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First wave of artists announced for Magnetic Fields Festival 2014
After making an impressive debut, Magnetic Fields returns to Alsisar Mahal, a 17th century palace, with the promise of the freshest sounds from India and around the world and an immersive experience for the music fan this December. The three-day music and arts festival to be held over December 12, 13 and 14 later this year with its blend of heritage arts mixed with contemporary culture was hailed for its curated approach to music, design and production and continues with that trend with the first wave of artist announcements.
After introducing attendees to varied artists like Charanjit Singh, V.I.V.E.K and Robot Koch in its debut year, the second edition of Magnetic Fields will host a mix of the freshest Indian sounds accompanied by some of the most exciting underground international stars dance acts who will dictate the sounds of the future. Exciting new Indian acts such as Begum, Nicholson, Soulspace, and a special Bhavishyani Future Soundz showcase are set to share stage with dream pop Parisian producer Dream Koala, British garage house DJ/producer Flava, Spanish electronica whizkid BeGun in the December festival.
Among the Indian performances slotted on the bill is an exclusive festival set by Dualist Inquiry, Monica Dogra as a solo performer, a full-festival showcase by the Mumbai-based Bhavishyavani Future Soundz collective featuring M Mat, Loopkin and Spacejams, the mellifluous pop artist Nischay Parekh with drummer Jivraj Singh, who will also be playing with the Kolkata-based experimental electronica outfit, Pinknoise, a full live show by singer-songwriter Nicholson, Delhi-based electronica producers Soulspace and Curtain Blue, newly-formed dreamy psychedelia band Begum, Delhi Sultanates new solo avatar BassFoundation Roots, noise rock band Hoirong and Bangalore-based downtempo duo Sulk Station, who will finally make their Magnetic Fields debut after missing out last year, and post-rock band Until We Last, also from Bangalore.
The international artists at Alsisar Mahal this year will include some of the most exciting names from alternative dance music genres. Dream pop producer and 20-year-old Parisian Dream Koala joins highly-regarded Spanish electronica whizkid BeGun, London-based Sri Lankan-born garage/ bass producer My Panda Shall Fly who also played at the Magnetic Fields pre-party in London in July, young British garage house producer Flava D, German techno exponent Pawas, London-based hip-hop and funk legend DJ Vadim, multimedia artist and producer Zahed Sultan and singer-songwriter Graciela Maria, who has worked with Koch and the founder of Reggae Rajahs and a popular face in India DJ MoCity, who now lives in Dubai. More artists both Indian and international – will be announced soon.
Apart from music, attendees can look forward to an experience that envelops them the moment they walk through the big iron gates of the 17th century palace. “Taking off from the nomads of the desert theme from last year, the nomadic Bedouins are now headed for intergalactic travel. These nomads of the universe can travel through time and space, where the future and past collide, cities and villages merge to create an event that’s free of space and time.”
Like last year, the theme that will extend to a variety of carefully constructed spaces including the two main stages the North stage (night stage), and the South stage (day stage). Alsisar Mahal will hear the strains of music round the day as acts are slated to perform during the afternoon on the lawns before curtains open on the South stage.
The music on the night stage is programmed to go on till late into the night and for those unwilling to call it a night, Magnetic Fields also features dawn-breaking, pop-up parties throughout the 3-day festival experience. For those who find it difficult to leave a bonfire and the comfort of their tent, the campsite this year will also have its own lounge.
Tickets for the December festival will be available on http://www.magneticfields.in and will announced shortly. The festival, like last year, is limited capacity, and keeps its promise of an immersive, curated festival experience, unlike any other on the Indian circuit.
Enchanted Valley Carnival returns this December!
Enchanted Valley Carnival, also known as EVC, returns this December on 19th, 20th and 21st of December 2014. The first day of EVC will be headlined by Grammy award-winning electro dance David Guetta on the 20th of December and trance warriors Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz as New World Punx will perform on 21st December. Some of the foreign acts this year include include Aly and Fila, SolarStone and Aruna while the homegrown local acts include Alien Chutney (Vir Das), Anish Sood, Dualist Inquiry, Lost Stories, Nucleya, Ash Roy, Reggae Rajahs, Nawed Khan, Bullzeye, Clement, Praveen Achary, Quiver and Calm Chor.
