SPLASH HOUSE JUNE 2016: Southern California’s Most Iconic Pool Party

It’s Summer time and for us Californians, that translates to festival and pool party season!  One of Southern California’s most iconic pool parties just took place this past weekend in Palm Springs and it was nothing short of a wet and wild adventure.

Photo credit: Quinn Tucker

Photo credit: Quinn Tucker

For those of you that are unaware of this awesome event, you might be asking, “What makes Splash House so iconic?” The answer is EVERYTHING. It is the perfect blend of a Vegas style pool party and an electronic music event that is located in the California desert.  Splash House is hosted at select hotels with the primary hotel being The Saguaro.  This year the additional hotel was the Riviera with two pools.  The event offers attendees special room packages with their ticket and I must say, if you want the FULL SPLASH HOUSE EXPERIENCE, you really should book a room at one of the hosting hotels.  You can still have more than a great time booking a room at a different and cheaper hotel, but there is nothing like being a part of an entire hotel party. The hotel comes alive with that Splash House festive spirit.

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

The musical roster of this sold out June 2016 edition included the like of Odesza, Justin Martin, Lee Foss, FKJ, Jai Wolf, Guy Gerber, Billy Kenny, Cut Snake, Nora En Pure, Christian Martin, StarRo, and so much more!  Bixel Boys were also on the roster playing three different set times throughout the weekend.  At night, there were a few after parties with the most notable ones having Justin Jay and Flight Facilities play over at the airport hanger.  With fun-filled lineup like that most of the weekend was spent pool hopping then straight to the after party to continue dancing! Most of my time was spent at the Riviera but I was able catch Lee Foss and Billy Kenny’s set at the Saguaro for a bit. Both sets provided a perfect poolside vibe and a packed dance floor.

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

Now last year when I attended both June and August, I spent most of my time on the dance floor. This year, I thought I should aim for a different experience. I spent most of my time in the pool where t-rex, unicorn and pizza floaties, water guns, and new friends surrounded me.  My favorite part and arguably one of the most iconic parts about Splash House, was when the music was so good that everyone in the pool started splashing to the music and water was flying everywhere.

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

When we left the Saguaro and hopped onto the shuttle, we entered the party bus atmosphere. Although it was packed with people and many had to stand, we ended up making friends with people and they invited us back to their room to party with them. That’s the other fun thing about Splash House, you make so many random friends and everyone invites people back to their room to drink for a bit. Personally, I cherish small run-in adventures like that.  This is probably one of the best events to meet new people in Southern California.

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

Photo credit: Galen Oakes

The entire weekend went off without a hitch. The weather was cooler than last year, the line up was fantastic, and the attendees were filled with nothing but a positive and friendly attitude. Now, we are counting down the days until the August 2016 edition!

Photo credit: Quinn Tucker

Photo credit: Quinn Tucker

Article by: Dominica Murillo

Serenity Gathering: Celebrating the Spring Equinox Under the Desert Sun & Moon

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It’s no secret to the festival community that there has been a huge wave of transformational music festivals taking over the scene. It’s been happening for the past few years. On March 17-20, 2016, the third annual Serenity Gathering took place, making it the first transformational music festival of the 2016 festival season in Southern California. A total of 50 different musical acts were set to take the stage including Shpongle, Nahko & MFTP, Emancipator, Del the Funky Homosapien, Bleep Bloop, Ill Gates, Phutureprimitive, Random Rab, Desert Dwellers, Big Wild, the Moontribe crew, and many more.

Serenity Gathering was a unique festival that celebrated the Spring Equinox. It focused on the balance of the universe where, “night and day, dark and light, are in perfect balance”. Serenity provided a positive and creative environment where the attendees could connect with one and other while also reflecting and honoring this special time.

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THE BASICS

The 4-day event took place at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. This is the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western U.S. It is 2 hours away from both LA and San Diego, making it a perfectly central location for Southern Californians.

This location was also ideal for camping. The beautiful California desert and the clear night sky truly added to the festival element. Car camping was included with every ticket. This was definitely a HUGE PLUS. Car camping is always essential at these types of festivals and not having to pay extra for this is always a come up for attendees.

The weather was optimal for being out in the desert. Honestly, when I was preparing for this event, I thought it was going to be so hot during the day that I’d get a headache and so cold at night that I’d have to wear 2 coats at night. Thankfully, none of that happened. The daytime temperature was more than bearable and at night I only had to wear one furry coat.

