Back to the Further Future

Great wrap-up of Further Future on Gave me a lot to think about, especially after reading the flurry of good and bad things written about it over the last week or two.

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

Image: Peter Ruprecht Image: Peter Ruprecht

Kestrelreturns with a year 2 review of Robot Heart’s tech and music conference.

Last year I took a chance on Robot Heart’s festival debut. Now, one year later, that heart remains a lightning rod for any number of gripes about the social experiment in Nevada, and what it has become. Last week it became a literal lightning rod, as FF was body-slammed by mother nature. Last year the BLM’s shady permit-denial moves and the travel problems created by the “Fight of the Century” threw festival-killer curveballs at the event. This year FF was inundated by a season’s worth of rain in one day – so before anything else is said let’s all bear in mind that this crew of friends-turned festival producers are averaging 3 crises every 12 months.

For a fairly long and detailed background on last year’s event, the Paiute, and the infrastructure of…

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Monday Music: Adam Tell, Jaya Prime, Kove, Kaskade & Pantyraid!


First non-tease warm weekday in NYC brings some bigger, happier, uptempo tunes for you. Carpe that fucking diem y’all!

Can’t say I’ve heard of Adam Tell, but this got recommended, and I’m so glad it was. Strong male vocals & oddly well-produced electro underpinnings give this an almost bohemian vibe. It’s plucky, chippy, almost indie. This fresh sound is what I’m hoping 2016 keeps pushing out, as fusion of genres like this is rare, and needs to happen way more often.

This is an older track, but I have been listening to it on repeat all week. Fusing the Ghost In The Shell theme with Nine Inch Nails, it’s massive, confrontational, heavy & dark. Motivating, while never pulling into abrasive territory. If you ever had a boss battle, or a training montage in Neo-Tokyo, this is the soundtrack to it. It’s one of my all-time favorites, produced by the fallen angel, Jaya Prime. While he no longer mixes/produces after an injury to his ear, his taste remains impeccable & he’s started producing visual art now that his audible art career is over. He releases a playlist of the best tracks of the quarter on his Soundcloud page, and you can bet your ass that’s gonna be my listening for the day.

Regular readers will know my love for Kove goes hard, and this is a great example of why. The D&B turned House sensation, this kaleidoscopic summer tune is deep, with a vintage feel, that wouldn’t feel out of place at Movement. It’s something to wear black to out of doors. Perfect for warehouse parties in Brooklyn and Sunday loft events. Enjoy the shimmering mid-tune build three minutes in, it’s one of the better ones I’ve heard this year.

Martyparty & Ooah don’t come together very often, but I’ve gotta make sure you know when they do. Pantyraid is an old school project showcasing the sexier side of the West Coast bass vibe that The Glitch Mob evolved from. This breezy, meandering bright tune has Bobby Saint hitting all the right notes in the half-R&B, half-bass track. Great tune for letting the coffee sink in. Ooah has always had a personal touch on social media, so definitely give him some love. Another tune from the upcoming pantyraid EP is up as well, and you can pre-order it here.

This is what you’ve been waiting for folks. Kaskade + deadmau5, and it may be so new deadmau5 didn’t even know it was coming out. This track is proof that the two of them could just tour by themselves and instantly sell out any venue in the world. The scintillating production chops we’ve come to expect from the both of them compliment Skylar Grey’s perfect vocals. Atmospheric, progressive, and apparently still a work in progress. If this ever sees festival play, people are going to lose their minds.

Monday Music: Geo, Kaptain, Endemic, Filous, James Blake

It’s Leap Day! This day doesn’t exist, most of the time, so here are a couple of tracks you might not be sure are real until you listen to them again. Genre mixing, ethereal rhythms and a larger than life trance tune in the middle. That one’s not for the faint of heart, but the rest are totally for general consumption. Enjoy the 29th, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all those Leap Baby mutants out there!

Officially the smoothest Jackson 5 remix I’ve heard in a while. The upbeat tropical vibe would be annoying if it wasn’t almost driving and progressive. The vocal modulations give the track an interesting twist, that keeps me from hating on their presumptuous Jackson 5 choice. I don’t know where this geo came from, but I’m a fan and can’t wait to see where they go next.

Kaptain is a new arrival on the scene, but already making huge waves. With production like this, it’s easy to see why. That Future Funk vibe is melting the cold we’re all currently dealing with. The bassline synth is impeccable, and the tune swings like Uptown Funk. Grant Genske & Willdabeast (great name) add some extra layers of dopeness, giving you a solid six minutes of jazzy wobbly vibes.

