Archive for ana sia

NEW ANA SIA MIX on Savage Future Radio

Posted in Females in the Arts, LISTEN TO THIS with tags , , on August 18, 2010 by worldromper

It’s been a minute since Ana Sia put out a mix, so I am stoked about this new one, recorded for Savage Future Radio on GlitchFM that will light up your glitch factor and smoke it. It’s labeled under: “Yes, I like/love/want/need bass music in my life, stop teasing me and pour that sweet, sweet nectar in my mouth gotdammit.”

CLICK HERE to hop over to Savage Future Radio and go to the mix – it will be available for download here one week only!

We Made Love at Lucent L’amour

Posted in Festivals, From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by worldromper

“I’ve never been to anything like this before in my life!!!”

That was just one of the many positive exclamations I heard from partygoers who were blown away by The Do Lab‘s signature event, the art and music festival and celebration of love known as Lucent L’amour.

Continue reading

LOOK AT THIS STUPID LINEUP: Chinese New Year in SF

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by worldromper

Just try and read this lineup for February 5 without getting all tight in the pants:

  • OOah
  • Krazy Baldhead
  • 16Bit
  • Jazzsteppa
  • Kraddy
  • Deru
  • R/D
  • Ana Sia
  • an-ten-nae
  • Dov
  • David Starfire
  • Heyoka
  • Spit Brothers
  • Ripple
  • Little John
  • Brother
  • Laura
  • Roommate
  • Rastatronics
  • JSuave
  • Mozaic
  • Shawna
  • Stridah
  • Nanda
  • Timonkey
  • Digital Honey
  • Dub Pirates
  • Clorophil

Before you start crying because this party is in San Francisco at 103 Harriet Street and you’re not, just remember that it’s just a six hour drive from LA, a mere hop, skip and a jump away. Growing up in Texas gave me a distorted sense of distance and anything less than an eight hour drive is cheesecake!

Chinese New Year: Year of the Tiger (presented by an-ten-nae and Raindance) will also feature a midnight procession with the White Crane Lion dancers, a dragon dance, mask and tail making, live art and the Omshantea Tea Lounge. And probably some hippies.

For more information please visit an-ten-nae.net or the Facebook event page here.

*THIS JUST IN* A small number of $15 presale tickets are available here.

Sea of Dreams: New Years Eve in San Francisco

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by worldromper

Sea of Dreams

For New Year’s Eve I headed north to San Francisco for the 10th Annual Sea of Dreams, which in my musical opinion had the best lineup of any NYE party in North America, and possibly the world. I know there are some people seemingly stuck on the rivalry between SF and LA, but I love both cities. Each metropolis has its own unique energy and colorful style, and each underground electronic music community has a distinct flavor. For San Francisco it is the taste of a crunchy rainbow, of a slap-happy trip into psychedelica and I was stoked for a change of pace as well as for the road trip up the 101.

Entrance to Sea of Dreams

Getting in to Sea of Dreams was a breeze; they had amusement park-type lines separated in stacks for the rush of revelers and plenty of gate employees, a welcome relief for anyone who has ever stood in a party line for an hour or more in the cold. I would like to see all promoters of large events enact this entry system. Bravo.

Once inside I quickly sunk into the heady vibe of the party; rave ON. The San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center was huge! Soaring ceilings added a cathedral-like atmosphere to the venue and necks craned upward to try and take in the whole of the sacred space.

That’s why I was there- to worship at the altar of dance. Today we create our own temples of the sacred with our people and our energy, and the divine nature of play was on full display this holiday night, elevated to new heights in the tall venue. Stretching wide was plenty of open space to run around and jump in, to go nomad and wander the playground like a gypsy. The coat check line was way too long for me so I shoved my coat down into a flower pot and forgot about it until 5AM.

The Do LaB Stage- Can you find the DJ?

I was immediately drawn to The Do LaB stage, with a giant bright green and brown tree that snaked its way up the side of the lobby, growing into the ceiling with branches that overhung our bouncing heads and dripped ripe red teardrop-fruit over the dance floor.

Hot Chicks

Like a Keebler Elf making bass biscuits, the DJ was entrenched in the tree trunk. The dance floor, though not the smallest of the venue, was the most intimate, more organic and set down in a notch. It was like a little wooded knoll, with a staircase in back leading up to the Silent Disco, providing a balcony for looky-loos. In the middle of the dance floor was a big box where girls, and some guys, were dancing and strutting around, a talent they have trained to the teeth in San Francisco. Strut Francisco.

Despite the sound which seemed a little too quiet for a Funktion One, The Do LaB stage was my favorite of the night and where I began and ended my evening, journeying out and then returning to my grotto-home under the leaves. Dee was playing when I first arrived, then soon Ana Sia took over and delivered juicy jams until the midnight countdown. Everyone shook off the old year like a disturbing dream and dove into 2010. Hooray for new beginnings!

Cirqularious Aerialists

In the middle of the giant venue were three more stages: the Lunasea Stage, the Hookahdome and a smaller Circus Stage from which aerialists performed their limber daredevil acts above the crowd, of which I caught a bit of Cirqularious. The Lunasea Stage, the larger of the three, continued after midnight with lineup of the Glitch Mob, Ghostland Observatory and EOTO- not bad!

Lunasea Stage, The Glitch Mob

For the Glitch Mob I was right up front and to the right in a throbbing mess of sweaty, screaming bodies and one would-be bag thief who I punked in the act. The Glitch Mob, maybe not as brassy as in the past, played a hard-hitting set with a nice slice of new tracks and some old favorites as well. Near the end of their set, a thick sheet of wind blew out from the stage, throwing onto the dance floor a million pieces of ticker-tape from the midnight balloon drop and other assorted trash along with a fat slap of cool air. We cheered.

Pathway with Temple

On the next stage over Ozomatli was destroying shit with wild abandon, I moved around a bit but found myself returning to the Glitch Mob stage. All around the venue were lounges and places to chill, stairs to climb and goon out over the dance floor, a Silent Disco up top (which I skipped), shitty $5 pizza (for the empty stomach), $10 mixed drinks (I bought one and promptly dropped it on the dance floor), and hippie-

Mountain over Lunasea Stage

paraphernalia vendors including my good friend Raja from Seattle who I was very excited to bump into- you probably know him as The Hologram Man, and his art booth is always more of a party than a sales floor. Next to a tea house was one of the ornate temples from Symbiosis Gathering, and bejeweled bodies decked out in velvet and satiny materials hung from the ceiling, twisted and sparkling.

Further decorating the venue besides those glorious stacks of speakers were huge, 30′ tall glowing paper lanterns lit with lasers, undersea motifs like fish and sea floor drudge, and soaring above the center was a mountain made of white strips of material and dusted with visual stimuli. The affect was really neat and encompassing (at one point I swear I was looking at a real mountain) and made you forget that you were in some sterile convention hall completely.

The flow of the party was fantastic- I think a lot of promoters overlook this and their shows resemble fruit basket turnovers with no cohesive fluidity to the performers or the tempos. But Sea of Dreams staggered the stages them beautifully, allowing each area to rest a bit like a fallow field between artists and dispersing the crowd to check out other acts.