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ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

Like many transformational music festivals, this was an environmentally friendly, leave-no-trace event. Reusable cups and plates were encouraged, glass bottles were not allowed and taking home your own trash was strongly enforced.

The site also mentioned that they would be instituting a parking fee so that they could help reduce air-pollution via carpooling. There was a $40 fee for solo drivers, a $20 fee for two passenger vehicles, and free parking for cars with 3 or more people.

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LAYOUT

Right outside the JTRC grounds there was a Serenity Gathering sign. If that wasn’t there, we would have definitely missed the entrance and drove on for another couple miles until we realized we were lost. We drove on to the dirt road that was near the sign and soon came across the will call and entrance tables. Once we drove past that and further down the dirt road there was a fork in the road. The left path led directly to the main stage area and the right path led to parking and campsites. At the middle of the divide, were two men and a black pig on a leash. Before continuing to the right, I got out of the car to quickly pet the pig. He was so sweet!

The campsites were located behind the main stage and vending area. This area consisted of the vendors, food trucks, bathrooms, healing sanctuary, and the Serenity Stage presented by The Untz.

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FAVORITE SPOT

Right behind the Serenity stage was a hill that over looked the entire location. Once you walked to the top, you saw some people doing yoga, others meditating, a few people taking pictures, and the rest were just enjoying in the scenery. It was the perfect location to stop and appreciate that moment in time. Did you even really go to Serenity Gathering if you didn’t see the sun rise or set from this hill?

You could also see the other two stages at the top, both of which were off to the far back left. At the main area exit/camp entrance, there were additional vendors to the left as well as a face painting station and an awesome psychedelic painted bus that had color changing lights projected onto it.

Continuing down this road, we walked past some camps, shrubbery, and cacti. Behind all this was the Bridge Family Stage. This was where the live bands and artists performed. The New Moon Stage was located even further behind that. This was where the Moon Tribe crew played. Even though we did see this stage while we were at the top of the hill, it was still a little harder to find. However, once the music started playing at the New Moon Stage, it was easy to locate. You could simply follow the sound and the people that were dangerously running around the cacti.

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THE PEOPLE (Staff & Attendees)

The staff was friendly, helpful, and patient. They were decked out in their festival gear and spread their positive energy to the attendees. Some drove around in carts getting to know the attendees as they picked up pieces of trash. On Sunday, we saw one staff member trying to keep a pole stable so that the tarp it was connected to wouldn’t be blown over by the wind.

As for the festival attendees, there were people of all ages since it was a family-friendly event. Toddlers were running around and playing in the dirt, with their parents close by of course. Older children were seen with their parents at the family dome. The young adults and those with more life experience danced until night became day with their faces painted, jewels on their bodies traveling from stage to stage in their fur coats.

I also want to give an honorable mention to all the hardcore festival dogs I saw. The site said no pets but it seems that there were a lot of people that chose to ignore that rule. There were a few that were service dogs but you could sense that most of the dogs weren’t. You could tell simply by the dogs’ demeanor that this wasn’t their first festival either. They ignored most humans that went up to them but were extremely friendly to all other dogs they saw. They also worked out a festival system. The dogs made friends with the food vendors so they could manipulate the vendors into giving them scraps. It was definitely interesting to watch them roam and know exactly what they were doing. Perhaps one day I’ll do an article on festival dogs.

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FAVORITE OUTFIT

There were so many awesome outfits but the best accessory was a girl’s rainbow unicorn umbrella! Where does one buy this? We should have asked her.

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Those who attended were there with open hearts. Our neighbors greeted us and welcomed us to the festival right when we arrived. There was also a girl walking around offering hugs. At one point, this girl walked up and asked me if I wanted a hug. Naturally, I was confused at first. Once I processed the moment, I smiled and gave her one of the best hugs I had in me. Then we wished each other a good day and went our separate ways. Plenty of people were ready to connect, even if it was for a brief instance. On Saturday night, we were walking back to the camp and a random guy appeared from the dark trail. He asked us what we loved most in the world and we gave our answers. He smiled, said “thank you,” and then disappeared back into the darkness. We connected with someone unique everywhere we went. When that wasn’t happening, we definitely overheard hilarious bits of conversations of strangers connecting.

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FAVORITE QUOTES

“The Rice-a-Roni people are in town!” – I don’t know what this means (if there was any sub-context) or what preceded the conversation. All I can say is that the genuine excitement in this man’s voice when he said this made me laugh. Maybe he really enjoys eating Rice-a-Roni? We will never know.

