Buku – YEAHBOi!

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Buku has spent years refining his bass-heavy sound with a slew of remixes and originals. Now, in the heart of festival season, the DJ and producer has released his mainstage-ready heater of a track, “YEAHBOi!”

The song starts with a simple but energetic build-up, before dropping into a precise, yet chaotic arrangement of high-energy bass music. With hard hitting drums, crunchy rhythms, and an eclectic use of vocal samples, Buku is priming his tune to hit listeners hard enough to the point of submission, where the only thing they’re able to do is  press the repeat button endlessly.  continues to prove himself as one of the most impressive producers in the game.

 

BUKU Music + Arts Project – photos by Christian Miller and Dianna Shelley

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Photo credit: aLive Coverage

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Sending it to The Big Easy: BUKU Music + Arts Project in Review

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Additional words by John Flynn.

The smell of lobster po’ boys and boiled crawfish is thick in the air, as crowds of festivalgoers make their way down Magazine Avenue towards the entrance to New Orleans’ Mardis Gras World. The venue is a one-of-a-kind urban promised land, whose grounds are home to the Big Easy’s iconic Mardis Gras Day parade floats and an abandoned early 20th Century power plant that has become the official backdrop of Winter Circle Production’s BUKU Music + Arts Project.

BUKU’s position at Mardi Gras World is perhaps its biggest prominency. The destination provides the ultimate unique locale for festival organizers to craft a singular experience rooted in the spirited history of one of America’s oldest cities. Located on the banks of the Mississippi, its outdoor stages are set in plain view of a rusted-out power plant. The festival’s newest stage, dubbed The Wharf, is quite the intriguing addition, with wooden shipping crates standing as it’s center piece aesthetic. While BUKU veterans were initially disappointed in the organizer’s elimination of the boat stage, their apprehensions seemed to melt away as they danced their hearts out to the house beats of Green VelvetWalker & Royce, and Bonobo, among others.

Photo credit: aLive Coverage

Photo credit: aLive Coverage

As festivalgoers from many walks of life scurry through the grounds with grins on their faces and all sorts of potions in their hands, one can see the minute mental moments of reflection of their faces, where they pause briefly to take in the Mississippi River air, contemplating the performances the next two days has to offer. The seventh annual edition of BUKU, it seems, thrives off of the palpable hype pulsing through the veins of wide-eyed 20-somethings seeking total sensory assault.

The festival is a match made in heaven for such a demographic, offering up some of the biggest names in EDM and hip-hop — from Bassnectar, Porter Robinson’s new Virtual Self  project, and the goddess of Neptune, REZZ, to Migos and Lil Uzi Vert — along with a plethora of other styles for those looking to forsake sonic overload for something a bit more subtle in SZA, Sylvan Esso, and MGMT.

It is this sort of eclectic line-up that the festival prides itself on. One might be dancing to the hypnotic builds of Honey Dijon and, upon a turn to the left, see the Mississippi River as freight boats glide by. Turn to the right, and the gutted power-plant provides an industrial backdrop to Illenium and Gryffin‘s feel-good soundscapes. BUKU’s premier indoor stage, the Float Den, is set inside a 300,000 square foot working warehouse — the very one where the city’s elaborate Mardi Gras floats are created and stored.

Beyond dance music, Friday night brought an abundant array of more popular spectacles. Two stalwarts of contemporary hip-hop/R&B, Migos and SZA, made and appearance, while hitmakers MGMT brought a taste of indie flavor. As the beginning synth from “Time To Pretend” sets in, swells of festival goers could be seen rushing to the stage to catch the band in action. Their booking helped fill a niche for attendees that existed outside of the EDM and hip-hop dominated culture.

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While Migos’ performance was cut to a mere 30 minutes due to their tardiness, SZA’s surpassed all expectations. Despite an ankle injury cutting her set ten minutes short, the artist hit her notes in stride. At a time where SZA is quickly becoming one of Generation Z’s largest pop stars, her elegance on stage made for something downright magical. As far as Migos set goes, you’d have to ask one of the thousands of panting kids that exited the stage promptly after, but it goes without saying the Atlanta trio put on a spectacle of a performance.

Friday also marked the debut of Virtual Self’s US festival performance. As the Porter Robinson alter alias descended on the festival, surges of fans flocked into the Float Den to catch the performance. Given his set time and location on the more intimate stage, his set was a huge success. As the melancholy tinged synths from “Ghost Voices” bounced off the warehouse’s walls and the dance floor hit peak movability, it became clear that the alter ego has nearly equated Robinson himself.

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What Robinson has crafted in this current reiteration of his live performance is painstakingly artistic and novel. With lights shooting up in parallel lines from the stage’s see-through flooring panels, to the multitude of lasers so perfectly timed to his uncanny drops, Virtual Self’s set stands as a fully immersive visual and auditory spectacle. Even if his IDM, jungle-infused, era-accurate trance, early hardcore, and j-core blended sound doesn’t tickle everyone’s ear drums, one simply could not walk away from the set without an immense respect for what the Robinson is doing — that is, recycling early electronic sounds into a rollercoaster journey of new-wave sounds.

Saturday’s diverse range of sets made for a great follow up, with artists like REZZ, Isaiah Rashad, Sylvan Esso, and Illenium drawing large crowds. Bassnectar also made a welcome appearance, slamming his most sought-after tracks upon his audience — from “Raw Charles” and “Cozza Frenzy” to “Hologram,” and “Lost In The Crowd.” He also paid homage to the city of New Orleans in his deliverance of his bass-bolstered remix of Buku’s “Front to the Back,” while making time to drop in a tune by NOLA-based bass music duo, sfam, so as to promote rising local talent. However, it was REZZ who molded these bass worshipping disciples into pure balls of energy with her hypnotic performance. No longer human, the audience transformed themselves into slow moving entities at the hands of the Niagara Falls native’s industrial-tinged rhythms set to the frequencies of the planet Neptune. Indeed, the slotting of REZZ to close out the festival after Bassnectar was a bold, deliberate, and keenly-astute decision by organizers.

