FESTY PREVIEW: Sonic Bloom 2013

Sonic Bloom, “Colorado’s Premier Boutique Music Festival,” (as it is billed) returns to Georgetown, CO on June 13-16 for a weekend of thumping basslines, eclectic artists, and general weirdness in the sleepy yet gorgeous Colorado hills. The festival bears close resemblance to Southern California’s Lightning in a Bottle Festival and has become a staple in the Colorado Bass and Electronic scene the last few years for its growing reputation of showcasing the cutting edge of Electronic musicians in nearly every subgenre. Artists perform in every musical area such as dubstep, glitch, trap, downtempo, hip-hop, and some acts that defy genres all together. With artists like Pretty Lights and Bassnectar having played in previous years before their meteoric rise, it goes without saying that if seeing some of the electronic scene’s most known unknowns in an intimate and laid back venue is your fancy, Sonic Bloom is the festival for you.

This is a landmark year for Sonic Bloom as its lineup incorporates two of hip-hops living legends The Grouch and Eligh (pun intended) as headliners playing alongside bass and dubstep headliners like The Lucent Dossier Experience, Opiuo, Vibesquad Zilla, The Polish Ambassador, Minnesota, plus many more as well as a few “Supergroups” that will knock your socks off (see below “artists to look out for”). What’s great about Bloom, however, is that its lineup down to the smallest font is stacked with the most promising young artists, up-and-comers, and those who never achieved the recognition they deserve. Expect to see puppet DJ sets (Fungineers), Robotic Pirate Monkeys, and massive prophets playing those heavy-hitting sets in the wee hours of the morning until the sun comes up every night of the festival.

sonic bloom

And like last year, Sonic Bloom returns to the Shadow’s Ranch festival grounds, which in this writer’s opinion, is the coolest damn venue to ever have a music festival. The grounds boasts three distinct stages centered around a large pond where each stage is an adventure in itself over creeks, through sacred geometry tunnels, and past some of the most loving festival goers one could possibly meet. Bloom is also famous for their incorporation of art into the music, and it can be expected to see everything from live paintings to Cirque Du Soleil style arial acrobatics, poi and fire dancing, men in suits of mirrors, and just about anything else your imagination could think up. Show up early and set up camp somewhere in the midst of all that controlled madness with your tent not 100 yards from certain stages just beside the grounds’ stunning creeks and pond network. Show up late and suffer the unfathomable two minute walk across the street to overflow camping.

Put another way: try to imagine a light breeze of a warm Colorado summer’s cotton blowing all around while you enjoy a live violinist jamming with dubstep while yoga by the pond, live paintings, and overall good vibes surround you on all fronts and you’re halfway to understanding the great times that are to be had at Sonic Bloom.

Tickets are available on sale at their website, and if you’re still on the fence, here is just a snippet of what I’m excited to see this year.

Sonic Bloom Orchestra: A collection of artists performing during the weekend joining together in one massive group to close out the festival on Sunday night.

Zilla: Comprised of Vibesquad on bass, laptop, and electronics; Michael Travis of The String Cheese Incident and EOTO on drums; and Janover on an instrument that can only be described efficiently by saying that he hits strings with small mallets to add a crazy awesome Tibetan monk jam session vibe to the group. The group is essentially three incredible musicians who collaborate together to create something completely improvised and incredible.

Unlimited Aspect: The highly anticipated return of the collaboration between Colorado locals Unlimited Gravity, best known for his ground breaking AWOL nation “Sail” remix, and Project Aspect, who has been making serious headway in the CO bass scene recently with some epic remixes and glitchy yet heavy bass style.
Check it out.

Wick-it the Instigator: I can’t say enough about this San Francisco local producer. His work ethic is absolutely mind-blowing, coming out with almost a track a week and each one seemingly better than the last. Utlizing Hip-Hop, Dubstep, DNB, Trap & 808, even some RnB Wick-it has tackled elaborate projects like a Quentin Tarantino themed remix album and uses his mash-up DJ style to make some of the more interesting electronic productions out there. Added bonus: expect to see live guitar solos from Wick-it himelf in the live set!

The Fungineers (puppet DJ set): In one sentence: a man in a black spandex suit controlling a beatboxing, looping, and funky fresh unicorn-monkey-robot puppet named Paragon. But words cannot possibly capture the emotions one feels when they witness this spectacle of awesomeness. Go in with no expectations, leave with a smile. Enough said. Check it out (especially the first track).

Prophet Massive: The heavy-hitting banger dubstep DJ set by Jason Hann, the percussionist of The String Cheese Incident and EOTO. Strictly a DJ set and no originals; plays the crowd favorites and higher profile higher energy dubstep bangers. Mostly hilarious to see a member of one of the larger blue grass jam bands in the world seriously dropping it hard with a hysterically huge grin on his face.
Check out: https://soundcloud.com/prophet-massive

Sunsquabi: Up-and-coming electronic rock three piece that hail from nearby Boulder, CO and have been turning some heads lately with their funky and danceable style. Definitely a band not to miss if you wanna get groovy!
Check out: https://soundcloud.com/sunsquabi

Can’t wait to get there!