“I’m going to keep singing until this girl comes out of the shower…. (Proceeds in singing voice) Girl, please come out of the showerrrr, I need to showerrrr too!”

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FOOD/WATER/VENDORS AND BATHROOMS

All of the attendees were really good with bringing their own food and water. With that said, there was still one water station in the main area just in case you ran out. There may have been another one but this is the only we saw. As for the food, they offered a healthy and organic selection. Also, if you wanted Kombucha, they had it!

Serenity also had an assortment of vendors that met all your festival needs. You could find people selling hand made, one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothing, and art throughout the festival. People were also selling crystals, tapestries, photographs, and so much more.

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As for the bathrooms, there were three locations. The primary bathroom location was located in the main area, right near the camp entrance. There was more than enough port-a-potties and I didn’t have to wait more than five minutes. They were also cleaned every day but they were definitely cringe worthy to go into at night. There were also 2 indoor bathrooms, which were located all the way towards the back of the camping area. Each bathroom had 2 sets of showers, a toilet, a sink, mirror, and soap. There was always a line for these but they were much cleaner and worth the wait.

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FAVORITE VENDOR

There was a trailer right outside and to the left of the main area exit/camping entrance. It was selling some of the most beautiful hand-made dream catchers I have ever seen. Although they were expensive – the smallest one being $222 – they were absolutely beautiful. The feathers that were chosen were perfect and the crystals that were picked and artfully placed in the middle made them simply breath taking. On the tag, it read, “Live with Fierce Intentions.” We couldn’t agree more.

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YOGA & WORKSHOPS

Serenity Gathering also offered its attendees a variety of workshops meant to enhance their lives and promote sustainability. Throughout the festival, they offered various 30-minute sound healing sessions. They even offered a special sunset sound bath with Eric Dingo. The event also offered festival yogi classes from acro-yoga to galactivated yoga to family yoga. If you wanted to work on chakra enlightenment or awakening your chakras with Vinyasa flow they had classes for that as well. Over at the Nova Family and Community Dome they had a Forts and Fantasies class, which seemed really interesting. The four year old in me would have attended but I missed it.

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MUSIC & ART

As previously mentioned, 50 different musical acts from different genres across the board were scheduled to help enhance the vibe of the festival. There were so many amazing performances each day but our favorites were TV Broken 3rd Eye Open and Lafa Taylor. Both played on the Bridge Family Stage. First off, TV Broken 3rd Eye Open can best be described as a psychedelic jam band that unifies its listeners to the universe through their music. When they were playing, I closed my eyes while dancing and felt like I was floating through a colorful vortex that was being created through their sound. Lafa Taylor also had an amazing set and live mixed his voice. I felt like he was truly able to connect with the crowd in a special way. By the end of his set he had everyone singing along.

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In regards to sound, it could have been louder at the Serenity Stage and Bridge Stage. When both stages were crowded and we stood towards the back, I do remember wishing it was louder. The New Moon Stage was a smaller area and I felt that the sound was just right.

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FAVORITE PIECE OF LIVE ART

Over at the Bridge Family Stage, they projected live visual art on to the back screen. When we went around the back of the stage to take a closer look, we noticed 4 people with 5 projectors pointed towards the screen. Each person had a clear Petri dish, various oils, food coloring, and a projector. They put the oils into the Petri dish, dyed them with food coloring, moved the dish around on top of the projector, while they displayed it onto the screen. Each projection overlaid on top of the other one. It was live psychedelic art at its finest.

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Serenity Gathering was a unique festival that celebrated the beginning of spring, balance, life, and music. It was a great start for our festival season and we thoroughly enjoyed dancing in the moonlight under a clear night sky to some awesome beats with good-hearted people. We can’t wait to go back next year and we hope it’s at the same location too!

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Article by Dominica Murillo
Photos by Lily Colovic

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Neon Indian @ The Observatory 2.23.16

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Neon Indian is currently on a North American tour promoting their latest album VEGA INTL. Night School, which was released October 2015. The show began at the Observatory a little later than expected. The band was sound checking for about 15 minutes and the crowd began to grow restless with excitement. One of the band members came on stage to switch on two neon lighted signs. One pink VEGA INTL. sign to the left of the stage and one blue Night School sign to the right.

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Soon after, Neon Indian took the stage and everyone cheered while someone shouted “Take your shirt off!”. The band started their first song with great enthusiasm. Alan Palomo, the lead singer, took a second to take a sip of tea, mentioning that he just got over the flu but you could never tell based on the consistency of his voice.

