Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camp Bisco 8 Review: Pretty Lights

Well another Camp Bisco has come and gone, so I will spend the next few days recapping some of my favorite acts from the 3-day festivus. First up: Pretty Lights.

For me, Pretty Lights epitomizes the spirit of Camp Bisco; not so much in what goes into their music, but what comes out of it. To some, it may be easy to say that musical acts at Camp fall into 3 categories: Live Jam Bands, DJs, and Hip Hop. While Derek Smith, the remaining original member of the two man group, has stated that his production technique relies heavily on software and laptops, and that he has never touched a turntable, his collaboration since 2007 with drummer Cory Eberhard signals that Pretty Light's style is more of a mix between the first and second Camp 'categories.' While the resultig grooves sound similar to many of the live acts at Camp Bisco, like STS9 and Lotus (in past years), the Hip Hop influence is also evident. So while the performance is a blend of live drumming and use of software and the monome, the result is a blend of many of the musical styles that I saw at CB8.

Pretty Light's two most recent albums are available free for download here, so check it out if you want some good listening.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Camp Bisco

If you don't already know about this, you should.

Camp Bisco is the only annual Music Festival devoted primarily to live electronic/dance music. Past lineups have included well known acts such as Snoop Dogg, Umphrey's McGee, Lyrics Born, Brazilian Girls, Infected Mushroom, and lots and lots of glowsticks.

Founded by the Disco Biscuits, who do a great job of bringing together many different acts within this expansive genre, the festival has been noted mostly for its size, which had remained only several thousand people since its inception. And it is in part because of the small size of this festival, that you don't see too many recurrent acts outside of the few 'regulars' (The Disco Biscuits, STS9, etc). This means that the guys in charge save a few slots for the better known artists (this year Nas & Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley), and pack the rest of the slots with up-and-coming acts.

This year it seems to be moving away from the livetronica trend of just two years ago, and more towards a plethora of djs and hip-hop artists. My favorite memories of music festivals are checking out bands I'd never heard before, and falling in love. I expect to do this multiple times two weeks from now, and I hope you'll join me in at the Hell's Angel's Indian Point Country Club in Mariaville, NY on July 16th through the 18th.