If the characters at the “space bar” in Star Wars had been into electronic music, Heyoka would have been their DJ.
From San Francisco, Andrei Olenev, otherwise known as Heyoka, has been an integral part of the conscious glitch-hop/dubstep sound emerging from the bay area. Having keen influences from the psychedelic, fractalized, cosmic universe, his music and fashion is expressive of his ties to the Burning Man community. His mop of hair wrapped into a beehive of dreadlocks, I watched him set up his gear and get ready to host a dance party that would make beings from anywhere in the universe feel welcome.
“Mandelboogiewoogie minimix” by Heyoka
I really dig seeing an artist like Heyoka, that plays their own material, versus a DJ that plays tracks that are only popular at the moment. The former seems to have a more cohesive story as well as having more passion and intimate knowledge for the songs that are performed. I caught two of Olenev’s Colorado shows recently, giving me an opportunity to compare two different venues and two different sets from the same artist.
The show in Fort Collins at Hodi’s Half-Note, a small venue with a big sound, was a better vibe than that of Agave in Avon. Massive speakers lined the front of the stage giving the amazing physical presence of bass vibrations in your body. A relatively dark dance floor combined with a modest light set up allowed the music to be the focus of attention. One small screen to the side of the stage fluttering images of interstellar dimensions, some vertical LED towers, and a few spotlights were just enough to be visually entertaining.
Seeing Heyoka’s live performance on four occasions, I’ve started to have an idea of what to expect. My personal favorite was at 3AM at Sonic Bloom ’11, when he opened for one of Random Rab‘s infamous sunrise sets. While there is slight variation between setlists, the dynamic build up of intensity throughout his shows suggests that his prescribed order of tracks is well put together.
“Heyoka Fall Mix” By Heyoka
The show started off with simpler textures and beats, then progressed into a heavyweight storm of sound that commanded you to move. Syncopated dub chords drifted mellowly atop the gurgling, viscous reverberations reminiscent to some kind of Saturnian remix of the current bass culture.
Some might complain that the two-step rhythm of dubstep can be monotonous at times (certainly true), but this can allow for danceability and also enable the listener’s ear to appreciate the intricacies and subtle changes in other elements of the music.
There are many layers to Heyoka’s symphony, the complexity of which can be somewhat challenging on the dance floor. But its all about groovin’ to whatever sound is speaking to you. Bodies and limbs pulsed in the crowd like a human ocean, waving to the tides of his sound.
Heyoka also kept things fresh and interesting with live remixes of his original liquidy tracks. Occasionally, he switched up his style with drum and bass segments as well as more hip-hop oriented beats that kept the crowd entertained. His surreal remixes of tracks by Scott Joplin such as “The Entertainer” and “The Maple Leaf Rag”, and the theme song from Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse”, overlaid massive bass lines and sonically charged synths onto playful piano and sax riffs.
Always bringing his banger tracks out to climax the evening, Heyoka will be sure to leave your ears ringing and your feet screaming for a rest. If you have a chance, be sure to ride the cosmic carousel at the intergalactic carnival” that is Heyoka, free your mind, transcend your body, and let your spirit guide you into extraterrestrial ecstasy.
You know that friend that you have that no matter what is going on in their lives they are consistently smiling contagiously?
When you ask them how they are they report that they are ‘wonderful!’ and that ‘life is incredible!’. You are constanty asking yourself, ‘what’s their secret?’ Basically they are a walking, talking, breathing cup of amazing?
Yeah, I have one of those too. His name is Masahiko Wakita a.k.a SoundSatori.
Oh, and did I mention that he is our newest contributor for the musicsage Collective?
“Kloud Kings” by Random Rab
Whether he is shredding the slopes of Colorado as a badass snowboarder or pounding his feet to the beats of the newest dub-tronica, SoundSatori is your guide beyond the 3D musicsphere. Sick Beats, electronic wonderments and cosmic platters of delicious ambient symphonies are just a sample of the elements that you can expect from our newest contributor.
Masahiko Wakita a.k.a SoundSatori
Masahiko is your one stop shop to the psychedelic musical portal that will twist, pull, expand and explode your brain waves into a new dimension. Paired with cosmically delicious material, Masahiko delivers a level of passion and intensity that only a reader could hope for in an article.
Looking to lose yourself? Follow SoundSatori’s music roadmap to the amazing…..and beyond!
Had one of those days? Need a release? Does it hurt so bad? Just want to rock out so hard you go into a catatonic state? Why I am so glad you came here. I have the perfect prescription for you.
Before you join a kickboxing class to send your troubles a-packin’, listen to the wickedly angelic voice of blues legend Susan Tedeschi. She will, I promise cover a topic and a key that will make you just say, “yesss….”
