Lightning in a Bottle Review + Slideshow (Part 2) / Silverado, CA / Memorial Day Weekend 2012
Date: Jun 12, 2012 (Tuesday)Article By: Tami Gallant ; Photos By: Avi Gallant
Sat. 5/26/12 – Day 3
Saturday starts off with some bi-polar weather; a sunny day with beautiful blue skies yet icy cool breezes and patches of dark gray clouds keep floating through. It is really hot sitting in the sun but chilling in the shade. It’s a layers-on/layers-off kind of day but nobody at LIB is complaining about this weather.
Derek VanScoten (formerly D.V.S*), a Brooklyn based producer, kicks off the music on the Lightning Stage on Saturday afternoon with easy-listening downtempo grooves and beautiful melodies. Derek opens up the set with “Axé Babá” while listeners melt to the soft soothing sounds. He layers electric guitar over delicate samples and beats. This is the kind of music you don’t have to think, “Hmmm, do I like it?” Because the positive sounds fill your body with a feel good sensation and you know you love it. A sudden blend of hip-hop picks up the tempo and then you are back in that familiar groove until he changes it up again with some harder bass. Then another changeup to some jammed out riffs. People are spread out across the lawn enjoying these guitar-soaked experimental dance beats along with the sun. The crowd in front of the stage continues to grow as people hear his music and are drawn in. There is a special guest appearance by Shane Madden (aka Govinda) who joins Derek on stage with his violin. The peaceful beats and steady build-ups leave listeners in a trance while the set demonstrates Derek is a talented live musician and producer.
Meanwhile, over at the Bamboo Stage, GoldRush, a Los Angeles based producer debuts a few new songs for LIB. GoldRush is known for his bass heavy music and creating a unique genre of dubstep that he calls “Epic / Romantic / Bass”. His music is all self-produced and he uses lots of layers to romance his listeners. Goldrush is very animated on stage, lots of fist pumping and he changes his look a few times switching sunglasses and throwing on a hat. His set is a mixture of deep wobbly bass, dubstep and downtempo. The crowd is full of blissful dancing people. Everyone is enjoying the transitions from downtempo into heavy bass drops.
Back over at the Lighting Stage, the crowd is super mellow for Janover’s livetronica set. Jamie Janover is currently touring solo but has been involved in the EDM world for many years, previously touring with groups like Zilla, LYNX & Janover, PRAANG and many others. He is also a master of traditional hammered dulcimer which he has been performing on for over 2 decades. He defines his unique genre, “Electroacoustic DulcimerStep” and his set-up includes the hammered dulcimer, a laptop, his “mini-kit” (miniature amplified drum kit), as well as other instruments. There is a female vocalist on stage with Janover. This music has Indian and tribal influences which are reminiscent of tunes fitting for a yoga soundtrack.
Nighttime arrives and here comes EOTO, the livetronica duo of Michael Travis and Jason Hann, ready to lay down a one-of-a-kind set. Thousands of people have gathered at the Lightning Stage to experience the trademark improvised dubstep, electro and House sound for which EOTO is known. Michael Travis amazes the listeners by constantly programming new beats while at the same time performing and switching between various live instruments. Jason Hann switches between percussion, live drum beats and electronic drum pad samples. The dance party continues throughout the entire set as the two musicians feed off of the crowd’s high energy.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles native glitch bass producer Sugarpill is hosting a party at the Bamboo Stage while he throws down his set with his Headtron posse up on stage with him. The smoke machine is in full effect and the crowd is thick. Sugarpill makes a shout out to Chris B. as he delivers a slow jam with some wobbly bass. He later drops fan favorite, “So Good” with its blend of soulful glitch-hop, vocal samples, and fine-tuned bass. Sugarpill uses a combination of his laptop, ipad, and mixer to create futuristic beats that leave other producers scratching their heads. This set perfectly blends melodic glitch hop and dubstep.
An-ten-nae is up next at the Bamboo Stage. Adam Ohana (aka An-ten-nae) is a San Francisco producer and DJ known for his signature “Acid Crunk” sound. His art of live remixing and blending genres like dubstep, electronica and breaks with heavy bass has been a major influence in the West Coast bass culture. He keeps his music fresh mixing in samples from relevant songs and creating original tracks live that he describes in his own words as an, “in the moment freeform kinda thing“. He also surprises his listeners by occasionally throwing some downtempo into the set. A pretty girl in black knee-high boots, skinny jeans & a bra top joins him on stage to play the Taiko drum for his LIB opening track, a recently released remix of Florence + The Machine’s “Breath of Life”. In the second song, a bass drum sound dominates the intro with female vocal samples from a remixed version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. A remix of Flux Pavilion’s “Bass Cannon” follows. Clearly a fan favorite, the lawn is packed, people are dancing their asses off, and this acid crunk party is undoubtedly the place to be.