Apart from the music festival, Twisted Entertainment is proud to present the Enchanted Village. The campsite received an overwhelming response last year with it all the tents sold out on the first day. This year Enchanted Village is back with double the capacity and plenty to do during on all the 3 days. The Village aims to accommodate 2,000 people daily with multiple camping options such as BYOT (bring your own tent), Classic tents and Club tents. Activities at the campsite include a series of silent parties, workshops, yoga sessions, outdoor sports, bon fires and lots more!
Shoven Shah, Founder, EVC and Director, Twisted Entertainment said, While the heart of all festivals revolves around music, the spirit of EVC is in the stages, the community, a campsite which will truly glorify the magic of nature and the environment. At EVC no detail will be spared ensuring every festival-goer feels that their experience was unique and their money well spent! EVC aspires to reinstate this spirit of community, connection and conversations in music that has been lacking in many music festivals conducted in the recent past. EVC will connect fans directly with the artists they love like David Guetta and New World Punx and become a sanctuary for forward-thinking music fans seeking life-affirming experiences.
Kartik Mohindra, Assistant Vice President, International Brands, Pernod Ricard India added, ABSOLUT globally has been associated with art and creativity. In India, music has always been a very popular art form which is witnessing a change in the last few years. This is where the festivals like EVC fit in and provides the new age music followers with a great setting to truly enjoy music. Such events are a perfect fit with the brand.
Mr. Vivek Kumar, CEO Aamby Valley City and Hotel Sahara Star said EVC is a festival in a category of its own. So working with EVC is a perfect fit, and connects us with the new generation of consumers around the world. EVC is truly a meeting place of music and fans at a one of its kind destination venue. The festival goers are in for a visual and acoustic treat with the headline line-ups having some world-class names that will breathe life into Indias music scene. We are sure that the line-up coupled with tremendous scale and grandiose of the event will leave everyone asking for more.
David Guetta said, Im excited to be coming back to India and headlining the second edition of EVC Festival in Aamby Valley this December. All my fans from Mumbai and Pune should watch this space for more!
New World Punx said, Hey India! We are ready for EVC 2014! This will be the first time for New World Punx to play in India, and to top it off we’ll finally get to meet all our fans at Aamby Valley City, Festival Arena. We’re so excited; you warriors are in for a treat See you this December!”
Multi genre music along with and some of the most sort after live headliners in the game will be spread across EVCs many stages with longer DJ sets and a host of curated arenas. The highlight of the event will be the specially created ABSOLUT zones, which will integrate an exclusive brand experience.
EDM Night and Funktuation at Saarang, IIT Chennai
Smirnoff Experience 2013 at Manpho Convention Center Grounds, Bangalore
Sunburn Festival Goa 2013: Festival Preview
6 years of consistently bringing to us the best EDM acts from all over the world has turned Sunburn into the most-awaited music festival of the year. And from what we hear, Sunburn Goa has just turned 10 times bigger than last year.
Vagator is the new home for Sunburn this year – spread over 500,000 sq.m of exotic festival area, Sunburn Goa is going to be the biggest electronic music festival of Asia till date with 7 massive stages where more than 120 artists will be performing for over a span of 3 days.
Sunburn Goa is serving a varied palette of genres this year including Trance, House, Electro, Techno, Drum & Bass, Psy-trance and Experimental. Global superstars like Axwell, Afrojack, Markus Schulz, Pete Tong, Mark Knight, Andrew Rayel, Quintino, James Zabiela, Ummet Ozcan, flanked by the best Indian talents like Dualist Inquiry, (S)haan, Lost Stories, Anish Sood, Kohra, Jayant, Nucleya, are all set to bring the house down at this edition of Sunburn Goa. Three very special stages are also going to be showcased Jacked! presented by Afrojack, Toolroom Knights by Mark Knight, and the All Gone Pete Tong stage presented by Pete Tong.