Tedeschi, with 6 Grammy nominations and 1 Grammy win has stolen the hearts of blues aficionados and karaoke legends alike for nearly 20 years and 6 albums. Her bad-ass demeanor should not be taken lightly. This woman can play the guitar like Hendrix and sing like Joplin. Move over critics. She will melt your face off before you can think anymore about it.
“Rock Me Right” on Just Won’t Burn
With a degree from Berkelee, School of Music and sweet smile, this ringer made sure not to ask permission for anyone in the music world but herself. As a young woman she wanted to connect with God through music–but found that her Catholic Church choir was less than desirable for her giant presence. She did what any young woman would do: join in on African American Baptist Gospel Choirs.
Tedeschi and Trucks Learnin' How To Love
Later Tedeschi met Derek Trucks, lead slide guitar player for the Allman Brothers and frontman for his own band, the Derek Trucks Band. Going on tour together, the Derek Trucks Band and Susan Tedeschi eventually created Soul Stew Revival –a tour compiling both of the bands’ work.
“Learn How To Love” on Revelator
Eventually the two powerhouses decided to come together and write original, sassy, down south, bluesy jams that rocked the nation with their debut album Revelator. Now, with their two children, family time consists of touring and writing with the Grammy Award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Want to drink the soup of the soul? Susan Tedeschi (and friends) will serve you a portion of her smokin’ hot blues rock. But please, watch out–it just might scorch you if you’re not ready.
I hope you know the thriller dance….because we are back from the dead!
Well I’m sure you may be wondering, “what in the f%*# happened to the musicsage blog?” Vacation? Job change?Car trouble?
Dead or Not, We Still Be Jammin'
Computer crapped out? ….Would you believe “yes” to all? Either way, I implore you to GET OVER IT.
We are back! And with a strong, amazing collective of writersalong with a new eclectic and passionate set of topics to cover.
From grassroots to underground we have pulled out all the stops out and only want to deliver pure passion in a summary for YOU.
For those of you who have been oh so patient:
“CIVILIZATION” BY JUSTICE
To not waste any more of your time we are going to dive straight back into the madness and serve you the super silky wonderful eye openingserving of music that is best served awesome. I hope you’re hungry.
I’ve been back for a bit and I’m still marveling at how amazing my weekend at Coachella was. I should say marveling as well as recovering. After all, there are few places you could find yourself on your feet all day to the point that when you finally do land in your bed early in the AM and stare at the four blisters you acquired you think, “Good thing I brought Band-aids,” instead of “I’m going to have to take it easy tomorrow.”
Time To Rest Your Feet And Get Some Sleep...
There are few instances where you would find yourself jumping up and down for an hour straight in 97 degree heat, paying no heed to the sweat pouring out of your body or woozy feeling in your head.
You’d be right to think it strange for people to wander around consorting with a booklet on their every decision but it is pretty common there as the Coachella set time pamphlets always tend to run out by the end of the weekend.
This is all part of the experience. If you love music, spectacle, and dancing your ass off, this is the weekend for you. And this year featured not only one of the best lineups in the festival’s history, but also superb art installations and state of the art light shows to add to the wow factor. In addition, there was excellent crowd control inside the event. It rarely felt overcrowded and the lines moved quickly. If there was any complaint for the whole weekend, it was the insane amount of time it took to get in and out of the parking lot. Other than that, it was nearly perfect. Here are the performance highlights:
The Arcade Fire
Unanimous: Arcade Fire Rocked the Hardest at Coachella '11
They were the hometown hero for the weekend. 7 years ago they took to the outdoor stage in the afternoon and turned out a performance that has defined their buzz thus far. When their second album dropped in 2007 they returned for an early evening performance, this time on the Main Stage. And this year, they returned to headline the festival in support of their Grammy winner for best Album, The Suburbs.
“Ready To Start” on The Suburbs
Of the three headliners, they were easily the best. While The Strokes sounded good, their stage show was very simple and though Kanye West did his best to bring the wow factor, there was little to enjoy under all of the flashing lights. Dare I say he needed more spectacle to compensate for what was just an okay set? And to be fair, I didn’t see the Kings of Leon’s big performance but from what I heard they played a solid show, but nothing compared to what The Arcade Fire brought.
When they took their spots, you could feel the excitement emitting from the stage. And for an hour and a half, they poured their hearts out on to the audience and like a wave of energy it washes over the crowd, bringing even those who were exhausted from two days of festival going off the ground to their feet in a frenzy of hand claps and cheers. It was really like watching a band that had fought and scratched its way from the bottom arrive on their home turf to do a victory lap. Powerful stuff to say the least.
Arcade Fire Lights Up the Crowd
And then, just when it seemed they couldn’t top themselves, a huge box (perhaps a train car is a more apt title) unleashed a couple thousand glowing balls on top of the crowd. The balls then did a coordinated light show that dazzled those holding them and those hypnotized by watching them. It was a sight to behold.
They Just Make You Wanna Dance!
