:: THURSDAY : Pre-Party ::
Sonic Bloom Music Festival, nestled in the mountains of Georgetown, Colorado came and went last weekend, and it was the Dankles first time at this very unique and special festival. Three of us went up to Shadows Ranch last weekend to see what all the buzz behind Sonic Bloom was all about. We arrived Thursday night for the pre-party that featured Bonobo as the headliner for the night. We rushed to find a camp site in the packed forrest so we could start getting down, and see Bonobo before the night was over. Bonobo threw it down to an awesome crowd with variety of genres to make everyone happy. After Bonobo we wandered the forest and checked out the other stages before the night was over (the night never ended for some people), but I needed some sleep because the next day was packed with so many people I had to see.
:: FRIDAY: Day 1 ::
Photo: Andy Immerman – Mile High Live!
A slow roll out of Boulder put the other half of the squad behind a little, but once the parking, shuttling, sweating and hauling was over with we were all nestled in to our creek side squatting grounds for the weekend. The Opening Ceremony took place in the early afternoon while we were still setting camp, but soon after the valley was thumping with the first of Friday’s acts, including sets from Acidophiles, Madeline, Bedrockk, Dodger, The Human Experience, and Coult45. With many of these acts being local to the Denver area it was a great segue into the night that was to come.
As the heat began to subside we found ourselves over at the Rocky Mountain Hydroponics Dome to catch Thriftworks. This Berkeley, CA producer ushered in the first full-fledged night of festivities. His set of spacey and beautifully textured beats wound its way into chopped n screwed hip hop with some glitched out goodness. He even dropped some fresh unreleased tunes he has been working on with Russ Liquid. Following Thriftwork’s set at the Dome, Colorado local Ronnie Weberg aka Unlimited Gravity took the stage. This VP of the Mile High Sound Movement has truly been making a splash with his unique approach to music making. With a set consisting of mostly his own original material, he definitely got the dust rising and people grooving as darkness rolled in. While darting between stages and campsites, a few of us were lucky enough to stumble upon Colorado native Cloud – D throwin’ it down over at the Buddha Lounge. Throughout the entire weekend this stage was chock full of under the radar producers that definitely earned all the time they were given over the weekend.
The urge to see more music pulled us back on over to the Bloom Stage. We wound up standing around in a lull waiting for ESKMO. Brendan Angelides stepped to the stage a little late, but came out with news that he was real under the weather and he’d do his best for us. And what he brought was nothing less than spectacular. Having not seen a set from ESKMO before, I was blown away by how he constructed all of his music. Constantly looping textures and sounds, he built each tune right before our eyes. Looping the sounds of popping soda cans, tearing paper, clicking drumsticks, and clinking metal led to a mystical journey that in turn would set the tone nicely for Phadroid (Android Jones’ collaborative visual art project with his wife Phaedra). The duo performed with musical accompaniment The Human Experience.
To my surprise I spotted David Block (frontrunner of The Human Experience) in the crowd while PANTyRAID was throwing down later and congratulated him on a job well done! Phadroid lead into Papadosio who showered us with musical harmonies reminiscent of the vibes of older STS9 tunes. Soon after the Queen Ana Sia took control of the turntables for an hour or so before PANTyRAID closed out the main stage for the night. Let me start by saying, PANTyRAID killed it! I’ve haven’t seen this duo in about three years, but it seems like they have had no problem keeping their show fun as fuck. These two played for what seemed like four hours and tossed in all sorts of old and new tunes that made their set an amalgamation of dubstep and heavy trap bangers. This was the highlight and perfect closer for the night; if you see PANTyRAID coming to town near you, go see that show! After PANTyRAID cleared out and the sun began to rise the energy in the festival grounds began to rise once again. Random Rab was scheduled to bring in the new day with a sunrise set, and from stories I heard it would be one of the most beautiful performances of the weekend. And I wasn’t disappointed. Rab took us into Saturday gracefully and peacefully.
