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Wavefront Music Festival Thu Jun 28 2012
We've been hyping up Wavefront Music Festival for the last several weeks on Gapers Block and it's finally here. This Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1, Chicago's house music roots are the guest of honor at this jam-packed beach bash.
There's a lot to look forward to this weekend. Three stages of national and international electronic acts. An additional stage showcasing the best local artists that Chicago has to offer. An ideal festival locale at Montrose Beach, which will encompass both the actual beach and grassy area to the west included in the festival grounds. Now if the weather can just hold off, we've got a great couple of days ahead of us.
Now I know there's a lot to worry about at festivals: What can I wear that's both stylish and conducive to standing in the sun for ten hours? Who is playing when? Why am I paying $8.50 for a Bud Light? But Gapers Block put together some thought provoking (more or less) questions for anyone going to the festival this weekend to mull over.
1. What does death from below 1979 sound like?
While Jesse F. Keeler brought us high-flying noise punk in Death from Above 1979 during the early 2000s, the mustachioed musician formed an electronica duo with fellow Canadian producer AI-P in the later half of the decade. MSTRKRFT is like Death from Above 1979's even more badass little brother. The same combustible energy is in the tunes but instead of the uber tight, uber percussive sounds found on 1979's songs, Keeler creates churning rhythms and grimy melodies worthy of the seediest, coolest of underground scenes or the craziest of dance parties. MSTRKRFT plays on the South Side on Saturday, June 30, at 6:45pm.
2. If a boy falls on the beach and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?
Okay, so youthful males don't make just one distinct noise. But we're pretty sure the man behind Boyz Noize already knows that. Alexander Ridha hails from Germany and has been pumping out bass-heavy techno beats under the Boys Noize moniker since 2004. If the low-end rumbles and roof-raising, high-end bleeps and bloops are any indications, boys have some serious range. Boys Noize plays on the North Stage on Saturday, June 30, at 8:30pm.
3. How many DJs is too many DJs?
Wavefront Festival itself should answer that question for you. It's a trick; you can't have too many DJs. But no other artist on the festival's bill makes this more clear than the D-Town boys in Visionquest. This four-piece is best known for combining the techno genre that emerged from their hometown and that little thing that Chicago created called house music. Visionquest plays on the North Stage on Saturday, June 30, at 2:30pm.
4. Can you still be a well-respected DJ if your biggest song was used in an animated movie about animals?
The answer is an absolute "yes." So what if Erick Morillo made those furry little zoo-escapees in the "Madagascar" movies move it, move it? You know you were tapping your toes, too. But that's not the only thing this internationally-respected Colombian-born DJ/producer has done. Between collaborations with P. Diddy, Whitney Houston track remixes and world tours, a soundtrack credit in a Dreamworks picture only adds to this guy's cred. Erick Morillo plays on the the South Stage on Saturday, June 30, at 8:15pm.
5. What did A-Trak do all week?
After his solo DJ set at Spring Awakening Music Festival here in Chicago last weekend and his appearance this Saturday at Wavefront as the other half to dance floor masters Duck Sauce, we wonder if the Canadian DJ even left the city. Duck Sauce plays on the South Stage on Sunday, July 1, at 9pm.
6. What do you call these guys?
Wavefront Music Festival performers like Matthew Dear have pretty much covered every outlet of the music industry. Label owner. Producer. Front man in a live band. DJ. There's no doubt Dear has the poppy techno outlet of the electronica scene covered on all fronts which leaves us with a simple question: how does one refer to performers like this? Are they even performers? Artists? Musicians? All of the above? We think so. Matthew Dear spins a DJ set on the North Stage on Saturday, June 30, at 5:30pm.
7. Is Canada the next EDM hotspot?
For many years, everyone seemed fixated on when electronic dance music--affectionately called "EDM"--would hop the pond and find its way from Europe into the U.S. Well, it finally happened, so now what? EDM is heading north! Two of the festival's headliners--MSTRKRFT and Duck Sauce--boast members from above the border and buzzworthy synth-loving duo Art Department are also visiting the shoreline of Chicago this weekend from the Great White North. Art Department play on the North Stage on Saturday, June 30, at 4pm.
8. Is it possible to be a "career DJ"?
Just ask Sunday's headliner Sasha. He's been in the game for over three decades--much longer than most people I know can hold down a job. One of the most unique and respectable qualities about this inaugural Wavefront Music Festival is that the lineup was clearly constructed not with the "next big thing" in mind, but rather the artists that inspired the next big things. Though he hails from Whales, Sasha has truly built a career as a pioneer in the Chicago-born house music movement. Sasha plays on the North Stage on Sunday, July 1, at 8:30pm.
9. Is it considered tacky to spin your own band's songs during your DJ set?
We certainly hope not. LCD Soundsystem may be gone but their members live on in the music world. In fact, two of them, front man James Murphy and percussionist Pat Mahoney, will be joining us on the beach this Sunday for DJ sets. If one of them slips "Drunk Girls" into the mix, I won't be the one to complain. Pat and James spin DJ sets on the North Stage on Sunday, July 1, at 12pm and 2pm, respectively.
10. How do we thank Eric Prydz for overcoming his fear and partying with us this weekend?
It wasn't until a few years ago that Swedish house artist Eric Prydz faced his fear of flying and began playing international shows. Stockholm to Chicago? That's a long time to be airborne. For that, I can only suggest that Wavefront attendees turn out at Prydz's set with the intent to get down. Eric Prydz spins on the South Stage on Sunday, July 1 at 7:30pm.
Wavefront Music Festival hits Montrose Beach June 30 and July 1. $89 two-day passes and $49 single-day tickets are still on sale here.