Disc Jam Festival at Gardner’s Farm | Stephentown, NY | June 7th, 2018 – June 10th, 2018
Jan
1970
01

DISC JAM FESTIVAL



  • Date:Thursday, January 01, 1970
  • Venue:Gardner's Farm
  • Address:15895 State Route 22, Stephentown, NY 12168
  • Artists:Lotus, Beats Antique, Galactic, The Motet, Electron, Barber Acoustic, DJ Logic, Gubbulidis, Kung Fu, Moon Hooch, Aqueius, Tom Marshall's Amfibian All-Stars, Ghost Light, Jojo Mayer/Nerve, Ghost~Note, Consider the Source, The Nth Power, Yes Darling, Wolf!, Soule Monde, The Taz Band, Bella's Bartok, Marbin, Compa/Gantzer, Ryan Dempsey Solo, Big Mean Sound Machine, West End Blend, Bub Apocalypse, The Funky Dawgs Brass Brand, Strange Machines, Space Bacon, Escaper, G-Nome Project, The A Beez, Congo Sanchez, Root Shock, Bearly Dead, Formula 5, Shwizz, Funktional Flow, Mammal Dap, Political Animals, Rezin Heads, Swimmer, Of Clocks and Clouds, Cousin Earth, Space Carnival, Goose, Of Tomorrow, Harsh Armadillo, Fake Flowers Real Dirt, Catullus, The Clock Reads, The Wiley Griffin Band, The Mushroom Cloud, The New Motif, Dizgo, Lord Electro, Dewpoint, Let's Be Leonard, Cypher
  • Promoters:NV Concepts, Sermon, Rezinate, The Rust
  • Time:10:00 AM

LOTUS

Lotus has crafted a unique musical style outside of simple genre limitations. On a given weekend the band could be the only group with guitars at an all electronic music festival and then the next night crash a traditional rock festival with their dance heavy beats, synths and samples. Equal parts instrumental post-rock and electronic dance, the band’s distinguishing feature is the ability to maintain a decidedly unique musical voice and remain current while bucking passing trends.

No matter what the venue, the energetic joy and catharsis of a Lotus show is infectious. The band slowly built a devoted fan base through steady touring and the crowds have grown at an increasing pace. This grassroots growth has made the band in high demand for festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and Rothbury and earned the band sold out shows at the country’s premier theatres and clubs.

Lotus’s new self-titled album moves in a decidedly more electronic direction than their previous two releases – Hammerstrike (2008) and Oil on Glass/Feather on Wood (2009). Analog synthesizers, manipulated sounds, dub effects and heavy bass are complemented by horn and string arrangements in addition to Lotus’s standard guitar/bass/drums instrumentation. Grooves move from slinky funk and gritty half-time on the first half of the album to the beautiful and expansive closing track Orchids. While short pieces of vocals are used throughout, the only song to feature singing is The Surf. The track may be the closest thing to an indie-pop song the band has released, but the melodic guitar hooks and ecstatic synth parts are pure Lotus.

Similar to their music, the recording process for the album looked in multiple directions in order to achieve a distinct style. Using traditional recording methods to track live to analog tape and then editing and mixing using modern techniques created an expanded musical space filled with uniquely crafted sounds. The band road tested and tweaked these tracks for the better part of two years. The result is an album worthy of the self-titled status – the band’s singular sound and spirit runs through every track.

BEATS ANTIQUE

‘Come with us on a trip through your inner dimensions….’

Electronic/World fusion dance trio Beats Antique brings you their new album and multi-media touring show A Thousand Faces, a journey beyond the sonic realm that’s part odyssey, part genre-warping rock opera. The album is an epic two-volume adventure that follows every stage of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey with sweeping and lushly textured new compositions. While the fully immersive show will carry audiences through the complete journey, A Thousand Faces – Act 1 represents just the first half of the monomyth, with the second volume due out next spring.

“A Thousand Faces is meant to be an adventure for the audience, a wild ride that takes them through these mystical lands all across the globe,” says David Satori, who formed the Bay Area-based group with fellow musician/producers Tommy Cappel and Zoe Jakes in 2007. A Thousand Faces – Act 1 features a carefully curated ensemble of guest artists, including PRIMUS vocalist/bassist Les Claypool, Sarod player Alam Khan (son of legendary classical Indian musician Ali Akbar Khan), and vocalists Morgan Sorne and long-time collaborator Lynx.

For Beats Antique—who have fused genres as disparate as flamenco, afrobeat, and French Gypsy jazz since their 2007 debut Tribal Derivations—taking on a musical interpretation of the monomyth was a prime opportunity to deepen their exploration of faraway cultures. “In Beats Antique we’re always trying to cross cultures and weave together a lot of different sounds,” says Satori. “So we were very much drawn to the fact that Joseph Campbell had studied traditions all over the world and found a link between so many different mythologies, from Native American to African to Southeast Asian.” Not only embodying the spirit of cross-cultural connection, A Thousand Faces merges a spectrum of musical styles—from Indian classical music to Balinese fusion to EDM—in a manner that’s both seamless and endlessly surprising.