Galaxea Stage, Bassnectar

After the Glitch Mob, Bassnectar went on at the giant Galaxea Stage in the East Hall, whose dance floor was lorded over by immense taloned rockets poised to drill down into the crowd, changing colors every second with the beats. I headed to the back of the crowd in front of the sound guys for a change of pace from the frontline of the Glitch Mob.

Feathers? Headbands? In San Francisco? Weird

Bassnectar slammed our faces off, as usual. His sets seem to lean a certain direction, depending on whether he is playing outside or inside. His outside sets are more trippy and wandering, and his inside sets are more brutally slamming and, dare I say it- curved to appeal to more mainstream audience members who would probably not trek to a festival, but might buy a ticket to a city show.

I love Bassnectar, for the record. I always enjoy his sets and his is the only music that has ever inspired me to rip my clothes off on the dance floor. However sometimes I think that Bassnectar plays too little Bassnectar, oddly enough. If I wanted to hear “More Human Than Human” I would go back to high school and kill myself. But I did want to hear new tracks from Cozza Frenzy and his Pixies remix which he delivered, and I stood in the back and danced my little heart out. With my clothes on.

Lunasea Stage, EOTO

On the neighboring stage Ghostland Observatory was playing and I was bouncing back and forth a bit, but then EOTO came on. WOW these two guys get my prize for best act of the night. EOTO was doing amazing things with a drum kit and live electronics on a small raised platform in the front of the room and people were freaking out. There is dancing, and then there is freaking out. EOTO was just JAMMIN, playing a super high energy set, and the crowd was also super high so shit was really working out. They were just grinding the sound out, and I was pulled into the performance and could almost not walk away.

Lovers in front of Silent Disco, looking down on The Do Lab Stage

But I did, back over to the East Stage where Random Rab was elegantly dreaming up a new musical story and Andrew Jones was creating his magic electronic art. This one act alone would be enough to call me out for an evening. In the Hookahdome, a smaller and more enclosed stage, more room-like and sweaty and dirty was playing (of course) some juicy dubstep out of Jef Stott.

Making my way back to The Do Lab stage, Lowriderz featuring an-ten-nae and Laura had the crowd popping and Shawna took over the reins from there. We continued to dance until 5AM when we spilled out into the first early-morning air of 2010, taking deep breaths of the next decade, which stretched out before us in unknown paths- which are the best kind, of course.

Thank you beautiful party people freaks!

Thank you Sea of Dreams. Like any large-scale party there was a fair share of pushing in the hot crowds, but the cool open space of the venue calmed things down between stages and provided plenty of room to roam. I heard people comment that they thought the ticket price was well worth the show- a rarity when everyone is so damn broke these days.

Sea of Dreams had soul. I am careful about which massives I go to as many are just artfully designed money-making machines that throw up some lasers and sound, invite a couple thousand people and call it good. And it is good. But to be a great party, the promoters must care about the entire experience and the vibe produced by the artists and the crowd; you can feel it when it’s there. Sea of Dreams had it, and I entered into 2010 with some of the freshest new sounds of the impending decade bouncing in my brain. I have a renewed appreciation for life here on the West Coast as well as for my international electronic music community, and have a feeling that I will be making the short journey between LA and San Francisco far more often in the years to come.

10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WEEK

Posted in 10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by worldromper

DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, Signs of the Apocalypse, you know…

In no order, and I am going to update this once a week-ish:

  1. Jazzsteppa
  2. Asura
  3. Jega
  4. The Builder
  5. Kether
  6. Gaslamp Killer
  7. OOah
  8. Ana Sia
  9. Pressha
  10. Eskmo

Photo by Sequoiaemmanuelle

I AM A LASER DEC 10: DERU & ANA SIA

Posted in Events, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by worldromper

***all photos by the amazing Curious Josh***

I AM A LASER returns to the Club Nokia Mezzanine Bar on Thursday, December 10 with two of my favorite beat tweakers (and I am really excited about this):

DERU

and

ANA SIA

For $5 entry all night, just RSVP at rsvp@iamalaser.com with your full name and those of your friends coming with you; otherwise it’s $10.

I AM A LASER is a post-Downtown LA Art Walk night of future culture celebration at the swank Club Nokia Mezzanine Bar that brings together wanderers, live painting and visual arts, and copious amounts of bass heavy glitch, dubstep, electro, urban hip hop, indie and gypsy. I AM A LASER is about cutting-edge exploration and expression, no matter what community you call home.

Also on the lineup: L. Croskey, and doing live painting will be Michael Pukac of Think Space Gallery  and from Cannibal Flower, John Park:

More art from last month (and you can read my review here):

Another great shot from last month of R/D & the dance floor:

Please go to IAMALASER.com for artist bios and more information; for parking by Club Nokia, don’t pay $20- drive a block or so away and there are heaps of parking lots for $5.

See you on the dance floor!

***all photos by the amazing Curious Josh***

Shilo’s December Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by worldromper

HOLY FRICKIN’ HOLIDAZE I can’t believe 2009 is almost gone. This time last year, I wasn’t even considering moving to LA. And yet here I am now, smack in the middle of the most creative and exciting underground electronic scene in the world!

December is always party season, and this year is no exception. I keep this post updated and added to throughout the month and you can find it by looking in the right-hand column on my main page under “Shilo’s Event Calendar.”

