Archive for edc

Epic Days of Cacophony @ Electric Daisy Carnival: DAY 1

Posted in Festivals, From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by worldromper

Hello freaks! I am doing something a little bit different with my EDC review; I attended the massive rave on the press pass tip and took my friend Skandar from San Diego. Not only are his cargo pockets good for sneaking in various party paraphernalia, but he also writes, and as a DJ is privy to some insights that escape this dancing queen. I will be mixing our reviews together to give you a different voice and perspective on the carnival; his words are in green.

Did somebody say rave?

If there was any doubt to the existence or relevance or dominance of rave culture in America, this past weekend showed that the candy kid community is alive and well, wearing next-to-nothing and shaking its ass like there might be no tomorrow- a pretty smart move in this day and age.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Over 135,000 ravers came out to downtown Los Angeles (90,000 on Saturday alone) to dance, drink, drug, stare up in wonder at art installations, put music in their earholes, take free carnival rides and say, “Holy SHIT look at all the fucking people here!

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was the location of just one of the five stages and the scale and grandeur of the former sports arena overwhelmed me, even more so than the Colosseum in Rome once did. The dance floor was a football field full of whirling, squirming, spinning freaks, and that was just ONE of the stages set up for this massive rave, which has now been hailed as the largest festival in the United States and possibly the world.

Geez why don't they get some candy?

Geez why don't they get some candy?

One thing is certain- the Electric Daisy Carnival was the biggest party that I have ever been to. I was completely blown away by the magnitude of the event and by the legions of ravers that crawled out of whatever fuzzy backpacks they had been hiding in. I saw candy up to the armpits, plenty of hot young T&A, LEDs blinking in the mouths of teenage boys in day-glo biker shorts, more light shows than a meteor shower, and fuzzy pink backpacks wearing candy and pacifiers and LED toys. The rave was ON with ridiculous visuals and enough lasers to last until next year- because I am definitely going back!

Diplo/Major Lazer's Trailer

Diplo/Major Lazer's Trailer

Friday night I drove up to LA after work and scrambled to get to the  press area before they closed it at 10. We got our passes off-site and  then found parking, which happened to be kind of far from the  artist/press entrance and they wouldn’t let us into the regular admission entrance (I guess all-access only counts once you’re inside).  We found our gate with a little cardboard “artist entrance” sign and  walked right in. It was pretty cool walking past all the backstage  trailers with artist names taped on the doors, but we weren’t trying to dilly dally so we ran towards the music. We spent a little bit of time  walking around and finding our bearings, checking out the different stage setups and art installations – I was really happy to see so much Burner art on display, and ran into a bunch of my friends stilt walking. The huge wrought iron human sculptures were my favorite, I had seen a few of them on the Playa a couple years back. There was no cutting corners or skimping on any part of this festival: every single stage displayed booming sound, intelligent lighting, lasers, visuals, and decor. A plethora of carnival rides included gut-wrenching spinners as well as a family-friendly ferris wheel, fun house, and merry-go-round.

Free rides!

Free rides!

Friday was the chill day with only 45,000 kids running amok in between whizzing carnival rides and cuddle puddles. And by ‘kids,’ I mean anyone younger than me. After checking out the screaming DNB stage for a quick minute, I happenstanced upon what was probably my favorite moment of the festival:

We approached the Circuit Grounds Stage with perfect timing, because just as we entered the very back of the open-field dance floor, the booming bass of Pretty Lights raked over my body and tickled my mind. They had just launched into my very favorite song of theirs, “Who Loves Me.”

Half skipping, half running, half dancing and half laughing as I made my way up towards the stage, the crowd got thicker and thicker and my heartbeat faster and faster. At EDC Pretty Lights was just one guy and just one DJ set, but he was throwing thundering monsoons of bass across a crowd of a dozen thousand. My carnival had begun.

Chilled at the DnB stage for a bit but from the lineup I knew this would be a bang-your-head-against-the-wall type of DnB night, which I was not ready for at that point, so we made our way to Pretty Lights. Throwing down old school verses of Biggie Smalls and Wu-Tang Clan (Cream get the money!) over original tunes with massive basslines and glitched-out melodies, Pretty Light(s) defied genres with a brilliant Ableton Live/midi/turntablist scratching set.The Glitch Mob would have been proud. Closing out with a mashup of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” and Wrecks ‘n Effects “Rump Shaker” made this the set of the night.

RAVE ON

RAVE ON

After a quick ten-dollar MGD it was time for STS9 and as per usual, the band was a bit too mellow for me; then again I have more energy than anyone I know and tend towards intensely potent music that is burning the world down, so STS9 is probably right on the mark for most people. The crowd did seem a little shy on the roving neohippies that usually follow the band; maybe the steep ticket prices dissuaded them from attending.

