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Electric Forest Day 1 Recap: Next-Level Jamtronica Steals the Show

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Reggie Watts kicked off the Ranch Area mainstage music for the 2012 installment of Electric Forest. His tongue-in-cheek beat box raps set a fun mood for the festival goers. He reminded everyone to “try the stuff that’s going around… it’s really good” and talked about grits and what not. A sharp contrast from Borgore’s set to come.

Borgore addresses the forest at 8:30 sharp to give this sound system a proper bass test. He ripped through a blistering selection of Knife Party’s “Centipede”, Skream’s “Somebody to Love” remix. He was also keen to throw in some of that trap sound that’s blowing up by tossing in some tracks like OH SNAP!!’s “Trapstorm” and Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like”. The most hilarious part of Borgore’s set was the “Smell Yo Dick” remix from that tosh.0 episode. We left Asaf’s set a little early to get a solid position for Conspirator.

Conspirator is perhaps best known for being a Disco Biscuits side-project. However they set themselves apart at Electric Forest with the day-turned-night slot on the Sherwood Court stage. Starting out with some jammy dubstep anthems which sounded like Nero if they had the addition of Chris Michetti to absolutely shred the guitar. The live band energy matched with their electro / dubstep jamtronica instrumentals drew a crowd from the stage all the way back to the Sherwood Forest. They cranked out a bunch of new jams (a particular glitch-hop track caught a lot of ears) along with a funky cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire”.

From there we explored the beautiful art installations in the Sherwood Forest for a while. The eye-candy at Forest is beyond any other festival. Where most stop at live painting, Electric Forest offers thousands of trees hit with lasers, disco balls, LEDs and every other form of light you could imagine. Trace the trees down to the ground and look around. You will find a plethora of organic designs made up of hay, mulch, rocks, leaves, branches, etc. to form something beautiful. It’s an experience all in its own walking through the Sherwood Forest, but we also have the best music around.

EOTO hit the stage to please everyone’s ears with the improvisational EDM they boast. The 3D visual mapping of the lotus flower surrounded them to please everyone’s eyes. It’s really a shame they don’t give out free burritos during their set because they are well on their well to a full sensory overload. Anyway’s the duo had a bunch of new visuals displayed on the lotus that I had never seen before. Lots of cool images that will be up for your eyes to feast on our FaceBook page. The crushing glitch-hop / electro / dubstep improv show continued ’till midnight as Jason Hann got the crowd screamin’ “Everybody in the forest gettin’ tipsy” along with bits of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” and Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”. If EOTO comes to your town, just go see them. It’s awesome.

Ghostland Observatory was next on the main stage. After a claustrophobic walk, we were greeted with sound problems for the first few songs. I’m not sure if they ever got the sound perfectly right for Ghostland, however most of the crowd enjoyed themselves as the group kicked out the jams with plenty of their trademark lasers in tow. We only caught 15-20 minutes in order to rush back to Sherwood Court and catch Beats Antique.

Beats Antique’s sound is so different from every other act they are ever billed with. Electric Forest is no different, however the endless array of attendees with LED hoops and glow sticks was a sure sign of their warm reception. The group really starts slow and sexy, with belly-dancer Zoe Jakes takes most of the crowds attention as David Satori and Tommy Cappel switch back and forth between drums, violin, banjo and banjo with a violin bow. The group shows off their eclectic influences with the variety of instruments, but always keeps it within the Beats Antique style. The group played “Egyptic”, “Roustabout” and “Spiderbite” as the crowd threw and infinite amount of glow sticks up in the air.

With Day 2 on the horizon, we simply can’t wait for the rest of the weekend.

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