Mr. Wu

What the Festival is Set to Deliver an Epic Fourth Year

The days are getting longer and the weather dude is telling me the temperature isn’t going to dip below 80 degrees anytime soon, so this could only mean one thing, What The Festival 2015 is right around the corner! This year marks the festival’s fourth go-around, and the folks that put this shindig together are gearing up Oregon’s Wolf Run Ranch for another successful weekend.

This festival has a little bit of everything. It takes place on a gorgeous campground about 25 miles east of Mt. Hood. There’s enough room to walk through a (glow in the dark!) forest, lounge on plush sofas, benches, and any other designated or non-designated chill zones, dance in a splash pool with a stage that pumps out beats all day long. You can attend workshops, go to yoga and all that jazz. And to top it off, you get to witness a slew of the top producers and DJs in the game.

Names like Big Gigantic, Griz, and Seattle’s ODESZA top the list of a funkafied lineup, and there is also a number of local acts and up-and-coming artists that fill out the three day extravaganza. This event is held in Oregon for good reason. There is plenty of Portland influence, especially on the music side, here is a list of local flavor:

Indubious – Electronic reggae, or reggae with electronics. Somewhere in the middle of that is the hard hitting duo from Ashland. A live bass player and keys/and synths mix beautifully in front of beats will go off in psychedelic tangents, but always find their way back to the traditional reggae songs they’ve been making for years.

Hustle and Drone – Synth pop straight outta Portland. H&D has seen a large growth of success over the past year. The songs they write have an indie rock influence and always hold a danceable beat.

Ernest Lovers w/ Pete Krebs – Quite a bit of a different pace than the majority of the lineup, but these are local legendary song writers. They will provide a nice break from the chaos and give your brain cells a minute to rejuvenate with some slow and melodic honky tonk.

EPROM – Bass heavy with a little bit of hip hop. EPROM is one of the most notable Portland acts on the list and is set to have a big summer. He makes his beats with old school drum and bass influences and touches and dabbles of dubstep and trap. It’s damn near impossible not to dance for this.

Solovox – Piano extraordinaire and beat maker. Carl Solovox knows how incorporate his refined piano skills and put them to use on a synthesizer. He’s been known to remix some classic rock and roll (Johnny Cash, AC DC, the list goes on) and always creates a dance party of epic proportions.

Barisone – Master of silk and smooth. Barisone has become a household name in the Portland community with a steady working relationship with FAK Wednesdays and Bubblin. His music is grounded in hip hop and R&B and will change what you thought you knew about the word “sexy.”

Device Grips – straight up dance funk – full band! The (relatively) new Portland band, Device Grips are making their name quickly with blues infused horn-heavy funk with a little bit of rap n’ roll to create some of the liveliest music out there. Don’t be the person that has to tell people a year from now that you missed this set because you were trying to get a burrito (nothing against burritos, but trust me on this one).

Lovebomb Go-Go Marching Band – One of the most extravagant acts you’ll see, ever. This band hails from outer space, I assume, given their space helmets and vibrant clad of silver linings that make up their uniforms. Who knows what they’re going to pull out for a festival like this?

Other notable local artists include: Chrome Wolves, Lincoln Up, Mr. Wu, Takimba, Trashcan Joe, PRSN, Tyler Tastemaker, Deafmind, Octaban, Hal-V & Space Case, Quarry, Laura Lynn, Computer Pham, Diablo, and Montel Spinozza.

Moral of this story: Get your tickets to What the Festival and try and catch every one of these!

-Colin Hudson


   

What The Festival?! 2014

This June 19-22, Central Oregon plays host to the third annual What The Festival, which boasts a stellar lineup this year that includes a handful of great local artists. From the headliners to the early sets by up and comers, music fans will have many opportunities to see what this region has in it’s electronic suitcase, while partying night and day. 

While we would love to rightfully claim festival headliner Washed Out as one of Portland's own, having written the theme song to Portlandia, he hails from the other side of the country. However, on the same musical plane and also performoing at WTF, is Portland’s homie Emancipator. Producing worldly chillwave music at a high level, he mixes in a variety of live instrumentation, which should be highly showcased at this festival as he will be backed by his band, the Emancipator Ensamble.

Another well known local name on the bill is Natasha Kmeto, who has steadily been on the rise with four albums and a strong national following. Her R&B voice matches well with the dark and laid-back beats that she sings over. WTF is just one of many festivals she will be playing at this summer.

Local producers Solovox (who is currently featured in the Deli Portland's Artist of the Month poll)and Manoj will deliver energetic dancy sets. Solovox is a live mixer and synth wizard. His music will take you on a funk driven ride that will result in you losing your sunglasses. Manoj mixes bouncy beats that have made him a master at the art of dance music. Other notable Oregon acts are the bass heavy Mr. Wu and Octoban.

It can be easy for larger-scale festivals to neglect local influence. But with a packed lineup of local DJs and surrounded by spectacular scenery, What The Festival Is staying true to it’s Oregon colors. Get tickets to WTF here.

- Colin Hudson