Archive for laura

A Midwinter’s Chill: Apparat, Bluetech, Deru, Marty Party, Heyoka & Nanda (REVIEW)

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by worldromper

The Sea of Dreams party ignited my idea to go to San Francisco for the New Year’s Eve weekend, but what sealed the deal was the show put on by an-ten-nae the following night, A Midwinter’s Chill.

I was drawn in by the eclectic lineup packed with heavy talent, a well-designed evening of artists bringing a myriad of styles and genres to the stage. It was set to be the perfect exhale for the wild night before, and when I walked into the venue Friday night I did just that. Although I love the all-out massives, I really love smaller and more intimate festivities where it is easier to talk to people, from the bartender to the DJ to the promoter to new friends in the crowd.

Sliding in around 11PM I missed almost all of Nanda‘s set; judging from the songs on his Myspace page, this was a mistake. Luckily up next was Deru, whose sets seem to get better each time I hear him, always casting out juicy tracks so lush they are almost lurid.

The details of the venue itself faded into the background against a swirl of revelers, heady from holiday celebrations, myself included. A couple of new friends had decided to hit the party with Android Bishop and I after hearing the music I was playing back at the house- I truly believe that the only reason that people don’t listen to the music I do is because they haven’t heard it yet. Running into a few homies from LA as well, I romped around the party with random friends at three stages of music- a swell deal for the $20 door cover.

Outside Dance Floor

The hot and sweaty side room was pulsing with the sounds of Laura and Shawna who had both played Sea of Dreams the night before, and even better was the outside smoking area presided over by a giant bus pumping out slap-happy dubstep. The heat lamps weren’t even needed as the crowd was bumping and hopping. I don’t know who the DJs were and I meant to climb into the bus where people were dancing and find out, but I kept getting pulled back to the main stage.

I enjoyed Bluetech‘s music more than ever before; sometimes his sets can be bit too downtempo for my hyperactive self, but this one seemed to hit exactly the right pace and smooth over any ridges in the night, working the dance floor into a warm lather.

Apparat's Hands

Next up was Apparat, revving the party up a notch with a firey blend of technoish beats that seemed orchestral they were so encompassing and riveting. And riveted I was; it was one of those nights where I hardly even hit the bar or the bathroom, I was bound to the dance floor, my home.

Marty Party was the much-welcomed surprise guest, further upping the ante with trip-smacking tunes and a stage presence that made me smile as much as his beats made me groove. He is fun to watch, especially from the stage which is where I found myself for much of the night, hiding out behind the speakers for the best view in the house.

AND SHILO

Bringing down the night was another favorite of mine- Heyoka, whose grinding, chunky tunes seem to twist the bass into new animals that run off across the dance floor, contorting every body they encounter into slobbering spasms. I didn’t get to stay for his whole set as my ride was seriously about to drive off without me- but I walked out into the morning absolutely blissful from two incredible nights of dancing and music. Setting the tone for the days to come, there is no better place to start a new year and a new decade than the dance floor.

Much love and mad props to an-ten-nae; I have enjoyed his music for quite a while but have only recently experienced his prowess as an event producer. Also quite the character, this guy is at the top of my book! I would love to hear a little more of Muti Music‘s crunchy style down in SoCal, and with Mimosa now living in LA it is only a matter of time before it happens.

There is a collision of cataclysmic proportions going on right now between hip hop and electronic music; two continents of style crashing together to create an epic mountain range. Each peak is a different new sound, and we are living smack in the middle of the mountains. Hope you’ve got your climbing gear on.

First the West Coast, and then the world.

And one last time, happy 2010. Let’s do this shit.

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 September 23, 2009 by worldromper

DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, True Artists, you know…

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

  1. Lafa Taylor
  2. Glitch Mob
  3. Bassnectar
  4. Laura
  5. Claude Von Stroke
  6. Neptune
  7. Pretty Lights
  8. Mimosa
  9. Mary Anne Hobbs
  10. Mala

MALAPhoto by Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir – Gullfoss, Iceland 2007

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!