Following Pretty Lights was the much-anticipated Sound Tribe Sector Nine, a staple of the neo-hippie scene and a band at the forefront of the jam band/electronica hybrids (what I like to call “hippietronica”). Seeming to never get fully into the crowd, however, STS9 went “artsy” rather than “rave” and began losing the crowd immediately. After about 30 minutes of waiting for the set to build up we decided that they lost their chance and went to check out the main stage for the first time – luckily right on cue for the night’s big fireworks display. Quite an impressive little show of colorful explosions while ATB doused the coliseum crowd of about 10,000 in cheesy trance.

Biggest Dance Floor EVER!

Biggest Dance Floor EVER!

Off to the GIANT Kinetic Field in the stadium where ATB was drenching the night in the world’s most popular EDM genre: trance. Even my bass-favoring self could not help but be moved at the sight of a football field full of happy people having the time of their lives and trancing it up. DAMN I love my international electronic music community! Right on cue a huge gang of fireworks hit the night sky to thousands of oohs and aahs along with fifty-foot plumes of fire shooting up on either side of the stage and a billion lasers blazing over the tripping faces of the crowd. It was nothing short of spectacular; at that moment I could not conceive why anyone would not want to be in our world, the world of a happy dancing music-loving freaks.

As soon as the fireworks blew their load we headed over to Boys Noize at the Neon Garden stage whose tech-thick electro had the crowd worked into a lather. There we heard the first Michael Jackson tribute of the weekend, an a’cappella version of “Rock With You.” A dozen thousand people paid tribute to the King of Pop whose influence on music and American culture is undeniable; we all shared a moment that no doubt even the Michael-haters felt. I wanted to hold up my lighter but had already lost it, and God knows I leave my cellphone in the car at these events lest I lose it. Again.

Boys Noize

Boys Noize

After the fireworks ended we didn’t have much time left since Friday night was ending at 2 AM, so we made it over to the only stage we hadn’t checked out yet – the Neon Garden. Not being a huge fan of electro I was kind of avoiding that stage, however when we got into the thick of it I was locked into place by a deliciously techy set of electro by Boys Noize – again only one member of the group, but he played an impressive live set. Surprised that I had not heard a single Michael Jackson remix yet at the festival, I was glad that the first one was a tastefully done “Rock With You.” Though he focused a bit too much on manufactured buildups & breakdowns for his live performance, the crowd ate it up, especially at the end when he dropped some straight up hardcore followed by Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” to close out.

TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR DAY 2 OF THE ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL! SHIT’S SO BIG I HAD TO BREAK IT INTO TWO REVIEWS!! 

Read the Electric Daisy Carnival Day 2 HERE.

Interview with Infected Mushroom

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by worldromper

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Infected Mushroom at the video shoot at the Roxy for their new video, “Smashing the Opponent” featuring the vocals of Jonathan Davis of Korn. All five guys were in the room but Duvdev (Amit Duvudevani) did almost all of the talking; they were all really nice and amiable and were doing one interview after another with nary a hint of exhaustion.

Infected Mushroom’s new album, Legend of the Black Shawarma, drops September 9 on Oakenfold’s label Perfecto, and the boys will be at the Electric Daisy Carnival this weekend along with me and 100,000 other dancing freaks.

Here you go:

DF5K: You guys are LA-based, and there are a thousand locations in this city- why film your video at the Roxy?

IM: Well first of all, all the videos of Infected Mushroom (which is one, by the way) were shot in Canada, we never shot a video in the United States. We live in LA, the Roxy’s pretty close to our house, a landmark, and many people have been here, many bands have played, and it is just a cool place to shoot a video.

DF5K: A lot of people are talking about the West Coast and specifically LA as the new epicenter of electronic music in the United States, that things are shifting from the East Coast to the West. Do you guys think this is true and if so, where do you see your band in the West Coast Future Sound Movement?

IM: I think that Infected Mushroom is kind of a different breed in the electronic music, we have so much emphasis on heavy metal and rock, so we are not considered any more so electronic. But we are an electronic band, we mix trance with heavy metal. I don’t know how we fit in the East Coast/West Coast thing. We like LA, we live over here, we like the weather. Fuck the East Coast and uh, fuck Baltimore by the way, and especially fuck Baltimore, and yeah- we kind of like it over here.

DF5K: Me too, me too! So the new album coming out, Legend of the Black Shawarma: how is it different? How is it fresh? What is new for you guys?