  • Dec 2: Low End Theory Family Reunion w/Gaslamp Killer, Daddy Kev, Nobody, Nocando + special guests TBA
  • Dec 3: The Do Lab presents Solvent, Michna & Kether at King King
  • Dec 3: Respect presents Genr8 & Kuru
  • Dec 4: Culprit & Throne of Blood presents DJ Kaos, Soul Clap, TK Disko & Droog @ TS2
  • Dec 4: BWOMP presents Dubstep.FM Invades LA w/Dopelabs, HD4000, EMU & SURPRISE GUEST @ TBA
  • Dec 4: Nosaj Thing & Low Limit of Lazer Sword @ The Changing Same (San Jose)
  • Dec 4: CONTROL @ Avalon w/AC Slater & DJ Craze
  • Dec 5: Mark Farina @ Vanguard
  • Dec 5: KRS-One @ The Roxy
  • Dec 5: Winter Fresh Festival w/Datsik, The Toxic Avenger & much more @ the Pico Rivera Sports Arena
  • Dec 9: Low End Theory with Busdriver, Oscar McClure, Bossasaurus, Asura & residents
  • Dec 9: Lucent Dossier Experience @ H.Wood (every Wednesday)
  • Dec 10: I AM A LASER with Ana Sia and Deru @ Club Nokia Mezzanine Lounge
  • Dec 10: Made to Play with Jesse Rose, Riva Starr, Zombie Disco Squad & more @ the Roxy
  • Dec 10: Respect w/Everfresh, Whizard B2B Circuit, Machete, MC XYZ @ Dragonfly
  • Dec 10: Dopelabs, Them Cargo Pants, Knorsq & Tealong @ The Crosby
  • Dec 11: Chicks with Decks: Michele Bass, Imagika, Porter Tinsely & more @ Area 33
  • Dec 11: CONTROL @ Avalon w/Etienne de Crecy
  • Dec 11: Ewan Pearson & Droog at TS2
  • Dec 12: Pantheon pres. Elves and Hos Xmas Party w/Mimosa, Jesse Wright, Porter Tinsley & more @ Area 33
  • Dec 12: Gaslamp Killer @ The Echoplex
  • Dec 12: Derick Carter, Luke Solomon, John Graham @ Avaland @ Avalon
  • Dec 12: Hear 008 1-Year Anniversary w/Mark Henning, Drumcell, Jeremy P. Caulfield @ TBA
  • Dec 12: Love Fix w/Mark E Quark, Xavier de Enciso, Alex Villalobos, Victor Carrillo & more @ TBA
  • Dec 13: BRAINFEEDER Sessions w/Nosaj Thing Visual Show Premier, Eskmo, Mono/Poly, Gaslamp Killer, Strangeloop, Kutmah, Teebs & more @ the Downtown Independent
  • Dec 16: Low End Theory w/Sole & the Skyrider Band, Mono/Poly & residents
  • Dec 18: BLVD, Souleye, AdamandEvil, Mid City West @ The Stronghold Building (Venice)
  • Dec 18: Out of Asia w/Reid Speed, Gridlock, HD4000 & more @ TBA
  • Dec 18: CONTROL @ Avalon w/Armand van Helden
  • Dec 18: Obey pres. Brainfeeder & MHD takeover of the Crosby w/SamIYam, Ras G, Tokimonsta & My Hollow Drum (OC)
  • Dec 18: Ugly Sweater Party with BOUNCY HOUSE arriving at 5AM
  • Dec 19: Sqysh Fysh: A Nightmare Before Xmas w/Knowa Knowone, Pumpkin, Brion Charles & Gabe (BM Art Car fundraiser)
  • Dec 19: LA Record Christmas Party with Daedelus, Daddy Kev, Nobody, Take, MatthewDavid & LOTS more @ Bedrock, FREE w/TOY & RSVP here.
  • Dec 19: Infected Mushroom @ Avalon. Read my interview with Infected Mushroom
  • Dec 20: Winter Solstice Party w/Jega, Deru, Kraddy & Tom Burbank @ Air Conditioned Supper Club in Venice
  • Dec 22: Plug Research 2010 w/Daedelus, J.Rocc, Kutmah, surprise guests & more @ Echoplex
  • Dec 23: Low End Theory w/Ras G, SamIYam, Lorn, Teebs & residents
  • Dec 24: A Kilowatts Kristamas Eve feat. Kilowatts live, Treavor, Brian Saitzyk, Stephan Jacobs, Bartek @ Area 33 (Culver City)
  • Dec 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS SMOKE A FATTIE
  • Dec 26: Pure Filth presents BASSFACE w/DLX, Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Daddy Kev, 6Blocc, The Professionals, Magi, Remo, Metaphase, Kemst & MC1
  • Dec 29: Dubtroit 1-Year Anniversary w/DJ KMO, 12th Planet & more TBA
  • Dec 30: Low End Theory w/Tokimonsta, 6Blocc, Mr. Fantastic & residents
  • Dec 31: Sea of Dreams in SF w/Glitch Mob, Ozomatli, Bassnectar, Ghostland Observatory, Yard Dogs Road Show, EOTO, Lynx & Janover, Random Rab, Marty Party, Ana Sia, an-ten-nae, David Starfire & more
  • Dec 31: Gaslamp Killer, Chromeo & Peanut Butter Wolf @ Club Nokia
  • Dec 31: New Year’s Eve 2010 Together As One w/David Guetta, John Digweed, Dubfire, Sander Kleinenberg & more @ Los Angeles Sport Arena
  • Dec 31: HARD New Year’s Eve w/Boys Noize, A-Trak, DJ Mehdi, Destructo & more @ The Palladium
  • Dec 31: Lunar New Years Eve @ TBA w/Cesare vs. Disorder, Mikael Stavostrand, Acid Circus, Drumcell & more

New Year’s Eve: Sea of Dreams in San Francisco

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by worldromper

Deciding what to do on a big party holiday like New Year’s Eve is always difficult; with 8 million events going on, it can be next to impossible to figure out where to spend your time and money. But when in doubt, do what I do: go where the best music is.

2010 will find me awash in a Sea of Dreams in San Francisco, dancing to an excellent selection of sights and sounds from the underground West Coast arts scene, enjoying circus performers, art installations and:

  • Ozomatli
  • Bassnectar
  • Ghostland Observatory
  • Yard Dogs Road Show
  • Glitch Mob
  • Marty Party
  • Random Rab
  • an-ten-nae
  • Ana Sia
  • EOTO
  • Motion Potion
  • and more…click here for full lineup.

The 10th Annual Sea of Dreams New Year’s Eve-olutionary Extravaganza will be held December 31 from 8PM-4AM at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco; tickets start at $75 and are available here.

10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WEEK

Posted in 10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by worldromper

DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, Trailblazers, you know…

In no order, and I am going to update this once a week-ish:

  1. Robot Koch
  2. OOah
  3. Mimosa
  4. R/D
  5. Noah D
  6. Claw
  7. Marty Party
  8. an-ten-nae
  9. Datsik
  10. Ana Sia times infinity!

ANA SIA TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!Ana Sia @ The Do Lab Stage @ Coachella

10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WEEK

Posted in 10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by worldromper

DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, Knob Fiddlers, you know…

In no order, and I am going to update this once a week.

  1. Moldy
  2. Pretty Lights
  3. Bassnectar
  4. THE MOTHERFUCKING GASLAMP KILLER
  5. OOah
  6. Heyoka
  7. Ana Sia
  8. Eskmo
  9. Skeet Skeet
  10. RaSouL

mmmm forest i miss trees

Shilo’s October Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by worldromper

Festie season may be drawing to a close, but the new shows and sounds keep rolling in! Starting with the crisp brush of autumn breeze and ending with a Halloween nightcap, October is one of my favorite months- you can smell the mischief in the air! Or maybe that’s a grape blunt.

As always, I keep this post updated and added to throughout the month and you can find it by looking in the right-hand column on my main page under “Shilo’s Event Calendar.”

