2014 has been a huge year for electronic music. The now popular term “EDM” has been used, hated on, and re-hashed to an entire new level. Mainstream acts like Dada Life, Tiesto, and others seem to be losing their glamour in favor of more musical, varying tempo music. I would, however, say that trap reigned supreme at Snowglobe 2014 – with acts like Djemba Djemba, Odesza, Bro Safari, What So Not, and Branchez, fans were able to hear loads of brand new festival and chiller types of trap music.
The highlight of the festival was surely Flume’s 2015 ball drop, which you can watch in awe here as he plays You and Me (Flume Remix):
For me, the festival started with “turning up” – Bro Safari’s set showed how a huge crowd of intoxicated individuals react to festival trap music. Dropping hits like his “Yala” remix and “Scumbag”, Bro Safari had the crowd going dumb for his music. Surely the highlight of the night was Skrillex, who has undoubtedly mastered the art of the CDJ. Skrillex’s DJ style is fast and all-encompassing, dropping banger after banger without hesitation. Skrillex would spin the decks back and yell, “LET ME SEE THAT TAHOE BOUNCE”, drop into a massive song, and the crowd would just go wild. His set was filled with new Jack U, rap, trap, and at some point he even stopped everything to sing the star wars theme song.
There’s no doubt the first day was everything everyone wanted it to be. But I was looking for something new. Grabbing an earlier start, I went to catch Djemba Djemba’s set, an artist I have never seen before. I was thoroughly impressed – Djemba, at the age of 27 threw down in the Sierra tent mixing future beats, festival trap, and his own brand of sound. After Djemba I caught a bit of Branchez who was throwing down some deep house, then jumped over to the main stage for Flux Pavilion. Flux’s set can be summed up perfectly by the few words he spoke into the mic: “This is the coldest set I’ve ever played”. Flux Pavilion is surely one of the old dogs in the game, and is indeed a master of the CDJ and dance music.
One of my favorite Djemba songs:
I was truly split between Porter Robinson on the mainstage and Odesza (who I had never seen before) in the tent, but I ultimately ended up dead front and center for Porter’s set. I’ve already seen Porter Robinson on his Worlds tour and I will say, I was thoroughly amazed the second time around. What was so inspiring about his set was that this was the first time Porter brought his Worlds experience to a festival. Not only that but, this was the very last time he would show the tour and the visuals to any crowd ever. To say his show is next level is an understatement – his style using live keyboard and drums synced to amazing and beautiful visuals creates a show like no other.
You want to talk visuals? I must say Zedd has some of the best visuals in the business. Working with the same visual team that did his Moment of Clarity tour (you can check the “Moment of Clarity” documentary here), Zedd’s light show and production creates a three dimensional experience. Combined with his on point mixing and incredible music, Zedd’s set on Snowglobe day 3 might have been my favorite, especially because I didn’t really expect it to be so fantastic.
I’ll also take the time here to shout out to Snowglobe’s pyrotechnic and visual production teams – every night included endless fireworks, bursts of flames from the stage, and stunning visual setups on every stage and in every tent. When you’re standing front row, it really helps to be warmed up by those flames.
Post Zedd set I went over to the Sierra tent to catch Trippy Turtle and What So Not. Trippy is always great, donning his turtle hoodie and dropping his groovy jersey club beats. I’m a huge WSN fan and have never seen them live before. What So Not consists of producers Flume and Emoh Instead, however Emoh rocks the decks solo during most What so Not performances. Emoh’s set was wonderful – he encompasses everything I love about electronic music, spinning a variety of chill, aggressive, psychedelic, and future sounds.
If you want a good taste of What So Not’s style, check out their “Flying to Europe Mix”:
Finally, there’s Flume, for whom I have no words. Before this festival I have never seen Flume live, but am an avid Flume fan. He played all my favorites: “On Top”, “Holdin’ On”, “Slasherr (Flume Edit)”, and dozens more of his classics. The thing I love about Flume live is that he ditches CDJs and prefers to perform with Ableton Live, a few launchpads, and a MIDI drum kit, which he bangs on during his sets. Donning a big furry jacket and white gloves, Flume looked better than ever as he starred what might have been one of the most fun festival experiences I have ever been to.
When the ball dropped I thought about 2014 and how much music has moved and pushed me. What sounds and styles will be prominent when the ball drops for 2016? Who know, but surely it will not be Tiesto. Hal Hyatt signing off 2015 – have a happy new year and stay safe.
Addendum: How did we stay warm during the below-freezing temperatures at Snowglobe 2014? Watch “What to Wear at SnowGlobe”:
Photo credit Andrew Jorgensen and Drew Levin.
Music is about more than just sound, it’s about bringing people together.