That sense of sublime synergy was also a key factor in bringing to life the concept at the heart of A Thousand Faces. “As we were writing the album, everything from the music to the ideas for the stage show and video and choreography all came together in an amazing way,” says Jakes. Dubbing A Thousand Faces their most intensely collaborative effort yet, Beats Antiquedesignated a diagram of the hero’s journey as their guide for the initial stages of songwriting and composing—then let their experimental side take over and flourish as they delved further into the creative process. “Making the album was incredibly organic from thought to actual completion, right down to the guest musicians who joined us,” says Cappel. So charmed was the creation of A Thousand Faces, he adds, that within a day of deciding to ask Alam Khan to appear on “Kismat” (the album’s spellbinding second track), Khan contacted Cappel and told him he was interested in working together.

To build the lavish and intricate soundscapes heard throughout A Thousand Faces, Beats Antique blended the hypnotic rhythms and elegant melodies of traditional music with deftly crafted beats that reveal their affinity with EDM culture. An internationally regarded belly dancer who’s heading up the choreography for the dance element of the Thousand Faces tour, Jakes notes that she also found much inspiration in classical Indian dance and its practice of using movement as a means of storytelling. For help in lacing together so many eclectic sounds and influences, Beats Antique recruited guest musicians like baritone sax and clarinet player Sylvain Carton and violinist Lila Sklar, in addition to Les Claypool (who lends his bass wizardry and vocals to the brilliantly twisted “Beelzebub”) and singer/songwriter/beat-boxer LYNX (who appears on the breathtakingly ethereal “You the Starry Eyed”). From the serpentine splendor of “Pandora’s Box” to the heady intensity of “Veil of Tears,” the result is epic in scope yet intimate in its emotionalism.

Already renowned for their outrageous live performances, Beats Antique have dreamed up a grander show than ever before with the live component of A Thousand Faces. With technology and production helmed by Obscura Digital (a San Francisco-based company known for its work with Brian Eno, the Guggenheim Museum, and SF MOMA), the show will feature creative visual production by Ivan Landau (a filmmaker whose visual-effects credits include Æon Flux and Sin City). Also partnering with world renowned digital artist, Andrew Jones (who’s art has been projected on the Sydney Opera House and done the majority of Bearts Antique’s album covers). Also illustrator Leighton Kelly (who teamed up with Landau on the video for “Revival,” a track off of Beats Antique’s 2010 album Blind Threshold), the group has created a multimedia spectacle that’s rich in sensory stimulation.

“Instead of throwing out random visuals we’re using video in a way that’s very intentional and—combined with Zoe’s choreography and our costumes and the music itself—ends up immersing the audience in the story that we’re telling with the album,” says Cappel.

As veterans of a vibrant Bay Area underground arts scene committed to pushing boundaries through collaboration, Beats Antique first and foremost strove to offer a uniquely communal experience with A Thousand Faces. “This is a universal story that’s been told for thousands of years,” notes Jakes. “We are each a spoke in the wheel of the monomyth, and there’s a deep sense of unity in all of us sharing the same story.” To that end, Beats Antique chose to tell the narrative that runs throughout A Thousand Faces from the perspective of the listener. “Our main ambition for the album and the show was to create an unforgettable experience for the audience,” says Satori. “We’re the characters they’re encountering along the way, the scenery that’s constantly changing all around them, and it’s the audience members themselves who are the heroes on this journey.”

GALACTIC

It’s incredible that GALACTIC has never made a carnival album yet, but now it’s here. To make CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS, the members of GALACTIC (Ben Ellman, harps and horns; Robert Mercurio, bass; Stanton Moore, drums and percussion; Jeff Raines, guitar; Rich Vogel, keyboards) draw on the skills, stamina, and funk they deploy in the all-night party of their annual Lundi Gras show that goes till sunrise and leads sleeplessly into Mardi Gras day.

GALACTIC was formed eighteen years ago in New Orleans, and they cut their teeth playing the biggest party in America: Mardi Gras, when the town shuts down entirely to celebrate. CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS is beyond a party record. It’s a carnival record that evokes the electric atmosphere of a whole city – make that, whole cities – vibrating together all on the same day, from New Orleans all down the hemisphere to the mighty megacarnivals of Brazil. Armed with a slew of carnival-ready guests from high-school students to 72-year-old AL “CARNIVAL TIME” JOHNSON (who remakes his all-time hit), GALACTIC whisks the listener around the neighborhoods to feel the Mardi Gras moment in all its variety of flavors.

CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS begins on a spiritual note, the way Mardi Gras does in the black community of New Orleans. On that morning, the most exciting experience you can have is to be present when the small groups of black men called Mardi Gras Indians perform their sacred street theater. Nobody embodies the spiritual side of Mardi Gras better than the Indians, whose tambourines and chants provide the fundament of New Orleans carnival music. These “gangs,” as they call them, organize around and protect the figure of their chief. The album’s keynote singer, WAR CHIEF JUAN PARDO, is, says Robert Mercurio, “one of the younger Chiefs out there, and he’s become one of the best voices of the new Chiefs. Pardo grew up listening to the singing of the older generation of Big Chiefs, points out Ben Ellman, and “he’s got a little Monk [Boudreaux], a little Bo Dollis, he’s neither uptown nor downtown.”

