By: Emily Freeman
Sonic Bloom has delivered heart-pounding, aesthetically satisfying, and spiritually enlightening festivals in Colorado’s majestic wildlife for the past half-decade. The festival combines amateur and world-renowned DJs with performing and visual artists to present the ultimate campout experience. Audiences at Sonic Bloom are encouraged to discover their own creativity and to transcend limitations of existence. This spring, Sonic Bloom brought this spirit to San Francisco’s 103 Harriett for a pre-party anticipating the latest SB incarnation in late June. Though nature went as far as the trees outside the city club and professional artists were absent, the audience found its own way to creative innovation.
The assorted crowd made their way through what, on first blush, appeared to be another mainstream San Franciscan club decorated with corny neon lights. However, the desolate foyer was no reflection of the main room. Psychedelic lights accentuated the controversially clad audience. Males swung their hips in long, cloth skirts and the girls’ gold armbands and intimidating silver studs enhanced their rhythmically flailing arms. Audience members became performers using yard long lights to entertain the dance floor as the appropriately obscure sounds of Jamie Janover, Love & Light, and the Bay Area’s An-ten-nae acted on their own as outlets for expression.
Janover energized the crowd with his innovative musical style. His electronic sound is balanced by his unique use of the non-traditional hammered dulcimer. The combination of his acoustic and electronic sounds creates a sense of unity in his audiences that is hard to come by nowadays. His musical insights naturally parallel with those of Sonic Bloom because he happens to be one of the producers of the event. Like his ability to bring a diverse range of sound into a set, at 103 Harriet his ability to unify different people together was apparent. Janover duly began this night of electronic exploration as listeners vivaciously danced to the tribal tones of his music.
The Love & Light duo continued the blooming night with their signature crescendos and glitchy melodies. Probiotik and 4centers are recognized for their ability to create groove-oriented, feel-good music, and at 103 Harriett, they were relentless. Their partnership began in Reno, Nevada after hosting electronic events in its cryptic deserts and lush lakes, which made their invitation to spin at Sonic Bloom appropriate. Though their initial tracks were more mid-tempo and created “sit back and relax” vibes, their performance that night proved they could ignite mayhem, as well. They stayed true to their wobbly bass, dubstep sounds. But, their ability to transcend into more upbeat mixes was apparent, if not by the roar of the crowd, then by the smile that spread across their two beaming faces as they perfected each mix. Their chemistry together seemed unstoppable as they transcended barriers of their own with tracks from Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, and Madonna. The union between the two was inspiring; they physically leaned on each other in order to appropriately time each wall-shaking drop. That night, the club-goers got what their ears were aching for, Love & Light’s new tracks off their The Light We Bring album. From “Good Vibes’” sought after uppity laser licks to “You’re the Reason Why’s” elongated dubstep notes and original keyboard accents, the two bore their ability to create Love & Light anywhere they go.
As the music director of 103 Harriet’s home 1015 Folsom, Adam Ohana, better known as An-ten-nae, clearly prepared to follow the eccentric sounds and banging performances of Janover and Love & Light. He has become one of San Francisco’s most notable DJs after proving his ability to “transcend the constraints of music rigidity and transmit bass heavy, crunked out beats of the highest order” (www.last.fm), defying sound boundaries and producing dubstep, electronica, and, his self-defined, Acid Crunk. At Sonic Bloom, Ohana’s female filled booth and cool confidence maintained this reputation as his monstrous and flawlessly transitioned beats melted faces. He had accumulated an obvious following in the Bay Area. His grin grew from toothy to cheeky with the crowd’s every roar and fight to the front. The crowd musically, emotionally, and physically explored the highest highs and lowest lows. An-ten-nae took the night through a roller-coaster of reggae, high-energy electronic, grimy dubstep, hip-hop, psychedelic, trance, alternative, hard-hitting, euphoric, and hints of drum and bass beats all while continually entertaining the stage’s scantily dressed ladies. An-ten-nae delivered a distinctive set that would send vibrations through the crowd’s chests one moment and turn around and send the club into a euphoric daze, would produce dirty beats and then lift spirits with sexy dance tracks. Many DJ’s who attempt this schizophrenic organization send their audiences into an uncomfortable fight to make sense of the night. However, An-ten-nae pulled off the cliffhangers, transitions, and drops of his unyielding set with precision. He left no thirst unquenched as he dropped his sought-after “Hold the Line,” “It’s Bigger Than Acid Crunk,” and “Left Coast Stomp” tracks along with remixes of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and even Rusko/Amber Coffman/Subfocus’s notorious “Hold On.”
An-ten-nae, Love & Light, and Janover all humbly thanked the audience after their performances. It was refreshing to see original and creative music born from a mutual appreciation from both the DJs and the audience. The stage has been set, and the bar raised to immeasurable heights for the real Sonic Bloom in less than a month.
The Light We Bring by Love and Light
OH LAND - RAINBOW (AN-TEN-NAE REMIX)
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