Given the recent dubstep-losion, the climate seems perfect for the announcement of the first ever exclusively electronic touring festival. Known as IDENTITY, the tour boasts three stages hosting artists ranging from super powers like Kaskade and Rusko to more underground acts like Le Castle Vania. (The main point to this post is that tickets just went on sale and they’ll probably be gone soon).
Dates have been announced across the country, including a stop at Mansfield’s Comcast Center. Come August 20th, get ready to womp, womp, womp. womppp-womp with these guys (and more!).
Performing as the show’s headliner, Kaskade’s reputation precedes him. With a huge list of top ten dance hits, collaborations with artists like DeadMau5 to his name and an uncanny ability to get people ecstatic (get it?), the house artist alone is worth going to Mansfield.
Both young and massively influential, Rusko is one of the most important figures in electronic music today. Famous for his energetic tracks and performances, Rusko is capturing a whole new generation of electronic enthusiasts and is seen as at least partly responsible for the surge in dubstep’s popularity and driving my parents insane every time my brother comes home from college.
Berlin-based duo Kammermeier and Walter Merziger, AKA Booka Shade, have been heavily involved in the electronic scene for the past 25 years. After outgrowing formulaic club music and becoming sick of writing music for other acts (read: becoming really cool), these professionals began exploring different styles. Pouring personality into each track, they still maintain the skills they have developed over the years. In addition to producing their own music, they have also remixed acts like The Knife, Depeche Mode and Moby.
Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, the pair behind Berlin-based Modeselektor, trace their origins back to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the acid house scene that followed. They wear the influence of this underground era proudly, describing themselves as a live act still entranced and empowered by the freedom that came with the reunion of East and West. Who knows, maybe they’ll sample Ronald Reagan.
Well known for his Dik Mak records, the label responsible for launching bands like MSTRKRFT and Bloc Party, and as a fashion designer who has worked with brands like Burton and NEFF, Steve Aoki will become even cooler when he takes the stage at IDENTITY. Aoki began DJing after he started Dik Mak and is currently at work on his first album, for which he can already list artists like Lil Jon, Kid Cudi and River Cuomo as collaborators. Look for his iconic long hair and beard on Dik Mak’s stage.
This London based dubstep/drum & bass group composed of Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray have recently received the bizarre honor of being commissioned by the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Radio 1 to compose a “Dubstep Symphony.” What this will sound like is anyone’s guess, but my vote is on a lot of tuba. Their performance in Mansfield is likely to be without the classical instruments and very heavy on the bass.
Hercules and Love Affair
Made up of a rotating cast and anchored by DJ Andrew Butler, Hercules and Love Affair have garnished an array of honors from different publications, including having their track “Blind,” off their full length debut, named the best song of 2008 by Pitchfork. Since then, Butler has steered the group towards a sound closer to house, a style befitting the tour.
A fairly new arrival on the dubstep scene, Datsik has already made some big, bassy ripples in the genre. His MySpace describes his sound as “Grimey industrial devious future ninja techbots wrapped in tinfoil and thrown down the stairs, only to be ran over by a steamroller and hung out to dry,” and, well, that sounds pretty damn cool.
A child of acid house and organizer of the infamous “motorway raves” under the M42 in the UK (and you thought that stuff only happened in the movies!), this veteran of the scene continues to support the community by running his Viva Music label. In addition to releasing the work of many up and coming electronic artists, Lawler uses the label to put out his own wild concoction of house, techno and electronica.
Best known for being exactly one half of The Neptunes and one third of N.E.R.D., Chad Hugo is going solo this time around. It remains unclear exactly what he will sound like, but if it’s anything like his remix of Kenna’s “Out of Control” posted below, I’m totally down.
Le Castle Vania
A little darker than the some of the other groups on the tour Le Castle Vania, brings a unique mix of dirty synth hooks and disco punk that also makes him one of the catchiest. He has been winning over crowds and bands alike, securing slots opening for huge bands like MSTRKRFT and Justice. He also looks a bit like the guy from Castlevania. Connection? Hopefully. Someone has to keep those Twilight fans in line.
An elusive presence on the web (at least until marshallbarnes.com is finished), this guy was considered the protégé of the late DJ AM. So that means he must be very, very good.
Who did we miss? Oh no one really, just
[Sat 8.20.11. Comcast Center. 885 Main. St., Mansfield. 877.686.5366. 1pm/16+/$40 Early Bird GA tickets on sale May 20th. livenation.com]