Here’s what’s going down on Planet Shilo:

  • 1: Respect presents 12th Planet vs. Infiltrata @ Dragonfly
  • 2: Pure Filth presents Bassface w/MRK1, The Professionals, DLX, Remo, Gaslamp Killer & more
  • 3: LA Decompression Festival
  • 3: Space Island Decom After Party/ Oscure, Braden, R/D, Propa Tingz, Henry Strange, Imagika & more
  • 7: Nosaj Thing & Fever Ray @ Henry Fonda Theatre
  • 7: Low End Theory w/Thavius Beck, Waajeed, Geology, Blu Jemz & residents
  • 7: House of Dub @ House of Blues w/Pablo Hassan, Sam XXXL & more
  • 10: Dynagroove w/Drumcell, Smog Stage @ Nucleus
  • 10: Fantasia
  • 14: Pretty Lights @ Key Club
  • 14: Low End Theory w/Dirty Digital Mestizo, Mike Gao & more
  • 15: Smog @ Respect w/Pawn, DLX, Pablo Hassan, MC XYZ & more @ Dragonfly
  • 16: 16Bit & Beyond w/Random Rab, Braden & Mr. Caparro @ AC Supper Club in Venice
  • 17: DROID Behavior 7-Year Anniversary w/Chris Liebing, Kid 606, Drumcell, Deru, Derek Michael, & special guest from Alpha Pup/Planet Mu
  • 20: Pitch Black @ Zanzibar (Santa Monica)
  • 20: Dubtroit w/Seven, DJ Evol, Pawn & Q.45
  • 21: Low End Theory 3-Year Anniversary! Flying Lotus, SamIYam, Dibia$e, Jneiro Jarel, Free the Robots, My Hollow Drum, MatthewDavid, Kutmah, Nobody, Nocando, Daddy Kev
  • 22: The Do Lab presents: Beats Antique, Deru & Jupiter @ King King
  • 24: Droid Behavior presents Acid Circus
  • 24: Smog w/Distance, Noah D, Emu & more
  • 25: I LOVE LA
  • 28: Low End Theory: Jogger Record Release Party with Jogger, Dr. Strangeloop & Ana Sia!
  • 30: Kraak & Smaak @ The Roxy
  • 30: Calling All Kids w/Flying Lotus & friends
  • 30: Hard Haunted Mansion w/Deadmau5, 2MANYDJS & more
  • 31: Halloween 3-D w/Daedelus, Jogger, Tokimonsta, 6Blocc, & more
  • 31: Hard Haunted Mansion w/Justice, Major Lazer, Modeselektor, & more
  • 31: HALLOWEEN! BEST HOLIDAY EVER! I am gonna dress up as a DJ.

AF000801

Symbiosis Gathering: An Unparalleled Festival Experience

Posted in Festivals, From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by worldromper
Symbiosis Gathering 2009

Symbiosis Gathering 2009

I spent last weekend romping around in a magical forest from sunset to sunrise and beyond, with friends from near and far and a lineup that quite possibly was the best I had ever experienced: top notch musical talent the whole weekend communicated through crystalline sound with a backdrop of insane natural splendor. I was submerged in art and dunked in a lake that bobbed with happy souls, next to tall trees that will be here long after you or I. Symbiosis Gathering was THE place to be in the whole entire universe last weekend, and I am so thankful that I was able to share in the unforgettable experience with so many of you.

Perfection

Perfection

Why is anyone living any other life than one centered around art and music and creative expression? Why do people go into toilet sales when they could go into event production or performance art? I know that humans are busy raising babies and prodding their genes along towards immortality, getting married because they are supposed to, saving up for bigger TVs and faster cars, and that SOMEONE has to sell toilets- but it doesn’t have to be you. I sink to my knees in gratitude for the life I have found on the road less traveled and for the beautiful, talented and creative people who fill it. AKA: you.

My favorite moment of the festival, predictable perhaps but no less immense, was the Glitch Mob slamming the sun up Saturday morning, the NoCal sky slowly becoming a sheet of sherbet rainbow behind piney silhouettes as my favorite artists in the world gave us their music on a forest platter. Fucking epic. Heaps of new tracks and a field full of adoring fans who had been up all night, dancing in a woodland home that no one will ever forget. The boys ended their set with a tribute to their home and my home (California Love, baby), dedicated to their friend DJ AM; I was not the only one on the dance floor with tears of joy in my eyes.

What Do You Create?

What Do You Create?

Symbiosis Gathering was everything I thought it would be and everything I told you it would be, and then some. One mile down the road was Yosemite National Park, and the dense beauty of the venue was complemented to perfection by the deep beats echoing through the leaves. I would buy my ticket for Symbiosis 2010 right this second, and I would probably buy one for you. If I had to pick one party to go to in 2010, it would be Symbiosis; I wish I could make everyone I love experience this amazing outdoor which really was the best I have ever been to. All my desert-dwelling SoCal homies were freaking out over the forest and the trees, and so was I- it is weird how much I miss my furry green friends from cooler, drippier climates.

Symbiosis felt much more open than Burning Man (in vibe, not geography), with much less of a police presence- I saw one cruiser. The smaller attendance and cozy venue created a more intimate feeling. I was lost for a fair amount of the weekend, but the grounds were totally doable and easy to navigate once you figured it out- which I had by late Sunday afternoon.

A few landmarks guided the wanderers along the way, like Raja’s Laser Guided Visions booth filled with hologram art and freaks; every single time I walked through, they were bumping the illest music ever (I am pretty sure I heard a Whompcast) with a crowd of people dotted with Seattleites. The last time I passed by, it was a straight-up madhouse with a couple dozen people dancing in the path and pratically blocking it off. Big ups Seattle! I have not met anyone in SoCal who parties half as hard as my friends from the 206. You kids crazy.

Mullet Wig Adorns the 'No Camping' Sign

Mullet Wig Adorns the 'No Camping' Sign

Some people ask me why they can’t make these outdoor festivals a little easier to experience: make them closer to major cities, not quite so expensive, and could someone plan out the whole camping thing so I don’t have to? But making it a bit difficult is kind of the point. These incredible outdoor experiences are a large endeavor; this is not Hollywood on Friday night where you hop in a cab, fork over $20 and are in. Festivals take planning, preparation, and prioritization in your life. And this is just how the promoters want it. If you could buy a ticket and show up after a five minute ride with no thought and little advance effort, well then it would be an urban massive like EDC. Which is not bad- I had a blast at EDC– but these outdoor festivals are a different animal entirely. No comparison whatsoever to the massive city raves. Everyone out there really wants to be and has made a big effort in order be there at that moment. It creates a distinct, caring tone to the party that you do not find and easy-to-experience festivals.

Beautiful People

Beautiful People

Symbiosis Gathering was a five-day event; I was there for less than two and a half days. Next year not only will I make going to outdoor festivals more of a priority financially, but I am going to fewer festivals and staying longer. Every festival I have been to this year, I have arrived late and left early. I like the variety to be sure, but to make the huge effort to camp several hundred miles away from my home and then miss a large portion of the experience has left a sad taste in my mouth. I want more!

There were three questions of Symbiosis:

  1. What time is it?
  2. Do you have a lighter?
  3. Where is my drink?

And to that I will add one more: Who the hell is this DJ?

Epic Party

Epic Party

I never wear a watch in “real life,” although I may have to get one for festivals. I really want to know who is playing and when; I like to know what DJ is up so I can make mental notes about their performance and check them out online when I get home. I recognize many artists, but not all. Lineups became slightly off during Symbiosis and pushed back an hour or even two, which made it hard to figure out who was who if you didn’t already know. Another minor issue in my mind was the fact that between several major sets, there was a huge lag time between artists, which allowed the energy that had been whipped up on the dance floor to dissipate through the forest as partygoers slowly wandered off in search of live music. But still, the energy that remained was golden and ready to go; it just could have been done slightly better.