:: SATURDAY: DAY 2 ::
The crew awoke once again to the hot sun and smiling faces of everyone at Sonic Bloom. People were already up and about, cooling off in the river, getting water for the campsite or cooking some breakfast hotdogs. We spend the wee hours of the morning and early afternoon preparing ourselves for another late night. We had a slow afternoon but by the time Robotic Pirate Monkey came out we were getting ready to rage. Boulder locals, RPM, threw down an incredible set in the late afternoon and was followed by great sets from, Zilla, Welder, Hopscotch, Paul Basic, Project Aspect and more. As the day was winding down, we caught sets from Michal Menertand GRiZ. Both of which were amazing, Michal Menet threw down his vast variety of tracks and GRiZ surprised us with all types of new, unreleased and classics.
As the night was in full party-mode, we caught Tipper’s first set. This is when all of us were blown away. If you’ve never been able to see Tipper, I suggest trying to find a way. Tipper, and his huge visual backdrop provided a unique and awesome experience that I feel so many people would be able to appreciate. Tipper played for close to 2 hours of non-stop glitched-out bass heavy, tip-hop music that most people have never been able to experience. If there was one set all weekend I was glad to have been at, it was Tipper’s. After Tipper’s amazing set we got the pleasure of having close out the Bloom Stage. VibeSquad pulled out the big tracks and laid down a great set for Sonic Bloomers to enjoy before wandering the forrest or going over to the Dome stage. We were in the wee hours of the morning and Heyoka gave us an amazing set to get down to. As Heyoka began to wind down Bird of Prey came out with another mind blowing set, that toke what little energy we had left in us. After the conclusion of Bird of Prey’s set, Of Porcelain, one of Ooah’s side projects, came out to wind what was left of the crowd down for the sunrise set. After a while we wandered back to our campsite to take what little energy we had left and conserve it for day three.
:: SUNDAY: DAY 3 ::
The sun sure seemed to come up quickly Sunday morning, as the final day of Sonic Bloom 2012 was quite literally dawning upon us. Though we still managed to steal a couple hours of sleep away from the scorching sun it sure didn’t seem like much. For those that kept burning the midnight oil well into the day there were sets by Greenhouse Lounge, Lotus Drops, Human Agency, Sunsquabi, Dirt Monkey, Jimkata, and Spectre. After getting the blood flowing a bit and some energy surging through us I was glad to catch my first set from Denver’s own Octopus Nebula. This electro-jam group blasted the crowd with dreamy funk as the crowd slowly swelled in anticipation for David Tipper to take the stage for his second set of the weekend. Octopus Nebula only left me wanting more! They cleared the stage of their gear and made room for Tipper to take the stage.
The light began to dim and everyone waited with baited breathe for the down-tempo sunset set from David Tipper to commence; kicking off the final night of fun at Shadows Ranch. And my god did he come through! If I could have any set from this entire weekend it would be this set hands down, the texture and depth in all of the music he spun was absolutely wicked. The beautiful scenery in combination with the stunning sound system of the Bloom Stage couldn’t have been more perfect. The beauty of this evening was only intensified when Phadroid took the stage for their second visual performance of the weekend, this time with the musical accompaniment of Tipper behind the scenes. Following on the main stage was a gorgeous set from UK producer OTT. He took us on a dreamy voyage into Sunday night.
Part way through OTT’s set, we weaseled our way out of the crowd, across the bridge, and back over the Rocky Mountain Hydroponics Dome to catch Govinda. Though it had only been a few weeks since we saw Shane O Madden and his beautiful dancers back at Wakarusa in the Ozarks, we were still stoked for another dose. We got what we asked for, as we were doused with some tribal bass. Later, Supervision, Gladkill, and Crushendo took over the dome. Back on the main stage the Sonic Bloom Orchestra was jamming out to an awestricken crowd. This year the Orchestra consisted of a stellar lineup of musicians such as, Michael Travis & Jason Hann (SCI/EOTO), Tipper, Dave Watts (The Motet), Jamie Janover, Govinda, Sasha Rose, Hopscotch, Lafa Taylor, and Kyrian (The Fungineers). As the jam continued some musicians fell out or wandered off and before anyone knew it there was a full fledge EOTO jam going on. They would close out our weekend of fun and festivities down at the beautiful Georgetown, CO ranch at the very first SOLD OUT Sonic Bloom Festival.
Check out the gallery linked below to find pictures courtesy of our friends at MILE HIGH LIVE!