With elaborate food courts and onsite camping, unlimited parking and after-parties, Sunburn Goa is brimming with the possibility of bringing newer and better experiences. A totally redesigned flea market, a book library, circus tents, and an open air movie theatre, an above sea-level psy stage, a kite festival, a ferris wheel, a huge sports village and a Sunburn cruise on the Arabian Sea is whats in store for those who want to take a small break from the music!
Percept seems to have left no stone unturned in making sure that this festival is the biggest in Asia – with 120+ artists and 200 hours of electronic music, Sunburn Goa will also see Asias largest single stage set in a natural amphitheatre. Cubezoid had been the audience favourite for the last two years and this year Darkroom, from the UK has re-designed the stage is a bigger and better way. Excited yet? We are too. It’s time to get Sunburnt!
Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore
After the mega-success that was the NH7 Weekender Bangalore last year, this years event was a must-see music festival for the music lovers of Bangalore. In a city that sees at least one grand music concert and dozens of smaller gigs every month, one would think that there wouldnt be enough Bangaloreans interested in NH7 weekender to fill the grounds of the Embassy Riding School. On the contrary, after having waited for over a year for the next installment, music lovers in the city braved the harshest weather to be at the event. The experience last time left the audience in awe of how smoothly everything went and how well planned out the event was. What could possibly go wrong this time?
So Day 1 (November 23rd) came by. I remember walking up to the pick-up point with a spring in my step. The sun was out with a smattering of clouds in the sky. If only we knew what nature had in store for us! By the time we got to the outskirts of the city, there was a light drizzle. We Bangaloreans are used to unpredictable weather and the rains in fact, we love the rains! Well this was put to the test, when a torrential downpour surprised us all about thirty minutes after we walked into the arena. People were swaying and grooving to Bala Subramanyam a.k.a Dakta Dubs reggae-infused beats at the Breezer Dub Station when the drizzle turned into a full blown storm. Most hadnt prepared for the rains, including the organizers, and there were very few tents to take shelter under. The attendees took the rains in their stride and just danced in the rain. A perfect opener for the festival, Dakta Dub stuck to slow and hypnotic mixes that was perfect to set people into the mood as they trickled in. Even people with two left feet were unable to stop shuffling around and dancing to his mix of hip-hop, jazz, trip-hop and reggae, made even more irresistible with big beats and deep bass.
As a true testament to how much the people loved music, no one even thought of leaving and going back. In the muck and the mess, I made my way to the Bacardi Rock Arena where Bevar Sea had already got the crowd in a mosh-pit. The rain had by now soaked right through my bones and showed no signs of yielding. In a bid to keep the chill at bay, I took shelter under a flimsy awning and out in the distance I could see black tees pushing each other into the mud and flipping their hair trying to head bang.
Not wanting to get caught in a mosh-pit, I trudged back to the Breezer Dub Station only because it was the closest one. I stepped into the stage just as Pippin was laying down some trippy, pop, hip-hop and trip-hop tunes. As the evening set in, the relaxed and groovy mix that he played allowed everyone to wind down and lean back on their red bean-bags and chill. An interesting observation was that only the Breezer Dub Station had a full line-up or a full set of artists throughout the day with artists coming on stage back to back. So there was always some good music to dance to if you happened to walk into that arena. I decided to stay back at the Breezer Dub Station as I didnt think it was wise to walk in many inches of mud without proper footwear.
Well, I seemed to have made the right choice as Dualist Inquiry, or rather, Sahej Bakshi came out on stage to play his solo DJ set. He was scheduled to play with his band on the Red Bull Tour Bus later on but I couldnt figure out how that would be possible without accidental electrocution of the band members due to the rain. He definitely knew how to get the crowd going. After the laidback tunes from Pippin and Dakta Dub, Sahej got the crowd bouncing with a sick remix of Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable) by 2Pac and James Brown, which was featured in Django Unchained, and the Super Mario Bros. theme. He quickly followed this with a very fun remix of the Ghostbusters theme and got the whole crowd to sing along to it. From Hip-Hop to Pop, he then moved into the realm of jazz by playing Catgroove by Parov Stelar. For his first solo DJ set, he managed to get the biggest crowd reaction, no surprise, for Get Lucky by Daft Punk. He ended his hugely popular set with some groovy swing tunes.