Despite these few snafus (I also heard that people arriving on Thursday had to wait hours to get in), the festival was a resounding success and everyone was just really blown away by the event. I arrived Friday around 3PM, set up camp, and headed out to check out the stages and explore my world.

The Alt Stage was deep in the forest and had a giant inflatable SOMETHING guarding the gate; it was here we enjoyed fat techno the first night to the likes of Sammy D, Nikola Baytala and the Terrakroma crew.

Approaching the Lake Stage

Approaching the Lake Stage

Although there was a very wide variety of music at Symbiosis and you know I like the techno, this party was all about the midtempo breaks, glitch hop, beat music, bass music, and their many miscreant cousins. It is the music I love and champion on my blog every day.

I spent much of the night at what was to become my home for the weekend: The Lake Stage. At every festival, you seem to gravitate towards one stage and find yourself there more than any other place. I am a total festie nomad and can’t stay in one spot for long, but the Lake Stage held my heart this time around. The visuals were incredible and made it seem like the stage was boiling, teaming with life and squirming around. Behind the wooden stage, giant trees rose up to the brilliant night sky, projected onto with different shades of green and geometric shapes for a really neat effect- tree visuals on trees. Up top, the stars bested us all with their incredible blaze, brighter than I can remember them ever being.

More Lake Stage Goodness

More Lake Stage Goodness

Showing up at the Lake Stage, Mimosa had given part of his set to Ill Gates (nice combo!); following those two was the freaky duo Lazer Sword and then Flying Lotus, who as always delivered a mind-stretching set. I could write a thousand miles about how much I love his music. If you are reading this and thinking, I just don’t get Flying Lotus’ music- what is the deal? Please keep listening. Experiencing his music led me down the path to understanding jazz. Major mental breakthrough shit.

After FlyLo, one of my new favorites in this world took the stage: Pretty Lights, with a  funky and groovy set that lit the forest on fire. Pretty Lights aka Derek Smith was accompanied by a live drummer and of course, pretty lights like flying piles of worms which filled the night and my heart. I could jam to Pretty Light’s sound forever, and I just might.

The rest of the night: an-ten-nae, Caspa, N-Type and 3WS continued as thousands of fools in love with the forest danced and celebrated life and art and each other. My face hurt from smiling so much.

Chillin

Chillin

Saturday I woke up sweaty as hell in my hot ass tent and ready for the lake. Armed with a giant two-person floatie, I wandered down to the lake which seemed to be the perfect temperature: cold, to go with the sizzling sun. I bobbed along, drinking the beers stashed in the netting of my  inner tube to the happy sunshine sounds of Laura. She was setting the day off right with a set that was perfectly matched to the fun, summery mood. Following her was Djuma Soundsystem and then Worthy, a DJ I discovered at Burning Man. I think. Again, the time slots were off and in some cases, switched around- so I could never be totally sure of who was playing unless I recognized them.

Field Stage

Field Stage

Claude Von Stroke was a pleasant surprise, shoving us into the grove after Little John and plastering stupid smiles all over the dance floor. Going over to catch Les Claypool over at the newly opened and GIANT Field Stage, we waited for quite a while as the speakers blasted out AC/DC and all got a bit thunderstruck? Really? It was so out of place and amusing we thought it might be a joke. The dance floor was bleeding souls as people fled the screeching rock sounds. After a round of ‘Secret Agent Man’ (I am not joking), finally Les Claypool came on. The festival’s headliner had been talked up quite a bit for his eccentric ways and uncompromising musical attitude, and while I completely appreciate his talent and that beautiful ripping sound on the bass, I was unimpressed. The most entertaining part of his set that I heard was the funny banter at the beginning, imploring all the young ladies to continue with their clothes-less weekend. But I wanted to dance and I left before the set was halfway done.

AND THEN BASSNECTAR. Say what you want about this festival namedrop (and people do- it’s almost as trendy to hate on Bassnectar as it is to hate on dubstep)- but he blew the crowd away with his gnarly beats. His music was meant to be played outdoors on an epic scale, rubbing up on tree giants and creating fits on the dance floor- perfect festival music. Loren was loving it, too, and would stop and tell us so- I bet his face hurt from smiling the next day as well!

Forest Stage

Forest Stage

I wanted to check out Adam Freeland’s live band but the lag between the sets had me wondering off into the forest. I have yet to mention the intricate Forest Stage, which was adorned with two temple structures reminiscent of Southeast Asia and whose music fell on my campsite, which was just a few dozen trees down. This was the ‘weird’ stage, with more experimental beats and performers to the like of the Shamanic Cheerleaders- WTF? I never saw them- only heard them- and could only wonder what was behind this random chanting going on in the woods. Hey hey, get shamanic! Again: WTF?

Forest Stage Temple

Forest Stage Temple

Saturday night was COLD- at one point I went to my tent and put on every piece of warm clothing I had packed. A few hours later, I was back in a bikini. But before it had heated up enough for the lake, we hit the smokin’ hot Lake Stage. It was time for the Glitch Mob, and one magnificent sunrise experience. Like Bassnectar, the Glitch Mob’s music was in part inspired and grown by the West Coast festival circuit and seems to slide into perfect place amongst the trees and open air.

After the Glitch Mob? Mala. Holy mother of dubstep, great god of vinyl, wobble the wonk into my very soul. There were a few technical issues, otherwise known as the bass shaking the earth so much it was popping the needle out of the groove, so they quickly moved the set up back up on the stage while MC Lafa Taylor jumped up to keep the crowd’s energy going with funny rhymes on the mike. I couldn’t remember his name, only dancing and laughing my ass off and twirling around and smiling and loving. What a highlight.

MALA

MALA

And according to EVERYONE, waiting out the technical issues were well worth it, because Mala poured bass like steak gravy on our heads and practically ripped the forest in half. Wow tears just came to my eyes writing that sentence, as I recalled in my mind the dark and soulful music that he laid on us. Oh the sweet sound of analog bass, of the needle in that groove! I heard from people that Mala’s set was the first time that dubstep really spoke to them, that they finally got it, fell in a dancing trance and didn’t let go. I also heard from people that Mala’s set had reinspired them in the genre, awakening anew their love for the wobble and resparking that dubstep fire. Now those are some damn good compliments.

Random Rab picked up afterwards with a dreamy tone, followed by the more left-field Shpongle a few hours later as the day got into full swing and the sun heated up the field of dancers. I climbed around on hot metal art structures and had a piece of pizza muy excellente, made of beets, lemon rind, pesto and roasted garlic. Really? Yes. Believe it or not, it was FANTASTIC!

Where's the Gorilla?

Where's the Gorilla?

Sadly and due to a lack of a watch, I missed the Sunday AM set of edIT and OOah’s Crying Over Porcelain for No Reason. Don’t tell  me about it or I will cry over missing a set for a definite reason. Ah well c’est la vie. Back to the lake for a quick swim and cool-off next to a gorilla on a raft, my happyface self just wandered around to different stages, checking out Treavor Moontribe’s hard psytrance for a second, browsing sweet leatherwork at the tribal market, laying in the grass under the sun.

