10 days to go until Outlook Festival 2015 properly kicks off, and we’re stupid excited. It’s the Mecca of soundsystem culture, and it’s been almost 3 years since we last made the pilgrimage. But we’ve been plotting our return the whole time. Since we can’t start packing quite yet, here’s what we’re really looking forward to the most.
One of the mid-sized soundsystems at Outlook. Photo by Void Acoustics.
They’re the heart and soul of Outlook, and what really distinguishes it from other music festivals. Every stage has a world class rig that would blow away nearly anything you’ve heard in NYC (except Tsunami Bass, they could hang). Some of the smaller systems there (not pictured above) are roughly equivalent to the main room at Output. No matter where you go there, you’ll be getting that fully submerged, body/mind/soul bass experience.
Photo by yours truly
Duh. Definitely the best way to see an artist I love. You’re in a super intimate venue with the Adriatic sun and sea as backdrop. Once you leave dock, there’s no turning back (and definitely no swimming ashore!) so the whole crowd is 100% committed. Oh and the boat soundsystems? They don’t skimp. Here’s the full arsenal this year (to be split between 3 boats):
Photo by Electrikal Sound
Catch us on the 20/20 Boat Thursday (Ivy Lab, Fracture, Jon Phonics), Archetype Boat on Friday with Amy Becker, NYC’s own Doctor Jeep (!!!), The Heatwave and Benton, and of course the Deep Medi Boat on Saturday.
photo by Polona Kumelj
There’s a lot to be said for the whole castle setting of Outlook, but that’s another post. This is probably my favorite venue in the world. First, it is in fact a moat; a massive trench dug 30+ feet into the earth, reinforced with sloping stone walls. Here’s a clear picture of it in the daytime. But fill it with ravers, a lethal soundsystem and lights, and it becomes an apocalyptic wind tunnel of bass. It’s like something out of a sci fi fever dream.
The Moat is hosting some of the more hardcore-leaning sounds of the festival – Renegade Hardware, Tectonic, Swamp81 and Critical Sound. Personally, we’ll be in there for the Tectonic takeover most of Saturday night.
Rare UK Artists
photo by Dan Medhurst
One of the biggest draws for us as American citizens – finally getting to see all the amazing artists we’ve been listening to but somehow never get to New York! Even better, it’s with a crowd that knows and loves the music.
Full DMZ voltron (Mala, Coki, Pokes and Loe)
photo by Zoe Lower
Finally, the thing that’s the most wonderful, but also the hardest to describe about Outlook is getting immersed in sound system culture. Out there, you can traverse the entire hardcore continuum in one night; going from roots dub to dubstep to 2 step to grime to jungle to halftime to hip hop. Hearing sleng teng 100 different ways and the amen break 1000. Finally seeing artists that you’ve only ever heard sampled – like the last time we were there, hearing Max Romeo actually Chasing the Devil to outer space.
If you’re passionate about this music, then on some level you recognize that it’s part of a something larger – a fabric of history, culture and struggle that is still being created. That can be a tricky thing to articulate, but at Outlook you feel it. And that is truly a beautiful thing.
YOU GUYS It’s almost time for Outlook Festival and I’m starting to freak out a little bit. If you don’t know already, Outlook is the world’s greatest celebration of sound system music and culture, and it’s set in an abandoned fort on the stunning Adriatic coast in Croatia. It’s been 2 years since we were last there and we can not WAIT to get back. If reconstrvct is our local church, then Outlook is Mecca. And the Vatican. And Jerusalem. It’s a pilgrimage to the promised land.
I could go on, but this highlights video from last year does a much better job of transmitting all the vibes in 6 minutes than I could in a lifetime (especially if you watch it in HD 😎).
In the coming weeks we’ll be posting what we are most looking forward to, as well as some handy info for Americans who are trying to reach this summer. If that’s you, then it’s not too late! Tickets have not yet sold out (but they will) and flights are still pretty reasonable (but won’t be for much longer). Hit me up if you have any logistical questions.
I first discovered Berlin’s Through My Speakers crew via the yung goddess Sarah Farina. I was pretty dang pleased when they got their own Boiler Room showcase last month (I’m guessing their excellent summer compilation NURNED.01 had something to do with it).
Only then did I realize that one of the members of TMS, Soulmind, was the same Soulmind who made one of the most beautiful, moving mixes of bass music I’ve ever heard (Over Distant Mountains: A Year In Bass Music). I posted rather effusively about it back when it dropped but hadn’t heard much from dude since then. I guess he was busy linking up with my future favorite DJs.
