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Summer Set Preview Part 2

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Thu Aug 11 2016

SATURDAY

Artifaks

Yes I know that waking up and getting to a show by 3pm presents a challenge, but I implore you to suck it up and go see Artifaks. This artist, whose actual name is Garret Meyer, has come through my city several times. Each and every time Artifakts brings to the table a savory smooth blend of beats that just gets your head nodding. Similar in sound to Emancipator, Meyer incorporates a flux of sounds that somehow mesh just right. Although chill at first, Artifakts works up to a tempo that will energize you for the whole night, even if it is only 3pm.

Flatbush Zombies

Lowkey, if you're looking for a show to your Saturday night dinner slot, these guys are it. Flatbush Zombies originated in Brooklyn, where all three members grew up around the East Coast rap scene that the 90's are epitomized for. Having been writing raps with each other since high school, the three figured it was high time to make something to legitimize themselves in the rap world. Their first release, “Thug Waffle” goes hard from the beginning, showcasing their lyrical talent and attracting the attention of a broader audience and better labels.

While Summerset isn't known for rap performances as much, I am glad that Flatbush Zombies managed to make the list. After having been to a couple of their shows in Madison (always on a school night for some reason) I am able to see how their image has changed, naturally affecting their music as we see more polished beats and lyrical finesse. Their new LP, “3001: A Laced Odyssey” clearly reflects the thought and time they put into their raps and beats.

All around a solid act, Flatbush Zombies truly gets the crowd excited song after song and surely will do no different this year.

Atmosphere

Growing up, I remember being first introduced to the lyrical prowess of Atmosphere. As time progressed I noticed that every time I listened to Slug's lines, they took on a different meaning depending on what was going on in my life. Now, even after ten years and and four albums later, the hip-hop duo still has the same effect.

Formed in 1989, Atmosphere and the topics about which Slug raps about have constantly evolved, as did Slug's style and the production of group mate, Ant. Beginning as a true to style west-coast hip-hop duo, although originating in Minneapolis, the two set out together to pioneer a style of introspective rap music that was yet to hit the mainstream.

Their style persists as we hear motifs appear in Slug's raps that pertain to his own life and vices such as drugs, alcohol and women. What draws me to Atmosphere is the sense that Slug's raps aren't solely about consuming drugs and women, but instead also bringing to light the adverse effects that these practices can have on an individual. In our era of rap music which exalts excessive consumption of drugs and booze, I particularly enjoy listening to Slug's lyrics as they address issues that many of us could face.

If you're looking for something more than a hyped up rap show (although Atmosphere has been known to heat things up) I'd strongly recommend checking out Atmosphere's show at the main stage.

Grimes

Beginning her career while still in school, Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) quickly became immersed in the underground music scene, causing her to drop out in pursuit of a more experimental path. In the time since then, Grimes has risen from background vocals to producing her own sound and, obviously, headlining this year at Summerset's Grove tent.

As a young musician, Grimes' music reflected the uncertainty about her passion, but as time progressed we can see Boucher's confidence soar as her track “Oblivion” was rated by Pitchfork Radio as the #1 track of the decade in 2014. However, Grimes' music, especially the track “Oblivion” tackles issues that many women face in the music industry and the world, specifically that of assault and the assumed frailty of women in the shadow of male strength.

An empowering artist for sure, Grimes channels her thoughts and emotions into her music, giving her fans a chance to connect with her beyond the surface while inviting you to consider issues that affect us all.

SUNDAY

Webster X

This year at Summerset, expect to see a larger diversity of musical genres than past years. One in particular that I am stoked to see is Webster X, a Milwaukee native who is on the forefront of a new era of jazz hip-hop.

Only 21, Webster X began as a freeform rapper, not afraid to touch upon sensitive topics, such as on his track “Desperate Youth”. Furthermore, much of his music seeks to incorporate instruments not commonly found in today's rap music, such as sax and piano, which sets this artist apart from many of his cohorts. While some of Webster X's track sound similar to those put out by Tyler the Creator and artists similar to him, there are other tracks are catch you off guard, either with their lyrical content or production. After a thorough listen, it's clear that many of his songs draw from his own experiences, good and bad, that formed his identity as a rap artist.

Despite a 7:00pm show, I am excited to see how Webster X will work the crowd, especially since it will be a smaller one in the Saloon tent. If you want to see a new edge of rap music, definitely mosy on over and give it a listen.

Mr. Carmack

One of the first DJ's that really drew me into the genre of electronic music was none other than Mr. Carmack. Dedicated to his trade, Mr. Carmack (his actual last name is Carmack) recorded and produced his own music all the while working as a chef in Hawaii. Thanks to websites like bandcamp and soundcloud, we now all known his name.

Providing us with an always eccentric mix of music, Mr. Carmack can cater to any taste in the world of electronic music. At some points his music will have you so chilled out you'll have to turn the thermostat up. Others make you want to jump into a glacial pool just to cool off. Either way, the repertoire that Mr. Carmack totes is his best aspect and one that he is not afraid to show off during his shows.

Gramatik

In terms of pure talent in the world of electronic music, I have found few that can compare to Gramatik and the music he makes. This, combined with Gramatik's strong stance on the issue of free music, makes his work easily accessible and liked by many across the globe.

Born in Slovenia, Gramatik was first enticed by American jazz, blues and R&B. Taking his interest to the next level, Gramatik began to work on his first album, which was the launching pad to an ever growing career in music. Known as a chillout, hip-hop & jazz beat maker, Gramatik produces his music for his fans to listen to for free, citing his belief that morally, music should be free. As his fan base grew, Gramatik stuck to his belief and continues to provide his music to all free of charge.

Personally, my musical tastes were charmed by Gramatik from the very beginning. Growing up listening to old rock & roll, jazz and blues, I find that Gramatik's music is able to blend together these genres, while also encompassing a wide range of electronic aspects. It's hard to say this, but perhaps this is the show I am most excited for.

Marshmello

The EDM scene is rife with mysteries, but none in the past year has blown up as much as the mystery of the music genre's newest star. Marshmello's come up in the electronic music world was fast and rightly so. After only a few tracks, several of the genre's acclaimed musicians started promoting Marshmello's work, leading many to question who the artist really was. Fortunately, even during the time that we didn't know, we all still were amazed at his musical ability, with several of his remixes topping the charts and a seemingly endless touring schedule.

This year at Summerset Marshmello is primed to set the stage for fellow EDM artist and Summerset headliner, Skrillex, but that's not to say that Marshmello won't be just some opener. If you have listened to his work on Soundcloud, it's clear that this artist has some skill with the mixer that warrants his own show that you won't want to miss.

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