Soon it was time to begin packing up, all to the danky sounds of Mikhal and Neptune from the Forest Stage- thank God for dubstep. I did not want to leave, but alas- these amazing moments in our lives were never meant to last forever.

Awesome MC! Who is it?

Awesome MC! Who is it?

Overall, my favorites of the festival in this unparalleled natural location were the Glitch Mob, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Mala, Claude Von Stroke and Lafa Taylor, who jumped up after the Glitch Mob to keep the party going. It would be neat if there was some way for festivals to designate the artist on stage, and keep the list updated and accurate so people would know who the hell they were jamming to. It sucks to discover a new artist that you love, and have no idea how to follow up on it after the festival ends. I am pretty good and stalking down DJs after they perform to get their name, but it doesn’t always happen, and there are usually a few talented souls whose names are lost in the forest to me. I heard dozens more DJs than I wrote about here.

Although sustainability and art of all forms (traditional, live, graffiti) were well represented at Symbiosis, music was still very central. At many Burner parties, it sometimes seems that what the stage and speakers look like is more important than what is coming out of them, and that nepotism sometimes trumps new and true talent, but not at Symbiosis. Well done.

Many people are upholding Symbiosis as the best festival yet to take place in our universe, and I have to agree. What did you think? Leave a comment below and let me know about great sets I missed, your favorite moment of the festival, your biggest artist discovery surprise where a random name on a lineup became your new favorite, how pimp the cabins were and what you thought of the venue. Will you go back next year?

My sweet digital camera broke upon arrival to Burning Man, and the photos you see are a few of twenty I got out of two very shitty disposable cameras, which are better than nothing!

Much love to my festival people. You know what’s up. One outdoor art and music festival is worth 30 nights out on the town, at least. I encourage every one of you to make an effort to incorporate these life-changing festivals into your life and prioritize your time and funds to experience  communal gatherings and celebrations at every chance possible.

Or just go on living a normal life and save up for that big screen. It is your choice.

But I hope you will join me on an earthen dance floor in the forest of the future!

Decibel Festival Showcase Spotlight: Starborne Dirty Velvet Afterhours

Posted in Events, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by worldromper

If you like your afterhours dark, deep and dirty – slip on over to the Little Red Studio on Saturday night to wallow in beats so filthy they will stick to your skin for days, no matter how hard you scrub. Soap and water are no match for two rooms of talent, guaranteed to completely contaminate your Decibel Festival experience with a bass crunk-dunk of some of the freshest and finest sounds from the electronic arts underground.

Ana Sia

Ana Sia

The Main Room welcomes 3WS, the combination of San Francisco’s Ana Sia and Danny Corn, whose rough rumblings satisfy the body and the brain to simultaneously activate your limbs and uplift your mind. Mike Slott’s hip hop-influenced imagination and innovative future-funk wraps you in a dirty blanket of experimental movement, while Eprom kicks you in the face with fatty rawness – his slamming and crunchy twist on West Coast Sound is always a party favorite. Mimosa slides in next with sexy basslines and a thick psychedelic density, rolling deep like purple with a gang of dub-infused grooves.

Take

Take

The sounds will be smokin’ heavy in the lounge next door, where LA’s Take keeps the beats on a West Coast lean with his laid-back, acousmatic blend of hypnotic hip hop, otherworldly melodies, and space dust. Kotchy creates top-shelf pop reworkings with toes dipped in electro and hip hop; using live instruments he delivers sets as unpredictable as they are unique. Professor Steve Nalepa teaches us the true depth of dub and the grime of glitch from the beat blackboard, and J Roby of Portland’s Abstract Earth Project experiments with sounds that sooth you right onto the dance floor.

Come out and cloak yourself in delicious Dirty Velvet and realize how much fun getting filthy can be.

Starborne Dirty Velvet Afterhours takes place Saturday, September 26 at Little Red Studio. Click here to buy tickets and for more information about the 2009 Decibel Festival.

Symbiosis Gathering Changed My Life

Posted in Events, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by worldromper

This is a story of DF5K.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 037It was nearly two years ago now that I moved back to the States from New Zealand. Summer in Seattle was swelling to the crusty-hot days of August and I had a shit job doing shit bartending work at a shit hotel downtown, working long into the night scrubbing bar mats and serving drunk tourists. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing with myself whatsoever. None.

I had never listened to electronic music before in my life.

new zealand is freaking epicWell okay that is not entirely true; I had stumbled upon the dub and reggae scene in New Zealand, and high on rotation in my iPod were Katchafire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Pitch Black and Salmonella Dub as well as anyone who had remixed them. Guys in the Auckland record stores were always happy to school an interested American girl on their island music.

I had also spent many happy nights out on the town with my flatmate Ian, dancing for hours in Auckland’s happenin’ Viaduct area, and had walked home more than once from these “Heels Only” clubs with bleeding feet. Before in my life I had glided past a thousand dance clubs drooling out lame house music onto the streets, but for some reason, I started going in towards the beats and shaking what my momma gave me for the first time ever.

116I left Auckland, and months of traveling around New Zealand led me to discover pockets of counterculture dotted all over the two islands. Tiny camp towns like Marahau, barely even a freckle on the map, are nestled next to insane national parks and were populated by a swirling mix of artsy locals, hikers who were about to tramp the mountains or who had just returned from a month in the bush, world travelers, hippies, neohippies, surfers from Santa Cruz, stoners, seekers, searchers, and freaks like me.

These havens were full of people whose life was centered around sharing art and creating a sustainable and beautiful life, such a stark contrast to most Americans I knew whose only goals seemed to revolve around bigger cars, bigger houses, and more more more.

But soon enough I was back in the US of A and fairly floating through space and time with no plans and no idea whatsoever. I wondered where the beautiful spirits congregated on this continent, and if I would find them.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 033And then a friend invited me to this music and art festival in the woods of Northern California called Symbiosis. It would be a very long day’s drive from Seattle with him and his girlfriend and we would stay for three nights at  place called Angel’s Camp. The festival was focused on sustainability and would be a pack-in, pack-out affair. Did I want to go?

Hell yes I did. I had the slight problem of a jobby-job, but I have never been one to let a bullshit job get in the way of my life. So, I faked pneumonia. I went to the hospital (to be fair I did have a cough) and when the doctor said he could write me a note to get off work for two days, I said, “well, how about until next Tuesday?” The doctor agreed and I was off work for a very long weekend, bound for my first true outdoor party experience.

I think you guys know how this story goes.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 046Arriving early to the isolated location, my friends and I set up our tents in between the two stages, and what happened for the next four days in that remote wooded spot changed my life forever, as I now write to you deep in the thick of what will be my life’s work, writing for and promoting the music that I love and the artists who make it. It was not just the music I experienced that shook my spirit and lit my soul on fire, but the thick saturation of artistic expression and the community around it. It was a haven for freaks like me; I had finally found a home in this life, and it was beautiful.

