissions than creations from the human kind. When I cruised over to Sixis’s midday Friday set, I didn’t know much about his music and was just looking for a solid warm-up for the stacked schedule with the future glitch goodness of kLL sMTH, Fort Knox Five and then onto the highly anticipated psychedelic trance-inspired Aussie master Whitebear. But when I got to the dusty coDome, I was totally blown away by Sixis’s melodic, spacious and layered sounds. In an increasingly saturated psy-bass scene, Sixis stood out with his consciously more minimal, understated approach to interplanetary auditory travel. Sixis created intricate, imaginative soundscapes that resonated in my ears for the rest of the weekend.
Up next, Sixis will be playing at Stilldream Festival in Belden, California July 31st- August 4th.
If you don’t know of Defunk yet, you better educate yourself! Canada native Defunk dropped one of the funkiest sets of the weekend for a serious dance party in the coDome late Saturday afternoon. Addicting hooks, glitchy breaks, and inspired retro influences drive his music in a future forward way. Collaborations with soulful female vocalists and looping guitarist Sam Klass gives Defunk’s glitchy tunes a sense of soulful authenticity.
Catch Defunk at the Valhalla Sound Circus this Thursday, July 3rd in Quebec.
5. The Malah
Live electronic artists The Malah brought their A-game to wrap up the first evening of Bloom in a most epic fashion. Intricate, precise guitar licks and organic high-energy rhythms create a driven sound that got the coDome moving and grooving along properly. I thought their jam-inspired approach was a refreshing addition to Bloom’s bass heavy lineup, and by the infectious buzz from the crowd on Thursday night I’m certain they all agreed.
The Malah doesn’t have any immediate shows coming up but the Denver-local band is surely not one to miss when they come through your town.