A huge crowd packed themselves into the Mojave tent to see Australia’s Cut Copy, a band that definitely fits into the “Coachella Mold.” I say this because high energy, electronic infused dance rock is really what Coachella does best. However, what happened when they took the stage was pure euphoria. The crowd jumped up and down as one (at lead singer Dan Whitford’s urging) and sang along to all their songs, both old and new. In return, the band fed off the energy, giving a performance that made more than one fan a super fan (I know my passion for them has gone from casual listener to obsessed since their performance).
“Take Me Over” on Zonoscope
Best Reason To Take Up Raving
Sasha Keeps You Living the Beat
One of the Founding Fathers of Electronic Dance Music seized the stage for a solo turn (instead of with his usual partner in crime, John Digweed) and he took the crowd on quite the journey. It started down beat, trudging through dark samples and thundering beats and masterfully built to a rousing conclusion that featured one of the most intense light shows the Sahara Tent has seen. It’s impossible to have the best EDM all weekend and some of the DJs left a bit to be desired (I’m looking at you Fredde le Grand), but any DJs watching Sasha’s set got a master education in keeping your audience on its toes, and probably had lightshow envy as well.
Sasha Live Set
Best Reason to Drink Lots of Water
Two Door Cinema Club
They Fought Through the Hot With Their Sweet Beats
These up and coming kids more than matched the buzz they’ve been generating during the past couple years and they managed to do it at the hottest part of the afternoon on the hottest day of the fest. You’d have thought it was late night on a breezy Autumn day the way the crowd jumped and danced, but they were all just slaves to the music. I know, I was one of them. The set started strong and ended with a wonderfully rousing version of “I Can Talk” that sent everyone into a final whirlwind. Hopefully everyone was drinking water because the exiting crowd was soaked from all the sweating that took place.
“Undercover Martyn” on Tourist History
Jimmy Eat World
Blasts From Our Pasts
Ten years ago JEW was a band buzzing with potential. They delivered Bleed American, an album that put them on the map and followed it with Futures, a complex album that became one of my favorites from my college years. But their last two albums have left me (and judging by their sales the rest of the music loving public) cold. Still, I wanted to see them, if anything, for nostalgic. Alas, I totally underestimated them. As they (wisely) stuck mostly to their early work, it became a nostalgic sing along for the crowd and the band rightfully rocked as hard as they did ten years ago.
“Higher Devotion” on Invented
Empire of the Sun
These Boys Know How To Show You A Good Time
The lead singer emerged in a variety of costumes ranging from bejeweled head-dress to shaggy horse hair suit in front of a screen displaying some of the craziest visuals I’ve seen at a live performance. All the while he was flanked by four back up dancers dressed as everything from dolphins to Geishas to… well I’m not sure. It was quite a memorable look, but the music was never lost in all the spectacle (see Kanye West). In fact, they took songs off of their album and made them even more irresistible by adding more beats and hooks to take them to a whole new level. It’s an act I long to see again. Stat.
“Tiger By My Side” on Walking On a Dream
Best of the Rest
!!! played a sweaty afternoon set with their fascinating jam and dance rock hybrid, proving why they are a festival favorite.
Kele, the lead singer of Bloc Party came to a small crowd to play his solo stuff and gradually it grew to a full tent full of people dancing to dance remixes of his band’s work. It was very cool to hear!
Interpol turned out a spectacular set. I was proud of them, especially after having seen their less than glowing performance at the Greek last year.
Crystal Castles went to that dark and raw place they do best to a salivating audience.
Boys Noize brought all the kids learning about EDM in and properly melted all of their faces.
The Chemical Brothers took full advantage of the main stage and rocked the festival grounds the way pros know how.
Foals did a particularly strong set and definitely converted a few random attendees into fans.
Tinie Tempah came on 20 minutes late to an impatient audience, who promptly forgave him and lost their shit as he delivered a high energy set with a special appearance by Ellie Goulding.
Trentemoller created some of the best sound at the festival and have become my official discovery of Coachella, a band I knew next to nothing about before and now look forward to hearing more from them.
Chromeo delivered a high energy set to an appreciative crowd amidst a nice cool breeze. Bonus: Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koening made an appearance to duet on “I Could Be Wrong.” It was da bomb.
Don't Miss Out Next Year
Which is a good way to summarize the weekend as a whole.
Now the festival is over, but its cultural persuasion is just beginning. It’s time to see what artists will break big after this launch pad. Some bands put on such an amazing performance, their tours will no doubt be littered with people wanting another taste. Some showgoers will flock to see the bands they missed (for me, I’m bummed to have missed The Presets and Freelance Whales, among others). But it’s also time to look forward to next year’s. Tickets will probably go on sale in December and they will no doubt sell out just as quick as they did this year. It’s only 350 some odd days away, so you should get planning now if you want to be a part of something truly unique and trendsetting in the music community…