It’s completely unsurprising then that Soulmind’s BR set was fantastic. Impeccable mixing and selection, climaxing with the teklife classicAll I do is (smoke trees) into a completely facemelting juke edit of DJ Shadow’s masterpiece Midnight in a Perfect World. Extra special s/o to whoever was doing the video mix right then; the shot of the setting sun over Berlin’s skyline was a really nice touch.
While all the sets were great, I was also particularly moved by Le Feu’s set. She goes so goddamned hard, clearly giving no fucks that the sun is way out:
And also Sarah Farina’s second, and hopefully not last set on BRTV. Switching it up from her last set which was mostly 160, here she has a ton of fun mashing things up in the 130 range:
Finally just wanted to give one more a s/o to another TMS member, She’s Drunk. His tune Pull Up is a dancefloor weapon in the vein of Pearson Sound’s Blanked or Tessela’s immortal Hackney Parrot. It’s also a free DL from mixmag so go grab dat.
Verboten’s new club in Brooklyn is part of the revived dance music scene. A bit more on the radar, and visible to the mainstream club scene, Verboten has a chance to showcase interesting music to a larger audience, than say Bossa Nova Civic Club and other similar fantastic venues. In order to succeed on this front, clubs need to work with event producers & promoters and labels to curate certain nights of music.
Trouble & Bass x TURRBOTAX® has one of the best nights happening at Verboten, and my favorite personally. T&B and TURRBOTAX® have been throwing parties in New York for a few years now, pushing forward the sounds of bass music and house/techno respectively. I remember T&B used to often hold it down at the “loft” above Public Assembly (the ersatz attic rave ting) and TURRBOTAX® used to pack out The Cove. Both those now changed and/or defunct venues used to get extra live when those crews threw parties there.
Now work together to curate one of the best nights in New York right now. Tonight Trouble & Bass is holding it down with the don Alix Perez from Exit Records/Shogun Audio/Metalheadz, Alix Perez. The dnB don’s music is of the dark halftime variety, interspersed with jungle rinseouts, and footwork breakdown phrases. That explains his last EP, featuring the late great DJ Rashad, and legend DJ Spinn.
Some of my other favorites are playing too including, Starkey:
Packed with breaky goodness, slow jungle and 130ish Keysound kinda stuff – if you loved Hackney Parrot, you’ll love this. Featuring unreleased tracks from Wen and Parris (who destroyed at the Reconstrvct before last), Facta and Epoch (who are playing the next one and the one after that, respectively) and loads of Etch originals. This is my favorite strain of bass music right now and god bless Reconstrvct for bringing it to us when almost no one else is (but hey Luke, could you book Etch in year 3 pretty please???)
Etch & Parris – Different Angles
Etch – Sphynx
Facta – Zodiak
Etch – Solidified
Epoch – Babylon
Etch – Stargate
Wen – Galactic
Etch – Chemotaxis
Etch, E.m.m.a & Parris – Purgatory
Acre – City
Wen – It’s Alot
El-B – Bubble (Dub)
PulseCode – Get Large (Circula Remix)
Etch – The Foundation
Wagon Christ – Toomorrow
Etch – Triptych
DJ Rashad – Only One
Source Direct – Different Groove
Our homies at MeanRed know that we’re big fans of Oneman over here at Wompblog, and have graciously bequeathed us two tickets for his show tomorrow night at the Panther Room. We’re giving them away to a lucky reader – could it be YOU!?
To win, just sign up for the WompList below with your email (if you’re already a member, just email us). It’s our friday email listing of the NYC bass music events, with top picks for the weekend and everything announced for the next few months. It’s also the only way to get in on exclusive ticket giveaways (like this one), reduced lists and other cool perks. We’ll pick a winner at 5PM on Wednesday and announce it shortly thereafter.
Once you’re on the WompList, you can double your chances of winning by tweeting about the contest (more on that below).
Step 1: Enter with your email
Everyone who signs up for the WompList before Wednesday, May 7th, 5PM EST will be entered to win 2 tickets to the show (your name will be on the list at the door with a +1, so find a date).
Step 2: Tweet About it
If you’d like to get two chances instead of one to win, tweet something like this:
I’m gonna win tickets to @djoneman and @jeromeLOL cuz the #womplist hooks it up » bit.ly/djonelol
Edit as you see fit, just make sure to include the hashtags #womplist, the usernames @djoneman and @jeromeLOL, and the bit.ly link to this page. Everyone who tweets something like that will get a second entry in the drawing for the tickets.
Contest closes at 5PM EST on Wednesday May 7th. 1 Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified via email and/or twitter. Winner must respond within 1 hour to claim their prize, or another winner will be chosen
Tickets are courtesy of MeanRed. Winner will be on the guestlist with a +1, so they and a guest will get entry free of charge. Winner will be required to show photo ID (event is 21+).