When I look back at the lineup for Symbiosis 2007, it blows my mind: Shpongle, Flying Lotus, Ott, Bluetech, Glitch Mob, BLVD, Souleye, Ana Sia, Zilla, Lazer Sword, Audiovoid, Danny Corn, Hallucinogen in Dub, Chris de Luca, Mala, Bassnectar and dozens and dozens more. These artists were my first toe-dip into the world of EDM, and I think you can see why I turned out the way I did.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 045I can’t remember if it was the first or second day, but around about five in the morning one night these four guys were up on the second stage, just tearing up the dance floor. They were slamming sound down with such force I thought my neck might break; I had never before experienced any type of music, electronic or otherwise, that was so fresh and unique and unlike anything else out there. I was not hearing this music, I was living it: I was breathless and losing clothes by the minute and probably had a long string of drool dripping off my lower lip.

I turned to a new friend next to me on the dance floor and asked, “What do you call this music? With the really heavy, fucked-up bass?”

You call it GLITCH,” was the reply. And a fiend was born.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 035

Since that night I have seen the Glitch Mob dozens of times and have devoted my life to sharing not just glitch hop and its bass-slutty cousins, but the whole music and art and community experience that has meant so much to me in this life, which I think I can say, a DJ saved.

I returned to Seattle with an insatiable hunger for the beats and began going out six nights a week to electronic music shows, meeting new friends with open arms at every turn. While I might possibly have found another road to the electronic arts that I now so adore, I did not. Symbiosis opened my eyes and set me on my current life path of promoting and writing for musicians and artists. I am eternally grateful for the past, and forever stoked for the future.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 036Now, after a year’s respite, Symbiosis Gathering is back for 2009, this time at Camp Mather on the doorstep to Yosemite from September 17-21 and with a lineup that will slap you across the face, pour fireworks into your soul and call you a cheesemaker. Check the whole lineup here; I am most looking forward to hearing Caspa, Amon Tobin, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, the Glitch Mob, Shpongle, Flying Lotus, Hallucinogen, Mala, N-Type, an-ten-nae, Mimosa, Of Porcelain, Vibesquad, Heyoka, Kether, Lazer Sword, Lipp Service, Souleye, Welder, Random Rab, Babylon System, Jupit3r, Mozaic, Mr. Rogers, R/D, Treavor Moontribe, Sleepyhead, Sexytime, Nikola Baytala, Noah Pred and about eight zillion more.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 042I will no doubt discover several new favorites, and I am more excited about this outdoor festival than any other this year. Not to be rash, but I have heard several people talk about how much more fun Symbiosis is than Burning Man. Whoa. That is almost party blasphemy, right?

Whether you are just hearing about Symbiosis Gathering or have been waiting with baited breath for this year’s installment, one thing is certain: the music will blow your mind, stamped and approved by DF5K.

And it just might change your life.

More Women in the Electronic Arts: A HOW-TO GUIDE

Posted in Artists, Females in the Arts, Lists, Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2009 by worldromper

 

The lack of ladies behind decks and on dance floors has really been bothering me for a while; not just the dearth of women in the EDM community but music in general and indeed, arts culture as a whole. Females are globally underrepresented in the arts from San Diego to Singapore, and I wanted to figure out why.

Naha, Seattle

Naha, Seattle

People told me it was too large of an issue to tackle or have any effect on; sure, I might be able to organize a local women’s DJ night or help promote various female producers, but this giant problem encompassed all music and all arts, and there would be no solution or answer. It was too big.

I did not want a quick fix, either, like an all-female DJ night where the chicks come out spinning beats in bras; those kinds of nights draw more males than females anyway. And I didn’t just want to convince promoters to book more women DJs in the name of diversity, rather I want there to BE more talented female DJs to book. I want young girls coming up in the community to throw down, and not just as DJs, but also as producers, promoters, journalists, sound technicians, laser artists- the whole show. I want to see more women in the arts, which meant figuring out why the hell they aren’t here to begin with.

And I’ve done it. Please read on.

ill-esha, Vancouver

ill-esha, Vancouver

Some of the weak female representation in music can be surely attributed to the history of male dominance of the arts; for thousands of years men were patting male artists and musicians on the back, commissioning each other and sharing ideas while the women were raising kids and making homes from households.

Nyx, Seattle

Nyx, Seattle

Arts in the traditional female domain like folk stories and handicrafts don’t stand the test of time as well as those in male-dominated spheres. A nursery rhyme evaporates into the blur of historical haze while the Sistine Chapel will be around for a while. Though females have truly come a long baby way in regards to our gender roles, the tradition of male domination of the arts certainly still affects the dance floor on Friday night.

But that isn’t the whole story. This is 2009 and for a generation now in the Western world, women have been able to pursue any career they could possibly want, from firefighter to fine artist. So why aren’t they? Why is only one of every twenty DJs I hear playing out female? Why are dance floors almost always over 50% boys? Why can’t I remember the last time I saw a girl in a sound booth, and when they write me, why do my blog readers overwhelmingly assume that I am male?

Sasha Perera of Jahcoozi, Berlin

Sasha Perera of Jahcoozi, Berlin

Don’t women love to make and experience music and art too? Maybe they are pursuing careers that they feel are more worthwhile to society than a creative profession; now that women can be doctors and lawyers and policymakers, they are. We all know that artists are the most important people in our society; art cures ills that no doctor could, comedy can take down a dictatorship, music can change minds. Maybe women are so busy getting college degrees and starting companies that they have forgotten the true value of artistic expression; however this theory also easily applies to men. So the question remains:

WHERE THE HELL ARE THE LADIES AT?

Imagika, Los Angeles

Imagika, Los Angeles

I put this question to email lists, to forums, to strangers at clubs, to friends on the dance floor, to my mother. I clicked on every link you sent me, I checked into every female DJ or producer you said was the shit. I read and took notes on every comment about how we can get more girls out, from cleaner bathrooms to more aggressive males to less aggressive males to house music.

And I have figured out the crux of the matter; the turning point that if we can effectively change will have an enormous effect not only on the DJ booths and dance floors of the future, but on arts production in the world as a whole. Hey, I’ve got big dreams. Don’t you?

The crux of the matter, therefore, is this: CONFIDENCE.

Ana Sia, San Francisco

Ana Sia, San Francisco

Women need more confidence. After thousands and thousands of years of being told we are the lesser sex and second-class humans, we have an acute case of learned inferiority complex. We are lacking the metaphorical balls it takes to put ourselves out there but rest assured: you DON’T need literal huevos to make it as an artist in this world. But you do need confidence.

It takes a hell of a lot of guts to pull something out of your head and lay it out for the world to see and judge you on. The artists out there know this. Choosing a career in music or painting or theater is a bold and terrifying choice, a decision that requires a steadfast belief that what you have in your head is worth sharing with others- take it from someone who just relocated across the country to try and feed herself as a freelance music journalist.

Menami, Seattle

Menami, Seattle

Following an artistic path in life is a risky choice, and many women have children and will choose security over self-expression. If you have three kids to raise, are you going to go for the nursing degree or try and make it as an abstract visual artist? Yeah. I do not fault these women, not one bit, as they are doing what they deem necessary to take care of the future.

