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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.

STS9 “Peaceblaster” Remix Album to Benefit New Orleans Make It Right Foundation

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2009 by worldromper

I cannot wait to spend my money on this music.

theneworleansmakeitrightSTS9 and 1320 Records drop remix album Peaceblaster on June 23rd and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Make It Right Foundation of New Orleans, an organization dedicated to rebuilding the city and helping reestablish the lives of so many people whose worlds were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

I am from the dirty South; I grew up drinking purple and have spent many beautiful days and more than a few crazy nights in the rich, colorful, delicious city of New Orleans. It is a place thick with layers of a storied past and a city like no other place on earth. 

Make It Right is Brad Pitt’s lovechild (one of ’em) and the foundation is working with the residents of the ravaged 9th Ward to rebuild the neighborhood in a sustainable fashion while retaining all of the character and soul that makes New Orleans so special.

Besides helping people who really need it, JUST CHECK OUT this ridiculous list of just some of the 30 artists who remix STS9 songs on Peaceblaster:

  • Lazer Sword
  • Glitch Mob
  • Eskmo
  • Bluetech
  • Alex B
  • Ott
  • Nosaj Thing
  • Welder
  • Deru
  • Pretty Lights
  • Eliot Lipp
  • Daedelus
  • Bass Science

See the rest of the artists and the track list here; the album drops June 23 and will be available on iTunes or at 1320 Records. Buy that shit.

Read my review of STS9 with the Glitch Mob at the Wiltern Theatre in LA here.

Going Down This Week (Nov 17-23)

Posted in Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2008 by worldromper

Your weekly rundown of Shilo-approved electronic music events this week. 

Wednesday:

  • VITAL Wednesdays at Contour: Recess, Sonny Chiba, and PrEssHa

Thursday:

  • Hauschka, Tom Brosseau, and The Site Below ambient show at the Triple Door
  • CHROME TOAST: OTT, Phidelity and Skoi Sirius at Nectar Lounge (whomp whomp whomp)
  • KiloWatts and Vibesquad in Bellingham

(I am torn between staying in town for the bomb shows here or heading up to Bellingham and am still undecided!)
Friday: 

  • Shadow Dancer of Boys Noize at Chop Suey. Bangin’ hard techno.
  • Shift Dubstep at Contour with D’Code from the UK

Saturday:

  • Buddhaful Groove Drive with MC Souleye, Vibesquad, Kitty D, Noisemaker, Northstar, Marmalade and more. Last year this party ROCKED. It is a food drive so bring food. I will be here.
  • Uninfected Techno with Adam X and Bryan Zentz (I LOVE TECHNO!)
  • Funk D’Void at SeeSound Lounge. Weird venue but silly awesome music
  • Afterhours at the Clubhouse with Funk D’Void, Dave Pezzner, and Carlos Mendoza of Lawnchair Generals- $5. I will be here too no doubt.

From the Front Lines: Thursday Night

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by worldromper

‘From the Front Lines’ is where I will recap what went down and what went downtown on the streets of Seattle. Last night things were bangin’ and I had a good night- but not too crazy, we have a BIG weekend ahead!

First of all, the rumor floating around last night that KiloWatts will be playing with Bassnectar in Bellingham on Sunday night is WRONG, as Jamie confirmed for me this morning. However he will be in Bellingham on Thursday the 20th with Vibesquad, which will be a giant show and now brings up the dilemma: do I drive to Bellingham on Thursday or stay in town to see my friend Rafael at the Triple Door followed up by the OTT/Phidelity show at Nectar? Decisions, decisions.

Plus there is the option of driving to Bellingham on Sunday to see Bassnectar again. It’s not that far.

So last night my first stop (after Dante’s, what???) was the Crimson C where Hendrik was playing psy-something and a few peeps were really rocking it on the dance floor. I am not the hugest psy-whatever fan but I really was enjoying the music and had a fun dancing to the faster beats. 

Down the road Trinity was going OFF- could have been the $1 shots and no cover they had going on. The drum and bass in the blue room wasn’t doing a whole lot for me but Kreeper was going freaking nuts in the Main Room; I love that guy- he has a great time playing, he has great energy and it just spills out all over the dance floor. And the ladies agree- Trinity was FULL of hot chicks busting it and I got to hang out and dance with my chicas, which is always fun. Girls seem to have more fun than boys, right? Maybe those are just my friends.

Back at Crimson C Aaron Hoyle was playing some weird bassy tracks, kind of freakish and odd which is just how I like things. Around 1AM Noisemaker jumped back on and we all (like all 5 of us) got down proper. He played the new Bassnectar EP with the super-weird Beats Antique Roustabout song; evil carnival music for the bearded lady and three-necked man and shit. I can’t remember which track he was mixing in with it but it was super fucking sweet. Bassnectar on Saturday is going to be so insane. I am so excited. You MUST go to the show. 

I shut down the dance floor at Crimson then popped over to Contour for the one year anniversary of Booty Call where Mamma Zona, Lovevirus and others were STILL celebrating Awggie’s birthday. Naha was spinning mad hard-core, break-core, I-don’t-know-what core beats and we were getting down for a while. I kept trying to leave and then getting sucked back onto the dance floor because the music was so good! This happens A LOT to me. I ran into some fun and unexpected friends which always makes the night more interesting!

OKAY so tonight- BALLS OUT at Rebar! Get out those red, white, and blues! I am so excited for this weekend, and my very good friend and fellow dancing freak Tricia will be in the house (literally) to party with us; she has been in Cali for a while and I am so stoked to see her tonight!

AND YOU! See you on the dance floor,

Shilo