After several years of attending Decibel Festival,its position as one of the most well run, tasteful electronic music-focused events in the United States is pretty much set it stone. From the top on down, the festival is run by professional employees and volunteers who go above and beyond to make the most out of the experience. After a few blow out years that included larger lineups and more adventurous venue choices, Decibel narrowed their purview slightly for the 12th edition of the Festival, focusing more on the clubs around Bell Town, Downtown, SoDo and Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to catch the entire range of the festival, arriving late Thursday night, which meant missing acts like Jlin, The Black Madonna and Kid Smpl.

Despite a general adherence to what are, by-and-large, considered underground sounds, the remainder of the festival did come off as fairly monochromatic, featuring beats-oriented trap (or trap-oriented beats if you will) at the Beat Alchemy, Sublime, TeamSupreme and, we assume, Soulection nights on one hand and fairly banal tech house on the other. Of course, seeing acts like Function, Vril and Recondite broke the monotony somewhat, but compared to past years when the lineup seemed to reflect what sounds would arise over the next several years, Decibel 2015 only seemed to encapsulate the white bread sounds of the past half-decade. Granted, living in Los Angeles, where trappy beats and techy house rule all, certainly has a good deal to do with our distaste for a good portion of this year’s lineup, but we would argue that it’s more to do with the extremely high expectations that the Decibel team has built up in the past.


That all sounds quite negative of course, but we do have to say that the festival itself was a blast, from the first opportunity on Friday night to reacquaint ourselves with Seattle’s dancefloors and dancers to the weekend stealing performances from Dasha Rush and Tim Hecker at The Triple Door. Having come down with a cold the day before the festival, the meditative, futurist sounds of Rush’s performance at the Dark Overtones showcase early Saturday night proved especially impressive, the Russian impresarios brief vocals and bleak, swarming drones having an indelible effect on our memories of DB 2015. The fact that her performance sticks in the mind more than Hecker’s isn’t a slight to the Canadian artist either as his live set, heavy on materials from Virgins, was absolutely breathtaking, bringing a physicality to the album that couldn’t exist in a home listening environment.

As for the rest of the weekend, Function and Recondite brought special performances to their respective showcases, proving that fairly straightforward techno and house can still be loads of fun and, at The Showbox on Friday night, Laurel Halo ran through a remarkably confident set, bridging the gap between squeaky noise experiments and full bodied, four-on-the-floor numbers. On the downside, our brief appearance at Bonobo made us realize why we don’t attend most American festivals anymore, the neon-clad crowd fighting hand-over-fist to be on the floor for an upbeat set that hardly fit snuggly on the British artist. The unveiling of each Decibel Festival is always a special process and, despite not being able to participate in full this year and not feeling totally engaged by the lineup, we eagerly anticipate the 2016 edition, sure to involve plenty of curve balls and fascinating left-field programming. We’ll see y’all in the six next year.


The trip back to my hometown of Seattle for Decibel Festival almost seems like routine at this point, an annual late-September jaunt back to the Northwest to see what the festival has to offer and how it has adapted to the city’s rapidly changing landscape. While past festival’s have proven to be fertile party zones, highlights coming from after hours events and day time boat parties, Decibel 2015 looks to have a healthy dose of the more cerebral side of the electronic music spectrum, acts like Laurel Halo, Tim Hecker and Kid Smpl standing out more than the deluge of house, techno and beats acts that make up the rest of the bill. Of course, Marcel Dettman, The Black Madonna and the indomitable Jlin have us all a flutter, but there’s something about sitting in the Triple Door at 6 PM or catching the early sets at Neumos or The Crocodile that seems especially cathartic this time time around. Maybe it’s the time of year or maybe I’m getting older, but there’s only so much tech house one individual can take. Without further ado, our three most anticipated acts at this year’s Decibel Festival. See you out there.

1.) Jlin – Discwoman – Thursday, September 24 – Re-Bar

As Chicago’s footwork movement has gone worldwide, more and more artists from the city itself and the surroundings have begun to attract critical attention. Jlin, a Gary, Indiana based steel worker, released her debut album, Dark Energy, on Planet Mu in March and the album still stands up as one of the genre’s most nerve-bending experiments and a record that can hardly be called footwork. Angular, paranoid and full of pent up, raw movement, Dark Energy fits almost seemingly in the void between “body” music and “mind” music, binding a vicious approach to mind numbingly complex drum programming and an almost unrivaled spacial awareness. Jlin wil be performing at the Discwoman showcase, alongside Natasha Kmeto, Young Ejecta, Raica and Experimental Housewife, on Thursday night on Re-Bar.