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The most notable aspect of BUKU fest was the organizer’s intentional booking of strong female headliners — a highly laudable move that deserves recognition in an age of the #MeToo Movement, where female artists and consumers have begun speaking out against sexual assault at the hands of powerful male industry professionals. With additional lineup support from Alison Wonderland, Bishop Briggs, No Name, and Clozee, it was clear that the Bukweens were out in dominant force. Their presence transformed the festival vibe into a refreshing modality of equality and empowerment, further spotlighting how the music industry masses are waking up to the fact that females are disproportionately represented at the top tiers of dance music.

As BUKU thrives and grows with each passing year, the Winter Circle-produced event has earned a reputation as the South’s premiere outdoor, urban, spring time festival. It’s become clear that these organizers know what they are doing as they expand the venue seamlessly, create insane stage productions, and curate cutting-edge line-ups. If you haven’t experienced the magic of Mardis Gras World already, you’ll want to make sure to include BUKU Music + Arts Project as the kick-off event of your next festival season.

Photo Credit: VibeSmith


All photos by Vibesmith, unless otherwise noted

Lil Uzi Vert, Illenium, SNAILS among final additions to BUKU 2018 line-up

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BUKU Music + Art Project has just announced the final lineup additions for their seventh annual festival, held March 9–10, 2018 at Mardi Gras World in downtown New Orleans. Set across five unique stages, including the backdrop of an abandoned early 20th Century power plant and a warehouse featuring the city’s iconic Mardi Gras floats, the urban two-day event fuses hip-hop and electronic acts into a forward-thinking and diverse musical lineup, along with live street art, custom-made industrial graffiti installations, and dozens of surprise “pop-up” performances.

Joining 2018 headliners BassnectarMGMT, SZA, and Virtual Self on this final phase roster is chart-topping Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert, and melodic maestro Illenium, who’ll be bringing his full “Awake” production for a special live show. Other support on the phase three bill includes “vomit-step” pioneer Snails, Florida rapper Ski Mask The Slump God, Chicago rapper Noname, Dirtybird house duo Walker & Royce, and exclusive VIP b2b performances from Eprom and Mad Zach. Also big on spotlighting local NOLA talent, Buku will showcase curated by acclaimed local artist collective Pink Room Project.

Tier four tickets are on sale now, starting at $190 for GA and $275 for VIP. More information on ticketing is available here. Buku Music + Art Project is an 18+ event.

Buku Music + Art Project announces phase two 2018 line-up, Virtual Self’s festival debut

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The city of New Orleans is preparing to host some of music’s most sought-after talents in its sixth annual Buku Music + Art Project come March 9 and 10 of 2018.

Alongside the festival’s previously announced slew of eccentricity is its phase two announcement of artists set to include REZZ, Bonobo (DJ set), Ganja White Night and Boogie T (Live + B2B), Green VelvetSnakehips, Gryffin, Jai Wolf, Spag Heddy, Elohim, The Russ Liquid Test, and more.

Additionally, Porter Robinson‘s technological-utopian alias, Virtual Self, will be making its festival circuit debut. If the festival serves as an indication of what will take place next year, this won’t be the only Virtual Self festival appearance of the year.

VIP-only performances are also confirmed from Graves, Medasin, Ducky, BlackGummy, SQUNTO, and TVBOO.

2018 is shaping up to be Buku’s most eccentric booking to date, from beloved acts like Migos to MGMT or the dark tunes of REZZ and BlackGummy, the festival is sure to be a must-attend event come next spring.

Buku’s final phase three announcement is set to come after the new year.

Tickets are on sale  December 6 at 11 a.m. CT. More information is available here.

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Buku Drops Exciting Phase 2 Lineup for Upcoming Festival in March

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Pack your bags, we’re headed to New Orleans in a few months to catch Bassnectar, Alison Wonderland, Rezz, and more at this years Buku Music & Arts Festival.

Buku – Align

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There’s a reason why Buku is one of America’s rising bass talents. A quick skim through his catalog reveals a wealth of ferocious productions that are as jarring and discordant as they are rhythmic and addictive. His latest “Align” only furthers his hot streak, this time delivering dance ready hooks and a ethereal vocal sample to makes things extra wavy.

… and then, when the stars alignnnnnn.

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Buku – Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix [The Recipe Volume 016]

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If your into bass music of any kind, Buku needs no introduction. The Pittsburgh based producer is fresh off of 2 bass anthems; “We Go” & “Comic Boy”, as well as a Stanley Cup championship for his Pittsburgh Penguins (who he is a die-hard fan of), Buku seems to be doing alright now-a-days. We got

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We Go – Buku

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DJ/Producer, Buku, has recently released his newest single, “We Go.” This new track will have headbangers in hardcore rage mode. The introduction of this track builds anticipation into the heavy bassline that will have you ultimately reckless and truly exhilarated. Overall, This track will most certainly be a summer favorite and has the potential to

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Buku – We Go (Original Mix)

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Buku is back to his old habits on his latest release “We Go.” The follow up to his most recent release, “Comic Boy,” the Pittsburgh native unleashes a flurry of hard edged synths and a pile-driving bass backbone that is sure to incite more than its fair share of head thrashing. What starts as a strange trip through bustling samples quickly devolves into a beastly barrage of stabs, grisly saws, and atmospheric builds from one of the genre’s most prolific and exciting producers.