By: Jordan Calvano
Admit it. You’ve either hit up What The Festival in the past and plan on going every year for the rest of your life, or you’re dying to attend and have lost a fair amount of sleep over it. That’s just the type of festival this is.
The blowout event returning for the fourth time to Wolf Run Ranch in Dufur, Oregon from June 19-22 has become synonymous with overly stacked lineups, billing a diverse array of artists from across the globe each year. 2015 follows a similar path, looking to please lovers of electronic music with a variety of individual preferences.
Whether you crave live instrumentations, trap, future bass, beat scene, house, glitch, rock, dubstep, techno, ambient, or just about any genre, there will definitely be something you can get down with. Regardless, we wanted to make things easier for you. There are almost 100 names this year. Face it. There will be conflicts. You obviously want to catch headliners like Odesza, GRiZ, and Big Gigantic, but here are ten other sets that you can’t miss. Tickets are still available, so avoid the FOMO and experience it first hand.
10. Hustle and Drone
Portland’s own Hustle and Drone will be bringing an entirely unique aesthetic to What The Festival this year. Their upbeat mixture of electronic rock sensibilities with beat-based influences adds up to a potent live sound, one that shines through their debut album Holyland with each abstract creation. The trio will be touring Europe for most of April, perfecting their instrument-based style of performance while spreading Northwest pride to the world. We can imagine they’ll pick up a thing or two during their travels, so bring your dancing shoes and they will take care of the rest.
9. Great Dane
Those familiar with the LA beat scene know all about Great Dane. The versatile performer is a co-founder of the forward-thinking collective Team Supreme, and is revered for throwing down an energetic set each time he steps up to the decks. On the production side, we’ve witnessed him release three animal themed albums on Alpha Pup chock full of hip-hop inspired tracks, solidifying himself as a multi-faced force in the game. If you enjoy his sound, make sure to watch Soulection favorites IAMNOBODI, Insightful, and The Whooligan too.
Daktyl isn’t your average producer signed to Mad Decent, but it’s no surprise that Diplo was rushing to get a piece of the UK native after his rapid ascension. The Hegemon and Trapdoor associated act is the truth. Hands down, no questions asked. He caught our attention back in the early stages of 2014 when he dropped his brilliant remix of Japanese Wallpaper, and there has been no stopping since then. His debut album will dropping on Mad Decent in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for more music.
7. Sweater Beats
For those that love futuristic instrumentations and soaring R&B vocals, we highly recommend New York resident Sweater Beats. The burgeoning producer ended 2014 by touring across college campuses with Chance The Rapper and Young & Sick, bringing his synth-heavy tracks to a new fan base. His Cloud City EP was nothing short of an instant classic, official remixes for Kastle, Flume, and Alesso have propelled him into all new territories, and we can personally attest to his ability to throw down a memorable set. Bring your best sweater (or onesie) and get cozy.
6. Slow Magic
Another live performance that you don’t want to miss is Slow Magic. The mysterious artist brings his glowing mask and blissful sound together, utilizing drums and a bevy of electronic gizmos to create an invigorating set that will make you feel young again. This was a consistent theme throughout his most recent album How To Run Away, coalescing glitched vocals, tantalizing drum work, and magical synthesizers from start to finish. His music is thoroughly addicting. There’s not turning back after you press play, and the same goes for his enrapturing live setup that will be on full display at Wolf Run Ranch.
5. Sister City
Sister City is a fresh label and project from EPROM, Hej Fund, and Grenier that will be making its live debut on the grounds of What The Festival this year. While we’ve yet to hear any output from all three members together, their individual releases on Sister City’s Soundcloud suggest that much of the project is inspired by Hej Fund and Grenier’s time in LA’s underground club scene, dabbling in a darker techno sound. Bring Eprom’s schizophrenic bass music into the music, and there’s no guessing what this might sound like.
Ambassaduers hasn’t become a household name just yet, but we have a feeling that is all going to change in the near future. The rising producer from Brighton toured with Odesza last year, and it wouldn’t be all that suprising to see his flourishing project garner the type of success the now ubiquitous Seattle duo is currently experiencing with the right push. His most recent single “Can’t You See” and Forever EP proved just how far he is willing to propel his own sonic limits, dabbling with a lofty sound that is aching to catch on with the masses. Take note.
3. Vapor City
Travis Stewart was all over What The Festival in 2013. The cutting-edge musician performed twice as Machinedrum, once during his scheduled time slot and also making a wild guest appearance at the pool party, and with Jimmy Edgar for their collaborative duo JETS. 2015 is now following a similar path. Stewart will once again be taking the stage as Machinedrum, but the set we are most looking forward to is Vapor City. The abstract Ninja Tune project has always been ever elusive like the man behind the alias, and getting to witness this live will be a once in a life time opportunity for many people.
2. Justin Martin
Dirtybird has always shown a heavy presence at What The Festival since day one, and for good reason. There’s always reason to celebrate once their booty shaking beats drop, and this year we get to experience Justin Martin at What The Festival for the first time since 2012. The pizza-obsessed DJ and producer just might be the most unanimously loved electronic artist in the world, and he will be reppin’ Dirtybird alongside Justin Jay and Eats Everything in 2015. Are you ready to shake your ass at the function?
1. The Funk Hunters & Chali 2na
The Funk Hunters are all about pushing boundaries in the world of electronic music. The Canadian duo has expertly crafted a glitched out and funk inspired sound over the years, catching the attention of crowds all over the world who can’t help but get rowdy once their instrument backed production kicks in. They are touring relentlessly right now, and will be making an unforgettable stop at What The Festival that will include Jurassic 5 legend Chali 2na on the microphone. This will make for the perfect late night set, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some other artists on the lineup come out and perform.
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