2.) The Black Madonna – Bottom Forty – Thursday, September 24 – The Crocodile

Resident at Chicago’s legendary Smart Bar and now international auteur of all things good and holy in the world of house, techno and disco, The Black Madonna is someone we can all look up to, for her skills on deck, her multifaceted production work and her constant struggle for gender equality in the dance music sphere. One of the most exciting American deejays, the woman born Marea Stamper is something of a jack of all trades, playing party starting sets without coming across ostentatious, work that can be heard in her recent Bunker and Boiler Room podcasts. The Black Madonna plays at the Bottom Forty showcases, alongside Daniel Avery and Nark, on Thursday night at The Crocodile.

3.) Tim Hecker – Optical: Dark Overtone – Saturday, September 26 – The Triple Door

Everything I could say about Tim Hecker has probably already been said, but the chance to see his full ensemble (I just missed his performance with Tyondai Braxton in Los Angeles) is one of the main reasons for attending this year’s festival. Slated to play in Seattle jazz club The Triple Door, Hecker’s synesthetic, fever dream-esques compositions are truly one of a kind, bringing ambient into the noise world and vice versa. At once deafening, soothing and hallucinogenic, the Montreal artist’s past few albums, especially Virgins and Ravedeath, 1972 have been immensely important to me personally and have served as an entry point to the more abstract, sit down part of the electronic music world. Hecker will be performing at the Dark Overtone showcase, alongside Dasha Rush and Alexander Lewis, on Saturday night at The Triple Door.


Photo by Dan Medhurst

A few years back, while on time off from a study abroad period in Morocco, I was able to attend MS Dockville, a smallish festival in Hamburg featuring the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never, Holy Other and Michachu and the Shapes. Having only attended American festivals to that point, my opinion of music festivals was bleak to say the least, literal fights for space and air in what could easily be described as gigantic cesspools of humanity. MS Dockville was a welcome reprieve from the glut and general decrepitude of the American festival, both in terms of programming and general respect on the part of attendees. There was no more space at the festival grounds in Hamburg than a midsize US soiree, but the way attendees interacted with the music and each other gave the whole event a neat, cozy overtone.

Since that weekend, I’ve been aching to return to a European festival and when a friend proffered the idea of making the trip to Pula, Croatia for Outlook Festival, the soundsystem culture-focused event happening across five days in an Austro-Hungarian fort on the Adriatic Sea, the opportunity was almost too good to pass up. The legend of Outlook and Fort Punta Christo runs deep and feasting on the lineup, especially names like Boy Better Know and Kromestar that us Americans can only dream of seeing on normal terms, became a regular activity in the months and weeks before the festival, the anticipation becoming almost overwhelming as we began our 30 hour jaunt across ocean and land to reach the small coastal city.

Looking back now, a week after Outlook’s world class soundsystems finally shut down, it’s hard to imagine we were on a beach watching Hatcha and DJ EZ play out classic-laden sets or at the festival’s unmatched Moat stage brucking out as Acre and Mumdance shook down the entire Fort at the Tectonic 10 party. And more than any individual set, the opportunity to attend a festival with near-total support for its modus operandi. In short, most of the people at this year’s festival were there because of their dedication to soundsystem culture and/or its various modern forms. With a few exceptions at the top of the bill, Outlook’s lineup was composed of labels, parties and artists outside of the general public eye, meaning the likes of Amy Becker, Parris and DJ Milktray having the opportunity to lay down high energy sets in front of huge, adoring crowds.

Hit the jump for a full run down of The Astral Plane team’s experience at Outlook Festival in Pula, Croatia…

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Outlook - boat by sunset - credit Marc Sethi

With Outlook Festival 2015 under two months away, anticipation is nearing a fever pitch and planning has begun in earnest, much of it focused over the past few weeks on the festival’s infamous boat party circuit. And while several of the daytime parties have sold out, there are still tickets available for a number of absolutely out-of-control soirees. If you already have tickets to the Butterz, Bandulu, Deep Medi or Swamp81 (the list goes on) parties, then the rest of us can only look on in jealousy, but we still do have an opportunity to catch DJs like Kode9, Mumdance, Paleman and many many more. The following three parties are our personal selections (you’ll find us there) and hopefully offer up a good cross-section of what the day time programming has to offer. This is all purely hypothetical as 2015 is our first jaunt over to Pula so bare with us.