Endemic! The off the wall potent hard trance producer that fell off the map a bit back is back. If you’re not into hard dance, run screaming from the room on this one. However, if you’re into punchy bass, heavy trance and old school UK vibes, you’re going to LOVE this track. It’s got a classic drop that’s positively frenetic for 2016. However, if you close your eyes, you can almost hear 2004 in it. Have fun ravers. #PLURLife

Slowing way, way down, filous brings his global bass feel to the Gorillaz classic. LissA joins filous to rework the song entirely, and we’re all better for it. Peaceful guitar chords, positive vibes, and a whole lot of relaxed competence flooding the original. Not a lot to say besides sit back and enjoy.
James Blake continues to be able to do whatever the fuck he wants. This Modern Soul hits all the right notes. Blake’s melancholic vocals fuse with the lilting piano and chord work to great success. But, that’s because it’s James Blake, who could probably make a room weepy with a Kazoo and an 808 if he wanted to. Great work as always, can’t wait for the next collab with Chance The Rapper.

#FestFriday – Water + Your Body

Come join the conversation on Twitter! Use #FestFriday to join the pool party! We’re talking about water, your body and festivals.


Welcome to #FestFriday! What is #FestFriday? It’s a dialogue where we discuss important health and safety issues within festival culture. This round’s topic is WATER and your body. Sure, we’ve covered all aspects of hydration – what happens when you’re not hydrated enough, and what happens when you’re over hydrated – but we’ve never had a chat about how water is important to your body as a whole. If you want more info, join me, @staysafeseattle, @NYDanceSafe, & @terrygotham on twitter this afternoon at 4:30pm EST / 1:30pm PST, on twitter

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The Techno Ghetto – the History of Dance Music at Burning Man

It’s a lot bigger than diplo & Robot Heart. Trust that the intolerance of electronic dance music by the older universe at BM is the same level of shit you get from a techno head in his late 30’s when you talk about chillstep.

The cycle continues.

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

Recent announcements from the Org make it seem like Burning Man is trying to deal with Electronic Dance Music like it’s a new problem. In fact, this is not the case. Burning Man has been taking place in the desert since 1990 and ravers started playing there in 1992, the third party. Since then, rave has grown from a few DJs to more than 5,000 different sets listed in Rockstar Librarian last year.

Not only was it fine to post the names of DJs on flyers from the very beginning, it was also personally endorsed by Larry Harvey.

burning man 1992 djs and lasers Burning Man Flyer Advertising DJs, 1992

DJ Niles recalls:

I was DJ Niles and organized the first rave at Burning Man. I met with Larry Harvey in his kitchen to pitch him on the idea and he thought amplified music would be awesome at BM though warned me that any of…

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Midweek Music: Kasbo, Kasum, Le Dos-on, TroyBoi & Armand Van Helden

summerI saw sweaters & darker colors at Uniqlo this week, which means only one thing. We’re hitting the back end of July & there aren’t many moist summer weekends left in NYC. Don’t let them go to waste folks, still lots of time to have experiences that you’ll remember forever. Here’s a soundtrack for while you’re having them, or even for while you’re just scheming/dreaming about em.
KASBO kicks us off with a sun drenched future bass delight that needs to be on your beach playlist. A vibe that can only be described as triumphant melancholy, a rooftop bar feel that melds with almost sad vocals, twisted & stretched into sonic taffy.  After this single, you’re going to definitely mob Kasum‘s social media. The soundtrack of high school for the older millennials & I has been reworked by Kasum into a scintillating, shimmering day club tune. The syncopated bassline fused with the perfect 3EB vocals has been repped by the original band & you really need to bomp this with the windows open. The only thing you can say to yourself is TUNE! This is the gem of the week, so make sure to tell Kasum how dope it is.  Switching gears entirely, I’m delighted to showcase a track that will be entirely too hard/fast for a great number of you. It’s from a genre called Freeform Trance. The hallmarks of this genre include exceptionally fast BPM, heavy low-end, trance-infused melodies, major chords and a throw back to happy hardcore, that goofy genre that exploded across the world during the Rave movement of the 90’s. This stuff is anything but dopey. This genre holds (in my opinion) the hardest & most powerful builds/breakdowns/drops. The build that crescendos at 2:50 and rises into the massive drop at 3:30 is indicative of a genre & scene that would blow past most of the brolectro & even the hardcore dubstep out there. This stuff is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re into it, there’s nothing else like it. Le Dos-On is what he goes by, but you may have also heard of him by the name of Hyphen. Freeform Trance from Japan Tell your friends you listen to it and they’ll think you gained a level in EDM hipster points 😉  TroyBoi is a shining star. The Future R&B wunderkind blends garage, global bass, chill & some distinctly UK sensibilities. Nefera provides stellar vocals that Troyboi drizzles perfect chords and bass over. This track is less than a week old & it’s already racked 127,000 hits. You may not have heard of TroyBoi, but you will. This dude is skyrocketing to the top of the production pyramid, as these precious 4 minutes demonstrate. Rounding out the pack this week is the always on time Armand Van Helden. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve got years of music to listen to. Helden essentially created the pop remix for everyone not playing the home game. He brings in a deep, but surprisingly round & technical feel to one of the new singles off Disclosure’s album CARACAL. It’s a fluid, signature 90’s flow with an impressive dual drop structure. This is one for the warehouses, the club, the tech house music dens all over the world. A DJ track start to finish, so EDM kids, you’re gonna be mad. Or you’re going to love it. Hit up the comments and tell me which.

