Back for its eighth year in the vast wilderness of Rothbury, MI, Electric Forest 2018 remains one of the midwest’s best electronic festivals. For most fans, Electric Forest is an escape from the usual routine to listen to EDM and enjoy magnificent light shows, but in the past couple of years, even indie lovers have found their way in the middle of nowhere, listening to all kinds of music. From Action Bronson to Bassnectar, both weekends are crammed with enough artists that anyone could find a stage to enjoy in the summer Michigan heat. With so many artists to pick from, we thought we could help narrow down the Impact must-sees for anyone traveling to Rothbury this weekend.
Stephen Bruner’s resume on bass couldn’t be better. His lightning quick finger stylings have graced countless tracks with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Suicidal Tendencies and Kenny Loggins, but his most eclectic and intriguing style lies in his solo music. His three piece band plays like a well-oiled machine, stretching his usual funk tracks well past their studio recordings into a frenzied jazz fusion. His crowd interaction is genuine, his playing is easy to listen to and his range of influences are sure to put you in a good mood for the rest of Electric Forest.
You may know them as the intro song to IFC’s Portlandia, but Washed Out have been chillwave pioneers since 2011 with their debut record, Within and Without. Ernest Greene is the mastermind behind Washed Out’s pacifying blend of sounds, sampling records in plunderphonic style and piecing together bits and parts of a musical jigsaw puzzle. His set is hypnotic and layered, which may be a good rest for your ears if the EDM sawtooth basses are giving you headaches. What could be better than some tropical beats, a hot day and a cold drink?
You may have heard of these two Londoners if you’re a big King Krule fan, but Mount Kimbie deserves some standalone attention for their gritty ambient post-dubstep. Through clattering frequencies and wavelengths, Kimbie has an affinity for emphasizing melody in an especially satisfying way. Their music is tricky the way it evades a genre – changing their drums could make them either post-punk or trap hip-hop, but the cloudy, London atmosphere these two lads imbued on Love What Survives will make their show unforgettable at Electric Forest!
It wouldn’t be a real Electric Forest writeup if we didn’t include at least one semi-traditional EDM group in our must-sees! The Glitch Mob is a three piece hailing from Los Angeles, making dark, highway cruising electronic music since 2010. Since then, they have had a consistent body of work indicative of growth, including their 2018 release, See Without Eyes. Their set is sure to include a heavy portion of visuals and theatrics, so make sure you’re ready to leave the steady groove of Thundercat or the wavy glow of Washed Out before experiencing the loudest thing you’ll hear all year.