1. Resident Advisor Sunset Boat Party w/ Kode9 & Mumdance – Friday
The Hyperdub boss and grime provocateur take over this sunset boat party from start to finish and are sure to bring out a huge range of sounds. Considering that each has covered a remarkable amount of ground in their own productions, it’s almost inconceivable where this party will go. We do know that it will be a carefully curated experience covering the finest in on-the-cusp grime, dubstep and maybe a little mahraganat and footwork if we’re lucky. We’ve been lucky enough to catch Kode9 come through the United States a few times, but had the chance to see Mumdance so this will be an exciting occasion for our traveling team.

2. Wavey Garms w/ Artful Dodger, Hatcha (old skool garage set), Spooky – Saturday

It’s not often that we in the US get an opportunity to catch garage legends and when they do come, they’re often shoehorned into overproduced house clubs or tacked onto the end or beginning of populist dubstep parties. It’s unfortunate, but there isn’t much of an American garage massive and even though the occasional DJ EZ jaunt across the country brings out droves, the groundswell of support needed to sustain a culture is rarely found. Which makes the Wavey Garms (“the kind of Facebook garment groups”) party that much more exciting for us, that once in a lifetime chance to catch legends like Artful Dodger and Hatcha bringing their livest records to a boat in the Aegean Sea. Spooky rounds out the lineup to complete the circle, offering different eras and perspectives on the classic 2 step sound and while others parties might offer more in terms of contemporary talent, Wavey Garms might just be the highlight of the whole trip for us.

3. Just Jam w/ Paleman, Big Narstie, Barely Legal, DJ Milktray b2b Tim & Barry – Sunday
While not the most stacked bill compared to some of the label parties bringing out their entire rosters, the Just Jam boat affair is sure to bring out a good collection of heads for buzzing Swamp81 repper Paleman, commentator/MC Big Narstie, Just Jam regular Barely Legal, and Glasgow’s DJ Milktray going back to back with Tim & Barry, the duo behind the whole operation. Not only will the boat party have a spectrum crossing array of sonics, the Just Jam folks know how to throw a good party as they’ve been doing in London for the last 15 years. One for the heads.

Check out the full Outlook Boat Party schedule after the jump…

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Decibel Festival, like many other contemporary festivals that straddle the dwindling line between underground and overground forms of dance music, was heavy (to say the least) on four-on-the-floor house and techno. In fact, the festival’s adherence to technical linearity was so strong that one could posit that the steady pulse of a kick drum defined Decibel 2014. From the late night Ostgut Ton showcase at Q Nightclub to Phuture’s TB-303 jams, house and techno from the world over could be found at Decibel, but the respective genres’ British and German constructions took center stage. This created something of a dilemma for a team looking for more rhythmic variance and, shall we say, a global purview than your standard techno bro fest. Fortunately, the Decibel lineup provided pockets of brilliance in the form of jungle, footwork, grime and kuduro, allowing us to indulge in gaudy, kick drum-heavy performances from T. Williams, Wolf+Lamb, Nadastrom and more.

On Wednesday night, Arca and Total Freedom, with music video art auteur Jesse Kanda providing visual accompaniment on a huge LED screen, took to EMP’s Sky Church with a vengeance, weaving syncopated kuduro and dembow rhythmic patterns into a number of contemporary pop hits. The Sky Church, a massive room in a corporate music mausoleum, is an odd venue to hold a genre and gender bending performance from three prodigiously talented artists, but a small, dedicated crowd, equal measures repulsed by and smitten with Kanda’s Vine compilation-meets-high concept body art, was up for the challenge proffered by the CDJ wielding deejays. A percentage of the crowd was even made up of holdovers from Max Cooper’s technically proficient, but disappointingly linear performance (the following night’s dancer-assisted showcase featuring Cooper was supposedly far superior) that preceded Arca’s takeover, a less surprising development than one might expect considering the breadth of interests and knowledge among the Decibel crowd.

