Published: March 14, 2014
By: Jacki (Moon) Moon
Photos by: Mario Villeda
The Desert Dwellers headlined their first club show in Austin, Texas at The Parish last month for an evening of sacred sound, conscious bass and raised vibrations. The show brought the transformational festival vibe to the heart of 6th street through the otherworldly sounds of the Desert Dwellers and two other remarkably talented IDM producers known as Futexture and Cactus Bath, as well as through breathtaking art instillations and alluringly exotic performance. The night’s intricacies came together to create an all-encompassing experience that transcended the typical EDM show boundaries by pushing the cosmic envelope.
The Desert Dwellers, comprised of Amani Friend and Treavor Moontribe, are becoming notorious for harnessing the sound of the sacred through earthy percussion and cultured bass. Having missed the duo’s heartfelt sunrise set at Art Outside this year, I felt truly privileged to allow my senses some redemption this weekend in order to obtain a complete understanding of the Desert Dwellers experience.
The Desert Dwellers produce and perform more than just electronic music; they craft exotically soothing musical prayers that open the heart and mind to new realms, as was witnessed Saturday. What struck me most about their performance was experiencing the reciprocal relationship that Friend and Moontribe created with the fans in the crowd, and the performers on stage. Everyone involved in the magic atmosphere resonated and thrived off each other’s energy to create a chill-evoking transformational process through a downtempo journey that spiraled around buddhaful bass and exotic chants. It was a one of a kind euphonic experience that can best be summarized by the sticker on Treavor Moontribe’s laptop, which reads “live with love”.
Futexture, a.k.a. David Krantz, took the stage with his own psychedelic soundscapes along with the kaleidoscopic neon-hued visuals of Deloscinari (Sean Blake) before Desert Dwellers’ set. Futexture’s sound is dynamic and multifaceted, as he juxtaposes outer-space basslines, which at some points sound like humans speaking in tongues, over soothing melodic lullabies. The name “Futexture” is extremely fitting considering David Krantz produces futuristic textured soundscapes that are packed with glitched-up blips and out-of-this world style; his live set was like a spaceship ride through outer-space.
Cactus Bath, a rising IDM producer, started the night’s dance party out on the right vibe with his all-original set of basscentric wurrbly beats. The recent Austin transplant utilities some seriously sexy glitch and deliciously deep bass. He also reveled in the night’s psychedelic vibe with his incorporation of Bill Hicks’ heady standup samples in his set. That weekend was my ear’s first experience with Cactus Bath, but I’m looking forward to hearing more of the producer’s work in the future.
In addition to euphonic delights and musical prayers, the show provided the aesthetic treats of gorgeous performers, unique art instillations, and enthralling background visuals. The strikingly beautiful and exceptionally talented performers Sweetness Melissa, Ishstar, Sierra Blossom and Mirabai channeled the magnificence of the music through their movement, rhythm and presence on stage. A gorgeous shrine that consisted of an LED garden, crystals and synthetic succulents was strewn across the stage throughout the night as well. The night’s exotic elements came together to create and unforgettable experience.
EDM is sometimes wrongfully criticized as merely being noise, but last month’s showcase of intelligent dance music demonstrated just how imaginative, soothing and meditative electronic music genuinely has the potential to be. This new genre of IDM demonstrated by the Desert Dwellers, Futexture and Cactus Bath is tapping into the consciousness of the open-minded listener to create a beautiful culture that transcends beyond what meets the eye.