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The band members include Jason Faries on drums, keyboardist Drew Erickson, Max Townsley on guitar, and Jorge Palomo, Alan’s brother, on bass. People sporting sequin jackets and flannel shirts alike were grooving to tracks reminiscent of 80s synthpop and chillwave.

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About half way through the show, Alan said “We’re going to keep playing some songs for you guys because we have a symbiotic relationship going.” He was right, as the energy from the band rose, so did the energy from the crowd.

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Two crowd favorites from the night were Polish Girl, off the 2011 album Era Extraña, and Slumlord off their latest release VEGA INTL. Night School. Slumlord featured Alan Palomo playing a Korg MS-20 and Max Townsley on the timbales.

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The show made me feel like a character in a nostalgic 80s movie on the way to the swankiest party in town and who doesn’t want to feel like that. Neon Indian’s next stop is Las Vegas, NV Friday, March 11 at the Neon Reverb Music Festival. For tour dates and more info visit neonindian.com.

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Article and photos by Lily Colovic

DESERT HEARTS TAKEOVER w/ Mikey Lion Interview + Ticket Giveaway

This Tuesday (10/27) we are doing a special Desert Hearts Takeover show. We will also be interviewing Mikey Lion and  giving away 1 pair of tickets to Desert Hearts November 5th-9th at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Tune in from 10pm – 12am PT for your chance to win!

Desert Hearts

Thomas Jack Announces Tropical Express Tour

Thomas Jack is hitting the road next month, debuting his Tropical Express Tour.  Bag Raiders, Felix Jaehn, Hotel Garuda, Manny the Frenchieb (the dog), Oliver Nelson, Oliver $, SNBRN, Bixel Boys, The Rooftop Boys and a very special surprise guest will be joining Thomas. The tour will make 2 stops at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on November 25 and 27.

TropicalExpress_Final_guest_2_1

#Garage & #Bass – Episode 105: Playlist 10/13/2015

Artist – Song Title (* indicates new release)

9TRANE – Hold It

AC Slater & GotSome – Move It Back

Funkystepz – Feeling

SMSHR – Bass Low*

Cause & Affect – Another Time (Taiki Nulight Remix)

Inkline – Don’t Call Me*

DJ Q – Madness*

Hypho – Concoction*

TZ – Ironic*

9TRANE – Won’t U*

Majora – Tech Leopard (Doctor Jeep Remix)

Karl Vincent – Mic Check

Otik – Witness (Majora Remix)

Inkline – Come Again*

Beenie Man – Dude ft. Ms. Thing (Scott & Nick Remix)*

Danny Rich & Dapz – My Style*

AC Slater & Chris Lorenzo – Fly Kicks

AC Slater & Petey Clicks – Got Damn

James Hype – Still Want Me*

Champion – Take Off Your Clothes ft. Miss Fire*

My Nu Leng & Fine Art – Set It

MM – 9th Ritual*

J.Sparrow – Hold & Pull (Bukez Finezt Remix)*

Om Unit – Spiritwerk*

HxdB & DJ Cure ft. MC ThinkTank – Sound the Alarm (Firestar Soundsystem Remix)

Sully – Good Night (To Epoch & Etch)

Otik & Vehda – Void ’93*

VVV – Winter Trees

 

 

 

 

CRSSD Fest Phase II Lineup! October 10 & 11, 2015

CRSSD Festival in San Diego is a little less than a month away and just got that much better with the addition of their Phase II lineup including 18 more artists! CRSSD Fest debuted in March and sold out to over 15,000 concert goers from all over Southern California. The 21+ festival features world-class musical talent, craft beer and gourmet food. CRSSD fest will be held in San Diego’s beautiful Waterfront Park October 10 & 11. For tickets and more info visit crssdfest.com.

Additions include: Banks, Nicolas Jaar, Tchami, Cashmere Cat b2b Trippy Turtle, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Route 94, Autograf, Golden Features, Oliver Nelson, Jonas Rathsman, Jai Wolf, SNBRN, Wax Motif, Classixx b2b Holy Ghost, and Goldroom b2b Le Youth

October CRSSD Complete Lineup

Lulacruza Interview Following North American Tour

Lulacruza recently made their final stop on their North American tour at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on August 22, 2015. The band consists of Alejandra Ortiz and Luis Maurette who both originate from South America. Their most recent album, Orcas features 8 tracks, which bring together folk and electronic sounds that will make you feel as if you have floated off to a far away island. This album has all you need to relax, transcend and tune out the constant chatter of the outside world.