Hit the jump for the totality of our Decibel coverage…

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For the next two weeks, we will be featuring different facets of Seattle’s crown jewel of an electronic music event, the consistently excellent Decibel Festival. Considering that Seattle is our hometown and Decibel is one of the most tactful curators of electronic music in the United States, the annual gathering is one of the highlights of our year and more than deserves the praise heaped on it in recent years. The festival runs on a showcase structure, featuring different labels, promotion groups and other tastemakers flexing their creative muscle at Seattle’s best venues. Over the past 11 years, Decibel has grown from a small neighborhood gathering to one of the premiere dance music festivals in the world and over the next few weeks, we’ll parse through the dozens of events to highlight the best and brightest talent the festival has to offer.

Over the past week of Decibel Festival coverage, we’ve pointed our cursors at two showcases, Kinesthesia (Arca + Jesse Kanda, Max Cooper, Total Freedom) and Modern Love (Andy Stott, Millie & Andrea, Demdike Stare), that stopping through Seattle in the midst of truly global tours that will hit dozens of other cities before 2014 lets out. And while Decibel’s growth has allowed the inclusion of highly touted live acts like the aforementioned Cooper and Stott, its roots are still firmly planted in the lush Pacific Northwest and a heartening number of the festival’s key acts hail from Seattle, Portland and the surrounding region. Natasha Kmeto, DJAO, J. Alvarez, The Sight Below and many more local artists will be displaying their numerous talents across a number of showcases, but the single, most condensed collection of local talent at Decibel comes in the form of the Hush Hush Records showcase. Still a relatively young outlet, the discography of Alex Ruder’s label reads like a storyboard of against-the-grain beatwerk, from the fabric (and heart) tearing UK-derived work of Kid Smpl to the richly textured guitar + voice compositions of Cock & Swan.

Hush Hush will be bringing the core of its roster to Decibel and the showcase, taking place on September 26 (Friday) at EMP’s JBL Theater, will feature live performances from Kid Smpl, Hanssen, Slow Year, and Cock & Swan. And while the label ostensibly started as an outlet for the sort of “night bus” sounds intended to soundtrack long, lunar rides on public transportation, this bill has more than enough propulsion to bring any listener out of their doldrums. For a taste a what’s to come next Friday, Hush Hush core man Hanssen was kind enough to contribute a mini mix of key and upcoming label material, all influenced by gauzy hip hop, found sound collage art and rich R&B dynamics. The Hush Hush showcase will not feature the biggest names or stage productions at Decibel, but you won’t find a better representation of the festival’s DIY spirit, inclusive ethos and overall quality control.

If our insistence on attending showcases at EMP seems odd, it’s only because the venue will play host to many of Decibel’s most dynamic performances, dancefloor oriented and not. On any one night, you could witness the hellish choral work of Oneohtrix Point Never, the brilliant harmonics of Cock & Swan and the West African-derived percussive workouts of Millie & Andrea in Seattle’s usual home of rock & roll kitsch. Get single tickets to the Hush Hush showcase here.


For the next two weeks, we will be featuring different facets of Seattle’s crown jewel of an electronic music event, the consistently excellent Decibel Festival. Considering that Seattle is our hometown and Decibel is one of the most tactful curators of electronic music in the United States, the annual gathering is one of the highlights of our year and more than deserves the praise heaped on it in recent years. The festival runs on a showcase structure, featuring different labels, promotion groups and other tastemakers flexing their creative muscle at Seattle’s best venues. Over the past 11 years, Decibel has grown from a small neighborhood gathering to one of the premiere dance music festivals in the world and over the next few weeks, we’ll parse through the dozens of events to highlight the best and brightest talent the festival has to offer.

Coming straight out of Manchester, Thursday night (9/25) at Decibel Festival will feature heavyweights from the Modern Love roster, namely Andy Stott, Mikes Whittaker and Miles’ and Andy’s respective side-projects Millie & Andrea and Demdike Stare. Of course, reducing Millie & Andrea and Demdike Stare, the former Stott and Whittaker’s fellowship and the latter Whittaker and Sean Canty’s effort, to a footnote is silly and the collective’s performance at Decibel is slated to be one of the most explosive, driving events of the week. Born out of the ashes of the Peicanneck record shop (which would later become Boomkat), Modern Love was founded in 2002 and has formed one of the key pillars of the city’s dance music avant-garde. Equal parts grave/minimalist and overblown/maximalist, Modern Love has gone through a number of incantations and the most recent has been dominated by Stott and Whittaker. The former’s dub techno epic Luxury Problems transcended its own genre label and is still percolating through the popular consciousness two consciousness while the latter’s work on Demdike Stare has garnered an affinity from noise fans and dance music devotees alike.