Next came DJ Uri veteran and legendary DJ who was one of the few who still played on vinyl. A quiet and reserved man, his music was enough to get the crowd hyped-up. We were all left gobsmacked with his turntable tricks and scratch effects a completely new sound from that of the previous artists on stage. He transformed Adele, Eminem and Snoop songs into slick mixes.
Over at the Eristoff Wolves Den, people gathered to listen to Shaair + Func. As Monica Dogras sublime form took to the stage, the crowd yelled lustily for some of their most popular songs. They opened with massively popular tracks like Shine and My Roots. Monicas vocals were pitch-perfect and the band was cohesive but at times Randolph Correias guitars did overpower the vocals. One gripe with the performance was that it did become quite monotonous after a while as the band insisted on playing many of their old hits.
The Shaair + Func performance took place under the heaviest rainfall of the night but the crowd didnt care and sang along to Every Time Youre Around and Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. They stayed away from Oops and instead played some new catchier tunes like Poker with the President. Of course, people loved Monicas stage antics and the fact that she interacted with the crowd as always. As it continued to pour, we walked back to and loitered around the Dub Station as many artists had their performance cancelled that night. Most notably, due to the dangers posed by the rain, TesseracTs show was cancelled leaving many metal heads disappointed. The F-16s and the Dualist Inquiry Band, whose performances I was looking forward to, were also cancelled.
On the way back we were informed that we had actually danced through Cyclone Helen. Day 1 was a near-miraculous one considering that most of the performances went smoothly despite all the water. Unfortunately, members of And So I Watch you From Afar did get electrocuted during their performance and were forced to play through the rain. Although I felt the mud added a very Glastonbury-esque feel, some women foolishly chose to wear high heels and to no ones surprise, were stuck in the muck.
The clouds parted and the sun came out on Day 2 and we were all blessed with quintessential Bangalore weather on Sunday. An update about the change in the line-up was posted too late on the NH7 Weekender Facebook page and many missed most of Parvaazs set. Like me, many of their fans trickled in at 4 p.m. as they hadnt seen the revised schedule either and got to listen to only about 15 mins of their set. I only got to hear Ab Ki Yeh Subah before they cleared the stage and made way for Dry the River.
Their blend of folk-rock and country wasnt very interesting and the MTS Other Stage had a very screechy band with a horrendous lead singer on stage so I walked over to the Eristoff Wolves Den where Randolph Correia a.k.a Func was churning out some excellent electronic and dubstep tracks for the small but lively crowd that had gathered. Even though he was without his more famous collaborator this time, a seasoned artist like him managed to get the crowd excited and dancing.
After this, it was time for me to watch Prateek Kuhad at the MTS Other Stage having heard his E.P. earlier this year. Although the crowd was intimate, he had the loudest groupies of all the artists I had seen so far. He stood alone with a guitar and belted out some amazing acoustic tunes that were perfect for the lazy Sunday evening. He played some of his most popular songs – Yeh Pal, Be Surprised and Be at Ease to a crowd that was slowly falling in love with his honest, heart-felt lyrics and soft, breathy vocals. The barebones arrangement and minimalist musical style surely won him a lot of fans that evening. After a lot of pleading from his groupies, he finally played his most famous track Ab Hoga Kya, an upbeat and romantic track. Prateek Kuhad switched effortlessly between English and Hindi tracks and was keen to please his fans. After his dreamy set ended, it was back to the Wolves Den for Nucleya.
His set consisted mainly of material from his latest album Koocha Monster EP. Although Dualist Inquiry or Sahej Bakshi came in to hype up the crowd for Nucleya, it wasnt needed. The massive bass and cheeky interludes were enough to get the crowd going crazy. His new material has a lot of Indian street music but at certain times, it did sound too much like an Indian wedding band. Meanwhile, the Reggae Rajahs were bringing the love over at the Dub Station to a frenzied crowd.
