Driving or riding to Camp Bisco in the past years has always been a journey, so I planned ahead of time properly to make it a quick and efficient ride to The Indian Lookout Country Club. Packing the night before and rendezvousing at locations either close to or on the route to Camp Bisco X was how we established our caravan. A car enthusiast my whole life, I would drive across the world and back if possible. Loaded up on energy drinks, gatorades, and a breakfast sandwich, I made it to the VIP/Artist/Press entrance by mid-afternoon.
Sold out for the first time ever, with 75% more people than last year, Camp was vastly overcrowded and full of young noobs. Its awesome and beautiful that this culture is spreading so quickly and crossing over with the mainstream, but it also dilutes it and makes it logistically difficult. You could barely squeeze into the late-night tents, which were brutally hot and didn’t have speakers in the back or outside, so it made it hard to get down as the rain and mud came and the layer of cans and wrappers we were wading through thickened. It was near impossible to meet up with and run into people, as its lost the chill, local feel it had even two years ago. Its now an overflowing party filled with wild energy and brutal bass, a unique but uncomfortable spectacle where you can catch a wide variety of electronic acts if you can make it anywhere near them.
Credit to Erik Fox (FLICKR)
I set up my campsite and linked up with a few members of the crew in time to catch some of SBTRKT‘s set. Quickly grabbing a fresh squeezed lemonade, I walked into the Dance Tent, which had been moved from its original position. The GrooveShark Tent stood where the dance tent’s original spot was for Camp Bisco 9, where we would get an array of bass all weekend. SBTRKT dropped Congo Rock‘s “Babylon”, which I quickly got down and dirty to once it dropped heavy all over the crowd.
I would’ve liked to catch more of SBTRKT‘s set, but due to working on getting the crew in full force, I had to make moves to grounds where I could use my phone and establish a landmark to meet the homies. Timing worked in my favor as I set forth to catch Zoogma at The GrooveShark Tent, whom I tried to catch on the 4th of July at Brooklyn Bowl but missed due to prior engagements.
Credit to See Bliss Photography
Zoogma threw down a solid set which made me realize at this point that the festival was in full force and the raging would only get wilder. To be honest, I’m glad I saw Zoogma in this atmosphere over Brooklyn Bowl because the sound system was definitely more on the level that was needed for this band to shine. I look forward to seeing Zoogma again at The Big Up as they have come to be one of the bands I listen to often in that genre of music. I took a break from music for a bit in order to make dinner and get a bit saucy for the late nights that would seal the first night of Camp Bisco X. After munching some chicken and vegetables with some ginger-ale and whiskey to accommodate my sauce factor, I headed towards Archnemesis at the Dance Tent.
Credit to HiFiCartel
Archnemesis is fairly new to the electronic scene but it’s members surely are not. The musical brainchild of Curt Heiny (Telepath) and Justin Aubuchon (MO Theory), the project brings a blend of aesthetics to the table. Their unique “GhettoTech” sound is like raw jazz-infused hip hop to your ears. Bass drops make you want to keep it moving, and dynamic synths keep you on your toes at all times. I enjoyed this duo a great amount and got down for almost their entire set. In preparation for Bluetech to seal the late night Dance Tent, I ran down to my camp site to grab frosty blue moons and switch into something a bit more on the comfortable side to enjoy what was to be one of my more memorable events at Camp Bisco X.
Credit to Lannar Pursuit Photography
Evan Bartholomew has been the reason I’ve listened to psybient downtempo music for the past couple of years. A master in sound production, Bluetech brings another level of musical aesthetics to the ever-blessed palette that Camp Bisco X provides. I was able to enjoy this set from beginning to the end, as Evan Marc has shown us yet again how to perform a unique blend of tracks down to the last banger. I’ve enclosed the Bluetech sound board that an acquaintance was nice enough to share with me.
The Disco Biscuits themselves played some great sets and made an impression on new and old fans alike with an incredible light show that was different each night. Check out “Little Shimmy”:
I had a great time at Camp Bisco, but the event is clearly at a crossroads as to where to go next, either continuing to grow into a huge mainstream festival by continuing to partner with hipster label DFA and perhaps moving venues, or scaling back a little and focusing on quality underground electronic acts, increasing the comfort and artistic value of the festival. It was another adventure in sound, and I saw many memorable sights and sets, but many Camp veterans won’t be back unless drastic measures are taken to make room to dance and walk and improve sanitation, not to mention the bizarre scheduling and weak sound systems (for the size of the crowds) in the late-night tents. I love Camp, and hope that the people that make it happen can plan around these growing pains and make us look forward to returning next year.