On Thursday at Decibel, the Modern Love-ians will take the stage at EMP Level 3, the upstairs area of the museum/concert space. All three acts are bringing out their live sets and Stott’s solo set will feature a full a/v component. The showcase will surely feature its share of intrigue from the three acts, but expect a hard-hitting, percussive backbone, masterful dynamics between performers and a singular aesthetic defined by a yearning be somewhere else that defies each respective act’s disparate source material. And while Stott’s solo material and the Demdike Stare project have proven to be two of the more captivating sonic projects in recent years, Millie & Andrea’s set has this particular writer impatient with excitement. Ostensibly “less serious” in the musicians’ own words. Millie & Andrea’s performance is sure to feature the percussive acrobatics that have become the sound du jour of club music producers in recent years. The duo’s debut LP, Drop The Vowels, was released earlier this year on Modern Love and is one of the most comprehensive accounts of percussion I’ve heard in a long time, bringing breakbeats, electro, house and techno, played out on numerous classic drum machines, into the same singular melange. After the clanging affect of Millie & Andrea, I have a feeling that Stott’s solo headline performance will sound downright angelic.

Buy single tickets for the Modern Love showcase here.


For the next two weeks, we will be featuring different facets of Seattle’s crown jewel of an electronic music event, the consistently excellent Decibel Festival. Considering that Seattle is our hometown and Decibel is one of the most tactful curators of electronic music in the United States, the annual gathering is one of the highlights of our year and more than deserves the praise heaped on it in recent years. The festival runs on a showcase structure, featuring different labels, promotion groups and other tastemakers flexing their creative muscle at Seattle’s best venues. Over the past 11 years, Decibel has grown from a small neighborhood gathering to one of the premiere dance music festivals in the world and over the next few weeks, we’ll parse through the dozens of events to highlight the best and brightest talent the festival has to offer.

The past several years at Decibel have involved what events organizers have dubbed “Optical” showcases, usually involving artists who trend towards the more experimental end of the spectrum, or who involve a strong visual element in their performances. Last year’s events took place in the comfortable confines of a concert hall (Nordstrom Recital Hall) and jazz club (The Triple Door) respectively, venues that were optimal for the piano stylings of Nils Frahm, but lacked the performative oomph that one might expect from an A/V showcase. This year, four Optical events will take place at the Nordstrom Recital Hall and The Triple Door, but the remaining two will be held at the EMP Sky Church, a visually breathtaking space in an otherwise corporate kitsch “museum”. The first of those showcases, titled Kinesthesia (proprioception, hand-eye coordination, etc.), takes places on the festival’s first day (9/24) and features the world debut of Max Cooper’s Emergence project, a joint Arca + Jesse Kanda set, Ghostly International’s Seattle representative The Sight Below, and an always special DJ set from Fade 2 Mind provocateur Total Freedom.

For the better part of five years, Belfast-born multi-instrumentalist, producer, and collaborationist Max Cooper has been at the forefront of experimental electronic music, balancing a dance music career with a desire to transcend the genre’s traditional limitations. Cooper’s list of plaudits are too long to list, but his work with filmmakers Nick Cobby, Dmitry Zakharov and Cedric de Smedt is representative of his invigorating, trans-genre and cross-cultural approach to art. Cooper will bring the world debut of his Emergence A/V spectacle to Decibel, a show that is advertised as melding the “scientific, experimental, musical and visual sides” of the artist’s arsenal into a singular entity.

