Published on June 22nd, 2010 | by dizzurt1
Satellite Stranger Ragers & Sunrises in Which We Will Never Forget (Part 3 of 4)
Being a professional at late night rage-a-thons, and knowing some of my favorite producers/DJ’s were in the top slots at the Satellite Stage, got my juices flowing and the jitters tingling, feeling like a 120watt bulb amped by the Hoover Dam. The Sunrise 3, as I will appropriately don them, were quite the nightcaps for a festival which flowed through music better than any other I have attended. MiMosa, Tipper, and Bluetech were called on to handle one of the most sought after timeslots, headlining the late night Interstellar Meltdown. Waiting for the sun to go down and the freaks to come out, I found myself exhaling a sigh of relief as we entered the gap in the woods, capitalized with a sign overhead reading SATELLITE STAGE. Appropriately named, it felt as though I was leaving Wakarusa as I walked down the hill, rounding corners of “trance spandex” providing the secrecy the stage deserved.
Once I got down to the clearing that afforded some coverage from the rising sun, as well as a place to sit down and relax, I realized how legitimate of an experience this spot could provide. Under the tent were the people not interested in relaxation, but more so following the popular motto amongst many UYH members, “Keepin it Movin.” Littering the outsides of the wood-chips, one could find long-lost festy friends reuniting with one another, painters perfecting their artform, shpongloids entering the realm (with a little help from the popular “late-night” substance these days, DMT), dancers who couldn’t handle the sweaty shenanigans from inside the tent, and ragers who resemble a balloon delivery service (well, because they are). Inside the tent, as I previously mentioned, was nothing but sweaty shenanigans. People were wild in there- armed with disregard for their dancing bodies or anybody else’s surrounding them. The kids were getting rowdy.
The first night, I immediately found it difficult to get to the front gate, something rare for most late night excursions. Kraak & Smaak was first – a group I’ve been dying to catch ever since I first noticed them popping up on festival lineups across the U.S summer ’10 festy circuit. Pure disappointment. Jock Jams in my ear louder than anybody would ever ask for begged for the recent electronic craze to show them what was really good. In their defense, I heard they put on a decent “live band” set. Next, what the crowd was waiting for – Mimosa. He hit the decks, ready to go with his dark version of a Rusko Mohawk. The set started off somewhat quiet and slow (compared to what you would expect from the Sexytime rager), yet as soon as the first heavy bass line kicked in, the crowd roared with excitement. As if Michael Garfield and his incredible live paintings weren’t enough to keep you visually appeased, MiMosa was expressing his excitement over the phat bass, and was clearly just as delighted as the crowd. In his array of dance moves it was easy to see why he is one half of Sexytime. Moving along, the set transpired into a seamless weave of bass and hip hop grounded beats. Girls dancing on top of speakers could be seen twisting their bodies as if hooping without the hoop. It was a symmetrical attack of festival mania, Michael Garfield painting stage left, MiMosa in the middle, and sexytime shwilly mama’s aboard the right. The latter half of MiMosa’s set seemed dedicated to Sexytime type of beats, remixing popular hip hop/pop tracks with dubstep and heavy bass. Personally, that isn’t my cup of tea, and I feel as if that type of music is more reserved for the partying people who don’t traditionally get down to dubstep. Nonetheless, it was a high energy set with great personality. I knew that for the rest of the weekend, what the Satellite Stage had in store was going to be one for the record moleskins.
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Unsure if I got there early, or if Tipper was starting late, the crew had to [patiently] wait until the end of the Spacemen set. Something we weren’t too happy about. Garageband made beats with no layers, while relying too heavily on their alien costumes, was a recipe for disaster for this trio. Finally, the last song ended and without skipping a beat, Tipper stood up to the table, tucked in a back corner, and let the music feed the hungry souls waiting for fuel to girate. And girate, they did. His style of music is breakbeat influenced and exudes unique intelligence. Contrary to MiMosa the night before, David Tipper is extremely calm and casual onstage; he lets the beats do the talking. The set was a constantly moving mix, mainly consisting of cuts from his latest releases, ‘Wobble Factor‘ and ‘Tertiary Noise‘, released in 2008. Highlights “Rikki Tikki Tavi” and “Off Kilter” really gave the crowd something to hoot about (At times, Wakarusa felt like a European Futbol Match, with the amount of chants and howls). I loved his throwback scratch DJ work, along with his range of old school mixer tricks. All in all, being my first Tipper show and the Friday night throwdown, I was more than satisfied when I made my way back to the Wakarusa field, ready to burn down a forest atop Grassroots California’s 45 foot coach bus. Props.
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“First time Bluetech’in it” – in what seemed like months- was the only thing on my mind for the latter half of Saturday night. The whole crew seemed pretty buzzed over the fact that the last of the Sunrise sets was Evan Marc Bartholomew (Bluetech) himself. Also igniting interest in our minds was his latest release just a few weeks prior, Love Songs to the Source. A great album, leaning towards the Satori Social side of Bluetech. There are your typical (but not in a negative way) bangers, but what really stand out are the songs that create a mood. The uplifting nature of the beats capitalized by the lyrics and voice of singers like Katrina Blackstone & Lynx can make you wake up from a nap, nod your head to the beat, and grumble a solidified (and southern) “thaaat’s tiiioooghtt.” His set went along similar guidelines. The smell in that tent proved similar feelings amongst the fans, as they were blasting off on Nintendo sponsored Apollo 3042 type journey’s – memorable, yet hardly reportable. (The soundguy noticed something funky in the air as well, as he kept placing a handkerchief over his face when it got foggy.) I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the new track “Two River Sisters”. Unfortunately, the crowd was begging (at times) for it to be louder. However, walking away with intact ears and good recordings (from other artists), I realized that these guys might know what they are doing. However, it would have been nice to enjoy Bluetech’s rib rattling bass lines while sitting outside in the beautiful air. Yet far from disappointing, this was a wild way to end my Satellite Stage experience.
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