The list of world-class artists at this year’s Lightning in a Bottle is an exciting and exhaustive mix of household beat makers, up-and-coming newbies and virtual unknowns.
Festival co-founder Dede Flemming said part of the event's mission is new discovery.
“We’re definitely not Coachella," he said. "We’re somewhere in the middle. We’re not trying to go after those types of huge acts; we’re trying to introduce new and up-and-coming artists.”
But along with less-than-mainstream acts like Cautious Clay, Manatee Commune and Papa Bear and the Easy Love, there are performers whose names ring an electronic bell. Those eager to check out as many artists as they can in one of the six non-stop music areas will need to start a “can’t miss list." Here's a sampling of what's hitting the stages next week.
Disclosure (DJ set): English electronic musical brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence are responsible for producing some of the genres biggest crossover pop hits while retaining their dance credentials. Among some of their biggest hits are “Latch” with singer Sam Smith, “F For You” with Mary J. Blige, and “Holding On” with Bakersfield’s very own Gregory Porter. For their LIB set the group will be performing a DJ set rather than with guest appearances, but you never know. Whatever they bring to the stage is guaranteed to be a highlight of the festival.
Big Gigantic: If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the Big Gigantic live show, you know the sound fits the name. Producer and saxophonist Dominic Lalli along with drummer Jeremy Salken combine the booming beats of hip-hop, mixed with electro jazz, house music and more with an emphasis on big rumbling beats that make festival crowds jump for hours.
Santigold: The Philadelphia singer/songwriter and all around entertainer Santigold transforms any stage she graces into an electric new wave Jamaican dancehall. Her 2008 debut “Santogold” helped her make a mark on the indie charts, but it’s her live show where she really shines. She’s been a familiar face at countless big-name festivals joined by her amazing backup dancers and never disappoints. Her set will be hard to beat at LIB.
G Jones: It’s all about bass, bass and more bass in the house of G Jones, who has been rumbling sheds and festival tents all over the Bay Area and now does it all over the country. His sound is definitely an acquired taste if you’re not familiar with these sub-genre sounds that include dub step, another bass heavy sound very popular at these types of outdoor dance fests.
The Polish Ambassador: Another Bay Area native and electro dance authority, musician and DJ David Sugalski who performs as The Polish Ambassador, is funky, weird and welcoming. Donning spacey, glittery outfits of every kinds, his music will please the casual groover and diehard barefoot dancer. Check out some of his live Youtube sets to see him in action.
Ozomatli: What is there about Los Angeles’ veteran mish-mashers of world beat, Ozomatli, that hasn’t been said already? These guys know how to bring a party to any stage whether it be the cozy confines of an East L.A. warehouse to the Hollywood Bowl, the Coachella main stage, and now Lightning in a Bottle. Combining Latin, funk, reggae, salsa and hip-hop there’s nothing quite like an Ozo show in the great outdoors among the masses. Considered the quintessential L.A. band, they were named after the Aztec god of dance.
The Stacks (FKA Pagoda)
Abelation: With so much great electronic dance to choose from, it’s tough to pick one artist over the other. In the case of Reese Downes, who performs as Abelation, the young beatmaker makes dub style bass music with trap drums and incorporates a various mixture of otherworldly sounds. Close your eyes and move to the music.
Check out the full list of artists and make your own schedule at lightninginabottle.org.