Author: Maureen Duthie
Festivals stand alone from the daily on goings of life—a reprieve, a separate world—and Electric Forest stands as one of the most surreal. Eight days, two weekends of electronic, jam-bands, and sprinkles of drum and bass artists will commence in Rothbury, Michigan on the Double JJ Ranch. Stages nestled under the canopy of the trees, lights, lanterns and sculptures form a prismatic forested cathedral—visited by the most eccentric and warm human beings. This is the land of the kindred spirits who arrive to listen, absorb and connect through serendipitous occasions. One enters as a guest, and leaves as a part of a family.
Here’s a few of the artists to look forward to in this year’s line-up:
Ambient music producer and graphic artist, Scott Hansen, also known as ISO50 for his design work, started Tycho in 2002. Using a mix of synth and ambient he creates an organic, calming, “close your eyes and feel the music” sound. In 2010 he established the full band that is well known today for not only their music but also for their live shows. Recently, the group received a grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album of 2017 for their newest album Epoch. Tycho is not your typical electronic group and is sure to give any concertgoer a unique listening and visual experience.
Lovingly and thankfully also called FJK, Vincent Fenton is a French multi-instrumental artist whose live performances and tantalizing transitions between guitar and piano stupify. His raw talent and his strikingly smooth vibes have secured his position as one of the leaders in the New French House genre. Dapples of guitar, drum machine, vocals, bass, piano, and saxophone diversify this funky artist’s craft. After recently performing in Madison, WI at Majestic this year, France native will add Electric Forest to his checklist of American Festivals with Coachella and Euphoria. This is an artist to see and experience.
Tom Purcell, an Australian ex-Starbucks barista, originally started his electronic dance music career in dynamic duo with his friend called “Pablo J and the Lobsterettes.” Their name and style is marked with an animated and playful quality that has persisted into his current career. Tom has been contributing to the Future base/house communities of music on Flume’s Future Classic label—playing at Ultra, Coachella, and throughout Australia. He has set his music apart from others by his distinctive tropical, staccatoed, future bass. A veteran to the forest, it leaves one to wonder what surprises are in store this week.
A young newcomer to the Forest, Theo Le Vigoureux is a French musician who hails from Caen, France. His collaboration with Nowaday Records has brought him over from Europe and now for a North American tour with Bonobo and Odesza. He cultivates a lively futuristic style with purposeful and alluring samples. He uses his music to conjure an emotional chemistry between his audience and himself. A worldly and humble individual whose fan base continues to grow with each event.
Christian Büttner comes to EF all the way from Göttingen, Germany and is bringing his dreamy, dancy, 8-bit sound with him. This genre of EDM music is known as glitch-hop and is popular with many but even more so in the gaming community. Büttner’s specific sound combines glitch-hop with trap and house, his most popular songs including Monody (feat. Laura Brehm), Unity, and Xenogenesis. At a young age Büttner started learning how to play the flute and piano, instruments now commonly heard in his music. In 2001 he started producing his own music as a ghost producer and in 2013 he began releasing music under the alias, TheFatRat. Anyone who is a fan of “retro” gaming is to be sure not to miss this performance.