While the debut of Cooper’s Emergence certainly has us peaked for Kinesthesia, the tandem of Arca’s (born Alejandro Ghersi) beat smashing prowess and Kanda’s visual acrobatics might end up as the standout moment of the entire festival. 2012’s Stretch 1 and Stretch 2 brought Arca to the fore as a solo artist, bringing attention to his collage-like style, innovative vocal manipulations and positively odd influence on the pop music he took influence from for the aforementioned tapes. 2013 saw an alliance with British crooner/dancer/inspiration FKA Twigs and placement on Kanye West’s divisive Yeezus LP, a dramatic rise to prominence for a still-relatively-unknown producer, but one that felt entirely natural. In fact, Arca’s vocal manipulations can be found throughout the seams Yeezus, especially on “Hold My Liquor”, “Blood On The Leaves” and “Im In It”. Arca’s best work has undoubtedly come with Twigs and Kanda, the former the ascendant R&B star; the latter the visual impresario who has melded both Arca and Twigs’ (respective) iconic public images. Ghersi and Kanda are best friends after all and the two live together, work together constantly and, with Twigs in the fold, have come as close as anyone to holding up a funhouse mirror to pop culture. The duo’s performance at the Sky Church will certainly feature music from Arca’s recent “&&&&&” tape and Twigs’ LP1, and fact that Kanda was intimately involved in both processes will prove to be fascinating in the live arena.

Total Freedom rounds out the Kinesthesia bill, representing Fade 2 Mind and bringing the label’s signature flame to the night. It’s virtually impossible to predict what’s to come with a Total Freedom DJ set, but based on his recent spat of dates with Kelela and a number of off-the-cuff edits, Mr. Ashland Mines will certainly adumbrate Arca and Kanda’s set with some magic of his own.

Buy single tickets for Kinesthesia here and be sure to show up at the Sky Church come 9/24 if you have a festival pass.

With a new location and its best lineup to date, it appears that Lightning In A Bottle Festival is making moves into the big boys of the America festival circuit. Moved back to July 11-15 this year, The Do Lab’s premier event will take place at Lake Skinner (Temecula, CA) and will feature a wide array of music, visual and performance art. For the uninitiated, The Do Lab is a Southern California (and beyond) production company that goes above and beyond their competition to give show attendees and experience rather than a simple live music event. While we’re not so into the whole yoga, chakra, etc. side of things, it’s an admirable angle to take in this age of all corporate everything. Plus they bring in some of the most shmanging lineups this side of the Atlantic. This year’s LIB will featurethe one and only Nicolas Jaar, Giraffage, Psychemagik, Eprom, Kastle, Tycho and many more. It’s by far the most expansive lineup that The Do Lab has ever brought in and should offer a good dose of everything from the most agro sides of the dance music spectrum to more, shall we say, introspective tendencies. Anyways, it’s sure to be a good time and is one of the best deals you’ll find at only $240 for five days. Find the full lineup here and hit the jump for a well done video on The Do Lab at Coachella.

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killer mike

Over the coming months, we’ll be highlighting a series of artists performing at Sasquatch Music Festival 2013 between May 24-27 at The Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Washington. Instead of a typical overview/introduction to each act, we’ll attempt to highlight what and how they’ll enhance the always wonderful Sasquatch experience. If you missed the initial lineup announcement, you can catch it here!

The Gorge has never been an especially great place to see hip hop, in part because of the Pacific Northwest’s general antipathy towards non-caucasian forms of the genre. That’s not to say that the residents of the Northwest’s urban locales don’t listen to non-white rappers, it’s just that, for the most part, they’d prefer someone, let’s say, a little less challenging. Coming straight out of Atlanta, GA, Killer Mike is the definition of challenging. A long time Dungeon Family (Outkast, Goodie Mobb, Organized Noize, etc. for the uninitiated) affiliate, the man born Michael Render has been challenging what it means to be both a Southern rapper and a “conscious” rapper for the better part of the past decade-plus. A critical darling in some circles, it wasn’t until this past year’s R.A.P. Music LP, entirely produced by El-P, that he became a wide-spread critical darling.

Stream: Killer Mike – “Reagan”

Last week, I was lucky enough to catch Mike at Paid Dues Festival and his performance stood out in stacked day that included performances from Black Hipppy, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib and Mobb Deep. Whether showing off his powerful, stark flow or going on an anti-Reagan screed, Mike owned the stage and managed to flip some controversial/heavy subject matter into an engrossing stage performance. If you’ve witnessed “political” hip hop on stage, you know that an overly passionate (*cough* Immortal Technique *cough*) performer can make the audience rather uncomfortable. Killer Mike manages to put forth thought provoking, anti-establishment ideals without making the audience uncomfortable, which is far easier said than done. I doubt that Mike will have a prime time slot on the lineup, but I promise you that his show will be one of the most powerful, long lasting performances of Memorial Day weekend.

Stream: Killer Mike – “Swimming” (Prod. Flying Lotus)