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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.

BOBOLINK Music Festival: May 29-31 in NoCal

Posted in Events, Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by worldromper

I’m pretty stoked to find out that the 5th annual Bobolink Festival in NoCal is the weekend after DEMF, meaning that I can go to BOTH!

Peep a taste of the ROCKIN’ lineup:

novaTRON, mad scientist extraordinaire!

EOTO

Vibesquad (whomp whomp whomp)

HALO (Kitty-D & Mimosa)

ill.gates (AKA The Phat Conductor)

KnowSleep (Knowa Knowone & Sleepyhead)

Beats Antique

LYNX & Janover

…and of course, heaps more bassy goodness! Check out the whole lineup here.

 

You All Know About the Memekast, Right?

Posted in LISTEN TO THIS, Note to Readers with tags , , , , on March 25, 2009 by worldromper

 

Audio mind control for the people! There are about 40 podcasts available now, all mostly glitched out bass slut music from the gods. It is my favorite podcast in the entire universe.

Fresh up is a “dubbed out crunkstep” mix from Sexytime (Sleepyhead and Mimosa).

Enhance your reality here.

Seattle. REBAR. Tonight! NALEPA, Sleepyhead, Noisemaker, Woo & Northstar

Posted in Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2009 by worldromper

The astrological Age of Aquarius already dawned about nine years ago but screw it, like you can see the stars on a winter night in Seattle anyway! Come say happy birthday to sweetheart Jessica Rabbit and all the other January babies tonight AND experience the best music in town, no question. 

Northstar, otherwise known as the bad-ass glassblower, starts off the evening with his brand of bass which I last enjoyed with a big smile on my face around 9AM one rainy morning. He is followed by Woo, or Andrew Luck, who has already been hailed as the new people’s favorite in Seattle by several dancing freaks. He laid down a set at a New Year’s Eve after after after party that made my head swim and my knees bend down to the floor, again and again.

You all know what I think of Noisemaker who with some help from a fabulous writer and promoter has pioneered the crunkedouthyphyfunkadelicpsybrokenwhomphopmusicforbasssluts sound in Seattle and is currently earning my heart by using some crazy island beats from the South Pacific mixed in with dirty dubstep from the streets of London. His disparate (yet never random) track selection always excites the dance floor; he throws shit down that no one else can get away with, earning him a bold and fearless reputation. Noisemaker does what Noisemaker wants. This kid loves what he does to the crowd, and why not? He does it so well.

Sleepyhead is also a favorite of mine and hails from the Bay Area and I encourage you to click this sentence and listen to some of the fatty tracks on his Myspace page right now. Yeah that’s right! I’m rockin’ out myself this morning and had to take just a little break from this post to get down and dance around my living room for a bit. FEKKING FELTHY.

Rounding out the birthday evening so very nicely out of all this talent is my favorite of all, headliner Steve Nalepa who you may have heard at the Native State Showcase at the 2008 Decibel Festival, a.k.a. one of the best weekends of your year. Steve is from my new hometown of LA and this wave-maker has just completed a tour around the western US with Bass Science, his collaboration with Tokyo-based Matt B. Nalepa is part of a loose-knit group of live mad scientists and future freaks down here in Los Angeles who are changing the evolution of music with each beat they drop; what they are doing now is affecting what the masses will be listening and dancing to in five years. His sound however is like no other, beautifully designed and intelligently assembled, all with plenty of fertile bass guaranteed to make you shake your ass, lift your soul, and down those shitty drinks at Rebar like there’s no tomorrow.

And when you’re the birthday girl, that’s exactly how you should party! 

Happy Birthday Ms. Rabbit! Somebody buy her a drink for me! Nah, how about EVERYBODY just get your ASS on the DANCE FLOOR for me and try not to spend all night in the three thousand car parties in the parking lot. Hey I’ve been to the Rebar once or twice!

Have fun and enjoy the night of future sound in the 206!

Low End Theory: Cherry Popped

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2009 by worldromper

So for my first night out in LA I went to ‘Low End Theory’ at this place called the Airliner just north of Chinatown- my kind of place for sure, nice and dark and gritty with a supersweet sound system. Playing? Oh you know, just the MOTHERFUCKING GASLAMP KILLER (apparently a resident DJ there) along with Lipp Service, Eliot’s Lipp’s mad live electronic band, and Bass Science, otherwise known as Steve Nalepa and Matt B. There were some other artists there as well I didn’t know, but I will.

Nalepa is playing at the Rebar in Seattle on January 31 along with Sleepyhead and my good friend Noisemaker; for any of you reading this in Seatown (which is like, ALL of you)- do NOT miss this bass slut show, and that is an order.

Anyway I walked up to the venue and of course started bullshitting with the various freaks out front, one of whom turned out to be the manager of the place, and therefore Shilo drank for free the rest of the night. As if you didn’t know, free vodka is a double-edged sword which must be handled with a delicate touch. The mad amount of talent in this upstairs room on a Wednesday night blew my mind, and had me dancing like the freak I am for hours. Oh yes.

You may have noticed that you don’t get much of a review sometimes out of me, and it is almost always because I had too much fun, and that was the case on my virgin night out in LA. Though I did come here to write for musicians so I will soon be getting my shit together and writing up reviews for real; stay tuned to hear about the STS9 show on Saturday night at the Wiltern. It should be a sweet show and the openers? Some kids named the Glitch Mob. Tonight there’s a little party with Flying Lotus and SamIYam, otherwise known as FlyAmSam. And I also heard talk of a rooftop party with Robot Koch, one-third of one of my favorite musical groups in the world, Jahcoozi. He’s driving down from San Fran in a rent car as I type.

So yeah, I am in heaven and wondering what took me so fucking long to get to the center of the universe. After a week of unsuccessful job and apartment hunting, it was a great slap in the face to remember why I moved here- the music, the music, the music, and the sunshine. I am in the honeymoon phase of moving to a new place, and am skipping around town like a fucking crackhead, dancing to the dubstep which gets stuck in my brain, and driving around with the windows down, all with a stupid, shit-eating grin plastered on my face 24/7