My good friend and all-around beacon of positive energy, Chris, is headed to Shambhala next weekend, where many such beacons have gone, and should go. He asked my advice on shows he should see at the festival in British Columbia, and at first I was flattered that he’d asked. After reviewing the line-up, and checking out photos from previous Shambhala’s, I am overcome with envy. Still, he asked, so I will happily oblige.
Simply put, Bonobo is the man. He’s been doing a kind of touring trade off for the last few years, where he tours as a DJ, then with a full band behind him, then a DJ again. Both are amazing, but I find I prefer his DJ sets for their variety. He uses whatever time he has to tell a story, with long, gradual shifts from “get lost staring at your shoes” slow material, up to peppy “ain’t life grand” higher tempo stuff. This is Bonobo’s two-hour mix for NTS Radio in London, and it covers a lot of ground in terms of genres, tempos, and countries of origin. That is just so Bonobo.
Also worth checking out is the hour-long MIXED set he did for THUMP.
I may have shared this jackLNDN mix he put together for Shambhala, but I think he’s awesome, and worth re-sharing, oversharing, or any other kind of sharing. In recordings, he tends to gravitate towards and dip into a trop-house tinged sound, but in his live set I caught at Electric Forest, he’s more of a house purist. At 2:30am on the second day of a festival, he had everybody who was wise enough to be on the green channel in the Silent Disco on their feet and dancing like maniacs. I have no doubts that he’ll have the same effect in Canada.
Sure, it’s a an older mix, but 2012 is how far back I had to dig to find a free Claude VonStroke mix, which he put together for Hardfest. I’d also classify Claude as a house purist. He won’t fluctuate much in terms of tempo, but he knows how to keep the show and the audience engaged. He’s been on a tear as of late, in particular with the release of his EP, Barrump.
However, if you’d like a better look at his more recent sets, check out this one he did for BBC Radio 1 that’ll give you a preview for Claude, as well as his Dirtybird labelmates Christian Martin, Justin Martin, and Shiba San. Also, his closing set at Movement in Detroit is worth checking out.
Finishing out my Shambhala 2015 recommendations is the UK-based techno/house duo, Dusky. They also just released a pretty incredible EP last month, called Ordinary World. You won’t hear any of it on their Essential Mix from the end of 2013 below, but you will hear a ton of remixes, including fellow Shambhala performer Justin Martin, some original work, and a good sampling of miscellaneous to fill out the two hours.
One last thing. I started to put together a lit in a Google Doc that listed out all the performances I thought you, Chris, or you, would enjoy. Or will enjoy. Anyway, there’s a longer list in there with links to sets or songs that should give you a decent feel for what to expect. Enjoy!