Next came KRUNK All-Stars a collection of some of the best DJs in the country, promoted by management agency KRUNK. The collective consisted of OX7GEN, EZ Riser, Sandunes, Tarqueeb and SICKFLIP. EZ Riser had played a fantastic set the day before and Sandunes was scheduled with play with the Dualist Inquiry Band. The first half saw Sandunes on the effects and synths, EZ Riser on the decks and QX7GEN on drums playing in an all-live format. Brad Tellis joined in on the guitar after a while and the second half was basically EZ Riser, Tarqeeb and SICKFLIP strutting their stuff. Their set was mellower and much more toned down after the explosive bass from Nucleya. Their music was innovative and appreciated but, I would have liked to see more energy from the All-Stars. They were looking into their computer screens so intently without so much as a glance at the crowd, it seemed like they were all reading a novel on their computers.
After a long pause for much needed nourishment, I went to watch British-Indian DJ extraordinaire Bobby Friction. He managed to draw a large crowd to the Dub Station even though the more popular Noisia was playing at the Wolves Den. Looking flamboyant in a large feathered outfit, his fashion sense matched his music loud, often brash and definitely in-your-face!
Now it was time for the most buzzed about act of the whole festival Karsh Kale Collective + The NH7 All Stars, where legendary percussionist Karsh Kale would be joined by all the artists who had performed over the last two days. People who waited at the arena beforehand were handed snazzy graphic novels features Karsh Kale! The first artist to join Karsh Kale was singer Benny Dayal, who enthralled the audience with his energetic and powerful vocals. Songstress Apeksha Dandekar came on next. Her restrained yet sultry singing style floored the audience. She was probably one of the best vocalists at the festival apart from Khalid Ahmed from Parvaaz.
Vishwesh K from Scribe joined in too, with some creative and mile-a-minute rapping allowing the eastern and western musical styles to merge smoothly. Alas, before Randolph Correia and Dualist Inquiry could take to the stage, I had to leave the venue. With a sad heart and weary legs, I ambled out of the venue just as the Karsh Kale Collective were playing their rendition of Ustaad Fateh Ali Khans Tere Bin Nahi Lagda. Over 4000 people were packed into the Bacardi Arena as all the other stages were mandatorily shut down for this event. Yet, at the end of the day, the hodgepodge of so many different artists felt like too many cooks in the kitchen and the overall performance did fall short.
There is no other musical event quite like the NH7 Weekender. Once you attend one, it spoils you for every other music concert. It is the happiest music festival and even welcomes you a Hic Habitat Felicitas sign as you enter. I even appreciated the fact that there were so many EDM artists this time compared to last year it gave people an opportunity to dance throughout the day. Moreover, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender has something going for it that no other music festival has it attracts the most ardent fans of the Indian music scene, whom even the stormiest weather cant scare away. Even though there were a lot of problems with the set-up and sound, the artists were overwhelmed with the loyalty of their fans and the rain just helped people let loose much faster. Well, now I have to wait a whole another year to experience it again!
NH7 Weekender Bangalore at Embassy Riding School
Sunburn Noida 2013 – Burning Bright, Burning Loud
Theres very little that happens in Delhi that gets the population of the nations capital all worked up, unless its Sunburn. The festival debuted last year in the city (or in its vicinity at least) with a lineup that would make pretty much anyone who is even remotely into electronic music salivate. So obviously, the expectations with this years Sunburn were high.
This years lineup comprised of three artists less than last year, but the star power was equally matched. While last years festival had Afrojack as the headliner, this year, Delhi got TWO (technically three) major headliners – Dash Berlin and Nervo, and thats where the proverb too much of a good thing would fit in! There was an uproar on the event page, with fans being upset over having to choose between the legendary Dash Berlin and the models-turned-musicians-turned-DJ twins Nervo. I dont blame them (youll find out why soon enough).
The event started fashionably late. It was supposed to start at 2 p.m., but the doors (and the DJ set) opened at 4 p.m. We were told that there was an hour long delay. My math has never been too good, I was always a calculus person. Turns out the delay had resulted in the indigenous acts having their play-time cut short, so that the international artists could have their moments of glory. A wise move perhaps, considering the fact that the fans would have been upset had ANY of the international acts performed for a lesser duration.
