From KCRW Communications Director Alyssa King:
Lightning in a Bottle is an annual music, art and performance festival presented by LA production company DoLab. The four-day experience at Oak Canyon Ranch blew me out of the water, as always, so narrowing it down to my Top 5 was a lot more difficult than you’d think. But, I’ll give it a shot – here we go…
**Disclaimer: I should admit that while I love electronic music, I’m a bluegrass, jam-band kinda girl at heart so my picks reflect my deep-rooted love for the “upbeat”, dance jigs.
JEREMY SOLE: TAKES US AROUND THE WORLD
KCRW’s own DJ Jeremy Sole took dancers at the infamous Woogie Stage on a musical trip around the world Sunday afternoon. From the Middle East to the USA, Jeremy played what may have been the most diverse set of the weekend. With a shout out to his Chicago roots, Sole brought down the house with the most interesting Muddy Waters remix I have ever heard, stunning not just me, but the entire crowd before dropping the dance beats which drove the crowd absolutely wild.
EOTO: REINVENTING LIVE MUSIC
Jason Hann and Michael Travis, (you may recognize those names from the Colorado jam band The String Cheese Incident) brought the dance party to the Lightning Stage Saturday night, performing their infamous, real time Dubstep to a crowd of hundreds who couldn’t stop moving their feet. The “psy-dub sorcerers” (as they are often referenced) brought a surprising breath of fresh air to the evening with their “lazerstep”, an electro-improvisational sound that transcends typical Dubstep by using real instruments and no pre-programmed loops or samples. It’s a personalized show, every time.
THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE: AN ELECTRONIC SYMPHONY
Saturday afternoon was my first introduction to The Human Experience and it immediately became a highlight of my weekend. The debut side project from David Block, The Human Experience is Block’s first effort as a “live electronic composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer”. Blending a mix of live instruments (yes, there were a few string musicians on stage with Block, including a cello) with electronic, transcendental harmonies, Block immediately mellowed and inspired the vibe of the Bamboo Stage, but it didn’t stop the crowd from dancing.
PUMPKIN: AND IT’S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN
His smile is as infectious as his music. Pumpkin closed out the blazing hot afternoon on the Woogie Stage with dance remixes that made people flail their arms and sing their hearts out. Friends of mine have been loyal Pumpkin fans for a while now, and now I can see why they make the trek from the Bay Area to see him play in Southern California whenever they get a chance. They’ve made a convert out of me, that’s for sure. And, I would guarantee just about every single other breathless, sweaty, dancing animal next to me would agree. Catch him next time he’s in town – but only if you want a dance party.
MORE THAN JUST MUSIC
More than just music, LIB also stands for leave it better, leave it beautiful. A leader in the green festival movement, LIB introduced innovative policies like free, filtered water and stages and art from reused and rapidly renewable materials, (think bamboo, rattan, and even trash) that have been implemented in festivals around the world. Their Ecotherapy philosophy encourages festival attendees to learn and participate in social and environmental issues as a community, leaving inspired to implement the practices in communities of their own. Their green initiatives have won Lightning in a Bottle the award of Greenest Festival in America the past two years in a row.
– Alyssa King