Moonrise Festival reveals final lineup additions

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Baltimore’s Moonrise Festival is known for it’s ability to bring together a diverse group of DJs and performers, new and old. Just two months out from the festival, Moonrise has announced another phase of performers who will be taking the stage this August.

The final phase brings in a slew of underground talent from a variety of scenes. Moonrise beefs up their hip-hop and R&B side with singer/producer NAV, while ramping up their selection of bass artists with Habstrakt, Dion Timmer, Born Dirty, Luca Lush, and Gammer. Other notable additions include Tritonal, Said the Sky, Ducky, and Maddy O’Neal. With all of these new artists supporting an already strong lineup featuring Excision, Kaskade, Vince Staples, and many more, Moonrise is shaping up to be one of the summer’s most exciting events.

Pretty Lights is slowly & successfully building his movement [Event Review]

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Pretty Lights is slowly & successfully building his movement (Event Review)

When Pretty Lights announced his record label was evolving into the newly-minted Pretty Lights Movement, many caught a tiny glimpse into what Derek Vincent Smith had in store for the evolution of his growing family. It was around the time of his Episodic Tour: Season Two Premiere at The Gorge Amphitheater – followed by a series of constantly evolving, innovative live band performances that took place across the nation.

Dancing Astronaut was invited to attend the final episodic event of the tour at Whitewater Amphitheater in the small hill country town of New Braunfels, Texas, wherein we witnessed the raw energy of the live band, the regional beauty of small town hidden gem of a venue, and the sheer vitality of the Pretty Lights Family. Here are five reasons why Pretty Lights Live is more than a mere musical experience, but a way of living.

All photos courtesy of Press Pause

 

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1. The Pretty Lights live band experience

Smith’s creative decision to put the decks on the back-burner (and, yet, keep them front-and-center) takes his live shows to the next level. The stylings of the live band – made up of Brian Coogan, Borahm Lee, Alvin Ford Jr. and Chris Karns — are spotlighted, as each member aids Smith in bringing the organic analog aspect of his musical stamp to life. In addition, each show features a heavy dose of amazing special guest talent. Whether the heavy bass beats of Ganja White Night, the soulful stylings of up-and-comer Maddie O’Neal, or the funk-driven glitch-hop of Aussie producer Opuio, the Episodic Tour was jam-packed with amazing talent conforming to a clear sound stamp and an accompanying vision of which direction these shows are driven.

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2. The PL Family

A heavy sense of family, community, and kindness among this close-knit group of Pretty Lights followers permeates the parking lots and showgrounds alike. The sheer feeling of euphoria and jovial admiration for their leader and their lifestyle is easily one of the most genuine and welcoming that any newcomer to this scene will experience. Take the Pretty Lights Illuminators, for instance, who are tasked with creating special activities, caring for their fellow attendees, or just generally spreading the good energy around each gathering. An emphasis on the small (yet out of this world) aspect of the crowds along these Episodic Tour stops likens them to an early Bassnectar following before it became too big to manage. Hard as it is to capture in words, experiencing is truly is believing with the PL Family.

 

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3. A sense of heady spiritualism pervades

Smith freestyles about crystal children, hyper-dimensional space, positive vibrations, and metaphysical energy whilst refracting light with crystals on stage. Essentially, his antics and overall outlook on life embodies the spiritual self-awareness that guides Pretty Lights shows and the people living within these spaces. Burning Man principles like radical inclusion and self-reliance, gifting, and communal effort  guide social interactions at these Episodic Tour stops.

 

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4. The venue(s)

The Pretty Lights team chose a wildly picturesque venue in Texas’ Whitewater Amphitheater for the final stop of Episodic Tour. Its breathtaking hill country views, fresh smells of nature, its friendly easy-going staff, and its setting along the Guadalupe river made the experience feel almost surreal, wherein attendees would float into the venue with new stranger-friends as they shouted their hellos to Smith himself across the river banks. Couple this with other world class venues such as Washington’s legendary Gorge Amphitheater, and one has a series of shows where attendees are guaranteed a weekend of re-connection with the earth.

 

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5. The production value

Pretty Lights’ Episodic Tour is not a typical large-scale electronic music festival, but the production value sure feels like it. For one, every stop along the tour offers rare tracks and unique flips catered to each location. The lighting show  — courtesy of LazerShark —  is one “not to miss” in the electronic music realm. Whether it’s the wall of lasers projected across the stage, the abstract, psychedelic visual displays, or how they become amalgamated into one with the analog sound, these creative, oft-times improvisational elements are at the forefront of cutting-edge performance in the electronic music world.

 

 

Read More:

WATCH: Pretty Lights unveils cinematic video for new track ‘Rainbows & Waterfalls’

Pretty Lights teases unreleased music in the new ‘Pretty Lights USB 2.0’

Pretty Lights opens new chapter with Pretty Lights Movement evolution

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Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k: Vol. 21

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5 Under 5k is a feature on Dancing Astronaut dedicated to spotlighting talented upcoming and undiscovered artists who we believe deserve more exposure. Each edition of 5 Under 5k will highlight five artists from a wide variety of genres with under 5,000 followers on SoundCloud (at the time of writing).


Xie (4,314) is a woman of many talents, though she is particularly talented at producing and singing if her new collaboration with V!RTU is any indication. Amazingly, “Just Like Me” marks the first original release by the songstress. If she keeps releasing music with as much emotional, harmonic, and sonic depth as this, she is bound for meteoric rise over the next couple years.


Continuing the spacey soundscapes heard tone set by Xie, French producer Mark Höffen (4,996) delivers a spiritual melodic techno track fittingly titled “Life Is A Journey.” Richly layered atmospheres filled with elegant synth lines and ethereal vocal samples are underpinned by a pleasant percussion groove.


Keeping with the theme of deep atmospheres, Descender (1,400) takes the listener down a darker path — much darker — with his track “Desolate Plain.” Low, heavy, steady, “Desolate Plain” conjures imagery exactly as the title states, and would be right at home on the soundtrack for a movie like Blade Runner or The Terminator.


Shifting gears from dark and heavy to funky and heavy, Maddy O’Neal (3,770) enlists the help of some friends for a fresh take on Salt-N-Pepa’s “None Of Your Business.” Original vocals, sax, and bass complement the top-notch glitch-hop production, making this track a likely favorite of those who enjoy artists like Big Gigantic, Gramatik, or GRiZ. In fact, O’Neal is playing with Big Gigantic this fall for their annual Rowdytown weekend at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO.


Without skipping a beat, Tortuga (1,772) continues the journey into classic funk and hip-hop-inspired electronica. As is the case with Maddy O’Neal, the duo hail from one of the biggest — if not the biggest — hub for glitch-hop: Denver, Colorado, where their funky live instrumentation, hip-hop vocals, and heavy analogue-style synth design fits in perfectly.


Read More:

Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k: Vol. 20

Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k: Vol. 19

Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k: Vol. 18