Directly off CA 101, nestled in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, with one foot in Mendicino County and the other in Humboldt, lies Cooks Valley Campground. This gorgeous venue is where Northern Nights Music Festival will return for it’s 3rd year (July 17-19). NNMF was one of my favorite events of 2014, a delicious blend of friendly strangers, beautiful scenery, and a balance of my favorite acts and new music discoveries. This event is a genuine Northern California experience; camping in the redwoods, swimming in the Eel river, and dancing all night at the silent disco stage!
As always Northern Nights is bringing an eclectic lineup of music, less focused on “who’s hot” right now, and more on pure talent. This year their lineup spans genres from House, to Hip Hop, R&B and of course, a healthy serving of wonky weird beats. Furthermore, we’ve been told that the noise curfew has been extended this year, giving us a few extra hours on that lovely Void system! Here’s a list of 11 names that really excite us on NNMF2015’s lineup!
4 OF OUR FAVORITE HEADLINERS
Comprised of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Talib Kweli, Black Star made a splash in the late 90’s underground Hip Hop scene. The duo were both slated to release solo albums, but delayed them to focus on Black Star upon discovering they were the “best alliance in hip hop”. Their lyrics discus topics ranging from philosophy to violence in the Hip Hop main stream and focused on empowerment of black and brown people, a shift in the post Biggie/Tupac era. The duo have been rumored to be working on a new album for many years now and released a single back in 2011, so I’m hoping for some surprises along with some of my old favorites.
Antonio Cuna (Sweater Beats) started off his musical career playing in high school emo bands in suburban Maryland, but his taste in music took a sharp turn when a friend introduced him to the music of Ratatat. Now focusing on computer music he’s toured with Chance the Rapper and Chet Faker, remixed Flume, and appeared on both HW&W and Kastle’s Symbols label. His latest EP, Cloud City is a collection of shiny Rustie-esque, anime inspired tunes. At times a little silly and fantastical and at others sexy, future RnB.
The Polish Ambassador
His name is Dave Sugalski, but you probally know him as the funkiest jumpsuit wearing-ist ambassador in the galaxy. TPA blends his own flavor of electronic music by drawing on influence from reggae, funk, hip hop and space travel. His live sets include remixing popular vocalists into his own work and a serious dose of funk. Billed as a “with friends” set, we hope for appearances from Ayla Nereo, and Mr. Lif (who will be playing their own solo sets during the festival as well).
Anyone who has been following BnC knows we’ve been big fans of Greg Jones since the beginning. Bringing that 808 weirdness drenched in 8-bit goodness, G Jones has collaborated with producers ranging from Doshy to Minnesota to The Widdler. He will be guaranteed to bring some of the heaviest hitting bass of the weekend.
3 ACTS THAT CAUGHT MY EYE
Last year several of my favorite sets came from acts I was only vaguely familiar with. This year I decided to skim through some names I didn’t know to make sure I didn’t miss anything amazing.
Slow Magic is a mysterious character who dons a psychedelic Technicolor wolf mask and incorporates live drumming into his performances. Beautiful music in the vein of Odesza and Tycho.
A rapper who has worked with beat makers including Sango, Lakim and Kaytranada. Describing his music he said, “you know how everyone’s calling that sound Soulection and Sounds of Tomorrow?…It’s that mixed with some hood shit.”
Sad boy meets R&B, soulful amazing vocal chops.
4 Shout Outs To Local Artists and BnC Staff Favorites