The Womplist is a weekly email listing our favorite NYC bass music events. It’s republished here for the general public, but only subscribers get in on exclusive ticket giveaways, reduced lists, plus an extended bass music calendar in their inbox every Friday.
Secret Guests/Butterz Preparty: Kozee, The Orator, Secret Guest at TBA Brooklyn [6-11PM/FREE] View Event (offsite) »
Descent & RBMA pres: BUTTERZ US Tour ft. Swindle, Elijah, Skilliam, Royal-T, Flava D, Subset at Slake [10PM/FREEwRSVP/$10adv] View Event »
The Bunker 002/003 Release Party: Voices from the Lake (extended live set), Clay Wilson, Bryan Kasenic at Output, Portable, Mike Servito and Wrecked in the Panther Room [10PM-5AM/$20-25] View Event (offsite) »
Vitamin B: Beatslappaz (Perth, AUS), Nate Dark, barney Iller, Tektite, Tim the Enchanter, plus Tinseltown, Eric Wallace and Adi at The Paper Box [10PM-5AM/$15-20] View Event (offsite) »
Wondering what Dusk & Blackdown’s set at the next Reconstrvct is gonna be like? Well thanks to the internet chutzpah of Dr. Jeep, we now know that their latest rinse.fm show should be a decent preview. No embed but you can download it at their blog, just hit the big purple download link.
Tracklist looks to be full of treats, including new Wen (that’s not on the new album), new faves like Caski & Moleskin, and some sincerely crazy new bits from known badmen Damu and Etch.
E.m.m.a. “Candy Stripe” [unreleased]
Caski “Tunnel Music” [unreleased]
My Nu Leng “Masterplan ft. Fox” [Black Butter]
Wen & Parris “Mori” [unreleased]
Brunks “Exit” [unreleased]
Mista Men “Dread” [unreleased]
Cliques “CHRO” [unreleased]
Hodge “Renegades” [forthcoming dnuoS ytiviL]
Damu “No Pain, No Gain” [unreleased]
Dusk + Blackdown “Drenched (Facta remix)” [unreleased]
Atlas “Polar” [unreleased]
Lamont “Far Away” [unreleased]
Facta “Quince” [unreleased]
Gantz ft. Rider Shafique “I&I” [forthcoming Deep Medi]
Luke Benjamin “Buddha Flow” [unreleased]
Riffs “Black Sound” [unreleased]
Etch “Champion Dancehall” [unreleased]
Dcult “Crawler” [unreleased]
Charlux “Neck Snap” [unreleased]
Korma “Springblade” [unreleased]
Underclass “Rinse Compressor (Epoch’s FTS Remix)” [unreleased]
P Money “Mad (Wen remix)” [unreleased]
Prince Rapid “Prince” [forthcoming]
Kakarot “Port Harcourt (Shriekin’ Specialist’s Orchestral Maximalism Bongo Remix VIP)” [unreleased]
Moleskin “Imagination Pulse” [unreleased]
Fresh Paul “Tranquilisers” [unreleased]
Luke Benjamin “Cold Roads” [unreleased]
Amen Ra “Yielding” [unreleased]
Luke Benjamin “No Light” [unreleased]
Double Helix “2000 Dust” [unreleased]
Double Helix “Untitled”[unreleased]
Goddamn I love Annie Mac. As the deep pop-house thing has blown up over the last year, Annie has proven herself to be a true tastemaker in the nascent genre. With her regular BBC1 show, her weekly Free Music Monday downloads and especially with her finely constructed mixes, she effortlessly sifts out the true gems from an endless sea of drivel. If I’ve had a soulful, poppy house/bass tune stuck in my head over the last year, there’s an 90% probability it came from one of her mixes.
So, naturally I implore all of you reading this to get your asses out to the Panther Room at Output tonight for her first NYC gig in ages (the last time she was here was Mixpak Halloween in 2011). She’ll be playing in the intimate Panther Room tonight at Output with hometown heroes Jubilee and Alex English supporting.
To help get your ass on the floor, we got access to the reduced list at the door tonight, so you’ll pay less than everyone else to get in and get down. Just send your FULL NAME to firstname.lastname@example.org before 7:30PM tonight, and we’ll make sure you get on. To make it even EASIER, you can just enter your name in the form below – this will not only get us your name for the reduced list at the door, but also subscribe you to the WompList, a weekly email where you’ll find out about all the best upcoming bass music shows in NYC (and get more sweet hookups like this one).