BEST OF DANCE MUSIC - WEEK 34 (SHAMBHALA EDITION)

8/18/15
Shambhala © Leah Gair 2015, under use from The Confluence

What’s up ravers? We’re gonna do something a little different today. This week’s Best New Dance Music post is brought to you by Shambhala Music Festival in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Normally I bring you what’s hot on the blogosphere or soundcloudosphere, but this week we’re gonna do something a little different. I’m going to do my best to play music for you that represents my most favorite music festival in all the world. Why am I doing this? Well, though not all of these songs are “new” persay, Shambhala is the most forward thinking music festival I’ve come across in my lifetime. Shambhala is truly a magical place and I hope that you glean some of its killer vibes from these awesome songs.

YAY!

Songs from The Fractal Forest, The Village, The Living Room, The Pagoda, The Grove and The Amphitheater… this week is all about Shambhala Music Festival.

 

FORT KNOX FIVE - WHATCHA GONNA DO (FEAT. MUSTAFA AKBAR)

R.I.P. John H. While at Shambhala one half of Fort Knox Five was ill and unable to play the set. Opting out of the Washington D.C. Funk usual visuals, they simply projected his face instead. A man taken from the world too early, but it’s not Shambhala without the funky good times of The Fort Knox Five. Let’s celebrate this man's life with a track off their last LP, Pressurize The Cabin.

 

OPIUO - ON YOUR SIDE (FT. RUSS LIQUID) (THE FUNK HUNTERS REMIX)

The Funk Hunters are THE Shambhala Resident DJs. They were born out of the festival and have been crushing it ever since. Now, these guys headline Fri night every year. (Can you tell that Shambhala is a funk festival?) This is their biggest track to have dropped between 2014 and 2015 and the crowd lost their mind to hear it.

 

MORILLO - SHIKAKA

While other festivals all have other focuses (Lighting in a Bottle has a whole half of the festival dedicated to Yoga), it seems to me that Shambhala is the festival for Silliness. Some of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life roaming this festival ground. So why not sample Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls’ “SHIKAKA” on your Tribal House tune. That’s going to kill there.

 

NETSKY - RIO FT. DIGITAL FARM ANIMALS

For a festival built around drum & bass, funk and horns, this song is absolutely perfect.

“It’s like Drum & Bass on Vacation. Nothing else could make me more reminiscent of Shambhala.”
                                - My Wife

If that isn’t a ringing endorsement of both this song and festival, I don’t know what is.

 

SUM 41 - FAT LIP (AS PLAYED BY JAUZ)

Forward thinking as Shambhala is, I heard more rock this past weekend than I’ve heard in the 2010’s. Whether it’s Jauz dropping Sum 41’s Fat Lip (no remix, just straight) or A.Skillz playing Bohemian Rhapsody of SOMEONE (Zeds Dead?) playing Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love all of the DJs stepped up their games, playing tracks that normally don’t fit in your standard rave.

But this isn’t dance music.

Well I sure as hell danced to it.

 

GESAFFELSTEIN VS. QUEEN - FLASH MASH. (AS PLAYED BY A.SKILLZ AND SLYNK)

This mash-up of Gesaffelstein’s Pursuit and Queen’s Flash is a perfect example of the magic that can be done with the tiniest amount of music editing. First appearing to me in an A.Skillz mix, I thought this was a construction of his (not out of the question, the man mash-ups shit you can’t even imagine). But then earlier in the weekend I heard this mash-up played out in Slynk’s set. I heard it once again in A.Skillz set (one of the only tracks I heard multiple times) and this was forever ingrained in my memory. This is some grade A shit.

 

TIPPER AMBIENT SET @ COSM

Oh Tipper. What can I tell you about Tipper? Just that he’s one of the most special musical performances of all time and I encourage you in any way shape or form to get yourself to one of his sets. Shambhala was blessed with TWO Tipper sets. An uptempo set, with live visuals by Android Jones (look him up) and a downtempo sunset set. This ambient set from Chapel of Sacred Mirrors has live visuals by his OTHER visual guy, Jonathan Singer (also amazing) and is a downtempo set. I’m a much bigger fan of uptempo (and Android Jones) Tipper, but beggars can’t be choosers. This is still incredible as close as you’re going to get to seeing the man play live.

 

MIXMASTER MIKE - MMM SABOTAGE (KILLSHOT REMIX) - MAGMA CHAMBER

Number 1 surprise of the festival? MIX MASTER FUCKING MIKE. He weaved a web of picking and scratching and breaks and Beastie Boys, all while turning it into one of the hardest hitting electro rave sets I’ve ever come across. If Mix Master Mike gets booked at a rave near you, get your BUTT to that shit. He’s leveling up with his new “MAGMA CHAMBER” project coming soon — and I got the rarest of previews. Man, is it fucking awesome.

 

MAJOR LAZER & DJ SNAKE - LEAN ON (FEAT. MO)

I heard "Lean On" probably a dozen times this weekend. It’s honestly rare to hear a track more than once at a festival like this. (This ain’t no EDC where Martin Garrix’s Animals gets played 44 times over the weekend.) But every time I heard "Lean On," it was such a pleasant experience. This is definitely the song of the summah. Best play had to have been Jillionaire, who reminded me that it’s okay to love Major Lazer and still hate Diplo, because there is another dude doing plenty of the work.

 

BASSNECTAR - BASS HEAD

It’s not Shambhala without Bassnectar. Dude has played 15 of the 19 years of this festival. (The four he hasn’t played have been in the past six years, btw.) So when the secret headliner (Zeds Dead) step on stage, of course they were gonna play something from the man we all really hoped it was going to be.

 

JUSTIN MARTIN & ARDALAN FT. PARTYPATTY - FUNCTION VIP

I didn’t spend too much time at the Dirtybird Takeover on Friday night at the Pagoda stage. I’m an American and I get the Dirtybirds almost every goddamn weekend. But all the house loving Canadians were jazzed that they got Ardalan, Friend Within, Cause & Affect, Kill Frenzy, J.Phlip, Shiba San, Justin Martin, Claude Von Stroke, Dusky and Christian Martin IN A MOTHERFUCKING ROW. It’d be cheating to not feature at least one track by the best label in the goddamn world right now, even if I didn’t actually see any of it. Yeah, this place really is THAT good.

SHAMBHALA!

- KURT

Photo © Leah Gair 2015, under use from The Confluence.

About Kurt Kroeber

From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.