The Glitch Mob is tonight’s headliner on the Lightning Stage. The trio from Los Angeles includes Edward Ma (“edIT”), Justin Boreta (“Boreta”), and Josh Mayer (“Ooah”). They refuse to define their music which spans multiple genres like electro, breaks, glitch-hop, and drum & bass, but has a sound uniquely its own. They got off to a slightly late start at 12:45am. Someone apologizes saying let’s get into it and immediately launches into a set of low frequency earth-shaking bass and glitch-heavy pandemonium. The lawn is packed and people are not phased at all by the frigid early am temperatures. Highlights from the set include a sexy aerial dancer who came out to perform on silks hanging front center of the stage during “We Can Make the World Stop.” The crowd loves when they bust out their remix of Matty G’s “West Coast Rocks,” ultimately closing out the night with their remix of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
Sun. 5/27/12 – Day 4
It’s Sunday, and the weather is perfect for the last day of LIB. By now, everyone is in full-on festival mode, kinda dirty, super zen, full of love and light. It is almost like there is a bubble of positive energy covering the festival grounds. This is the magic that happens at a festival that is done right.
It is 5:30pm and Govinda is on the Lightning Stage. Shane Madden (aka Govinda) is a producer from Austin, TX who describes his music as “Gypsy Dubtronica”. His performance incorporates beats and melodies from around the world to create his unique style. The set starts out spooky with deep wobbly bass. The second song has more of a hip-hop feel with a female vocalist sample. The third song has a tribal Indian influence. The fourth song slows down for some dub. Throughout the set Shane moves back and forth between his laptop and playing the violin. There are also other performers on stage creating visual expressions of the music including a hula hooper, a dancer with a scarf, two belly dancers with swords, and then three girls came out dancing with scarves together. Shane continues to mix it up throughout the set and the crowd loves it. The lawn is full and people are moving their bodies to the beats. It is that perfect time of day when the sun starts to set, still sunny but not hot.
Random Rab (with live band) gets going at the Lightning Stage around 7:15pm. Rab is an independent artist from San Francisco who only plays his own originally produced music using an assortment of instruments, drum machines, sequencers and samples. For this evening’s performance, Rab is playing what looks like it could be a 21-string Chinese harp-like instrument joined by Jason “Cedar” Miller on percussion and Ilya Goldberg on violin. This uplifting livetronica set provides an ideal soundtrack for the gorgeous sunset as listeners fall in love with the relaxing sound. As day turns to night, a beautiful girl in a big white dress comes out dancing with fire. When the fire goes out she rips off the dress and starts belly dancing. This music contains organic elements that evoke an emotional response from the audience. As the set comes to a close, minds are elevated and hearts full of gratitude in response to receiving this beautiful gift of music.
It is 8:30pm and R/D is up next at the Lightning Stage. The aesthetic shift from Random Rab’s set is palpable. Trading smooth soundscapes for the jagged glitch of his bass, R/D echoes his own shift in his career. Heavier hits, like his new “Love HaR/D” single, dot his set. Still powerfully emotional, the cuts dig into the deeper and darker side of passion. He’s also joined by his Pair of Arrows compatriot, the lovely and talented Swan for a couple vocal numbers. Fans are getting caught up in the beautiful stage show that accompanies the fiery bass of R/D.
It is almost 10:30pm and the freaks are out in full force. It is the last night and they showed up to party with Big Gigantic at the Lightning Stage. This livetronica duo of Boulder, CO is comprised of saxophonist/producer, Dominic Lalli, and drummer, Jeremy Salken. Big Gigantic is known for mixing dynamic jazz melodies with energetic dance beats creating a unique soulful sound that stands out in the EDM world. As the set takes off, the lawn scene gets a bit chaotic as more and more people are pushing their way in to become part of the mob near the front of the stage. Eventually the chaos subsides as the crowd becomes one large pulsating mass of people locked into the glorious grooves that Big Gigantic is throwing down. Big Gigantic kills this set pushing their music to a higher level and giving fans the dance party they are craving. The pulse-pounding energy and excitement from this set proves that Big Gigantic is surely a highlight of the weekend.
As the festival comes to a close, regardless of some noticeable levels of sleep deprivation, people walk away from LIB feeling replenished. A new level of positive energy has been created that participants carry with them far beyond the festival grounds. Portals have opened creating a higher consciousness and greater love that radiates from deep within the soul. This is something intangible that has been crafted along with the stellar displays of art, intoxicating music productions, healing experiences of yoga and meditation, enlightening seminars, and mind-opening interactions within the community.
Huge thanks to The Confluence for giving The Untz the opportunity to cover press at this magical event. And of course thanks to The Do LaB for hosting yet another unforgettable celebration of “making miracles and catching Lightning in a Bottle”. They really are creating one of the most artistically innovative and extraordinary festivals on our planet.