Burning Man Creates Dance Music Zone

Such shit. The backpedaling, now that the 1% can’t deal with massive sound, is so shameful. It’s like a club sending their GA attendees to a party across the street.

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man


BMOrg have created a new area for art cars with Level 3 sound systems called the Dance Music Zone. A mile from The Man, between 10:30-11:15 & K. They will be setting up portapotties at each end of the DMZ – so, if you need the toilet at night, head towards the loudest sound system.

Of course, in typical propagandist fashion, they have to tell us that rules aren’t rules: they are giving new permissions, not creating new restrictions. They should just go full Yin/Yang, and create half the party as a music zone, and half the party as a yoga/TED talks/early to bed zone.

from DMV:



This year we are establishing a deep playa zone where level three mutant vehicles can park for more than 3 hours.

The zone will be 5,340 feet from The Man between the 10:30 and 11:15…

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Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Linnae Ponté – The Zendo Project

For everyone who missed it, check out my interview with the director of The Zendo Project. This crucial program provides psychedelic harm reduction for Burners & Lightning in a Bottle Festival attendees. They’ve recently expanded to Boom Festival & AfrikaBurn, tomorrow, the world!

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

I am honored to be bringing you this chat I had with Linnae Ponté, director of The Zendo Project. This effort, funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), provides psychedelic harm reduction at Burning Man. This is one of those crucial services that can only be found at Burning Man, and nowhere else in the festival landscape. Trained professionals help people through (not out of) difficult experiences, and have probably saved someone you know from a really bad night on the playa. They’re currently raising money to have 2 locations at Black Rock City this year, and definitely need our help. If you’ve got it, they could use it. And most likely, when you’ve taken too much Saturday night, they’re going to be the ones taking care of you. CrowdRX may be in over their heads this year, so I anticipate The Zendo Project will need…

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In Defense Of The Thirsty: A Plea For Water At Parties (Not The Burn)

Super proud to be bringing you my 2nd piece for! This time I’m talking about the massive problem of price gouging at the water fountain. Take a look & join in the conversation!

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

funny-sometimes-drink-glass-water-surprise-liver-picsThis is a thought experiment, a call to action, or maybe even a plea. Perhaps it’s the ravings of a lunatic, if you don’t agree with me. The community of people who read this blog are the only ones on the planet with both the openness to listen and the determination to find solutions to complex problems. If we can figure out how to throw the best party in the world in the worst place to throw it, surely we can figure out this whole water thing.
8lHATcISpecifically, I want to talk about the cost & availability of water at events throughout the country, off-playa. We have Burning Man camps throwing stupendous parties as fundraisers for BM & regional burns. These events showcase the idea that parties can be principled, community-building affairs. These events are superior to “retail” or “EDM” styled dance music events, and we generally are pretty smug about how much better they are. Not…

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Pope returns to cocaine

Pope wine! A great commentary on Pope Francis’ decision to chew coca leaves on his trip to latin America. Quick explanation on the history of Vin Mariani, the coke/red wine mixture touted as being consumed by 2 popes!

Mind Hacks

Image from Wikipedia. Click for source,According to a report from BBC News the Pope ‘plans to chew coca leaves’ during his visit to Bolivia. Although portrayed as a radical encounter, this is really a return to cocaine use after a long period of abstinence in the papal office.

Although the leaves are a traditional, mild stimulant that have been used for thousands of years, they are controversial as they’re the raw material for synthesising powder cocaine.

The leaves themselves actually contain cocaine in its final form but only produce a mild stimulant effect because they have a low dose that is released relatively gently when chewed.

The lab process to produce the powder is largely concerned with concentrating and refining it which means it can be taken in a way to give the cocaine high.

The Pope is likely to be wanting to chew coca leaves to show support for the traditional uses of the…

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