You wouldn’t usually associate a Utopian wonderland with eclectic art installations, world class musicians and thousands of campers with Michigan’s Double JJ Resort, but come this June, Insomniac will achieve just that as they return for the fifth annual Electric Forest.
This year’s Festival hosts heavy hitters in the Electronic and Jam Band scene, with Bassnectar, Major Lazer, and three performances by the String Cheese Incident headlining the event.
While these names are massive in their fields, the impressive under card for the four day festival includes some of the hottest up and comers in their respective genres, as well as some esteemed legends ready to school us yet again.
Here are the top acts to catch during this year’s madness:
1) Soul Clap (Crew Love)
The vinyl addicts from Boston host an expertly curated stage at Electronic Forest, bringing their trademark brand of E Funk to the Michigan. At the forefront of the re-surging disco house movement, Charlie and Eli are known for their technical expertise and their expert selections, turning late nights into early mornings at sexy parties throughout the globe.
Make sure to lace up your dancing shoes for this one, and venture over early to catch fellow members of their Crew Love label Nick Monaco (coming on the heels of his anticipated sophomore album “Half Naked”), and Navid Izadi throw down live sets.
2) Landis LaPace
At only 18 years of age, Landis has taken the dance music world by storm with massive releases on Night Bass, Psycho Disco, and This Ain’t Bristol. In addition to his production accolades, he has already played at some of the biggest clubs and festivals in the world, gracing patrons with his signature tech infused bass lines.
His set at Electronic Forest is sure to be a rump shaking bonanza, and a set you’ll remember as we continue to watch him blossom in the future.
3) Louis the Child
On a mission to play tunes that make people smile, Louis the Child broke onto the scene in a massive way with “It’s Strange”. Featuring sultry vocals from K Flay, the track has been remixed by some of the most respected figures in the scene from Boombox Cartel to the Knocks, making it a festival mainstay across multiple genres. The duo from Chicago will be bringing their vibey jams to the Forest in what is sure to be an essential set.
4) Josh Wink
While he might not be a household name, Wink has been a fixture in the international techno and acid house scene for years, known for his ability to seamlessly mix across multiple genres of dance to create a unique and exciting experience. Having DJ’ed for close to 30 years, the Ovum Recordings label head is known to take listeners on a dark and rhythmic journey. For fans of dark beats and heavy dancing, Josh Wink is a must see.
5) Neon Indian
Previously named by Rolling Stone as one of the best new bands of 2010, Neon Indian brings their synth laden, dance ready electro pop to the forest. Their tunes are extremely fun and danceable, and have a noticeable 80’s influence.
6) Bleep Bloop
E-Forest has a healthy serving of experimental bass music on this year’s lineup, with acts like G Jones and frequent Barclay Crenshaw (aka Claude Vonstroke) collaborator Eprom on the docket, but there are few artists out there making as innovative and mind melting sounds as Bleep Bloop.
He’s been able to take the standard trap formula and flip it on its head, releasing a slew of wacky tracks that keep the listener guessing until the end. For those looking to hear a fresh and new take on trap, Bleep Bloop is a must at this year’s E Forest.
7) Caspa b2b Rusko
Legends in the Dubstep scene for years, Caspa and Rusko have teamed up yet again for what is sure to be a head banger of a set. With releases on Mad Decent and Owsla, Rusko has been an extremely influential figure in Dubstep and DnB circles for years. Caspa has been a fixture of the London Dubstep scene for years, having many notable releases and mixes featured on BBC Radio 1, and hosting a radio show on Rinse FM.
While they have collaborated in the past and worked together under Caspa’s Dub Soldiers label, the progressions they’ve made as artists and individuals make this a set that is not to be missed, and a welcomed addition for bass heads looking for some more traditional dubstep than what Bassnectar will be serving up.
8) Beats Antique
A Beats Antique show aims to provide a more sensory experience than most traditional sets. Combining their signature fusion of hip hop, glitch, dubstep, and breakbeat brass (to name but a few) with performance art and traditional dances from a combination of middle eastern culture and circus influences, Beats Antique put on an arresting artistic display.
With a headlining show with support by Shpongle coming to Red Rocks on July 1, Beats Antique are sure to give a little taste of the spectacle they’ve been crafting to the crowd at E Forest.
9) The Floozies
Bursting on the scene in 2008, brothers Matt and Mark Hill have brought the funk back in a big way. Their live show incorporates elements of electronic production with guitar and drums, and has garnered them bookings at some of the biggest festivals in the world such as Bonnaroo and Mysteryland. Stretch well and get ready to move your hips as they take you on a journey of modern electronic funk.
10) AC Slater
Last but certainly not least, the Night Bass label innovator, and instigator from LA headlines his labels curated stage this year alongside Garage legends Low Steppa, and Chris Lorenzo as well as Dirtybird fixture Justin Martin. Although he’s been in the bass scene for years as a member of the infamous Trouble and Bass collective, and was at the forefront of the fidget house movement of days past, he’s created a full on movement with Night Bass.
He describes it as having “the groove of house, but I have a short attention span. I need the breakdowns and little drops and bass lines and switch-ups.” Fast paced and energetic as could be, his set will bring some pure unadulterated fun to the Forest.