On “Karate,” says Ellman, the band was aiming to “capture the power” of one of the fundamental musical experiences of Mardi Gras: “a marching band passing by you.” The 40-piece KIPP RENAISSANCE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND’s director arranged up GALACTIC’s demo, then the band rehearsed it until they had it all memorized. The kids poured their hearts into a solid performance, and, says Mercurio, “I think they were surprised” to hear how good they sounded on the playback.

Musical energy is everywhere at carnival time. “You hear the marching bands go by,” says Mercurio, moving us through a Mardi Gras day, “and then you hear a lot of hiphop.” There hasn’t been a Mardi Gras for twenty years that hasn’t had a banging track by beatmaker / rapper MANNIE FRESH sounding wherever you go. “You can’t talk about New Orleans hiphop without talking about MANNIE FRESH,” says Ellman. His beats have powered literally tens of millions of records, and he and GALACTIC have been talking for years about doing something together. On “Move Fast,” he’s together with multiplatinum gravel-voiced rapper MYSTIKAL, who is, says Ellman, “somebody we’ve wanted to collaborate with forever. It was a coup for us.”

Out in the streets of New Orleans, you might well hear a funky kind of samba, reaching southward toward the other end of the hemispheric carnival zone. There has for the last twenty-five years been a smoking Brazilian drum troupe in town: CASA SAMBA, formed at Mardi Gras in 1986. They’re old friends of GALACTIC’s from their early days at Frenchmen Street’s Café Brasil, and the two groups joined forces for a new version of Carlinhos Brown’s “Magalenha,” previously a hit for Sérgio Mendes.

But the Brazilian influence on CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS goes beyond one song. “When we started this album, we all immersed ourselves in Brazilian music and let it get into our souls,” says Mercurio. The group contributed three Brazilian-flavored instrumentals, including “JuLou,” which riffs on an old Brazilian tune, though the name refers to the brass-funk Krewe of Julu, the “walking krewe” that Galactic members participate in on Mardi Gras morning. After creating the hard-driving track that became “O Côco da Galinha,” they decided it would be right for MOYSÉS MÁRQUEZ, from the São Paulo underground samba scene, who collaborated with them and composed the lyric.

If you were GALACTIC and you were making a carnival album, wouldn’t you want to play “Carnival Time,” the irrepressibly happy 1960 perennial from the legendary Cosimo Matassa studio? Nobody in New Orleans doesn’t know this song. The remake features a new performance in the unmistakable voice of the original singer, AL “CARNIVAL TIME” JOHNSON, who’s still active around town more than fifty years after he first gained Mardi Gras immortality.

The closing instrumental, “Ash Wednesday Sunrise,” evokes the edginess of the post-party feeling. The group writes, “There is the tension you feel on that morning — one of being worn out from all of the festivities and one of elation that you made it through another year.”

But, as New Orleanians know, there’s always another carnival to look forward to, and GALACTIC will be there, playing till dawn and then going to breakfast before parading.

GALACTIC is a collaborative band with a unique format. It’s a stable quintet that plays together with high musicianship. They’ve been together so long they’re telepathic. But though the band hasn’t had a lead singer for years, neither is it purely an instrumental group. GALACTIC is part of a diverse community of musicians, and in their own studio, with Mercurio and Ellman producing, they have the luxury of experimenting. So on their albums, they do something that’s unusual in rock but not so controversial an idea in, say, hiphop: they create something that’s a little like a revue, a virtual show featuring different vocalists (mostly from New Orleans) and instrumental soloists each taking their turn on stage in the GALACTIC sound universe.

Mostly the band creates new material in collaboration with its many guests, though they occasionally rework a classic. Despite the appearance of various platinum names on GALACTIC albums, they especially like to work with artists who are still underground. If you listen to CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS together with the two previous studio albums (YA-KA-MAY and FROM THE CORNER TO THE BLOCK), you’ll hear the most complete cross-section of what’s happening in contemporary New Orleans anywhere – all of it tight and radio-ready.

Despite the electronics and studio technology, GALACTIC’s albums are very much band records. Mercurio explained the GALACTIC process, which starts out with the beat: “The way we write music,” he says, “we come up with a demo, or a basic track, and then we collectively decide how we’re gonna finish it.” The result is a hard-grooving sequence of tight beats across a range of styles that glides from one surprise to the next.

What pulls all the diverse artists on CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS together into a coherent album is that one way or another, it’s all funk. GALACTIC is, always was, and always will be a funk band. Whatever genre of music anyone in New Orleans is doing, from Mardi Gras Indians to rock bands to hardcore rappers, it’s all funk at the bottom, because funk is the common musical language, the lingua franca of New Orleans music. Even zydeco can be funky — and if you don’t believe it, check out “Voyage Ton Flag,” the album’s evocation of Cajun Mardi Gras, in which Mamou Playboy STEVE RILEY meets up with a sampled Clifton Chenier inside the GALACTIC funk machine.




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