IM: First of all, you know the guests on the album, Jonathan Davis of course the lead singer of Korn is in the video clip we are shooting today; Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, Paul Oakenfold working with us on the album. Me and Erez we took a bit different approach on this album, bringing people that are not familiar with our kind of style; actually they were but nevermind. So you know they come from different genres and we put them on the album. We wanted to do it actually with Vicious Delicious two years ago and didn’t have the chance; now we have the time, they have the time and we are happy that it came out.

DF5K: How is it working with Paul Oakenfold, the greatest legend ever and shit?

IM: It is really great, you know Paul helped us a lot in many directions even in electronic music we didn’t know. Me and Erez have been doing this for so many years but Paul took it to a much higher level, especially here in the States. He met us with so many people and so many things, and so it actually, it was great.

DF5K: You guys are in the middle of a tour. Where do you go next?

IM: We’re doing Russia, Moscow this weekend then we are coming back again to the United States doing Salt Lake City and EDC here in LA downtown, a great party and yeah actually July, a little bit of the States and then going to Europe again.

DF5K: How do you see the crowds and community, how is it different in Europe as opposed to here?

IM: I think that the rave scene here now in the States got a new fresh crowd, a different crowd than used to be before. In Europe, they’ve been seeing raves for twenty years, you know. For me and Erez, we feel much more excited playing here in the U.S. because the crowds are much more into it. 

“Especially Baltimore!” interjects one of the other band members.

(Duvdev continues) Fuck Baltimore! Actually Baltimore is wonderful, the best spot…

“Suddenly Baltimore is on the page again!”

(Duvdev continues) By the way, fuck Baltimore.

DF5K: Especially!

IM: But anyway yeah the crowds in the United States are really appreciative, they go mental at the shows and me and Erez, we kind of like it for the moment over here.

DF5K: I saw you guys in Seattle last year and I noticed the crowd was younger and lots of females too, a big female draw…

IM: Good times, good times!

DF5K: You don’t often see that for techno shows and other genres of EDM.

IM: Good times, by the way! Especially in Baltimore! No- there are no girls in Baltimore.

DF5K: If you bring the girls, the boys will follow. Right on. So where are you most excited about going for your next show?

IM: Moscow is really exciting, always good shows over there; back to the States EDC is one of the biggest, here in downtown, we look forward to that.

DF5K: Are you guys playing on Friday or Saturday?

IM: Saturday, and we are looking forward to that because we did two EDCs already, a huge show, great reaction. Looking forward to Salt Lake City, one day before ON the Salt Lake, last time was a great show- mucho mucho mucho girls. We like Salt Lake City. Utah! And fuck Baltimore.

DF5K: So who is inspiring you guys, what music do you listen to all the time, right now: who are you really digging?

IM: You know me and Erez we listen to everything, from electronic, heavy metal, radio, hip hop, whatever comes along. We like Depeche Mode, everything. This album is influenced by so many bands.

DF5K: Are there any particular LA artists you like?

IM: Actually, I don’t know. I like Incubus lately. I didn’t before but I do now.

DF5K: What do you guys think about dubstep? It’s blowing up here in LA and all over.

IM: I have heard of them but I didn’t hear their music.

DF5K: It’s a new genre, real bass heavy and whompy and underground.

IM: I have heard the name but not the music yet so I don’t know.

DF5K: Awesome. So are you gonna be here all day shooting the video? How long does it take?

IM: We are here for the morning and we have some night scenes to shoot, basically you are coming to a club and it has to be night.

DF5K: Yeah I was confused walking up here in daylight hours, like ‘Where is the Roxy?’ It’s daylight and I didn’t recognize anything!

IM: Yeah so we are doing the shoot now and it is gonna go all through the night.

DF5K: Are you pretty involved in the design of the video?

IM: Well we came up with the script and then we leave it to the guys who know what they’re doing; we do the music and hopefully it will come as we envision it.

DF5K: Do you go out a lot in LA to hear music?

IM: Actually no because we do three to four shows a week, then we come and we have our families, babies, and to produce and stuff, so actually I don’t go out so much. We are in clubs anyway. Yesterday the Lakers won…

DF5K: Did you riot? Throw a trash can on a cop car?

IM: I went rioting, I had a beer.

DF5K: Run down the interstate?

IM: I went crazy, yeah. 

DF5K: Do you think you’ll stay in LA for a while?

IM: I know we’re feeling pretty cool now over here, we have homes over here, good times, quiet times, and for now we are here.

DF5K: What about Baltimore?

IM: Fuck Baltimore!

*******

Catch Infected Mushroom at the Electric Daisy Carnival in LA, and for more tour dates around the world click here.

Read my account of the video shoot for “Smashing the Opponent” here.

Who is this hipster with DuvDev?Who is this fucking hipster with DuvDev?