Orcas is available as “name your price” at http://music.lulacruza.com/album/orcas.

Following Lulacruza’s North American tour WOLFshoes had the opportunity of interviewing the duo.

Tell us about your album Orcas? 

Alejandra Ortiz: Orcas is our 5th full-length album, and our most intimate album to date. It’s a collection of songs about the risk and vulnerability of falling in love: falling in love with another, falling in love with the chaotic beauty of nature, and the ultimate need to fall in love with one’s self… It was recorded during my pregnancy, so it was a very very special moment to enter the studio. The album was recorded on Orcas Island in a state-of-the-art recording studio surrounded by the ocean and ancient woods. While there we were deeply moved by the energy of the island and feel that its spirits came into the music, so we decided to name the album after the island.

Have you learned anything about yourselves while touring? 

Luis Maurette: Definitely! When one has toured as much as we have over the last 10 years, touring is part of life and life’s lessons come up on the road. Between 2009 and 2012 we went on extensive 4-6 month long tours. These weren’t your typical tours because they relied heavily on community, we offered our concerts to anybody who had the will and the space to host. This way of touring took us to the most incredible places and situations, things we could have never imagined; cities, rivers, mountains, communes, farms, homesteads, spiritual communities, and more. These travels were not only done as performers, I personally traveled heavily in the Argentine Andes mountains discovering indigenous music of that region, and we also shot Esperando el Tsunami in Colombia, traveling to some of the most remote places of the country, where we delved into indigenous and Afro-colombian cultures.

In our travels we deeply connected not only with the people that we would encounter, but also to different ways of life, different conceptions of how we can live with the land and each other, different conceptions around relationships and love, different conceptions of what it is to live among spirits, and how we can maintain integrity in how we live. It’s almost endless what I’ve learned on the road, it is such an integral part of me that I cannot tell anymore where I learned what.

Why do you want your listeners to transcend? 

Luis Maurette: The music that calls me, is music that takes me past my regular notions of what life is, past my definitions of physicality and individuality. When music is shallow, it just doesn’t interest me, and is even exhausting to listen. In that search for transcendental music we both have experienced, first-hand, rituals and ceremonies where the music transports the listener, opens gateways to other dimensions and holds the universe together.

After those experiences it would be pointless to shoot for anything other than transcendence. Once you have seen and experienced some of the things we have, there is no turning back.

Do you meditate? 

Alejandra Ortiz: I sit in silence, and I also practice a form of active meditation called latihan.

Do you have any advice for musicians just starting out? 

Luis Maurette: I feel that music has been the key that has opened up some of the most precious things in my life. Music is communal, it’s spiritual, it’s emotional, it makes you dance, or cry, or listen to the spheres or express angst, and on and on. There is no limit to what music can be. I would say, trust this key, and let it take you where it needs to.

Alejandra Ortiz: I would say, find your inner guide, and search within for the unique gift that you have offer to the world. For me, deep listening is what makes you a real musician.

 

Article by Lily Colovic.

#SuperSlick100 – Episode 100: Playlist 9/8/2015

Artist – Song Title (* indicates new release)

Claptone – Dear Life ft. Jaw*

Bombs – Faithless 2.0 (Claptone Remix)*

&Me – Woods*

D.I.M. – Roket

Disciples – They Don’t Know (Justin Jay Remix)

Kill Frenzy, Justin Jay – Momentum

Valentina Black – U Want Me

Taiki Nulight – Creed*

My Nu Leng & Fine Art – Set it*

INTERNETDAUGHTER – Basic Content

Dusky – Inta

Cassian – Takeover

Bodhi – 88

Mak & Pasteman – Oh Baby

Hostage – Winged

MYM8 – So Amazing

Monday Morning – Feel Me

Bristold – Bottle Service

Guy Akimoto – Dolphin Escapades*

Wolf & Liar – The Truth

Mella Dee – Heaven

More Strobelights – All Junglists

UOMI – Dynamite feat. Rach

Further Future 001 Voted Best Festival, Drops Official After Movie

Further Future reveals a new after-story VIDEO for its inaugural desert festival which has drawn global praise, including being recentlyrecognized by Las Vegas Weekly as Las Vegas’ ‘Best Music Festival’ of 2015. Showcasing beautiful highlights from the event and set to music from Desert Sound Colony’s forthcoming album, the video invites creative ambassadors and out-of-the-box thinkers to join in reflecting on the awe-inspiring possibilities of beauty, adventure, and invention in the experiential space beyond festivals.