By Anthony Salupo
Well it certainly was a fantastic festival season, even though we aren’t quite done yet with Nightmare Fest eerily approaching us at the end of this month, but we had to have just one last weekend of peace, love, and fantastic music. Funkadelphia took full advantage of the third week in September by heading to both Great North Festival and Infrasound Equinox. We had the wonderful pleasure of experiencing yet another event put on by the stellar minds at Infrasound. The night got a bit chiller than our previous venture to Black River Falls, WI (read all about it HERE), but the great music kept the blood flowing and the body warm. However, the days were filled with a warm sun, a cool breeze, and big blue sky. The stars out there are an absolutely breath-taking sight. We don’t get stars like that here in Philly. Mother Nature came to party with a little bit of a rainstorm but we took shelter in the bar, let it pass, and continued to rage on. Overall, all the factors that were out of human control worked out positively in the making of a wonderful weekend.
The beautiful Camp NCN is a wonderfully intimate location. The campground was founded on the ideals of pure individual liberties and sexual freedom, making for one of the most judgement free and personally liberating environments. Infrasound and Infrasound Equinox are only two out of the many festivals and events Camp NCN holds each year. This campground has it all, from cabins to densely wooded areas to a breath taking beach. It takes only about ten to fifteen minutes to do an entire lap of the festival grounds. With so much great music going on, you don’t have to worry about possibly missing any set. You could dance your way around from stage to stage, and as soon as the sound of one stage begins to fade, you’ll begin to hear the one you’re approaching. Equinox offered three stages: The Meadow, Mendi’s Beach, and The Bend. The main stage, The Meadow, was equipped with a Funktion One sound system. Even at our campsite, on the other side of the grounds, I could feel the sound resonating through the ground beneath our feet. The Bend was located right at the end of Shakedown Street giving the vendors one of the best seats in the house.The Beach stage had a beautiful arrangement of branches in the shape of a skull to surround the front of the stage. A cool sand dance floor was icing on the cake.
The music at any Infrasound event is always going to be top notch, and Equinox was absolutely no different. This years lineup consisted of classic, hard-hitting Dubstep blended with some Trip-Hop, Live Improv, Psychadelic Glitch, and much more. Equinox offered an abundant mixture of super groups and solo projects creating a one-of-a-kind festival experience. These solo projects give each artist a chance to express their individual style and creativity, and possibly something completely different and new, while giving the audience a chance to discover what each one brings to their respective group. These super groups then give these artists a chance to experience their talent in a new way with the support of other fantastic musicians.
There were solo performances from Trevor Moontribe and Amani of Desert Dwellers. After the duo took us on an amazing psychedelic journey with their amazing deep Psy-Dub flavor, they performed one after another during a Psytrance block on the Beach Stage. Luckily for us, we also go to experience solo acts from Michael Travis and Jason Hann (Prophet Massive) of EOTO. Anyone who has ever seen EOTO already knows how wonderfully fantastic these two are at what they do. These individual performances gave us a chance to understand what each of these musical geniuses contribute to their larger music projects. Michael Travis also performed with Vibesquad and Jamie Janover as Zilla. These three seemed to be having a ton of fun up bringing us some psychedelic groove before the rain so rudely interrupted. Twin Cities Dubstep owner Alex Toffler teamed up with Loom In Essence, Smiladon and a few others as IMP (Inconceivable Master Plan). These three all have very different individual styles from uplifting glitch-hop to dark rooted dubstep and filthy, yet groovy, flavor. However, they come together in a very sensual and psychedelic all improvised musical experience.
Loom In Essence
IMP (Inconceivable Master Plan)
Here at Funkadelphia, we are all about the heavy, gnarly, and grimy dubstep. Equinox offered us so much filth, specifically at the Beach Stage, that we had to jump in the lake to wash it all off. The first day got real with Toffler, The Car Theif (a.k.a. Pleasure), JuJu, and Trollphace. This group offered some classic Dubstep mixed in with a sprinkle of funky grime and topped with some bone crushing heaviness. Saturday was a plethora of crunch and slam style Dubstep with Bommer, Coffi, and P0gman. With an impressive offering of mixing talent and variety of sounds, the crowd went back and forth from hip swinging to head banging. We also got a taste of some impressively gnarly Drum & Bass from Mad with Science and Johnny Foreplay, and some heavy bombs were dropped by Micdaddy and Cloud.
Mad with Science
The Car Thief
It wasn’t all filth though, as there were certainly some just as impressive yet calmer performances. There were a handful of performances that included some Trip-Hop, Psychadelic Glitchstep, and ethereal instrumental bass music with a more organic feel. These performances included Random Rab, who graciously cut his first set short so all the artists would get some time due to the rain delay, Plantrae, and The Flashbulb. Each artist delivered a spectacular set that empowered the audience to get those bodies moving, especially late a night as it got chilly. We also got a chance to hear impressive mixing and crunchy glitch from Andreilien and Bil Bless.
Now these next two sets are the two most memorable of the weekend. These artists came to Equinox with a plan to blow the minds of everyone in attendance, and in more ways than one. First, the homie Spankalicious kicked off his set on a high note as he tossed 50 blunts into the crowd. Smoke filled the air and spirits were high as he delivered an extremely impressive set, but instead of reading about it you can check it out below or on his Soundcloud! We were also mind-blown by Ill.Gates who demonstrated that he truly is a master of his craft during an amazing set that was all over the place in the most artistically ingenious way. He opened his set with his version of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge” as he dropped a song he created in dedication to a friend who had recently been diagnosed with the disease. You can check out that song, plus many more, on the Beat ALS Vol. 1 compilation from courtesy of Gravitas Recordings!
With so much amazing talent, there is of course a few acts we did not get a chance to see, but here are some examples of all the great music Equinox had to offer, already cant wait for next year!
Alien Brain Food