Vaccine, California

Vaccine, California

But even females without dependents are not taking the risks we should, and it is because we don’t think we are good enough. How many times have you seen a male DJ strut up to the decks like he is God’s gift to the dance floor and then proceed to take you straight to train wreck city?

Think of the female DJs that you know: a bunch of badasses, right? Outspoken, confident chicks that don’t give a shit if anyone thinks of them as are lesser human beings- because they know they are not.

Subeena, London

All women need to take a cue from these ladies, to learn confidence and make it part of ourselves. Worldwide, every one of us must come to believe that what comes out of our minds and our hands and our hearts is worth sharing. This is an epic task and a daunting challenge; one that cannot be conquered overnight. But every single one of us, male and female, can do something right now, tonight and this weekend to push females forward in the arts so that our daughters and granddaughters will be dancing to female DJs and listening to tracks produced by females half the time instead of once every blue moon.

Mary Anne Hobbs, UK

Mary Anne Hobbs, UK

Ladies, I challenge you to instill the women of the world with confidence, starting with yourselves. Men must do the same right beside us, but for females to succeed, we must unite. I once saw a female DJ walk up to the decks at an outdoor party, scheduled to play her set right after a charismatic male DJ had been just killing it. She was intimidated, and she gave up her slot- but ONLY because another female had discouraged her from playing. Had this second female instead encouraged her to play her set, bang it out, go for it- she would have. We CANNOT have this bullshit cutting down of one another. It does not make you less of a female to build another woman up; in fact, it makes you more of a human being. So step up and quit knocking down.

Each one of us can incorporate certain actions into our lives to fuel the journey of women to a greater involvement in the industry of artistic production and expression, from sharing their musical tastes as a DJ to creating giant murals to tweaking sound design and production. Females must become more confident in their artistic abilities, and if we can accomplish this, the future of humanity will be richer and more colorful for everyone.

1.    THANK FEMALE ARTISTS. Words have power. Ever gotten a compliment that made your day, or your week? As a writer, I live off the kind words of my friends; I could not write this blog without the love and support of my fellow human beings. Thank female artists always and often. Even if you are more of a glitch girl and the DJ played prog house all night, you can still thank them for getting up there and sharing. Recognize the guts it takes to perform. No need to have a colorful vocab, a simple “thank you” will do. Shy? That’s why God created Myspace and Facebook; just friend ‘em with a quick message: “Thank you for your music.” It may seem like nothing to you, too simple, a waste of space, but believe me: it is not. Please feed the animals- with your words.

2.    INVITE GIRLS TO SHOWS. Yeah yeah yeah, fear of rejection boo hoo your ego can’t take it, WHATEVER. This is an area where both males and females could really grow some balls. Weird girl in your office who smells like oranges? Invite her to Deadmau5. Neighbor chick listening to really bad pop shit? Ask her if she wants to go hear Flying Lotus. And SEATTLE- I know I have a lot of readers from the two-oh-SICK, and let me tell you: I have been asked out to electronic shows more in three months in LA than in three years in Seattle. Girls don’t bite- unless you want us to. What are you waiting for, your next life? Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to ask a girl to an electronic music show. This month. Do it.

3.    GET YOUR ASS ON THE DANCE FLOOR. Actions speak louder than words, and nothing is more encouraging to a DJ than seeing people on the dance floor getting down and having a good time. Nothing brings girls out onto the dance floor like girls on the dance floor, so get out there, ladies!

4.    TALK TO GIRLS AT SHOWS. Some people have a problem talking to strangers. I am the opposite; I have a problem NOT talking to strangers. For those of us extroverts out here, make it a little easier on the introverts by saying hello. Having a good night? This DJ rocks! Why the hell are they charging $11 for a vodka soda? Is that spit on the wall? Etc. Create a more comfortable environment for your fellow human beings. Guys, don’t be dicks. Girls, don’t be bitches. Life is better when you are nice, anyway. Figure it out.

5.    IGNORE THE HATERS. In my research for this piece, I got some pretty nasty answers back from boys regarding the reasons behind the lack of females in the EDM community, ranging from “females don’t know what good music is” to “women are dogs.” There will always be haters in the world, like the girl at the outdoor who effectively discouraged the female DJ from spinning, or the cavemen guys who still think women are dogs without souls. IGNORE THEM; they are stupid, and the boys are obviously just not getting any. Move on, and surround yourself with people who will build you up, leaving the haters behind in a slimy pool of their own negativity.

6.    FEMALE ARTISTS: STEP THE FUCK UP ALREADY. You all know the archetypal cocky DJ, right? The guy who plays everything and knows everything and IS the next big thing and DAMN anyone who thinks otherwise? God help me I LOVE these DJs, because I appreciate the absolute BALLS it takes to live like you are going to grab every dream you ever had. Having a ridiculous amount of unwavering confidence in yourself is a necessity and now is the time to go for it. DO IT, whatever IT is for you. You will never regret trying and hey- you might even succeed!

7.    WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DJ? Or produce? Or create visual art? Or run the sound? Ask someone to teach you. I have spoken to many female DJs who said they would be more than happy to teach other girls the tricks of the trade, to share the secrets and be a mentor. Who wants to be in the boys’ club when you can be in the artists’ circle?

8.   ENCOURAGE FEMALE ARTISTS. This is different than saying thank you, which in my opinion we should say to every artist every time. When your night or your life is made a little better by a female DJ or producer or promoter, tell them so, and be specific: I really liked that track with the drums, the dance floor went nuts when you dropped the dubstep, those blue lasers with the dots wicked tripped me out, I love the parties you throw because you bring a tight crowd. Encourage each other to helps create a nurturing artistic community.

9.    ALREADY INVOLVED? In the EDM community or otherwise? Are you a bad ass female DJ? Do you promote? Own a venue? Produce sick tracks? Dance? Whatever your talents, figure out something you can personally do to promote female artists and do it. Even small gestures can have an impact and you never know who you may be inspiring. I will start more heavily promoting female DJs and producers in my blog; in fact the ten pictures in this post are my ten favorite female artists in the international EDM community. Do more than you are doing right now, and make a greater effort to support women who are doing their thing in the electronic arts.

10.  AND FINALLY, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. This is the most important item on the list. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anybody else? Become a madly ridiculous promoter of your talents in your own mind. Talk yourself up to yourself, even if it feels stupid at first. Do whatever it takes, from tacking up pictures of inspiring females to writing positive quotes on your hand to pushing any negative thought about your abilities out of your head with nary a second of rumination. You don’t have time for that bullshit; you’ve got things to create and art to produce. SO DO IT.

If all you do is reach out to a female artist this month and say thank you on Myspace, do it. Don’t let the giant nature of this task stall you. We can do it. YOU can do it. And you have to, for the eons of women who didn’t even have the chance, and for the females of today who not fortunate enough to live in societies where they can shave their hair into a Mohawk and play minimal techno until eight in the morning. LADIES, IT IS YOUR DUTY TO CREATE, and every time you do, you inspire another female to do the same and help to insure a future full of female artists. So get crackin’.