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8 Artists You Shouldn’t Miss at What The Festival 2014

June 17, 2014Peter Merritt


This year’s What The Festival lineup is like a fine bourbon, its value appreciates with age. At first glance, you might only notice the festival standards: your Glitch Mobs, your RL Grimes, your Emancipators. But as time goes on, you’ll begin to notice those artists that may have fallen through the cracks: those artists that you may not have realized you were really into, or those that you used to have a love affair with, but have taken a backseat to newer artists. This may be due to your inattention to detail, or it might just be that after two years of eclectic lineups, What the Festival has solidified such a stellar reputation for itself that you’re not even worried about those details. You know damn well you’re going to have the time of your life thrashing around at the pool stage, even if you don’t care at all about house music, so maybe you just trust that What the Festival will be on point.

What the Festival definitely has a lot to live up to lineup-wise, having featured artists in the past such as EPROM, Sinjin Hawke, XXYYXX, Nico Luminous, Thriftworks, Eliot Lipp, and many other cutting-edge bass producers/DJs. It is our opinion that this year’s lineup not only meets the standard, but exceeds it. Below, you’ll find a list of 8 artists that we think are crucial to your What the Festival 2014 experience. Some of these may seem obvious, but we thought they were important to mention anyways. Popular artists, believe it or not, often deserve their notoriety!


Montreal, CA based producer Kaytranada’s beats bring a funkiness to sample-based hip-hop production that has been lacking in the genre recently. Leaning more towards house music than “trap”, Kaytranada’s music is difficult to define, but the common thread generally can be found in sexy vocals and fat, driving basslines. Prominent beat label HW&W Recordings owes much of its notoriety to his releases, even with a roster including other heavy hitters such as Ta-Ku and Stwo, so you should be confident Kaytranada’s set will not disappoint.


Lost City JNGL is made up of two Los Angeles producers: Noah D and No Thing. Their take on jungle music is refreshing and inspiring, and really showcases their ability to apply modern influences to a well-established sound. They employ the uses of reggae vocals, 808s, breaks, and hip-hop samples to craft tracks that you can tell will get the dance floor moving. We were really excited to see this type of artist at What the Festival. This booking really solidifies What the Festival’s commitment to an eclectic lineup.


If you follow Booms and Claps closely at all, you probably know that we’re quite the G Jones fans. It almost seems ridiculous to even have to supply an introduction for his music, so let’s just say his blend of trippy 808 bass music, combined with his impeccable DJing skills, make his set one that should not be missed under any circumstances at What the Festival. Come catch the whole Booms and Claps crew getting down the hardest we will all weekend during this one at 7PM on Saturday at the Effin’ Stage. In the meantime, his most recent live mix from Low End Theory is full of unreleased tunes you’re sure to hear in his set this weekend.


Hailing from our nation’s capital, Fort Knox Five’s name may be slightly misleading, considering they only have four members (they say that “Five” just rolls off the tongue better than “Four”), but their East Coast flavor of ghetto-funk is unstoppable on the dance floor. Having been established in the electronic community for over a decade now, with such accomplishments as touring with Lady Gaga (ha) and being selected to do two official remixes for Bob Marley, it’s definitely safe to say these guys have proven their talent. Catch them getting funky on the WTF Stage on Sunday at 7:15PM.


On my way home from Symbiosis Festival in 2012, I stopped in the Bay Area and caught The Librarian at a weekly called Soundpieces. She absolutely killed it and I’ve been a fan ever since. Her crate-digging abilities are out of this world, and the general curation of her sets is top-notch. She also happens to be a co-founder of the Bass Coast Festival in British Columbia, known for it’s absolutely stellar lineup of underground artists across a variety of genres.


I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I don’t really like house music, unless it’s that Dirtybird shit.” To be quite honest, I’ve probably even said this at some point myself. Claude Von Stroke, J Phlip, Christian Martin, and Ardalan will all be throwing down on the Pool Stage from 2PM-6PM on Sunday, and it’s gonna be a wild one. I can’t wait to be splashin’ around in the beautiful Oregon summer weather while the Dirtybird cats jam straight bangin’ tech house all day (and I don’t even LIKE house music!)


When Kastle is hitting you up for releases on Symbols Recordings, you know you’re doing something right. Vindata’s style of 808-based “R&Bass” has been turning heads since they broke onto the scene prominently in 2012, since which time they’ve done remixes for Odesza, A-Trak and Milo & Otis, and Ellie Goulding, a collaboration with Sweater Beats, and released their 5-track EP, “… For One To Follow.” Expect some feelings to be had during this set.


One thing is clear: Ott, Simon Posford (Shpongle), and the rest of the Twisted Records crew are the reigning kings of the genre of hallucination-inducing music they release, which can only be described as “trippy as fuck.” Ott’s heavy bass and world-music instrumentation, coupled with his glitchy vocal samples certainly provide a sonic environment to get completely lost in. His live sets add layer after layer of psychedelic sound until they culminate in a frenzy of beauty so intense that you will probably be left with very little idea of what just happened to you on the dance floor. Ott resides in the UK, and doesn’t make it to the states often, so definitely DO NOT MISS THIS. 8:30 PM, Sunday, WTF Stage. Be there.

Of course, we are in no way claiming that this list of only 8 artists is comprehensive. Other artists that definitely deserve mention and should not be missed include: Cashmere Cat, Giraffage, VNDMG, Chase Manhattan, Trippy Turtle, Opiuo, Pressha, and MANY others. Let’s be honest, these What the Festival kids know what’s up, and it’s probably safe to assume that if they chose an artist to be on the lineup, they’re gonna be good. See you all this weekend!

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