The opening sets were alright, sticking to a generally lower tempo to warm up the crowd, and while the crowd of whatever age trickled in, what became evident almost instantly was the absence of Nikhil Chinappa and Pearl. Things really started to pick up when the two stages were taken over by Rank 1 and Indias own Sehaj Bakshi, better known as Dualist Inquiry. The venue, despite the expansive campus of Galgotia University didnt provide enough separation between the two stages and I came across this one sweet spot where you could hear the music from both stages mix together rather well. This spot was the entire bar area, conveniently placed closer to Stage 2 (I really dont want to use the name Space Jungle as that is just absolutely ridiculous a name). Stage 1 was taken over by Rank 1 and this is where things got really interesting. Dualist Inquiry has been playing the same tunes for the last year or so and there is very little thats actually new to his sound. Rank 1 on the other hand consistently dished out one hard hitting bass line after another, keeping his set incredibly jumpy, switching it up between Techno and Hard bass at occasions.
The next two artists to take the respective stages, didnt really do much to change the pace of things as the crowd was still warming up to what was about to hit them next – Shogun on Stage 1 and Porter Robinson on Stage 2. Shogun is no stranger to a massive fan following, while Porter Robinson is mostly someone who the hardcore enthusiasts would be familiar with. That did not stop the duo from pretty much leveling the place. Shogun kept his set more trance-heavy, employing tunes wrapped in more synth work than anything else. There was a point during Porter Robinson’s set where he was tossing out Dark Psy tunes like they were Halloween candy, and the crowd was eating it like it was cake! This was the first time in my life that I had seen the secondary stage at an event be more popular than the primary one. The only singular disappointment with Porter Robinsons set was the fact that he didnt play ‘Language.’
Shogun and Porter Robinson gave way to the two headliners, Dash Berlin and Nervo. Choosing a stage must have been a hard decision for most people but not for me! While I thoroughly enjoy Dash Berlins live sets, there is something absolutely different about Nervo. Twins Miriam and Olivia Nervo, are of Austrailian descent who started their careers as professional models and then got into music as song writers and composers, but felt that their true calling was working the crowd into a frenzy with their skills on the console. Nervos sound, in my opinion is best described as a very symmetric and brutal sound, with overtones of their love for bass. Im pretty sure new bass-lines were created that night!
The crowd swelled up at a rate faster than a mall during a Zara sale and it was hard to find someone not going ape shit at what the twins were throwing at them. Fans had showed up with signs expressing their love for the duo, and surely enough, the love was mutual. The Nervo twins made sure to step away from the console every now and then (one at a time of course) to engage with the crowd, with Miriam Nervo being particularly expressive about how moved she was with the crowd. She later went on to grab one of the smoke guns and blow it over the crowd, which, seemed to really work for her. The Nervo Twins music routine is incredibly fluid, with the two switching duties seamlessly and in fact, their stage presence seemed to suggest that they had undergone training as Jager pilots, with synchronized dance moves and gestures. But wait, were in India, so Im inclined to say it was more Bollywood.
While it was hard, I had to step away from Stage 2 and move over to Dash Berlins set, where the vibe was different altogether. I walked into the set, to find the man himself standing on top of the giant speaker stack, waving his hands fervently to get the crowd into a feverish frenzy. It was working, as I sighted many fans who had Dash Berlin shirts on, take them off and spin them around in the air like fans. Moving on, the headliner dished out all his popular tunes over the hour and a half that he was on console duties. Accompanied by an incredibly elaborate lighting rig that totally rendered hallucinogens useless, Dash Berlin played an incredibly satisfying set, probably even for someone who isnt really that big a fan. His sound is heavily reminiscent of the early Euro-Trance days, something I am not too particularly fond of, but I can appreciate the brilliance of his skill. He is one of the very few artists today who can make a crowd go wild with anything from a vinyl deck to the latest CDJs.
Overall, Sunburn Noida wasnt as spectacular as the previous Sunburn, but that isnt to say it wasnt good. In fact, it was GREAT! It was the one place where anyone and everyone could come and chill in the vibe of good music. You didnt have to be an EDM Nerd or a veteran to enjoy what the festival had to offer, and most people left such biases at home. There was no look at these people who dont even know what EDM is all about. It was love, it was acceptance, it was DANCE!