Each year Sonic Bloom grows in new ways. This year there were a couple changes and upgrades while keeping old traditions alive that have been growing ever since that initial Mishawaka campout with Zilla and friends, 12 years ago.
One development this year was the impressive new laser setup that washed over us, painted the trees, spontaneously shot through the campsite and somehow spelled out Sonic Bloom in the sky at one point. Secondly, there was an additional sunrise set this year. Beyond that, new artists delivered new sounds and installations.
It seems artists like to play their new music to the Sonic Bloom crowd since they served up a lot of unreleased tracks. My guess is that artists must recognize the strong track record of success people have within the music industry after their sets at Bloom (take Pretty Lights for example), so they figure it is also good move to plant new material in the heads of Sonic Bloom goers then watch it grow.
This year there was rightfully a lot of buzz around Whitebear and CharlestheFirst.
Let’s see where Whitebear and CharlestheFirst are on lineups this time next year. Beyond their sets, I had a hard time leaving the Hummingbird Stage this year, which hosted most of the techno and house music with acts like Barclay Crenshaw and Golf Clap to Marbs and Porkchop from the Desert Hearts collective who properly held down all of Sunday.
Listen to and download for free Golf Clap’s single ‘You Can’t Hide’:
Video during Golf Clap’s set by The Chronic Electronic:
Another big spectacle of the festival came from the Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, which comprised of Jason Hann on the drums and mic, Michael Kang, Michael Travis (String Cheese Incident), Dominic Lalli, Jeremy Salken (Big Gigantic) and Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner (The Disco Biscuits). Needless to say, they killed it.
Enjoy our Sonic Bloom 2017 review through amazing photos, videos, music and interviews.
Take a listen to Whitebear‘s set a Boom Festival in Portugal as you take our tour:
This year people migrated where they camped a bit, wisely moving closer to the creek on Hummingbird Ranch.
There were tons of valuable workshops around permaculture, life, music and particularly The Unified Field Theory, the concept Sonic Bloom encompasses. The theory takes more than one workshop to fully understand, but in a nutshell, it is about how we are all connected through the energies around us. To hear and learn more about the theory watch Jamie Janover’s workshop by clicking here.
Three years ago at Sonic Bloom, the Colorado Big Game Trophy Wook Hunters was born out of a joke. This year they were more involved in the festival experience by running a ticket giveaway and hosting some friendly competitions. Join the hunt by clicking here.
Thursday night Kalya Scintilla warmed the crowd by debuting his Evokation 2017.
For Friday’s sunset Random Rab took the decks, where he played a bunch of music off his new album, Formless Edge, which was unmistakably released on that day. There are so many of his songs that boost me with energy. I had to ask him about his inspiration for writing them, particularly around one of my favorite tracks of all time, ‘You’re Not A God‘.
He says the name came from when he saw and heard his crazy neighbor yelling “Your Not A God” over and over again. For some reason it just stuck with him so he made it a song title. Random. One single that stuck out to me from his set was ‘A Little More Free’. Check it out below:
Take a listen to Ott.’s ‘Squirrel and Biscuits’:
Oh yeah, there was a chocolate fondu fountain to dip marshmallows, gram crackers and pop-tarts? into.
Heading into the sunset on Saturday night, I ran into Evanoff behind the main stage, a jamtronica band from Boulder, now based in Denver. After there set I got to know JJ Evanoff (Guitarist) and Jake Hall (Drummer) a bit better.
What is you favorite part about Sonic Bloom?
Jake: All my friends are here and it’s not too big or not too small, just the right size.
Some people may call you a “baby Sound Tribe”, how would you respond to that?
JJ: I can see that since you can hear Hunter Brown influence when I play. They are definitely a big influence on us getting into the scene, but I feel we have taken our music in a more contemporary electronic direction.
Jake: Also, a lot of synths that we use are reminiscent of Tribe.
What is your musical direction?
JJ: It has become more computer driven lately. My production has gotten very future bassy, as far as the synths go. Flume is a huge influence on me. It just really pretty and symphonic with huge chords. A couple of our newer songs has that influence, but we definitely blend it with our own style.
Jake: Lately we start ideas on the computer instead of our instruments, which has driven our sound in a direction. But we want to keep the rock n’ roll alive.
JJ: What sets us apart in the scene is that we are a lot more rock n’ roll than a lot of hybrid artist, we dig into a lot of Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendricks for influence.
What do you love about the electronic music culture?
JJ: Freedom of expression, coming together with like-minded people. You feel apart of a community. Not being confined by social constructs. Freedom.
Jake: It’s not brand associated, people like to make their own style.
Do you have any good life hacks?
JJ: I started using these new guitar picks and sharpening them, you can use them as little screwdrivers and to cut open boxes.
Listen to and download for free ‘Breathe Out’ by Evanoff below:
After their set came out a electronic band known as Skydyed who I also had the pleasure of getting to know. Enjoy their single ‘Endless Space’ as you read our exclusive interview below.
How would you describe you sound?
Andrew: That’s a really difficult question to answer. We take from a lot of our influences growing up. A lot of us grew up on metal and the Warp Tour scene. We love funk music and all sorts of electronic music. It is some sort of regurgitation of that. It is hard to define a genre.
Who are your influences?
Max: Papadosio and Ott. as far as electronic influences. Also, bands like Lettuce and Pretty Lights Live.
Craig: For the percussion, I look to bands like the The String Cheese Incident, who have people who know how to not over play.
How do you guys read off each other while you are improving?
Max: We use in ear monitors and then we use dead mics on stage, so we have microphones we can talk to each other with. We tell each other what we want to do now and how we will be progressing. That’s actually how Pretty Lights structures his live band.
What is your favorite part about Sonic Bloom?
Andrew: The music. Also, it is a very well put together festival, very well organized. There is not a weird divide between staff and artists and people attending. It feels that everyone is here to help make this happen.
Craig: Historically a lot of big names got their start at Sonic Bloom. Look at Pretty Lights, Bassnectar and EOTO, they all were playing in the very first years of Sonic Bloom and now they are huge.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Andrew: Keep doing it, just don’t stop. If you love music, play music. If you want to express yourself through music, do that until you’re dead.
Craig: It is very important to play with other musicians, network with them, learn what they are doing and just try to find opportunities through that.
It will be fun to watch those guys grow, especially after their upcoming set opening for EOTO for The String Cheese Incident after party this weekend.
As the festival came to close on Sunday night, I found myself transfixed on Templo‘s set at the Meadows Stage. He has a drippy and appealing downtempo sound that was perfect for wrapping up the festival. After his set I got a chance to chat with him about his sound and summer.
How would you describe your sound?
I have been going for a dubby reggae feel lately. I just try to keep from sitting on just one sound or one group of sounds.
What other festivals will you be at this summer?
Templo also mentioned that he will be coming out with new music soon. Stay tuned. Once we finished talking with him, we ran over to the main stage to watch the Sonic Bloom Orchestra finish off the festival with a bang.
Jamie Janover was the conductor as so much talent came onto the stage, leaving everyone with smiles on their faces as they went back to their camps for one last night of soaking up the vibes.
Some people chose to head to the Valley View Hot Springs Monday to fully decompress and keep the Sonic Bloom community vibes alive a little bit longer. We look forward to next year, but to keep us copacetic in the meantime, there will be a Sonic Blossom party at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and the Aggie Theatre on Nov 3rd and 4th with Kalya Scintilla, Bluetech and Whitebear headlining…